My name is Carole, I live in the (tropical) north of Tasmania and the bumps in the photo on the front page of this blog are the snow covered hills that I see from my living room in winter. I used to call them mountains until I rode a motorbike through the Himalayas in 2014. Ah, I doubt that life will ever be the same.
I set up this blog several years ago. I didn’t use it for the first year because it seemed pretentious. However, in 2012, when I was planning a trip to Central Australia, I needed a means by which my friends could follow my adventures. Facebook seemed the logical but second last resort choice so I joined Facebook. My Facebook experience propelled me to my last resort choice, this blog. Here’s what happened.
I joined Facebook. Facebook went through the contacts in my Outlook account and sent invitations to be my ‘friend’ to everyone therein. These invitations were sent to my friends and to people who had sent me information about a variety of subjects, people who sent me various newsletters and people who had sold me a single item years ago. I even received acceptances in Korean from people I met or taught when I lived in South Korea in 2003. I have since cleaned up my contacts list. As alarming as that was, because there was no way of recovering the information from Facebook and I am a very private person who would never give out the personal details of anyone, it was interesting how many people accepted the invitation. Now I know why so many people have so many ‘friends’ on Facebook.
I did wish to be friends with some of the people who accepted the invitation, though, and clicked whatever it is you click to accept their acceptance. I was then inundated with news feeds that were overwhelming. Who knew so many people were so engaged in promoting causes and updating their newsfeeds every day. Finally, I had to write to some of my real friends and explain that it was too much and I would be blocking them from my account. I didn’t know that I could switch off ‘Newsfeeds’ or whatever they call it. I can always find the ‘block sender’ button no matter in what hidden corner of the internet they place it.
Then the Tasmanian State Library offered a course on Facebook. I toddled along and learned where I had gone wrong. Too bad. Too late. I had set up this blog.
By the time I set off for Central Australia I had also joined a group of women riding Postie Bikes from Darwin to Cairns to raise money for an orphanage in Nepal. The goal was to raise $30,000 and we eventually raised $50,000.
In 2013 I decided that I would attend the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival. Laura is at the base of Cape York. I knew that if I got that far I would want to go to the tip of Cape York but there was a major obstacle. Having purchased a terrific tent the previous year, I now found that I was going to a place that was overrun with pythons and crocodiles among other dangerous and venomous critters. So I bought myself a Mitsubishi Delica 4×4 and set off.
Having survived a four month journey around Australia in the Delica in 2013, in 2014 I began to cast around for other adventures. This time, however, it would be a motorcycle adventure. I looked at Route 66, at Timor L’Este, at the French and Italian Alps and, of course, at South America. I started reading books about motorcycle journeys, especially journeys by women. I re-read ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ and read ‘Riding with Rilke’ for the first time. Both of those books are by men but they are as much about an inner journey as a road trip, in my humble opinion. But I digress. Having spent months contemplating where I would go, I stumbled across an ad on Gumtree for an all found trip through the Himalayas. I went to the website, as directed, and saw a photo of several hairy and not so hairy men on motorbikes so shot off an email to the organiser asking if they ever took women on their tours and I was invited to join the next tour, in three weeks, at a reduced cost. Whoever said ‘The best laid plans of mice and…’ and I do believe it was Shakespeare (when I was at school we called him Willy Wagadagger).
Who knows what 2015 will bring. Favourites at the moment are riding along the Black sea in Turkey with a side trip to Venice, a walk along El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a driving trip through Utah and Northern Arizona or, finally, a riding trip from Santiago. Chile, to Ushuaia in Argentina.
The trips I have made and those I may make are the reason for this blog. I hope you enjoy it.