The ride to Christmas

Tomorrow will make 5 months of solo travel, from Toronto to Alaska to Ecuador for a total of 38,011km.

I turned right onto the main highway and knew immediately that it was going to be an interesting ride. The highway was hugging the coast, waves were smashing on the beach and I was only 2km into my 157km day. The road was smooth and I started to think of how fortunate I am to be able to take this journey of mine and how the experiences and friendships that have resulted will forever change me. I have experienced violence and kindness on the same day, extreme poverty and extreme wealth are often only around the corner from each other and random acts of kindness are becoming common. Friendships have been formed from only a twenty minute conversation in a rainy parking lot, from sharing a bottle of vodka and trading travel stories and by simply using the same method of transportation. These friendships are stronger than I imagined they could be and I know will last well beyond my journey.

I come to a “Y” in the road and of course, no sign. The town I am looking for is on the beach so I stay right on the road closet to the ocean, both options look inviting. A few kilometers into my new route the pavement ends and the road turn to gravel, I approach a village and will ask for directions. A woman is leaving the cemetery, she has obviously been crying, the holidays are harder for some. “It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all”, I wonder if this woman would agree, probably not today. I will ask someone else for directions.

Some goats run out in front of the bike and start running in the same direction I am riding. Now I am on a goat path, yep definitely the wrong road. I ask a man walking alongside the road and he confirms that I am going the right direction ”Just keep going straight” he tells me.  The road ahead is being graded and is muddy in spots, I have memories of Alaska. I see no other vehicles and I am happy my tank and stomach are full. The bike fishtails in the mud and then, pavement. I am back on the main highway heading along the coast.  

A long straight paved road lies before be, it’s inviting, so I open the throttle. My adrenaline pumps as I come to a sign warning of twisty roads ahead, I don’t slow down. I am going to enjoy this road. After the fourth twist the ocean appears, it is amazing so I slow down to take it all in. Huge cliffs and a harbor full of fishing boats, I have memories of Newfoundland. Newfoundland seems like a life time ago, but it was only June when I rode out there, so much has happened since that trip.

So much of this coast line is undeveloped. It is nice to see the natural beauty this way; I wonder how long it will last, how long before a developer builds a mega resort. I stop for gas, I don’t need any but I have not seen a gas station all day. The gas station attendant tells me I am lucky to have such a nice bike, I tell him he is lucky to be surrounded by such beauty. “Yes but you are more lucky because you rode your moto here”.  I think he is right.

I arrive at the town of Montinta, my destination and the place I have decided to call home for Christmas. I do my usual search for a place to stay, secure parking, wifi and affordable. How I envy the backpackers sometimes, no worries about parking. There are lots of hostels and hotels here but I find only one with secure parking. It has two of the three things I need, the wifi from my room is terrible and I have to walk to the front to get access. As I sit here watching the sunset over the ocean, wifi does not seem so important.

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3 Responses to The ride to Christmas

  1. Roberto says:


    I think you picked a good place for Christmas. I hope you find good and fun people to be accompanied.


  2. Jane Rose says:

    “I come to a sign warning of twisty roads ahead, I don’t slow down. I am going to enjoy this road. After the fourth twist the ocean appears, it is amazing so I slow down to take it all in.”
    You are there, my friend, you are there!
    Merry Christmas.

  3. He is “getting there” isn’t he Jane?…
    “Gratitude” always comes to mind…
    You are starting to turn those pages slower Greg and the words are so much making more sense… right?
    Be well my Friend. I still owe you an e mail, I know… soon.
    Ara and Spirit

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