The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
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Ride TalesAn easy way to post your ride reports, whether it's a weekend ride or around the world.
Please make the first words of the title WHERE the ride is.
See the announcement in the forum for details on posting.
Please do NOT just post a link to your site. For a link, see Get a Link.
The Adventure Begins... Looking Back...The Galapagos Islands
Wow... I've spent a month in Ecuador... time has really flown by. There is so much to see and do in the country that I still feel that I've just scratched the surface. Back in December my whole objective was to pass through Ecuador in less than 2 weeks so that I could travel to Peru to watch the Dakar Rally. Well... that didn't happen. There was Christmas and New Years and I went on some excursions and met some people and started having a really good time. I made a calculation of the mileage that I would need to ride and the amount of time that I had to travel to reach Lima, Peru by January 15th... and it just wasn't possible. But no regrets, I've experienced so many amazing things in the past month that it has all been worthwhile.
At the beginning of January I wrote a post about flight.
It has taken me a while to process the whole experience and sort though my images, but now I'm ready to share the story.
The adventure began in the city of Quito. My first day in Quito I met Miguel Vinueza. Together we walked along Avenida Amazonas where there were a number of tour agencies. After talking with a number of agencies, I found an agent that could book me on a tour to the Galapagos Islands on a small cruise boat for 5 days that would leave within 2 days.
Two days later... I was waiting for a flight in the Quito airport.
After a short wait in the airport, I was in the air...
Flying over the clouds, ocean and finally reaching the islands.
I had some of the best roads and riding of my trip while traveling south in Ecuador.
The roads between Cuenca, Loja and Macara were newly paved, wide and twisty. The engineers had figured out how to make the twisty parts without blind corners. To boot, there was very little traffic. The weather was cool, probably around 60F (15C). I had to wear all my cold weather gear, but I was still comfortable.
For about an hour, I traveled through a stretch of pine forest. The area reminded me a little of east Texas or a certain segment in central Texas around the town of Bastrop. It smelled good too.
Leaving Ecuador was fast and efficient. I decided to cross at the town of Macara. It probably only took 5 minutes. First a visit to immigration where they checked my passport. Second to Customs where it took probably 2 minutes. Basically they checked and kept my temporary permit.
The immigration office in Peru was amazing fast as well. I was the only person in line. I handed the immigration officer my passport, he put a stamp in it and handed it back.
I then proceeded to the Customs office. They made copies of my passport, motorcycle title and request for a temporary permit. They actually made the photocopies... how refreshing. They instructed me to buy temporary insurance across the street. Once I obtained insurance I was back to the Customs office. The officer checked a few things, compiled my papers and issued me a temporary permit.
All done, probably all within 15 minutes. No ayudantes. No bribery. That's the way to run a border crossing. Great job!
The adventure Begins... Chiclayo... A Biker and Brujos
From Piura I rode south and entered the desert.
There were miles and miles where it was just flat.
And there were a few areas with low lying brush.
The next town that I stopped in was the mid sized town of Chiclayo.
As I was pulling up to a hotel, another adventure motorcyclist named Kevin pulled up on his KLR650. We ended up getting a bite to eat and hanging out a bit.
I visited the Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan. They would not allow me to take a camera inside so I don't have any photos to show you. However the museum had a nice display about the excavation of tombs of the Lord of Sipan.
I wanted to check out the local market where I had heard they had a little bit of everything.
To this...El Mercado de Brujos (Witch's Market).
It is a supply center for shamans. I struck up a conversation with one of the vendors who said that he was a shaman.
The stalls had all kinds of herbs, potions and instruments...
Powders and stones...
And other tools of the trade.
I actually got a little creeped out by this stuff. I don't believe that this shaman stuff has any real power over me. But, I was definitely saying my own prayers of protection. After seeing what I wanted to see I took off.
The Adventure Begins... Chala...Between A Desert And A River
I left Huacachina and headed toward Arequipa.
Along the way, I met a fellow adventure motorcyclist from Paraquay who was riding a BMW1200.
Outside of the town of Nasca I passed by the Nasca Lines.
I believe that these lines represented a tree.
I stopped overnight at a town called Chala that had this nice view of the ocean.
I continued on the next day through some pretty rustic looking areas.
And I passed by some beautiful beaches with a raging surf.
Until I came across this river.
Buses and large trucks were crossing the river, but the cars that tried to cross got flooded and stalled. I thought about riding or pushing my motorcycle across, but then came up with an alternative.
I rode back up the line of waiting trucks and found an empty one. I asked the driver if he would carry me across. He agreed. I recruited four bystanders to help me load my bike into the back of the truck. Then we road across the river.
On the other side of the river, the truck driver pulled up to a sand embankment and I rode my bike off the back of the truck. I kept my bike and my boots dry.
Then it was a little more riding through the desert to the town of Arequipa.
The next day I took a little day trip to the mountains.
I passed through some desert area.
I came across this sign...
Which was a warning to look out for vicuña.
Vicuña are an endangered species that are related to llamas and alpacas.
I saw a number of vicuña run across the road, so I pulled over and snapped this photo.
I continued riding and came upon these snow covered mountains.
Desert riding and mountain scenary... what else could I ask for.
Certainly made for some fun riding.
Here is a short 3 minute video about crossing the river. There were a number of people along the banks watching as trucks passed through the water. At about the 1:50 minute into the video you may notice a few cars that attempted to cross the river and were stalled. I shot this video on my iPhone.
The Adventure Begins... How Can Ceviche Be So Good And So Bad
I ate this seafood ceviche from a restaurant in Arequipa called Cevichería Fory Fay. The ceviche had fish, squid, shrimp, onions, mushrooms and sweet potato. It was so good. But it was also so bad. About an hour after eating it I had an allergic reaction and broke out with a rash of hives.
Many years ago I had a similar reaction, so I wasn't worried and I knew what to do. I made a quick trip to the pharmacy and bought some benedryl. After some time the inching and hives stopped and I returned to normal.
The Adventure Begins... Arequipa and Some Bike Maintenance
I had logged 10,000 miles on my bike and felt like it was time for a little maintenance.
Emi was coughing a bit. I wasn't sure if it was because of the altitude, bad gas, spark plugs or a dirty carburetor.
I rode around town and asked a few people about where I might be able to find a good taller (workshop).
I was directed to this workshop operated by a guy named Lucho. There was a Honda XR650 and Kawasaki KLR650 parked outside. I took this as a good indication that they knew how to work on large bikes from Japan. They said that they couldn't work on my bike on Friday, but that they could make an appointment for me on Monday at 8am. And they said that they could perform a complete tune up and obtain all the needed parts for my bike... oil, lube, filters, spark plugs, chain and sprockets. Great news!
It would be two days of waiting, but if they could provide all the right parts it sounded like a good deal.
On Monday, I arrived at the shop at 8am. Well, the shop wasn't open and nobody was around. I waited.
The shop was on a street that was right in front of this raging river. Was this some kind of omen? It is the rainy season and it had been raining in the mountains and in the city every day since I was in Arequipa. Needless to say I was a little concerned that if I left my bike at this shop and the river overflowed it's bank, that my bike would be flooded or washed away.
I asked a policeman that was patrolling nearby and watching the river conditions if he had any reports as to if the river was going to overflow. He said that it was possible and that he was on guard as a precaution in case an evacuation would be necessary. Not comforting.
Anyways, the shop finally opened at around 9am. They started working on my bike at around 9:30. I did not have anything to do other than to ensure that my bike was worked on properly and that the work was completed before the river overflowed, so I stayed and watched while they worked on my bike.
For some reason the mechanic worked really slooooow. And, it turned out that they could not obtain the correct filter, nor spark plugs, nor chain, nor sprockets. Luckily I had a spare filter and spark plugs. The rest of the maintenance would have to wait until I arrived in Chile.
We cleaned out the carburetor, changed the spark plugs, put in higher octane gas, adjusted the idle a bit, changed the oil, installed a new oil filter, cleaned out the air filter, lubed the axle bearings and lubed the chain.
Lucho did teach me how to change the jet of the carb for high or low altitude. It was the first time that I'd personally cracked open and worked on my carburetor, so I appreciated the lesson. I did the work myself so that I'd know how to do it in the future. Monkey see, monkey do.
It took all day to complete the work. By the time we finished the sun had already set and it had started to rain. I took Emi out for a test ride. She seemed to like the tender loving care.
I had mixed feelings about this workshop. It seemed as if I had to direct much if the work, they worked really slow and they did not have many of the critical parts that they promised they would provide. The positive points were that they did let me oversee the work and showed me how to crack open my carburetor.
I felt like I was at least half prepared to begin some long days of riding through the desert.
From Arequipa, Peru I traveled to Arica, Chile. I left early because it looked like it might be a full day of riding.
I picked up a few supplies because I knew that I'd be riding through the desert for most of the day. An orange juice, saltine crackers and chocolate cookies.
I passed by desert dunes...
Along the way I met a fellow adventure motorcyclist from Argentina named Alejandro riding a Honda Falcon NX400. I really like the styling of the NX400. I wish that Honda sold the bike in the states.
Alejandro passed me, then I passed him, then at an overlook we pulled over and started chatting.
He had a pretty nice hard case setup on his bike. Turns out that he made it himself. Also he build a pretty sweet tool tube that fit opposite his muffler. I asked him if he was an engineer and sure enough he was. I have a number of engineering friends and you can always tell the work of an engineer.
We seemed to have a similar riding pace... so on we rode.
The Adventure Begins... Burning Rubber Across The Atacama Desert
The northern part of Chile has some amazing scenery... that is if you like the desert.
The desert in northern Chile is known as the Atacama... it is on record as being the driest place in the world.
I don't know why, but I've grown rather fond of riding in the desert. I like the smooth subtle colors and shapes...dunes, sand, rocks, shrubs...earth tones.
And then there is the sky. The sky is blue...always...and it stretches from end to end... blanketing the horizon. There are few clouds...the forecast...little chance of rain. It is the same yesterday...today...tomorrow.
The smooth shapes seem to be formed by the sun and wind. Large formations like mountains, valleys and canyons formed over thousands of years by erosion, expansion and contraction.
Other formations like dunes seem to change before my eyes... growing, shrinking, moving.
It was subtle...
It was dramatic...
And harsh at the same time.
The elements of the desert were all very similar, but the alchemy of it all was kaleidoscopic.
Alejandro and I decided to ride together until he would go his way and I would go my way. We covered some good distance each day...500km...600km.
There were some long stretches of emptiness between the towns in the Atacama. It was nice having a partner along for the ride.
The towns that we stayed in were a blur...resting places...the goal was to ride...to reach the other side.
Have a BIG Coke and a Big smile
Tocopilla street dogs...there were lots of them
El Mano del Desierto (The Desert Hand) is a big sculpture in the desert
A BIG stone sculpture
In La Serena, Alejandro and I parted ways. He would cut across east to San Juan, Mendoza, San Rafeal...Argentina...for him...home.
I really enjoyed riding alongside Alejandro. A true gentleman adventurer...cultured, curious and moving forward. I hope to see him again down the road.
In the morning, I was walking through the Plaza de Armas (Central Park) and saw a crowd of people huddled around something. I decided that I should check it out. Watch the short video to see what it was.
For lunch, I went to the W hotel and had lunch with my friend Rodrigo who works with a money management firm in Santiago called Capital Advisors. He treated me to a nice meal... I owe you one Rodrigo.
Later that evening these lovely ladies invited me to diner at a restaurant called Tiramisu. How could I resist? Megan (Colorado), Jessie (Buenos Aires) and Lucila (Buenos Aires).
Afterwards we went for drinks. Megan and Jessie got comfortable in these comfy chairs.
Lucila and Megan made life imitate art.
I just kicked back and thought... I'm a lucky guy.
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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