A few weeks ago I completed my ride over the Andes mountains and into Salta, Argentina. It took me forever to finish editing the hours and hours of footage and create the 40+ minutes of video that I posted to YouTube. I finished editing the last video at the airport on my way to South Africa and just realized I forgot to post it here on the blog. I guess it’s better late than never!
Yesterday I told you that Bike had been misplaced and I wasn’t sure when Bike would arrive in Africa. Some people misinterpreted my post and thought I was stressed out, angry, or worried. The truth is, I was none of those things. After I learned that Bike was missing I sent some emails, made a few phone calls, and then took a nice long nap. Then I decided to relax and enjoy the warm weather of Cape Town. As it turns out, Bike was never really missing.
I think it would be putting it mildly when I say I was surprised to discover that Bike was not waiting for me at the cargo terminal as promised. Let me refresh your memory. When we last saw Bike I was saying goodbye at the cargo terminal in Buenos Aires. I was told by the Navicon representatives that everything was set and I’d see Bike again when I landed in South Africa. But now, it appears that Bike is missing.
I survived 28 hours in a plane, but finally made it to South Africa. I took what may be the longest possible route from Buenos Airs to Cape Town; first I flew to Doha, Qatar (18 hours) and then from Doha down to Cape Town (10 hours). I had a four hour layover in Doha to stretch my legs and get some coffee, so I was able to fight off the deep vein thrombosis.
My flight from Buenos Aires to Cape Town, South Africa leaves in just a few hours. After months of planning, weeks of working out the logistics and permits, I’m now just hours from being in the air. I can’t wait to see Africa! This will be first time to Africa, but hopefully not my last. I’ll be riding from South Africa to Kenya, passing through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda along the way.
After much research, a lot of input, and many hours of research I’ve made my final decision about the route I’ll take over the Andes Mountains. I’m currently in Cusco, Peru and the ride from Lima was very educational; I encountered ice, snow peaked mountains, freezing temperatures, high altitudes, precipitous drops, and a very challenging ride. It was beautiful, but I don’t think I want to repeat it any time soon.
I’ve been in Lima just over a week now. I planned to stay for awhile so I could have some time and really dig in and get some work done. I’ve been working on my blogging workflow, I’ve hired a graphic designer to help spruce up the site and the videos, and I’ve spent a lot of time continuing my preparations for Africa. But most importantly – I’m trying to figure out how to get over the Andes.
Things are a bit sketchy right now. I’m sitting in a hotel room in Manizales, Colombia looking for the safest route to Ecuador. There are protesters blocking the Pan-American highway and there have even been reports of violence and a few deaths. I’m not sure how real the danger is, but I’m taking no chances. All of this is happening in the southern part of Colombia, down by Pasto, but that’s exactly where I need to go to make it to Ecuador.
I have a confession to make. I didn’t shoot any video (or many photos) from San Jose to Panama City. I realized that every border crossing was pretty much the same, and the hours on the road didn’t make for very interesting video. So I focused on making the miles and getting to Panama as quickly as possible so I could set sail. So for those of you waiting to see photos from that section of the journey, I apologize.
I stayed in Guatemala City for a couple of days. I needed to get the bike serviced, get a bit of rest, and spend some time on-line trying to catch up on work. After a few emails back and forth I was given official word that the ship leaving May 9th would not work out. The ship already had two motorcycles booked and had no room for a third bike.