In October, Tim Barton, an
ex-fleet driver and owner-operator-turned-journalist, will head to Ireland,
where he will begin the last leg of a trip that is taking him around the world
in trucks. Sponsored by Michelin Tire, Volvo and Shell Oil, Barton began his
journey April 6, flying into St. Petersburg, Russia, en route to Moscow and
“I started in Russia in April in
an attempt to follow the weather. I traveled north to south on the first part
of this trip to take advantage of spring in the north and winter south of the
Equator,” Barton told Land Line. His rides are arranged by his sponsors
and the support team of the project known as the Nomad World Truck Tour.
For Barton, it’s been more than
just a series of truck rides. Traveling through Russia and into Eastern Europe
put him in the path of some very significant world events. The first day of May
found him in Barcelona, Spain, just as 10 eastern European countries entered
the European Union. Street demonstrations and riots marked the beginning of an
economic and sociological change that many in Spain do not see as progress.
By truck from Barcelona, Barton
traveled through Madrid to Seville in the south and crossed over to begin the
African leg of his journey in Morocco, continuing on through Marrakesh before
heading to the far south of the continent and South Africa. From Johannesburg,
he went south to Cape Town, the Mother City to South Africans. Cape Town marks
the place where the Dutch colonists began their journey up across the vast
mountains and arid plains to the Pretoria and Johannesburg area.
In Argentina, Barton rode from
Buenos Aires north to Sao Paolo and then west through the Mato Grosso to the
border of Bolivia. Stopped in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, by an uprising of indigenous
people who had blockaded the road, he flew to Mexico and rode from there in a
number of trucks to Vancouver, British Columbia.
In October, Barton will begin the
last leg of his journey in Ireland. He expects to drive through central Europe
to China through the Balkans, Turkey, Iran and India. He will end in Australia
sometime in December.
Barton, whose career profile also
includes English instructor, has been a senior editor and equipment editor for
Randall Publishing Truck Media Group. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The
Times, The Providence Journal and the Hartford Courant. He wrote the back page editorial for
seven years in Go West (transportation trade magazines). When he
was an owner-operator, Barton wrote a series of articles for Land Line
Magazine called “One Man One Truck” about his experiences doing business as
Quo Vadis Trucking out of Rhode Island.
Readers can follow his progress by
visiting the Web site at http://nomadworldtrucktour.com.