From Madol-Duuwa to around the world

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Dylan.S, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    I love poor people. It's not that I hate the rich. I have been greatly surprised by their simplicity, humility and their generosity beyond their capabilities. Sometimes "taking" has been too overwhelming, knowing that you who are much better off but caught up in a world where matter is more important than the spirit. I was given a place to stay in this house on one cold and rainy night. They prepared me a good dinner and made me comfortable as best as they could.
    I asked the old man, sipping a tea which he had offered after the meal, how was it when the volcano Bromo erupted? He lamented that there was no food and they were forced to leave their home and the future seemed very uncertain. The volcano which earned them their daily bread bringing tourists into the area was now chasing them away. It must have been a spectacular sight, I thought to myself and even asked the man whether the eruption was beautiful. I didn't realize the seriousness of that question. For a moment I could not comprehend that the beauty of a volcanic eruption was connected with so much pain. The man didn't speak a word. His eyes turned down to the floor slowly. Then the woman answered with a tear drop in her eye, "yes, it was beautiful". (Mt. Bromo. Indonesia)
  2. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    There were only, what I called, verticle bends in Australia. Furthest end of the road was visible somewhere on a hill. After a few kilometers when you reached that spot, you saw the same landscape and the same straight road for another feww kilometers. Sometimes, the only interesting thing you found on the road was dead kangaroos which were hit by fast moving traffic. Nobody cared to clear the carcasses from the road. They simply decayed slowly till the bones were scattered...(Australia)

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    After the repairs were done, I picked up an old rag from the tool box. I quickly gathered that, the old fashion home made blouse which was already smeared with grease, could've only come from my mother when I spent 6 weeks in Sri Lanka as part of my tour. I grabbed it, pressed it against my nose and inhaled deeply hoping to sense something that might remind me of home or to grasp that smell connected with the words such as "love" and "affection". Suddenly I felt as if I was the last man on earth. So far away and so lonely. I then tried, desperately, to dial mom's number but in vain. Australian outback was too vast to pick up telephone signals which made me even more lonely... (Australia)
  3. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    Kangaroo island. As the name implies, there were enough Kangaroos here on this small island to feed the entire world. I stopped the bike one afternoon and started counting and ninety nine, one hundred, one, two, three... and I soon gave up counting. now concentrate on the road. Don't become a victim of them! The way they crossed the road sometimes were scary. A few weeks later on one evening, in Western Australia, I hit one of them at 100kmh. Only God knows how I managed to stay upright standing in a ditch. Everything seemed Okey and I was still alive. Next morning I discovered that the impact actually broke my crash bar.

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  4. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    lazy bastards! Consider yourself lucky if you see them move! They clung onto a branch and slept the whole day. I got my camera ready and clapped loud. With that sound he woke up shocked. Looked at me and two seconds later he was asleep again dreaming of Eucalyptus leaves.
  5. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    Thank you Zandesiro! Keep enjoying my RR. The best adventures are yet to come :-)
  6. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    Thanks Loutre! My RR isn't chronological. I hope that'll not spoil it for anyone. But the stories are very real. Thanks for appreciating it!
  7. ata

    ata expat in the jungle

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    couldnĀ“t be chronological, i think with so many things to remember
    just saying:D

    :beer
  8. bastimentos

    bastimentos Been here awhile

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    Hey Dylan,

    I love that your RR is not chronological, it's so different from most reports and I never know what is coming next. I'm sure you have hundreds of people waiting eagerly for the next glimpse of your incredible trip.

    Cheers.
  9. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    Why does a biker has to take a course for boat license in Panama? It's because that's what the Panamanian authorities want when I told them that I want to ride a boat. But you may ask, why I need to ride boats when I'm on a complete different mission. Well, the answer is simple. There is a little bush-land called Darien between central and south Americas. Columbians and Panamanians seem to be clueless when it comes to building a road through that. Most travellers who go through these continents take a sail boat or a plane. But to me this is a God given opportunity to do some adventures. Rather than getting a piggy back on a sail boat, I thought, I want to build my own boat with Bruce on it and power the whole thing with a propeller connected to the drive shaft. Yes! Many think that I'm mad which is probably true. But I have to say that I'm not crazy!
    However, there are many obstacles. I'll not count them but just mention a few. I have never built a boat. I have never sailed a boat. Building a boat is expensive. There are many legal obstacles which you have to overcome and meet the demands of the authorities. But there is one positive thing which tells me that I could do it. That's my madness!
    first things first. When I inquired the authorities, they said that I need a boat license to start with. So, I'm at it now. Taking a course and hopefully pass it.

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    I bought this propeller in Phoenix and you can see how happy it made me. imagine! Me and Bruce sailing the high seas! Darn, I'm excited!!!!


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    Making something floating is easy. But building a boat that will take you hundreds of kilometers across the sea is a challenge. The number of nights I half slept couldn't even be counted. One half of my brain was taking a rest but the other half was working. Trying to find answers to endless questions. To come up with all kinds of scenarios to avoid try and error kind of experiments. After all, I do not have endless amount of time nor have I got the luxury for a second chance if something goes wrong in the sea due to poorly thought out fabrication. There was no one that I could talk to about boat building. But I concentrated on the power-train first. I bought a secondhand final drive from ebay. Cut it open with a hacksaw. But there are so many other things which have to be done with tools which are precise. The photo shows that a Hektor the mechanic in Mexico trying to rid the teeth of the pinion of the final drive with a angle grinder.

    I met Hector in front of a hardware shop as I was sussing out shops in Mexico for the quality and the choice of materials available. He approached me with big eyes and started talking to me with a very limited English knowledge. At the end of our conversation, which is about my travels, (sadly that's what most of my conversations are about) he gave me his business card and said that he has a workshop and should I need any welding done or repairs, he could assist me. So I restarted the conversation and told him about my intentions regard to my boat project.

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    Hector didn't have the machines to do the precision work I needed done. But he knew someone who had those. his next door neighbor!

    So I met this man Marco Antonio (on the right) He is a man of few words. When he spoke, he spoke those in Spanish and i didn't understand them. But he turned out to be another great soul I met on my tour around the world.
    So we toiled... getting the most delicate parts done on my project. We worked six hours and three workers were assigned for the job. The workers did no't take a lunch break to go home as usual on this day. Marco Antonio and Hector bought pizza for everyone including me and such was the level of hospitality!
    Marco agreed to do the work for me at a low price. Not only he did the work speedily but he took great care to execute the work exactly as I wanted. At the end of the day when I asked him for the bill, he did not want any money for it! Three guys working almost a full day for my project for free? Generous is a mild word to describe the virtues of this man!!
    In the past I have tried numerous times to get discounts on parts from BMW dealerships. Not even once I received a single dollar discount. To my knowledge 5 people have bought BMW motorcycles simply because I had inspired them through my travels. Though I worked as an unofficial ambassador for the brand, I have never received any recognition. But people who don't have much, such as Marco in his shabby workshop, they feel the need to support people like me.
    To thank Marco and the crew, I am organized a special slide show for them which they enjoyed very much.

    ***Contrasting hospitality***
    I took my second hand final drive which I had bought from ebay and I walked into BMW dealership in Sacramento, California. I explained to them about my project and asked them if they could loosen the pinion bearing nut, which was done with a special tool. The guy looked at it and said, "it'll cost you one hour labour". I replied, "sir, I only want it loosened. It'll take maximum 10 min". One hour labour charge was the answer and I had to come the next day if I wanted it done.
    I did not go there the next day.
  10. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    ***Good people break into houses too***

    Somewhere in Australia I met a family having their vacation in the outback. After spending a little time chatting with me, the father called me "a real adventurer". Then the little boy asked "what's an adventurer?"
    I told the little boy,
    "an adventurer is someone who would use the chimney to get into the house rather than the door" I also added, "but that's only if the house is yours. People who go down a chimney to enter someone else's house is called a criminal or a thief".
    Unfortunately, the kid didn't quite understand what I meant with that.
    "But Santa is a good man, right dad?" he asked his father.
    After all, it was Christmas time.
  11. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    Thanks friend!

    Keep enjoying and send me a word of encouragement now and then so that I know there are people actually reading it.
  12. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    :-)
  13. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    I had the pleasure of meeting the hottest ADVrider, Missadventure in California. I then met her again in Mexico and there she became the driving force and got me to write a ride report. She's a rarity and she is lovely!
  14. Cmnthead

    Cmnthead Adventurer

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    I have skipped past your ride report dozens of times without ever stopping to look. I most likely would not have ever looked, however, until I just happened to see your motorcycle out the corner of my eye when leaving my beach in Uverito. It changed the last few days of my trip here in Panama. The more I read the better it gets! Your pictures are amazing.:clap. It's been awesome talking to you and listing to your stories the last couple of days. I can't wait to see how the rest of your adventure turns out. You have a gift for capturing effect in your pictures.

    If I was not running to town to get pop when I seen your bike, and did not back up to go take a look I would have never made the connection. Your photos and written stories not to mention all the truly heart felt stories that you have shared with myself and my friends have certainly had a impact on us.

    Good luck with the rest of your adventure. I will be keeping an eye on you from here on in.
  15. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    Endless hours of daydreaming and endless nights of sleeplessness, coffee and scrapped paper, I came up with this drawing. I decided to build my boat starting from tomorrow.
  16. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    Boat? For what? To cross the Darien?? :eek1 :clap Now that would be what we call adventuring!
  17. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    Doing my sea hours before the big day.
  18. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    I met Laszlo who’s from Hungary as a recommendation from Ron who is an American man I had met soon after crossing into Panama. Lazslo is a sailor who has been sailing transporting backpackers back and forth between Panama and Columbia and he survived an expedition into the Antarctic on his sailing boat which cost him an eye. If there’s someone who could help me with my boat construction, then Laszlo would be the perfect buddy to have on your side, I was told by Ron. So I met up with him when I reached Panama City. We spent couple of hours discussing about my crazy idea and the way we could implement it. We reexamined my plans and scratched heads together. Other sailors who have a passion for adventure came by, sat with us and all tried to be helpful and they certainly liked my sportsmanship.
    The Caribbean Sea is too rough until the month of May, something which they all agreed with. But then John came up with the idea that I should sail the Pacific Ocean and the wind and the current should help carry me towards Columbia. They all found it a great idea. Jaque the Frenchman offered me a sail for The Courage of Bridget for free. Catching the wind means I’ll be sailing without having to use lot of fuel. Laszlo promised me that he’ll take care of the necessary paperwork, permits and the authorities, plus help me build The Courage of Bridget. So tomorrow is the start of my big day. We are actually going to shop for material! Wow! I’m so excited!
    Oh, by the way, you may wonder what's this "Courage of Bridget".
    Well, that's the name I gave to my boat dedicating the whole adventure for my mother who toiled for many years to make us four young boys to strong men.
  19. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    Phil, it's amazing how you meet people. It's even more amazing how people can inspire one another. May be you didn't notice it. But I learned a few things from you about life too. But I won't mention them in order to prevent you from becoming a big-head :-)
    The two days I spent with you were absolutely great my friend! You are charged with positive energy!
  20. Dylan.S

    Dylan.S Been here awhile

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    Well, I might go fishing before I get to Columbia :-)