Coming home

14 Jul

A short post about our trip home followed by a few photos from the trip ……..

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After endless discussions we decided that Seattle was a good place to bring our journey through the Americas to a close.JennyNeedle Various options had presented themselves, usually involving a route across the United States and the idea was very tempting as neither of us were 100% sure that we were ready to give up the nomadic life that had come to be the norm for us. In the end the argument that after the previous 8 months, it would be more of a road trip than an adventure for us, swung the decision in favour of going home.

The 42 km ride to take Bertie to the transfer company

On the ferry taking Bertie to his 'shippers'. Mount Rainier looks on.
On the ferry taking Bertie to his ‘shippers’. Mount Rainier looks on.

from where he would be ‘trucked’ to Los Angeles for shipping home, was a ride of mixed emotions and handing him over and leaving him parked under a carport felt akin to leaving your child in the playground. On the bus ride back to Seattle we were both feeling a bit subdued. Now returning home was real.

Sending the bike back from the USA presented us with a problem of transporting our kit home. All our bike clothes and helmets went in the crate outbound but this time we could only leave our boots in the panniers and as Bertie would be sat outside for 3 days we weren’t happy to leave our

Bertie looking lonely left under a car port
Bertie looking lonely left under a car port

helmets in a bag strapped to the back.

A trip to Walmart saw the purchase of a large suitcase and holdall. The case all neatly packed we discovered the true weight of our bike kit & other kit as Jim could hardly lift the case off the floor. At the airport they refused to take the case at 31kg unless we could get the weight down to 23kg. Why do they sell cases that you can’t fill!!! Suitcase duly repacked in front of the check in desk and we were on our way for what proved to be the most amazing flight heading over northern Canada and Greenland to Iceland. With 24 hour daylight and virtually no cloud the sights from 37000 feet were incredible and made us feel that we were still on our adventure.

We had talked about what it would be like

Pike Street Market and the flower sellers
Pike Street Market Seattle and the flower sellers

to be back home and had read that returning from a long journey can leave you feeling out of sync with everyone else for a while. Having ended our journey in the ‘civilisation’ of the USA we had thought that we would slip back into life at home quite easily and have been taken aback at how we have felt.

'Sonic Bloom' - 20 metre high metal flowers that make a noise as they 'sense' you walk past.
‘Sonic Bloom’ – 20 metre high metal flowers that make a noise as they ‘sense’ you walk past.

It has felt strange walking through our small town where everyone’s lives have continued while we have been away and we feel out of step with them. People stop and ask us how our trip has been as if it can be summed up in a few sentences and it has surprised us as to how reluctant we have sometimes felt to talk about it. It has felt like we are camping out at home and we should be moving on. Already we can’t help discussing where we will go next and when. While we were away we were asked if the journey has changed us and at the time we couldn’t decide whether we thought it had, and answered that maybe others would be a better judge when we arrived home. Now we are home we acknowledge that it has changed us. Certainly in as much that we appreciate how fortunate we are to live where we do, in a country where we have such complete freedom. It has also made us aware of the fast pace of life in our own country and the rush everyone seems to be in, the materialism, of which we are still culprits but hopefully to a lesser degree and hopefully we have learned to be content with the simpler things in our lives.

On the flight home. The mountains of NW Canada seen from 37,000 feet.
On the flight home. The mountains of NW Canada seen from 37,000 feet.

The world is a smaller place with technology to keep us all in touch and a few days ago we had a happy skype reunion with Max and Miriam whoOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA have safely arrived back in Italy. Watching the Argentinian episode of Top Gear on tv turned our thoughts back to Patagonia as we watched eagerly as they drove to places and on the roads and tracks we had ridden, as they stood in awe at the vistas we had also stood in awe of a few short months ago. Both these events had us yearning to be back on the road.

To date, Bertie is still in Los Angeles and we don’t know when we will be getting him back. What we do know is that when we do it will be a

Greenland
Greenland

joyous reunion with our trusty moto who carried the two of us almost 42,000 km without a hiccup, returning us home in one piece.

Now, where is that world map……..

 

 

 

 

Whilst Jim may do a review of some of the kit we used, this is the final trip blog of this adventure and we would like to thank our families & friends who have been so supportive throughout and who never once asked whether at our ages we should be doing this! We hope you enjoy some of our favourite photos below.

…….and finally, we would like to say a very big thank you to all those who have generously donated to Shelterbox. At the time of writing you have raised £1,138.16  for this charity (which will be further increased by Gift Aid). We will be closing our JustGiving page in 7 days time.

Just a few of our photos

From the bottom of the world to the top. Jim, Jenny & Bertie, our 2010 BMW GS Adventure …………..

From the bottom of the world .....
El Fin del Mundo. The end of the world, Ushuaia. Everything is north after this.
Patagonia
Patagonia
Perito Merino Glacier Argentina
Perito Merino Glacier Argentina

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We carried lots of maps
The best campsite view we ever enjoyed. Carraterra Austral Chile
The best campsite view we ever had (on the Carraterra Austral, Chile)
Family, Chile
With family in Chile
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El mano del desierto
On the Bolivian Altiplano
On the Bolivian Altiplano
The Uyuni Salt Flats Bolivia as dawn breaks. A very special place.
The Uyuni Salt Flats Bolivia as dawn breaks. A very special place.

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Farewell S America after 5 months
Farewell S America after 5 months. The ferry from Cartagena Columbia to Colon Panama.
At the Hilton Panama City with the 'gang' from the Columbia to Panama ferry
At the Hilton Panama City with the ‘gang’ from the Columbia to Panama ferry
The Canal
The Canal
Riding with Max and Mir in Central America
Riding with Max and Mir in Central America
One of the not so good roads (Leon, Nicaragua)
One of the not so good roads (Leon, Nicaragua)
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon, USA
Yellowstone Park
Yellowstone Park
The Top Of The World Highway (Yukon/Alaska)
The Top Of The World Highway (Yukon/Alaska)
En route to Anchorage. Glacier after glacier ...
En route to Anchorage. Glacier after glacier …
The Dalton Highway (otherwise known as the North Slope Supply Road)
The Dalton Highway (otherwise known as the North Slope Supply Road)
Time now to turn round and head back south. Thank you for your support everyone.
The best pillion in the world at the Arctic Circle. Time now to turn round and head back south. Thank you for your support everyone.

4 Replies to “Coming home

  1. What can you say to you pair which will give you the respect, pay you the justice which you both deserve. We are proud to know you.

  2. Hi J & J – back already!! Seems like you have only been gone a couple of months! We are wondering where you will be off to next…….! Your journey has certainly got us in the mood too 🙂
    Jenny – from Dee – my bike gear choices has changed – I now have a Spidi jacket that cost a small fortune (but I love it!) and the Revit Sand trousers – both of which fit me far better than the Held stuff that I tried. I may just take some running shoes and stay with my old bike boots – but am wondering what you thought of the Forma’s? Were they hot and could you walk a fair distance in them?
    Anyway, good to hear you are back safely – and hopefully Bertie will be soon too!
    All the best,
    Dee & Phil 🙂

    • Hi Dee. The time really flew past and can’t believe we have been back in the UK for 3 weeks already. Still feeling a bit restless and itching to be back on the road. Probably just as well Bertie isn’t back yet. Glad you have found the right kit for you. I always find it difficult getting comfortable trousers. I did swap out the knee armour in my Held trousers for the old knee armour from my Hein Gericke trousers as it was more comfortable for me but have to say I was very pleased with the Held riding suit overall. As for the Forma boots, I think they are great. Unlike ordinary bike boots you can actually walk in them. They are shaped more like walking boots so in hot weather there felt more room for my toes and in cold weather I could put an extra pair of socks in. I like that they come further up the leg and the clamp fasteners mean no zips. I did put an insole in one as I have one foot bigger than the other. They also have more protection in the event of coming off the bike. As with all boots they soften up the longer they are worn and we did a fair bit of walking in them.I can’t see me going back to my old style boots given the choice. The only piece of kit I changed was the heated vest which I swapped for Venture heated jacket liner. The vest was great for warming up the body but I realised in the snow and rain that if your arms are freezing it is still miserable. This liner is more lightweight than my Keis heated jacket that I had left behind and did also provide a windproof layer inside my jacket. Hope this is of some help.
      Keep in touch and let us know how your plans are going
      Jenny and Jim

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