Thursday, July 26, 2012

So how do you do a single blogg post for 10months of travel?

Facts and figures:
Countries visited = 20 (Includes ALL Central and South American countries + Cuba, excluding Guyana, Suriname & French Guiana)
Stamps in passport = 66
Distance on motorbike = 50000km
Front tyres = 3
Rear Tyres = 4
Chains = 4
Sprockets = 3 (front and back)
Oil changes = 15 (37.5 litres)
Crashes = 1 on tarmac; 3 into other bikes; 3 into other vehicles; many many more on dirt-sand-mud
Parts broken = footpeg; speedometer; clutch; GoPro; rear frame bolts; minimal plastic damage; x2 rear vision mirrors on cars (theirs not mine), number plate, front wheel hubb
Fuel used = approx 2500litres (cheapest at $0.01 per litre, most expensive at $2 per litre)
Cost = I would have paid more! Police bribed = 3 (Belize - the bribe was cheaper than the insurance, Honduras - no number plate; Nicaragua - $5 only to embarrass them by waving it around)
Police encountered without needing bribe = 100approx (typically gringo smile and ´no hablar espanol´ or take their photos)
I have a head full of fantastic memories and countless new friends, I thought that what I was undertaking i.e. riding a motorbike in central america was a unique way of travelling...given the number of bikers I now know that have done the same trip or more extreme versions I am going to have to go back to he drawing board an come up with a crazier way and place to travel to get my unique experience...How about taking a freighter ship to West Africa and travel war torn West African nations? oh well it will do for now anyway!
I often wondered if I was just going to get more of the same experiences going back to south america. Yes I did...fabulous amazing places should be visited more than once but the best part of this whole trip and favourite experience has been riding the motorbike...a totally new and wonderful way of travelling for me. The freedom and flexibility offered are priceless. Travelling by local bus is cheaper but you only get to stop in the towns\cities, the best food is roadside food, the best accommodation is your own tent with an unbeatable view and best of all the wind in your face while keeping it rubber-side down.

People keep asking how I have changed...I guess I feel I now take more risks...LIVE LIFE and take a few me you will appreciate everything more than if you just have the experience handed to you. Facing death around each corner makes your breakfast taste nicer and appreciate how lucky you really are just to be breathing.

Pictures summarise the trip better than words so email me and I will give you the links.

I closed the "America's by bike" chapter by selling my Julia (a red KLR motorbike)...there were tears but I was reminded that she was just an your favourite pair of shoes! She took me to some amazing places and we had some fantastic experiences but more importantly riding her allowed me to meet some fantastic people who I hope will stay in my life longer than a single pair of shoes/motorbike. To friends at home and abroad who have supported me also a big THANKYOU.

Bring on AFRICA