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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 10 Oct 2002
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3 Months, California to Chile, 2up

Hi everyone, First Post. My wife and I are looking for the best 2up route from California to Chile. We are leaving Dec. 2002 and will take in what we can for 3 months on a BMW R100GS. She is bilingual in Spanish, and a very good passenger.

What happens these days at the Darien gap? If we blow through Mexico (we can hit that any time from California)how long should the Pacific Coastal Route take?

How about an Atlantic route that takes us through Brazil?

Any advice on ferries, shipping, or riding one-way and selling would be great. I'm thinking any kind of round trip would take at least 4 or 5 months . . . am I nutz?

Lizette and Bill Chapman
South America here we come!
Lizette and Bill Chapman
South America here we come!
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Old 11 Oct 2002
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I'm planning a similar trip, but taking a year down and back. I depart on Dec. 1.

There are many good resources for you to utilize, but not knowing the basics less than 8 weeks before your departure is brazen if not insane, in my humble opinion! Most people plan a year out.

Darien? No dice. I hear the ferries are out too. Must FLY from Panama to Quito or Caracas.

I would get a few books and read them cover to cover before departure:
Gregory Frazier, Riding South
Chris Scott, Adventure Motorcycling.

Also, read through the hundreds of posts on this site on the subject. You can use the search tool at the top of the page.

PS. Take more time. You'll kill yourselves and not see much but the highway doing it in 2-3 months... Good luck!!
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Old 11 Oct 2002
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 104
There are many good resources for you to utilize, but not knowing the basics less than 8 weeks before your departure is brazen if not insane, in my humble opinion! Most people plan a year out.
I have to disagree with this. It's not insane to jump on a bike and head south, figuring things out as you along. So long as the bike is running well, you have some good gear, the registration papers and a passport with lots of empty pages, you are good to go.

Along the way you can talk to people and hear about places to visit. And you can kill evenings (when you definitely shouldn't be on the road) in internet cafes using sites like this to meet up with other people and figure out what to do next.

Often we over-plan. For me it's all about building up the excitement and having something to look forward to at the end of the unavoidable job.

Oh. Your questions. You can get from Southern Mexico to Panama in an easy week. If you want to stop and enjoy yourself, 3 weeks is good. Though you could just as easily spend 3 months.

The Darien appears to be a non-no. Many people are shipping from Panama City to Bogota or to Quito. You'll need to visit the customs/freight area at Panama City airport to find the latest info.

Allow a couple of weeks+ to ship and collect the bike. If heading through the Andes, a couple of months down to Chile would be plenty to enjoy yourself.

Selling the bike....well...let us know...

Happy travels....

[This message has been edited by t0by (edited 11 October 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 12 October 2002).]
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Old 12 Oct 2002
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My wife and I have both been to Mexico over 10 times and spent our honeymoon in Belize and Guatemala, diving, fishing with the locals, and riding in buses with chickens, dogs, and people. We rented motorcycles, 4-wheelers, bikes, horses, etc while exploring these amazing countries.

My wife lived in Peru for a year as a student, as well as in Spain for 2 years and is bilingual, with me being fairly comfortable in conversational Spanish. So I wouldn't characterize it as a "brazen" move to hop on a bike, fill up the tank, and ride south. In fact, where are the keys?

We have done research, and dreamed about this trip for over 2 years. We have a pretty extensive travel library, to which we will definitely add the books you mentioned.

It's no big secret, and the routes are very well documented, especially on this excellent site.

The purpose of this post was more to find out if anyone had gone down the east side (Brazil etc), because we are thinking of hitting up the Amazon for some Peacock Bass fishing. :-)

Thanks for the great feedback! We're kindof leaning towards storing the bike in Panama and flying into Brazil. It seems a little more realistic within the time frame.

Lizette and Bill Chapman
South America here we come!
Lizette and Bill Chapman
South America here we come!
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