The virus has done a lot of damage everywhere, but when it closes a company so strong and reputable, it is a low blow indeed. I couldn’t begin to write a more appropriate coda for Compass Expeditions than this edited note from them, so I’ll hand you over to Mick and Jerry. Loved your work, fellas.

Directors Mick McDonald & Jerry Cook have written to say goodbye, friends and thank you for the ride.

It is with a profound depth of sadness we announce that after millions of kilometres ridden around the world, the trail has ended “in a dead end” for Compass Expeditions. We have been forced to make the incredibly tough decision to close Compass Expeditions due to Covid 19… currently Compass Expeditions is in a financial position to refund ALL deposits paid for ALL tours booked, [so] it is therefore only prudent for us to refund all monies owed and close the doors, now, considering 75% of our clients are Australian.

We understand the world is full of people in a far worse situation than us and life will go on, but the overwhelming sense of disappointment, sorrow and emptiness is hard to put into words, our only hope is that you will never forget the times you rode with Compass Expeditions and that the name Compass Expeditions shall live on for a while longer before being consigned to the pages of history.

We would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our incredible tour leaders who led the way in motorcycle touring: Hugo, Juan Carlos, Juan, Sarah, Justin, Bayne, Ellis, Felix, Danny, Peter and Pieter, we were blessed to have such amazing committed crew, our office staff: Craig, Alison, Jordan and Veronica, whose investment in our business was an example of the very best an employer could ever hope for. Our South American team: Sayda, Ana Maria, Simone and Eddy, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the endless challenges of operating tours in South America didn’t affect the rides too much, our amazing service providers scattered across the globe, from the B&B operator in the remote mountains of Kyrgyzstan, the ger owners in Mongolia, our hotel booking agent in Russia to our bike supplier in Cape Town, the list is endless – but most importantly it’s our guests who made Compass who it was and what we became, our profound thanks to you all.

I think back at all the incredible people we have met along the journey, the Herero & Himba women in Namibia, who we always visited and dropped off needed supplies, the children on the high altiplano of Bolivia whom we have been supporting since our pre Compass days, over 20 years ago, Isaac, the gardener at the Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe and Otgoo, the effervescent manager of the wonderful ger camp at Khovsguul Nuur, Mongolia. The list is utterly endless, we will miss these people dearly, knowing that in all likelihood we will never see them again.

In the words of the Garth Brooks song The Dance, “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance”, yes this is painful beyond words but the dance over the last 13 years was so worth it.

I’m glad I didn’t miss the dance when I took my Peru tour with Compass. Hey, I wonder — is there someone out there with deep pockets who might like to buy a well-run motorcycle touring company?


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