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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


Thanks for all the fish

September 2nd, 2011 by sunflowers

I had some of the most incredible experiences on my trip. I look back at my blog and can’t believe how many amazing things I got to see and how many nice people I met. I have tried to thank everyone on the ‘Thanks’ page.

It did end up taking a huge part of my life. Three years to prepare, over one to do and close to two years to recover. I guess it just shows that it takes time and dedication to do a lot of life’s worthwhile things.

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This is a link to the picture book I put together to remember my trip. My Picture Book

Posted in General | 1 Comment »


Argentina & Chile Summary

September 2nd, 2011 by sunflowers

I took the early morning ferry to Buenos Aires and as I had been travelling for a year and had started to look for a job for when I finished I decided to use my air miles to fly back to London for a couple of job interviews. It was a welcome visit home and probably not as long as I would have liked as I wanted to get back to the Horizons Unlimited meet up in Viedma to find someone to ride down Ushuaia with …

Actually I think I am going to leave off with the summaries now as even almost two years later I still don’t want to think too much about the accident at the end of my trip which Argentina and Chile remind me of.

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Posted in Argentina, Chile | No Comments »


Uruguay Summary

September 1st, 2011 by sunflowers

Arriving in Uruguay I managed to run into a bike club returning from a bikers meet up who graciously invited me to lunch. Then it was on to stay with another biker and then on to a weekend meet up with the Colonia Cruzados and an asado (bbq) where I got some help setting up my tent.

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I felt like I made more friends in one weekend in Uruguay than I have living several years in some other countries.

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Posted in Uruguay | No Comments »


Brazil Summary

September 1st, 2011 by sunflowers

The day we visited the Brazil side of Iguazu it was pouring with rain which made the falls even more majestic and the Argentina side that we saw in the sun a bit tame. I was pretty pleased with my photo of the lizard’s tongue.

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After the rest of Latin America the cost of Brazil was a real shock so after staying with a couple of motorbikers I made a concerted effort to couch surf and as a result Brazil become one of my favourite countries (though to be fair each country was my favourite country when I was about to leave it).

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My bike finally got a named ‘The Tank’ in San Paulo after a mechanic who worked for Suzuki for 12 years never saw a DR650 with problems as they were built like tanks. I left The Tank in San Paulo and bussed up to Rio did a favela tour, gay parade and went to a Samba school.

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Then it was diving in Cabo Frio and again staying with great people in Vitor and his family. Back to San Paulo to pick up my bike and have Fabio take me to experience a day as a Paulistano with eating and dancing.

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And riding out of Brazil stopping in Curitiba, Florianopolis (to a nightclub so cool it didn’t have a sign) and Pelotas with huge lake that is salt water part of the year and fresh the other.

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Paraguay Summary

September 1st, 2011 by sunflowers

I had been told by a local rider in Bolivia to avoid Paraguay as it was dangerous which meant I definitely had to go. Not because I like danger but because I usually don’t believe in hearsay and want to find out for myself.

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I didn’t go up to the northern part of Paraguay which is supposed to be good but I stayed with a lovely family in Asunción and got to meet some pretty cool people. Including my dutch riding mate and a deaf guy who was riding the world and visit the shared dam between Brazil and Paraguay.

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Posted in Paraguay | No Comments »


Bolivia Summary

September 1st, 2011 by sunflowers

I had five riders come out to meet me at the Bolivian border, take me back to La Paz, have a bbq, ride death road and visit a coca plantation (the locals chew it for the altitude).

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We also did a trip to the Pamapas for some more piranha fishing,

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Blew up dynamite at the mine in Potosi and saw the dinosaurs and ate chocolate in Sucre.

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And of course you can’t go to Bolivia without visiting the Salar de Uyuni and finally I rode out on the pink and purple trail near Tarija.

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Posted in Bolivia | No Comments »


Peru Summary

September 1st, 2011 by sunflowers

Peru felt a lot poorer than the rest of the countries I had been travelling through maybe in part due to my first toilet experience. I was lucky enough to ride for a few days with Court and Sylvan which allowed us to camp in the desert and off a main street in a port side village. Other than wild camping it was interesting to notice how different Latin American males reacted to men on bikes. When I was with the two guys and the bikes we would have dozens of Peruvian males around us and when I was by myself no one. I used to think that for them it was like seeing a cat ride a bicycle. They saw me but didn’t really think a girl would be on a loaded bike.

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Peru is a country of adventure. It is the only country that I didn’t meet up with other bikers which was ok as my sister flew out from Korea to join me for five weeks.

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Some of my favourites were the complex in El Brujo (much better than the one in Chiclayo), the mountains in Huaraz (the most memorable view was riding in with the sun setting on the mountain range), sand boarding in Huacachina, the cemetery near the Nasca lines, Condors at Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and Manu Reserve in the Amazon Basin.

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And of course the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu (the funny bird is the Cock of the Rock from the Amazon Basin and the last one the Inca salt pans at Maras).
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I found Peruvian cities to be the worst biking experience on my trip. I had been really scared about riding to Lima due to the number of stories I heard about being stopped by the police but other than unpacking my luggage a couple of times (Costa Rica and Mexico) I never had any problems with the police. A tip for Peru is a local told me when they give you a fine if you pay it at a station (not sure where) you only have to pay a small percentage of the fined amount and you never have to pay them on the spot.

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Ecuador Summary

September 1st, 2011 by sunflowers

After a gruelling four hours at the border with the rudest official I had come across I was lucky to meet up with Luigi and his wife Karine in Eucador. As well as staying with them they took me riding around Cotopaxi national park.

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Then I met up with Alexander the Dutch rider I had met in Colombia and we got lost trying to find the middle of the earth. Also like almost every other tourist I met in Quito some guys tried to rob me.

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But I recovered by flying to the Galapagos and going diving.

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Another huge highlight of Ecuador was the whales in Puerto Lopez and the Valley of Longevity which I needed after almost being pushed off the road and over a cliff by some construction vehicles.

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Colombia Summary

August 31st, 2011 by sunflowers

After a 2 day bus trip back to Columbia I picked up my bike from my gracious host, Fernando and got rid of some of the books and bear spray I had been carrying since Alaska and visiting the local volcano for a dip in the mud.

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I must say that Colombia’s slogan ‘Colombia, the only danger is that you won’t want to leave’, summed up my feeling on the country. I ended up extending my visa for Colombia so that I could visit Desierto de la Tatacoa and had one of the best weekends as they were having an astrology conference and I made some local friends and won an award.

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Other highlights included staying in Chia with Lucia and her family, reading on Andres hammock, having Jonathan invite me to stay while filling up with petrol at a service station, hotels with hot springs and the beautiful green scenery.

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Due to all the lovely people I had met in Colombia I did not want to leave.

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Trinidad and Tobago Summary

January 8th, 2011 by sunflowers

I had read in my lonely planet that you could catch a ferry from Venezuela to Trinidad and Tobago and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to visit the Caribbean. And it was going to be nice to be in an English speaking country again for a short while.

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I highly rate T&T. A friend from the UK came over and we visited one of 3 bitumen lakes in the world. I did yet another mangrove tour to see scarlet ibises and some of the most beautiful coral diving I have done. A bird tour. I always thought they were for old people but I am quite getting into seeing birds.

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But by far the coolest thing was seeing the giant leather back turtles laying eggs and watching the young ones hatch. Not so cool was watching the birds feast on the baby turtles.

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I even saw a bit of goat racing.

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Posted in Trinidad and Tobago | 2 Comments »


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