Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Southbound 650 - Macchu Picchu - Cusco

It's irresistible to be light-heartedly cynical "why ride that far on a motorcycle for chrissakes to see a goat and some old ruins".  But mountains do inspire.  I remember babbling in the shadow of Denali as it loomed like a diamond ring in the distance while fishing the Lake Creek River in Alaska.

Pablo Neruda too, a far better babbler, got carried away in Canto XII from The Heights of Macchu Picchu:
Look at me from the depths of the earth,
tiller of fields, weaver, reticent shepherd,
groom of totemic guanacos,
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding,
iceman of Andean tears,
jeweler with crushed fingers,
farmer anxious among his seedlings,
potter wasted among his clays--
bring to the cup of this new life
your ancient buried sorrows.

For more great shots go to Southbound 650
and p.s - Pascale reports the latest ultrasound shows the nascent rider is doing well. 
- gwc
p.p.s. - it has been pointed out to me that the quadriped is a llama.  Well, you know what they say about ducks. - gwc

The Furious Fifties - boat breaking seas and storms

The thrill of 400 nm plus days isn't an answer to why you would risk or endure 50 knot winds, confused 7 meter seas, icebergs too big to be called "growlers", and condensation dripping from every surface.

The cruel boat-breaking seas of the southern ocean have wreaked havoc 36 days out. 19/26 starteers are still racing.  Recent retirees: Dominique Wavre (keel swinging free under the boat taking shelter (3,300 miles south of Capetown)at  Kerguelen (Desolation) Island, Bernard Stamm (aground in 50 kts. in the same miserable cove where he stopped for rudder repairs), Mike Golding (race leader dismasted 950 miles SW of Perth).   And Michel Desjoyeaux surges into the lead with 20 kts boat speed.

The tales are amazing.  Check out: