Right …. I want to set up a blog, and when I go on the internet to find out how, two things arise. Firstly … It’s not that easy, there are blog programs, hosts, blah blah blah …. none of which I understand. Secondly, I apparently have already set up a blog … It seems I did this in 2009, and made one post to it …. which was in March of that year, declaring that I wanted to get my golf handicap down to 4.4 by the end of that year. Well, looking back, that’s what was important to me then …. and I remember now, with some satisfaction, that I did actually achieve that aim, with the assistance of some good friends, (known collectively as ‘The Dewsweepers’). I miss that time and those friends a lot now …. even though four years have passed since.
It’s funny how circumstances can change and priorities change with them as a consequence. I could not have even imagined in 2009 that within four years, I would be living in the middle of South America, be a Director and board member of a Bank, CEO of an organic sugar plant in Paraguay, have no time (or indeed interest – due to high temperatures and lack of competition) to play golf, own two powerful motorcycles, and learn to enjoy living in a country that has a four-week winter in July / August, and is typically between 25 and 40C.
But here I am and those are my circumstances now.
So why do I want a blog?
Well, I mentioned where I am and that I have a couple of bikes …. and over here, on the same land mass as me, there are things like the biggest slat flats in the world, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, the North Yungas Road in Bolivia (Ruta de los muertes), Machu Pichu in Peru, the Atacama desert in Chile.
I am planning to do my first foray in January 2014 …. maybe the Salt flats in Bolivia to start with …. and I am getting a multitude of inputs and reactions from people whenever I talk about the prospect …. Most are usually positive and encouraging, and some are strongly negative – usually from those who don’t understand adventure motorcycling and have no life experience on which to base their opinions. So I take the latter on the basis that it is opinion put forward genuinely in my best interests (from their perspective).
The counsel of those who do understand the desire, is usually qualified and punctuated with “You are going alone?” “Are you sure about using a high tech bike in such vast, inhospitable country?” “How will you manage fuel supplies / backup etc?” ….
My answers (“I don’t exactly know yet”) may sound a bit bravado laden, but they are (a) the truth, and (b) not necessarily bravado …. Motorcycle tours to places such as those I have in mind (above) have been done before and continue to be done, year in year out, by my many, older, younger, better equipped, worse equipped, than me. Very few die in the process and most have the adventure of a lifetime. I don’t know if my Ducati Multistrada is going to be up to the trip – Ducati say that is what is was built for … I don’t know how I will fare with the problem of finding and then buying fuel in Bolivia … I just know that others do it – and manage fine.
Will I be up to it physically? I think so. I am expecting some altitude sickness problems (again Bolivia) …. but that is manageable, I believe. I will take on a relatively modest first attempt to see how I fare …. Salar de Uyuni, via Ruta del Chaco and if I feel good after that, maybe over the Andes into Chile back to Paraguay through the Atacama desert and across Argentina.
So that’s where I am now, I am going to study the maps at the weekend to see if I can identify a suitable route for that trip – and start to make preparations …. I propose to record my experiences here.