June 01, 2007 GMT
Two Years on the Road

Miss Piggy - 2002 Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom

Around this time last year we were in Nicaragua, now another year has passed and we are still in the Americas.

The year has gone by quickly, we have crossed the infamous Darrien Gap (comfortably by aeroplane of course!) and travelled to Ushaia and the end of the world, participating in the great diversity of this our first continent.


Thoughts from Grant..

40,000 kilometres and another year has passed on with most of that time spent in South America.

I have not at all grown weary of this life style, well not so far at least.

Certainly problems and hardship have occured along the way, nothing though that has deminished my enthusiasm, infact the prospects of visiting more countries and continents is an ever present lure to continue.

I have made many, hopefully, lasting friendships along the way and this, I believe has given me the greatest catalyst to change.

I remember a statement once voiced by a rather cynical friend in the past "Friends come and friends go, but enemies accumulate". Once I actually agreed.

The previous two years have given me time for reflection, of course not everyone can stay in your life otherwise there would be little room for anything else, however, one can only hope to be remembered fondly and I, for one, fondly remember these sometimes brief aquaintenances.

Moreover, on more than one occasion, it has been essential to gain help from perfect strangers and it seems that by and large people are essentially good and like ourselves doing what is necessary for them to enjoy life.

About Miss Piggy...

So after leaving Canada in June 2005 and almost 80,000 kilometres covered on the trip how is our trusty steed holding up?

Exactly that... TRUSTY!

I have nothing but praise for the strength and adaptability of our Suzuki, given the fact that we have taken her on roads (and I use the term 'roads' loosely) that it probably was never intended for, at least not two up and fully loaded.

The bike has never lacked stability, sure footedness and plenty of power to get above the real loose stuff.

True, on some of these roads the bike has been some what of a handful and its real test and ours came just a week (July 2007) ago when trying to cross the Andes on the Paso de Jama in winter.

With a nasty snow storm gathered on the slopes of the Chilean side and 28 kms of the high pass totally covered with ice and snow we eventually turned back with the thoughts of being trapped in a snow storm at over 4,000 metres. If that storm had not been present I am sure we would have made it.

Problems to date, with 108,000 kilometres total on the clock, have been minimal and relatively easy to overcome.

1. Poor low speed running between 2,000 and 3,000 revs caused by the throttle valves being out of adjustment.

2. A mysterious pin hole of corrosion occuring in the water pump outercase, possibly caused by grit or something being trapped by the impellar. Repaired on the road with silastic, rubber, Peruvian coin and a piece of fencing wire... love that fencing wire!! The repair is still sound after 30,000 kilometers, however, I will replace the cover in South Africa.

3. Clip becoming loose on the fuel pressure relief valve inside the petrol tank, probably caused by lots of vibration on dirt roads and repaired with an electrical cable tie.

4. Chain breaking on Ruta 3, Argentina. My fault completely for using a non-standard joiner link with a standard chain which wore more rapidly than the chain and was repaired on the road using another non-standard joiner link! Chain replaced 2,000 kilometres further on.

And thats it!


A letter from Jules...

"What you are doing is amazing, how adventurous and brave you are". We recieve these comments quite often, however they have little meaning to me, I don't comprehend them. Travelling this way feels like a lifestyle. I feel like I do not deserve this type of praise.

Yes it is exciting, and wonderful, but I don't feel that it is extraordinary. With hard work and determination we are very privelidged to be able to experience a nomadic lifestyle at the moment.

A real highlight for me has been the people we have met along the away. Locals and foreigners alike and during this last year we have met so many travelling motorcyclists, something we really missed in North and Central America and it has been a wonderful opportunity to meet, make friends and even travel together from time to time.

Locals often ask the funniest questions about Australia and what we are doing.

One man in Peru asked me if we have farms in Australia and a woman once asked me what a 'Bigamist Sandwich' was. I was floundering around for an answer when she explained that it was from the Men at Work song 'Down Under'. Finally I clicked and then had to try and explain Vegemite.

Others are just curious about where our children are and how we can afford to live this way. We tell them we sold everything... including the children!!!

With so much to see and do in this huge land called South America it is hard to think about leaving soon, however, this next year will bring about exciting new challenges and interesting places to visit as we cross the ocean to the African Continent and continue our lifes dream.

A word for the wise - Never teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig!


Posted by Julie Rose at June 01, 2007 03:21 PM GMT

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