Sunday, 7 October 2007

The Route - An early direction

I have always imagined that in these "civilised" times, anyone and everyone can access anywhere on earth that desire drives them to get to, via some sort of designed road. After hours of eye ache and the endless spinning of world globes scattered around the office, it struck me that i must be able to get from the top of the world to the bottom on a motorcycle without having to jump land for a ship. The Pan American highway. The Beaufort Sea, off Alaska - all the way down to the Drake passage, South of Chile / Argentina on land. It seems undecided to where the road actually starts and finishes. Some say it starts in Circle, a town just south of the arctic circle in Alaska and ends in Puerto Montt, south of Santiago, but not as far as Tierra Del Fuego. Some say it starts as you hit Latin America, heading south. It doesn`t really matter . All that matters is that i will find out and let you know, unofficially.

The Pan American looks like a single track down from prudhoe Bay, through Alaska and into Canada. At a place near where the yukon territory hits British Columbia the road crows feet off in all directions. Either take the south west direction towards and then down the western coast of Canada and the states or head inland and ride the fins of the Rockies. Both end up at the border with Mexico. Through Mexico, riding down the centre, zig zagging to either coasts at some point on the journey. Across the first; as they recon, testing border crossing, into Guatemala. Hit El Salvador, then slip into Honduras for a quick blast before entering Nicaragua, which then leads into Costa Rica and then the final Central American country of Panama. Bearing in mind the mudslides, hurricanes, pot holes, dead donkeys, the odd bandit massive and maps have all been kind to me (or i have payed attention when necessary). Crossing into Colombia from Panama is a worthy topic for adventurous discussions. The region is known as the Darien Gap. A 100-ish km,thick ,lush rain forest region, which is virtually impassable. Only the very , very hardy attempt this section. There are no built roads through here. Experts say that roads and busy transit will destroy this rich , biodiverse region. Also it looks like they are a bit scared of trying due to the criminal activity there. There seems to be two answers to this green wall and that is to fly over it to Bogota or jump on a boat (just a tad of a jump land for a ship) to Cartegena. We shall see what happens and what the options at the time evolve into. I will chase the option of a boat though , to sail us to the famous, colourful, Spanish main, city of Cartegena. After all that down, down through Colombia, listening carefully to the local friendlies as they advise where not to go, where maybe to go and where to definitely not go. Into Ecuador, Quito, up and over mount Cotopaxi, to the peruvian border. Up again into the sky along the Andes into Bolivia and her Salt Flats, stay in the sky for a few more wonderful rides. Down into Argentina. Slog over the Pampas, to wrestle with the eternal patagonian winds. Probably zig zagging again into Southern Chile and the commune of torres del paine, where some say god, ended up chucking all the beautiful stuff he had left over after the 7th day of creating everything... Then thats it, Tierra Del Fuego. the end of the road. Well i am going to have a look to see if i can ride any further anyway.

Its impossible to stick to a defiante route on an epic like this. We will end up heading down all sorts of different routes. Listening to locals with knowledge of wonderful must goto places way off the beaten track and then some more. Spontaneous situations will send us all over. Maps sometimes fib. Countries so fat you just have to follow the handle bars. I intend to have tasks on the journey also. Finding Fragile X organisations. Searching out Aon Group limited offices to say hello to. Mastering the tango on an Argentinian pavement. To sleep in a steam train cemetry. many things that haven`t even come to mind yet. All these things will take us on unintentional routes. To have an adventure spreading the word of the Fragile x cause.

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