Well Christmas is sneaking up on us fast so we thought it was time we wished everyone a Happy Christmas, we can’t be six months behind on that. We have pushed hard on the blogs in the last few days and successfully reached the end of our Canadian section, we will return in the new year crossing the border into Alaska.
As we said in the last blog we are in San Francisco house sitting for some friends we met in Alaska. We intend to make the most of a quiet house and research Mexico and Central America, visas, routes, sightseeing, safety etc and get a few more blogs written.
The weather in San Francisco is lovely at the moment so we will explore more of the city and surrounds as well. Patrick and Regina have kindly said we can join them for Christmas dinner so we will not be on our own for Christmas which is nice.
This is traditionally the time of year for being a bit reflective about the year that has past and it has predominantly been a good one for us. Most of you who follow our blogs know how our year up to June has progressed.
In April we flew home (UK) for three weeks via Kuala Lumpur where we stopped and explored this fascinating city for three days en route.
It was nice to catch up with our families and some of our friends albeit very briefly and it gave us the opportunity to apply for our full USA visa while we were there. Our journey re-started with us meeting Harri (one of our longest loyal followers) in Vancouver before travelling up the west coast of Canada which was a great ride. Canada was everything we hoped it would be: beautiful, wild open country with seemingly endless scenery.
Our favourite place in the Americas so far would have to be Alaska though and we were lucky enough to spend a month and half in glorious weather riding just about every road there is up there. Although it is part of the USA it is like a different country and we loved its jaw dropping scenery, wildlife and friendly people. It truly is still a wild frontier.
Canada had more treats in store however and the ride back south along a different route had more eye popping scenery when we got down to Jasper, Yoho, the Kootenays and Waterton National Parks.
Our entry into America didn’t go quite so smoothly partly because we were much later than we intended and were dodging snow in Montana and then were thwarted by the government shut down. We lucked out by meeting Jim and family at Yellowstone whose company we enjoyed and who gave us a plan B and a fresh start in Seattle.
We really liked Seattle and met some great people there including the guys and girls of Moto International who were great company and good friends to us.
We left Seattle via a ferry and travelled around the Olympic peninsula and down the spectacular Hwy 101 which clings determinedly to the coast right the way down through Washington and Oregon to California where it turns into the equally scenic Highway 1. The ride south through the U.S.A has been a cold and occasionally wet one due to the time of year but we have still enjoyed it despite the occasional hardships.
San Francisco has given us a welcome spell of warmth and a chance for a catch up. We also met long time followers, friends and helpers Pat and Regina who have done so much to help us the last few years. Of course a lot of this is still to be blogged and the fact that we have packed so much in this year has meant that it has been happening faster than we could write about it.
The bike has been a trooper and the only nagging problem this last year has been the problem with the dual output coils which has now been solved by ditching them and fitting 4 x stock Guzzi coils (2 under the tank and 2 under the sidepanels) It is running well and we have been trying to get it as ready as we can for the harder roads ahead in Central and South America as and when the opportunity arises.
The world has become a much smaller a place for us as the number of people we now regard as friends has grown considerably and although we may not individually contact everyone, we think of you often on our travels as various situations or a contact will remind us of an event or person.
Sadly we also know some of you have had a troubled year and heartbreak and our hearts and thoughts have been with you. We also know many others have overcome great hurdles and been inspirational to us.
We have been immensely fortunate in our travels for we have met truly remarkable people who have opened their hearts and doors to us and welcomed us into their lives like family it has been these encounters that have made our journey special.
It just remains for us to wish you a Happy Christmas and to thank you for following our travels in 2013. Here to a great 2014 and many more adventures yet to come !