How did we come up with the idea of riding to Tierra del Fuego?
Like most things, it started pretty innocently. We first discussed the possibility of a long motorcycle ride about two years ago while hiking the John Muir Trail with our mutual friend Phurba. It was one of those discussions everyone has had that quickly got out of hand. We initially talked about riding north through Canada to Alaska. A safe predictable journey that many riders have done and is well documented. Then Omar mentioned an alternative of heading in the opposite direction to his home town in Honduras. I had really never given a trip south of the border much thought since I had the impression that it was very dangerous to ride in Mexico and Central America. However, we put the issue of safety aside settled on Honduras as our destination. And that is where we left it for several months.
Then during a Skype session one of us mentioned the possibility of continuing our journey beyond Honduras, and going to Tierra del Fuego all the way to the southernmost tip of the continent. Personally, I blame Omar for first mentioning Tierra del Fuego, but he blames me.
We both researched the time required for such a journey, the cost and difficulties we would encounter, and listed all of the reasons why we shouldn’t do it. In the end we didn’t discover any challenge we couldn’t overcome. We also found that riding motorcycles in Mexico and Central America was much safer than either of us had originally thought. Everyone we met who had ridden there said that as long as you don’t do stupid stuff, it is perfectly safe. The common themes were to ride during the day on major roads, don’t do drugs and be courteous to the people we encounter along the way.
Since deciding on Tierra del Fuego, we have spent most of our efforts planning and preparing for the trip. There are special documents required for border crossings, passage to arrange to get our bikes around the Darién Gap, maintenance on our bikes and deciding on a general route we will follow to Tierra del Fuego. We will cover these items in more detail in subsequent postings.