By Mudassir Raja
A thrilling sense of accomplishment was visible on the face of this fearless adventurer as his family and friends greeted him on his return from what he calls “the challenge of his life.”
Khaled al-Jaber, a Qatari adventurer and biker, landed at Hamad International Airport on Wednesday evening after completing his epic bike tour of the longest connected track on earth from North to South Pole in five months.
Harley Owners Group – Qatar (HOG), in collaboration with Harley-Davidson, welcomed Khaled on his arrival at the airport and a group of HOG bikers escorted him to Harley-Davidson showroom on Salwa Road where they arranged a welcome reception for him.
Khaled, the first Arab to complete the Arctic to Antarctic route, was warmly welcomed by his fellow bikers in Qatar. They hugged him and took photographs with him. They showered praises on him saying that he is one of the most inspiring figures for the future generations of Qatar.
Khaled is a computer networking engineering and he is also a film producer. He holds a master’s degree in innovative technology and a BA in computer networks engineering. Biking has been his hobby since his younger days and travelling has also become a passion for him.
His recent epic journey ‘Between the Poles’ from North Pole to South Pole covered over 40,000 km across 15 countries in North, Central and South America.
On his BMW GS, with local number plate 780, Khaled started his trip in July 2018 and crossed Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa-Rica, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chili, Argentina and Uruguay in five month. The trip ended in Buenos Aires in Argentina from where he took a flight back home.
He faced many challenges during the long adventure including turmoil in Central America, and the tough Rocky Mountains in Canada, the Indies in South America. The maximum height he crossed was 49, 00 metre.
Talking to Community, Khaled said: “I will not call it a motorcycle challenge. I will call it the challenge of my life, an adventure of my life. I started from the top north facing the Arctic Ocean I went through lots of challenges during the adventure either dealing with my motorbike or with different cultures. I left my comfort zone and got back what is the best feelings I ever have. I learnt millions of lessons with every mile I crossed.
“I wanted to show the people who followed me that I was not taking a simple bike trip. Rather, it featured different cultures, countries, food, the people and music. Many people think Central or South American are dangerous zones but they are definitely not. I always tell people that the world is just so beautiful as long as you do not watch the news. Just explore the world and you will definitely love it. There is no such place called dangerous zone.”
Sharing his experience further, he said: “I usually avoided travelling at night because of the vision and safety. It was also very important for me not to over-exhaust myself. I had five months of riding. By the first three weeks, I noticed that my body started to complain and you need to listen to your body. That is why from time to time, I stopped for three to five days to explore the country. In one stretch, if it was a smooth road, I covered 500 to 700 kilometres. If it was deep mountain, muddy or river crossing, I sometimes ended up travelling only 80 kilometres in 14 hours.”
When asked to share one of his good and bad experience during the journey, Khaled said: “Actually my bad experience was a good experience. I learnt more from the bad experiences. At some border crossings, the people even did not know where Qatar is. Some of them even did not hear of the Middle East. I got late for 12 hours sometime. However, later they sent me a letter of apology.”
He said: “I just reached back. I need some time off. I have plans for my future trips that I will announce sometime later.”
Khaled had earlier travelled through the Silk Road route that starts from London and ends in Beijing.
He documents every minute of his travels and a film based on his Silk Road journey was showcased during the recently concluded Ajyal Film Festival.
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