On the road
Vancouver was great, of course the air freight people had lost Thelma - apparently the pilot had taken one look at her and said she couldn´t go on his plane - and no I am not joking. After many phone calls across the Atlantic, in between getting up at 3.00am to watch the World cup football matches... she arrived 48 hours late which wasn´t too bad.
I just missed Grant and Susan when I popped round to see them - maybe another time, another continent you two.
I set off pretty quickly and rode almost non-stop up to Anchorage - 2500 miles away, I had to get there to meet Siobhan off her flight from England. Siobhan rode her Africa Twin to Australia a couple of years ago and now lives near me in Cornwall, where we re-live our travel stories, no doubt boring everyone around us in the meantime.
The ride through British Columbia and the Yukon was beautiful, though it did rain every day. I saw my first bear 36 hours after leaving Vancouver at which point I decided I had better stop rough camping on my own. It was the start of quite a few bear sightings and each time I got more scared.
The Cassiar Highway (BC) was a particularly memorable road - quite a lot of dirt track and with some terrifying metal grid bridges which just make you feel out of control. After the last one I found out that you are supposed to ride fast across them... of course I had been going slowly and cautiuously.
I reached the airport two hours before Siobhan´s flight was due in - not bad considering the distance I had covered.
Luckily I have friends who live in Anchorage and we stayed with them as it is quite an expensive place to stay.
Posted by tiffanycoates at 03:33 AM
Getting Ready to Go...
Setting off once more...but on my own this time as the friend who was hoping to travel with me couldn´t make it after all. I´ve always travelled two-up on Thelma and so it will be a very different experience to be solo - particulalry after getting used to dozing off on the back for half the journey!
Becky is now working for an Aid Agency in Sudan for 18 months, while Maggie has got the job of her dreams working for a Housing Association on the West Coast of Ireland - meaning that neither of them could join me. A few brave people have offered to ride parts of the journey with me soI will see how that goes, beginning with Siobhan flying into Anchorage for two weeks of riding.
I had a good send off from the UK, many companies came forward to show their support for me and have given me a lot of the bike gear and equipment that I need - Hein Gericke, Motorcycle City, Sherlock´s, Oxford Products, Michelin Tyres, Aptus Personnel and also Mark Manley in Devon who did a lot of the work in preparing Thelma. I had a great time at the BMF Show three weeks before I left, with a send-off from my fellow members in the GS Club UK - we had over 70 bikes at the show and won the Best Club Turnout Award.
Maps and guidebooks had been purchased. I had wanted to ship directly to Anchorage but this proved a bit of a non-starter due to the prohibitive costs involved $1800 dollars just for Thelma. The next nearest port is Vancouver, and thanks to the shippers, I got a good price on flying myself and Thelma out there. This was a first for Thelma as she has always travelled by boat in the past.
Posted by tiffanycoates at 10:30 PM