The Motorbike Safaris

We have often been asked why we called this site “The Motorbike Safaris”. It’s a bit of a play on words really…

It seems that, in 1952, a 23 year old Argentinian by the name of Ernesto Guevara, accompanied by his friend Alberto Granado, set off on a motorcycle trip around South America. (Is this perhaps the start of Adventure Biking?). They set of from Buenos Aires in Argentina on an ancient, single cylinder Norton that they had named La Ponderosa or The Mighty One! Initially, the purpose of the trip was to explore the South America that they has seen in books, but during the trip, the social injustices of the region quickly became apparent – exploited mine workers, persecuted communists and the destitute decedents of the once great Inca civilisation amongst others.

They covered more that 8 000 kilometres during the trip, not only by motorcycle (the Mighty One, expiring en route) but also by boat, bus, hitchhiking and horse. Ernesto Guevara (later know as Che Guevara) wrote of his experiences and thoughts in a memoir called Diarios de Motocicleta or The Motorcycle Diaries. In the introduction he says:

“This isn’t a tale of derring-do, nor is it merely some kind of cynical account; it isn’t meant to be, at least. It’s a chunk of two lives running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams. In nine months a man can think a lot of thoughts, from the height of philosophical conjecture to the most abject longing for a bowl of soup – in perfect harmony with the state of his stomach. And if, at the same time, he’s a bit of an adventurer, he could have experiences which might interest other people and his random account would read something like this diary.”

In 2004, the Motorcycle Diaries was made into a biopic of the same name and is one of my favourite movies.

Motorbike Safaris is our version of the Motorcycle Diaries. In no way do we expect our travels (or this site) to be anything as profound or as revolutionary as Motorcycle Diaries but as stated above, a man can think a lot of thoughts in 9 months, or in just one ride… And a man can see and experience a lot of things. These are some of the things we have seen and experienced. We hope you enjoy them.

Roger de la Harpe

Pat and Bruce enjoying wonderful view of the Drakensberg . KwaZulu Natal. South Africa.
Pat and Bruce enjoying wonderful view of the Drakensberg . KwaZulu Natal. South Africa.

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