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South AmericaTopics specific to South America only.
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well as i calculate you plan to ride 130miles a day or even more since you are not going to ridse every day (so about 150miles a day).
I believe this might be a little too much. This might go as long as you never have any problems (with your bike, yourself, means health, with border crossing, road conditions, political situation....). However, we made the experiance that you should not pack too much in a given timeperiod.
Certainly it does not seem to be a huge daily distance but assuming that you could get into trouble in Bolivia for example because of its political problems or because of its poor road conditions, I would take more time for that ride or ride less far.
Since you will see most things nearby the road but not when riding, I suggest it is better to stay here or there in cities/villages and not riding just to Rio for the party.
That is my opinion, certainly there are others, but for me traveling consists in more than just riding miles after miles.
Anyway, it does not matter how you decide, I wish you a very nice trip anyway.
Personally I think it´s a little rushed but I like to do it slow. I enjoy talking to the locals and frustrating time wasting setbacks happen. Rio will be a good party but you may need a week of small days afterwards to recover?!?
I think you´ll want to relax at a beach in the south of Brazil/Uruguay also.
I took six months last year riding a Honda 125 from Veracruz, Mexico, to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. I met a couple of young men on BMWs in Mendoza who had ridden from Canada in two months. At that rate they couldn't have seen nor experienced much other than the road. Stopping at places for a few days, discovering how people live and how you fit in is worth more than an extra 1000 kilometres. Mind, aged 74, I don't have unlimited time so do hurry on occasion. I stored the bike in Ushuaia and collect it next month to ride north to the US. I crossed mountains and Alte Plano on the way south and ate meat. This journey I will keep to the coast and eat shrimp! And freeze at the beginning and end of the journey. But OLD MEN CAN'T WAIT.
Good luck and have fun...
Hmm, glad others have weighed in as it´s so personal. If you enjoy long days on the bike which I assume you must do I would suggest you plan a stretch to take your time/explore/get to know locals, culture, day off bike/allow for delays (Crossing Bolivia would seem to be the obvious choice) and arrange once you get to Rio to set the bike up for good roads, long days.
If running late you could cut out the crossing to Santiago?
good luck, the choice is yours. I think your gut feel when you get there will be your only true guide. Don´t hesitate to change plans if you feel your experience would be better along a different route.
Just to balance what I am saying about the travel experience, my fathers advice was not to underestimate the satisfaction of achieving what you have set out to do. You can modify what you are doing when you get there but I would also suggest you consider your main goal of travel, only you can answer that.
I say if you can afford more time (& money) it would be better, however it's a personal choice and I would rather be rushed and see all rather than not do it at all.
In december I plan to ride from B.A to Ushuia and back North to Chicago in 2 months that's all the time I can afford But I will do it that way rather than not at all.
Would like to help. Need to know if you are shipping your bikes into Lima and then shipping them out or buying in Lima?
Elisa on her Honda XR 250 Tornado and me on my Honda NX400 Falcon did Buenos Aires- San Pedro Atacama/Chile-coast of Chile and Peru (side trip to Nasca/Arequipa) up to Lima-over to Ayuchuco-down the Central Andies to Albancay - Cuzco - around Lake Titicaca over to La Paz/Bolivia and back to Buenos Aires. About 12,000 Kilometers or 4,725 miles, when looking at maps of south America remember the distaces are in kilometers and there are 2.54 kilometers to each mile. We left BA in May and returned in August trip was well over 3 months.
In retrospect, this was a very fast trip...an ankle sprain (sidewalk related) cost us three days...it was really tough in Lima and we couldn't get out of there fast enough, because of the traffic, not the people, riding out of Lima is sort of escaping the rings of Hell...The further away from the city center the more difficult/dangerous the streets become.
I was very happy we did not have top of the line touring bikes with foreign plates, our Hondas, purchased in Buenos Aires were built by Honda for South America and blended in --almost. Most bikes were even smaller than elisa's 250.
There were many, many places we could have easily stayed, quite happily for a few more days than we did. Once in the Central Andies we had to wait two days for gas to be delivered to the gas station....oh and I forgot, in Chile after that earthquake that made international news we were stranded for 2 days while the mountain roads were cleared of landslides and bodies and made safe ???...we lost a couple days circumventing rivers with washed out bridges. Guess we lost about two weeks from unexpected events such as police road blocks, (due to Banditos) and cocalero roadblocks ( coco growers protests) and Army road blocks due political activity and our own road blocks when we were just too cold, and I mean frozen,....and too tired to go on....
We had no mechanical problems with the Hondas, (we pulled the air filters at 4,500 meters altitude) but if we did breakdown we could order needed parts from whatever country we were in, that might only take a week or so.... this is not true with BMW or KLR, especially new models...add at least another week or so .... Parts for larger Hondas are sometimes unavailable as everything over the 400cc is imported. The 250cc and 400cc Hondas are made by Honda in Brazil.
They are also much lighter and we fell over alot, especially in the deep sand that had been blown on the Pan American Highway and slowed our speed to about 30 K and hour... At least we did not have to unload gear to pick up the bikes...Which would have taken another two weeks...just kidding..
I would reccomend bring your gear and fly into Buenos Aires, buy two new Honda NX400s on a credit card for $5,000.00 US dollars and tour Argentina It is a very diverse and interesting country with the most beautiful women in South America....... and then resell the Hondas at the same dealer in Buenos Aires or store them here in Buenos Aires for your next trip..., and pay your credit card $3,5000 or more from the sale of your bike...see my post under Central and South America BUY/SELL, thread. Or rent the BMWs here in Buenos Aires with a back up team standing by...to get parts/repairs to you...
Have you through about insurance, you can easily spend a half a day day at each border just getting through and buying insurance for the next country...and the fact you will need to apply for a visa for Paraquay and apply for a visa visa for Brazil and you will need translations of your driving permits for Brazil? And, sometimes borders are completely closed....
Are you planning on camping or hotels most of the time? Finding safe camping and hotels takes time each day and eating should be relaxed and enjoyable, and it is necessary to keep up your immune systems for you will be encountering bateria that your system is not immune too. So you should plan on about one sick or rest day per week of travel.
I wish you well however you travel by motorcycle.., it is the greatest contempory experience of our time.......As a very young man, after two years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica I bought a 175cc Honda in Costa Rica and rode it to Los Angeles, California that took me 4 months... Hope this helps.. We will be at Viedma and south with the HUBB group this December and currently live with our two Hondas in Buenos Aires...
Thanks for the correction IMNOTLOST- you are absolutely correct and my calculation was wrong. I should have know that because 50mph is 80kph... our trip was 7,500 miles...
In my defense, I posted alot that night and was lazy and tired.
Be sure to check if Peru stamps your passport (con vehiculo) when you get the bike out of customs (aduana), if you ship it into Lima. Sometimes you cannot legally leave a country without your vehicle/motorcycle... if it is stamped in your passport that you entered with or had shipped in a vehicle or motorcyle. Well you can leave, but the bike has to be turned in to customs and you pay a storage fee. That is one reason buying in counrty is better than shipping in and then selling foreign registered vehicles/motorcycles.
It is possible to arrange to pay foreign vehicle import tax and then sell a foreign registered motorcycle, but it has been my experience that this tax is equal to most of the value of the bike. This tax is imposed to prevent people from buying vehicles in Uruguay, for example, and selling them in Argentina. Bikes are less expensive in Uruguay. It is to protect the agencies that sell vehicle/motorcycles...
The reality is many, many vehicle/bikes are still registered in the previous/ foreign owners names, even through the previous/foreign owner has sold the veh/moto to a local. This is OK until there is an accident and then the registered owner of the veh/motor might be held responsible for damages caused by the buyer. This is probably Ok if you never plan on returning to that country, that is if you are permitted out of the country without yourveh/moto. My advice, keep your options open and play by the rules.
Defending yourself in a foreign court is difficult. I remember in Turkey, the law states that all foreigners (non Turkish citizens) are considered at fault in any accident, because if they had not been in the country the accident would not have happened, even if the Turk caused the accident.
In the face of possible complications, do some homework before making decision to ship, sell etc....thanks for the correction.
I'm checking the historical weather along the route in January and February using weather underground. It looks like it rains a lot in Cuzco, La Paz, Sucre, etc. that time of year, does that match people's experience?
... I ship my bike to BsAs in two weeks and will be jaunting round Argentina, Uruguay and bits of Chile for the rest of the year. It's hard to judge if you're over or under prepared mentally as well as bureaucratically, thanks for the information.
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