Around the world in seven years

David R Grant talks at An lanntair this weekend
David R Grant talks at An lanntair this weekend

It was in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, in 1995, when the Baha’i Faith came to speaker and author David R Grant.

He and his family were five years into a seven year adventure – travelling around the world with a horse and caravan.

And for those interested in finding out more, David will be speaking about ‘The Seven Year Hitch’ – a book written following the epic journey – as part of the Lewis Baha’i Public Presentation series.

The unique travel, started in 1990, saw David and ex-wife Kate, children Torcuil (1980), Eilidh (1981) and Fionn (1984) cross fifteen countries on three continents and took them, incidentally, into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Born in Edinburgh in 1941, after studying in Aberdeen University (Master of Arts), David spent two years in Australia working as a jackaroo and sheep-shearer.

He then returned to University in Edinburgh, where he completed a Master of Science degree in ecology and wildlife management, before working for the Nature Conservancy (now incorporated into Scottish Natural Heritage).

Imbibed with an adventurous spirit, when David and family returned from their round the world trek in 1997, it was only three years later before he was off again, undertaking a solo kayak expedition from Sweden to the Black Sea, following an old Viking trade route via the rivers Daugava/Western Dvina, Ulla, Berezina and Dneiper.

And in the summer of 2005, he undertook a pilgrimage to the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa.

In the true tradition of pilgrimage, David walked part of the way; time unfortunately precluded walking the whole distance, the rest covered by hitching, taking local buses and by train and ferry.

An account of this journey is now in the throes of being written up.

A fascinating man with fascinating stories, David’s talk is sure to be one not to miss.

The Baha’i Faith Presentations are open to all public, and David will speak at An Lanntair arts centre tomorrow, Friday January 17th, from 7pm to 9pm.