Lions Ask is a series of interviews with fellow motorcycle adventurers. We ask about all aspects of motorcycle touring, preparation, the early days and unique insights from two-wheel travellers’ daily life. If you would like us to interview you, please get in touch!
Where are you from and how did it all start?
Antonia: It all started, from my point of view, when I met a long-haired guy, who had just arrived from a long motorbike trip through several countries, and with many stories to tell. A very adventurous man…
He clearly knew what he was doing, and that really caught my attention. With just a day of meeting us, very spontaneously, Rod calls me and says – Be prepared within 5 minutes, I will look for you… and remember to wear blue jeans. That was the entire call, and after a few minutes, I heard a thunderous sound outside my house.
Upon exiting the front door, I noticed this striking yellow F800 GS, which made a loud sound and did not go unnoticed in the neighborhood.
I got on it, and we headed towards the outskirts of the city.
Riding along inhabited curved paths, we later reached a lagoon.
It was very clear to me that he wanted to surprise me and coax me.
After this great day, he conquered me and from then on, we made many journeys all over Chile and Argentina.
The whole matter of the motorcycle, camping, walks and spontaneous trips became something new to look forward to…
Naturally, the time came up to gear up and get to the next level.
It began with Rodrigo giving me some old motorcycle pants which I craftily saw and fit surprisingly well to my size (several sizes less).
Later on, I bought myself an Italian helmet and a jacket with protection.
I was already an overlander, and we continued to share the passion for travel and adventure on two wheels.
I realized that he felt very comfortable with me and that at last, he had found someone who could match his adventurous side and enjoy this unique lifestyle.
Tell us more about Jacko!
What can I tell you… Jacko is an excellent travel companion!
Practically, he was born for this.
We never imagined that Jacko would enjoy traveling so much on two wheels.
With his ears in the wind and 24 countries running in his blood, he is already a four-legged motorcycle rider.
It all started with the idea of adopting a puppy. Over time, we realized that it would not be an ordinary dog, but rather a traveling companion for all our adventures.
At just two months old, Jacko began to like the motorbike, enjoying the outings and looking forward to the rides.
With the time passing, upon arrival after our work, Jacko was waiting for us sitting in the back seat of the motorcycle throughout the day.
When he turned 1 year old, he had already traveled the longest country in the world (Chile) from the Atacama Desert in the North, all the way to Tierra del Fuego in the southern tip of the American continent…
Jacko ended up becoming a fundamental part of our team.
We could no longer leave him home, so it became an inevitable part of our adventures.
How did you teach Jacko to be a motorcycle pillion?
The truth is that there was not much to teach him as he practically was born with the overlander instinct of its owner.
From a young age, all he experienced was motorcycle sounds, highways and dirt roads.
What is your travel itinerary?
Rodrigo: So far, almost two continents have been explored.
The first stage was a motorcycle trip that I made alone in 2015 from California to Santiago de Chile (36,000 km and 13 countries).
After meeting this amazing overlander girl named Antonia, we formed an excellent team.
Between 2017 and 2018 we completed Chile and Argentina crossing around several mountain borders from north to south until ending in Tierra del Fuego.
The second stage was a road trip through Europe in 2019, starting in Barcelona towards the Balkans and then towards Wales crossing 22 countries.
At this moment the bike is waiting for us in London with all our equipment. Waiting to be taken to the next stage of our world trip which starts in Scotland, towards the North Cape and the North Pole, and finishes in Eastern Europe.
Further down the road, we have many plans, but we don’t want to rush too much!
Of course, the list includes the African continent, the Silk Road and much more… as far as the road takes us!
Is coronavirus affecting your plans?
Yes, indeed. The 3rd stage was planned for this European Summer 2020, but it will no longer be possible.
At the same time, a while ago a couple of motorcycle brands contacted us to make a documentary about unknown routes in the Andes, but like many, we never imagined the consequences of this virus.
Now the most important thing is everyone’s health, so we will have to wait at home for all this to happen.
What is your favorite road so far?
Ufff what a difficult question!…
We have enjoyed many routes around the world, but one of our favorites is La Carretera Austral, the southernmost highway in the world.
A mixture of dirt and asphalt roads and curves that border native forests and immense lakes.
It feels amazing to be surrounded by this pristine and unique nature, and the most incredible part is the tranquility of the place.
A true feeling of wilderness arises in you when being in Patagonia, and unlike most other places, it is still scarcely populated and has much to discover.
The best off-road that I’ve seen so far!
How do people react when they find out you’re traveling with a dog?
We have been very surprised by the good reaction of the people around the world.
Always happy and surprised to see Jacko in his little travel bag on top of the motorcycle.
Its usual people take pictures of us from their cars or they also honk at us at gas stations!
Always happy, giving good vibes, it is quite a show, to be honest.
Also, it’s been fairly common to be offered help afterward, and we are very grateful for that.
We have been offered accommodation at homes, hotels or at least a place to camp.
Jacko is truly our lucky charm!
What does Jacko need to travel abroad?
It depends on the country we travel to, but almost every border or airport requires all their papers with up-to-date vaccinations.
For Europe, we were able to get him a European passport and thus have no problems in the old continent.
These authorizations last about 6 months, therefore it must be continually updated.
To travel by plane, we can take him in the cabin since with a bag, it reaches just 10 kilos (allowed).
For now, it has been no load or brought us any problems, quite the opposite!
How can we support your adventure?
Our goal is to make these trips a lifestyle that inspires and motivates many others to begin their own adventures.
The aspiration is to get people to leave their homes, take initiative and achieve their dreams.
Even more, if these have to do with surrounding yourself with pure nature, with people you love and with unique experiences in this world.
Obviously, we can always use a little help from brands to join us on this amazing trip.
They can give us a boost with their products while getting exposure to the right audience.
If you want to follow the adventures of Antonia and Rodrigo…
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