A Wild Ride

Wow what an adventure this trip has been the past nine months since I gave up regular updates! I have been busy living life instead of writing about it. Yet even so I have decided to start updating this blog again. I am going to try for updates once a month, sharing just a few highlights of where I have been, what I have been up to, and what I think of the places I’ve traveled through.

Since the end of October 2012, here are just a few of the highlights of what I have been up to:

From Hostel Independencia in Mendoza, Argentina

I learned to dance tango!

All my life I have just assumed I hate to dance and would be bad at it. Then in Bolivia I saw a tango exhibition and I decided to give a class a try. Knowing I would hate it…but hey, might as well get hating that out of the way! Next thing I know I’m in Mendoza, Argentina, and two months later I am still taking lessons. I then spend a month in Cordoba and another month in Buenos Aires. Nothing but tango dancing. I took my plans for half the continent of South America and threw them away to study something which my whole life I assumed I would hate!

At the end of February I decided I really want to go to Brazil. I had heard many great things about the country. It was a lot of fun but about halfway through I decided I simply could not give up tango dancing yet….so I quickly rode south through Uruguay to return to Buenos Aires for two more months of tango dancing. This time I put my previous efforts to shame.

I’m not certain if I have a natural talent for tango dancing or just a natural talent for obsessively studying something I’m interested in. Either way I learned fast and can claim to be a reasonably good dancer, far better than the few months I have been learning!

Buenos Aires, Argentia

I hear rumors of myself!

About once a month in South America I hear rumors of myself. It is the strangest thing. Someone recognizes me because I’m traveling on a motorcycle with a fiddle. Or I hear of some lunatic on a motorcycle with a violin. Or sometimes I’m talking to someone and realize we have a common friend halfway across the continent and they were discussing me a few months ago.

It is a very weird experience!

Near Iguazu Falls, Argentia

I am now in Romania!

As much as I was enjoying tango dancing in Argentina, I decided it was time to go to Europe. The starting point: Romania!

I know exactly what you are about to ask: Why Romania, of all places?

Why not?

I got an invitation. Romania sounded like fun. So I accepted the invitation.

I have now been in Bucharest for about six weeks. This is the first big city in over two years that I can say without any reservation, “I love it here!” There are other places I have been to that I enjoyed a lot and will return to someday but this is the first where I might consider living if ever I leave behind my nomadic lifestyle.

Iguazu Falls, Argentia

Romania is a hard place to fix a motorcycle!

The day before I shipped my the Phoenix, my motorcycle, out of Buenos Aires, it decided it would not stay running. With the help of another motorcycle traveler I tried valiantly to get it running for the ride to the airport the next morning but in the end I had to use a truck. I figured Romania would be easier to fix the bike anyways.

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Packed for shipping to Europe

Oh how wrong I was!

A language I don’t speak at all, not many motorcycles on the road, parts are hard to find, tools are hard to find, a workshop is hard to find, and a problem that was hard to diagnose….all things that made repairs difficult. Yet the people in Romania are so amazing! I received endless help from people in Bucharest. It took a total of two solid weeks of doing repairs but I solved the problem, did a lot of maintenance, and found one new problem which I do not need to fix immediately.

Steam train in Tiradentes, Brazil

I turned into a backpacker!

For one weekend I became a backpack traveler instead of a motorcycle traveler. My sister had a business trip to Austria so I took the train to visit her because my bike still was not running. (three weeks after arriving in the Romania I had barely started to work on it…I was just having too much fun!) It was a fun weekend and made me realize a few things:

Western Europe is going to be incredibly expensive compared to what I am used to!

I don’t mind traveling without the motorcycle and really enjoy being able to quickly get around to a different location….but I really miss the freedom to stop in small towns along the way! The places in between are what make motorcycle travel so incredible.

I am probably going to quickly become annoyed with the strict rules everywhere in western Europe. I rather like the greater freedom of South America. Even Romania seems a bit restricting and I know it is chaotic compared to most of Europe and the USA!

Ouro Preto, Brazil

I have been to … Transylvania!

I just love being able to say that! Transylvania for some reason seems like the ultimate in exotic locations!

Ouro Preto, Brazil

No more camping!

I have put my camping gear into storage. I intend to explore cities in Europe. Rather than carry camping gear I am not using I put it in a box and left it with a friend in Bucharest. This allows me to travel lighter and also carry clothing more suited to cities and nightlife. I have almost a whole new wardrobe.

Here is one that will make all of you laugh: I am carrying a truly absurd number of shoes. But there is no way around it. Motorcycle boots for riding. Sandals for hiking. Shoes for the city. Tango shoes for dancing. It’s that last one that tips the balance to the laughably absurd in my mind. Yet the tango shoes are necessary if I want to continue dancing as I travel Europe.

Florianopolis, Brazil

I have begun to look for a way to earn money as I travel.

After all the money I have spent lately, mostly travel and clothes, my bank account is looking anemic. I still have a minimum of one more year of travel without working at all. However, I want to keep traveling while I work and that will take planning. So I am starting to seriously look at the options and ask around for opportunities.

Transfagarasan (Road), Romania

I am about to start my exploration of Europe!

I love Bucharest like no place I have been to before. However, it is time to either plant myself here more or less permanently or start exploring Europe for what remains of the summer and fall. So in the morning I will ride off. Some more time exploring Romania then off to another country. I have friends I hope to visit over the next few months in Croatia, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium. Lots more further west in Europe but it is looking increasingly unlikely that I will go any further west than Germany unless I go to Spain for the winter.

My first castle!

Castle ruins along the Transfagarasan (Road), Romania

5 comments to A Wild Ride

  • ToraKiyoshi

    About time you posted something again! 😀

    Have a lot of fun exploring Europe. I can recommend a few things in Germany to explore, depending on your interests. Beware of the towns on the North Sea; they were populated by pirates in the middle ages, and they never got over it. Everything is expensive there, including the privilege of sitting on the beach. Motorcycle parking is cheaper than auto parking, but still pricey.

    As for Spain, I have it on good authority that central Iberia is tres lunes de invierno y nueves lunes de infierno. So enjoy! =^_~=

    Thanks for the pics, and letting us know how you are.

  • ToraKiyoshi

    Oh, and if you get a chance, can you get some pictures of Frankenstein’s Castle for me? 😀

  • Margaret

    I am glad you finally got your bike fixed. This sounds like an adventure in itself.

    Your list of shoes makes me laugh. Traveling light with four pairs of shoes! I own one pair of walking shoes, one pair of house shoes, and one pair of slippers. (I’m the sister he met in Austria, and I travel heavy.)

    Have you found places to tango in Europe?

  • It was a fun few days in Avignon David. I am enjoying reading your blog and your musings. Of course I can relate to most or all of them. I am so happy for you living your nomadic life. Find great people on the road. Life is about other people I say. See you down the road mate.

  • I am enjoying reading your blog and your musing. Not enjoying the Captcha code. Who invented that stuff anyway?

    I am so glad for you, living your nomadic life, enjoying adventures and meeting exciting people. Life is about other people, I say, and the love you share with them. So I hope you find more exciting people to love and share life with.

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