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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


Canada Summary

January 6th, 2011 by sunflowers

The main highlight of my quick trip through Canada was seeing my mother’s family and finding a bit more about the family history. My grandmother came from a Mennonite (similar to Amish) background and grew up speaking high German. My grandfather was the first school teacher, dairy farmer, used to have the area where the poor people lived called Macklinville as he let them live on his land and a few years ago had a school named after him.

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My sister who usually lives in Korea was living in Calgary doing her Masters in teaching English as a second language while her husband was working in Russia and my mother who lives in New Zealand (where I was born) came over and I met up with them in Jasper. A big thank you to Jeremy for helping me do my first big service including putting on a back tyre.

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Posted in Canada | No Comments »


Alaska Summary

January 6th, 2011 by sunflowers

Due to my trip start date changes my journey direction went from Alaska to Argentina (original plan), to Argentina to Alaska (needed to learn how to ride first plan), back to Alaska to Argentina (need to save money plan).

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But I chose well. Alaska was a magical place to start my trip. I often thought throughout my trip I should get a bumper sticker saying ‘I break for mountains’ as every corner you turned around there was another range of mountain. Bears, buffalo, beavers, whales, glaciers, lots of big trucks and cold.

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But most of all some of the friendliest people I met.

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There is a reason why everyone says Alaska is one of the best places that they have been.

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Posted in Alaska | No Comments »


Decide to Do

January 6th, 2011 by sunflowers

After working at a company for five years I read in the company handbook that they allowed staff to take a sabbatical after five years. I had always wanted to take six months off and travel Central and South America but because I travelled a lot with work and didn’t have anyone to travel with I didn’t just want to backpack. Then I saw an ad on the gum tree of someone who was looking for someone to motorbike from Alaska to Argentina so I emailed him as said I would learn and go with him.

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I signed up for motorcycle classes and made plans to go six months later. When I was really scared learning to ride my bike I delayed my trip by five months. When my travel partner told me he wasn’t going (he was) I decided to raise money for the children’s charity I was mentoring for so that someone would follow my progress. When my company refused my sabbatical request I had no money I delayed my trip a year and a half to do a contract job first.

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To prepare I did: three advanced riding courses with IAM (I never managed to pass the test), a police bike safety day (my bike broke down), two track days (first one I received best improved and second one I came off my bike), 3 ten week Spanish courses, emergency first aider course, had my bike stolen, first response course, bmw off road course, fund raised, learned to change a tyre and two long distance trips Christchurch to Bay of Islands and London to Faroe Islands.

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When I decided to delay my trip and work an additional 20 months ‘letdown@hotmail.com’ emailed to say that I was all talk and that I should just go. But it turns out it was one of the best things I could do as I then had enough money to buy a new bike and ride out the credit crunch.

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Posted in Preparation | No Comments »


Home Sweet Home

January 31st, 2010 by sunflowers

I know you aren’t suppose to run away from your problems. But this last month since the accident has been really stressful and as I get nearer and nearer to home I feel like the problems of the last month are slowly melting away. I still need to figure out what to do with my bike and see a doctor about my shoulder but it will be nice to be home.

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Posted in General | 9 Comments »


Thanks for all the Fish

January 30th, 2010 by sunflowers

A big thank you to everyone for following along on the journey with me. A special thank you to everyone that commented, emailed and sent help along the way.

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Posted in Argentina | 1 Comment »


Gotta Have Goals

January 29th, 2010 by sunflowers

It’s weird when something that has been such a big part of your life is over (other than sorting out my collarbone and what to do with my bike). So I have decided to follow in Ian’s path and come up with a set of new goals for the future.

Posted in Argentina | 1 Comment »


Marching Mothers

January 28th, 2010 by sunflowers

I am getting depressed sitting around Dakar Motos wondering what I am going to do with my bike so I decided to go into town and see the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo march as their children disappeared during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. It turns out that Myles who came down and traveled with me when I couldn’t do anything had just arrived in Buenos Aires so we met up for a coffee. It was nice to talk to someone about what I was going to do with my bike.

I also visited La Boca to have lunch (I thought I better have some Argentinean meat before I go) where a nice girl cut up my meat for me and the cemetery where Evita was buried.

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Posted in Argentina | No Comments »


Bike Dilemma

January 27th, 2010 by sunflowers

I had arranged to go back to Dakar Motos in order to take the bike across the border with Stephen and now I am going back to sort out a big mess as now I have to figure out what to do with my motorbike. We made a list of the things wrong with it.

1.missing back indicators and brake light
2.pannier racks are broken
3.1 panniers dented, 1pannier repaired or replaced
4.tail rack is bent
5.subframe slightly twisted (just the bit that goes over the rack)
6.handlebars took an impact and the front forks misaligned (need to loosen the triple clamps and straighten the forks)
7.speedo needs to be replaced
8.the windscreen broke
9.headlight moved a little bit

The cost of shipping it back to the UK is expensive and it would be hard to sell for parts as they don’t have DR650s in Argentina.

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Posted in Argentina | No Comments »


Goal 74

January 26th, 2010 by sunflowers

Ian (100 goals in 100 weeks) likes to have company when he completes a goal and I was lucky enough to be accompanying him on goal 74. This is his write up for the day. A big thanks to him for being my chauffeur for the day and allowing me to see all the things I hadn’t had a chance to see yet.

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Posted in Chile | No Comments »


Life 4 Sale

January 25th, 2010 by sunflowers

For the first time on my trip I give up. I shipped my bike up to Dakar Motos and the guy who has bought it went there on the 22nd January to make sure it was ok as I had told him about the crash and sent him photos has decided that he wants his money back and no longer wants the bike. I understand his position but for me it feels a bit like the last straw, it has been hard month with the accident and now this. I don’t even have anyone to talk to as the people who are staying where I am are Swiss and speak German all the time and the internet isn’t good enough to phone my mother.

Then when I am feeling at an all time trip low I met this bloke at dinner who turned out to be famous. Does anyone remember the British guy who moved to Australia with his wife and when she left him he decided to sell his life on ebay. Ian’s website about selling his life on ebay is www.alife4sale.com. Afterwards he used the money to achieve his life goals www.100goals100weeks.com. He was really interesting to talk to and we made arrangements to meet up the next day and hire a vehicle together.

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Posted in Chile | 1 Comment »


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