Kiwis scoot off on mega roadtrip
Yearning for adventure, two New Zealand friends are set to embark on a 29,000-plus kilometre road trip across the American continent.
As if travelling through 16 countries in a four-wheel-drive isn't gruelling enough, Stephen 'Tig' Hogg, 26, and Tim Munro, 27, have opted to ride the world's longest road, the Pan-American Highway, on scooters.
The men, who live in Wellington but are originally from Dunedin, will start their journey within the Arctic Circle on Alaska's northern coast and end at the southern tip of Argentina. They leave New Zealand on August 16.
''We've been delaying our OE for such a long time that by the time we actually sat down and said let's do something, we needed something on a decent scale to make up for lost time,'' Hogg said.
''We took a look at the Americas and decided there are so many places there that we'd both love to go and experience.''
He said the idea to travel by scooters was originally a joke, but it stuck five minutes later and they ''didn't look back''.
They bought two Indian-made Bajaj Chetak 150cc scooters and spent 18 months planning for the trip.
On a tight budget, they plan to spend most of their time camping, but will seek refuge in motels or backpackers from time to time.
Hogg said they were keeping their itinerary ''pretty vague'' and would leave some things to chance.
''There are parts of the trip that we're not going to be able to figure out until we get there. There is the Darien Gap, which is a stretch of jungle between Panama and Columbia. We are going to have to find our way around on a boat, which from what I've heard is an experience in itself,'' he said.
But the rainforest break could be the least of the men's worries as they first have to pass through areas in Mexico, including Monterrey which has seen a spur of violence during the country's drug war.
Hogg was undeterred, saying the varying road conditions was their biggest concern.
He said his family had been supportive of his plans, with his motorcycle-enthusiast dad easy to convince.
'' Mum was a little more concerned as mothers generally are. I think all in all I was surprised with their reaction to it and it's just been positive and they've been helpful,'' he said.
The pair, former film students, plan to keep family and friends up to date with their blog StepThru PanAm
- © Fairfax NZ News