Thursday, April 28, 2011

Motorcycle Diaries


Many people make the analogy that a dinghy is like the family car - and it is.  It just can't take you past the shore.  From there you walk, you bike, you take busses and taxis - OR - if you are like us...you rent a motorcycle.

The motorcycle is the primary mode of transportation in Luperon; they zip here and there, dodging pot holes and kicking up dust.  It is not unusual to see a family of 5 on one bike.  Babies in the front, dad in the middle, child and mamma on the back.  This is completely normal and accepted.  They are everywhere.

Scott (who has his motorcycle endorsement and has been riding since he was 10) has wanted to rent one since we arrived - but the timing just wasn't right.  Until this morning, that is, when - out of the blue and unprovoked - a guy approached us and offered us the use of his bike for half the day for 300 pesos.  We figured it was a sign.  It was definitely not on our "agenda" for the day, we had just come ashore to do a little laundry and pick up some produce, but we looked at each other, shrugged and figured "why not?".  We hopped on and away we went.  No map.  No plan.  Just took off.

I now understand why people tour on motorcycles.  There is something so exhilarating about seing the world from a bike - out in the open air with just open road in front of you.  It must be something with the feeling of wind in your hair and the sun on your skin- because riding a motorcycle - like sailing - is just so...freeing, almost meditative.  We zipped along wide open roads where we were greeted by smiling, waving children and cattle grazing lazily along the shoulder.  We passed village after village, each no longer than a city block.  The modest little homes, with their brightly colored paint jobs in hues of pink, blue and yellow stood in stark contrast to the green, rolling hills in the background.  Their beautifully maintained little yards, full of bright red bougainvillea and tropical flowers alongside humble, manicured gardens where they cultivate their produce.  We whizzed up hills, through valleys and all the while - beautiful panoramas filled our eyes as aromas filled our senses:  freshly cut grass,  fragrant plumeria, burning garbage and simmering food.  We saw so much from the back of that bike:  Donkeys, horses, and a man taking siesta under a tree...women cooking in an outdoor kitchen, butterflies, birds and a farmer tending to his crop with a machete...children playing tag, a young lady washing her friend's hair, an old woman gazing out her window and a hefty shopkeeper laughing with her patron...every day life going on as we passed through.

Che Guevara definitely had the right idea;  there is something, someone inside everyone that longs for the open road...to feel the wind in their hair and the sun on their face and to move forward towards a destination unknown.  To be completely, and utterly free...

"..we understood that our vocation, our true vocation, was to move for eternity along the roads and seas of the world. Always curious, looking into everything that came before our eyes, sniffing out each corner but only very faintly – not setting down roots in any land or staying long enough to see the substratum of things; the outer limits would suffice."
- Ernesto "Che" Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries


Love,

Brittany & Scott

1 comment:

Ken n Cheryl said...

With my husband and I both riding motorcycles, we know what a great feeling it must have been to be riding on the island! Isn't it great to experience all of the smells along the way that you normally don't notice?! I've never read "The Motorcycle Diaries", but after reading that quote I just may have to now! We've always been into a little bit of everything it seems. I now have the urge to wipe the dust off my bike ... she's been neglected lately and taken a back seat to the sailboat. =)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...