The final day. Cleaned up but seriously hungover, we struggled through breakfast and began the journey home. The taxis were dropped off at the compound guarded by a guy with a pump action shotgun and particularly massive dog and the remaining furballs headed off on their separate routes back to the motherland.
It is hard to sum up this experience. There were so many different facets to it and everyone had a different take on events. The fact that the author wrote 60% more words for this blog than he did for his university dissertation and still missed out so much suggests the epic scale of the undertaking: and if you've got this far then it suggests that you are a very tenacious reader. Thank you for sticking with us on this journey. It was a truly incredible event where everyone experienced the most jubilant of highs and the most frustrating of lows. It is something that I would recommend to anyone...with the right attitude. This blog spares you the details of so many breakdowns, hindrances and snags that all formed part of the challenge. And what a challenge it was. As you have lasted this long, I feel it only correct to introduce you to the teams properly. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Great Balls of Fur 2010:
- Charlie and Gilbey, riding 'The Bumblebee'. The reason for the name is fairly obvious if you look at the photos. These two were our mechanical experts, filtering their knowledge and ingenious solutions to the rest of the group and carrying us through to the finish. The Bumblebee made the finish.
- Andy and Lara, riding ˜Valkor'. The couple of the group. Resplendent in Peruvian fur colours and matching boiler suits the pushed Valkor to the limits of his 125 engine. Bonus points if you know where the name of the taxi came from. Two of the unfortunates who had to break for the border early.
- Anne and Terry, riding Boris'. They just liked the name Boris, he was a surprisingly trouble-free motor. These two were our equal opportunities crew. Anne for her fondness of the lady garden and UJIN because... well, just cos he's UJIN really. Another two of the early departures.
- Paddy and Gareth, riding ˜Dreagle'. The name is a combination of the RAF Eagle and the RADC Dragon. Known as the flagship (again - obvious from the pictures), Dreagle may not have been the most reliable of the bunch but when his mighty 150cc engine was on song he was without equal. Gareth sat in place as the team medic (and a good chunk of the financial backing) whilst Paddy fell in to the role of lead linguist - with a considerable amount of help from a selection of phrase books and the combined Spanglish of the furballers. Dreagle made the finish.
- Craig and John, riding ˜Jasco'. Now, I believe the name is something to do with a combination of Java and...erm... nope, I've forgotten. It's something to do with computers and signals anyway. Craig and John provided a good deal of grunt and brute force on the journey... which is handy as Craig blew the clutch! Always to be found pushing someone else's bike after nursing the troublesome Jasco up the next hill, their mechanical skills were brought on rapidly. Jasco made the finish.
- Ruth and Jen, riding '˜Moira'. Dear Moira, the bane of our lives for so many miles, and so many gearbox rebuilds. Initially flown solo by Ruth, Moira collected Jen in La Paz and kept the pair until Ruth had to depart with the early-exit split-team. By the end of the Junket Moira had been ridden hard by every member of the team... the dirty little pink taxi. Moira made the finish line.
So, that's the band. I hope that this blog has been a pleasure rather than a chore. I offer my apologies for the delay in it's production, for the atrocious grammar and for the spelling mistakes: especially Gilbeys/ys/ies name.
On that note we bid you farewell until the next idiotic misadventure that we decided to embark upon. Dig deep in to your pockets and give lots of money to your chosen teams for the lovely people at Operation Smile.
Love, The Furballs. x