Yesterday, right at the end of our two month bike packing trip in East Africa, the unthinkable happened- we were abducted in a car and robbed. It is the sort of thing you always fear in the back of your mind when you travel like we do. It is always a small possibility whenever and wherever you travel and you do your best to avoid taking risks, to be prepared. It is always a small possibility and yesterday we were the unlucky ones.
We are Clare and Antoine, creators of travel website docgonewild.com and producers of travel film Pamir to Karakoram: cycling the world’s highest roads . We live for travelling. We travel mostly by bicycle, occasionally on foot, and we try to inspire others to travel and push their limits. We have travelled all over the world and count ourselves to be experience travellers. Perhaps we made an error in getting into the taxi, but when you travel like we do you must learn to trust the people you meet on your journey. We trusted our instincts and for the first time in many years we were wrong. We explain all the details of what actually happened to us over on the website, but essentially we were trapped in a car for severa hours and our captors took all our money, all our filming equipment, our camera with all our lenses and they took our cards with their pin codes to empty our bank accounts. They gave us back our passports, one telephone and -miraculously- we managed to negotiate the memory cards from all our equipment.
We count ourselves extremely lucky just to have survived. We count ourselves lucky to have escaped serious injury. We are shocked and very shaken by what happened, but we are trying to remember all the many, many good experiences we have had whilst travelling which outweigh this one bad one. We are trying to remember why we travel and why we try to inspire others to do the same. In total we lost around $10,000 of cash, personal belongings and filming equipment. This represents years of investment, of scrimping and saving on our part. We lost years of Christmas presents, birthday presents and the camera lens we were given as a wedding gift last year. If you have enjoyed our website, our film or our social media content; if you are a fellow traveler who has lived through a similar situation or perhaps who counts their lucky stars to have never been in this situation then we ask to consider giving a small donation to help us replace what was stolen. We don’t have travel insurance for our belongings. Because of the length of trips that we do and the value of the equipment we just can’t afford to insure all our belongings. It would have cost almost what we lost over the years. If you are in a position to help us in this difficult moment, if you want to encourage us to continue in our travels and film-making or if you simply want to boost our faith in the goodness of humanity then we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We understand this year in particular has been difficult for everyone and you may not be in a position to give anything, if you are able to share it around you then this is super helpful too and if not then just a message to cheer us up will make all the difference too! ❣️
Antoine and Clare Cottet