For quite some time now, I have been feeling an ever-growing urge to hit the road again! 9 years have passed already since Lars and I traveled from the very top of Alaska to the southernmost tip of Argentina.
It took us 8 months to ride 40.000 kilometers, through 15 countries including USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and finally Argentina.
I feels like a life time has passed since we nervously arrived in Anchorage Airport in our spotless shiny new Rev’it gear and our polished boots, with high expectation and fears and anticipation of the challenges lying ahead.
8 months later arriving in Buenos Aires, both North and South America had lived up to every expectation and quite some more including breakdowns and a break-up. And it was two tired friends who arrived in Copenhagen Airport in our torn, mud caked riding gear. And even if seeing friends and family again was something we had longed for, it was also a sad farewell to an amazing adventure through 2 continents that would be in our hearts always!
The experience is still very clear in my memory! I remember the roads, the forests, the mountains passes, the mud, the animals, the heat, the dogs and particularly the people we met. Every once and a while I revisit our old travel blog to indulge myself in a little taste of the adventure once again and dream of a life on the road.
Yesterday I revisited the old blog again and I reflected on the things that left the biggest impressions on me. The answer is most easily expressed through pictures rather than words and I put together a compilation of pictures as a tribute to my friend Lars and our journey from 69°North in Alaska to 54°South in Patagonia.
Roads to die for
40.000 kilometers of beautiful and sometimes difficult roads going through gorgeous landscapes! The hardest being the almost non-existing dirt road from Uyuni in Bolivia to a small border into Chile high up in the mountains.
Beautiful smiles, colors, songs, dialects, food, traditions and smells. However different we are, it seems to me that we still have much more in common than differences.
I doubt that you would be able to complete a long journey like this without any mechanical breakdowns. Heat, dust, water, poor gas, and horrendous roads will eventually take its toll on the bikes and we had our fair share of punctures and breakdowns.
Where the Wild Things live
Throughout the Americas we encountered numerous animals. We were always aware of the high risk of hitting animals on the roads. – And unfortunately we did hit a few.
We encountered bears, bison, deer, elk, moose, pronghorn, mountain goats, donkeys, horses, cows, snakes, crocodiles, birds, iguanas, monkeys, Guanacos, llama and of course the wild roaming packs of dogs always ready to chase us at any chance!
Travelling with your own vehicle means complicated border crossing. It includes paperwork that will chop down a rain forest and in order to make it, you need one thing in particular: patience! Come early, bring water and stay positive.
Home is where the heart is
Setting up camp in a beautiful forest next to a lake, and cooking dinner over the campfire was always the best way to end a long day of riding.
America will most certainly keep you humble! Especially when you linger off the beaten path, as we did most of the time. Mud, ruts, deep soft gravel, stones, roots – or just plain bad motorcycle riders…. whatever the reason we certainly took quite the spills. My record was 8 times in one day, when we tried to find our way out of Barrancas del Cobre in Mexico. Fully packed in 40 degrees Celsius, it was quite the workout.
Friends – Always!
Riding 40.000 kilometers through the Americas for sure took its toll on us and our relationship. And in fact we broke up halfway – just before we entered Mexico. But we stayed with each other and completed the journey as close friends – and we have stayed friends to this day.
Lars since moved to San Francisco, where he fell in love and married beautiful Jennifer.
These last pictures are for friendship, resilience and for completing what you set out to do – together!