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Meet Dave -one of our overland drivers in Africa

Meet Dave one of our overland drivers that has recently joined Oasis out in Africa. He gave us some background on his life before Oasis.

“I don’t care what artist Roy Sebern’s was thinking when he applied the moniker Further to the bus that carried the Merry Pranksters cross country and back again. The name was apropos for both the bus and the idea.  Mad Neal Cassady was behind the wheel; a driving force for Further, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Kesey, and Kerouac.  Neal is one of the many heroes in my life. He possessed a genius that was both inspiring and exasperating and in many ways I have chased his ghost.

After reading Kerouac’s On the Road at age seventeen I quickly packed a bag and headed west from Ohio with thirteen dollars in my pocket, thumbing my way to Seattle. I walked the first nine miles, a fear of the unknown and the known keeping me from sticking out my thumb. Eventually the rhythm of the road kicked in and I found a groove. I learned the tricks, argued with cops, slept in ditches, picked green tomatoes with migrant workers, washed dishes, lumped trucks, and hopped a train or two. Always there was a dog-eared novel stuck in my back pocket.

Our Oasis Overland Driver in AfricaThe road has continued to hold its grip throughout my life. I lived in a VW Kombi for several years while fishing commercially in Key West and Alaska, a commute that may seem strange but allowed me the wonders of the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Banff, the Yukon, Yellowstone, the Redwoods, Rushmore, Mesa Verde, and the Baja towns of Mexico when they were still safe. My career led to a captain’s license which allowed me to travel most of the Caribbean, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America, and one wacky trip from England to the South of Spain through the Straits of Gibraltar. I possessed a Mexican green card to work the oil patch of the Bay of Campeche, backpacked throughout Central America, and flew to Colombia on a drunken New Years Day whim with one of the few people I know who also isn’t afraid to hit the road.

Twenty-five years later I still love the road and the people I meet along the way. Now it’s time to get behind the wheel again and chase Neal’s ghost. I am heading for Africa to drive an expedition vehicle around the continent for Oasis Overland. Carrying twenty-four like-minded souls in the back of this rolling hostel will be just one of the joys. I look forward to Hemingway’s ghost in the snows of Kilimanjaro, Markham’s ghost in the skies of Kenya, Livingstone’s ghost on the lakeshore of Malawi, and the bickering specters of Speke and Burton along the Nile.  I look forward to that noble street in South Africa where Tutu and Mandela resided, the majesty of Victoria Falls, the power and secrets of the Congo River, the dunes of Namibia, and the plains of the Serengeti. The polyglot that gives us lyrical names like Limpopo, Mubotu Sese Seko, Ouagadougou, and Kalahari.  I look forward to planting feet in the roads and alley ways where previously only my mind has traveled; Zanzibar, Zimbabwe, Timbuktu, Mombasa, Cairo, Brazzaville and sister capital Kinshasa, Kigali, and Dakar.

The only way to catch Neal Cassady’s ghost is to travel – Further.”

If you would love to experience some of the places that Dave will travel to and follow in the footsteps of some of his heroes then check our overland trips in Africa!

Posted in Africa, All Blogs.


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