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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

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

October 5th, 2006 by sunflowers

Me in Mirabell Garden'sI always feel quite despondent around my birthday. Why do I still feel upset about certain things even though I am another year older? How old do you have to be before you outgrow your neurosis? I will let you know when I find out. I guess a part of me thinks that I might morph into someone much wiser and more sure of myself on this trip. But I have also done enough travelling to know that I probably won’t.

Last night I popped along to the LondonBikers.com meet up which is held every Wednesday night near Waterloo at Cabaña. It was a bit daunting even though I had dragged my mate Jon along but I did manage to talk to a couple of fellow riders.

The picture is of me under the arches in Mirabell Garden’s where some of the scenes in Sound of Music were filmed in Salzburg but more about that later.

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Mongol Rally

October 4th, 2006 by sunflowers

I really want to turn my trip into a round the world trip. Of course this desire will either grow or die depend on how I find the experience of going through the Americas.

I was doing my research on sponsorship and rides for charity and came across the Mongol Rally (www.mongolrally.com) that a member of the HU just finished. It is a charity ride from London to Mongolia in under powered vehicles. Motorcycles under 125cc if solo and 250cc if riding two up. Insane. Still a bit cheaper with the £227 entry fee than the Gumball Rally’s ( http://www.gumball3000.com) £28,000 entry fee.

I am not sure about riding to Mongolia on a 125cc but what a way to continue the trip.

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Starting Sponsorship?

October 3rd, 2006 by sunflowers

What I need to do to raise money for Chance UK has been sitting in the back of my mind for a while now. Mainly, because I have no idea. I have been looking around at other websites to see what other people have done and it looks like it is better to use something like www.justgiving.com rather than trying to get people to bet on the trip as I had originally intended. But totally not as fun! Chance UK isn’t registered to use the site so I have written to the CEO to see what they think of the idea.

These blokes ( www.motocrossafrica.co.uk) are going to ride around Africa to raise money for three charities starting in October 2007 and they have already raised £90!

Any suggestions anyone? I had thought about doing a hair shaving thing to raise money but everyone that I mentioned it to said that shaving off all my hair wasn’t the way forward. Still I have always wanted to do it. Maybe when I get to the US I will get it cut off where I would guess they are less traditional than I imagine South America to be 😉

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Miserable Monday

October 2nd, 2006 by sunflowers

This is just one of those days that it feels like everything is crap. Everything about life makes me want to run away and live anonymously in a big city (oh right I did that but forgot to remain anonymous). The problem is that nothing is really any different from any other day so it isn’t even like you have a reason for feeling shite. In fact it started as a beautiful autumn day and when it started pouring down in the afternoon I thought typical as I hadn’t brought my rain jacket, but it cleared up for my bike ride home.

I did manage to hit my eye ball with the squash ball calling a early conclusion to the first time I have been at the gym for almost a month.

Tonight I was going to go through my trip to do list as I feel I am sadly lacking on my progress but instead just lay on my bed in a zombie state playing freecell on my mobile (seriously addicted to playing solitaire for the last few months). I’ll do it tomorrow.

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Radio Show and Roast Dinner

October 1st, 2006 by sunflowers

On Sunday I managed to get the house clean by mid day and then collapsed in front of the telly before I headed into to Tottenham Court Road to watch the live taping of a comic radio show Banter for BBC radio 4. Comedians Jenny Éclair, Richard Herring, Russell Howard and Will Smith are asked to provide their top threes in different categories. One of them was top three poets of which I would be hard pressed to name any. Almost made me wish I was more widely educated.

Afterwards I popped around to my friends place for a roast dinner where the vegetables come from the allotment that I help out at.

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Front Brake Fixed

September 30th, 2006 by sunflowers

New Front BrakesAfter two leaving parties on Friday night I was glad to hear the steady sound of rain on Saturday morning as I had made plans to bike up to Walthamstow where Jack from ELAM was going to help me change my front brakes. Unfortunately it stopped about eight so there was no excuse.

It turns out that showing restraint on Friday night and not going onto to the Bar Fly after the second pub of the evening had paid off and I didn’t really feel too bad.

Bikes at BBQChanging the brakes took just over an hour. It was quite cool to see all the grubby old brake fluid replaced by the clear stuff.

Wine called the Dogs BollocksOnce I got home it was a bit of rush to get ready for my bbq. More people than I expected turned up and there was no rain which was good. We had slight difficultly with the bbq, using the wrong type of coal and after working through three newspapers, two packets of fire starter and a bottle of fire lighter we gave up and cooked everything on the stove. I think though that my huge cauldron of mulled wine more than compensated for the lack of smoke tasted food. Particularly as we added a bottle of red called ‘the dogs bollocks’ to the mulled wine.

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Broken Leg, Pelvis and Wrote Off Bike

September 29th, 2006 by sunflowers

I have been in communication with one of the members of Horizons Unlimited about purchasing their bike off them when they get to Chile. Today I got a message from his father saying that he had been in an accident in Bolivia with a truck on the wrong side of the road and he has broken his leg, pelvis and the bike has been written off.

When I told my flatmate about the accident he said that he has seen two motorcycle accident scenes in the last few weeks.

Quite scary to contemplate. Maybe I should look into doing the motorcycle first aid course that I came across. I wonder if they do it in Spanish?

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September 28th, 2006 by sunflowers

WickedOn Tuesday night I went to see the new musical called Wicked. Based on Frank Baum’s classic ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ it is the untold story of the of how the misunderstood green girl named Elphaba became ‘wicked’ but her unlikely friend, Glinda became ‘good’. The story is very cleverly done and the costumes and sets amazing. The music was all right but nothing that stayed in your mind. My mate had managed to score £5 tickets and even though we were in the front row of the nose bleed section it was still a bit hard to see the actors faces.

New Scotland YardWalking back from the musical from Victoria to Trafalgar Square we walked along Whitehall which is full of majestic buildings and passed the entrance to Downing Street where some girls were joking with the late night guards. Around the corner from Westminster Abbey is New Scotland Yard (UK Police Headquarters) where I had my picture taken with my bicycle.

CanterburyCloser to Charing Cross we came across a plaque on the wall that identified it as being the building that some people decided to settle in Canterbury in the South Island. I guess that is those first four ships that my flatmates mother was telling me about (see http://alaska2argentina.co.uk/blog/?p=131.

Nothing happening on the bike front today. A few more people coming to the bbq though including a bloke that biked around SA for a few years so I am going to try and put together a packing list for him to check. Also early this morning I started having dreams about biking along a deserted highway in South America and I was high jacked for my ipod and everything else. Still no worse than happens around Holloway 😉

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Sitting in the garden eating worms

September 27th, 2006 by sunflowers

I am having a bbq on Saturday to celebrate my birthday next week. I always find organising social events quite daunting due to never knowing if anyone is going to turn up. At the moment I only have three yeses and two maybes. That is one of the things about living in another country. You don’t have your family or school hood friends who feel obliged to come along to these type of things. So for the last six years I have taken to being out of the country on my birthdays and Christmas so that I have an excuse for nobody else being there. Last Christmas I spent it in Iran which mean I didn’t even have to realise it was Christmas (you can see my photos at www.annettepearson.com/Iran– sorry I haven’t gotten around to labelling them).

On the other hand if you want to lose or find yourself in a mass sea of humanity London is the place to do it. This morning biking to work I passed a guy sitting on top of a pillar overlooking Camden road dressed like a 1920s black and white movie villain complete with little black moustache and then was lewdly or rudely (I am not sure which as I had my headphones on but considering the grin I think it was lewdly) shouted at by a white van passenger.

Still it was nice that a lot of people took the time to write back and say that they weren’t going to be able to make it. Plus it gave me an excuse to write to them asking them to sign my guest book!

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Buy vs Ship

September 26th, 2006 by sunflowers

KLR 650Well I think after all the insulting emails including one about my lack of cooking ability (true) my partner is offering to send back part of the last bit of money that I sent over as long as I accept a substantial loss. I am still waiting for the figures and even though it isn’t really a great outcome I feel a huge sense of relief as it means I will have at least part of my funds to do my trip.

I am still researching the possibility of getting a bike out there (now in Chile as Argentina seems impossible) as well as shipping my F650 out. Someone is willing to sell a ’93 KLR kitted out for $1000US plus another $500 for lowering kit, new tires etc which sounds ok if I can pull it off. It means flying into Buenos Aires and getting to Santiago to pick it up and hopefully make it to the HUBB meeting in 7 days. Impossible you say – we’ll see.

I also chased up one of the shipping companies. Turns out they had lost my phone number. The quote for crating it is £425. £180 for shipping (sounds almost a bit too low as someone told me that there can be problems with shipping) and then I think $400US to get it out at the other end. Then it would be £300 to ship it back from Montreal.

Me at Rose's WeddingCost would be about the same. Buying a bike is still my preferred option because I avoid the hassle of shipping and crating my bike and it would be here for me when I come back and decide to ride from UK to Japan. Plus I would get to ride a different type of bike (though I still haven’t gone and checked out a KLR). I can’t believe just a little over a year ago I would never have considered riding a motorbike and now I am contemplating owning two.

Photos: The photo of me is from my mates wedding. I don’t know if you can see the cool job my mate did on my hair. But looking at the picture I am soo going back on one of the many diets that I am always on to no avail. Thank you to Bran for the photo.

The other photo is the KLR that I am looking into purchasing. Nice to see that other people drop their bikes!

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