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Horizons Unlimited
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Are you a TRAVELLER? Are you interested in the legendary Djenne market, close encounters with bears, dump camping in Chile, DRC visa hell, house arrest in Pakistan, floating through Guatemalan Customs, languishing in a sinister jail in Panama, narrowly escaping kamikaze buses in Colombia, grilled guinea pigs... and much more?

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Motorcycle Travellers' News Report

October 2011, 89th Edition

Welcome to the 89th Edition of the motorcycle travellers' e-zine! Trees are all turning many colours here, which is gorgeous to see, but sad because you know they'll soon drop off and it will be bleak until spring :( But considering the weather and natural disasters that many people are suffering through in various parts of the world, we can't complain too much!

Since last month we've been to the HU California meeting in Cambria, which was fantastic - perfect weather and a great venue! More on the meetings below. Unfortunately, we drove down from Vancouver in a car on the interstate, but it was good to get out of the house! This was the last meeting for us until next summer, and we are looking forward to staying home for awhile. Over the winter, we have only a few large projects to keep us from getting bored - redesign the website, launch the 'Road Heroes 2' DVD and move house ;-)

We've finally gotten the website working well again after the software upgrades, last of the HUBB log-in bugs squashed. Thanks to all our loyal users for hanging in there! Now we can move forward with the long-awaited redesign, the first part of which will feature a new graphic design, and much better navigation, using mega-menus. Next, we will be updating the blogging functionality to make it more feature-rich for those travellers who want additional functionality, while still keeping it easy to use for all. The software will also allow us to implement new social features for the HU Communities, and lots more...

Erdem Yucel, who does our DVD covers, will be the lead designer, along with his wife Evren, who is also a creative genius. We are working with Deeson Group, the web developers in the UK that pulled our asses out of the fire this summer, so we're happy we've got a good team.

Now we could just do all of it in the background and unveil it when we think it's perfect, but we'd rather have your input as we go. After all, it's your website, we're just the caretakers! So, we're looking for volunteers to give us feedback on the design and menu structure, to try out the blogging and community features and tell us what you like and don't like, and later to help with testing. We need several teams for all this, we're not expecting anyone to be involved with all of it. If you have some spare time over the next few months and want to help, get in touch!

Finally, we're very pleased to announce that, with your help, we have managed to pick 13 winners for the 2011 Photo Contest and the 2012 Calendar is now available, just in time! More details below :)

Where are our intrepid travellers this month?

We've got great stories from Mexico, Guatemala, Turkey, Mali, Zambia, Panama, Australia, USA, Pakistan, Ecuador, Colombia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Chile, Tanzania, Italy, Canada and Argentina... And those are just the ones we tracked down! What about you? Get out there on the road and make your own adventure, and don't forget to write! Seriously, there are so many travellers out there now that it's hard for me to keep up with them all. If you send me a couple of paragraphs and pics every month you'll have a much better chance of making it into the e-zine!

Susan Johnson, Editor

up to top of pagespacerHorizons Unlimited presents...

E-zine DVD Special!

Just in time for holiday presents for friends, family (or yourself!), E-zine readers can buy all Horizons Unlimited DVDs at 10% off the retail price.

There's Part 1 of the new series - Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales, featuring tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (Challenges of travelling to 193 countries 2-up on a Harley Electra-Glide), Dr. Gregory Frazier (5 times RTW on a variety of bikes), Tiffany Coates (RTW traveller recounts her Mongolia Mayhem) and Rene Cormier (5 years in the University of Gravel Roads).

Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales - Part 1.

If you've been inspired by the stories you've read in this e-zine and are keen to get on the road yourself, the Achievable Dream is the definitive 'How To' series on long-distance motorcycle travel.

The Achievable Dream Series - the Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide!

The 'Collectors Box Set' is also available - all 5 DVDs (18 hours of informative and entertaining content!) in a custom box at a gift price of $124.99.

Achievable Dream Collectors Box Set - 5 Motorcycle Adventure Travel DVDs!

This offer is for orders until November 30, 2011 only, so stock up now for Christmas! You must start your order from this link to get the e-zine special. After selling over 6,000 DVDs, we're pretty confident you'll like them. If you're not completely happy with them, just let us know within 30 days of purchase for a full refund or exchange. And you don't even have to send them back!

If by some chance you've never heard of the Achievable Dream and Road Heroes DVDs, you can see the trailers and read the comments for all the DVDs here.

up to top of pagespacerHorizons Unlimited

How to contribute, and become an HU Member

As always, thanks to all our generous supporters for helping us to keep going. For those who haven't yet contributed, or haven't recently contributed, here's how you can help, and the benefits to you of becoming a Horizons Unlimited Contributing Member or Gold Member!

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Our advertisers and sponsors help us to make the website and e-zine available to you. We hope you'll check out their products and services and if you plan to buy these products, do it from our site or links. If you do use the services of one of our advertisers/supporters, we hope you'll let them know that you're buying from them because of their support for HU - and of course that they have a great product or service! :)

If you know anyone who should be advertising with us (anyone who sells motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transports motorcycles, organizes motorcycle tours, or has motorcycles to rent should be advertising), please let us know or even better send them to our Advertisers page with your recommendation.

Want to see your stories here?

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This newsletter is provided as a complimentary service for travellers everywhere, both on the road and (temporarily ;-) off. Your support is greatly appreciated.

your editors, Grant and Susan Johnson, (about us, contact us)

Horizons Unlimited
New Links.

Too many to list! If you haven't checked out the Links page it's time you did - it's huge, and a fascinating browse.


Get your website listed in the LINKS Section

by listing Horizons Unlimited on YOUR web site, let me know you've done it by mailing me a link to the page, and you may get listed here in the next newsletter and on the Horizons Unlimited web site Links page. To make it easy for you, we even have our logo and link code here! From there you can request your link.

All sites will be considered for listing, but must be a MOTORCYCLE or TRAVEL site, useful or of interest in some way to travellers. We reserve the right to refuse to link back.










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up to top of page A host of
volunteers for 'People en route!'

There are many 'Helpful People' listed on the Links page, a huge thanks to all of them. How about you? Or you can join a Community, or start your own!

up to top of pagespacer Repair Shops.

Do you know of a good shop 'on the road,'

. in other words, somewhere there isn't a large number of shops? (Also of course any shop that specializes in travellers equipment and repairs is of interest.) But we're particularly looking for those rare items, good repair shops in South America, Africa and Asia etc. Please post your info in the Repair shops around the world Forum on the HUBB.

There are now 100's of shops listed in out - of - the - way places, from Abidjan to Ghana to Peru! Be sure to check out the HUBB 'Repair shops around the world' forum if you need work done!










up to top of pagespacerWho are they?

When you meet people on the road, and they haven't heard of this e-zine or the website, we'd appreciate it (and hope they would too!) if you'd get their names and e-mail addresses and send it in to me.

Thanks, Grant

Request for info

Wouldn't YOU like to know all about the border you're approaching - what it should cost, paperwork required, 'tips' needed, and who to talk to, etc.?

When you cross ANY border, take some notes, and pass them on to us. Thanks!

Shipping

The Shipping page on the site is HUGE! It can be reached directly or from the Shipping link on the Trip Planning page.

Travel Advisories:

The Foreign Office in London's Travel Advice Unit advises against travel to all sorts of places. Check out the listing before you start!

The US State Department regularly issues updated travel advisories, information and/or warnings.









































































































































































Tea with Bin Ladens Brother, by Simon Roberts.

Just Released!Tea with Bin Laden's Brother, by Simon Roberts

An Adventure motorbiking graphic novel telling the gripping story of a solo ride through Iran, Pakistan and India to Nepal. Take a look inside...






















































































Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales - Part 1.

Road Heroes Part 1!

Get your Road Heroes DVD now for inspirational and funny tales from the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 1 - Get Ready!

Part 1 - Get Ready!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 2 - Gear Up! 2-DVD Set!

Part 2 - Gear Up!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 3 - On the Road! 2-DVD Set!

Part 3 - On the Road!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 4 - Ladies on the Loose!

Part 4 - Ladies on the Loose !

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 5 - Tire Changing!

Part 5 - Tire Changing!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

up to top of pagespacerWho's on the road, and where.

Brian Kennedy, Canada, in Colombia, Aprilia ETV 1000 cc CapeNord,

"The road east out of Libano follows a windy twisted path through the mountains. And as with most remote mountain roads in Colombia, the road surface was in rough shape with lots of pot holes and ruts from the constant truck traffic. And every kilometer or so the road would be washed out evidence of some past mudslide. Since they had been having a lot rain over the last few months there were numerous road crews out and about making repairs to the road. Judging from the state of the roads I would say that they are fighting a losing battle with nature in trying to keep the roads maintained.

There was lots of traffic on the road this morning especially truck traffic, so it was hard to keep up a good rate of speed. Around every turn there would be a truck in front of me, belching out plumes of black arid smoke from its diesel engine. It didn't seem to matter how many trucks I passed as there would always be another lumbering truck there to impede my progress.

Following trucks in Colombia.

I was now about at the half way point between Libano and Armero, when the flow of traffic came to a stop. The road in front of me was blocked by a large landslide. See video of landslide.

Construction crews had created a detour around the landslide by bulldozing a new path around it. There was a large truck in front backing up the traffic as he attempted to navigate his vehicle over the deeply rutted dirt track route around the landslide. While I was waiting my turn to enter the detour I imagined what this makeshift road would be like in the rain. These clay covered roads turn into a slippery mess when wet.

The rest of the of the ride between the location of the landslide and the turn-off for Armero was slow going, many sections of the road was torn up and often covered in pools of water. The road continued it torturous climb up through the mountains. As I climbed further up into the mountains the thick green foliage on the adjacent hillside encroached ever closer to the road.

I arrived into Ibague just after noon, I still was not decided if I would stay the day in Ibague or head elsewhere. Ibague is a moderately large city with a population of half a million people. My Lonely Planet guide book suggested that there were a number of interesting things to see and do in the town. As I entered the town, it was very hot, and as I made my way for the town center the traffic was the most congested of any town I had seen so far in Colombia. Fighting my way through the congested traffic all my previous held opinions about local Colombian driving habits were confirmed.

I come from a country (Canada) where lane splitting for motorcycles is not permitted. Here in Colombia not only do motorcycles lane split but they also jump between lanes squeezing perilously between trucks and buses. I had one taxi cab driver who after spotting my big foreign motorcycle kept following me closely down the main avenida, he had his cell phone camera out taking pictures of the bike as he drove, he was literally driving with his taxi inches away from my bike. After 30 minutes of riding around in this traffic chaos and narrowly escaping becoming a hood ornament on one of the kamikaze buses, I had enough, and when I saw an exit sign for Nevia was out of here."

Ed. See Brian's story and pics in the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Wade Stubbs and Philip Atkinson, Australia, Circle to Circle tour, in Guatemala, BMW

Mystery rock.

"Getting to Guatemala: A new day, a new country. Nerves were on edge as we approached the Mexican border. Then it was all over before it started. Too easy in fact, which we were punished for later with a $100 fine because we didn't purchase a tourist visa. So, how is it going to be crossing into Guatemala?

Absolutely amazing! That's how it is to cross the border from Mexico to Guatemala. There are easier ways, but the shortest route was through customs in Frontera, Mexico and then Bethol, Guatemala. Unfortunately there is a river in the way. Not usually a problem, but in this case it is a problem as there isn't a bridge, and no scheduled ferry service. Not to worry, we had met a couple in Chicken, Alaska on the Top of the World Highway who had mentioned the crossing and said they hired a local skiff to take them across. Beauty!

It was very easy, and for those adventurous types a 'must do' border crossing. We met some boat drivers (and I use the term 'boat' very gently) as we entered the National Park (fee 15 pesos each - not too bad at $1.15 Australian). They sped off on their pushies, three BMW 1200's in hot pursuit.

The boatmen guided us through customs, which again was super easy. For anyone riding through Mexico, make sure you pay the tax. Its only 262 pesos and separate from the tourist visa and the temporary import tax. It's automatically paid if you arrive by plane. This tax needs to be paid at the border, or in Palenque, a 3 hr ride back to where we started. Oh crap! Obviously we didn't, and neither did Kev. In fact, none of us had even heard of it. Fortunately the customs officer was a lovely lady, and Big Kev has a lovely smile. At least I figure it must be, cause one flash of those pearly whites from Kev and she said 'Don't worry, pay me and I'll sort it out from here'. Good on ya Kev!

Low on fuel, we top up with 10 litres from the local 'service station'. By service station, what I really mean is about fifteen 20L drums and a siphon hose in some guys shed. How cool is that! Mind you, I wouldn't want to fill the 100 L tank on my ute back home!

Next stop, the river. As I ride off the road and head for the bank (there is no car park, foot traffic only for these boats normally) disaster! My back wheel hits a rock, and at the super high speed of 2 km/ hr instead of tracking over it, the bike stops, leans past the magic 5 degree angle, and that's it. Down she goes!

Boats and bikes ready for the river crossing to Guatemala.

Boats and bikes ready for the river crossing to Guatemala from Mexico

Three skiffs were nosed up to the bank, engines still running to keep them together and in place against the strong current. We unload all our gear, then Wade takes the plunge and rides down the muddy bank first. It takes 5 guys to man handle Smokey onto the boat. Half and hour later, Aialik and Kev's bike are tied down. We are ready to go!

It doesn't look right. It doesn't feel right. The bike makes the boat look tiny, and how the centre of gravity is low enough to prevent capsizing neither Wade nor I have a clue.

Our little boats gingerly pull off the bank. Everyone, including the drivers hold their breath. They are looking pale, palms sweaty. I am happy to see Wade's boat backing out first. As it floats off, everyone sucks in a long overdue lung full of air. We just might make it after all!

River crossing from Mexico to Guatemala.

Unloading is hard! Hot, humid, and a steep, slippery, muddy bank. The local Guatemalans jump in and help out. Brilliant! We don't have to ask, we don't have to wave cash. They helped because that's what Guatemalans do. After the bikes were safely on the bank Wade offered one guy 50 pesos. He was so happy you'd think Stubbsie just handed him his first born son. He was proudly showing his mates the note that would buy at least the first two rounds at the bar tonight.

As soon as we left the heavens opened, in a big way! My goodness did it come down. Water everywhere. Welcome to Guatemala!

We easily floated thru Customs on a bit of driftwood we found on the stream flowing thru the building (well, not really, but it sounds better than simply saying 'customs was easy'). Awesome! We are officially in Guatemala.

Now, the good news. It is free to enter Guatemala. No tourist visa required, no temporary import, no tax. Nothen. Whoooo Hoooooo! The guy even said it should be free to leave, and if a customs official asks for money don't pay him. Argue the point. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like the best advice ever!

Bergalia Boys tip of the day (Brought to you by Wade Stubbs):
Never trust a fart in Mexico. Ever. And always have at least 1 spare pair of riding under garments available at all times. That's all I have to say about that."

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Ionut and Ana, Romania, Trans-Africa, in Mali, Yamaha Tenere,

"...a wonderful ride through a fertile hilly landscape, dotted with scenic villages and lush gardens. A group of Fulani people passes us by: the women are topless and have intricate hair braids and jewelry and huge moonshined packs of tree branches are tied to the donkeys. We are happy we have arrived here in wet season!

Mali village.

Mali village

Bamako is a sprawling metropolis, with scooters and cars entangled together in big traffic jams, with bridges thrown over the mighty Niger river which divides the capital in two. The shanty towns are on one side, immersed in a sleepy rural life, while on the other side of the water there are concrete and glass administrative buildings and offices and some expensive hotels (with good wifi connection). Here it rains almost daily and only some of the streets are tarred. Bamako is a welcomed pit stop: we rest, wash our pathetic scruffy riding gear, we go for a visa and ATM run and Skype our families. The Burkina visa breaks our bank: 80 euro/pers!, recently doubled cause of French propaganda.

Bamako's heart beats in its colorful markets: near Place de la Liberte & Cinema Vox, in Grande Marche, in the fetish market we find innumerable stalls selling anything from fruit and vegs to clothing and plastic ware made in Nigeria. Men are generally sporting generic Chinese designs, but the elegant women of Bamako wear traditionally inspired dresses and elaborate hairpieces and metes. People are warm and friendly, except for the usual guides, touts and beggars, with tricks that we are too familiar with from Romania. The sad thing is that they believe that 'les blanc donnent des cadeaux', so who's to blame for that?

Children on motorcycle, Mali village.

We are the village freaks: we have fun with the kids eager to mount the bike and we teach them some Romanian childhood games.

The first night in Sikasso we camp in the backyard of a local family. We quickly become the village attraction, every detail of our tent pitching and logistics being scrutinized, analyzed and discussed with loud enthusiasm. Later at night we are invited to join the family (husband, wife, 3 boys and a toddler + uncle) for dinner: boiled yam with a dash of oil, eaten by hand from a big pot. We offer some almonds from Morocco and then enjoy the ritualistic 3 glasses of African tea artfully brewed by the woman. Only Bambara is spoken so we cannot communicate easily, and under the star-covered sky the silence in this village where there is no electricity nor running water is broken by some music coming from an old radio.

Djenne market, Mali.

The Monday market in Djenne is legendary: this is the most important and biggest market in West Africa. Vendors and buyers travel from all regions to fill up the square in front of the mosque and to sell and shop everything from local art, bogolan - typical cloth decorated with mud mixed with medicinal plants, amber jewelry, food, spices, baskets, plastic ware and livestock. As this is an authentic local market, the people are not fazed by tourists so we are taking a breather from the touts and faux-guides harassment to enjoy the unique atmosphere."

Ed. See Ionut and Ana's story and pics in the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Colin and Dee Masters, UK, Wrinklies Wround the World, on the road again in Turkey, BMW 1150 GS,

"Here we are again folks --- last time we had climbed Nemrut Dagi and I felt that we needed a T shirt saying we had done so! - The guy in the hotel offered to write it on a white T shirt, if I had one!

Kahta panorama.

Kahta panorama

We were (and are) feeling very lonely - only spoken briefly to some Germans and Americans at breakfast one morning. At the hotel in Kahta there were 2 coach loads of English - great, we thought - some conversation at last. Not on your Nelly: they cut us dead - it was as if we didn't exist. So snooty it wasn't true. As you can see they really climbed up my nose! Any contact from you is greatly appreciated!

Kahta bridge.

Kahta Bridge

This is the Roman Cendere Bridge in the Nemrut Dagi National park, near Kahta, eastern Turkey. It was built in the 2nd century AD in honour of Emperor Septimus Severus and his wife and son and it now goes nowhere. The new bridge is now open to the right hand side.

Kahta to Gaziantap, Turkey.

Kahta to Gaziantap, Turkey

We left Kahta and had a good run though to Gaziantep on a 'B' road that had been suggested by the driver at the hotel. What a star, he said that it would be a good road surface and, for once Colin was able to get out of third and fourth gear. It also cut out 60k from the trip. We were stopped by a Military checkpoint with a Sarasen Armoured Personnel Carrier. All the guys were armed, but we were waved through after stopping.

Gaziantep is a large city and once again we got a taxi to follow to get to the hotel. Had a day off there and on Thurs 6 Oct onwards to Kizkalesi with the temperature rising again to 30 degrees. This was a good day's travel on auto route with good road surface. This is a very fertile area and we passed fields and fields of cotton, bananas and pomegranates. The first view of the Mediterranean sea was invigorating, to say the least! Kizkalesi is famous for its 2 castles - one on the shore and t'other in the middle of the sea. It's dark by 6.15 pm.

Castle in the middle of the sea in Kizkalesi, Turkey.

Castle in the middle of the sea in Kizkalesi, Turkey

...onwards to Alanya - on the south east Turkish coastline and very much a tourist area for Turks and Germans. This was again an horrendous drive through roads that were unmade, rubble and potholes. The coast road winds from being 20 feet from the sea, then up into the mountains where, more often than not, you are riding off road. No hotels or petrol stations and hard going. Colin had had enough. We are tired and then we saw the weather forecast for the next few days - heavy rain and wind! We are booked into the hotel here till Wed 11th and will see if the weather has improved by then. It's an opportunity for Colin to rest as well."

Ed. See Colin and Dee's blog here on Horizons Unlimited for more stories and great pics!

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Marco Hoffmann (BikingMarco), Australia/Germany, Sydney to Germany - the African way, in Zambia trying to get a visa for DRC, Suzuki DR650,

"I just need to write a little update about our attempt to get a visa for the D.R.Congo. On Thursday morning we visited the DRC embassy in Lusaka for the first time. And were met with super friendliness by one guy we shall, for the purpose of this post, call 'the friendly guy'. Who listened to our situation and said the visa is no problem. But the decision lies with the chancellor who we need to see but who was not in the house. But expected back any moment. So we were advised to go back home and the friendly one would send us a text message to Martin's mobile as soon as the chancellor arrives.

Store in Pemba, Zambia.

Store in Pemba, Zambia

We did not get any text message all day. So back we went on Friday early morning. To be told that 1.) the chancellor is not in the house, no one knows if or when he would be in and 2.) we could not get a visa because we need a letter of invitation from within the Congo, rubber-stamped by the Congo immigration department. So we referred to Thursday's conversation and said we wait here for the chancellor.

...So we waited and no chancellor came. And waited. And no one knew if the chancellor would have the grace to appear at all. Hours later a fine white limousine entered the compound and a friendly well dressed guy walked through the waiting room, friendly greeting us with 'bonjour' and disappearing through the backdoor.

Elephants on the side of the road in Zambia.

Elephants on the side of the road in Zambia

...Nothing else happened for another hour. It was lunchtime after all. The embassy closed at 4pm so we thought we might just wait till then. The reception lady came back with the clerk, we asked her a question, without even listening she just told us we need a letter of invitation while walking straight past.

...Meanwhile the well dressed guy was busy signing papers, given to him by the clerk. His presence had a profound effect on the mood in the room. Something was happening. He talked with authority to everyone (except us), was super friendly to everyone (just ignoring us) and obviously told a lot of jokes because everyone was now in a great mood and laughing a lot. Except the two white guys in the room who don't speak the Tonga language.

...After an hour of signing and talking and laughing the well dressed guy was finished and went to the backroom. It was now just after 4pm, closing time for the embassy. But the waiting room was still full. Full of the same people as at 11 am this morning. All just sitting in the same chair as they did all day. None had achieved anything. No one seemed to bother though. So one by one they left. One waiting lady asked us why we were still there. 'Waiting for the chancellor' we said. 'But the chancellor was just here, the guy signing the papers!'. Which was Mr. Well dressed guy.

...Then, finally, the unthinkable happened. The door opened and the chancellor appeared. We were the only two people left in the waiting room, so he must intend to talk to us. And he did. However, all his friendliness and good mood was gone. Instead he gave us a dress down about the impatience of white people, that there is no way to hurry things up. He gave us no chance to talk. Whenever we tried he just interrupted us loudly and continued his tirade against impatience.

So we carefully listened and tried to be following his speech with silent interest. Once he finished we could say one sentence: 'We just want to apply for a visa, however long you need for processing doesn't bother us, but we don't have a letter of invitation.' We said that very quickly, always afraid not being able to finish our sentence. But we got the whole sentence out! He asked us about our business in the Congo. 'Tourists' we said and pointed towards all the nice colour photos on the walls saying in capital letters 'Visitez La Republique Democratique De Congo'.

His response? 'Come back on Monday'. But then, in the most amazing moment for the whole day he said 'Please go ahead and apply for a visa on Monday'. 'We won't have a letter of invitation on Monday either'. 'No problem, you don't need one.' This was said by the mighty chancellor. 5pm Friday night.

We shall now see what will happen on Monday morning."

Ed. See Marco's story and pics in the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Ian Moor, UK, Wrong Way Round The World, in Panama, BMW F650GS,

"Taking things for granted never works in the long run. I got a three month visa for Panama at the border and asked for three months insurance for the motorbike and as the woman in the insurance office didn't say anything I assumed that's what I was given. I then presented the insurance certificate to customs to get the temporary import licence for the motorbike and assumed the bike was valid for three months. In all the previous countries on this trip the bike permit has always been for the same duration as my visa which has a nice symmetry and what is the point of getting a visa and bike permit for different durations? However that is what they do in Panama (and Egypt apparently).

From now on I will be doing more research before getting to each border and reading the documents as I get them until I no doubt eventually lapse into taking things for granted again! I was talking to a group of travellers over coffee who mentioned that vehicle permits were only valid for one month. I argued that I had been given three months but on checking later on I discovered I had indeed only been given one months motorcycle permit and that was one month and two days ago.

It was the weekend and there was nothing I could do until Monday morning when I presented myself at an insurance office as it opened at 8am. The plan was to pick up another months insurance then not wanting to use the bike without its permit, get the bus to David City which had the nearest customs office to apply for an extension to the bike permit. At the insurance office I was told to return at 4pm to collect the certificate so that was another day gone. Bright and early the next morning I was on the bus to David then took a taxi to the customs office.

I wasn't expecting too many problems other than the usual slow form filling and waiting as the bureaucratic wheels slowly turn, possibly a small fine to pay for the lapsed vehicle permit and a small fee for extending the permit by a month. What I experienced was a farcical morning having to bribe a corrupt customs officer of the Republic of Panama.

Boquete River, Panama.

Boquete River, Panama

I was happy to go through the official process but that option wasn't offered. At the desk the customs officer was furtively glancing around the room as we attempted a whispered conversation in Spanish. He even used 'Google Translate' to print out a sentence, show it to me then put it through the shredder, sadly like most 'Google Translate' sentences it didn't make any sense.

Other people came into the office, got processed and left as I was still hanging around. I suspect I would have been processed more quickly and cheaply if the officer had done the paperwork officially. Eventually he typed out a new permit making it look like I had arrived in Panama that day and valid for a month which is fine providing no one inspects the permit and passport together because the passport shows me entering at a different border crossing on a different date.

After waiting for ages until there was no one else in the office he surreptitiously slipped the new permit into my bag and moved it closer to the wall to conceal me passing across $20. If there are no more blog entries after this one assume the dodgy paperwork was discovered and that I'm now languishing in some sinister jail sharing a cell with a group of gringo hating habitual criminals.

Traditional Panama dancing.

Traditional Panama dancing

... I overtook a slow moving truck on a long straight section of road crossing the double yellow lane markers as I did so. The manoeuvre was perfectly safe but technically a little bit illegal and of course there was a police checkpoint further up the road to witness it. Our discussion included illegal overtaking and the soccer teams of Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Barcelona, fortunately; my apology for supporting Newcastle United and crossing the double yellow line was accepted.

A bit further along the Pan Americana I was overtaking a bus, legally this time, crossing back onto my side of the road before the lane markings changed so that oncoming traffic had the right to overtake. Again there was a police checkpoint further ahead and this time I was told that I was in big trouble for overtaking illegally. I have found it prudent when confronted with someone holding a gun to agree wholeheartedly with everything that they say so clearly I was mistaken about the lane markings. I was told that I would have to go to court in Panama City to pay a fine of over $100, we agreed that this was 'mucho problema' so the police officer kindly suggested I could pay an on the spot fine of $40. I counter offered that a fine of $20 would be less painful and although his gun gave him the final word he agreed. For some reason that wasn't explained the officer wanted to wait until the road was clear of witnesses before I paid the fine and then he forgot to give me a receipt.

Brace for Impact sign in Panama City.

I think this sign means 'Brace for Impact'

I continued the rest of the journey following the trucks and buses, not daring to venture anywhere near the centre of the road regardless of the lane markings. I have only had to pay bribes twice on the trip so far, both in Panama although I think this has more to do with the luck of the draw rather than Panama being more corrupt than other Central American countries."

Ed. Follow Ian's adventures in his blog here on Horizons Unlimited!

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Peter and Kay Forwood, Australia, RTW (193 countries), in the USA, on Harley-Davidson,

"A strong headwind welcomed us as we climbed up from the Colorado River to Las Vegas, our hotel in the middle of the Wedding Chapel area of The Strip. Such places as Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel and Little White Wedding Chapel, where such famous people as Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow were married. Elvis and limos the theme at many Chapels but anything goes, and we mean anything. Our hotel room overlooks the Viva Chapel and limos rolled in half hourly as large and small weddings moved through, an interesting couple of hours.

Wedding Chapel, Las Vegas.

Wedding chapel next to our hotel ran half hourly weddings.

In the evening we wandered down to Fremont Street, the old, original Las Vegas, now revamped with a magnificent overhead light display on the covered pedestrian area. Alive, the area attracts dozens of excellent buskers, or more appropriate perhaps, street performers, as some acts were excellent. A wine in the Plaza Casino, coffee in the Golden Nugget, legs aching standing and people watching. The mix of people totally international. The wealth from super rich to poverty stricken, each attempting a living from the street. We have been asked for money from many street people since arriving in the US, mostly people left behind by society, alcoholics, drug addicts, mentally handicapped. A bit of loose change might ease the day for some. There were the two hitch-hikers, with two dogs, stuck in the desert without a shower for three weeks, the street sitters with polystyrene cups begging while they slept off last night's hangover, and tonight a slim self composed proud middle aged woman asked for change, "I am homeless, can you help me a little", moved amongst the crowd of revellers receiving little success, more composed elegance displayed than from anyone else on Fremont Street.

Fremont Street, Las Vegas.

Fremont Street

Saturday, busy in this region as locals and internationals descend, particularly as it is school holidays again. We headed out to Hoover Dam, alongside Lake Mead, taking in the contrast of bright blue sky and lake and the stark desert. A new freeway and bridge has been built since we last visited, across the Grand Canyon, just below the dam, and has attracted many more visitors. Another change, security is tight, post 911, the dam being a possible terrorist target, all vehicles pass through a security road block. We met a group of Germans on an organised tour, Harleys, rentals, a ten day tour of the region from Los Angeles, and a popular tour, perhaps 30 bikes. Also had a cuppa with New Zealanders renting two motorhomes, seven weeks touring the area. In the evening we attempted a ride down Las Vegas Boulevard but traffic was almost at a standstill. After the slow cruise-by viewing we returned for a ride across Fremont Street and called it a night."

Ed. We caught up with Peter and Kay at the recent HU California meeting :) Horizons Unlimited is proud to host Peter and Kay's complete RTW story and pictures here! See their story on the new Road Heroes DVD!

Ronnie Borrageiro, South Africa, RTW, in Australia, BMW 1200 GSA,

"I am back on the road and riding the fourth leg of my Aussie Tour - Melbourne to Brisbane via Canberra and Sydney, and a few other places in between!

Great Ocean Road sign, Australia.

...The Great Ocean road opened up before me and if the first 50 km is anything to go by, I want to find a job somewhere down here, so I can ride this road every day!

If you thought Binnum was an out of the way place, wait until you hear about Carboor!

I still have many posts to bring up to date, including the amazing rides I got to do in Tasmania, a bikers paradise!

I have thousands of photos to sort through which I have taken since I entered the Nullarbor, rode to Melbourne and tackled Tasmania... Finding the time to do this, and write up the posts is proving to be a major headache!

We stopped in Kingston for lunch.

I have changed tyres (Finally! I heard many say!) had a new windshield fitted, received a new passport, and had to buy a new charging cable for my laptop (the third one since kicking off on my tour!) and today, rode to the middle of nowhere, to meet the Touratech Australia guys, who very kindly, together with Aldo of Touratech South Africa, donated a lockable windshield spoiler to me!

A big 'Thank You' to both Robin Box and Aldo van der Walt for the kindness and generosity shown! More on them when I find the time to write!

An inquisitive echidna.

An inquisitive echidna

Right now, after a long and tough day's riding on the Great Alpine Road, (which is easily better than the Great Ocean Road), my eyes are buggered from the cold wind that I have been squinting into all day...

Obstacles on the road down to Otway Lighthouse, Australia.

Obstacles on the road down to Otway Lighthouse

Tomorrow I ride to Canberra, and perhaps even on to Sydney... Right now, I crawl towards my bed!"

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Danielle Murdoch, Australia, Australia to Africa, in Pakistan, Suzuki DR350,

"Riding across Pakistan, I couldn't help wishing I was back in Gilgit. I was excited to be entering Iran and seeing new things but super scared to cross the most dangerous part of Pakistan and Iran, the most risky part of my whole trip to date. Leaving Pakistan wasn't going to be as romantic as the past 6 months, it boiled down to three things, riding, expensive hotels and paperwork. How much fun can that be? I had been told by other overlanders that this is the worst 1000km in people's lives and no one ever wanted to repeat the experience ever again.

First on the agenda was to obtain my Iran visa in Islamabad, which was quick and relatively painless except for the cost. Second on the list was to arrange for my No Objection Certificates from Quetta to be able to cross Baluchistan and then I had to inform the Superintendant of Police when I will be arriving into Quetta.

Decorating bike like a Pakistani truck.

Arriving in Quetta around 11am, I was taken to the Home Department to apply for my next NOC and they issued me with a 5 day exit permit. I still had three days left of my visa but personally I think they knew something because on my way to my hotel my motorcycle started to make horrendous noises... What's wrong? Why are you breaking down in the MOST dangerous city of Pakistan?

At this point I was too upset. I had just driven nonstop for three days, I had somehow caught a cold, developed a fungal infection, and I was fed up with the politics, paperwork and the lousy police escorts and now my bike was having mechanical issues. Why was it all happening at once?

Luckily for me I had made some really good contacts in Pakistan, so I contacted my friend in the Pakistan Bikers Club and asked about a mechanic in Quetta. The following day with my police escort in tow, I found the mechanic shop and they got right to work, pulling my tiny bike into millions of pieces. While this was happening the Superintendent of Police Security for Quetta called me into his office for a small chat about the situation in Quetta.

Danielle with the Quetta Bikers Club.

Danielle with the Quetta Bikers Club

For the next three days, I was under house arrest - well not really but it sure felt like that. I was granted two hours per day in the workshop. I would be picked up at 11am and taken back to my hotel at 1pm. Not exactly what I wanted but it was a compromise."

House arrest in Quetta, Pakistan.

While I was waiting for my bike to be fixed in the most dangerous city of Pakistan, I was pretty much under house arrest. I know it was for my own safety but I couldn't help feeling like a trapped chicken, spending the day watching TV and waiting for my police escorts to arrive to take me to see the mechanic. 22 hours inside... watching TV is not fun.

Graham Holden, UK, RTW, in Ecuador and Colombia, BMW R100GS PD,

"Once again I spent a couple of days looking around Banos before heading up to Quito, where I have been invited to stay with Daniel and his family, such wonderful people, but the big plus is Daniel's Mum bakes cakes, not just cakes, but fantastic cakes, luckily it was Daniel's sisters birthday so we sampled one of the many chocolate cakes Alba cooks nearly everyday! Wow!

Grandma and kids.

Grandma and kids

Lussio, Daniel's brother has taken me around the city, as Daniel is working hard, saving up to make his own dream trip come true, RTW on his KLR.

Volcano, Ecuador.

Volcano, Ecuador

Daniel & I decided to try and reach the snow line of the highest active volcano on the planet earth, so up early and on the bikes, it's not allowed for bikes to enter the national park so we went in through the back door, so to speak, first cobblestones, grass, sand, a few river crossings, that turned out to be a bit more difficult than we thought, but eventually we were getting very close, when we were stopped by the parks wardens, after a bollocking, which I didn't understand we were escorted out of the park, just with a slap on the hand! Oh well, worth a try, we made our way slowly back to civilisation along yet more cobble and dirt roads.

Once in the nearby town we settled in for some lunch, always willing to try new things, I sampled the local guinea pig, to be honest there is not a lot of meat on them, but it was really good.

Guinea pigs on grill.

Guinea pigs on grill

We made our way home after a fantastic morning off road, only to discover a nail in my rear tyre, so there's a job for tomorrow, because not long after our arrival home it started to rain, so good timing once again!

...I had yet another great ride up to Cali. Colombia is very lush, mostly due to the rain I keep avoiding, but I'm sure it will catch me sooner rather than later. In Cali I located the Casa Blanca Hostel, run by a fellow Horizons Unlimited member, Mike.

Casa Blanca Hostel, Cali, Colombia.

Casa Blanca Hostel

I've decided to replace my tyres whilst in Colombia as they are the cheapest place in South America, so I was on a mission to find Anakee 2 tyre for front and rear, to be honest my current tyres have only done just over 8000 miles, the rear has plenty left, but taking people's advice and changing them when you find the tyre you prefer, I found a front tyre just one block away from the hostel, half the mission accomplished.

Met some great guys in the Hostel from America, although Michael and Jack live in the north of Colombia, Bart on the other hand has discovered life, he's taking it with both hands and living like there's no tomorrow, fantastic!

After a couple of days in Cali, it was time to get up the road again."

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Eric and Sabrina Starling, USA, chilling in Guanajuato, Mexico,

"We've been enjoying Guanajuato for 4 months now and we're right in the middle of the rainy season. We were expecting some Seattle-esque rains given how much we heard about the rainy season before it started but instead we've gotten a really nice collection of late afternoon thundershowers.

The rains help clear out the narrow callejons (alleys) and really cool down the city from the blazing high altitude sun. Overall temps are quite moderate with highs in the mid to high 80s and lows at night dipping down to the high 50s. The weather reminds us quite a lot of summers in the Rockies and it really makes Guanajuato a great place to be in the summertime compared to the steaming northern coasts or swampy southern jungles.

The storms roll in over the surrounding hills and pour down into the valley where the city sits. It's really nice watching the storms come in from the balcony. Since Guanajuato sits at such a high elevation (~7000 feet) there's a lot of cool air up here that mixes with the hot air out by leon in the surrounding hills and plains. When the air collides we get some great lightning storms that provide a great show from the tower. I've been leaving the camera setup on a tripod on the top balcony to catch the lightning.

Thunderstorm in Guanajuato.

The narrow streets offer their own dilemmas since the rains dump so much water in a short period of time the streets can quickly transform into fast flowing streams complete with their own waterfalls down the steep stairs. It's a pretty cool thing to watch from town but if you're caught commuting or on a grocery run you can find yourself seeking shelter in the nearest doorway.

Flooded staircase, Guanajuato.

Flooded Stairways

These are just a few pics from some of the streets near our house during a typical storm."

Daan Stehouwer and Mirjam van Immerzeel, Netherlands, Canada to South America, in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, Africa Twins,

"Nicaragua! After just two hours of stamp-collecting and 24 USD each we were free to go into the country! It is really beautiful here, with active volcanos everywhere and stunning views!

Bike on beach.

Today we arrived on Ometepe, the biggest island-in-a-lake in the world, formed by two volcanos. And yeah, if you then drive offroad... you might have to crawl over some volcanic rock!

 

Costa Rica! Beautiful country, but we only saw rains today. Really, the whole day it was pissing with rain because of some tropical storms nearby, and we just drove for 5 hours to a nice hostel.

Mirjam and Daan in hotel room.

The border was okay, took us a bit more than two hours to cross... with total lack of organisation on the Nicaraguan side... interesting!

... We are in Panama City now, where we will stay for 5 nights until we embark on the sailboat to Cartagena, Colombia."

Ed. Nice video and pics by Daan and Mirjam on their website!

Sherri Jo Wilkins, Australia/USA, RTW, avoiding bears in the USA, KTM 690 Enduro,

"I found hiking not to be as enjoyable when constantly worried for big grizzly bears. I might be over worried, as most people around here don't seem to be... at all! I'm going to hide out in my tent for the night. I'll be safe in there.... yeah, uh huh.. ;-) As they drum into you around here on paper notices. do NOT leave any food within 20 meters of the tent, not even a water bottle, put all food in storage lockers or tie into a tree, including cosmetics, anything that smells of food, might invite a bear into your tent... geez! I've got my little air horn, a tire iron and a leatherman (with knife part already out) ready for attack right by my pillow... but I kept my water bottle and took my chances.

Water falls with lurking bear?

I was scared walking the trail back to these water falls.. I rattled my keys for noise the whole way.. at the end of the trail a couple there says, 'Did you see bears?' I said no, thank goodness, however this couple was very happy to say they were right on the track! Am I the only weirdo who is not keen to come across bears on my walk?

Brown bear.

When I was nearly back to my motorcycle, a couple with 2 small children were starting down the trail. I warned them about the bears because they were letting their little ones run ahead of them (running small people = bear targets?) They didn't stop their children, but the Dad ran back to the car to get the camera, in hopes of seeing these bears... don't mind the children!"

Ed. Sherri Jo managed to avoid getting eaten by a bear and make it to the HU California meeting, where she was warmly welcomed and did a presentation on her trip so far!

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Miles and Tracey McEwing, Canada, to the end of South America, in Guatemala, Ural Sidecar

"Our journey continued with a climb into heavy fog. As we were now approaching the most populated area of the country, we began to see more signs of Maya life and crafts, particularly weaving and embroidery which were obvious in the traditional dress of both women and men. The beautiful traditional clothing is made by the women in a riot of colours. Almost all of the women were in traditional dress but many men dressed similarly. Two of the most prevalent types of clothing are a corte, a piece of material 7 - 10m long that is used as a wraparound skirt by both women and men and the faja, a long woven waist sash that can be folded to hold whatever needs to be carried.

Our plan was to drive to Panajachel on volcano-ringed Lake Atitlán, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. However, the road to the town had been closed for a few days so we weren't sure we would get there. Our uncertainty grew as we approached. The fog thickened, the rain became heavier and darkness arrived earlier than expected. But the road was open so we struggled through and made it to our destination.

Sights from Antigua, Guatemala.

Sights from Antigua

We spent the evening exploring the main street of the village and were followed by a couple of young peddlers who would not take 'Non Gracias' for an answer. One young boy just kept asking for 'one chicken' indicating that he'd be happy for us to buy him a meal if we weren't interested in buying what he was selling. After he had walked along side us for some time, talking non-stop, Miles finally gave him some money and sent him on his way. Even during dinner, the peddling continued with three different peddlers coming right up to our table in the restaurant. Fortunately they disappeared quickly. However, the five dogs who joined us at the table were not quite as quick to respond. They came and went throughout the meal.

Guarding the bike.

The next morning we woke to find Luca, the hotel guard dog, keeping a close eye on our bike as he was laid out directly behind the bike soaking up the sun."

Jordan and Michelle, USA, Texas to South America, in the Atacama Desert, Chile, 2up on Ninja 250,

"The entire terrain is monochromatic. Sand, rock, dirt, sand, rock, dirt. Brown brown brown. It was fascinating for the first few hours. The next 20 hours... not so much. Also, surprisingly chilly. Deserts are supposed to be hot, right?

Jordan and Michelle at the Mano del Desierto, Chile.

Mano del Desierto, Chile

As the sun went down it was surprisingly difficult to find camping. Huge expanses of empty space were abundant, what was lacking was any sort of vegetation to burn. Dinner was usually a very simple rice or pasta, and breakfast was always oatmeal, so a small fire was a necessity for any camping. In the desert we had not even a shrub to sacrifice. Finally we came across a strange area that had large thorn thickets. Thorn bushes are everywhere in Texas, so that was not unusual. The land was the puzzling part. Everywhere the ground surface was covered by hard, oddly rounded outcroppings.

They were hard enough to walk on, and appeared from a the road to be just continuous piles of stones. On closer inspection you could see they were all one continuous formation, and were connected with the ground rock-hard ground. If you gave a sharp kick you could break large pieces off, and these pieces would break like porcelain if thrown against the ground. Never seen anything like it, and am very curious as to what formed that landscape.

Stony landscape, Chile.

As you can imagine, impossible to ride across. Luckily there appeared to be a rough truck trail that headed off the highway, so I pulled off and started figuring out a path. Michelle, wisely, decided to get off and walk behind while I forged ahead to search for a campsite. I started off down the trail, which actually wasn't too bad. As I scanned all around looking for a flat space to lay our tent, I became aware of a 2' hole in the middle of the trail. No time to react, I hit it square on. I flew over the handlebars.

I sat up and looked at the bike. The windscreen was toast, maybe the fairing too. The wheel looks round. Wasn't going fast. Michelle is running, but I'm laughing by the time she gets there.

Pick the bike up and give her a look over. The fairing is still fine! Only casualty is the windscreen. Give her a crank and after a few seconds she spins to life. Crash number three and still nothing but scratches! I love this bike!

We find a flat area and set up camp.

Camping in Chile.

The next morning we woke up, cooked our oatmeal and hit the road. If the pictures are any indication... there was nothing...

Actually over 200 miles of nothing. Not even a gas station. The stock ninja 250 has a pretty astounding range. 4.8 gallon tank and great gas mileage, 250+ miles out of a tank was not uncommon for this trip. On this stretch... I don't know what happened. I hit reserve at 160 miles. Either I didn't fill it to the top on the last fill, the petcock fuel leak was more severe than I realized, or blasting at 80mph down the Pan-American was killing my fuel economy. Maybe all three. We puttered to the side of the road at 195 miles. Hadn't seen a single building in 3 hours. First time I've ever run out of gas on a motorcycle. I barely have my helmet off before Michelle flags down a passing pickup. He says the next station is not far and he can take us. Michelle stays with the bike and I hop in. About 10 miles down the road there is a lone gas station, apparently just a refueling halfway point. I fish an old plastic coca-cola bottle out of the trash and fill it up with gasoline. Lacking Michelle's feminine charm it takes me 15 minutes to flag down a ride. Eventually a semi stops and takes me 10 miles back down the road, where I pour my coke bottle into the gas tank and off we go back to the gas station.

At the gas station I noticed that the motorcycle, my jacket and my helmet were covered in black gunk. 100 miles back I had passed what I thought was some sort of a street sweeper. It had dirtied my face-shield but I thought nothing of it. Now I saw it wasn't dirty water, it was tar. I asked Michelle how I ended up behind an asphalt-laying truck, surely they would have stopped traffic from driving on a road in progress. 'Yea, they were waving at you. I had no idea why you kept going.' The desert was getting to me, I hadn't noticed anybody. I cleaned the bike as best I could, using rags and gasoline. Gasoline isn't good for the paint, but I figured tar was probably worse. The jacket was permanently spotted and the already scuffed helmet became even more opaque. The road looked fine when we crossed over it again a few weeks later, but I sincerely hope I didn't cause that road crew any extra trouble.

That afternoon we stopped into Copiapo for groceries. Michelle was hankering for a shower, so we scoured the town for anything affordable. No dice, cheapest we found was $40 for a dirty shared bathroom. By the time we were defeated it was already dark, so we were in a tough spot. Nothing to do but hit the road and hope we found a campsite. We were tired, it was cold, and all we wanted to do was sleep. 10 minutes outside of town I saw a little dirt service road leading off the highway. We got off the bike and started looking for a campsite by flashlight. Plenty of open space, and heck, there was even some dry brush to make a fire. Problem was, the whole place was hopelessly rocky and uneven. It was also apparently another informal trash dump. No way we could sleep on this crap. But then I had an idea... we could put our tent on that old rotten mattress over there! Michelle was disgusted with this idea, but after I convinced her that the tent would surely keep out any infestations she swallowed her pride and agreed."

Michelle packing up campsite in Chile.

Michelle packing up as quickly as possible in the morning.

Ed. See Jordan and Michelle's story and pics in the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!


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More stories below...

up to top of pagespacerContests and calendars!

 

2011 Photo Contest is closed! 2012 Calendar is now available, just in time!

We got hundreds of great pics, it was very hard, but we shortlisted down to 26 pictures and then you voted on them! And the results are in!

Congratulations to the 2011 Photo Contest winners: Anna & Claus Possberg, Andy Woynarowski, Jacek Dubiel, Alberto Lara, Igor Djokovic, Katka Svozilova, George Guille, Werner Steffens, Simon McCarthy, Naomi Tweddle and Matt Kinch.

January: by Anna & Claus Possberg, Germany. Mount Everest Base Camp, Tibet; BMW F800.

Grand Prize 2011 Winner - January: by Anna & Claus Possberg, Germany. Mount Everest Base Camp, Tibet; BMW F800.

Anna & Claus receive the Progressive Suspension Makeover prize.

November: by Naomi Tweddle, of Alberto Lara, Canada. 'I sure hope this bridge holds!' Near Angasmarca, Peru , on our Americas tour; F800GS.

Second Prize - November: by Naomi Tweddle, of Alberto Lara, Canada. 'I sure hope this bridge holds!' Near Angasmarca, Peru , on our Americas tour; F800GS.

Naomi wins the Horizons Unlimited fleece jacket + t-shirt!

You can buy all the pics in a 2012 calendar from CafePress. The price is US$26.99 plus postage. The cost to us from CafePress is $14.99, and we split the $12.00 profit with the photographers.

Other Winners (all winners share in the 2012 calendar profits)

Cover: by Andy Woynarowski, Poland. Mother Nature knows how to throw a great spectacle. Riding through the Andes in northwest Argentina, on our RTW tour; DL650.

Cover: by Andy Woynarowski, Poland. Mother Nature knows how to throw a great spectacle. Riding through the Andes in northwest Argentina, on our RTW tour; DL650.

February: by Jacek Dubiel, Poland/Canada. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, during the rainy season on our Peru/Bolivia Tour; Honda Tornado XR250.

February: by Jacek Dubiel, Poland/Canada. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, during the rainy season on our Peru/Bolivia Tour; Honda Tornado XR250.

March: by Alberto Lara; of Naomi Tweddle, Canada. The road snakes down and then up in the Peruvian Highlands, on our Canada to Argentina tour; BMW F800GS.

March: by Alberto Lara; of Naomi Tweddle, Canada. The road snakes down and then up in the Peruvian Highlands, on our Canada to Argentina tour; BMW F800GS.

April: by Igor Djokovic, Thailand; of Lake Llanganuco in Cordillera Blanca of Peru, during my trip around South America; KLR 650.

April: by Igor Djokovic, Thailand; of Lake Llanganuco in Cordillera Blanca of Peru, during my trip around South America; KLR 650.

May: by Katka Svozilova of Martin Hak, Czech Republic. Amazing morning close to Hasan Dagi, Turkey on our tour to Middle East; BMW R1150GS Adventure.

May: by Katka Svozilova of Martin Hak, Czech Republic. Amazing morning close to Hasan Dagi, Turkey on our tour to Middle East; BMW R1150GS Adventure.

June: by George Guille, Sark, Channel Islands. Drawing a crowd on Flores, Indonesia - 'You are the first Westerner to stay in our village for 40 years!' Riding RTW; Honda XRV750 Africa Twin.

June: by George Guille, Sark, Channel Islands. Drawing a crowd on Flores, Indonesia - 'You are the first Westerner to stay in our village for 40 years!' Riding RTW; Honda XRV750 Africa Twin.

July: by Werner Steffens, Germany; of Claudia Sabel, Germany. Water crossing on the Oodnadatta Track/South Australia on our RTW; R80GS.

July: by Werner Steffens, Germany; of Claudia Sabel, Germany. Water crossing on the Oodnadatta Track/South Australia on our RTW; R80GS.

August: by Simon McCarthy, UK. The Americans blew the bridge, but the locals have an alternative. Near Salavan, Laos.

August: by Simon McCarthy, UK. The Americans blew the bridge, but the locals have an alternative. Near Salavan, Laos.

September: by Alberto Lara, Canada. Camping in the Chilean Andes at -6.5 Celsius, on our Canada to Argentina tour; BMW F800GS.

September: by Alberto Lara, Canada. Camping in the Chilean Andes at -6.5 Celsius, on our Canada to Argentina tour; BMW F800GS.

October: by Anna & Claus Possberg, Germany. Camel chase in West China on the border with Pakistan on the Karakoram Highway, Muztag Ata in the background; BMW F800.

October: by Anna & Claus Possberg, Germany. Camel chase in West China on the border with Pakistan on the Karakoram Highway, Muztag Ata in the background; BMW F800.

December: by Matt Kinch, Australia; of Bob Craen (Belgium), riding in unexpected snow on Zoji La Pass, Kashmir India; Royal Enfield 500cc.

December: by Matt Kinch, Australia; of Bob Craen (Belgium), riding in unexpected snow on Zoji La Pass, Kashmir India; Royal Enfield 500cc.

2012 Photo Contest is now on!

The contest is now an annual event, where you can showcase your best photos, and they can help inspire others to get on the road too. The best 13 photos will be used in the calendar, and those photographers will share equally in half the proceeds. All winners get a free 2012 calendar, and 1 year Gold Member status on the HUBB.

Grand Prize for 2012 is a South America Tour with Compass Expeditions! 28th Dec 2012 to 5th Jan 2013 - This wonderful 9 day tour by Compass Expeditions explores the scenic wonderland of the famous Chilean Lakes District, the frontier lands of Chiloe Island and the epic riding experienced as you cross the Andes and ride into Argentina. As with all Compass Expeditions rides the lucky winner will be aboard a BMW F650GS Twin. Approximate Value at time of writing: $3,990.

First Prize - For Suzuki DL1000 / 650, Kawasaki KLR650, BMW F650GS / F800GS entries wins a Progressive Suspension Makeover, approx value US$650, shipped to your door.

To enter the 2012 contest, start here!

New!T-shirt Slogan Contest! Ending Soon!

What's your favourite slogan? What do you think are the words that epitomise motorcycle adventure travel? We had a terrific slogan contest years ago, and we have now 'used up' all those slogans - so we thought we'd have another one!

First Prize - A t-shirt with your slogan on it, "The Achievable Dream - the Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide Collectors Box Set" and FREE entry to an HU Travellers Meeting anywhere in the world - you just have to get yourself there!

Second Prize -A t-shirt with your slogan on it, plus your choice of any "Achievable Dream" title.

Third Prize - A t-shirt with your slogan on it, and a copy of "Road Heroes"

There will be a RANDOM DRAW for a FREE copy of the 2012 Calendar!

Rules are simple - it can't be one we've already used (see the list on the contest entry page), you assign us full rights to use as we see fit anywhere we choose, and you assert that you own the rights to it so they can be assigned to us, and that it is not trademarked / copyrighted etc elsewhere (or we can't use it.)

When we close submissions, we'll pick the top 10-20, and those will be put to a VOTE by you to determine the winners!

Entries must be in by: October 30. The vote will be shortly after, and close November 30. Winners will then be announced. You will be notified if you are a winner by email. So get your creative juices flowing, and enter here.

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Compass Expeditions. Thanks!

Discover the extraordinary with Compass Expeditions.


up to top of pagespacerBooks

Tea with Bin Ladens Brother, by Simon Roberts.

Just Released!Tea with Bin Laden's Brother, by Simon Roberts

An Adventure motorbiking graphic novel telling the gripping story of a solo ride through Iran, Pakistan and India to Nepal. Take a look inside...


Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker.

Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker

From the Canadian Rockies to the Panamanian Jungle, Motorcycle Therapy rumbles with comic adventure as two men, fleeing failed relationships, test the limits of their motorcycles and their friendship. Get it here!


Red Tape and White Knuckles: One Woman's Motorcycle Adventure Through Africa

Lois' adventures in Africa!

'Alone. No support vehicles, no fancy GPS and no satellite phone. Leaving from London, finishing in Cape Town - and the small matter of tackling the Sahara, war-torn Angola and the Congo Basin along the way - this feisty independent woman's grand trek through the Dark Continent of Africa is the definitive motorcycling adventure.' Get it here!


Distant Suns, by Sam Manicom

Adventure in the vastness of Africa and South America

'Sam Manicom's dynamic third book transports you to Southern Africa, South and Central America in an action-packed three year voyage of discovery. a thought-provoking mix of scrapes and encounters with people which illuminate some moments of true darkness. acute observations on everything from human behaviour, to remote and stunning locations. Distant Suns grabs you, enthrals you and spits you out as a convert to the dream of overlanding these amazing continents.' Buy direct from Sam here!


Adventure Motorbiking Handbook.

Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, by Chris Scott


Into the Den of the Bear and the Lair of the Dragon on a Motorcycle.

Into the Den of the Bear and the Lair of the Dragon on a Motorcycle. Werner, 66, was born in Germany and worked in Canada until his retirement. He has authored a number of books since getting bit by the motorcycle travel bug, including

-8 Around the Americas by Motorcycle,
-Into the Den of the Bear and the Lair of the Dragon on a Motorcycle
, and
-Africa Against the Clock on a Motorcycle
.
All his books are available directly from Werner. Tell him we sent you and get US$5.00 off the regular US$20 price!

For details on his books see here.


video cover picture

The Producers of Mondo Enduro present Terra Circa, Around the World by Motorcycle
(6 x 20 minute episodes).

Regular readers of this newsletter will remember Terra Circa's adventures around the world, and especially the Zilov Gap. Now's your chance to see it in video. Austin Vince is a very funny guy and the video is hilarious, as he leads his intrepid crew through misadventure after misadventure.

'This is adventure motorcycling' says Chris Scott, who wrote the book, so he ought to know!


Looking for a travel book for someone special?

Go to our Books pages, where we have listed some of the best motorcycle travel books, as well as a number of BMW books, general motorcycle books, and travel guides.

There's links to Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Deutschland, so no matter where you are - you can order books at great prices, and we'll make a dollar or a pound or a Euro, which goes a very little way to supporting this e-zine.

There's also links to search Amazon sites for all their products, books, CDs etc., and yes, we get a tiny piece of that too. We really appreciate it when you start your book search from our website. Thanks for the support!

NOTE: If you buy a book starting with one of our links below, we get a little bit to help support the website!

buy from Amazon USA buy from Amazon Deutschland Shop at Amazon Canada

Book suggestions please!

If you have a book or want a book that you think other travellers would be interested in please let me know and I'll put it on the site. Thanks, Grant


Help support your favourite website! Here's how!


Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales - Part 1.

Road Heroes Part 1!

Get your Road Heroes DVD now for inspirational and funny tales from the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 1 - Get Ready!

Part 1 - Get Ready!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 2 - Gear Up! 2-DVD Set!

Part 2 - Gear Up!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 3 - On the Road! 2-DVD Set!

Part 3 - On the Road!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 4 - Ladies on the Loose!

Part 4 - Ladies on the Loose !

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 5 - Tire Changing!

Part 5 - Tire Changing!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!









































































































































































Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker.

Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker

From the Canadian Rockies to the Panamanian Jungle, Motorcycle Therapy rumbles with comic adventure as two men, fleeing failed relationships, test the limits of their motorcycles and their friendship. Get it here!





















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See our complete Privacy Policy here.

Grant & Susan Johnson, Editors

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If you've had problems receiving the e-zine due to spam filters or insufficient bandwidth, remember you can subscribe to the 'Notice' edition instead of the full HTML version. The Notice edition is a short, straight text message that contains a URL to bring you to the full text on the website. Because the Notice email is so small, it downloads in a flash, and leaves your mailbox uncluttered. Change to the Notice version here.

We now have an RSS feed for the e-zine (you'll need an RSS Reader to use it) and all the travellers' blogs have their own feeds. The HUBB has a full RSS feed here. If you're not sure what that's all about, there's a detailed RSS Guide here.

Newsletter Back issues

Reader comments

All comments and suggestions are carefully read, and where possible will be acted on. Your help will make this a useful service for all travellers.

Please use the Bulletin Board for questions and suggestions.

Advertising:

If you would like to advertise your product or service in this newsletter or on the website, please contact me. Ad rates are very reasonable. Details at this link.


ISSN 1703-1397 Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' E-zine - Copyright 1999-2010, Horizons Unlimited and Grant and Susan Johnson. All rights reserved.

Redistribution - sending it on to friends is allowed, indeed encouraged, but other than the following requirements, only with permission. You may forward copies of the Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' e-zine by forwarding it yourself by hand. You must forward the issue in its entirety, no fee may be involved. Please suggest they Subscribe!

Legal gibberish: (particularly for those in countries that have more lawyers in one town, just for instance, New York, not to name any names, than some whole countries, as another example, Japan. Again, not naming anybody specifically you understand).
Recommendations are based on positive or negative experiences of somebody, somewhere. Your mileage (kilometrage if you insist) may vary. We are not responsible in any way for any product or service mentioned, and do not warrant any such mentioned product or service, and are not responsible for any bad things that may befall you. You are responsible for yourself! Act accordingly. We check all links and information given as close as possible to publication, and all info is correct as best we can determine at that time.

up to top of pagespacerShorts.

Hubert Kriegel, France, Sidecar-ing the world, in Mali,

Off to motorcycle shop.

"I discovered I had to change the drive shaft cross of the 2WD and went shopping for a new one.

Off to motorcycle shop

Parts store in Mali.

Parts store

Finished crew.

Finished crew

We were not lucky with the size needed, but at the end... we found one I bought in Switzerland 3 years ago! At the end, we are very happy with their work and their kindness...

Muddy road, Africa.

Notice that I carry my shoes in my right hand to avoid damping them when there is too much water...

Hubert reports from his sickbed,

... I have no more malaria in my blood, but I am enduring the after effects. I have stomach problems and throat problems. I have difficulties to eat and I am very tired. I am in bed 22h a day trying to relax and sleep. But there is progress so I'm moving on.

As for Jean Louis, in Germany, they found 3 kidney stones at different times, so his return was delayed, but now he is in good shape and will take his plane to Bamako tomorrow.

Thank you for all your good wishes on the guest book and all the emails I got, I appreciate your support and the only reason I am not communicating too much is because, I am still groggy!"

Ed. Best wishes for a speedy recovery for you and Jean Louis, and Happy 65th Birthday!

Darius and Jane Skrzpiec, RTW, in Tanzania,

"Finally we left Malawi behind and crossed over to Tanzania. having some problems with changing money at the border was not a good start for Tanzania but very soon we'd find out that Tanzania is a great place to be!

At the moment we're staying at a German expats place in Dar es Salaam and trying to get hold of an Kenyan visa for Jane. if everything works out fine we'll be in Kenya by the beginning of November to meet Darius' parents who are coming for a visit."

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Ayres Adventures . Thanks!

“A 9,000-mile journey through a dozen African countries on BMW GS motorcycles. An Ayres Adventures premium tour.”

'A 9,000-mile journey through a dozen African countries on BMW GS motorcycles. An Ayres Adventures premium tour.'

Jos Van Berckel has a great offer for the HU Vancouver community:

"Me and my wife Regien are near the end of our trip to Ushuaia. if there are any couples out there or friends that want to be in Ushuaia with Christmas or at the travellers meeting in Viedma, that would like to buy our bikes in Ushuaia or or Santiago, before we ship them back, please contact me.

1 x 2007 GSA 1 x 2008 GS (factory lowered)
Both registered in Vancouver BC
Both bikes are fully equipped to do the trip back to Canada

The bikes will be available end of November, beginning of December, package deal only, we don't want to ship back just one bike."

CaperMike and Beverly, USA, Eastern Europe on two V-Stroms, in Italy,

"The ferry arrived in Venice at about 7:30 am. We disembarked and the trusty GPS took us right to our hotel, the Elite hotel which was a 20 minute bus ride to Venice. There is a 10% discount if you book this hotel through bikerhome.it but we didn't discover that until after we checked in. We had breakfast, did some internet work and a room became available early. We were fortunate to be able to get settled before our venture into the old town. Our goal: see Venice and take a gondola ride and get a picture.

We accomplished our goal of a gondola ride in Venice.

We accomplished our goal.

The prices for a gondola at the square were stupid expensive - 200 Euros! We wended our way back away from the most popular areas and found a gondola for 70 Euros. Still too much but this was in line with what we learned was a going rate. The gondola ride was nice. The highlights from the gondola driver's point of view were Marco Polo and Casanova's houses.

Casanova's house in Venice.

Casanova's house

We stopped in one of the many squares for something to eat. The people at the table next to us included two Asian women. One was speaking Italian with a Japanese accent. Then they switched to French, English and Japanese. Why they kept switching languages we do not know but we were thoroughly impressed. We started a conversation with a young couple sitting next to us from Barcelona. They too had noticed the languages spoken at the table behind us. We tried our Spanish with them. His dream is to take a motorcycle trip through Africa. We gave them the Horizon's website so he could dream a bit more."

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
Please be sure you tell them how you heard about Rukka
. Thanks!

The Rukka brand name has become a synonym for high quality textile motorcycling apparel, and year after year the Finnish manufacturer has caused sensations pioneering highly innovative solutions for those looking for maximum quality, comfort and protection.

Adventure motorcycling clothing for the demanding traveller
Grant: We've been wearing Rukka since 2002 and highly recommend it!

Rockwell (Rocky and Paula), RTW, in Canada, KTM 990 Adventure,

"Arriving in Banff after enduring a bitterly cold rain, we found a Tim Horton's to camp out at for a while to rest, dry off and get warm. We waited for several hours for the rain to stop. It didn't. After about five hours of sitting, we decided to find a place to stealth camp. We found a suitable location on the outskirts of town, set up camp and endured a long, cold night.

We awoke the next morning to some breaks in the clouds that had been overhead for the past few days. The day was spent riding along the Canadian Rockies - to Lake Louise, Bow Lake, and up to the Athabasca Glacier. The scenery was awesome. The sun shared the sky with the clouds, and the temperatures cold, especially while riding. With nightfall quickly drawing upon us, we pulled off the side of the road to camp just outside the town of Field, British Columbia, a picturesque town of approximately 300 people situated along the snow capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

Paula at the Athabasca Glacier, Alberta Canada.

Athabasca Glacier

We were awoken in the middle of the night to a fierce thunderstorm. I was sure that the tent would be blown apart by the winds, but I was too tired to care, so I shut my eyes and went back to sleep.

Coming down in elevation the next morning, the sun began to shine and the temperature began to rise. We followed the route John had made up for us through Golden, into Revelstoke, and down along Upper Arrow Lake where we had our first ferry crossing. We continued along twisting and winding roads and beautiful scenery, and stopped just before sunset. We camped out in the park next to a lake in the small town of New Denver along the edge of Slocan Lake.

The next morning, the bike refused to start. My initial guess was that the battery was drained from charging all of our electronics the previous day, even though it was while Almeida's alternator was turning. The several attempts of fire up the engine were in vain. The battery just didn't have enough juice to crank the starter motor. Luckily, a neighbour, just across the street from the park where we were camped, heard us trying to start the engine and offered his assistance and his battery charger. After about fifteen minutes on the charger, I tried the to start the bike and the engine immediately fired up. We thanked our new friend, David, for his help, I put the bike in gear and we headed towards Grand Forks, British Columbia."

Ed. See Rocky and Paula's story and pics in the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Paul and Angie, UK, RTW, in USA, Yamaha XT660Rs,

"I liked Arkansas, after the forests it was nice to see the fields and open landscape. We had plenty of dirt and the going was easy giving Angie time to get used to it. The Ozark hills were our last obstacle before the Great Plains, We did find a very technical downhill section that had been eroded by water run off. It was steep, rocky and slippery. We should really have routed around it on our loaded bikes. I rode both bikes down and was lucky to stay on, didn't see any other tyre marks so I guess Hank routed around it! I must say that Angie is turning into quite a rider, I don't know that many guys who would do what she has on a loaded bike. Only her height holds her back really, soft sand is a struggle for her but how many of you reading this have ridden a heavy bike through deep dry sand and not been off.

Oklahoma sand track.

Oklahoma sand track

I did a proper dive into the sand as I didn't see it quickly enough and Angie made it through with only two drops - many guys on lightly loaded smaller bikes route around this section in fact we met two - Angie was made up that she did what they wouldn't try.

Oklahoma shack.

Oklahoma shack

Oklahoma is chuffin big and chuffin flat with chuff all in it. I enjoyed seeing it but I wouldn't want to turn round and ride back through it. Funny thing happened, we stopped to look at a deserted little house in the middle of nowhere, the track disappeared into the distance in both directions - not seen a soul in miles. We were looking away from the track when beeeeeeeeep, a bloody 4x4 wanted us to move our bikes. I jumped out of my skin, made the twat talk to me though but he didn't want to.

Angie with bike.

Angie with bike

There is an awful lot of dirt in Oklahoma that would be horrible if it rained, If you plan to ride the TAT here I would check the weather if I were you. We have ordered tyres to be shipped to a camp site in New Mexico, I'll fit them and service the bikes before Colorado."

Overland to India

Overland to India book by Gordon May

by Gordon May

Paperback, 21x14.8 cm 234 pages incl 8 pages of colour photographs. £9.95.

Synopsis:

In 2008, Gordon May set off on an 8,400 mile ride from Manchester, UK, to Chennai, India, on his 1953 Royal Enfield. Despite encountering intense heat, suffering a crash in the Baluchistan desert and battling against some of the worst roads and driving standards on the planet, Gordon and his old Bullet did make it to Chennai.

In Overland to India Gordon describes how he restored his beloved motorcycle, the build up to departure, the larger-than-life characters he met and how he tackled the many challenges that came his way. He also recounts the more personal highs and lows of life on the road. Above all, Overland To India is a heart-warming book that reveals that there is much human kindness and hospitality to be found, sometimes in the most unexpected places and situations.

Review:

What I really liked about Overland to India was the sheer determination of the rider. Gordon's love of his motorcycle shone through too; he often thanks it for getting him to his various destinations along the gruelling route and I liked reading about his running repairs. I felt his joy, his euphoria, at being out on the open road. I also felt his exhaustion. When Gordon suffered a crash I could almost feel those bruises and also his fear following an attempted highway robbery. What was also really striking was the generosity, friendliness and humility of many of the people he met along the way, who Gordon describes with real warmth. It's uplifting to discover that it's a welcoming world out there. Overland to India is a lesson to all of us who have a dream and want to pursue it. Inspiring. Judith Coyle

£9.95

Seen on the Road, by Hubert Kriegel, France, in Bamako, Mali

"We met 6 other RTW motorcycle travellers who just happened to meet separately in Bamako. Rare coincidence in Africa."

RTW Motorcyclists in Bamako, Mali.

Left to Right: Jean-Louis - Julien - Gonzalo - Henry - Margus & Kariina - Martin

Leaving soon below...


up to top of pagespacerHorizons Unlimited Travellers Meetings.

Why Come to a Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers Meeting?

You can meet people who don't think you're crazy for wanting to ride your bike to South America or Africa or across Asia, or even around the world! Admit it, all your 'normal' friends and most of your family fear for your sanity! So, this is your opportunity to meet the people who will encourage you in that craziness, share their experiences and advice on how to do it, and maybe you'll meet them again in Mongolia or Timbuktu!

Also importantly, the meetings help to make HU more than just a website - a community of motorcycle travellers - real people, not just e-mail addresses ;-) And last but not least, they make a significant contribution to HU revenue, thus helping us to keep the HUBB and website going! So thanks to everyone who comes!

Our finances are dictating that we need to raise the registration fees for the larger meetings that we attend. We think the meetings are still incredibly good value for the entertainment, information and inspiration they provide, and the connections they enable. For most meetings, we'll hold the 2011 price as an 'early bird' rate for the next few months, then raise it in stages. This seems fair to us - if you can commit to the event and pay early you get a bargain, if you wait until the last minute it will cost you more. We really need the cash flow, so the early bird registrations benefit us too :)

Germany Autumn

We couldn't get to this meeting in Ober-Liebersbach, but feedback was excellent, and the weather in mid-October was definitely better than last year ;-)

Typical comments:

"Hi Jens, Thank you for the excellent meeting! It was really nice to meet people from the earlier meetings as also new people. Presentations were excellent!" Hemuli, Germany

"Hej Jens, thank you (and all helpers) for this great weekend. Friendly people, nice roads and sunshine all the way!" Uwe, Sweden

"Thank you Jens for a great organisation ... we really had fun!" Heike, Switzerland

As usual, Jens did a great job of organising and making everyone welcome. Thanks from us too, Jens!

More comments here on the HUBB. Also, Heike has posted a very nice video on YouTube. Thanks, Heike!

USA California

We did get to the USA California meeting in Cambria, venue was fabulous, overlooking the Pacific. We want to thank all our presenters, including Ted Simon, Dr. Gregory Frazier, Peter & Kay Forwood, Carla King, Clement Salvadori, Merritt & Pierre Saslawsky, Nicole Espinosa, Sherri Jo Wilkins, Tim Bussey, Zigy Kaluzny and many more. Thanks to all the volunteers, too numerous to name, you know who you are! Special thanks to Mike and Sandra Dimond for finding the venue, and all their hard work - not sure they knew what they were getting into! And thanks to everyone who came - you make it special!

Finally, thanks to all the vendors who attended and generously donated prizes for the raffle for Motorcycle Outreach, including Touratech USA, San Jose BMW, Schuberth, BurnsMoto, Altrider, Rugged Rider, RKA Luggage and Giant Loop, We raised $515 for the charity, so well done!

Typical comments:

"I just learned about HU a month or so ago, and that gathering in Cambria exceeded my wildest imagination. What a great group of folks; what a great spirit in the air; what an encouragement to get out and go. Felt like I was in the company of several legends, each with their unique perspective/contribution to the good of the order." Gary Wegener and Joanie Tauzer

"Had a great time at the meeting again this year. Love the new location, hope we can have it again next year. Many thanks to the hosts and volunteers who organized the event and also to all the vendors. Grant and Susan of course, and the stellar presenters." Peter Dean

"Kathy and I have been doing this event stuff for 26 years now and I found the most unusual thing at this event. There was NO attitude of any kind from anybody. Everybody seemed to enjoy everybody else's company. The camaraderie was fantastic. Thanks for inviting RKA." Richard at RKA Luggage

More comments here on the HUBB.

Meetings and Events, 2011 and 2012. Mark your calendars and sign up now!

Argentina - Viedma, December 8-10 2011 Registration open now!

2012 Meetings and Events Calendar

Thailand, Chiang Mai Mini-meeting, 14 January, 2012. Registration open now!

Australia, (within 1 hour of Brisbane - Dayboro showgrounds), 8-10 June, 2012. Registration open now!

Germany, 7-10 June, 2012, Registration open now!

Ireland, 29 June - 1 July, 2012. Registration open now!

UK Summer - Ripley - the big one! 5-8 July, 2012, Registration open now! Early bird rates only until 1 November 2011.

Canada West, Nakusp, BC, 23-26 August, 2012. Same great location! Registration open now!

UK Autumn - Mendip, 31 Aug - 2 Sep, 2012 - TBC if we can persuade Gabe and Char to do it again!

North Carolina USA, Stecoah, 7-9 September, 2012. Note: New dates, a month later and hopefully cooler weather ;-) Registration coming soon!

HUMM Morocco, New Location! 17-21 Sep, 2012 - TBC.

Ontario New Location! Dates and details still being finalized, planned for late September to early October.

California, 18-21 Oct, 2012 - TBC. Note: We are planning to extend this event by 1 day (starting Thursday) to accommodate the number of presentations!


What's a Mini-Meeting?

Small 'local' HU Community meetings, often held in someone's backyard/garden/field for a barbie, or in a restaurant or local watering hole. Often held to welcome a traveller passing through, or just as an excuse to get together and keep the travel fires burning. Join, and contact your local Community to get a discussion started on where and when, then let me know and I'll post it here! OR just post it on the HUBB in the HU Events Forum.

Dates subject to change, more dates and locations to come as we get them.

Presenters

How about you? We're all here to learn, and there's LOTS to learn! We want to do more presentations and seminars - but we need volunteers to give them! Any topic you can contribute having to do with motorcycle travel, maintenance, planning, first aid, etc, lasting 20 minutes or more, would be great. Please contact us here to volunteer.

Volunteers and Hosts

Volunteers for all meetings are needed, just a couple of hours of your time makes it all a lot easier - and fun - for all. You can volunteer a few hours of your time for any meeting here. And volunteering is always a great way to meet a lot of people!

If you'd like to host an HU Meeting in your area, please see the How To Host a Meeting page for details.

Vendors/Traders sign up here to join us at a Meeting.

See the Meetings page for more details on all events.

See you there! Grin!

Grant and Susan

Tortillas to Totems

by Sam Manicom
Tortillas to Totems by Sam Manicom.

The latest Adventure Motorcycle travel book by Sam Manicom
Motorcycling the magnificent landscapes of Mexico, the USA and Canada. 'Sidetracked by the Unexpected'

'One of the World's leading Motorcycle Authors' - Motorcycle Sport and Leisure
'Sam's descriptions are in Technicolor.' - The Riders Digest
'Inspirational reading.' - World of BMW
'Superbly entertaining travel writing.' - BM Riders Club
'Few travel writers can conjure up sights and smells so provocatively as Sam.' - Daily Record - Scotland

Signed copies available directly from the Author here.
Order your copy now!

 

up to top of pagespacerLeaving soon, or just left.

Troy from Texas, USA, Tejas a la Tierra, in Mexico,

"The adventure begins with the simple idea to get out and visit some out of the way places, meet some interesting people and take in some new experiences. It's about moving forward in a non-conventional way. While my route may pass along many notable landmarks, my hope is that the journey will take me to places about which I have never dreamed.

While the dream is to go around the world, the plan is to do it in segments. I'm naming this first segment 'Tejas a la Tierra'. Or in other words, Texas to Tierra del Fuego. My route may change based on which way the wind is blowing. Right now the plan is to start in Texas and head South... through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Then I'll take a boat to South America. I'll continue through Colombia, Ecuador (with an excursion to the Galapagos Islands), Peru, Bolivia, Chile (with a stop at Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost place on the continent), Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Venezuela, French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana. Then I'll head back home to Texas. If I can swing it, I'll try to stop by Antarctica while I'm in the neighborhood.

If there is a place that you think that I should absolutely visit, please let me know and I'll try to check it out. And, if you have family or friends that might be willing to host me for a few days, definitely drop me a note. Que te vaya bien!"

Ed. See Troy's story and pics in the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Andrew (Traveling 250), USA, Americas and beyond, in Mexico, on Yamaha SR-250T,

"In early 2007 I was engaged, living with my Fiancé and planning to get married in 2008. I was pumping money into my 401k plan, which I could use for a house, and we were looking at registries and locations and all the rest. My father became sick that summer, passing away in August. In September I learned my fiancé had been sleeping with a co-worker from her job. By October the engagement was off, and she moved out while I was at Thanksgiving with my family.

That wasn't enough to change my vague idea of 'It would be cool to...' to 'I'm going.' That happened over one painfully memorable week.

I was working on an ambulance, and for one week it seemed I was doing nothing but Hospice or Palliative care transports. The patients didn't seem older than me, one was my age. And one, less than 10 years older than me, had been planning to travel with his wife. He had made enough money, they had bought a giant RV. Then he was diagnosed with cancer. Six months later he was in a drug induced stupor and going home to die. It was a nice house, the RV was covered with a giant tarp. The wife wasn't sure if she should still travel, or sell the RV and stay home. You dream to do something with someone, and lose the someone, do you also lose the dream?

I didn't really have a someone at the time. But I realized I had a dream, and time was slipping past me just as fast. So I would go.

The initial plan was just to ride the Americas, north to south and back, but as I looked at the trip more I realized there was more I wanted to see, if I could. So the trip became the Americas north to south, followed by 'we'll see.' Now it is to travel until finales force me to stop. Hopefully that won't be for a while, but however long it is I will enjoy the journey.

Flying cows are funny.

Flying cows are funny

...When planning my route through Mexico I had one goal clearly in mind - Avoid Mexico City. I have heard wondrous things about this, one of the world's largest. Museums, buildings, things that you can see there that you just can't see anywhere else. But I had also heard about its traffic, its maze of streets, and its less than honest police force.

When I had changed my route to an inland, I had to pass close to Mexico City, there was just no way to avoid it. Sergio, in Puerto Vallarta when he was helping me build an inland route, had carefully explained how I should go around the city.

It didn't quite work out that way.

Mexico statue.

Most of the smaller towns have these statues near the main road in. They vary a lot, but this one caught my eye more than others.

The day started off fine. The sun was shining and traffic wasn't bad. But the sun didn't stay shining. Somewhere I took a wrong turn and found myself in a small town off the route Sergio had given me to follow. Looking at my map, it looked like I could get back to it following a smaller road that wasn't labeled on my map. I found a road that looked to be the same one, and rode off. I felt better, since there were freight trucks on the same road, and they had to know where they were going.

They did. And I found myself in Mexico City..."

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Chris and Chloe Granger, UK, Buenos Aires to Vancouver, in Argentina, F650GS DAKAR and F650GS,

"In the beginning - July 2010 - we got married, and without having ridden since our one day in April, we embarked on a two-day 'bush tour' into the jungle in Cambodia while on our honeymoon. These fateful two days were probably the most exciting yet demanding, enlightening and inspirational days of our lives, that far. Riding two Honda XRs, we were led by our guide through the bush, through mud, paddy fields, and river crossings. The bikes were dropped an insurmountable number of times, particularly by the female contingent. However! We made it, we finished our two day trek with gleaming eye and the knowledge that we would never look back again.

On honeymoon in Cambodia.

The honeymooners in Cambodia

On the 4th September, (five weeks late), we boarded the Grande Amburgo in Tilbury, London, heading for Buenos Aires. After much research and deliberation, we decided this mode of transport was by far the safest way to get us and the bikes, together and intact, to Argentina. This obviously relies on having several weeks on your side for the crossing. The potential for our bikes to get lost, damaged or left in another port was not something we wanted to deal with. Plus, the prolonged customs ordeal at the other side is something that can be avoided by riding-on, and riding-off the ship yourself. We helped strap the bikes down ourselves, and could rest soundly in the knowledge that they were only a few floors below us where we could keep an eye on them.

Boarding the ship in UK.

Having spent just under six weeks on the ship, we safely arrived in Argentina and followed the HU community advice straight to Dakar Motos in the suburbs of the city. Run by Javier and Sandra, this was the perfect introduction to life on the road, motorbikes, and the biking community.

Our journey is only just beginning. The 'vague' plan is to travel south through Argentina to Ushuaia, then back up through Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Central America, USA, through to Canada. At this present time we think we will stop in Vancouver for a year or so, working and hopefully earning some pennies.

This adventure of ours may not be original, but for us it definitely is out of the ordinary! Nothing will ever be the same again, and we can only thank those in the biking community and HU who have helped us to realise our dreams and step out of the rat-race. The journey begins!"

Ed. You're very welcome, Chris and Chloe, well done and keep in touch!


MedjetAssist is an air medical evacuation and consultation membership program and is HIGHLY recommended by us and many others for all travellers. The regular MedjetAssist program is for citizens or residents of the US, Mexico and Canada, and gives hospital of choice protection virtually anywhere in the world and air evacuation as needed. (See below for more on the Foreign National Plan) Click the logo below for US, Mexico and Canada citizens to find out more. (NOTE: It's still in progress for the final HU version, but you can get MedjetAssist now!)

Get MedjetAssist for your next trip!

For OTHER nationalities it is currently a little more complicated. There IS a Foreign National Plan, but you can't enrol online. It's a faxable enrolment and subject to underwriting approval. The rates are the same, but transport is restricted to 'back to home country - hospital of choice' rather than 'anywhere in the world - hospital of choice'. We are working on improving that, but at least it IS available! Go here to contact MedjetAssist and inquire about the Foreign National Plan. Be sure to mention Horizons Unlimited.

Michael Paull adds his endorsement of MedJet (and he DID use their services - twice!):

'. After an additional three days in Beijing, I was deemed stable enough for air evacuation back to the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA, in the company of my wife Aillene (who had flown in from Japan), and an air transport trauma nurse provided by the company that I had procured medical evacuation insurance from, MEDJET Assistance - without doubt, the best insurance coverage I have ever purchased in my life. A small plug here - these people were remarkable. If there was ever a better case for '. don't leave home without it.', MEDJET Assistance is at the top of my checklist, no matter where I travel (and I hope to do a LOT more).'

Note: Per the Medjet Assistance site: '. a medical transport between Europe and America can run more than $35,000. Middle East and South American flights range from $60,000 to $80,000. Transport from Asia often exceeds $100,000.' Sounds like $205.00 for a single is pretty cheap insurance!


up to top of pagespacerHome again (or at least off the road temporarily).

Brett Winstone, Australia, Europe and Asia, BMW K1600,

"I left the UK on 28 July and since leaving the train in Calais the Family Truckster and I have travelled 10,883 miles (17,514km). We been abroad for a total of 68 days of which 51 have been spent riding at a daily average of 213 miles (343km).

Enroute, we passed through the following countries: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, France, Andorra and Spain.

When the bike was shiny and new!

Brett with new shiny bike!

After tonight, my last on continental Europe, I will have another night aboard a ferry in transit from Spain to the UK. When I return to London on Wednesday afternoon I will have been away for exactly 10 weeks - just what I told P I'd allowed for (lucky guess, that's all).

So in summary, 21 days to reach Turkey, 29 days in Turkey and 20 days to get back to the UK travelling through 21 different countries, 15 of them for my first time.

And the star of the show was the Family Truckster. Even though I had to replace the front wheel, it did not miss a beat. Mechanically and electronically it was faultless. The new tyres I put on in Poland will be replaced on my return to the UK with all but 10,000 miles on them in tough conditions including high temperatures and a bad puncture (there is still a slow leak). There are a few scratches but this is to be expected. The 3M paint protection I put on before my departure was a good investment although it appears I have scratched through this in a couple of places through my carelessness more than anything else.

Bike in Dolomites.

You simply cannot take a bike on a journey like this if you are scared of scratching the paintwork.

It hasn't had a wash since Antalya in Turkey on day 43. It looks a bit tired now with about 500 species of bugs smashed all over the lights, windshield and fairing but it should clean up ok and look as a good as new again. Some sections of the paint protection film may need replacing as they have bubbled and lifted, but only a little. No rush to get this done.

Even though I don't want to count my chickens yet, I've made it unscathed. No real days of sickness (one day in Cappadocia I felt a little average) or worse, injury. The bike and me remained upright all the way (touch wood).

I have a certain amount of pride in completing a journey like this, even though many of the hard heads will say I did it the easy way. All on-road, not venturing into 3rd world countries, staying in hotels, new bike, good dealer network, lots of unnecessary trinkets, too much junk etc.

I don't really care - each to their own. If you want to make it tougher then great for you. I have still achieved something that a few years ago I would have not even thought about and many would not undertake - but it is easily achievable.

A very good friend of mine once said about university that the only prerequisite for graduation was enrolment. This is true. I think the same can be said about a trip like mine. Once you make a start you are bound to finish it in one way or another. But unless you start the trip will always remain in your dreams."

Ed. Good philosophy, Brett, and congratulations on your trip! See Brett's story and lots of great pics here on Horizons Unlimited!

Ken Thomas, UK, Surrey to Cape Town, back in UK

"At Last. HM The Bike is back amongst its subjects - mud, sand, ruts, stones, holes, good dirt. And when you go to Guildford by bike for radiotherapy, there's only one way home.

Starting here after the daily dose of sub-atomic particles:

Cancer hospital, Guildford, UK.

Then continuing from Shere, taking London Lane, on the left by the cricket field. Yes, there's a hamlet called Little London just south of Shere. That was my first real ride on the TTR since Cape Town airport, so quite an occasion.

It's an ancient sunken track - and dark.

It's an ancient sunken track - and dark.

Although the recent MOT annual test was a bit of an adventure.
'What have you brought me here?' demanded the tester.
'I can't see whether these pipes are for petrol, brake hydraulics or rear shock adjuster. They're buried in a mess of oily sand and mud and look as though they've been leaking for months. But who knows? Maybe it's just oil off of the chain.'
'I've found a petrol tap here, buried in dirt, and the pipe seems to go nowhere!'

I explained it fed the open-ended stub of pipe clipped to the sub-frame, to fill my Coleman stove for tea in the depths of the desert. The look of bewilderment spread further across his face. We had a little chat about the softness of the sand on Tanzanian roads and he was kind enough to acknowledge, 'I know the last thing you want to do is wash all this good African dirt off your bike - but it's got to be done. I can't see what I'm supposed to be examining under it all!'

It's taken quite a few months to reach this stage although not much work was needed. Repair of the headlamp, new rear tyre, new bulb above the rear number plate. And now this.

For anyone considering such an overland journey, I can definitely now confirm that the hardest part by far of the whole undertaking, London to Cape Town, and air-freight back, is cleaning the bike when you return home so the tester can see it. But it's done at last, with the Green Piece Of Paper now in my hands.

It's Saturday now. The sun's shining, there's a day off from treatment, I think I'll continue where I left off yesterday and check out some more of those alternative routes."

Ed. Best wishes for your recovery, Ken, and keep in touch about your plans for the next trip ;-) Read all of Ken's trip stories and see the pics in his blog here on Horizons Unlimited!

David and Heidi Winters, USA, RTW, back home temporarily in USA, KTM 640 Adventure,

"We are currently back in the Seattle area for the summer. We got jobs within days of coming home and we are now in the process of refilling the bank account so we can go back to Europe and be reunited with Charlie, our long-lost KTM. In the meantime, we are already antsy and dreaming of the day we get to ride across Africa with no deadlines in sight.

Back in Germany, thanks to our good friends Tobi and Louie, we were convinced that riding two bikes is the way to go. So, here we are, sitting at home scanning Craigslist daily for another 640 Adventure that will one day be my bike. Finally, we found a deal that sounded too good to pass up.

It was a 2003 KTM 640 Adventure. Exactly what we were looking for. It wasn't molested with aftermarket parts. Another plus. It had less then 750 miles on it. Perfect. It was basically a new bike that had been sitting in a garage for years. Even better, it was cheaper then any bike we had seen on the West Coast. That's right, it was for sale in Detroit, Michigan.

Even so, it proved too irresistible for us so, on August 27th, David flew out with all his riding gear and motorcycle luggage to buy the bike and ride it home over the next couple weeks. I'm super jealous that I'm not there but I've asked him to take pictures and try to keep me updated as much as he can. He emailed me this update to share. Enjoy!

...The previous owner was a very nice guy but didn't really have a clue when it came to maintaining a motorcycle. He let the bike sit with fuel in the tank and carb for the past 5 years. It took a lot of work to get the gunk out but now the bike is finally idling smooth and running as an LC4 should- like a jack hammer! I took out the gas valve because it was leaking. Still no solution there.

Oh, and thanks to John who picked me up at the airport and drove me to the bike, great guy! If you want to be awesome like John, go to horizonsunlimited.com and become a community member."

Vas Themelidis, Czech Republic, North America, XL650V Transalp,

"Good morning, I recently completed a tour in North America, USA/Canada kicking off from Frankfurt. Hope you will find it interesting... My best regards, Vas"

Vas Themelidis bike in Colorado.

Ed. Not many words, but lots of pics and video on Vas' site.

Bjorn Holland (Panamoto), Germany, RTW, temporarily home again, BMW F650 GS Dakar,

"At the beginning of May 2008 I left the UK for a around the world motorbike trip on my BMW F650 GS Dakar. So far, my route took me via Europe, Central Asia's Silk Route, South East Asia & Australia into South America.

When I first set out from the UK in May 2008, the idea was to travel to Australia and then return to the UK. But I've since changed plans to complete the 'around the world by motorcycle' circle.

After reaching the northernmost point of Alaska that's accessible by road (Deadhorse / Prudhoe Bay), I headed over to the East coast of the USA, where I delivered the motorcycle to the shipping agent near New York. The motorcycle is on its way to Europe.

The end of travels? Maybe - maybe not ;) Later this year, I'll meet with this_young_lady, who's currently on her way through Pakistan and Iran. If things work out well, we might team up & travel together from Egypt to S-Africa as of early 2012."

Ed Note: Photos are incredible. - One of Bjorn's photographs has recently been on display in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, printed 13 feet high. Be sure to check them out and you'll feel like you are there with him.

Rob Hall, Little Mountain, Qld, to Darwin, NT, Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster,

"I was often struck by peoples' surprise regarding the presence of a Harley in such rough country. And why not? I would query.

'After all the first motorbike to travel around Australia was an HD over 80 years ago, two-up and with a sidecar, where few (or no) roads existed.'
'Yeah, but...?'

I do understand. Rough desert and bush roads are hardly within the common image of Harleys and (God forbid!) not at ALL within the scope of Willie G Davidson. Not too many sales to be made with Adventure Bike crowd.

And besides they are doing just fine in their traditional markets. I understand that nearly half of the big bike sales in this country last year were Harleys.

The loaded Harley.

So then I got the shock/horror reaction to all those gravel roads being travelled on a belt drive bike. When I got a new tyre fitted in Darwin, the mechanic was aghast to find: 'Rob! You have two holes in your drive belt!'

'Actually, old boy, There are 3 holes. Been there for tens of thousands of kilometers. The Birdsville roads did not cause any new ones.'

Besides, I didn't add, I carry a spare belt. A relative virgin with only 2 holes. And I carry enough tools to change the belt at the side of the road if necessary.

I might have mentioned my only maintenance hassle of the trip: My left rear shock absorber (Progressive, after market fit) spat out its oil, and while it continued to work well enough, the oil ended up on the rear brake - and totally stuffed it.

And let me tell you this boys and girls: after such an event, Do Not spend money on cans of Brake Kleen. Because those pads are screwed. Just buy new ones, clean and roughen up the disc and Ride On."


Support Horizons Unlimited - check out the HU Souk for DVD's, map stickers, jumpers / pullovers, mugs, steins, t-shirts, hats and other products with a variety of slogans!

Baby doll T-shirt - front.Check out t-shirts and other goodies at the HU Souk. Support your favorite website!Check out t-shirts and other goodies at the HU Souk. Support your favorite website!

Thanks! Grant and Susan


up to top of pagespacerTraveller's Community News.

New Communities:

We've now reached an amazing 695 Communities in 109 Countries as of Oct 13, 2011! A big thanks to all those who took the first step and established the Community in their area.

Alexandros Papadopoulos writes from Chile:

"Hi Grant, We recently had a couple of failures (Coleman stove tapped out, I dropped the water bladder while speeding down a mountain and killed it) and have therefore been reaching out to local HU communities for help.

We were both impressed with how the local HU communities have made a bunch of helpful people so easily accessible. Ping-Yi in particular is new to the whole HU experience and could not fathom such a thing existed.

Overall, you and Susan have pulled off an incredible feat - creating a global online community that is not too centralised, not too anarchic, not too autocratic, not too complicated or exclusive... I have been a member of many online communities for years now, some of them professional, some of them of enthusiasts, and all of them suffered from any of the above and invariably disintegrated after a while.

But the HU community is still kicking ass after all these years! So, an official well done, many thanks for making enjoying life via traveling easier for all of us and best regards from both of us from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile! (next stop: Uyuni) (*gulp*). Alexandros"

Ed. Alex and Pin-Yi are bicycling through Chile! Check out their story and great pics on Horizons Unlimited!

If you are on the road, do check out the Communities - don't feel like you're imposing on people! They signed up for a Community because they want to meet travellers - that's you! You'll have a great time, so go to the Communities page and let them know you're coming. Please remember that they are volunteers and offering to help because they're great people - common courtesy helps! When you write, tell them who you are, that you're passing through, and would like to meet them. Let them know if you need anything, and I'm sure they'll help as best they can.

Remember that although some HU communities are very small, many others are large and could be more active in getting together for rides (even just to the pub!) or other activities. It's a great way to meet other travellers in your area - who knows, you could meet your next travel partner! All you need is for someone to suggest a place and time, kick it around a bit and make it happen. If there aren't any HU Travellers Meetings in your area, perhaps it's time there was one? A Community could do a Mini-Meeting, (just a get-together in someone's backyard or at a restaurant), or a full meeting! Let us know about it and we'll help promote it :)

For details on how you can join a Community in your area, or use the Communities to get information and help, or just meet people on the road or at home, go to the Community page. Send me some photos - with captions please - and a little text and you can have a web page about your Community! A few links to web pages about your area would be useful too.

Just a reminder to all, when you Join a Community in your area, send a note to the Community introducing yourself and suggesting a meeting, or go for a ride or something. It's a good way of meeting like-minded individuals in your own town.

Book special just for Horizons Unlimited Readers!

'Into the den of the Bear and the Lair of the Dragon on a Motorcycle'
'8 Around the Americas on a Motorcycle'
'Africa Against the Clock on a Motorcycle'
'From Nordkapp to Cape York on a Motorcycle'

Werner Bausenhart has written several books on his travels around the world, and has offered them to HU readers at a great price. Tell him we sent you and get US$5.00 off the regular US$20 price!

For details on his books see here. Contact Werner now via this link to get the deal.


Become a Horizons Unlimited Contributing Member or Gold Member!

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Support this Newsletter by becoming a Contributing Member today, by PayPal, credit card, or cheque.

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Thanks, Grant and Susan

   

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up to top of pagespacerIn Progress.

I am working on a listing of people who have ridden around the world, as well as what I call 'significant journeys' e.g. the first across Africa. Any information you may have on this topic, please let me know. Preferably e-mail me direct. I currently have information on over 800 world travellers listed, but there are many more. Have YOU done it? Let me know!

up to top of pagespacerFinal thoughts.

We hope you've enjoyed this issue, and do please let us know your thoughts. It's your newsletter, so tell us what you want to know about!

It is not the unknown, but the fear of it, that prevents us from doing what we want.

We'd like to think that Horizons Unlimited; the website, the HUBB, the Communities and this newsletter help to push back the fear through knowledge and connecting with others, and teach all of us about the world and its wonderful people.

See you on the road!

Grant and Susan Johnson

Live the dream! at:

www.HorizonsUnlimited.com

Riding the globe...

All text and photographs are copyright © Grant and Susan Johnson and their respective authors or creators, 1987-2011.
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