Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Maybe Clay and I experienced a lot of rain riding in Colombia and Ecuador and maybe these experiences made me more comfortable riding in the rain, so I felt it wasn't such a big deal to get wet and cold, or to risk crashing my bike on the slippery pavement. It probably is true that our experiences in Colombia and Ecuador made us better wet riders and therefore I was not hesitant. However I also know that my change in attitude is larger than just my example, my whole perception of risk has changed.
I will admit about a week before going on this adventure, I started to get a little scared, a little nervous and a little worried about the whole thing. In my mind I backed out about dozen times. After all how many people do you know who have ridden their motorcycles from America through Mexico and Central America then passed by the Darien Gap on a sail boat only to continue on through Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. And it didn’t help to have people tell us that we were crazy to do something like this. I had friends tell me not to go through the Baja because tourists were being kidnapped. I had people from work tell me that I was going to get Malaria and Yellow Fever in Central America. All over the news there have been reports of drug violence in Mexico and of course Colombia has a reputation. Along the way we even had locals telling us not to go to the next country because it was too dangerous. Most people who I told my plan to just didn’t believe me; they probably thought I was smoking dope. Of course after your best friend has committed to go along and after you’ve bragged to just about everybody that you know that you’re riding to South America you pretty much have to go through with it. I mean in reality I would have done it if I hadn’t told a sole and in the back of my mind I knew all those naysayers were completely full of hot air because most of them haven’t been out of the state. As it turned out, neither of us got kidnapped or got Malaria or Yellow Fever, we just had the best time of our lives, ate some of the most interesting foods, met some of the nicest people and saw the most beautiful scenery. So I guess the take away for me is: listen to yourself first and take some risks in life.
I think it takes guts to leave the comfort and safety of our routine lives and really risk it to experience something new, but the pay off for us was huge. I’ll be blunt, I’m damn proud of what Clay and I accomplished in the last 3 months.
PS Clay could be right… I may be dreaming up another adventure, if I am you all might read about it here.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Here I am at the Cerro Santa Lucia Park, we climbed to the top and were able to see all of Santiago! It was pretty amazing. What also was pretty amazing was in every direction you saw cranes, building high-rises, I think I counted 12... no economic slow down here.
Okay... so I'm probably not the best person to write this caption but this is part of the road through the Andes that our double-decker bus climbed. I remember 2 things from this... 1. praying that the crazy bus driver turned the corners and made it up safely. 2. Clay and Kyle talking the ENTIRE time about how they wish they were still on their motorcycles because the twists and turns would have been awesome to ride!!!!
A shot from the Andes. Taking the bus through this mountain range was pretty spectacular. I have never seen anything like it.
Here is Kathryn and I in Mendoza, as the four of us ventured to the bus station to buy our tickets to Buenos Aires. It was quite the feat being on bikes around such crazy drivers, who don't stay in their lanes!
Clay, Kathryn, Kyle and I at the Plaza Independencia in Mendoza. This park is in the center of the city and we are actually standing on top on a modern art museum located in the park. A funny side note: The dog you see in the back ground has been following us around this city. It seems like where ever we go the dog (Kathryn named it Buddy) just shows up. We have been here 3 days and have seen it every where!
A fountain in the biggest park in Mendoza. It was amazing to ride around here, there was a man-made lake where we saw crewers rowing. Plus everyone was outside running or walking, so there was a real feel of local culture.
Here we are at dinner last night, it was a small wine bar where we had some tapas. Kyle loved this place... I think it reminded him of San Fran a bit. Also, this is the nicest the boys have dressed in the past 2 1/2 months! Pretty sharp!
So this shot of Fernet is for all of Kathryn's and Kyle's friends back in San Francisco. They said you all are obsessed with this stuff and there is TONS of it down here.
Here we are on a tour of the Carinae Winery, it was started by a French couple in 2003. They produced their first bottle of Malbec in 2004.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
On the 14th of April after the bikes were all sold and the riding gear was shipped home to California our backpacking adventure began. Quickly let me say that Fedex kicks DHLs ass. The package arrived at Clay’s parents place on the 16th!!! Fully intact. Just awesome service. Clay and I arrived at the international airport in Lima by taxi with backpacks in toe. The airport in Lima worked out great! The place was clean and well organized which I was totally was not expecting. But the airline we took from Lima to Santiago, Taca, was outstanding! It was one of the best flights I think I have ever had. While booking the ticket I was a little pissed that I was paying $400 USD for a 3 hour plane flight but it ended up being worth it. The plane was brand new and very clean. Each seat had a complementary blanket and pillow. A meal and movie were also included on the flight, even though the movie was some sucky romantic comedy I thought it was cool that they didn’t charge for the headphones like on the Virgin Atlantic flights to Las Vegas. The other thing that’s dumb about Virgin Atlantic is the purple mood lighting in the cabin, anyways I digress.
So we got into Santiago at like 3am on the 15th and didn’t really have a plan on where we were going to sleep for the rest of the night. Which resulted in us getting the run around from this cab driver who kept taking us to hotels that were already full or way out of our price range. Anyways after about an hour of farting around and about 50 USD later we got to La Casa Roja were we stayed for the last several nights. We had a couple good nights in Santiago, several people we talked to before said there wasn’t much to see in Santiago and that it had a sort of commercial feeling to it, which I think is somewhat true but we had a great time there and there are some nice things to see in Santiago such as the city square, and the catherdral as well as this cool park that is set up on an enomous rock that looks over the city. Clay will post pictures of all this stuff soon. –Kyle
Kyle did a great job of updating you on our travels, and I was just teasing him that he should become a “Business Critic” Writer for Business Week Magazine (with a great Editor of course), somewhat similar to a Food Critic. Although you are now well informed as to Fedex’s and TACA’s outstanding business tactics, he left out the biggest part of the last 4 days: Maria and Kathryn showed up!!! Kyle and I got up the earliest we have the entire trip and met them at the Santiago airport Friday morning. We had a great time on Friday exploring the City and then later we visited the Bella Vista neighborhood for drinks and dancing. It’s been nice to have a little estrogen in the air to mix it up a little over the past few days. So I’m gonna wrap this up but we’re now in Vina del Mar on the Chilean coast and tomorrow we leave on an 8 hour bus ride to Mendoza, Argentina. We’ll post some pictures soon, but not from Maria’s camera, which got stolen from right under our noses today while we were at the beach. Luckily she only had a few pictures on it and it was on the fritz anyways. Til next time…. -Clay
Monday, April 13, 2009
This museum was an old Catholic Monastery that doubled as a burial groud underneath the Church. There are thousands of skulls and bones still there that have been excavated after being buried for all those years. Pretty creepy...
That´s all for now. Maybe we´ll have some guest posters on the blog soon as 2 turns to 4 in couple days for the Sling Shot South....