Friday, August 14, 2015

The Last Medallions

A few days before arriving in Xi'an we all gathered on our way out of whatever town we had stayed in the night before for the obligatory group picture.  The original plan was to have an ancient fortress in the background but the taxi cab we had hired to guide didn't have a clue where he was going which was quickly obvious to all of us who had GPS mounted on our motorcycles - and we all had GPS's mounted on our motorcycles.  When we finally found the entrance it was locked as apparently the camel herders who had promised to let us in found something else to do that morning.  In the end we got our group shot in with a panoramic sweep of mountains in the background.

There was only one item on our agenda that first morning in Xi'an; get the bikes washed and packed for shipping.  All of which was accomplished in the typical and orderly fashion we had grown accustomed to finding in China.

That night we bid farewell to Kurt who was running away back to Thailand early with his wife who had come to Xi'an undoubtedly to make sure he made it home.  It was during Kurt's emotional final testimonial that night that it started to sink in that this trip was coming to and end.  And that sucked.

The next day was not surprisingly all about the infamous terra cotta warriors.  Our first stop was a plant where replicas of the warriors are fabricated.

Although most of the facility seemed to be nothing much more than one big exit through a gift shop - I bought a couple of the middle sized warriors and for some reason some collector stamp packages.  The next stop were the pits themselves and for the most part as impressive as all the hype would have you believe.

And that was it.  After riding just over 11000 miles (or 18000 km or those of you not living in the USA, Burma or Liberia) the trip came to end as the next day we all started heading home.

When Brian first tasked me with fulfilling his wish of distributing the medallions across Asia the only thing I was sure of was where the last medallion would be given away - at the terra cotta warriors.

There were a few other medallions left in China along the way..

For some reason it was decided that Helge, our fearless leader should have bestowed upon him the last medallion to be given away on the trip.  Although with all his bitching and moaning throughout about being unable to keep a medallion of his own to take home and having to give away the one he did have on his pocket I'm still amazed I was able to carry through with Brian's wish.

A few days after getting home I made a quick dash over to Victoria and delivered the new and improved Brian Rev 2.0 medallion, completing its and my around the world in 80-days journey.