March 06, 2003 GMT

Wow, what a trip. We rate our trip 11 out of 10 and the main difference between this and other trips was the motorcycle. It allowed us total freedom to go wherever we wanted and stop wherever we wanted and get off the wellworn ¨gringotrail¨.

Belinda was very hesitant at first, but is now a confirmed ¨motorcycle Mama¨.
Luck has a big part to play in it all. Over the 14 months we had no punctures, no accidents, no robberies, nothing stolen, no illnesses, only 2 days we couldnt ride because of rain- Total NO PROBLEMO! Pat was very well organised, had thought everything through and had everything replaced on the bike at the beginning. We bought the best gear and replaced tyres well before they needed to. He is also a very safe, conservative rider and we never drove at night.

The 2 up combination has its advantages and disdvantages. It is very tough on the bike- we kept ¨blowing¨the shock¨- our only reoccuring problem. Also, bad dirt roads were a lot of work for Pat.
The advantages are many: Its cheaper- only one lot of shipping, registration, insurance, mainteanance and fuel. Its easier to navigate- Belinda had a map strapped onto the back of Pats jacket and would give hand signals to the surrounding cars (and the occasional finger signal!!). We couldnt loose each other in traffic and when we were looking for a hotel in a city, Belinda would read the book (while riding) and direct Pat to the Hotel. When we arrived at the Hotel, Pat would stay and watch the bike, while Belinda checked the Hotel out. Its a team effort and very bonding.

The only thing we would change is to have an electronic communication system so we could talk to each other while riding. The difficulty in understanding hand signals was a major source of frustration for both of us. We couldnt find a good, reliable set up before we left.

Belinda was never bored on the back- when she wasnt telling Pat where to go! she was looking at the scenery, waving to the kids in the villages, doing leg and arm exercises, singing at the top of her voice (shes a terrible singer- thank God Pat couldnt hear), reading, thinking and even sleeping!

The local people we were lucky enough to meet, too many to name here, really made our trip special, leading us to many fantastic experiences we wouldnt have had otherwise. opened a lot of these doors for us as well as the community section in . The world is a small place with the internet!

None of this would have been possible without the love and support from both our families, especially Jill and Jacqueline for their untiring efforts managing our properties and all our other affairs. The other huge thank you is to Grant and Susan Johnson from who sponsored our website and provided us with unlimited information and support, especially when we needed it the most. The cost is nothing to use the website and access this wealth of information. We have never recieved so much for so little. Its a great website for anyone travelling independently, not just motorcyclists.

We will be home in 5 days and are already planning our next motorcycling trip!

Posted by at March 06, 2003 04:01 PM GMT

Hola Travellers,

I met Pat and Belinda the first time near Cairns in Northeast Australia on a campsite, that was in juli or august 2001.

Pat came up and wanted to know everything about my journey, shipping, breaking down, dealing with people every day.

At this stage he was planing their big trip to South America.

Later in Cairns they invited me and some other bike traveller friends for dinner several times. And he kept on asking questions.

Sometimes I tend to forget that things normal for me everyday (oh, yes I am on a RTW journey since 1999) other people still have to experience and learn.

And than they did the most difficult step on their journey - they left their nice and safe house behind and started to live with the bike in a different continent on the road.

I have answered questions about my journey many times (mostly over my website), but than to follow their journey over the internet was great. Most people who ask me all this question never do the most difficult step, they never leave home.

Pat and Belinda did, and to read that they enjoyed this trip so much, makes me proud to be a part of it.

From Sao Paulo Brazil


Posted by: mika on March 6, 2003 04:34 PM GMT

I was very glad to be visited by Belinda and Patrick. They visited me during my vacations in Zapallar, a little beach 200 km north of Santiago.

My family and I enjoyed a lot with them because both are very nice people. We talk a lot about sailing, bikes and travels around the world.

My children every day remember "los gringos de la moto" with love.

Really friends, I'm very proud to be part of your adventure.

Someday I hope to visit you in your Australia.

Posted by: Jose Pedro Espinosa on March 10, 2003 02:37 AM GMT

Congrats with your new bike, and with your awesome adventure in South America. I am continuing now right after the carneval with miss adventure and will ride up to northern Brazil.

I know I'm not nearly half as organized as you guys, but I'm sure there will be an adventure.

Take it easy on your new trip

Posted by: Daniel Mogstad on February 16, 2004 04:03 PM GMT
Sorry, due to heavy form spamming, Comments are OFF.

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