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. globalfreeloaders.com opened a lot of these doors for us as well as the community section in horizonsunlimited.com . 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 horizonsunlimited.com 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
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