Posted on May 28, 2015
The journey’s end lacked any sort of dramatic flourish that we might have imagined along the way. We simply rolled onto a quiet beach and had a look at the ocean. All the better, to help us remember that the moments in the middle, when things can get uncertain, uncomfortable, dangerous, or exciting, are important to appreciate while you’re in them.
We rode north through Germany, once again feeling like a road full-on hazard traveling at mere mortal motorbike speed on the autobahns. We headed for the coast of Belgium, but first stopped in the charming city of Bruges. One of the best preserved cities of the Medieval times in Europe, we had a wander through cobbled streets gawking at cathedrals and the like alongside packs of Chinese and Japanese tourist groups.
We reunited once again with Steven and Sita for our time in Antwerp and they even scored us an empty apartment that belonged to their friend Wim. We camped out in the living room and were stoked to have a dry place to explode all of our stuff. Thanks Wim!
I even got the chance to meet up with Tony again, who I’d last seen in Sierra Leone, when he turned his van around and headed back towards Europe after nearly a month together dodging police in Guinea and Sierra Leone. I finally got to meet his Tenere.
On the coast I learned that if you’re keen enough for a surf, you can even find a wave to ride in Belgium.
I was pretty keen for a surf.
Though the waves were lacking. The Belgians have got the surf vibe nailed down, complete with a replica of the very statue that sits at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, one of my home surf breaks. How’s that for coming full circle, eh?
A year and 8 months ago, the journey began crossing the English Channel to Calais, which sits just south of where we stood on the beach. Since then, it’s been 41,000 miles through 54 countries, riding waves in 24 of them. We got to see wonders of the earth and learned loads about the peoples and pasts of the lands we rode through. Lots of people shared the journey or helped make it happen – so I’ll finish with a few words of thanks.
This dude showed up on the other side of the planet to ride a motorcycle halfway across Africa. It wasn’t pretty, but he made it happen.
It was my trip, and then it was our trip. Now it’s hard to imagine being on the road without my girlfriend Jamie. I get to tell this story in my voice, but you don’t see anything that she hasn’t had a hand in creating. She’s literally been behind me at every turn. When I’m loosing the plot, she keeps it together, and in the low moments she finds a way to laugh right through them. I can’t say that I’ve ever met a girl like her. Thank you Jamie for being my partner in this mad adventure.
They shared their homes, their food, and their waves with us and were friends along the way. Some had very little to give, but shared it anyway. Others appeared out of the darkness to provide help in a jam when the light was fading fast. There are countless friendly faces, not pictured here, mostly local folks who welcomed us with open hearts. If you’ve been following along, you’ve met them too. For me, they’ve been as much a part of the journey as much as the riding, landscapes, and surfing.
Finally, thanks to you folks who came along with us for the ride. Some of you became part of the story when we met out here in the world or you contributed to the project in Sierra Leone. Your words of encouragement have helped spur us forward more than you might guess. As always, enjoy the ride and stay tuned for the next move…