My original plan had been to ride south into Baha from California and down to Tierra del Fuego at the ‘end of the World’ in Argentina, before crossing over to South Africa and up into Asia. While this would have been amazing, in the end I decided to ship the bike to Australia and ride round The World the other way – into SE Asia, India, Europe and home (UK). There were several reasons:
1. I would be entering South America at the wrong time of year as extreme weather make some roads impassable in the winter
2. I can’t speak Spanish and need to learn before I go in order to gain the most from the experience
3. I need something else to look forward to once this trip is over, and Alaska to Tierra del Fuego ‘The Long Way Down’ would be the perfect next adventure
So, Australia it was, which left the small problem of getting there… While browsing the pages of Advrider.com I’d come across Ivan Smoljko from Bikes Abroad in Melbourne who said he could ship my Tiger from LA to Melbourne for about 1200 GBP in a container (by sea), taking about 3 weeks to get there. This was favourable to other quotes I’d had, and would give me time to pick up a couple of weeks work robbing banks etc to finance the next phase. So with my bike ‘Title’ (registration) handed over to the shippers to get export permission, the bike was stuck in the US, and so in the 2 weeks or so had left I decided to ride the Pacific Highway north to San Francisco before crossing into Yosemite National Park, Napa Valley and down to San Diego. Not a bad plan after all!
In fact since devising this plan I also managed to fit in a quick whistle-stop tour of Seattle to see another old friend come top of her class as Alaska Airlines Trainee Flight Attendant Legend of The Year. However, she doesn’t like me as she says I never write about her.