This blog's for ME

Almost 25 years old, asking my parents if I can sleep in their bed with them. I had thought I was going to be the 25th Prime Minister of Canada. Things had changed. 10 years later, I was still a scared little boy. The time had come to slap myself awake. One Saturday morning, November 19th, 2009, I declared to the world I would be riding my 10 year-old motorcycle from Vancouver, BC Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and back.

The official departure was August 28th, 2010. A group of well-wishers saw me off at 8:03 am.

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro around 6 pm March 1st, 2011.

My return to Vancouver came on July 5th, 2011 about 2:00 pm.

Drug & alcohol abuse, ADD, social anxiety, health, chronic pain, night terrors.

So many concerns. But I am far more interested in this question: Do I have the capacity to make this trip despite all my shortcomings?

My mission: To inspire myself to face my fears, enlighten myself on how all living things can peacefully co-exist, enjoy every moment, and see the world as plentiful and generous.

Go ahead. Call me crazy. Call me anything you like.

I'm out to save my world.


Questions, comments, concerns, threats? Contact me:

Back On Land

Overall the trip was a fairly efficient 5 days, getting a visit into a Kuna village today, and still arriving on dry land Panama side before noon. My bike was the third of 4 to take off the boat, after one of the glass manholes was cracked from Kevin´s heavy 1200. Fritz will not be happy about that. My bike was dead as a doornail and so the worry began as to how to start. I pushed it off the dock, and all the way down to the Kuna stop, where I had to pay $10 for the bike, and $1 for myself. Then, it was down to the air strip, but it looked pretty flat. A big football player sized guy came over and pushed me 3 times but we exhausted it as the battery was so dead. He left back to the office, and returned after about 10 minutes with 6 or 7 of my boat mates. He was taking them through to Panama City. Pete the Brit, the two Germans, and the big Panamian football player gave me a push to remember.

It still took another two times, and it was sounding sick, but she finally caught on. I stopped and said thanks, then followed them down the road to a Military stop and more paperwork to show. Fritz had given me the list of everyone´s passport numbers to give to them, but the guy didn´t want it!

I burned through the very steep, windy but paved roads with the odd 20 metres of dirt in the low passages. I wanted to blow the carbon out of the carbs, and charge up the battery so within 15 minutes I had passed the truck of boat mates handily. Some construction crews and one guy seemed to be quite upset with me, which was rare. Most if not all wave and whistle and cat call some. The bike puttered a few times but after 5 days of laying still in the salt water I wasn´t surprised. Stopped at a little convenience store with a Panamian of Chinese decent and put on the celebrity hat again -he let out a hoot when he saw all the flags on my jacket of the countries I had been through.

Calculating the remainder of my American money, I thought I had $20 to spare, but as the toll booths arose, and I paid for gas, I ended up scraping an American dollar coin out of my pocket from Ecuador, which got me through to the city. Lucky guy. That´s where it ended.

Aduana, or customs was going to be tricky to find. Knowingly begrudging the GPS, I was on my own with only the ability to ask for directions. 3 or 4 guys later, I´m getting escorted there by some government dually Ford. It´s time to turn and I´m paying more attention to how I´ll get through traffic when BOOM! my bike and I fall into 6¨ deep manhole cover, the front wheel goes sideways instantly, and I collapse directly into the side of a truck.

I knew I had no time to sit and think this was a busy street and people were already honking. Some other guys had come over to help me get the bike up. The front windshield was shattered and bent 45 degrees ahead more than normal. I put the bike to the side and went back to the truck. My government escort came over, said a few words, and made the international hand gesture of ´no worries, its all done´. There were some scratches on the side of his truck, but he said the company would pay for that. I noticed I still had most of my windshield left, and I could probably bend it back into place. I still hadn´t found Aduana.

So him and I walked over to the police station to get more directions. He was clear: take a right, then another right at the semaforo (intersection) then through the next semaforo. I still ended up turning around, but did eventually find it. Got in, went to the wrong window ( this is common because nothing is labelled in these countries and forget about directional arrows and signs you gotta just figure it out). So I get to the right window eventually and she looks at my papers and says I need insurance. Not insurance again. Yes. I need insurance before I can get my motorbike customs papers.

After 5 days on the boat, I was pretty practiced at patience so I just asked where. She said Calle 50 (5oth street) but they´re closed now and we´ll be in 5 minutes too. Great.

Still don´t like not getting what I want when I want it. So, I headed back to the bike, asked where the insurance was, and soon, one guide had transferred me to another, who successfully got me down to the insurance office, through winds and turns and switchbacks. There´s no way I could find my way back without doing the same thing I did to get there: ask for directions.

It took the insurance guy an hour to fill out my papers. These people are just slow and inefficient with a lot of their bureaucratic paperwork. I´m just venting, but this should have been a 10 minute procedure. I was calm throughout it all, and read the paper while I was waiting.

Got out, had some beautiful 3 piece KFC, did some hotel shopping, found one for $30 and settled in. Tomorrow, I will find a new tire for the back, get the battery charged up, spend one more night here, then make the trek for Ecuador, where I plan to have a mini vacation of surfing, then continue on to Texas to visit my cousin, then up through the central states to possibly Regina to visit my godson but we´ll see.

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Videos of my journey