Well, we have been back in Houston for over a year now. I will always have great memories of the trip to South America. Many people have said, "that must have been fun." when I tell them of my trip. I can't say it was "fun" but it was very much an "adventure".
The things I remember the most are the interactions with the many people we met on the way. Some of the brutal road conditions and riding contrasted with the absolute beauty of many of the places we traveled through.
These are just some of things I will never forget;
Getting ready to ship to Cartegena. The first hostal in Santa Marta and our two female room mates. The never end paper chase of many of the border crossings, Especially the first one into Peru where the Equadorian aduana official would not let us out of the country without the proper papers. Galapagos.
The struggles in the mud of Peru. The $3 room in El Balsa that was overpriced. The KTM shop in Lima and stay for the first night in a brothel. The four days spent above 13,000 in La Paz. Reaching 15,270 feet on a highway. The Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Boliva. The amazing hostal find in the little town of San Juan Bolivia. The gasoline/hostal stay in Ollayue, Chile.
The great B&B in Santiago where we spent quite a bit of time. The desolation and beauty of Ruta 40 especially Bariloche and El Calafate (I will return to these places). Fixing the fuel filter in the brutal wind at Rio Mayo. The bus crash near El Boson, the wind through Patagonia.
Finally arriving in Usuhaia. The Ferry ride past Torre del Paine and finding a much needed chain at Motoadventura in Orsono. Some of the best steak and the great hospitality in Nuevo de Julio.
Visiting Iguazu Falls and the lovely week in Buenas Aires with my lovely bride, Laura.
Racing with the Dakar support vehicle in Cordoba. Getting a ticket for passing on a double yellow (right!). The frog episode in Trinidad, Paraguay, Chuck's concern led to him say "let me go get the woman!" The great royal reception we got in Rinopolis, Brazil. Trucks, trucks and more trucks. The very fine hospitality in Recife, from Chucks friend Mark.
The problems of my bike after we started back in Brazil. The one day ferry ride across the Amazon. Crossing the bridge of death, in a rain storm. Being totally pissed off and amazed by the corruption that led us to take a ferry when the Brazilian / French Guyana governments had built and completed a bridge that the Brazilians would not allow to be opened.
The amazingly modern French Guyana, and the amazingly NOT modern Suriname and Guiana. The brutal road from Guiana back into Brazil, the Guianese and Venezuelan's have had a conflict over land between them so there are no roads between them. Having to lift the bikes over two trucks stranded in the mud. Waiting for hours for the ferry to depart because there were no cars (stuck behind the two trucks.)
The amazing beauty of the Park in south eastern Venezuela and then the poverty of the cities once departing the Park. Stranded again because of fuel filter on the streets of Cucuta Colombia. The ride in the rain to Bogota. Passing through customs and flying the bikes back into Panama. The race up the Pan American highway.
Staying in Gringoland (Dominical) Costa Rica. Blowing the rear shock and riding like a '57 Buick the rest of the way back to Houston. The night we spent on the border of Honduras / El Salvador in what seemed like a drug connection hotel. How nice Mexico was on the Southern End but how scary it got as we got closer to the US.
Finally reaching the US and riding down the neighborhood road to see my lovely wife on the driveway I had left so many months before.