Sunday, 30 December 2012

And so it came to pass...

My friend Joce sent me a message yesterday...

'I looked back on the prayer of blessing I sent you as you left (from John O'Donohue) and I think it came to pass!'

" May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home, more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you."

As I reflect on the journey I realise that the kindness and love shown by strangers and fellow travellers has been transformative.

The tenderness of the unexpected touch melted me and strengthened me.

Thanks for the photo Shirley.

Some strangers became friends. Here is a video Mark Donham has created of our last two weeks together on the Caraterra Austral. Team Kiwi and Radioman Video
Be encouraged if you are on the road to Patagonia. May you meet friends along the way.

Dick and I are now in paradise. Queenstown, New Zealand.

Meeting with friends has a whole new dimension for me.
We love being here but now we see it with new eyes.

Take a peek at Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown. and be inspired to visit.

We have been greatly blessed and enriched by people we met on the journey.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Home Sweet Home

A glorious Auckland day to greet me.

Auckland Harbour
Usually the trip is 20 hours 45 minutes.
LAN airlines  provided the longest airline journey I have ever travelled. 72 HOURS travelling from Ushuaia to Auckland. 

Father grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Courage to change them if I can
Wisdom to distinguish the difference.

I really appreciated the messages of encouragement I received during this journey home.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

The end of one road. The start of another.

 Team Kiwi at Tierra del Fuego National Park.

I give thanks ...
for our safe arrival and for the companionship of our group and for the friendliness and kindness of all the people we have met on our journey...
and especially for Dick's planning, leadership, driving skill, judgement, loving kindness and consideration of others...
and for those who have helped me to be physically, emotionally and spiritually prepared for this journey.

It has been as much an Inward journey as an Outward one. A 140 day retreat.

I treasure the messages of encouragement and all your prayers.

Thank you for your comments and emails.

We have met beautiful people, seen beautiful creatures and beautiful places.  
Today was no exception.

Pink shelly beach, wild flowers to match.

The cross, a reminder of the sacrifice that set me free...

and the streams of living water that flow.

Ushuaia: el fin del mundo, el principio de todo!
The end of the world, the beginning of everything.

Thy will be done

I was blessed by people today.

People could sense our anticipation and our joy today.

 Kind Clarissa at Cerro Sombrero

 Noehelia at San Sebastian.

  Adrian reached out  his warm hands in a loving welcome to me when I entered the room. Maria beamed with delight. Such big warm hearts. 

Our chef...
who prepared this wonderful, well-balanced meal - succulent lamb, chorizo and black sausage 

And especially Team Kiwi. 
We missed you, Shirley. You were with us in spirit.

Friday, 7 December 2012

It was all about people, but... here are Some Statistics

This journey was all about people for me.
A wonderful collection of pearls.

People we met, and people in my memories populated the days.
Meeting them was only possible because we were on the road, so...

Here is the overall summary 





28 June-26 August
Vancouver, to Deadhorse Alaska;  Yukon, Canada, to Hollywood, USA

11 September - 24 October
Hollywood, Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Quito - Ecuador

1 November - 7 December
Quito - Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina to ushuaia

140 days       
25 days

In addition to these days on the road we had three days in Vancouver and an 8 day break in Quito when Dick went home to NZ and I went to the Galapagos.

Longitude and Latitude
We have travelled 71.4 Degrees East 
from Anchorage (149.7DegWest) to Ushuaia (68.3 DegWest)
we have travelled 125Deg South 
from Deadhorse (70.2 DegNorth) to Ushuaia (54.8DegSouth)

Stage One - Vancouver  via Deadhorse Alaska to Hollywood, USA
                        for details see post: 60 Days on the Road, August
Stage Two. 80 days Down the World - Hollywood to Ushuaia
                   - Hollywood, USA to Quito, Ecuador
                        for details see post: Hollywood to Quito summary, October

                  - Quito, Ecuador to Ushuaia, Argentina

to Salcedo
to Machali
to Talara

to Pacsamayo

To Huarmey

Tto Cerro Azul

to Palpa

to Chualhuanca

to Cusco

to Puno

to Arequipa
to Arica

to Iquique

to Antofagasta

to Copiato

to Pichindangui

to Chillan

to Osorno

to Puerto Varas

to Chaiten

to Puyuhaique

to Coyhaique

to Puerto Guadal

to Perito Moreno

to Gobierno Gregores

to El Calafate

to Torres del Paine

to Puerta Natales

to Cerro Sombrero
6 December 2012
to Ushuaia

Total km 

We rode through 14 countries. 
USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

Boats and ferries
We sailed on 'Stahlratte' from Carti, Panama to Cartagena 
We made 6 ferry crossings. Dawson City, Yukon, Puerto Montt to Chaiten(3) and to Tierra del Fuego.

We had great weather.
It rarely rained. We got wet in Dawson City, Zion National Park, Death Valley, Tapachula (Mexico) and leaving Quito
There were snow flurries on the pass as we left Quito and here in Ushuaia.
The wind buffeted us as we rode to Kaibab from Zion, and from Puerto Natales to Cerro Sombrero.
We had some wind on Ruta 40 but not as ferocious as we expected.

Our gear met the demands of the long journey.
Dick had planned this aspect well.
I used everything I packed.
Ice Breaker merino - Perfect choice. The Tee shirts were great in the tropics and the layers and the leggings kept me warm in the chilly places.
Gerbing's heated Jacket. The perfect 42nd wedding anniversary gift. Thanks, Dick. It made all the difference.
Rev'it Motorbike leathers - good protection for the occasional tumble. Now the red is a bit faded.
Draggin'  jeans. Ideal in the tropics.
Tilley hat. My first and best purchase.
Alpinestars boots. The most comfortable boots I have ever owned.
Bridgedale Hiking liner socks were ideal for me.
Sena SMH10 intercomm was great until my microphone fell apart after 60 days
Nolan motorcycle helmet  protected the wonder that is under my hair. The chin and visor jammed once and my technical companions fixed it.
Multi power-plug board. We brought a NZ 4 plug board and used it for our NZ phones and computer. We only needed one adapter for each country.
Clinique chubby stick.  Perfect tinted lip balm. Lasted from Hollywood to Ushuaia.

Other things
AirNZ OneSmart card worked a stopped. A problem. The banking function is embedded in the air points card. When my air points status was changed a new card was posted to my NZ address. The card I was using was permanently cancelled and I couldn't transfer the credit back to my own bank. Fortunately, by chance, Dick brought the new card back with him. 

At the beginning of the trip we organised 'a place for everything' and tried to keep 'everything in its place'. That helped with efficiency in setting off each day.

Despite this I managed to 'lose' my pearls for the last two weeks.
Imagine the rejoicing when they reappeared today when we were repacking.

Are we there yet?

Yes we are!

Thanks for this photo, Mark

At 3.40pm. This afternoon,  Thursday 6 December  2012

we arrived in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego


Praise The Lord!!

Praise the driver, Dick!!!

Thanks for this photo, Mark

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Joys and delights of a day on the road... Puerta Natales to Cerro Sombrero, Chile

  Glorious cerise lupins.

 This pisco sour is going to make me smile, too.

 Early morning mountains

 Marcus in his red Mini Cooper. Mum has the remote control but he knows how to change the car to manual control...and how to turn on the music and the headlights.

We have had wonderful care in Puerta Natales.
Jimena from Colombia.
 Claudia and Isabel at IF hotel. Wonderful welcome. Wonderful warm hospitality. Muchas gracias
A lovely farewell hug and we were on our way.
 Long straight roads, ever-changing cloud patterns and... strong crosswinds to lean into. Just like a comfy sofa. El viento es muy fuerte, hoy.
 Elegant hexagonal bus stops along the highway. Blue roofs, windows and a spire.

 We had to pull over and let this house past.  It was so windy today that I wonder if it stayed on the transporter.

Tierra del Fuego...this way.

This sheep and dog duo wanted to board the transportador (ferry) with the vehicles.

 Safely on board the ferry, holding on to the bikes,  howling at the wind.
Watched reproachfully.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

My Photographs - sources of inspiration

Inspiration for my photographs has come from many sources.

I want to acknowledge some key people who have encouraged me.

First Dick, who knows more about photography than me and whose patience on the bike has enabled me to take lots of photographs.

With him in this photo are Richard and Shelli Steckel, in Denver who generously share their loving friendship and expertise. It feels as if we have been friends forever.

Richard and Shelli Steckel  showed me the power of photographs to make a difference.
Take a peek at the Milestones Project  a magnificent body of images that show that while we are all so very different we are very much alike.

We worked together with a  small group in Auckland on the Milestones Exhibitions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in 2005.

Richard and Shelli have just launched a new project Uncommon images for the common good  a database of images where people like you, and me, can upload photographs and nominate a charity which will receive any proceeds if the image is purchased for publication.

The people I meet and with whom I feel a close interaction inspire me to want to share the experience.
I now understand how it can be that whenever I meet the heart of someone - the person and the context of any ensuing photograph is etched in my memory.
I have resisted taking photographs where people want a propina, or tip, and have published none on my blog.

The scenery.
Fellow travelers on my blog will see how I have been inspired by the magnificent scenery.
We have encountered every climatic zone, mountains, deserts, forests, and beautiful light in the far north and the high altitudes, and glorious flowers in Alaska.
I felt a strong desire to share some of the scenes of 'days on the road' with you.

Most of the photographs of scenes on this blog have been taken from the back of a motorcycle. Sometimes at 100+km/hour and sometimes 0km/hour.  Some have been kindly supplied by others, including Shirley, Ken, Mark and Dick. I have tried to acknowledge these. 

Generally I get used to judging when to press the button at different speeds. The hardest phase is when the motorcycle changed speed. 
I have had lots of practice over 5 months and 37,00km of riding. 

Posting images on this blog has helped me organize my photographs each day.

Image storage
I filled my 64GB iPad and have been using a MacBookAir since Quito. 
It isn't possible to load images on to memory stick from the iPad and Wifi speeds have generally been quite slow so uploading to DropBox or iCloud has been not been practical. 
I have been using a 16GB SD card in the camera lately. 

About the camera
I began the trip with a Canon G9 and from since August have been using a Canon G12.
It hangs neatly around my neck and is easy to press the button with motorcycle gloves.
The Canon G12 has stood up to the hard rigours of life on the road and at sea.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

On the road from Los Torres del Paine to Puerta Natales, Chile

Today the timid Torres teaseTeam Kiwi.

Nearing the end of the last of the gravel roads for our journey to Ushuaia.
750km to go. 100km of them will be gravel.
Stunning hillside colourscapes.

 Cattle grazing the 'long acre' supervised by two gauchos and their dogs.

A long and straight road takes us to Puerta Natales, a sea port in southern Patagonia, Chile.

The town is surrounded by snow-covered mountains which explains the chilly temperatures - 6-9 Deg C, for most of today.
Latitude, 51° 43' 60S; Longitude, 72° 31' 0W
Sunrise 5.27am sunset 9.55pm  16h 27m daylight