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South America Topics specific to South America only.
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  #1  
Old 26 Aug 2006
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Talking Terra to Prudhoe, when?

Hi folks,
Currently deciding on the next way to ensure I spend my retirement in a pokey council flat in 'Craiglang' toasting bread off the one bar I can afford to run of my electric fire.

Currently leaning towards the length of the Americas, South to North. The details can come later (a lot of saving to do!) but currently the initial question is:
For a six month tour, South to North, what is the best time of year to go? I'm thinking if I leave in Christmas time I'll be in the far South at the warmest time, january, February. And then in the North at the warmest time, May, June.
Are there any details I'm missing? Bad conditions down South in Jan/Feb or too many mozzies in Alaska in May/June? What about Central America around March/April, any problems there?

Any comments appreciated.

Matt
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Old 2 Sep 2006
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Excellent info. Patrick. Just what I need to start the whole debacle of planning a big trip! I think the key, as you say, is to explore the south in the early months of the year and move north as the conditions improve.
Cheers,
Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 2 Sep 2006
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Your critical window will be Alaska.
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Old 3 Sep 2006
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Talking The other way 'round

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney
For a six month tour, South to North, what is the best time of year to go? I'm thinking if I leave in Christmas time I'll be in the far South at the warmest time, january, February. And then in the North at the warmest time, May, June. Are there any details I'm missing?
Matt,

IMHO it's better form North to South. Expensive, well organized US of A might be a bit of a letdown at the end of a trek through cheap and cheerful South and Central America. Why not start in Alaska at the beginning of August (musquitos only in the far north) and head on down at a leisurely pace. 6 months allows you plenty of time for sightseeing and goofing around. For details of the route check www.honda50.cc

Starting 'up north' and going 'down south' (that sounds nasty) is a smooth ride and you will most likely end up in Buenos Aires where you can start your early retirement!

Have fun,

Dirk
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Old 3 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Taalman
Matt,

IMHO it's better form North to South. Expensive, well organized US of A might be a bit of a letdown at the end of a trek....
The saving grace would be some killer scenery.
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Old 3 Sep 2006
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North America is wonderful

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Originally Posted by Lone Rider
The saving grace would be some killer scenery.
Point taken, you could spend 6 months in Alaska, Western Canada and the USA alone and not get to see all the great stuff and meet all the cool people that are out there. Would be a shame to race through it for lack of funds or 'end of trip' wariness.
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Old 3 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Taalman
Point taken, you could spend 6 months in Alaska, Western Canada and the USA alone and not get to see all the great stuff and meet all the cool people that are out there. Would be a shame to race through it for lack of funds or 'end of trip' wariness.
The US can actually be done on the cheap if you camp (not KOA style). Fuel is about $3 a gal ($0.70/L). Food is about the same cost IF you plan ahead and aren't eating in restaurants. Repairs parts are generally cheaper.
Anything that has much labor involved is what hits your wallet hard...wages.
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Old 3 Sep 2006
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Hmm, this is a difficult one. To be honest, I'm really looking forward to the states as I've never been there properly. Especially Alaska. I thought originally it might be nice when in the South to be able to think, "Ah, but it will all get easier once I get to Mexico." Rather than "The hardest bit is yet to come."
Does anyone know if it's cheaper to ship your bike to the States than to S.A. as that could make a difference too.
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  #9  
Old 3 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney
....
Does anyone know if it's cheaper to ship your bike to the States than to S.A. as that could make a difference too.
If you're going to ship it back, what's the difference?

Could fly it in and ocean it back...
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  #10  
Old 3 Sep 2006
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Thumbs up PanAm rocks either way

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney
Hmm, this is a difficult one. To be honest, I'm really looking forward to the states as I've never been there properly. Especially Alaska. I thought originally it might be nice when in the South to be able to think, "Ah, but it will all get easier once I get to Mexico." Rather than "The hardest bit is yet to come."
Does anyone know if it's cheaper to ship your bike to the States than to S.A. as that could make a difference too.
My experience starting in the US and ending up in Ushuaia was this:

- Alaska, USA and Canada: great way to start a trip. Scenery unbelievably pretty and diverse, excellent people, easy to travel, in short a very pleasant way to 'get into the groove'.
- Central America: crossing the border from the US into Mexico is always fun (I crossed at San Diego twice, dunno about other crossings). Baja offers no gradual transition, you are throw into the deep and have to swim. Great intro to the rest of Central America. Beautiful countries, relatively easy travel, but you WILL get the occasional unexpected surprise. You´ll get used to it quickly enough and it´ll be a blast.
- South America: same as Central America all the way down to Chile I´d say. Cross the border from Peru into northern Chile and you are in another world (almost). Everything works: cable tv, warm water, pretty good infrastructure, a well deserved break after a long hard ride.

Buenos Aires is an almost obligatory stop if you want to ship back home (Santiago also an option, but it is in Chile and you are going back to Blighty I presume, so Santiago might be costly). Buenos Aires is a great place to end your journey on the PanAm: Enough civilisation for a relaxing post-trip R&R, enough lawlessness to not be boring if you stay awhile.

Moneywise it doesn´t matter North to South or vice versa, tripwise I would say it does.

Patrick, we´ve got you down for a signed copy of the 'Adventures of Shitman', but don't hold your breath, it might take awhile

Keep on truckin´

Dirk
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