Sunday, March 2, 2014

Final Thought

  It has been a pleasure to work on this blog for everyone that has been following along.  We can't really put into words the feelings we have for the opportunity to go on this road trip.   I would call it "once in a lifetime" but I think there will be future adventures.  We have been trying to adjust to the "normal?" life since we have been off the road and personally I'm finding it difficult. We have also been reminiscing and decided we should make a list of all of the subjects/skills that we have learned or used while on the road.  In no particular order we started popping them off the top of our head.   

        International border crossings
        International phone calls
        International shipping procedures- into and out of countries
        International ambassadorship
        US Embassy/Passport replacement
        Cultural studies/ Ancient civilizations
        Stone work and other construction methods
        Reed island building
        Diplomatic relations
        Law enforcement
        Navigation/ without maps or directional signs
        Map reading.  Finally got a map in Chile
        Lakes, rivers, oceans
        Deserts, jungles, mountains, swamps, savannahs, forests
         Spanish and other communication skills
         Computer skills
         Pharmacy/medical needs
         Shoe repair
         Laundry service
         Looming and weaving
         Motorcycle mechanics
         River crossings and off road motorcycle riding
         Trip planning
         Sea kayaking
         Farming methods
         Coffee production
         Animal husbandry
         Cave exploration
                   Motorcycle, sail boat, motor boat, motorized canoe, moto taxi, car taxi, trains, planes,                        subway, ferry boats, trucks, sea kayak, buses and on foot

     So as you can see we were not on a vacation.  We were travelling on a two wheeled learning adventure with all the ups and downs,  including sickness an breakdowns with AAA nowhere to be found.  No maps, no cell phone, no GPS,  no chase truck and very little Spanish ability.  Just the two of us against the odds.   

    Of course we weren't totally alone.  We had lots of people offering support along the way from friendly, helpful people everywhere we went.  We met many other people also "on the road" including other adventure riders and lots of backpackers.  We also had ground support back in the US and lots of prayers from friends an family.

    A few things I would recommend for a trip like this,  LEARN SPANISH,  this was one thing that really handicapped us.   Also it was a reflection on our education system, because most if not all of the non South Americans that we met, spoke multiple languages that they were mandatory in school.  Next, a GPS unit would have made navigating a whole lot easier.  If it wasn't for another rider with a GPS, it would have been impossible to get through the Salar de Uyuni and the Laguna Route in Bolivia.  Next take the lightest motorcycle you can comfortably ride for 150-200 miles a day.  Take the least amount of gear you possibly can.  If you do happen to need something,  you will be able to find just about everything you could possibly want, no need to drag it around until then.  Let me repeat that:  take the least amount of gear you possibly can.   I am a true blue Harley rider and would never consider a Jap bike....until I went on this ride.  My next ride will probably be on a Honda 650 or smaller.  Number one reason is because they have the largest worldwide network of dealerships and parts availability.  For any questions pertaining to this paragraph, feel free to contact me.

    Naturally I would like to say thanks to everyone that has followed along as well as thanks for all of the comments. Thanks to mom and dad for the ground support and for taking care of my personal business while I was away,  I love you.   Thanks to all friends and family that wished us well and encouraged us to go on this trip.  Thanks to my buddy Dennis for all of the gear he supplied, even if I didn't need it or bring it.  Thanks to Gary at Harley Charlies for motorcycle parts when needed.  Thanks to Heather and Tracy for being family, I love you both.   Thanks to God for keeping us safe and watching over us, showing us the way "through the dark" and for returning us safely to home.  Finally,  thanks to Judy for helping with the photography duties and mostly for going along and for being there through the hard times and encouragement when the going got tough or in some cases when we weren't going at all.  I love you more than when we left,  may we live and ride together forever.  I love you. I love you, I love you.

Contact information     st8907 at    Thank You..............


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