The trip home was more tiring than the journey to Alaska, it took a week to recover and get over the jet lag. It was really difficult to try and get back into the grind of everyday life, I came down to earth with a crash, the adventure was over and it was back to the same old stuff I had left behind, hardly exiting, where as for the last few months everyday had been a new adventure. What was a reai challenge was learning to drive a car again and also to drive on the lefthand side of the road, I found myself in some embarasing situations in the traffic. Fortunately I dont live in a big city. This trip is the best thing that I have ever done, it had it’s challenges and was not a walk in the park, I am driven by challenges. There are so many stories of incedents that happened along the way that I have not written of , they are all of personal interactions with people along the way, most are very touching and almost spiritual. This trip was definately life changing and I now veiw many things differantly, I may just have to write it all down as it will make an amazing story. Sorry I don’t have time now! The most interresting question that I was asked is , what does monkey gland scource taste like? Argentina, Chile and Colombia are all great countries to visit and the people are really nice as is the beer. Colombia was my favourite South American country and has the hottest women, they are drop dead gorgius. Machu Pichu was probably the highlite and the surrounding area is also beautifull, the rest of Peru sucks and Bolivia has got to be the armpit of South America. Central America was worth seeing once but I wont be hurrying back, the biggest dissapointment was Mexico as everyone that I had spoken to had raved about it. Unfortunately when I was there it was in the middle of the swine flu epidemic, so every thing was subdued and most people stayed home and I avoided places with a risk of catching the swine flu. I am sure under normal circumstances it is a nice place to visit. The States, Canada and Alaska were all wonderfull as were the people, nice to visit but very expensive. Seeing all these wonderfull places is amazing and this is because you are on holliday, a visitor and spending money and people appreciate this. I think that if one was to try to go and live in one of these wonderfull places it would be difficult as the culture, language and way of life is very different, you will always be an outsider and you will be competing for jobs with the locals. It is always great to have a place to call home, we in SA are so spoiled with what we have here, the wild life, the climate, the way of life. We can live and not just exist, as many other countries are so controlled it’s painfull. Sure we have our challenges, b ut that is what makes life interesting so enjoy what we have while we have it. The one person that I must say a big thank you to is Ian Burman, as he is the one who set up the blog and made all this possible : Thanks Ian: I will keep on putting on photos as the take time to upload so keep checking from time to time. If anyone wants info on any of these places fell free to contact me and I will help where I can. Many people have been reading this blog and have not left comments, that’s great, hope you all have enjoyed it. I have enjoyed writting it and doing the traveling that goes with. I may just do another sometime! Watch this space.
I leave Anchorage this evening on my journey home, it is with mixed emotions, this certainly has been the most amazing trip. It is kind of sad that it has ended but I am looking foreward to getting home and staying in one place for more than a few days. Here in Anchorage I managed to meet up with a friend who I have known since school, Glynnis Brent her maiden name, she is married to a Canadian who is in charge of mineral exploration for a company up here in Alaska. It was really nice to catch up, she was really happy to see someone from back home, I think it can be kind of lonely here when you have left all your old friends and life behind and moved to this cold and often miserable climate. So if the bike does not go back to SA I have found a good home for it.What makes or breaks this kind of trip is the people that you meet or interact with along the way, foretunately for me I have not met too manydissagreable folk. Before comming to the States, I didn’t know what to expect as the world media often portrays Americans as arogant people who want to control the world, or stupid fat people. I have been most impressed with the average american, the are such nice caring people and most are fairly well educated and know what you are talking about and where you are from. Many have been to SA, and many others are planning to visitin the future. My impression of the States is a good one, the average american are wonderful people.The visit has been great but I am an African at heart so I am happy to be going home to a warm friendly place in the sun. To all the people that have been so kind to me along the way a big thank you, what goes around comes around, I will do a summery of the trip and post pictures when I am back in SA. So Long Farewell and Godbless.
Here I am in Homer, an amazing small town, with amazing small town folk, it is really laid back The campsite is at the end of the sand spit, it has a great veiw of the volcanoes at the enterance to the bay, they are active. The pub on the spit is called the Salty Dog, it’s a nice spot with money from all over stuck on the walls and ceiling, I signed and left a R 50 note on one of the rafters, so who knows in the future someone might just find it. Still travelling with Flo and Micha, we kind of cause a stir every where we stop. So from here it is off to Seward, we are kind of taking it easy. I am waiting for quotes for returning my bike to SA, but we’ll see how much it costs. May have to leave it here! The coments and feedback from you guys that read this blog has been great, at times just a few new comments mean a lot, keeps one going as people are interrested in what you’re doing. It has been a long hard trip 36600 k’s from BA to Prudhoe, I am actualy quite proud of myself for having completed it in one, many try and only a few actualy make it. It has been a fantastic experience, more than I expected, the people that I have met along the way have all been quite amazing. It is something that I will tell stories about for many years to come. So what’s next? who knows!!
When I left Fairbanks for the final push north, it seemed that anything that could try to stop me would. The bike started missing and would’nt go, I was about 70 k’s out, I drained the fuel and eventualy got it going again with fuel from my jerry can, I then headad back to fuel up as there is only one fuel station in 820 k’s. There I met up with Flo and Micha, they were looking for me, so we headed north together, then I had some electrical problems, it was the cut out switch on the side stand playing up, after that I got a rear wheel puncture, fortunately Flo and Micha were there so we could pick up the bike to remove the wheel and repair it. We headed on and camped at Coldfoot where we met up with Ingo, another German also about to head south, so we were 4, next day we headed over the Brookes mountains, that is when the weather changed, it became freezing and started raining, the road turned to mush and was realy slippery, with my smooth tyres it was a challenge, they all had new conti TKC 80 nobly tyres. I just had to hang in and hope for the best, we eventualy made Prudhoe Bay, found a hotel, closed our eyes and paid the money to stay there, it is a realy cold place way north of the arctic circle and the sun does not set, kind of wierd, 24 hour light. All meals were included in the price, so we realy pigged out and took sponsered food for the trip back. The arctic ocean is still frozen so we could not swim, so I got fotos on the ice. Prudhoe is a dry town so there was no beer to be had anywhere, that was disapointing so we had to wait till we got back. We were realy lucky with the wildlife that we saw, moose with twin calfs, musk oxen, cariboo heards, bald eagles, dall sheep and other stuff. The Tundra landscape also has a beauty of its own, it is harsh and unforgiving and yet nice. The trip back was a breeze, no rain so the road was hard, sunshine so it was warm especialy once over the pass, so we did the whole trip back in one, about 9 hours, some low flying. We also met other bikers heading up there, I think it will be raining today so they may have some fun. The James Dalton highway is the haul road for trucks and material to and from the oilfields, the oil is pumped by pipeline to Valdez on the other side of Alaska near Anchorage, about1500 k;s away through arctic conditions, a real challenge. So what now? I am now on vacation, a bit more of Alaska and then fly back, should arrive on the 24 th. Then try to become normal again, another challenge! So now off to the botanical gardens. I DID IT !!!!!!! YEA HAAAAAA.
Well I have made it to Alaska, now I have to get to Prudhoe and back to Anchorage. The oil companies are a bit sticky with access to Prudhoe. and it is about 750km of dirt road each way. The days are much warmer now, sitting around 30, and that is nice. Dawson city is a real old mining town, I dont think anything has changed there in the last 100 years, dirt streets, Bombay Peggies an old brothel, now a pub, Diamond Tooth Lil’s the casino with real life can can dancers, an old paddle steamer in the river for cruises. The top of the world high way is a beautiful drive, pity the area has been ravaged by fires, the vegetation takes decades to recover. Stopped in chicken village, they have been digging up mamoth tusks in the area. Alaska is realy pretty, people spend summer here and then head back down south for the winter, others love the winter as there are no mozzies, and you can go any where as it is all snow, all you need is a snow mobile or skies, so I guess it’s what suits you that goes. I will leave for Prudhoe in the next day or so, I am waiting to hear from the crazy germans, to see if they are comming with, some company would be nice as it is a pretty desolate place and realy nothing there. More later.
So, i’m about to leave for Dawson city, the stay here has been really good, stayed in the camp site and met up with 2 crazy Germans, Micha and Flo, both guys and not gay. They are about to do the trip down south so I gave them my travel guides as I don’t need them anymore. There is also a young crowd here for summer, so I met a whole fun crowd. Whitehorse is also a really nice town and the locals are nice too.Yea the mozzies here are bigger than vultures and attack in gangs, and try to drag you home for the kids to eat. Squirels have been a problem too, the try to pinch anything lying around, also make holes in tents to see what they can pinch. Days are getting warmer so hopefully the trip up north should be ok. More later.
So i am now in Whitehorse, I came via the Stewart highway through BC. I am now in bear country, saw about 30 yesterday, along the road, they run away when you stop to photo them. So that was real nice, then I camped in the woods last night and I am still alive. The only thing that attacked me was the cold, with every thing on I still froze, there was ice all over every thing this morning. It is starting to warm up, and the weather looks good for the rest of the week. From here I go to Dawson City and to Alaska via the top of the world highway, highway means road here, not even tar. There are lots of other bikers out and about, all decent guys, so we always meet up at filling stations or watering holes. The forrests here are quite amazing for thousands of k’s I have been riding through forrests, all natural, they only grow at about1/3 of the rate our pine grows. the sawmills are monster mills as are the harvesting machines and other equipment, quite an industry, well there are millions of hectares of forrests. Hope to see moose and cariboo in the next day or so. more later.
I am heading north along the goldrush route, the sun is shining, but it is still cold, locals say it is warm. Canada is as i had imajined, and the people are very friendly and hospitable, the only problem that i can see, is that the forests are being killed off by a pine beetle, everywhere you look trees are dying, I saw it in the states too, so it is a huge problem. Seattle was great as Jim and Vyv took me all over and showed me all the sites, I also met Christopher Stumbles, also a good guy, so we have family doubles by the look of it. The crossing from the states took 5 min, was great. I also at a filling station met a guy Tom, who had last year done the same trip as me on a BMW 800 that he had bought in Cape Town, so he now ha a CA bike here, he had lots of info for me heading north. The problem that I have right now is that I can’t get into my web mail, it wont accept my password andboots me out every time, the log on logo is also sitting in the wrong place on the screen, so somebody please ask Ian Burman to please have a look at it, someone may have messed with it as I mainly use public computers. Cool, Peace out, later.
Just a quick update, i’m in Seattle, and the weather is great for a change, will be leaving for Canada tomorrow. The stay with Jim and Vyv has been special, they have sons, Christopher, Timothy and Jonathan, hows that for family names! Met Tim, he is a good oke. At yellowstone, i managed to see the geyser ‘Old Faithfull’ shot its load, more than 50 meters up, water and steam, really something.On the way here passed through Missoula, saw the smoke jumpers centre, has a nice climate there! Wyoming, Montana, Idaho are all really beautiful, the forests get bigger and lusher as you head west. Washington state is also real nice in the summer. will try to catch up with Kathy Lategan here before i leave north. More from Canada.