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20THESWORDJANUARY2015TheLieandTimesoFormereditoroTheSwordMalcolmFaretalkstoKarimBashirabouthisencingcareerandanepicjourneyoverlandromAustraliatoEngland.MalcolmFarewasborninTauntonSomersetandasa-year-oldatTauntonSchoolhewouldcyclebacktoschooleverySaturdayeveningtowatchwhateverlmtheheadmasterdeemedsuitableoradolescentconsumption.TheonlyonethatstuckvividlyinhismemorywasScaramouchewhichhedescribesasthenestswashbucklinglmoalltime.Malcolmcouldnotbemorediferenttotherumbustiouscentralcharacterinthelmbuthewasinspiredtoseekouthislocalencingclubandtryhishandatthisglamorouspastime.HetalkspassionatelyabouttheearlydaysohisencingeducationrecallinghischarismaticrstcoachJohnSandersthesouth-westregionalcoachwhostartedclubsalloverSomersetandDevoninspiringhundredsopeopletotakeupencing.SandershadlearnthistraderomBillHarmer-BrownounderoThamesFencingClubnowLondon-Thamesandwasamasteratdevelopingaconversationoblades.Malcolmsloveorthesporttookholdalmostimmediatelyashecycledacrosstowntothelocalarmybarrackstobeputthroughhispaces.Winningtheclubsnovicecompetitionhewentontocompeteinregionaltournamentsuntiltheageo.ThenacombinationoanitchtoseesomethingotheworldandthegenerousTenPoundPomschemeoferedbytheAustraliangovernmentledMalcolmtosetsailorSydneyinNovember963.InaneforttoattractworkersAustraliaoferedone-wayticketsinexchangeortwoyearswork.TravellingaloneandwithnomoneyinhispocketMalcolmturnedupatthelocalLabourExchangetoseewhatwasavailableandtookajobasastencilmachineoperatoratasmallpublishingcompanyproducingtradeandtechnicalmagazines.WithinsixmonthstheeditorrealisedheneededsomeonetohelpwiththeworkloadandappointedMalcolmashisassistant.ThisgaveMalcolmthechancetotravelalloverNewSouthWaleswritingaboutandphotographingmajorconstructionprojectsincludingtheSydneyOperaHouse.Byhisownadmissionhehadtotakeacrashcourseincivilengineeringtounderstandwhateveryonearoundhimwastalkingabout.Atertwoandhalyearsheeltitwastimetoreturnhome.StilldeterminedtoseemoreotheworldMalcolmboughtaVWBeetleplacedanadvertinthepaperoratravellingcompanionandbegananepicjourneybyroadandseabacktotheUK.FirstcameagruellingtouroAustraliadrivinguptoTownsvilleacrosstheoutbacktoAliceSpringviaMountIsaalongroughwashedoutroadsanddowntotheSouthAustraliancoastbywayotheopalminingtownoCooberPedywherethecarhadtoundergomajorsurgerytheenginerebuiltandthechassisrewelded.ThenacrosstheNullabordeserttoPerth.BoardingashipinFreemantleherecallswatchingtheBeetlebeingcranedintotheshipsholdastheysetsailorBombaynowMumbai.TravellingthroughtheIndiancountrysidetobeautiulKashmirMalcolmandhisAustralianbuddyenjoyedathree-daytrekintheoothillsotheHimalayasandthenheadedbacktotheonlycrossingpointbetweenIndiaandPakistanwhosegovernmentsatthetimewereatwar.OnwardstoRawalpindiandtheKhyberPassnarrowlyavoidingbeinglynchedontheway.AsMalcolmwasdrivingalongacrowdedroutewithpeopleoneithersideagirlranacrosstheroadstraightintohispathandwasknockedying.Herathercarriedhertoanearbydispensaryortreatmentwhileanuglycrowdgathered.Luckilyshesuferedonlycutsandbruisesbutcompensationwasdemandedandthetwotravellershadtohandovertheirremainingrupeeswhichonlyamountedtoaewpoundsbeorebeingabletocontinuetheirjourney.InKabultheyacedadecisionwhethertotaketheeasyroutesouthonasealedroadbuiltbytheAmericansorthemoreinterestingroutenorth.ItwasnosurprisethatMalcolmchosethemorechallengingjourneywhichinvolvedcrossingthethighSalangPasstoMazar-i-ShariandbeyondbutthehotdryairandheavilyruttedroadsweretoomuchorthecarTheenginehadseizedupagainandthepairoundthemselvesstrandedinthesmalltownoSheberghan.TheonlychanceoxingthecarwastogetitbacktoKabul3milesaway.SotheywenttoaschoolwhereanEnglish-speakingpupilwasabletohelpthemndatruckdriverpreparedtoloadthecarontohistruckandtakethembacktothecapitaloraconsideration.Withluckontheirsidetheydidjustthat.ThedriverattemptedthejourneyinonegobutailedandhadtopulloverhalwayuptheSalangPasstosleep.Malcolmandhiscompanionspentourreezinghourssittinginthecabothetruckuntilthedriverwokeupandwasabletocontinue.BackinKabulandhavinglocatedtheonlygarageinAghanistanwithVWknowledgethepairdiscoveredthatthecarspistonswerebeyondrepairandtherewerenoreplacementsavailable.Allwasnotlostthoughasthegaragesaiditcouldtaketheoldpistonstothebazaarwheretheycanmakeanything.Twoweekslateraterstayingataea-riddenhotelandexploringtheoldcitytheyoundthecarwasbackupandrunninglikenew.ThistimetheyheadedsouthontheAmerican-builtroadbuttheirtroublesinAghanistanwerenotquiteover.Aewmilesromtheborderbothronttyresblew.WhilehisAustraliancompanionhitchedalitwiththetyresintothenearesttownHeratMalcolmstayedwiththecarinaroad-makershut.TwodayslatertheywereontheirwayagainbutundswerenowrunninglowandtheEgypt-IsraelwarputpaidtoMalcolmsplanstotourtheMiddleEastorcingthemtotakethemostdirectroutebacktoLondonviaIranTurkeyYugoslaviaAustriaGermanyandBelgium.Thejourneyhadtakenthreemonths.BackintheUKMalcolmoundworkinLondonandcontinuedtoence.HehadbeenencingtwiceaweekinAustraliaandrepresentedNewSouthWalesintheAustralianchampionships.SohisskillswereimprovingandbecauseotheconnectionwithJohnSandershejoinedThameswhereBillHarmer-Browngavedemandingphysicalandtechnicallessons.Theyclearlyworkedashewonthe97BritishjunioroilchampionshipknownastheDoyneCup.Despiteitstitletherewasnoagelimitthecompetitionbeingopentoanyencerwhohadnotreachedthenalpouleotheseniorchampionship.MalcolmvividlyrememberswinningthebarragebetweenhisteammateandaBostonencer.HelaterrepresentedGreatBritainatanumberoAGradeswonvariousOpensincludingtheWelshtwiceandwaspartothe97OlympicsquadunderBobAnderson.Malcolmtalkswithagreatdealopassionabouthisloveothenesseothesportandtacticalbattlesbutadmitshewasnotaanothebrutalitythatcamewithit.TothisdayMalcolmFareaboveVisitingtheTajMahalbelowHouseboatsinKashmir