Last July my Brooklyn apartment was hot as all hell. I'd had enough. Out of nothing more than the desire to go somewhere not hot I flew to Seattle, rented a car, and drove to Alaska. On my way back into British Columbia I see this guy standing by his backpack, drenched to the bone in cold-ass Canadian Rockies mist. I say to myself, "Pick him up." It's not my first hitchhiker, but I have never been so grateful for my own spontaneity. His name is Clancy (he never liked his first name and never wanted to tell it to me). He's an Aussie: has been away from Australia traveling the globe for over two years, has been from Iceland to Alaska, is headed to the southern tip of Argentina. I drive 95 mph while he's in the car, talking the whole way, and when we get the Fort St. John, BC, he says he's going east to Alberta. I drop him off at 2am along the main drag and he sets up his tent and goes to sleep. I drive off.
Since then, I've been getting periodic email updates from his starts and stops down the Western Hemisphere. Some of the following emails are mass emails, some are to me. I tried to meet up with him in January but he was in Ecuador and I was in Venezuela. The last I've heard from his was on April 25.
Here's a few excerpts as to what he's up to. Clancy is a traveler of the most incredible pedigree - a genius for misadventure and mishap. If anyone is willing and able to chase this guy around the continent come January, let me know. I'm in like Flynn.
----from various emails
August 14, 2005
Just cracked the 10000km(6000mi) hitchiking mark so thats been pretty eventfull. Met loads of cool people along the way. In Ontario Canada at the moment, probably fly to sth america some time in september. Heading for Niagra Falls today, thats the rough plan anyway. Well thats the basics covered, will try & get online more often to reply to people, until then, take care.
September 5, 2005
How's things? Went into N.Y State after the Falls but was stopped by the cops for hitching twice in 3 days so headed back up into Canada. Met some cool people on the way though. Might catch you in oz some day, cheers for the ride
September 18, 2005
The Canadian trip has come to an end. Was an awesome trip though it wasn't all a bed of roses!!! The hitching caused a few long waits, had a couple of dangerous drivers, one guy that hated the world, will be in the news as a serial killer, no doubt. Was also in a semi when a guy dropped his cigarette, lost control of his car & ploughed into us, dickhead!! In alaska jumped in a pick up with the centre console full of bullets & the riffle on the back seat, thought that might've been the last lift!!
Got to meet the law a couple of times, twice in the states for hitching & was woken by the police once in canada for camping on a baseball outfield but he was cool.
Had a tent pole stolen which was a real bitch as that was my home!!! Met some 10am everyday drinkers, beer & whiskey they were hardcore!! Stayed with some others who turned out to be everyday crackheads!! I was attracting them all!!
Also had a barmaid in the us serve me from 7:30pm till 2:30am & charged me for 1 beer, i'm still in love!!! 3 old ladies picked me up on their way home from church & took me back for tea & blueberries, they prayed for the aussie hitcher in their mist!! I'm saved!!! Camped in peoples yards, even slept in beds!!! Was invited to dinners, bbq's & for beers!!! Sensational!!
Met loads of cool, friendly people all accross canada, thanks guys & i'd recomend the trip to everyone. I'm off to sth america now to tackle spanish & portugese, i know cerveza(beer) so i reckon i'll be fine!!!
October 5, 2005
Sounds like you had a adventurous ride back to NY!! Have you seen any missing person pictures of your young hitcher yet!! Free alcohol´s always a bonus but there must be easier ways!!
Where in sth america do you plan to attack in those couple of months. I´m skiping Brazil due to visa issues so heading to columbia in the next week or 2 then heading down to argentina that way. No real travel plan, will just take it as it comes and get ideas off locals hopefully. Been a bit dissapointed with the girls but have been assured that will change in columbia. Trying to learn some spanish at the moment but my memories shit!!.
Anyway keep in touch, as you say i paths my cross again down here
October 9, 2005
As seems to be the case in all my trips, the turbulance continues!! I hit the brazil embassy as soon as i arrived in venezuela to be rejected of a visa due to not having a ticket leaving the country. My flight from the states wasn´t good enough. I tried to explain i´d leave when i made it down to argentina in 2- 10 weeks. Not much else i could do, i can´t stick with a 2 day plan so no chance of a long term one!! Strike brazil!!. I will now be tackling colombia a bit earlier than i would`ve liked but such is life! My spanish hasn´t really improved from cerveza (mind you that works!!). At 60c a bottle, it`s great!! Met some english speakers in the capital, "i help you my friend" yeah, help me empty my wallet in their direction!!! I´ve been in what must be called a bus rally!! It was an awesome trip, horn blowing at every corner, hands moving in unison from the left to the right on the seat in front of them, holding on for dear life. Reminicent of a bobsled team!! At the end people were doing the sign of the cross & i was hoping the blueberrie ladies haden`t forgotton me!, as it was the only way out! I`ve been in a vehicle accident on all my trips & i`m sure this ones just a matter of time! Been stranded without cash over a weekend as the atm`s are shit! That`s frustrating. I ended up in the back of a jeep with the locals & the latino music blasting, a lot of smiling & pointing. It`s been great.
Spending heaps more than in canada due to buses & sleeping in hostels. I need to become rich & famous in a hurry, not sure what for though. I can`t act, sing (nor can kylie but she`s got a better bum) or dance. I can`t even think of any wildlife that needs wrestling!! Anyway must run
November 29, 2005
Colombia was awesome, managed to survive it with a few minor dramas. Travelled a fair bit of it with a portugese guy, an english girl & guy so that was cool. Smooth sailing while i was with them. After i left them i was given a lift home at 7am by the cops, 3 on the motorbike, me in the middle of 2 cops. The next night some clown tried to rob me with a knife, we had a bit of a fight then these guys that saw what happened took me into their club, gave me free drinks & got me a cab. Was searched about 3 times by police on the streets but never had anything so paid no bribes. Then me & another aussie guy were kicked out of the hostel for bringing to many people back for parties, such is life. The people in general were friendly as & i´ll definately come back to colombia. I also did a weeks spanish which basically taught me what i allready new, that i´m F$%"=D!!!!!.
Anyway in ecuador now about to start a new adventure, hope all´s well where ever you are
December 7, 2005
Hey mate, how´s things? I thought colombia was awesome, heard panama is pretty good aswell but was a bit disapointed with venezuela but that was probably because everything had to be done by tour. I´m in ecuador at the moment about to pick up this 250 honda i hired to ride up the volcano, should be pretty cool. The girls are easy everywhere down here aswell, which is a bonus!!! Must bail, clancy
January 11, 2006
I trust you all had a great xmas & NY. Mine was huge, no real suprises there!!. I can`t remember too much of xmas day but a few reliable sources have told me i enjoyed it. It definately beat last years pot noodles in the camper in England, that i do know!!
I`m still in Ecuador, not the smartest bunch but a beautiful country. I visited the womans prison on new years eve. Nearly gat raped inside the gate, was out numbered & out sized. I don`t think i`ve ever been so scared!! Was amazing. I visited a few foreigners as there is over 100 in jail in the capital. Mostely drug related. They showed me around the whole place. Anyone heading this way should do it.
I`ve also purchased a Honda XR600, i really enjoy the freedom. Having a few drama`s with it at the moment but i don`t expect anything to run smoothly on my trips. Off kayaking tommorrow for a few days then will make my way sth into Peru.
No major plans of course.
Not much else to say, drinking, laughing, spending loads too much & not remembering too much, nothing really changes.
Have an awesome 2006
February 15, 2006
A group email wasn´t the plan but shit happens & it´s happened! My whole trip has been full of drama, drunken broken ankle, things stolen ( 3 times), vehicle accidents (4 times) etc.
Well this is up there with the broken ankle effort. I purchased a motorbike in Quito, the mechanic said it had a really good motor, i spent more than i planned. I did a few short runs then a 6hr ride were it started making noises, i took it to a mechanic who said it was the timing chain. About $200us, not good but i could survive. We stripped the motor down, it was f*¨´%"¡. $1300us later & a month i get the bike back so i head to Peru, no go!! At the border they tell me it´s not possible for me to ride it in Peru, F¡%[¨*!!!. I have to head back to Quito, 20hrs by bus. I tried to sell it on the border were we discovered the mechanic had switched the motor casing & i now had no serial n.o, shit!! Now selling becomes a problem.
I showed a great deal of patience, not something i´m well known for but i was that calm the Ecuadorian custom guys fed me lunch then took me out for dinner & beers before i camped at customs, all for free!!!
The next morning i headed in a hurry to Quito, One of my craziest rides ever, which is saying a lot!! Dodging pigs, donkeys, cows, landslides & on coming traffic in my lane as the grass is allways greener on the other side! Well the pig was the next problem in missing one i ended up in the grass, managed to stay on but twisted my knee in the process, i thought i felt it tear but i rode on. I made it to Quito in 13hrs. Getting on & off the bike for fuel, passport checks & being stopped for overtaking on double lines (anyone who has caught a bus in sth america would know this is a laughable offence!) Tha amazing thing is they don´t speak any english until it comes to i´ll let you off, how much?
Well i´m back in Quito, violence solves nothing is the moto, though i´m not convinced, i know i´d feel shitloads better but Ecuadorian jail sounds as inviting as Peru.
On the positive side i met some great people & it´s free rum & coke tommorrow night at the hostel. I hope your all having more luck than i. Take care,
April 25, 2006
Sorry for the lack of personal supplies but i hope you´ll understand, if not tough shit!!!!
Firstly the bike drama continues to haunt me. I tried bribing a lawyer but that eventually fell through. Next option was to track down the owner who had the bike before the guy i got it off. That took a while but we made an appointment at his office that he never showed for, had to keep trying.
Then we had a drunk irish men, causing heaps of shit at the hostel on rum & coke night, trying to fight most people before running off along the neighbouring roof tops until he finally fell through one into a 17 yr old girls room only to climb out & continue on his dickhead mission until he fell through another!!!! It took the police 3 hrs to catch him, warning shots where fired & the hostel invaded by the pigs. He was locked up & had to pay the people not to press charges. Our punishment for this twat was no drinking in the hostel except in our rooms for a week. Hence my room got a huge work out.
The next stage my luck started to pick up, i finally got that new bike contract, 1 step closer!! Tommorrow we would go to the judge for the 3rd time. That night we drank in my room as it was near the pool table. The next morning, i had no wallet, bankcards & licence stolen by some low life!!! No money or cards to see the judge & i´m stuck waiting for new cards. Have borrowed some money off the other regular inmates of the hostel so life goes on. So basically the clancy luck continues to shine as my new contract got a ripe in it & we´re not sure if it will still be valid!!
I hope where ever & whatever your doing your lucks a great deal better & you had a happy & safe easter. To the aussie & kiwi contingent i grant you had a smashing anzac day. Take care all & get to personal replies when i´m cashed up again,