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Saturday, February 12, 2011

We Reach!!

Yes, indeed.. we reach Toco today!!

As is usual for this trip, things did not go exactly as planned .. :)
Rebecca is, to the best of my knowledge, still in Güiria.
Many of the folks who had planned to accompany us on the last leg couldn't make it last minute.
In the end, Aunty Vilma, Michelle and I drove up to Toco to finish the trip off proper.
I did spend a good couple hours visiting with Danny while up at Aunty Vilma's house.

So this concludes the formal portion of this broadcast. I will be back in Canada in the morning, and will put together one final post to wrap up the story of this adventure.

Stay tuned for one more...

Michelle on the rocks under the lighthouse

At the lighthouse

Aunty Vilma

Alvin "Danny" Daniels


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 129

This morning I crated up Rebecca. I am trusting her to Miguel and his shipping partners. I really hope I see that bike again.

We've just docked in Chaguramaus, Trinidad but there seems to be some delay in getting the Customs and Immigration folks set up to check us into the country.

One of the ship's crew just placed bright desk lamps on a couple of the lounge tables. It looks like the checking will start right here on the boat.

The trip over was decent. No big waves, so I did not get seasick.

While the sun was up, the breeze was warm and inviting on the upper deck of the ship.

After a light rain, we were treated to a tiny rainbow, and a wonderful sunset.

I met an interesting Polish sailor whose been bouncing around Central America and the Caribbean since 2006. Karol's a bright, fun fellow who has seen quite and experienced quite a bit. The only issue I had to correct him on was who has the best Carnival. Can you believe he said Brazil!

He's introduced me to the idea of traveling the world as crew aboard random ships. That's his plan to see all the continents, whil

Not a bad idea :)

Oh yes, I was in the radio this morning. You can listen here:
(sorry the link is not iPhone-friendly)

Still Goin' Toco...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 128 - Still in Güiria

Big news, folks!
Your's truly will be on the radio tomorrow morning.
Today I taped an interview with Matt Galloway and it should be aired during his Metro Morning program on CBC Radio 1 in Toronto on Wednesday February 9.
His show is on 99.1 FM and runs **early** --- from 5:45 M(!) to 8:30 AM

Thanks Roxy!


Miguel, my shipping agent here in Güiria, tells me they've found a shipping crate for Rebecca. We should be packing her up later today.

Well, that's the plan ....

In other news, last night I got the final, tragic definitive word that there is NO roti shop in Güiria.

I can hardly believe it. We're less than 50 miles from Port-of-Spain. With the right winds I can smell the cumin and curry from Patraj's shop near the Oval..

One more sleep, and St. James, here we come!


Last night a couple of rookie cops stopped me while I was walking down the street. They wanted to check my papers.

Then one of them tries to ask me for money before he'll hand back my passport.
But he's so clumsy in his lame extortion attempt (and in his English), his partner can hardly keep from giggling at him.

Sensing no real danger here, I break out in my best gringo accent, 'No fumar espanol', and that pretty much ends the conversation.

I guesture at their parked moto, and older model KLR 650 like my 'becca, and give them a smile and 2 thumbs up.

Back comes the passport.

Good night, Güiria's finest... I'm off to the hotel to dream of black cake and rum punch.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 124 - Where in the world is Güiria?

Just a little ping to let everyone know I´m alive and safe.

I´m in Guiria, Venezuela and trying to deal with getting me and the bike to Trinidad.

It looks like my luck has finally run out.Right now it´s not looking good for Rebecca making the rest of the trip. Given that I seem to have forgotten to budget for this last bit (doh!), the close to $2,000 USD costs involved with getting her home may prove to be my undoing.

She may have to overstay her papers here in Venezuela. If I can find her a good home, that may not be too bad.

All is not quite lost yet. I have some folks (including the incomparable Daunette, and my new friend Roberto) working very hard at helping me find a solution that brings us all home together.

The latest schedule sees me catching the ferry to T&T next Wednesday, and then flying back to T.O. on Sunday.

If we´re lucky, ´becca will be on a cargo ferry on Monday afternoon, land in Chaguramaus and then ...

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 121 Last night in South America

The plan was ... ha ha, I always smile when I have to start a blog post with those words..

We decided to wake before dawn to beat the crazy rush hour traffic from El Junquito into Caracas.
What we didn't factor in was the effect of eating 3-day old Chinese food the night before.
To be fair, we bought the food thinking it was fresh. I've found that Chinese chefs have an amazing ability to make anything taste good. At least long enough for you to go back for seconds a half-hour later.

For us, the bad news didn't kick in until the wee pre-dawn hours.

And, so we left late.

A quick stop at Maybi's house to say goodbye. That wonderful lady even gave me a present :)

Then a ride down that mad hill, this time in daylight, but with the interesting addition of fog. I swear, I don't know how these folks manage this daily. 'Nuff respect!!

[VIDEO to come later]

We rode to Roberto's workplace where we said our goodbyes before I got on the highway - Eastbound.

It's fairly uneventful riding east from Caracas, but I did manage to meet some really friendly and inquisitive boys at one of the gas stops along the way.

Minor roadside repair needed when the ballast for my HID headlight shook loose. Again.
Thankfully this happened while I was already stopped at a light, as it got stuck between the cowling and the fork, and prevented me from turning the wheel.

Zip ties to the rescue.

I'm going to add this particular brand to my DO NOT PURCHASE list!

Pelicans waiting for scraps
My riding day ended fairly early with me checking into the Hotel Minerva in Cumana.

Last night we had called ahead looking for hotels that accept International (dollar-denominated) credit cards, as I STILL can't get cash out of the bank machines in this country. Beware of that if you do visit...

This time tomorrow we'll be docking in TRINIDAD!!! Whoo hoo!!

Reality check: I still haven't found a flight for 'becca to come home. Please drop me a comment or email if you have contacts with a reliable freight-forwarder.

Still Goin' Toco...