My Longest Dance with Salsa

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by SalsaRider, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. steingar

    steingar higher life form

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,034
    Location:
    Midgard
    Why? The ride back could have gone on different roads, a whole new adventure!
    SalsaRider likes this.
  2. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
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    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    steingar,
    True, but nearly 4 months of being on the road was enough for me and - more importantly - my wife. I had my fun being alone on 2-wheels. Next trip will be with her by my side; perhaps to Florence?
    roadcapDen and yokesman like this.
  3. steingar

    steingar higher life form

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,034
    Location:
    Midgard
    Makes sense. I am still surprised you sold your beloved bike. Had I one I cherished that much I would have found a way to ship it back. But your bike, your ride, and of course very journey has an end. Congrats on an awesome adventure.
    SalsaRider likes this.
  4. Cerberus44233

    Cerberus44233 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2018
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    San Diego
    Congratulations. You are an enviable individual. Tough rider and in love with his wife still. We need more people like you. I’m a brand new rider trying to find the nerve to go down Baja with my little TW200 this fall, I feel like such a whimp, haha Thanks again for a great life lesson.
    SalsaRider likes this.
  5. radmann10

    radmann10 Derf Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thank you for posting your RR, I enjoyed riding along, great narrative and photos! I would like to ride South America someday.
    SalsaRider likes this.
  6. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    203
    Location:
    VA
    Thanks for sharing your unique adventure and tips that are proving helpful to me.

    Enjoy you next adventure whatever it maybe.

    T2
    SalsaRider likes this.
  7. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Tierra del Fuego — HOME AT LAST
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    21 February 2019

    I’m home, at last!

    On 20 February 2019, at 10:30 a.m., I held Bonnie in my arms after 120 days of being on the road; just 8 days shy of the 128 days she had allowed me for the trip. Oddly enough, neither of us felt as if we had been apart for that long. Daily, thanks to apps and connectivity, we had been in touch with one another. I knew what she had been through, and vice versa.

    Thank you, modern technology!

    Before rolling a single mile I had made some predictions. The actual end results are pretty close:

    Issue — Prediction/Actual:
    • Time — 4 months/3 months and 20 days;
    • Distance — 10-14K miles/12,866 miles:
    • Cost — $15-$20K/$18+K;
    • Personal weight loss — 15 pounds/15 pounds
    Pretty much right on target!

    Some things caught me by surprise:
    • MECHANICAL: Broken generator, broken speedometer cable, fire resulting in melted wires and cables;
    • MECHANICS: It was my good fortune to encounter talented mechanics along this ride. Men whom faced seemingly impossible repair jobs; yet had the ingenuity to find creative solutions, so I could continue my ride;
    • SIGHTS: South America was far more beautiful and impressive than I had anticipated; far more spectacular;
    • PEOPLE: If there’s one thing that stands out on this ride, for me, it’s the people I encountered. Never before, in all of my travels, have I met such generous, inviting, giving, caring, and wonderful people as those I met in South America.
    Some of my worries never happened:
    • Getting sick with diarrhea;
    • Being robbed or accosted;
    • Suffering from high altitude;
    • Encountering roads that I couldn’t handle;
    • Dealing with weather that I couldn’t overcome.
    Some of my worries did happen:
    • Mechanical issues;
    • Weather issues;
    • Road issues;
    • And so on.
    None, though, were debilitating.

    Everyday, it seemed, presented new challenges to overcome; and everyday I faced them, and overcame them enough to keep moving south.

    In the “big picture” of my life, what does this ride mean? I’m still trying to understand the answer to this important question.

    Right now the only thing on my mind is being in the loving arms of Bonnie, my Navy bride of 34 years.

    I’m home, at last!

    Attached Files:

    roadcapDen, Eldorado74, kres and 7 others like this.
  8. radmann10

    radmann10 Derf Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Well done!
    SalsaRider likes this.
  9. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    Great ride! Thanks for letting us ride along.
    SalsaRider likes this.
  10. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Cerebus44233,
    Baja has much to offer in the way of excitement and challenges, and I hope you do it. After that, the rest of the world awaits.
    SalsaRider
  11. Knobbly Studios

    Knobbly Studios Knob

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    DE
    Hi SalsaRider,
    I enjoyed your reporting very much! Great writing, good photos, and a lot of experiences. Thanks for taking us along. I just binge read the whole thing over the last couple days, and look at that. You got home a couple days ago!!! Congrats on the great ride. Any chance of a Tuscan ride report with the wife?
    SalsaRider likes this.
  12. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Hi Knobbly Studios,

    Thanks for the nice comments. As for a Tuscan ride with Bonnie, ‘fraid not. She doesn’t ride.

    SalsaRider
  13. kres

    kres Arrrrrrrrr! Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,230
    Location:
    Back home in Charlottesville! Woot!
    ...
    ... ...
    ... ....

    I just don't have any words to describe this experience that you've shared with us. I'll have to make do with astounding, epic, heart-warming, eye-opening, inspiring, touching, and enthralling.

    Thank you.
    SalsaRider likes this.
  14. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Hi kres,

    Glad that you could share the ride with me. Your turn next?

    SalsaRider/Monte
  15. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Thanks, Powderzone!
  16. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

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    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Thanks, radmann10!
  17. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Tierra del Fuego — MUCHAS GRACIAS!!!

    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    24 February 2019

    Throughout my long ride I was helped by many people. A few Thank You’s are in order:

    THANK YOU to those who offered me shelter, a place to stay, and warm hospitality: Ron and Susan, Octavio, Lucas and his family, Greg and Wendy, Fay and Marianne, Roberto, and Miguel and his wife.

    THANK YOU for all those who came up to me on the ride, and offered camaraderie, friendship, and “road wisdom”: long distance riders from all over the world, truckers and “cage” drivers, policemen and soldiers and gas station attendants, vacationing families, back packers, hostelers, and one and on and on.

    THANK YOU to all the “MacGyver mechanics” I had the good fortune to encounter. Men who devised creative work-around solutions whenever Salsa needed repairs, and got us back on the road, dancing. And THANK YOU Matt, for expediting that cable to me.

    THANK YOU Salsa, my old 1995 R100RT BMW “airhead” motorcycle, for staying strong enough to dance with me one last time — clear to Tierra del Fuego. Adieu mon amour, mi novia, my dancing partner, my girlfriend for over two decades of memorable, wonderful dances all over two continents. I’m going to miss you terribly, but know you’re in the good hands of Mauricio, now.

    THANK YOU to all the readers of these posts — “My Longest Dance with Salsa” — who offered encouragement, advice, points of contact, and sympathy. I needed all of those things, and got them in good doses from you.

    THANK YOU to those who prayed for me, and to the priest who blessed the St. Christopher coin that Bonnie gave me, for safe travels.

    THANK YOU my Cartagena friends — Octavio, Elba, Coni, Tia, and Arnaldo; Marco and Viviana from Santiago, Chile; Mauricio from Ushuaia, Argentina; Roberto from Puerto Natales, Chile; Victor from Puerto Montt, Chile; Lucas and family from El Trebol, Argentina; and others for your kindness, friendship, and help along the way.

    THANK YOU Nirbhai, Mauricio, Fabio and my other Brazilian friends, George, and others for riding with me, or giving me help and advice along the way.

    THANK YOU Marcelo, Lucas, and Efrain — each of whom has stayed with Bonnie and I in the Springs —for offering advice and points of contact along the way, friendship, and hospitality.

    THANK YOU to all my “Spanish MeetUp” friends, for helping me with my language skills. Knowing how to communicate with the people I met was invaluable, and added great depth to my appreciation of the Latino culture throughout the Americas.

    THANK YOU Lynn, for helping me learn some off-road riding skills; and Matt, for helping me learn how to take care of Salsa; and Lori and Sean, for helping me get Salsa from Galveston, Texas to Cartagena, Colombia.

    THANK YOU friends, family, and neighbors who offered friendship, help, and loving care to Bonnie, my beautiful Navy bride, during my long absence. You gave both of us a peace of mind that was needed, and much appreciated!

    THANK YOU Mom and Dad, who exposed me to the wonders of travel at a young age, and somehow helped me learn the invaluable character trait of “grit.”

    THANK YOU for those I forgot to mention, too. I have never met so much open generosity, willingness to help a complete stranger, or kindness as I did on this ride about Latin America; and I truly appreciate all that you did for me during my ride.

    And above all, THANK YOU Bonnie, for your love, support, and encouragement throughout this long ride. I would never have left home without your full blessings, and your “green light” to go and live my dream. Te quiero mucho!!!

    Attached Files:

    staticPort and ScotsFire like this.
  18. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Tierra del Fuego — MUCHAS GRACIAS!!!

    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    24 February 2019

    More photos:

    Attached Files:

  19. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Tierra del Fuego — MUCHAS GRACIAS!!!

    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    24 February 2019

    More photos:

    Attached Files:

  20. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Tierra del Fuego — MUCHAS GRACIAS!!!

    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    24 February 2019

    More photos:

    Attached Files: