Today I rode the bike to the Airport, where it all started back in January, and saw her packed away for the flight back to Blighty. As I was changing out of my riding gear another BMW arrived and the guy shouted "I know you"!
It was Otto the mad Hungarian. He was on the same "off road" course as me in Wales a few years ago!!!!! What was the chance of that? He had just completed the Alaska - Ushuaia route. This was at the 2nd attempt as he broke his leg first time. We were both stunned that such a coincidence could occur.
"Funny old world Saint".
I will be here a little longer but as this was about a bike tour of South America I will make this my last Blog (unless something really, really interesting happens).
I had no intention of doing a Blog, in fact I didn't even know what a Blog was, until Rosie set one up for me on the eve of my departure. It has been an experience trying to record the activities, I have tried not to gush at the good bits or over dramatise the bad bits and attempted to make it interesting. If nothing else, I am sure I will enjoy looking back over it when I am propped up in an old peoples home sucking soup through a straw. Amazingly, as of today there have been over 27,000 viewings with just about every country in the world taking a peek at some point.
For the anoraks a few statistics:
Countries visited 9. It should have been 10 but didn't have enough room in my passport for Paraguay. There is Surinam, Guyana and French Guiana but these were never really on my radar as they do not have a great reputation for safety or things to see and do. There are also visa requirements which is not very sporting for us English chaps.
Continents visited 2. I have now visited all 6 Continents. I am reliably informed the Arctic is not considered a continent but if anyone disagrees it may be a good excuse for another tour.
Distance Covered (by bike) 22,000 miles 35,000 kms
Average Speed 50 mph 80 kph
Consumption 51 mpg 19 kpl
So that makes it 431 gallons 1,959 litres
Does anyone care............really?
5 Rear tyres
3 Front tyres
2 Headlight bulbs
1 Smashed headlight protector
1 Front Damper
3 Litres of oil (not including oil changes x 2)
A few dents and scratches
Boxer shorts - 3 (not looking too clever now, perhaps I ought to try washing them)
Ear plugs - several pairs I suggest you don't ask to borrow them.
Gloves Lost - 1 The other is available to any one handed (right) bikers.
Tent & sleeping bag, unused - For sale, one careful owner!
It is funny to look back over the photographs I have chosen to find that Machu Pichu, Easter Is, Galapagos, Amazonas nor Iguacu make it into my top picks.That is not to say there are not great memories but interestingly, these are all from the earlier part of my tour. Perhaps it was still new, exciting and challenging in a way that the later part of the trip couldn't quite match. There again, perhaps my choices will change in time.
The pictures do not show any of the local people, largely because I didn't like to take their pictures out of courtesy. I can't express my surprise and delight at how nice people were on the whole tour. They were friendly, kind, interested, helpful and largely happy. What more can you ask?
Thank you to Mary-Ann, Thomas, Millie, Rosie & Kiwi for allowing me my free time without too much grief and for demonstrating their maturity and independence. Also a big "thank you" to Pam for keeping Mother up to date with daily deliveries, knowing Mother was reading kept the language within the bounds of decency.
Not a great picture of a beautiful spot but, when in Brazil over looking the Atlantic, I had a sense that this was the place to take the "last" picture of the bike. I had thought, at some point, a Nickname would have cropped up but it never did. So a big thank you to the "STAR OF THE SHOW"!
Thank you to everyone, especially those making comments that made me laugh, who read this nonsense and for coming along for the ride.
All the best