Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Moment of Reflection

Wow look at that, twice in almost as many days! After finishing the other day, I realised I had omitted one or two bits (which I have since added) and felt I wanted to say something about the country we have just been through before it goes fuggy in my brain. This is more for my benefit than yours, so feel free to read on or wait for the next installment, whatever butters your muffin.

4800km in just under 4 weeks through northern Argentina. We didn´t get to the far north west, but may get to do that on the way past after Chile. We did see a huge range of land though, from the snowy, craggy Andes to dry, barren desert bordered by snowy craggy mountains, to dry barren desert bordered by more dry barren desert, to wide open spaces full of farm land that looked like Norfolk, to tropical jungle. And we haven´t even gone near Patagonia yet.
I´ve visited the tops of high hills, crazy old geological rock formations, the middle of big lakes and the depths of unspoiled jungle, and been lucky enough to have been told a little about them by people who know. We´ve stayed in cities with populations greater than the whole of NZ and villages with little more than a bus stop to their name, and met the most fantastically kind, generous, friendly people in them all.
The language barrier was always more of a source of entertainment and amusement for us all than any kind of hinderance to conversation, and I have talked with people (mostly in Spanish) on a range of subjects from raising problem children, to conservation, to the plight of Argentinian rugby, to the fact that the wilds of Argentina will never be safe as long as there are countries out there waving fistfuls of money at the Argy governement in an effort to buy sole access to resources that would be better held onto, if only the government would see the long term view and the potential of the tourist dollar (eg Sly Stallone buying a mineral water spring to bottle and sell in the US, and mining issues), to the similarities and differences between NZ and Argy. And nearly always with a beer in hand and a smile and a laugh in place.
I´ve seen places and things that will stay with me forever, and some that I would prefer to forget, and already been challenged on my motorbike more than I really wanted to be, but on I roll, wondering what the next chapter will bring.
We are now in a small town called Moretes near Paranagua, some 700km or so from where we started yesterday (a mammoth day riding the roads to cover some ground), on the doorstep of a rare Atlantic coast rainforest national park, and we have an interesting route up the coast to São Paulo and Rio planned over the next few days, so we shall see.
That´s all for now, unless something else occurs to me, so until the next one,Keep ém Peeled!


Anonymous said...

Nice one - very reflective mood, Steve... (Clive Heather would be proud of you!!) I'm intrigued by what you want to forget though.... Love reading the updates. C

ed said...

I wonder if the conversations you think you are having with them, are the same as the ones they thought they'd just had with you?!;) Brilliant stuff, bruv, and looking forward to the continuing adventures!

Matt said...

Excellent stuff. Keep em coming Steve. Dan has left for NZ now, so you have to stay away for the year.
Good video btw, but did end up watching 20 mins of YouTube links as a result....
Stay safe fella