Hugh Bergin
My parents, Edmond and Moira Bergin, after emigrating to South Africa in the late 1950's (their honeymoon was the boat trip over) returned to Ireland in 1971 with their young family. I had a ‘comfortable’ upbringing - Blackrock College, University College Dublin, Leinster senior rugby - before the wanderlust and curiosity caught hold. This took me to, among other places, London where I started up a computer graphics company with my brother and sister; the US to learn ‘real’ barbecue (before managing a Caribbean music club in the Lone Star State); and New Zealand as performance arts student, retreat centre caretaker, and employment consultant for the government. More recently I worked with a British travel company, Exodus, leading overland expeditions in Asia and South America for four years. Since returning home to Ireland at the turn of the Millennium I ran the successful Cafe Sol restaurant in Kilkenny, the recent sale of which has given me both the time, and the finance to embark on my 'Kilkenny to Cape Town' venture.

I have owned and toured bikes in Ireland and New Zealand.
Home is near Ballyouskill, a village in north Kilkenny.

Why Kilkenny to Cape Town?
This trip was inspired by a friend who last year suggested a visit to the Festival-au-Desert in Mali, West Africa. On further investigation it became apparent how inaccessible this music festival is - fly to Bamako the capital, a two day boat trip down the Niger river to Timbuktu, then a 4 wheel drive journey to a Tuareg desert settlement. The notion of an overland adventure arose, approaching from the north through the Sahara. This idea then developed... continue all the way to South Africa, to where I have resolved to return someday. A pilgrimage to the land of my birth.