The Plan

 

I was inspired to undertake this overland trip by one of my favourite movies, The Motorcycle Diaries and my favourite book Into the Wild.

Ernesto Guevara´s motorcycle trip started in Argentina and headed north through South America. The people he meet on his trip influenced the way he viewed the world. This concept had a profound impact on the way I like to travel. So too did Christopher McCandless´s determination to travel to Alaska.

As a traveler and motorcycle enthusiast I also enjoy the motorcycle documentaries, Long Way Round and Long Way Down starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. So the dream and challenge to travel on a motorcycle from the bottom of South America to the top of North America was born.

After many hours of scouring the internet, I discovered that out of all the South American countries, Chile was the best option for a foreigner to legally purchase a motorcycle from. The cost to ship a motorcycle from Australia is high and included many financial risks with mixed reports on taxes imposed at shipping yards and on airport freight. Also travelling with an expensive motorcycle can increase the chance of becoming a target of theft. There is less bureaucratic paperwork to deal with when purchasing from Chile, it was geographically close to the bottom of South America and finally I could legally travel internationally approxmatiely one week after purchasing the motorcycle. So the trip would start in Santiago. I would then travel south to Buenos Aires in Argentina. This would be the most southern country in South America and the same city in which Guevara started his trip from. From there it´s all north through Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia. I plan to visit the Iguazu Falls, the worlds largest Salt Flats in Bolivia and climb Machu Picchu. There is currently no road connecting South and Central America. The land that lies between is known as the Darien Gap, a 200km stretch of land inhabited by military guerrillas and drug traffickers.  It´s too risky and dangerous so my plan is to pay a captain of a yacht to transport myself and the bike from Cartagena through the Caribbean islands to Panama. Once in Central America I will travel through Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico before following the west coast through America and Canada. My finish point will be the Alaskan city of Anchorage. With weather permitting I would also like to complete the journey by hiking through the Delani National Park and visit bus 142 where Chris McCandless lost his life. It would be a way to pay tribute to a story that has influenced me so much.

No doubt this rough plan will change due to various factors, but thats the freedom of a trip like mine. It´s full of choices that I will have to make along the way. I am blessed and so appreciative to be in a position in my life to undertake this journey. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventure.