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Riding Canada to Argentina mid Oct 2011, who's in?
Hey all, riding Calgary to Argentina mid October 2011 to March 2012. Looking to meet up along the way for bits and bites of the trip. check out my blog to see more about me. I will be traveling on a good budget and enjoying the night life and activities along the way.
I'm still working on a few major details but after one fell through another opened. I'm staying positive. Dirt bike buddies are talking Moab now in October so I'm pushing that train of thought on. From there I'll rip the Arizona desert a new A-hole and be in Baja shortly after.
Depending on my schedule I *might* stick around Baja to catch some of the Baja 1000, but I think that'll be a few weeks away yet. (middle of November)
This weather has me worried about riding down. That's always been my back-up plan but it's hard to commit since it could get really aweful with bad weather riding a bike like mine and staying off highways. I've done mountain passes in heavy snow and rain and it can become misserable, especially alone. Plus the CDT will always be there for a future run.
So, I know of a few potential house renters that will agree to short term rental, and potentially a plan to get down there. Just need these issues to align and I should be golden. Problem is without a solid plan to go down I can't move forward with house rental. I'm working on it though! Hope to know more today.
If this happens I hope to spend about a 1-2 weeks riding Baja doing some further exploration, then cross the boat to either Topo or Mazatlan from LaPaz. Depends in the difference in cost, but likely drop the coin and go straight to Maz. Chill there for a bit then head to Durango on the dragon road. Do some high country exploration before dropping back down for some beach time.
I'm riding my DR650 to the HU meeting in Cambria CA for the weekend of the 14th - 16th of Oct. I live in Ottawa Ontario but will be staying with a friend in Des Moines for the two weeks prior to the meeting.
Beyond that I'll be heading in the direction of Ushuaia. Don't have any firm plans. Quite the contrary in fact. I know my departure date but haven't even really looked at a route yet. Hope to get some good info at the meeting from others who may have done it before, or are on their way to doing it from there.
Luckily for me I don't have any restrictions or even a return date. Just gonna take it all as it comes. See what I see, meet who I meet, enjoy the ride and just let the things in life that make me smile happen.
Would love to meet other riders going in the same direction, of which I see there are a few, share a cold one, and tell a lie or two.
What routes are being considered by the others on this thread? I'm thinking Baja down to La Paz and then ferry to Mazatlan. Never been to Baja before.
Wow, I don't think I've given that much thought to my entire trip, but you've brought up some good points Bacougle. I'm pretty much mirroring your luggage. Givi top box, Wolfman Expedition side and tank panniers and a dry duffle. Really trying to keep it light(er) this time. Looking back at pics of my KLR on a ride to Alaska a couple of years ago it looks like I had about 13,563 lbs. of "stuff" with me. Way too much.
Nice to see we are going to be a bunch going south this year.
I already wrote to Brad but for the others I'm leaving Montreal on the 17th of october and will be heading down to Ushuaia as well so I hope we can manage to bump into each other somewhere along the way. I'm on a 2006 KLR and plan on going anywhere I feel like going.
1) How much luggage storage??? I'm getting 2 andy strapz saddlebags 15 to 25 liters each. Wide mouth duffel bag 40 liters (seal line) and a small tank bag. Everything that won't fit in there is going to be left behind.
2) Who's got International licenses? I don't. My license is in french and nowhere it says motorcycle (even in french) although I don't think it matters much and I know it's not mandatory.
3) GPS choice? Nüvi 550. Not fixed to the bike yet. I got a RAM mount. I still need to get all the maps in my GPS. There's numerous thread on the HUBB about free maps for CA and SA.
4) Crossing Darrien Gap? Ideas here? I can't do the boat because I get real sea sick. Also it's bad for the bike (sea air will make it rust) and the prices are higher and higher every year. I think the best way if we can manage to meet up in Panama is a sea container. Sharing a 20 foot container can be very economical.Another way is the RoRo from Panama to colombia.
5) Mock Insurance docs for borders, anyone got a copy I can have a play with? Would like to see that as well. I used to be a computer graphic designer so I can do anything in term of image editing so I can help anyone with that.
6) Currency exchange? I have America funds already and was thinking loading up an America Dollar Credit card to use and pull cash with. Thoughts? I don't know what's this card you talk about. I have my bank card and used it on all my trips to take out money in ATMs in the local currency with the best conversion rate and never had issues (except japan).
7) Which Medical insurance? Best deal I've found was 800$ for 1 year with a good coverage.
8) Anyone looked at Prepay mobile phone cards through out the trip? I'm not bringing a phone.
9) Camera choices. Canon’s smallest digital camera, the PowerShot SD780
I'm really trying to keep it simple on this trip as every time I travel I realize that I don't use much anyway and carrying stuff annoys me.
i have just emailed brad with some reply's to some questions and thought i would post them here too.
What are you riding? Ok so im on the one the only BMW R1200GS but im 6'3 so it suits me great & i am no apposed to the power either.
You got a website or anything to check out or FB? my blog crashed i am in the process of restarting it. my you tube account cos i make vids ever once in a while is twowheelsnoclue's Channel - YouTube
Unfortunately I do need to blog every once and a while well me to .. we are on the same page there but there is always time for and locals...especially and female locals!
I figured Mexico would be good to have another person when you need to leave the bike to do something and you got someone to watch the bikes. i agree to this aswell but not just when we have to leave the bikes even i you get some kinda problem having another person for security in mex and central America is a wise choice believe me.
Are you camping at all? well through USA and Canada i have been to keep the cost down but it's not wise to do so in mexico and central plus the hotel room are like 10-12 dollars a night.
Do you have a laptop? yes i travel with my macbook so i can edit video and talk to my friends on skype when i need to.
I'm not looking to rip up the off roads at this point me neither i can do if needed but would like to stick to mostly roads if we can.
so if I went Baja does anyone know if I'd be able to get pavement/sealed stuff for most of it? yes there are paved roads down there, but there is also a lot of sand.
Anyone got a price on the ferry across from La Paz? not yet this falls into the "play it as it comes" category
I was looking at Nogales border from Arizona as I haven't heard anything positive out of Tijuana. Tijuana is a shit hole the advise i have been given is cross early and then travel for at least 4-6 hours south from any boarder town(USA-Mexico) as they are all dangerous at the moment.
Who's up for Vegas btw??? been there already again it's a shit hole and there is nothing to see either.
I'm thinking of throwing all my trip money down on red! i prefer black! or a really high class prostitute.. ha ha
1) How much luggage storage??? i have two metal paniers and a couple of other little bags.
2) Who's got International licenses? i have one, it was only £4 when i was in england so though it was best to get one.
3) GPS choice? have a Garmin Zumo 660 with north america and world maps on it.... but just buy a map in whatever country we are in.
4) Crossing Darrien Gap? Ideas here? not yet this falls into the "play it as it comes" category as well
5) Mock Insurance docs for borders, anyone got a copy I can have a play with? ???? i think mexico is the only country you need basic insurance was looking on Insurance | Motorcycle Mexico but have not done anything yet..
6) Currency exchange? I have America funds already and was thinking loading up an America Dollar Credit card to use and pull cash with. i too have a travel money master card in US dollard and going to take a bunch of dollars too a stash them all over my bike.
7) Which Medical insurance? I have bought a SPOT, but still need Medical for getting sick and stuff like that. i used a company in the UK it was not cheep but this was because of the USA. i also have a Spot 2
8) Anyone looked at Prepay mobile phone cards through out the trip? I've got a blackberry with GPS, but I'll need data. i think forget your phone stick to internet cafe's and a compass or maybe a sextant.. you guys still use those right.
9) Camera choices. i have a small canon Handheld thing which is great cos i can take photo's while riding. also use a Drift 170HD & my new toy the contour Plus Helmet/action cams.
Sounds perfect guys. I expect to meet everyone of you if possible.
I'm not looking to rip up the off roads at this point so if I went Baja does anyone know if I'd be able to get pavement/sealed stuff for most of it? You can ride the full length on GOOD pavement. Some sections twisty and fun. However you will miss "Baja". Not nearly the scenery, experience, and people interaction staying on the highway. On the other hand certain routes you can do on your Vstrom, but it will require the adventure modifications (crash bars, knobbie tires, proper suspension, and the will to ride technical terrain).
Anyone got a price on the ferry across from La Paz?
Google Baja Ferries. Cost there for bike, person and room if required. Also travel times, schedule, etc. You have the option of Mazatlan or Calicun (sp?).
I was looking at Nogales border from Arizona as I haven't heard anything positive out of Tijuana. Who's up for Vegas btw??? I'm thinking of throwing all my trip money down on red! Yeah right!
Not sure how far this is from Algodones (Yuma), but this crossing can't get any more simple. Cross the gate, offices right there, and bank just around the corner. Simple. It's where I will cross again. Town is friendly. We crossed both during the day, and at night. I wasn't worried at night but we were getting a lot of attention.
Couple other questions, since we are all doing the same thing I'm sure each of us has a tidbit to add...happy to hear response to my email bacougle At hotmail or here.
1) How much luggage storage??? I'm looking at Givi top case 46L and 2 x 21L sides plus Tank bag which doesn't include tent and sleeping bag. How much storage everyone else got?
I did Baja (2 weeks) with 30liter Coyote bag and a smaller dry bag. I currently have ~60liters now and will probably rock a small dry bag on the to rack to serve dual purpose as a backpack. I don't plan on filling it, but total would be 110liters.
2) Who's got International licenses? Thinking I'll pass on this one.
3) GPS choice?
I use a Oregon 450. Pretty much any Garmin will do. I prefer Garmin and it has become a standard.
4) Crossing Darrien Gap? Ideas here?
Other options listed above, but most motorcyclists use the Starhlette. Google for info. Costs around 900-1000$ I believe.
5) Mock Insurance docs for borders, anyone got a copy I can have a play with?
We didn't get around to it for Baja, but I think good copies are a damn good idea.
6) Currency exchange? I have America funds already and was thinking loading up an America Dollar Credit card to use and pull cash with. Thoughts?
I posted on ADVrider about this. People generally recommend 3-4 ways of paying for things. 1) Having a cash stash + safety, 2) Mastercard 3) Visa, 4) Debit.
7) Which Medical insurance? I have bought a SPOT, but still need Medical for getting sick and stuff like that. Suggestions?
Not a bad idea to spring for the 14$ helivac insurance on the SPOT. Two trips up to 50,000$/each / year.
8) Anyone looked at Prepay mobile phone cards through out the trip? I've got a blackberry with GPS, but I'll need data. Probably cheaper to just use GPS, haha! Thoughts?
I will be using a Iphone 3GS for Skype calls. Not sure if I will activate it, but airtime cards are cheap.
9) Camera choices. So far I got a Panasonic Lumix TS3 Waterproof. Thinking I want higher quality. thoughts?
No "little" camera will be a SLR. I'd love to pack my pro lenes and DSLR, but no room and way too heavy. I will be using my canon G10 which is a good unit, but not comparible to a SLR in many ways.
ok, that's all. I'm planning to leave Oct 14 +/- 2 days. Last day of work is Oct 7.
Glad to know it's not just me going. Greg, what's your email?
Whoo hoo! Huge step forward for me too! Buddies and I are booking a trip to Moab, where I'll tour the area, then branch off across AZ and Baja.
To answer some of your questions please see the underlined text above.
I plan on entering Baja around the first week of November. I may be sticking around to watch the race (17th) if my time gets delayed.
I'll be riding the backroads of Baja and off-highway as much as possible. I've done many of them already and hope to further my exploration. If that intersets anybody lemme know. People can tag along.
I'm in. I am living and working in Costa Rica. I am planning on saving up and leaving for Panama around December-January. This seems like it will be around the same time you will be passing through there. I'm 23 and I found a new job in Santa Fe, Argentina working as a guide in a duck hunting lodge, so I figured what better way to get there than by motorcycle. Do you have rough timeline for when you will be getting to Costa Rica/Panama?
I as well will be heading south around the same time. I will be leaving Baja/ friends wedding on November 12th ish and heading down south toward Argentina, although I will be stopping along the way for Staging (Cooking Internships). Would be stoked to meet up with other riders along the way.
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