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  #1  
Old 5 Jan 2009
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Central / S America - ASAP!!

Hi Guys!

This feels a bit like writing a personals ad but here goes:

Having been working in London for too damn long I've decided to combine my passion for travel with my love of bikes and turn those savings into mileage

I'm aiming to pitch up in any country in Central / South America Jan / Feb '09, secure a licence and bike (dont worry i can ride!) and learn the lingo and basic maintainence for a couple of weeks before getting rolling

Am not really concerned with where i start or finish and have no idea how long I'll be on the road - so am hoping to find a travelling buddy that can take each days ride as it comes and let the experience dictate the itinerary

Having travelled solo and with friends several times before I hope I'm a reasonably livable-with guy

Anyone here with the same idea?

Cheers all
Jamie

PS anyone with info on getting licensed in that part of the world would love to hear and and have posted that Q in the regional forum
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  #2  
Old 5 Jan 2009
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Central / S America

Hey There,

I'm heading out at the beginning of February and plan on being away for a couple months. My ultimate goal is to Phoenix to Panama but destination and schedule are completely flexible. Fill me in on your plans as they develop and perhaps we can link up somewhere on the road.

Greg
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  #3  
Old 6 Jan 2009
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in SA now

I am waiting for my bike to arrive here in BsAs Argintena now and plan to head south then turn north. otternorth@hotmail.com
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  #4  
Old 6 Jan 2009
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You didn't say what you're doing about a bike

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 01:36.
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  #5  
Old 6 Jan 2009
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this might work...

It seems like we have the same idea in mind...

I'm currently in LA, but will probably be ready for the trip by mid-late February. I ride a Suzuki DR650 and am currently modding it for the long trip.

As a lover of traveling, I've noticed that my best times are often the unplanned ones. So for this trip, I'd like to keep it as basically planned as possible, but thought out. I want to do as much research as possible, in conjunction with a guide book and the advice from those on this forum.

My current plan is to ride down from LA into South America, ideally to Tierra del Fuego, if the money and bike lasts! I'd want to stop in any and every town that sounds interesting on the way. Who knows, if I really fall in love with an area, I wouldn't mind even renting an apartment for a month or so, to really understand the life and culture of the locals.

I'm a 25yr old male who is about to get laid off, and instead of looking for a job in a down economy and saturated job market, I figure it's much more rewarding to take my severance pay and go down south, where my money is appreciated!

Let's talk.


Cheers,
Steve
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  #6  
Old 10 Jan 2009
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the replies and advice guys!

Patrick: Appreciate the good advice... Have already started the reading and been thinking about buying a bike in the US of A but will likely come in through Havana (to see it before it changes) so i understand that i'm not allowed to fly into the US from there?! Maybe hit Mexico and cross the border to buy? Will have a look at Grant's CD now though!

@ Steve - thats good thinking in my opinion, similar to my situation - not many people hiring in London right now so its a bad time to be a headhunter... Would be great to chat about ideas and aims so will PM you my email (if thats allowed on here?) and we can sort out a phone conversation.

As for my bike / licence sit I dont see the point in paying £700 to take a difficult bike test (and possibly fail to pass) if i can pay $50 in Mexico / Cuba or the like; also am currently not sure if i want a decent modern bike or an old one (Honda?) that'll better blend in and be a little more authentic - though i understand that in that region they are expensive items!

Anyone else starting their trip in Feb?

Cheers
Jamie
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  #7  
Old 10 Jan 2009
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Steve - oddly am not yet allowed to PM you but am at jamie.headhunting@googlemail.com

Cheers
J
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  #8  
Old 10 Jan 2009
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Blending in

Jamie
It occurs to me that you probably won't "blend in" either with a new or older bike. If you intend to travel for a long distance (central and south america) you will have a considerable amount of gear attached you your bike. In my opinion that's always going to stand out. Most bikes I've seen in these countries have been 90-125cc. My 650 KLR and Honda Transalp would have stood out even without gear. Just get a good bike and go.
Bob

Bob's Latin America Adventure
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  #9  
Old 11 Jan 2009
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Good luck, read up as much as you can handle.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 01:36.
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  #10  
Old 13 Jan 2009
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March-ish

Hey Jamie

Im not going yet but very soon. I plan to start way up high and end up way down low, so Canada is looking favourite. I'll be shipping my bike I think, not sure why just feels right to do it from here.

I've posted on a couple of other threads and hopefully will meet up with others. Happy to talk more - you can get hold of me at craig.s.wake@gmail.com

Im 25 and based in Nottinghamshire way.

Cheers

Craig
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  #11  
Old 14 Jan 2009
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I'm in the same boat.

I'm 25 years old and I just got laid off from my job in Denver, CO. My plan is to leave Denver in early Feb. and ride to Buenos Aires. After I get there I plan on spending several months learning the language and enjoying the culture. Originally I was planning to ship my bike to Buenos Aires, but the qoutes I've been getting are around $3,000, so it sounds like riding there is the better option. My spanish is weak, so I woundn't mind stopping somewhere along the way for a couple weeks and checking out a language school. my email is john.falkner@gmail.com I'm ready to get on the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinWheels View Post
Thanks for the replies and advice guys!

Patrick: Appreciate the good advice... Have already started the reading and been thinking about buying a bike in the US of A but will likely come in through Havana (to see it before it changes) so i understand that i'm not allowed to fly into the US from there?! Maybe hit Mexico and cross the border to buy? Will have a look at Grant's CD now though!

@ Steve - thats good thinking in my opinion, similar to my situation - not many people hiring in London right now so its a bad time to be a headhunter... Would be great to chat about ideas and aims so will PM you my email (if thats allowed on here?) and we can sort out a phone conversation.

As for my bike / licence sit I dont see the point in paying £700 to take a difficult bike test (and possibly fail to pass) if i can pay $50 in Mexico / Cuba or the like; also am currently not sure if i want a decent modern bike or an old one (Honda?) that'll better blend in and be a little more authentic - though i understand that in that region they are expensive items!

Anyone else starting their trip in Feb?

Cheers
Jamie
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  #12  
Old 16 Jan 2009
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Another option ...

Hi Jamie ... have been riding with several people for years and what I do for a 'hobby-job' is not found elsewhere... I have 3 bikes Yamaha Super Teneres and I 'lease' them to riders who wish to travel anywhere riding with them for the time they wish, acting as guide, interpreter, mechanic asking only a small daily fee to cover the bike's deterioration plus my fuel, food and lodging... camping is also an alternative... now is a good time to start the trip south to TDF and from there go north towards USA... you don't need a special license to drive in South America ... only your regular driving license, passport and that is all... see this HUBB to find more information...
Ready to roll...
Cheers,
Roberto
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  #13  
Old 24 Jan 2009
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Me too!

I just joined today because this is a good hub, and your post in particular struck me. A friend and I plan to do almost exactly the same thing as you, only on a time, and therefore a distance, limit.

I have tried to research a lot, and the following is what i have learned so far:

By my reckoning, should be able to get away with just an ordinary drivers licence.

The tricky bit is to get your bike registered as owned by you (the UK V5 equivalent), as you need an address, and a utility bill or whatever to back it up.

The main travel article featured in the Guardian 2 weeks ago was a guy (70 years old) doing exactly the same thing (Mexico to southern tip of argentina). He bought his bike new from a dealership in Mexico - they loaned him an electricity bill in their name, and the sale went through fine. The rest of his trip was easy too thereafter (except he fell off a few times and hurt himself a little).

Renting a bike seems impossible, unless you want an expensive Harley from either Cancun or San Jose (Costa Rica).

That seems to be all there is to tell you. Except if you are looking for a place to start, the cheapest places in latin america to fly from UK are Mexico city or Buenos Aires. There are plenty of local airlines plying around the region too once you are there.

About my trip, arrive mexico city 4th feb, fly Cancun, try and buy a bike (if not so expensive!, otherwise it'll need to be a bus trip, sadly - well for 2.5 weeks you have to think about the economics!) and register. Return flight leaves 21st Feb from mex city. In between, travel through central america, get as far down as we can, panama if time permitting, but realistically Costa Rica is as far as we will be able to get in such a time frame.

It will give me a lot more confidence when i try and buy a bike, of course, to know that i have a decent chance of selling it at the end. And should allow me to also get a better bike, knowing that i won't have to write off the whole cost. So if you are arriving about the same time as i will be leaving costa rica, know that you will be able to pick up a really knock down price bike (desperate seller leaving the country, no choice but to take a low price!), and one that has also just proved that it is up to the job. Something for you to consider.

Or just meet up for a pint somewhere.

Let me know your progress with your trip - it's a mirror of mine, so i'm interested, and anything you manage to find out above what i know.#

Cheers,
Steve.
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  #14  
Old 28 Jan 2009
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Location: El Salvador
Posts: 45
El Salvador

Why not fly to El Salvador?
todays bike ads:
08 KLR $4,800
01 GS1150 $7,500
82 XT600 $2500
you would have to pay for the bike and wait about 10 days for the title , in that time you could try some spanish classes in Suchitoto.
Contact me if you need more info
Mario
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  #15  
Old 1 Feb 2009
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Back to the planning - Finally!

Hello all

Have been forced to focus on other things for a couple of weeks , but with this all wrapped up I now intend to be planning intensively for the coming days and will post as i get a clearer idea of my final plans .

Thagua - would be very interested to find out the specifics to compare your scheme with my alternatives - great idea by the way!

Everyone else - thanks for the input - i hope to get back to see who i can meet once things are firmed up....

Cheers All

Jamie
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