When Alejandro Moro learned how expensive it was for a plane ticket from Argentina to Mexico, he decided to buy a motorcycle and drive there himself.
That was in 2016 and over the next four years the native of Cordoba, Argentina, spent his time riding across South and Central America on the back of a Yamaha YBR 125CC 2011 he dubbed “La Poderosa Betsy.” This year, he brought her out of storage to take to the road again, travelling from Cancun, Mexico, to Tuktoyaktuk, a hamlet in the Northwest Territories by the Arctic Ocean - a journey that took him through the heart of the Cariboo.
“Canada and Alaska is the best. It’s real wild and is such a unique place in the world,” Moro, 30, said during his two-day stay in the South Cariboo on his return south after reaching the Arctic Ocean. “I slept in a tent (most of the time) in the wild. It’s great, you can camp wherever you want here by the rivers and the lakes.”
The 100 Mile Free Press chatted with Moro during a pit stop at the beginning of the month. He had come into the town looking for a new fishing line and said he found the community to be a warm and welcoming place. He planned to head to Green Lake in search of fish.
“My dream is to catch one salmon because visiting Alaska and Canada, I have to do it for honour, no?” Moro asked. “I asked the people to show me what I need and now I’m going to the lake.”
When he left Argentina by bike almost a decade ago, it was his first time leaving his country. He first drove to Bolivia and then to Peru, where he broke his clavicle and spent a few months recovering. Once healed, he traveled on to Ecuador and from there to Columbia, where he said he had to take a small boat across to Panama before moving on to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize and eventually Mexico.
Moro said he was partially inspired by famous revolutionary Che Guevera, who made a similar trip as a young man on a motorcycle called La Poderosa II, the namesake of Moro’s own bike. He said La Poderosa means ‘the power’ and while Betsy is a small motorcycle, she’s very powerful. Everything Moro needs to survive from food, clothes and his tent, is carried by Betsy.
When he was on the road, Moro said he worked as he went, picking up odd jobs selling food or working in construction, occasionally settling down for a few months to save up money. When he finally arrived in Mexico, Moro said he loved it but was a bit sad his journey had come to an end.
“I thought in that moment, ‘What happens now?’ Then I was like ‘Ok, let’s go to Alaska’ and I started to prepare my papers to get my visas and come to the U.S. and Canada.”
While getting his paperwork together back in Argentina, the COVID-19 pandemic put his plans on hold for a few years. He did travel to Spain to work and went on another motorcycle trip to Morocco with his girlfriend.
However, his dream of the North was never far from his mind, and in May of this year, he returned to Mexico for his motorcycle and prepared for the journey north.
As he travelled across the Pacific Northwest, Moro fell in love with the wildlife. Seeing moose, deer, bears and other animals was a thrill, though at times a bit scary.
“Sometimes I would have a scare, because I sleep alone in my tent. I sleep with my machete in my sleeping bag and I listen for animals. If it’s a small sound, no worries, but if it was a big sound ‘oh s#$t’,” Moro said with a laugh. “I learned to get a lot of wood for a good fire and to pee around my tent (to keep the animals away).”
The experience has changed Moro’s world view, giving him appreciation for the little things in life and what’s really important.
“I have a lot of time for thinking on the motorcycle,” he said. “Your phone, the money, it’s not important. When you’re dead, you’re dead, and your big home and truck doesn’t mean anything. What does is the people who remember you for you.”
After spending some time in the South Cariboo, Moro was heading to Seattle to catch a flight home. Learn more about his trip on his YouTube channel or Instagram account under the name La Poderosa Betsy for photos and videos.
He encourages everyone to go out and “live their dreams” just like he did.