Whether it was the broken valve in Mexico, an entry refusal at a border or Lucinda’s electrical issues, people have been there to help. That’s the nature of the moto brotherhood. In the order they happened, the local riders who helped us along the way. I rode with them all.
Julio Hartmann, Guatemala. Julio is the godfather of long-distance riders in Central America. He’s been riding motos through CA for 30 years. We became friends in Antigua and he helped me navigate an extremely difficult issue with local bureaucracy and at one point went far beyond what I could have asked for. We rode his favourite route together through the Guatemalan mountains for a few days towards the Mexican border.
Eddie Ferrel and the Thomas family Panamanians. I met them in Nicaragua them at a hotel after crossing the notoriously difficult Salvador border. We’d all been through the ringer with extortion attempts and Lucinda’s electrical problems were beginning to show up. Although we couldn’t resolve the problem, Eddie kept working on it, teaching me as he went for the following days as we all rode to Imotepe together. Later Eddie and I met up in Panama where he gave me a grand tour.
Alvaro De Rivero, Peru. Alvaro and I have been scheming to do a hard leg somewhere in the world together. We had almost continuous business and ‘life’ discussions and agreed on most things. He helped apply local leverage to BMW Lima when they dropped the ball and he stayed with the problem, even to the point of extending his stay in Arequipa until it was resolved. We became friends in Lima and met up later to ride the altiplano and Colca Canyon together.
Santiago Autilio, Argentina. Santiago and I have one business point of interest beyond the scope of this blog. I met him in Bariloche on the recommendation of Helge Pedersen. Santiago and his wife Maria stored Lucinda in their home when I flew back to Canada for 10 days. He’d done the Carretera Austral/Ruta 40 route to Ushuaia and we went over the map and strategies together, giving me graphic descriptions of how brutal the ripio was going to be! I rode my only bike-rally of this trip with him.
These guys gave us 100%. They’re generous and resourceful and I was lucky to have met them. Look them up, buy them a beer and ride with them. Gracias mis amigos.