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On the road blog


Read through my latest blog posts and feel free to comment on them if you like.


Latest Posts


Posted on 29th April, 2012


Home is where the heart is I therefore know I am truely home. I am soo happy. This is a picture of a content Tigger:


This morning, having slept for twelve hours straight, the appreciation and realisation of many beauties dawned on me: Sam, snuggling, family, sofa, disciplined driving, 56" TV, tea, cider, bacon, central heating, a shower with constant hot water, Tempur matress, duvet, no crowing cockrels, clean toilet that flushes soft bog paper, booking a restaurant for Sunday lunch, hearing English, BBC news and Radio 4.


I have the custom forms for Sit Humphrey so I hope we can be reunited Monday or Tuesday.




Contentius Tiggerius

Step 3 of 3 and nearly all is complete

Posted on 28th April, 2012

Ahoyhoy fellow Blightyists,

I hope you're well. I am because I am at home on my sofa with my amazing and beautiful fiancee Sam. I am one happy Tigger.


Sir Humphrey and I flew home with British Airways and arrived early at 6am this morning. I almost managed to bugger up getting Sir humphrey back by dropping the airway bill down the back of a bolted to the wall internet cafe desk with only 30mins to bording time. In the end after a little panic and no gaurentee of someone arriving with a screwdriver the clerk and I pulled other desks out and my liberating a long metal strip from a ducting box managed to jiggle the folder along where the baby armed assisstant managed to grab it. What a relief. Sir Humphrey and I won't be reunited yet as customs apparently takes two days or so.

At 6.40am with a hangover from too much free wine on the plane I walked out of cutoms to my waiting family and felt whole again for the first time in 3 months. I guess this means the trip is only 80 miles from truely being over. WOW! It feels very odd being back but being with Sam is amazing and all is great.

Thanks so much for all your support. I'll let you know if we make the final hurdle.




Home Tigger

Step 2 of 3 complete

Posted on 26th April, 2012


After I blogged to you yesterday I check out the British Airways website to see about availability for changing my flight to Friday. OMG what is happening in UK? Have the Olympics started early? When I first changed my flight after the passport robbery it cost 100pounds. To change my flight to this Friday was 400pounds, Saturday 1000pounds and Tuesday 2700pounds. What have I missed? he original price was only 900 odd quid return! In fear of a worsening situation I risked it and booked the flight there and then. Fingers crossed for no more mess ups tomorrow!

Thankfully today went as smoothly as I could have hoped for. To start I already had enough cash to pay the 6615.42pesos for Sir Humphrey`s ticket home (926 odd quid) - cheaper thatn coming out here but definately a less profession job than James Cargo. Was at least 10mm thick wadge of 100pesos notes


Buenos Aires is interesting where pretty things, like this church, are almost hidden amongst the later constructions. It makes downtown dark and light; dark from the narrow streets and high grey buildings, light from endless shop hordings and neon.


Near here was a Falklands memorial.


Perhaps they shouldn`t have invaded British soil then they wouldn`t have died. The Falklands were never Argentinian property and were ours first as recorded by Captain John Strong in 1690 despite us buggering off for 60 years having lost them to the Spanish but we returned. Just for a bit of balance I should point out that Margaret Thatcher was entirely wrong for ordering the Belgrano to be sunk. Sorry about all of that. Not feeling overly generous to the Argies today for various reasons. I had to force myself at one point not to point out that we don`t cheat at football, are not shite at rugby and won the war but this was not fair even if it was accurate. Bad Tigger. Sorry.



I paid Sir Humphrey`s ticket and collected his Airway Bill from Navicon and to my surprise we are flying together on BA 0244 so I hope to have an official return to Magpas in St. Ives next week. I`ll put info on here once I have it if anyone is around to pop along.

Once everything was confirmed, booked, paid for and I had the paperwork in my oddly clean hands it was back on the 13pence train to Florida (the BA suburb where Dakar Motos are).


I think I need a hair cut and OMG look at all the grey! At last I have started the process of being the silver Tigger I look forward to being.

So to sum up all I have to do is be at the airport tomorrow and hope for no major unexpected disasters.






Step 1 of 3 complete

Posted on 25th April, 2012


Anyone still there reading this? If you are then I can tell you today has been successful so far. I rode Sir Humphrey to the cargo terminal at the airport. Kinda a big room, could easily hide the Ark of the Covenant in here.


To keep costs down I removed Sir Humphrey´s windscreen, wing mirror, luggage and front wheel after disconecting the battery. I had already run him low on fuel.


I wasn´t sad to him like this at all but excited that we were another step closer to pulling into MAGPAS at the BP petrol station in St. Neots and being officially finished.


Sir Humphrey shrink wrapped. Is that to keep him fresh? Sound like being molested by a psychiatrist to me.


So this is step one done. I´ve got almost enough money to pay for his flight tomorrow out of the cash machines (step 2). The final step is flying myself home and, fingers crossed, I´ll start this Friday.

I would like to say that I am honoured by the kind comments appended to my prev blog.


Terminused Tigger

Last big mistake following last big ride

Posted on 24th April, 2012


Maybe not for the last time I`ll be blogging but the ride is done. This morning I arrived back in Buenos Aires (the air isn`t all that BTW). Guess that makes it a sucess but the wind is not in my sails at the moment. Last night I decided I could not afford the nice hotel with the parking guard and all the car parks around the hotel I found were closed. The most dangerous parts of any bike ride are the first and last 5miles, especially the last as you relax and drop your guard. I did and I left Sir Humphrey chained to a lamp post outside the hotel. This morning the remaining contents of the panniers were in the gutter. All of the souvenirs I had bought were gone. My bag of useful odds and sods, the linings to my bike suit and most importantly my two diarys of the trip were all gone. I feel like I have lost everything. I have a terrible memory and those diarys were the only way I had any hope of writing the book you asked about. I deliberately left out loads of stuff from the blog to keep the book miore interesting. I am the most stupid person I know. A week ago I would not have done this think. The theiving bastards left my 160quid riding gloves and took the diarys! I am sorry Sam. I really did buy you some lovely stuff but you`ll just have to make do with me. Poor compensation I know. If I was you people I would be more scared of NHS hospitals knowing they let numbskulls like me work there. How could I have been so stupid after so long? Why didnçt I at least take the bag with the souvenirs and diaries into the hotel? The answer is I am an idiot and I just didn`t think. 8pm after 650miles in the saddle is not my most astute time of the day!

Anyway in the cold and near dark, for I was up before Apollo, I bungeed my Ortlieb bag to where the tent used to be and set off for Colonia. The plan to sail from Montevideo got scrapped as I had to be in Buenos Aires before two o`clock to stand a chance of getting home for the weekend as It takes a few days to sort getting Sir Humphrey home and Argentina again has bank holidays Monday and Tuesday. On the way I soon realised that my mood on seeing a raped Sir Humphrey had temporarilt made me immune to the cold. It was a couple of degree´s above freezing and I had to resort to singing and jiggling about on Sir Humphrey to distract from the pain in my hands despite having the heated grips on. I have no idea what the scenery was like on the way. My mind was elsewhere but the road was good and well lit.

I arrived in Colonia, found the booking office of Buquebus and bought our passage to Argentina. I also managed to get 900 US dollars out of a hole in the wall in preparation for paying Sir Humphrey`s ticket home, cash only apparently. I`ll need more tomorrow. The boat was a Seacat type of thing and had me across the Rio de la Plata in an hour.



We seemed to have collected another hitchhiker and I finally figured out where the bird hit Sir Humphrey yesterday and splattered me with blood and guts.



I made it to the covert Dakar Motos in time and Sandra ran me though the slightly complicated two day proceedure of getting Sir Humphrey on a plane back to England. Maybe they should get a sign?


Apparently shipping by aeroplane is cheaper than boat as by sea I would need to stay for two weeks in BA and pay 1000 US dollars port fee. The bill by plane is around 1700 US dollars all in. This means that I could be home for Saturday morning and Sir Humphrey not too long after assuming I can get another 900 US dollars out of the hole in the wall tomorrow. I DID IT and I hope that the sour note I`ve finished on isn`t always my first memory of the trip. 

I don`t want to think what this trip has cost but it feels worth it when I earlier forced myself to remember some of the highlights like penguins, meeting Jean, the road to Ushuaia, the Perito Moreno glacier, completing the ruta 40, the Andes and their snow capped peaks seen from the Atacama dessert, the road to San Pedro de Atacama`s gysers, the Gran Salida salt lake, riding the road of death twice in one day and not dying when I was knocked off on it, Machu Pichu, riding through snow in the Andes, flying over the Nasca lines, teaching in Prof Alvaro`s English school, the underground salt cathedral in Columbia, all the wonderful amazing people I met in Venezuela, Iwokarama forrest and its Morpho butterflies, Sir Humphrey crossing to Oyapock in a boat not much bigger than himself, crossing the Amzon estuary, Brasilia, all the wonderful amazing people I met both times Sir Humphrey feigned death, Foz de Iguacu and the Itiapu Binacional hydroelectric dam. These are just the big ones. I hope that I will be able to remember the small ones otherwise whats the point? I guess this is why an afterlife is a more popular believe than reincarnation - whats the point in living if you can`t remember it? LOL - this from a commited aetheist!

I hope to arrivehome at the weekend and after this and I have slept for a week at least I will need all of your help. I`m sure I`ve already mentioned about the Grand Charity Ball on 19th October. his is what the whole trip has been leading to and it is my one hope to raise some real money for Magpas. Can I count on your help? I need help selling tickets mostly and it would be great to hear from you if you have any ideas. The contact page on this website goes straight to my personal email account. I hope to hear from you and thank you so much for taking the time to share my adventure with me. I hope I entertained you a little with the happenings and shocked you a little with my monumental idiocy. Thanks especially to all those people of left me little comments on my blog postings. they really helped me feel less alone in the wilds.


A Travelled Tigger

Last big ride

Posted on 24th April, 2012


After a lovely day with Jean and Cris it was time, this morning, to run down the last remaining major miles. Caxias de Sul is pretty last thing at night and in the morning too.



Most of the day was spent endeavouring to time travel by riding at 88mph but it still to a long time to get to the border; Brasil is just soo big. Pretty though.


There was loads of bird life around here, some small black birds flying from one side of the road to the other in flocks of hundreds. One didn`t make it. Yes they are bits of bird blood and guts over my helmet, yummy!



Uruguay was also pretty. Prettier for me as they didn`t ask about insurance at the border which saved money, time and a fuss.


In the end I pushed on a bit further than planned and made it to Montevideo. Here I learn`t that the shipping organisers like 2 weeks notice and need me in BA by 2pm tomorrow otherwise I`m not getting home this week. Thats nice!!!!! Anyway I have a little luxury tonight in an old fashioned `petit grand` style hotel. The doors are all 12foot tall!

So tomorrow is crunch day. We will see.


Almost traveled Tigger

A friend before family

Posted on 22nd April, 2012



Although I feel it in my head, I do not yet feel in my heart that the trip is nearly over. I guess I am preoccupied by the now and getting Sir Humphrey shipped home somehow. Nevertheless I could be sitting on my own sofa in a week´s time!


From Sarandi this morning I made my way further south in the inuexpect 10deg C chill. Loads of other big bikes were out heading north. After a whiloe I treated myself to a break and accidentally ordered some sort of empanada come sausage that gave me an uncomfortable insight to being the lover of a well hung gentleman.


Anyway on we went and by 11am I had arrived outside Jean´s appartment who had been watching my progress with the Spot GPS and soon found me in the street looking confused and searching for his apartment number in my diary. It was great to see him again after nigh on two and a half months. WOW that sounds odd to say it like that! 


Jean has a wonderful wife, Chris the dentist and after ablutions it was off to a German town (odd thought I know) but it appeared to be exactly that where we had a massive lunch.


From here we went up a mountain to a handglider hop off spot but the handgliders were missing in action. Pretty though.


For the first time it felt like the day it was, Sunday. I´d had a ride then a big lunch and now we were all sleepy in the afternoon - classic Sunday. To try to ensure I am home for next weekend I am very sorry to be leaving Jean´s tomorrow to head for Montevideo, Uruguay and I hope to be back at Dakar motos on Tuesday. I´m a coming home!




Tiggios Nearly Homios


Posted on 22nd April, 2012

No, I am not planning on painting Sir Humphrey pínk now thank you Kevin!

Big water times three

Posted on 22nd April, 2012


I think I left you as I left Campo Grande. My I was neverous for a long time waiting for something to go wrong with Sir Humphrey but we soon got used to each other again. We made it to the Brasilian-Paraguay border and decided to call it a day. The next morning it took my 15miles and over an hour to find the Federal Police building to get my passport stamped but what a landscape awaited me. Eastern Paraguay looks exactly what you imagine Arizona oe Death Valley in the USA would look like if it rained there.



I was flagged down at a police check point and the bastard claimed I had overtaken when I shouldn´t and that I owed him 100$ US. In all my time in South America this was my first bribery situation. I held firm and in then end gave him the equivalent of 2quid in Reals. Total and utter loathsome fellow (I think I said words to that effect loudly in my helmet as I rode off). Nevertheless I made it to Foz de Iguacu (I = big, guacu = water) and set up the tent alas the next morning the big water was in the wrong place.


So I decided to wait it out for a bit.


I wasn´t going to be deterred and soon set off in the rain for the waterfalls. You pay, get taken on a bus and then walk the rest of the way. You get the odd glimpsy through the trees and then the foilage melts away and you are hit with this and this and this............... (this is only a fraction of the photos I took - sorry if too many but I adore this place)











There were plenty of cleanup crew around to keep the place spick, span and cuddly looking although apparently  potentially rabid.


They were a little over enthuiastic on occasion.


What a place and after that it was off to the third big water sight after the rain and the falls - Itiapu Binacional hydroelectric dam but by the time I got there the rain had bested me. Please, no pointing out the obvious about appropriate clothing choices.


Itiapu (meaning singing rock) is the most powerful in the world and shared by Paraguay and Brasil. It is massive and very cool if you like massive engineering like I do. Don´t worry Dad, I have loads more photos about the stator dimensions etc. for you and me when I return. I would love to go into more details (I took more pics here than any other sight on the trip) but I will spare you the fantastic minutiae.


This is the dam with the spillway open (a rare occurance, usual only in early summer).


A model of a cross section of the powerhouse.


The main dam itself. It is HUGE!


Looking down from ontop. See what I mean about HUGE!


MASSIVE catherdrals of concrete butresses poured with ice at 3deg celcius so as not to crack.


I had nowhere else to put my hat. These white pipes funnel the held back water into the turbines. There are twenty turbines, ten for each country; 50Hz for Brasil and 60Hz for Paraguay (home of crooked police bastards!)


The control room. All run by just 5 guys. Two and a half from each country!


The gallery above the generators (just below each red circle).


Above the trubine and below the generator. 3 feet from hundred of tonnes of spinning steel. Soo cool.


What a day! Best sight seeing day of the trip. Thius would be a tough call vs Machu Pichu but both of these amazing watery sights in one day wins out for me. Happy Tigger.

Not so happy this morning when Emily repeatedly took me down to dead ends, mud roads so slippery it took 3 mins just to turn around and this, an example of what she calls a main road. Never travel without the backup of a proper map.


Neverthless we found a way and our patience was rewarded with a some great landscape. 



After 450miles I´ve called it a day and have stopped here, where ever that is - 200miles from Jean. I do hope he is expecting me!


Tigger (OK, I admit it. I´ve run out of Tiggerisms to sign off with)



We are back on the road again! WOOOHOOO!!!!!!


The parts fitted, even the pinky/orange rear sproket with the hearts milled into it!


The chain need two linke taken out but by 12.45pm we were tarmac bound heading for the border. Thanks Automoto Suzuki in Campo Grande.


Once i´d bypassed the com system by plugging my helmet straight into the satnav we were back in the 80s and making up the miles. I´ve stopped for the night just on the Brasilian side of the border with Paraguay at Punto Puna and tomorrow I enter my penultimate country to visit on the trip, that will be twelve down and one to go!


To catch up with a couple of photos that I couldn´t upload earlier. The snails here are more than a tad bigger than our native boys.


Every car or bike has some reference to good old Jesus but I did particually like with front mud guard juxtaposition with the big guy and Hugh Heffner.


Did I mention my hotel where I have encamped for the last 4 nights is owned by an artist and not a bad one. If only they had artfully cleaned my room once in four days.


Last night I went with Kelly to his english class but not before bidding farewell to the AGETRAN inspectors.


Then it was onto the university via Lover´s Lake (stop that!) where there was a group of Capybara munching grass in the night. Very cool critters. 


At the English class I had my second taste of being a talking novelty for those keen, and some not so keen, to learn. I really enjoyed it again. Surpride surprise, me enjoying talking near non-stop for two hours with a captive audience. Who´da thought it?



I must say thanks to Kelly for being such a wonderful host whilst I´ve been trapped in Campo Grande.


On the way today I finally, having failed many times thanks to Sir Humphrey´s exhausts, managed to photograph an Ema or what I guess is actually a Rhea and I missheard the truck driver who told me.


So here we are, back on the road and about to head through Paraguay towards Foz de Iguazu and the amazing waterfalls there. I´ll be back!