1/Tell us about your Take A Way project?
Take A Way is a humanitarian project that I have set up in partnership with Planet Ride. Departing from Cayenne, French Guiana, I plan to live a motorcycle adventure of more than 40 000 km in the heart of South America. My goal is not only the search for thrills and sumptuous landscapes. My ambition is to visit several local associations who are fighting daily for the protection of the environment and access to the education of the youngest to provide them with material support. This is a subject that is particularly important to me.
2/Why did you choose Planet Ride?
It was during the preparation of this adventure that I made contact with the team of Planet Ride. I immediately hooked up to the operation of the platform and my first exchanges with the members were very pleasant. To see the epics proposed on the site and the blog, as much as tell you that my impatience from was tenfold!
For me, a collaboration with Planet Ride (PR) could only bring good. My objective is to raise awareness of a hearing to the cause I am defending, and the emphasis on my project is paramount. So I can count on the popularity and seriousness of Planet Ride to assist me and make known what take A Way is. In return, it is with pride that I carry high the PR emblem to make other adventurers dream through my journey. Life is short, the dailies are well filled and it is sometimes too complicated to set up such adventures alone. So I admire the work proposed by Planet Ride that allows many people to realize their dream more easily.
3/Where does this passion for motorcycle and travel come from?
My passion for travel comes from my father. Great adventurer, he has traveled all his life and has even written a book. With my family, we had the chance to accompany him several times. But it was in Mongolia at the age of 9 that my love for the trip really appeared. At that time, we lived in China, in Beijing, and my father wanted us to discover this magical country. One morning I decided to leave the family yurt to watch the sunrise on the small hill. Alone, in the face of the beauty of this pristine territory, I remember saying to myself: “What an incredible moment!” If this is life, then I want to dedicate my existence to this kind of experience. ” Finally with the words of a 9 year old child of course! 18 years and nearly 30 countries later, here I am at the heart of the most beautiful experience of my life.
As for the bike, my father (again!) is a biker and very quickly conveyed this passion to me. First through a small Piwi Kawa and then thanks to mopeds, 50cc and 125cc. At 19, I pass the Big cube license that I will really use only on my travels in India, New Zealand and Australia. Riding a motorcycle is a very strong feeling of freedom. We are one with the machine. We communicate with her, and she also responds to us.
4/How can Take A Way make Internet users aware of the eco-system?
My goal is not just to try to make people aware of our eco-system. I would like to Take a Way to highlight the work of all those people who make environmental protection their daily life. We often get approached on the street to make donations, or we receive letters of request from various associations. But we never really see what’s going on. In documenting this aspect of my journey, I hope to bring some concrete to the missions of all these people. This could make it possible to recreate a relationship of trust between the audience that follows me and future associations. We all have a role to play in protecting our environment and, without confidence, no solidarity can be envisaged.
The impact of the project for the associations is fairly straightforward. The fundraising set up before my departure allows me to allocate a certain amount to each structure. This in order to buy with them the necessary equipment to enable them to work in better conditions.
Indirectly, I hope that my journey will inspire other people to engage with associations as a volunteer or as a single donor. Or even to germinate in the minds of future travelers, the idea of incorporating a solidarity mission in their next adventures. For after all, helping the people who welcome us is probably the best way to thank them.
5/What was your motorcycle model for this adventure?
I roam the lands of South America with Baloo. Baloo is a 2003 Kawasaki KLR 650C. It is a simple but very efficient trail. I have naturally modified it so that it can best meet my needs and desires for this trip. Largest tank, protections, central stand, comfort saddle, rear luggage carrier… The list is long but I do not regret any of these changes. It is a real pleasure to leave every morning to the unknown with what has now become more than a friend, than a simple machine from a production line. When you travel, you instantly create a strong bond with your vehicle. I had already felt it in India when I rented a Royal Enfield to visit Rajasthan.
6/What can you tell us about Brazil?
Brazil is a country that I would consider “easy” for motorcycle travelers. You have to pay attention to the cost of living, but it is easy to find gasoline and housing everywhere. At the beginning of my journey, I had to cross a part of the Amazon rainforest to join the Amazon from French Guiana. This section was a bit more complicated with, in particular, 150 km of track where we do not cross a large world. The track is in bad shape and you have to be careful not to make a mistake. Because under 35 °c and 90% humidity, the slightest breakage can quickly become a hell.
However, after 2 days of boating on the Amazon, Brazil offers a fascinating spectacle. Beaches as beautiful as in movies and a very present culture. Especially music. Samba rhythms can be heard everywhere and people are swaying all day long. Along the coastline, life is peaceful. We eat a wide variety of seafood and the afternoons in the hammocks is a custom that I adopted fairly quickly. Not to mention, of course, football. It is a true religion here and every evening it is easy to find companions with whom to type in the ball. A good way to meet new people despite the language barrier.
The situation is quite complex at the moment. Indeed, the recent elections can create some tensions but nothing very alarming. We tend to think that Brazil is a dangerous country. Of course you have to be careful what you do. Some places are not particularly recommendable at night. But after all, in France too…
The distances are great and the roads can sometimes be in bad shape. But these are long straight lines that have an annoying tendency to disturb me and make my tires square. The only bends are the zigzags necessary to avoid potholes, donkeys, goats and other obstacles. Recently, the environment in which I am evolving has changed quite a bit. Now I finally find some curves along the east coast of the country in the middle of the sugar cane fields. Some forests also allow small excursions on tracks along the road.
7/a particular anecdote?
At the beginning of my journey in French Guiana, I was in a period of doubt and uncertainty about this project. I was asking myself a lot of questions. As is often said, “This is the first step that is the most difficult.” And that’s right! When I left, I immediately felt relieved and certain of my decision. However, it was only after two weeks of travel that I really took a slap.
On a beautiful morning, I take the road towards Santo Amaro departing from Sao Luis. After about an hour’s drive, I cross my first motorcycle adventurers. We’re making a huge sign of the hand. I guess they had the same smile as me under their helmet. It was at that moment that I realized what I was living. Of all these adventurers that I have read the stories and watched the videos in recent years, well I was also one now. I felt proud of myself, of having succeeded in setting up this project and of having overcome the difficulty of taking this first step. I had tears in my eyes. What a beautiful moment. I want everyone to have the opportunity to experience this kind of experiment.
8 What’s the next step in Take a Way?
Besides browsing the whole of the Brazilian coast in search of a small corner of paradise for surfing, the real next step of Take A Way will be to help more than 40 children of the favelas of Rio. It is thanks to the association Franco-Brazilian Terr’Ativa that this support is possible. During my visit to Rio, it is more than €1100 that will be used to buy equipment for each of the children: pens, satchels, school books, kits… I look forward to doing this and making this part of my project happen. Once the operation is over, I will be heading towards Argentina via the snowfalls of Iguazu. A whole new adventure will be offered to me.