Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 11:09 |
I am listening the Ramones in the Ipod while running along the Hudson River. It is cold but the scenery warms me up. I am not feeling like an estranger. This is my place in the same way Jerusalem, Cape Town or Samarkand were. I felt there in the right spot and even with wide open eyes nothing was weird for me. Those cities were part of me and I was part of them. Maybe the reason is I didn’t take land from an airplane after a boring transatlantic trip and suddenly opened my eyes and ears to a new reality. Instead of it, I have been coming day by day, mile by mile, step by step since I left my home fifteen months ago. I left sweat, tears, smiles and fears all over the way to arrive here. And I am proud of it.
I hate that common said: “I am a World Citizen”. No one is World Citizen and neither am I. I am just a fucking normal guy riding a fat motorcycle and getting surprised daily in every place I reached. I love to talk to local people and I hate also those who say “the Planet is small” just because they earn a lot of flight miles using American Express. No, this Planet is not small, is diverse, terrible and beautiful. And is really Big and takes a lot of time to ride a little part of it. People are small, not the Earth. I know now that we are not anything else but silly ants trying to survive and procreate, just like ants do. The tiny difference between they and us is that we can also love, laugh, paint, write and ride motorcycles.
And why is so important riding motorcycles when is exhausting, hard and terrible in hot or cold weather? Because we are different people. A guy who I didn’t know has left me his apartment in Broadway, in the middle of the Big Apple. David, Dr. Rocks, a middle age doctor in the hospital, has hosted me just because we both understand the meaning of biking. I knew by Chris Dave that he rode the Transamerican Trail (a dirt path which goes all along the USA from East to West) with his wife, who was riding her own motorcycle. You should be a real rough rider to do that. And he knew by the same guy that I had been riding USA, Canada, Africa, the Stans and Middle East. That was enough to trust each other, that was enough for Chris to made the connection.
5 minutes after my arrival, he took me to the Ear Inn, a famous pub in Manhattan, and introduced me to the hard core of New York Adventure Riders. There were the beers (the best Guinness since I left Ireland) and the bikes. And then I learnt something curious. For bikers my terrible accent in English is not an Spanish accent, is Dani Pedrosa´s accent, because the pilot has to speak to the International Mass Media after the races. Pedrosa is not Valentino Rossi, a real showman. He is boring and flat and his English is awful. So I did my best to put our flag up. After few pints of stout I think I got it. Now Pedrosa has a terrible ambassador in New York and I can keep forever a good night with real people in real places, something not achievable by turists.
Thanks to you all for being there reading these mails and sorry if anyone has felt annoyed for my insistence on travelling and telling it. Next adventure, behind the desk and wearing tie instead dirt biker gear. I am sadly happy for finishing this World Tour Trip 2008-2009. But nothing lasts forever and I have found a lot of faith. All the best.
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 17:46 |
Quebec is a beautiful French city in America. It is weird for an Spanish guy. It is very well kept and worth to visit. But the weather turn up bad and I left. I went east to the US border and stayed in Ste Teophilus, an Acadian village where no one spoke English. It was like being in no where. I found a good cottage for hunters and stayed there for one night while the rain hit the land and the men. The Acadians had been hit few times in History so they are used to that. At the following morning, I rode in the rain to the US border. The cop asked what was my pourpose in Russia and Uzbekistan. My passport is a deep throat. I answered: "the same in US. Just riding and see what is going on". They let me go in. So I am back to the US.
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 18:08 |
I am happy of hearing French for first time in my life. I got the first goal of my trip: reaching Quebec city riding all the way from Vancouver visiting the most important Canadian towns: Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. If I plus the miles done from San Francisco through Oregon and Washington, I did about 8000 km and there are still few more left till ending up the East US coast. But I am pretty satisfied because most of the job is done.
I had a lot of fun the last three days. I met my friend Troy Jenison near Thunder Bay and we rode all the way to Toronto, where we have split Troy lives in Minnesota and the first time we met was in Saunders, Texas, near Big Bend and the Mexican border. It was the last winter and he had some troubles with his KTM. I saw the bike parked in a crappy motel and stopped to see was going on. We had Mexican dinner and beers under the clear sky of Texas and we have keep on touch since then. When he knew I was going to ride Canada he decided to join part of the trip and rode almost 1000 km to meet me. Some of you are not bikers. Do you understand now why bikes are something else than just vehicles?
Distances in Canada are enormous and these days we finished riding late, sometimes was at night. We stopped in a small motel, the place was quiet and beautiful, we were tired, but they didn´t have beer. So we left. 40 km later, we found a tiny village beside Lake Ontario. We were exhausted, it was very late and the night was really dark, but the clerk in the gas station said: “No beer in town. Next one is 40 km far away”. So we looked each other and no words were necessary. Both started our bikes and rode those fucking 40 km more till we arrived at the town, the dinner and the beers.
We arrived Toronto on Friday evening, one of the biggest cities in North America. The backpackers was full. Every other place was expensive or full. We were seated in the street and one guy approached and said he knew a good hotel. “It is a place of crackers and prostitutes, but they are not going to bother you. If you say not they won´t put a pussy on your mouth”. We looked each other and agreed it didn´t sound bad. A hole can be home in a real need. But the place was so expensive and we left. And then we found the RIGHT PLACE. Madison Manor. A hotel with pub in the University area. And remember, it was Friday night. So, plus pub, Friday night and University area and the result is… party!! And, of course, hang over this morning.
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 5:29 |
Canada is a real wild country and the nature is so deep. The roads are just scares on the forest. Mooses, deers, caribous and bears are jumping around. They are really dangerous. If you hit one of them on a motorcycle, you are done. But thay can also eat you. Yesterday I saw on the road a black bear. It was a small one but its mother should be around. When you camp here there are warnings of keeping food far from the tent. It is not a joke.
But sometimes Canada can be too european. Here are also driver licence points. I hate that sistem. Anyway, I am a foraigner and here the cops can´t take off my driver licence points, so I have been pulled over few times for speeding but when they see my spanish paperwork they just give me a warning and let me go. It is like riding without rules. It is great because, you know, I am a wild rider and do not like cops, lines and traffic jams.
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 5:12 |
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 16:59 |
In Calgary I was hosted by Rin Verstraten, Rinty in the BMW owners club of America. He is solicitor and barrister and a crazy guy about mortorbikes and cars. He is really proud of his Porsche 911 from 1996, the latest one with 2 valves and air cooler. “The followers Porsches with 4 valves per head and liquid cooler are not real Porsches”. We went to the Oktoberfest in Anderwerk´s workshop (www.anderwerks.com) . Dave Anderwerk is an expert in BMW motorcycles and an adventure rider who usually goes to Mexico. He knew about me (I do not how) and was really friendly. He gave me as a gift a fantastic and useful pocket tool.
Right I am in Fort Frances, Province of Ontario. I paid an expensive bill to be here. From Calgary there are two flat provinces: Saskatchewan and Manitoba. About 1600 km of motorway just in my mind and listening music. I had been told it was going to be too boring, but sometimes I like just to feel myself lost in a big open immensity. I love deserts and loneliness, but the weather was bad: rain, hard wind and cold. Two days of dirty job. But you know, someone has to do it.
My friend Paul France told me riding a motorcycle is like drinking beer. You always have to pay the price for happiness, but usually when you drink beer the bill is just after the good times and is called hangover. When riding the bill is a long boring road with bad weather or a big traffic jam, especially here, in America, where is forbidden overtaking when stopped in city or go among the cars when they go slow. They called it “splitting the lane” and is only allowed in California. But if you can not split the lane, what is the point of buying a motorcycle. Ok, I can guess the reason are places like the lakes in Ontario. Today it´s been a perfect day. The sunshine and the green forest and the soft road, not too twisty but smooth in its bends.
I was thinking on my way about reasons to travel. Why people travel? Know other people, cultures, food or sceneries? That is Ok. I am doing it but reading the best book available: the Road. I´ve seen to many roads and streets so far and I can say a road says more than anything else of a country and its population. I like Canada and its roads, streets and alleys. They are full of crazy and funny people going and coming: guys in bicycle who seems to go really far, baggers with a small bag and young hitchhikers walking around. In Vancouver and Calgary I saw the folk musician playing on the street and kids and fellows enjoying in short sleeves the little sun left before the winter.
I am doing the same. Just riding for a while before the coldnow
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 7:43 |
Alex and I rode the Southern British Columbia from Vancouver to Radioum. We had our first night in a motel in Hope, then the second one, we camped in Salmo, a small town in the mountains. All the restaurants were closed at 7 pm so the only place we found open was the pub Silver Dollar. “No food at all, man, only drinks”. So we drank with the local guys. Then we went to our camp site and had more beers. Then we went to sleep. In the middle of the night started to rain cats and dogs. Everything got wet.
The day started clouded but later became sunny and warm. We had a lot of fun. We stopped in a winery to try wine because I liked the name: Forbidden Fruit. It´s amazing the Canadians make wine. I think is not good enough but they are really proud of it. We had an argument because the clerk recommended me “Apple wine” and I said if there are apples around, it is not wine.
Alex had a little failure. A fuse went out but he found out the way to solve the problem and we kept on going our way. We arrived Radioum Hot Springs at late evening, had a huge dinner and a lot of beers and then slept in a hostel. The dorm was for 6 but fortunately no one came in the night and we had the room just for us. At the following morning we split and I crossed to Alberta County and reached Calgary, where I met Rin, another motorfun and crazy rider. Rin invited me to his home, showed me the best routes and bought a very good steak for dinner.