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!
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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.'
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The German company, 'Nelles' has great maps of many South and Central America countries. Also 'Auto Mapa' of Argentina has very good maps of Chile and Argentina. Though not always up to date as pavement is moving towards civilization!
mexico: i had an american automobile association map
i don't remember much about the other central american maps, other than that they were poor.
in south america i bought all my maps locally:
ecuador: good military map (institute geographica militar???): on sale at big book shops in quito: 5 bucks
peru: ok map, from driving association. bought mine in piura in n. peru, 6 bucks. seemed to be the best of a bad bunch.
chile: excellent: sale at big copec gas stations : nice booklet format, 4 bucks
brazil: very good: by touring association. bought mine from a street vendor in belem. nice booklet format, 8 bucks???
having seen maps that came from north america, i feel the local ones are better/ more accurate.
bolivia: crap maps
argentina: the whole south/patagonia is on the chile map....
also go to south americas explorers club offices: the should be able to let you photocopy theirs (if you're a member...)
don't forget guide books:
looney planet: ok maps, very poor info
footprint handbook: poor maps, excellent info, including on roads.
i found it an excellent idea to see how long the guide book said the bus journey would take: for example: if it is 12 hours for 120 km, eg cajamarca to kuelap in peru, you can say the road is crap and it will take you 8 hours on a bike.... (great views and fun riding mind!!)
If you just want route planning then there are plenty of road atlases available. These are generally ok for the main routes but are woefully inaccurate when you start going for the smaller roads.
Decent topographic maps exist which match Ordnance survey/USGS/IGN levels of contour detail. Varying scales exist (1;25000 to 1;200000 (like the michelin french road maps). These are great when used with a GPS for getting through the remote areas.
I said these maps exist but are not sold in shops like the UK and other countries. You have to go to the relevant office of the national geog institute (there is a branch in Sao Paulo). They sell loose sheets there and if the area you want is not available then you can get a copy of a master map.
It's very frustrating - detailed maps exist which cover most of brazil but they haven't got round to thinking that they can make money by selling them freely to the public.
I guess some people like the idea of not knowing what is over the hill - just adds to the discovery!
If you have a serious need for a topo map in Brazil then I could see whether I can help.
Brazil: You can purchase a road book at any corner newspaper stand -- it is called Rodoviario Quatra Rodas and costs 22 reals (less then US$7)-- there is no better map for Brasil. This is not the guide book, but only the map book. It is a map book updated every year, divided by states, with excellent detail, and a variety of mileage grids at the back. It has about 56 pages of maps. City maps are only show the main roads, but that is the only thing that is not excellent. The same company also makes a guide book (Guia 4 Rodas), which lists hotels and comes with a huge (but detailed) fold out map -- the locals swear by the guide, but we found the most economical hotel recommendations a bit pricy for our budget. Stick with the usual foreign guide. Lastly, Quatra Rodas also makes a guide called Praias (beaches), also updated annually, rating the beaches (1 to 4), and very close detail of roads (1 page covers about 70km). It was a gift, but would guess similar pricing (20-24 reals). http://www.uol.com.br/portalviagem/s...as/index.shtml
Merca-Sur (?) -- Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brasil: There is a map book we bought in a book store in Buenos Aires. It is about 60 pages of maps, and gives better detail of Argentina (some 36 pages) as it is made in AR, but the detail in other countries is still very good -- highly recommend. I have seen it with more than one cover, but do not recall the name(s). We found in a good book store, and paid 20 pesos (when the rate was 1 to 1). It is probably a few more pesos now, but not US$20. It may not be in every store, but we found it more than once in BA.
Chris & Erin Ratay
[This message has been edited by ultimatejourney (edited 30 October 2002).]
You can view a map of Chile online at www.turistel.cl The map is in 6-7 sections starting from top to bottom. You can print it out. When you get to Chile go to a COPEC gas station(they are all over the place) and get booklet map for $3--$4. I tell people back home to go to the turistel.cl website to see where I'm at. Slick. Its the best map I've found for Chile.
The exact same map is available at COPEC gas stations in Chile for $3-$4. The COPEC map has a section of the same one on turistel.cl on each page as well as corresponding information about areas of that page. Map also shows location of all COPEC gas stations. Its the only one I use in Chile.... It shows location of border crossings and identifies if they have border crossing offices etc. Also shows locations of termas (natural hot-springs) and ferrys etc. Great map.
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