We both always loved to travel – and how could it be otherwise: of course we met while travelling. It was in the summer of 2000 on a little Greek Cyclades Island called Antiparos. Nearly immediately, by the end of that year we moved together to Cologne, Germany and 5 years later to Prague, Czech Republic. To explore the country and to spend the weekends in the country side we bought a used Honda Africa Twin. After a 10-Year trial period we finally married and planned our 1st longer Trip on the motorbike: 4 weeks Honeymoon-Trip through the country where we met, Greece.
Somehow there was always this dream in our heads to travel for a longer period of time. Due to several reasons we knew that we do not want to get old in Prague where we lived for 6 years already. Many times we discussed what could come next – which location, which job or maybe a period of travelling? And one of these evenings while having a beer or two we were facing the same questions. We just decided if we want to see the world we have to do it NOW. We had the motorbike and some little money saved – and looking at the calendar (it was the 30th of the month) we came to the following conclusion: We call a friend and ask him if he would have room to store some boxes in case we cannot sell everything; in case he says `yes´ we would quit our jobs and the flat rental contract the following day. Thanks to Ansgar and Dietke, who confirmed spontaneous that their basement is available for our “things”, we jsut did it, we quit the job and the flat!!!
In the two-month notice period we had to work, selling as much as possible and prepare the bike for the trip.
I, Sascha, was born the day Jimmy Hendrix died; I tried to play the guitar but gave up soon when I realized that I wasn´t a Jimmy Hendrix reincarnation. My first “bike” was a 50cc Hercules. After this the (mighty) Honda XL250 from 1987 was a good and trustful friend for some years and was doing the job very good without complains about oil change, Chain and sprockets, or any other maintenance at all. I learned to ride it the hard way on an island 13.5km long and 2.5km wide, but still managed to get 6000km in 3 Month, for 10 years in a row. It was in Greece where I spend most of my summers during the 80ties and 90ties, what to say I was young and… ;) And the XL was just the perfect bike for it. In between I went to India and got myself an Enfield bullet, India was quite an experience…
Then after moving to Prague I bought a Honda Africa Twin RD07, from 1993 with 60.000km on the clock, panniers and nearly good to take it to the big trip… Off to Greece we went! 5000km a great Honeymoon… After this it did not took too long and we decided to go on a longer trip. Kerstin as a pillion and I was driving the AT. And the rest of the story is history.
I, Kerstin, was born when I was very young ;) not sure if any musician died the same day but for sure I am not a reincarnation of one – I am not permitted even to sing in the shower. There was never a close affinity between me and motorbikes. As a teeny I was riding them as a pillion from time to time and I liked it. But I never had the idea to get one myself. I think the first time I was driving two wheels with an engine was on that Greek island; it was a 50cc scooter and the final of the ride was unpresentable. Somehow I managed to ride up a wall in front of the camping restaurant where everybody was sitting with the sunset beer. Hmm well, pretty soon I did not had to drive myself anymore as I met Sascha.
When the plan was born to go on a longer trip I thought it might be nice to have a motorbike license as well and maybe later in South East Asia even an own bike. It is pretty cheap to get it in CZ just the time was running out. Finally I had 4 driving lessons before I did my exam with the strange Czech system having two handlebars, one for me and one for my instructor sitting behind me…
For a variety of reasons we did not buy a bike during the trip (time, money and we felt comfortable two up) but when we came to Germany and settled again I thought if I do not drive again (my 4 lessons were already 3 years ago) the license was wasted. We found the Transalp close by and I started slowly – VERY slowly to drive around our block until Sascha mentioned we should go further as all our neighbors will complain. And my simple answer was: no – I cannot turn left! ;-O Meanwhile I am able turn both sides and I had some training during our Balkan Trips in Montenegro, Albania and Rumania but still there is much to learn for me and I have high respect towards our new project and I am always very thankful for Sascha’s patience and his motivation words!
Sascha´s (motivating) words are mostly: “GAS GAS GAS!!!!!” ;)
After all of this we thought that couldn’t have been all, there is soooooo much to see. So, we had a quick look at the map and found out that perhaps a good plan would be to ship the bikes to Anchorage, go up to the Arctic Circle and then down to Ushuaia. That would make the navigation very easy, ….we thought… And the rest you can find in detail in our blog…. Have fun!