South America
February 25, 2008 GMT
DAY 27 - SOUTH AMERICA - SUN 24th FEB - Cartagena, Colombia


I had a coffee and we went for a short walk around, everything so pleasant. We returned and Omar the taxi driver was already there waiting. We went to the bus terminal and bought 16:30 tickets to Medellin for 800000 each. From there we went to a convent up the hill, Castle of San Felipe de Barajas, Boca grande, Walled City, the house of Garcia Marquez, the church where Pablo Montoya was married. The city is modern and then all the huts belonging to the poor opposite the coast.
I really liked Cartagena, at midday Omar left us at the bus terminal, we gave him 100000 and we went to the internet, no one had written, while we await to depart. The airport is closer to the city than the bus terminal. We departed on time 12 hours and a Silvestre Stallone movie with Wesley Snipes, bad movie later we arrived. There were many soldiers on the road, although the air con was high and I got a little cold i was able to sleep all night.
When we were at Cartagena, we saw an man without legs on top of a trolley pushing his way along with his hands. I glanced over at Shorty and he at me, we didn't say anything but were thinking the same thing, we make such a fuss when immigration and customs delay our journey or when coffee is served cold or the hotel doesn't supply hot water, we forget to appreciate despite being in a fortunate position.


1 - Outside the house of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2 - City views from the hilltops
3 - Fruit seller
4 - The Fort
5 - Walled city
6 - View from hotel

Enfrente  la casa Garcia Marquez.JPG la ciudad desde el cerro.JPG Vista desde el hotel.JPG
En el fuerte.JPG ciudad  amurrallada.JPG Vista desde el hotel.JPG


Me tome un café y salimos a caminar por un rato por los alrededores, todo un placer, regresamos al enseguida y ya nos estaba esperando Omar el taxi metrista, fuimos a la Terminal de bus compre los pasajes para las 16.30 a Medellín 800.000 cada uno, de ahí nos fuimos al convento en el cerro, Castillo San Felipe De Barajas,Bocagrande, centro amurallado, casa de García Marquez, iglesia donde se caso Pablo Montoya. La ciudad moderna y los ranchos o favelas, un pobrerío con el hermoso Caribe enfrente.
Me gustó mucho Cartagena de Indias o Cartagena La Heroica, nos dejo de mediodía Omar en la Terminal y aquí estamos esperando, fuimos al Internet y nadie me escribió. El aeropuerto esta cerquita, queda más lejos del centro la Terminal de buses.
Le dimos 100.000 a Omar, Salimos a 16.30 12 horas de viaje con una película de Silvestre Stallone y el negro Wesley Snipes mas mala. Muchos militares en la carretera, con el aire acondicionado muy fuerte pase un poco de frió durante la noche pero dormí casi todo el viaje.
Cuando estábamos recorriendo Cartagena vimos un tipo sin piernas arriba de un carrito con trapos en las manos empujándose, nos miramos con Shorty y no dijimos nada pero estábamos pensando lo mismo, que uno hace un drama porque te demoran los tramites en la aduana o el café te lo sirven un poco frió o no hay agua caliente en el hotel sin apreciar lo afortunado que somos

Posted by Hugo Albini at 03:02 AM GMT
DAY 28 - Medellin


We are now in Medellin or Metrallin as some call it (metralladora in spanish=machine gun), we arrived at night and the city lights made for an awesome view. The city is also known as the city of eternal spring. A coffee is 650 pesos to use the toilet it's 850 pesos.
I already purchased the bus tickets for Bogota, $50000 pesos, departing at 22 hours and the trip will take 9 hours.

Shorty and i took the metro (a return ticket is 2500 pesos + to leave the bags at the bus terminal, 3000 pesos) and got off in the city at the statue plaza "plaza de las estatuas". At the plaza we caught a 9 am bus tour, since it was just the two of us, other than the guide and the driver, i requested the guide not say anything unless we asked a question, all in vain though as they both proceeded to relate the history of the city through stereo speakers.
We visited several spots, for example the 'cerro' which has magnificent views of the city. After midday we were dropped back off in the city where we just hung around, had lunch, and caught up on emails. I put the photos on a dvd and now i am waiting for the bus to Bogota.

DSC_0777.JPG DSC_0781.JPG

DSC_0802.JPG DSC_0796.JPG
In this last photo, behind me, is the airport where Carlos Gardel died from the plane crash.

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 28……………………Lunes 25

Estamos en Medillin o metrallin como lo llaman, entramos oscuro con todas las luces en la ciudad se veía impresionante, (La ciudad de primavera Eterna) un café 650.00 pesos para ir al baño 850.00. Ya compre los pasajes para esta noche a Bogota 50.000.00 para las 22 horas y lleva 9 horas.
Nos tomamos el metro por ida y vuelta por 2.500.00 dejamos los bolsos por 3.000.00 cada uno por 24 horas y llegamos al medio de la ciudad a la plaza de las estatuas. Esperamos un tour a las 9 (Info de la Terminal). Eramos solo nosotros dos mas el chaufer y la guia que le pedi que no dijera nada, solo si le preguntabamos, no sirvio de nada los dos, a estereo, toda la historia que en 1800….y esto y lo otro, visitamos varios lugares, fuimos a un cerro con vistas espectaculares de la ciudad, después de mediodia nos dejaron en el centro y vagamos un poco, comimos, Internet, hice un dvd con las fotos y aquí estamos esperando el bus para Bogota

Posted by Hugo Albini at 11:15 PM GMT
March 08, 2008 GMT
DAY 29 - Bogota and reunited with Ange


Last night we got bored waiting for the bus, we ate empanadas. When we got on the bus they started showing a really bad movie so a little while later i was asleep. It is some 400 kms to Bogota express, but the ride was rough and there are many curves and mountains. I woke up on arrival to Bogota.
We queued up for the taxi and saw a bloke with a computer registering passengers name and destiny, then you receive the taxi number that you are to get on, which are queued across the road. I guess this is for the traveller's security, all across Colombia they are trying so hard to make the tourists feel secure.
We went to the airport EL DORADO ($12000 pesos) to find the office of Girag but couldn't. I started asking around, there were two tourist officers who proceeded to try and get us accomodation, they walked us towards the Girag warehouse all the while asking us about the bikes, a police officer went by in a truck so the officers called him and he took us to Girag.
At Girag, they gave us some papers and sent us to customs some five blocks away.
At customs, a very friendly lady from security said she had to check us for any bombs we might be carrying so she frisked us from top to bottom, i insisted she didn't do it properly and would have to do it again but she only laughed and sent us off to a desk. We filled out some forms, photocopied our documents and the entry stamp on our passports, all for 600 pesos. We were then told to go back to Girag where customs would be checking the bikes. So back we went, it's a good thing we had left our bags behind.
Finally i get to see my Angelina again, just as i had left her in Panama. We signed everything that needed signing, got everything stamped that needed stamping and went off to the manager at the warehouse to get our bikes, although we had some difficulties to get them out as there were some steps to go down.

Outside as we loaded the bikes with our bags, many people approached us, so friendly too.

We were low on fuel but a km away found a petrol station and filled up, i also got someone to change the oil, he wasn't sure how to do it so i explained and he got some plastic bottles and that was that. 3 lts of oil=30000 pesos, he said to give him whatever i liked for the labour so i gave him 10000 pesos.

Heading off to the border and to Quito, I asked which way to Cali (on route 25) as the other route to Neiva (route 45) had problems along the Magdalena river with FARC, we then found out this is not so, that it is a placid drive.

Gallon of petrol aprox. 7000 pesos, a little dearer on the road.

We got lost a bit exiting Bogota, we were tired from having slept both nights on a bus and we didn't smell to descent neither. We made a few kms and retook the Panamerican Highway. We then arrived at a toll booth but some truckies yelled out that we needn't pay as to the right there was a motorbike pass.
Each day i am more impressed with Colombia.
As soon as we passed Granada we found a hotel in Subia for 15000 pesos, nice and safe; Hotel Billares. I tried to get on the internet but with no luck.

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 29 …………….Martes 26

Anoche nos aburrimos esperando el bus, comimos unas empanadas, cuando subimos al bus empezaron a pasar un película malísima y al ratito quede dormido, son unos 400 kms pero duro nueve horas y era directo, muchas curvas y montañas, me desperté entrando en Bogota. Hicimos cola para el taxi y hay un muchacho con una comp. Te pregunta adonde tú nombre y adonde vas y te da el número del taxi, que están haciendo cola enfrente, debe de ser para seguridad a los pasajeros, en todas parte en Colombia están haciendo lo posible para que el turista se sienta seguro, quieren cambiar la imagen que tienen.. Llegamos al aeropuerto El Dorado, no podíamos encontrar la oficina de Girag, igual nos bajamos en el aeropuerto, pagamos 12.000.00 y empecé a preguntar, llegue a dos jóvenes oficiales de turismo que nos querían conseguir hotel y nos empezaron acompañar al deposito de Girag, ellos haciendo preguntas de las motos, paso un policía en una camioneta y ellos lo llamaron para que nos llevara, llegamos a Girag, nos dieron unos papeles y nos mandaron a la Aduana enfrente como cinco cuadras. Allá fuimos la de seguridad pura broma y muy simpática, les tengo que revisar, donde tienen las bombas nos decía y después nos dio una tocadita por todo el cuerpo de arriba a bajo, le insistí que no lo había hecho como es devido y que lo repitiera pero solo se sonrió, nos mando a un escritorio, una señora nos dio un formulario para llenar y que necesitábamos dos copias de cada documento y la entrada en el pasaporte. La que saca las fotocopias no había llegado aun., esperamos unos minutos, llego, sacamos las fotocopias por 600.00 se lo llevamos todo a la señora, esperamos media hora nos dijo que volviéramos a Girag que ella iba a inspeccionar las motos en auto, de vuelta para Girag menos mal que habíamos dejado los bolsos en la oficina del jefe, a los minutos nos encontramos todos en Girag y pude ver mi Angelina como se la había entregado en

Afuera mientras poníamos los bolsos y nos preparábamos se nos acerco un montón de gente, de lo mas amable .

Teníamos poca gasolina pero a un km ya encontramos una estación de servicio llenamos y yo le pedí a uno que tiene una gomería al lado si me podía cambiar la aceite no sabían como les explique y me lo hicieron consiguieron unas botellas de plástico y le hicieron un hueco al costado para recoger el viejo, le puse 3litros 30.000.00 me dijo que le diera lo que quisiera por el trabajo y le di 10.000.00, Preguntamos el camino para Cali porque la otra ruta por Neiva que siguiendo el rió Magdalena por el FARC, después nos enteramos que era todo cuento, esta todo tranquilo.

Gallon 6.950 en las afueras más caro.

Nos perdimos un montón de veces para salir de Bogota que no queríamos entrar con 7.5 millones y nosotros ya cansados, las ultimas dos noches durmiendo en buses y no oliamos muy decente tampoco. Hicimos unos kms y pronto tomamos la Panamericana, íbamos a pasar por la casilla para el peaje y unos camioneros nos gritaron , no pagan vayan por la derecha que hay un sendero para las motos, cada DIA nos cae mejor Colombia.

Pasamos Granada y encotramos un >Hotel por 15.000.00 y seguro en Subía Hotel Billares (Restaurante mas Gas) Trate de escribir pero solo un Internet café en el área dos comp. Y no pude abrir el Hotmail.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:28 AM GMT
DAY 30 - Colombia - WED 27th of February


I put the flags back on Angelina and off we went on the Panamerican highway towards Cali, first 2 hours were made between the Andes, spectacular views very impressive.
Traffic was slow, many trucks on the road. At times visibility is poor due to the low clouds and the height we were at. We also were caught in traffic that was stopped, a lane was closed and each end of the traffic was passing through one at a time, it ended up being an advantage to us as we passed all the buses and trucks as they waited for their turn to go. A few kms up we found out why the road had closed, a bus and truck collided blood everywhere. We didn't want to take a photo as we assumed there might have been some dead casualties.

Of course from then on the whole road ahead was empty but the oncoming traffic was getting hectic. On several occasions passing trucks sent us off the road, it is the most dangerous stretch i have made ever, my knees buckled more than once, we were very lucky.

At Ibague, we changed currency. It is a big place, beautiful and the people are very friendly. They approach me at the traffic lights to see where i'm from, the flags are a curiosity.

Before arriving at Armenia we were stopped by the police for not wearing the required fluorescent jacket and having no insurance. I gave him the same spill as always, that I had spoken to the ambassador of Colombia in Sydney, the officials at customs and important figures of the police force and all agreed that the jacket nor the insurance was a requirement nor for foreign number plate holders. So the police asked who would pay if we killed someone, they gave us a slap on the wrist on the condition we bought insurance at the next town. When we arrived it was midday, everyone was having a siesta and all was closed so we kept going.

We ate on the road, chicken. Instead of on a plate it comes on a wooden cart on top of banana leaves (i think). After a few more kms, we stopped at Hotel Parador Urisan in the Uribe valley, $15000 COP no hot water, bikes inside the lobby, i recommend it.

Pan Am via Cali.JPGPan Am.JPG2714.jpg

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Día 30………………………Miércoles 27

Le puse las banderas a Angelina y salimos por la panamericana con rumbo a Cali las primeras dos horas entre dos ramas de los Andes, vistas espectaculares, nos impresiono

A Shorty y a mi, el trafico lento muchos camiones, hay momentos que la visibilidad era muy pobre, ya que andábamos por las nubes, de pronto todo el trafico parado, que es común, cierran una vía para arreglar, se comunican con walkies talkies , y están los trabajadores con sus carteles siga o pare, con la ventaja de la moto empezamos despacito a pasar camiones autos buses, muchos de los camioneros acostados en hamacas debajo de los camiones., después de varios kms pasando trafico nos encontramos con la causa, un bus adentro de la cabina de un camión en una curva, sangre en el piso y no quisimos sacar fotos ya que pensamos que alguien había muerto.

Pasamos por la cola del bus y la barrera protectora de la carretera, suficiente solo para las motos y por supuesto teníamos toda la carretera vacía delante de nosotros, la cola estaba en la opuesta ahora. Igual tuvimos suerte nos encontramos varios camiones en nuestro camino de frente, sin darnos mucho lugar teníamos que ir para la cuneta, es el tramo mas peligroso que he pasado en mi vida, muchas veces las rodillas se me aflojaron.

Antes de llegar a Armenia nos paro la policía que nos ganamos una sanción por no tener el chaleco iluminoso reglamentario y sin seguro, le di la lata de siempre que habíamos hablado con el embajador de Colombia en Sydney y oficiales de la aduana y personas importantes en la polaca y todos nos dijeron que no necesitamos el chaleco con chapa extranjera y el seguro no era obligatorio, me dice y si mata a alguno quien paga, nos dejaron ir con un reto y la promesa que en el próximo pueblo compraríamos seguro, pero era de mediodía todos en siesta y cerrado por lo tanto seguimos camino. Antes de esto estuvimos en Ibagué (Grande y muy lindo) donde cambiamos plata. La gente súper simpática, lleno dicen iono o full y playa le dicen plaia, se acercan a mi en los semáforos y me hacen preguntas y con las banderas se me acercan demasiado para ver de donde soy. Comimos por el camino pollo a la carretilla en vez de plato te traen la comida en una carretilla de madera, la comida arriba de hojas de plátanos (Creo), unos kms mas y paramos en el hotel Urisan en el valle de Uribe por 15.000.00 sin agua caliente, motos en el lobby. R.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:29 AM GMT
DAY 31 - Such an amazing place


I have just been made aware that this hotel and the last, which have a place to eat and petrol station are frequently used by truckies, the ladies from the old profession stand outside the joint. I was only told because i asked the manager who kept knocking on the doors last night.

The south route number 25 is a good road, we left before 7. In Palmira we had breakfast. Cali is a huge city with 2.4 million people. We came at 18kms from it as we (Shorty and I) have acquired a certain hate for large cities, traffic lights, traffic and a sea of people so we avoid them as much as possible.

FYI: (for your information)
There was lots of sugar cane in the area and bars are called ESTANCO.

The road was flat until some 60 kms before Popayan, where the beautiful mountains started. There was lots of evidence of landslides, red soil and road closures. We enjoyed this stretch, we stopped at a supermarket to eat. We continued on. We want to head towards San Agustin now to see the archaeological park.

Some 25 kms before Popayan i found my Shangri-la, a place called Coco nuco amongst mountains with hot springs and waterfalls. The hotel is on the outskirts of the town it looks like a monastery with a very cosy ambiance. So peaceful, people walking through the mountainside, birds chirping. Such serenity that my soul has been given to this place. Hotel Comfandi wanted $100000 COP but it was given to me for $75000 as an affiliate, all meals included. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

At the dinning room, everyone had conversation. Without comparing i was reminded of the german villages. We went to the center of town looking for an internet cafe but there were no connections, so we were sent to a school. I went into a classroom the teacher very friendly sent a child to get the computer coordinator. When the children went for morning tea we were invited to join them for rice pudding. So off we went to the kitchen where the cook had two cups ready for us. Everything very humble but the generosity in this country of Colombia has no boundaries. The coordinator took us to the computer lab, to our amazement there were about 40 computers all old and donated by the community. Unfortunately, there was no connection due to maintenance. We were then guided to the council but we returned to the hotel instead. Later i went to the council on the motorbike, but they only have internet from 9 to 11am.

Dinner with wildberry juice.

In this last stretch we noted a lot of military presence. Also, a great percentage of the population is of African origin and according to the Lonely Planet the majority of them maintain their traditions and beliefs.

Coconuco.jpg Coconuco, hotel.jpg

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Día 31……………………..Jueves 28

Estos dos últimos hoteles donde pasamos la noche que tienen para comer y estación de servicio lo usan mucho los camioneros y las chicas de la vieja profesión se instalan enfrente, esto me entere hoy cuando le pregunte al cuidador quien era golpeando en las puertas toda la noche, prepaid le pregunte (Así le llaman) si me contesto.

La sur 25 esta muy bien la carretera, salimos antes de la siete. En Palmira tomamos un cafecito con empanadas de guayaba, estuvimos a 18 kms de Cali una ciudad de 2.4 millones , nosotros tomamos un tipo de odio a ciudades grandes, semáforos, calor y gente y mas gente, así que la evitamos en lo posible, muchas cañas de azúcar en el camino.

A los bares le llaman Estanco.

Todo plano hasta que llegamos a unos 60 kms antes de Popayán donde empezaron las montañas divinas, muchos derrumbamientos, tierra roja y nuestra vía cerrada, teníamos que tomar la opuesta

Disfrutamos pila la carretera, paramos en un super mercado a comer. En todos los lugares de comida en el camino venden Sancocho de ave, pescado, carne luce muy lindo y me gustaría probarlo pero como los carritos……… higiene.

Seguimos viaje a San Agustín para ver el parque Arqueológico, con tanta lluvia en el área la carretera mala, toda levantada, varios derrumbes, las vistas excelentes a unos 25 kms de Popayán encontré mi Shangai-la en el pueblo de Coco nuco entre las montañas con sus aguas termales y saltos de agua, el hotel esta afuera de del pueblo parece un monasterio con un ambiente muy acogedor, gente caminando por las montañas una tranquilidad, pájaros cantando, una serenidad que este lugar me compro el alma Hotel Comfandi en Coconuco querían 100.000.00 pero me lo dejaron como afiliado por 75.000.00 con cena desayuno y almuerzo H.R.

El ambiente, la gente en el comedor de gran charla, no quiero comparar pero me hizo acordar a las aldeas alemanas.

Fuimos al pueblo caminando por Internet y no había conexión, nos mandaron a la escuela, entramos y fui a una clase, la maestra muy simpática mando una de las alumnas a buscar a la señora encargada de la sala de computación, quedamos charlando y mando a los niños y niñas a la merienda, al ratito llega una chica a decirnos que estamos invitados a comer arroz con leche, allá fuimos a la cocina donde la cocinera ya tenia preparados dos tazas, todo muy humilde pero la generosidad de esta Colombia no tiene limites. Llego la señora del Internet que nos llevo a una sala para nuestra sorpresa como con 40 computadoras, viejas, donadas por la gente y gobierno, prendió todos los aparatos pero nada funcionaba, nos comento que estaba todo en mantenimiento, se disculparon porque no nos podían ayudar y nos mandaron a hablar con un joven en la Alcaldía, pero regresamos al hotel, hace ya tres días que no escribo en Hotmail y no porque no quiero. Mas tarde fui a la Alcaldía en moto solo, hable con el muchacho pero tienen Internet solo de 9 a 11 de la mañana.

Cena con jugo de moras.

Mucha presencia militar en este ultimo tramo y notamos que el gran porcentaje de la población es de origen africano, según Lonely Planet la mayoría sigue sus viejas costumbres y creencias.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:30 AM GMT
DAY 32 - When the going gets tough, the oldies take a bus


When the going gets tough, the oldies take a bus

We left the amazing Coconuco (Purace) straight after breakfast and headed towards the archaeological park of San Agustin (Huila). The road was a disaster, rocks, dirt, potholes...5 minutes into it we returned to the hotel where we left the bikes, the bags and took a walk into town to catch the 10am bus - for 25.000. The first 20kms the scenery was spectacular, then we came into a sort of jungle very boring and with the horrible road the bus ride was not very enjoyable either. It took 6 hours to make 100kms. A paved road began some 20kms before reaching San Agustin and we crossed a bridge over the Magdalena River, with postcard views.
The bus left us at a point where the road then splits into two, a road to Patalito and one to San Agustin, where a taxi picked us up and took us to a tourist centre. An employer took us to see some hotels, he also tried to sell us a guide, books, the lot, we looked at two hotels but Shorty didn't like them. The employee then took us to the house of some of his relatives where they have guest rooms with private bathroom and for $15000 COP each we looked and we liked it. It is midway between the town and the archaeological park. It is farm style land, with fruit trees and coffee beans which the owner, Betty roasts and processes each morning and serves for breakfast. The place is called EL BATAN. Basic but highly recommended.

We walked into town to find internet, with difficulties we finally got connexion. We had dinner, not very nice it was some chicken in papaya juice. We returned to El Batan exhausted i fell asleep instantly.

Día 32 viernes 29 - Cuando la ida se pone dura, los viejos se toman un bus.

Dejamos Coconuco (Purace) ni bien terminamos el desayuno, tomamos el camino para San Agustín (Huila) un desastre, todo levantado, piedras, barro a los cinco kilómetros regresamos al hotel dejamos las motos y los bolsos y nos fuimos caminando al pueblo a tomar el bus a las 10 a.m por 25.000.00, los primeros 20 kms todo lo que nos rodeaba era un placer después entramos en un tipo de selva aburrida y con los saltos del bus el viaje no fue muy agradable para hacer menos de 100 kms duro mas de seis horas unos 20 kms antes de San Agustín tomamos pavimento y antes de cruzar el puente del rió magdalena, para donde uno mire es una postal. La carretera se abrió en dos una para Patalito y la otra para San Agustín, nos dejaron ahí y nos vino a buscar un taxi todo incluido, nos llevo a un centro turístico y un tipo salió con nosotros a buscar un hotel, nos quería vender guías, libro, de todo. Fuimos a dos hoteles que a Shorty no le gustaron y al final no llevo a la casa de unos familiares que tenían piezas atrás con baño privado por 15.000.00 cada una la vimos nos gusto a mitad de camino entre el pueblo y el parque avenida quinta. Tenia árboles frutales, de café y la señora recoge el café lo tosta, muele y te lo sirve, se llama El Batan y la señora es Betty. H.R básico.

Caminamos hasta el pueblo, Internet con problemas pero al final pudimos comunicarnos.

Comimos pollo, feo con jugo de papaya, regresamos caminando ya de noche, súper cansado, me dormí enseguida.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:31 AM GMT
DAY 33 - Archaeological Park at San Agustin


As soon as light came through I was up with the sound of the birds. A little while later we slowly walked uphill, to the park. The park was not yet open, it opens at 8am, everything around San Agustin is breath-taking.
Entrance to the park was $75000 COlombian Pesos. To walk the whole park takes 3 hours, we did it in 2, we took photos and then hopped on a 'buseta' - a mini bus for 700 COP back to the guest house.
At the guest house i spoke to Hotel Coconuco twice to get a room, I payed Betty 5000 COP for the call even though she asked for 1000. After i packed my stuff we started walking into town and caught a taxi to the bus stop which should arrive at 11:30.

For people who like these kind of archaeological stuff the park is ok, to me they are just a bunch of rocks formed by indigenous people with a lot of time on their hands.
Outside of the town there is a small waterfall and one of the rocks there resembles the shape of a man, according to locals it is Bolivar.

We continue to wait for the bus which according to a local are coming pretty full. We are surrounded by mountains and the musical sounds of the River Magdalena, this is one of the most picturesque places i have come across.

After a Hail Mary we boarded a bus and with a huge desire to repent we embarked on a journey of precipices, downhills and uphills. I mentioned to Shorty that we had a 50-50 chance of survival. At the next stop the bus stalled and had to be pushed, everyone, except me, got off to assist. After that everything started to get better. We were also stopped by the military to have our documents and bags checked and luckily the bus driver kept the engine going.

We arrived at the hotel at 17:45 and we got a room each with two beds, no T.V or meals for $50000 COP cheaper than a few nights back.
During the day it is warm at night it gets really cold. We ate and had coffee by the fire place. Apparently, this company also has a hotel in Silvia an indigenous village surrounded by the best nature has to offer. Unfortunately that would mean heading 20kms back to Popayan and then another 25kms north.

A Colombian once said to me: We have it all; islands, mountains, the pacific and the caribbean, rivers, valleys, volcanoes, deserts, jungles and guerillas...I added the most beautiful women in the world, the best coffee and the best coke.

Archaeological Park of San Agustin (Huila)
Parque  arquelogico,San Agustin.JPGParque Ar.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Día 33 Sábado 1 de marzo

En cuanto aclaro, me levante con el canto de los pájaros y al ratito salimos caminando despacio para el parque Arqueológico, todo subida y aquí estamos esperando que abran a las 8 a.m todos los alrededores de San Agustín son maravillosos.

Entrada al parque 7.000.00. Nos caminamos todo el maldito parque que lleva tres horas y lo hicimos en dos, tomamos fotos y luego subimos a una buseta (Minibús) por 700.00 hasta la casa, de ahí llame dos veces al hotel en Coconuco, si tenían lugar para nosotros, arregle la mochila rápido y salimos con rumbo al pueblo, le di 5.000.00 a Betty por las llamadas quería solo 1.000.00, tomamos un taxi por 3.000.00 al cruce y aquí estamos esperando el bus que pasa 11.30 a 12.

El parque para alguien que le gusta ese tipo de cosas es un tesoro . Para mi son un montón de rocas que los indígenas con un montón de tiempo que matar le dieron unas formas.

En uno de los saltos de agua afuera del pueblo en la roca hay una forma de hombre (Según ellos es Bolívar)

No se si ya lo mencione pero íbamos en la carretera y otro motoquero dale a sacarnos fotos con un celular.

Seguimos esperando rodeados de montañas y con la música del rió Magdalena, yo estoy hablando con un local que dice que algunos buses andan harto.

Estos son los lugares más paisajistas que he visto.

Después de un Ave Maria o parte ya que paso medio siglo del ultimo subimos a un bus con un gran deseo de reparación, con precipicios, bajadas y subidas adelante le dije a Shorty que teníamos unos 50-50 chance de llegar vivos, ya en el próximo pueblo a 15 kms se paro y todo el mundo menos yo se bajo a empujar, después de eso todo salio bien y llegamos mas rápido que la ida a las 17.45 llegamos al hotel nos dieron en cada pieza dos camas, no T:V cena, desayuno y almuerzo mas barato que anteriormente por 49.900.00, ducha y a tomar café, cenar con estufa a leña, de día hace calor en la noche refresca bastante. También esta compañía tiene un hotel en Silvia que me han dicho que es un pueblo indígena y todo lo que lo rodeada es lo mejor que la naturaleza ofrece.

Pero tendríamos que regresar de Popayán 20 kms y 25 para adentro.

Como me dijo un Colombiano; Tenemos de todo, islas, pacifico, caribe, ríos, montañas, valles, volcanes, desiertos y hasta guerrillas, yo le agregue las mujeres mas bonitas, el mejor café y la mejor coca.

En el camino nos pararon los militares a bajarse todos del bus (que lo dejo prendido) revisar todos los bolsos y mirar cedulas y pasaportes

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:34 AM GMT
DAY 34 - Sunday 2nd of March - Aguas Calientes


I washed Angelina's windshield it was full of tar, the night watchman gave a little me alcohol, it's much better now. We had breakfast and we walked by the highway to Aguas Calientes by half way there was no one to be seen. Shorty fine, but I had to ask around if there was long to go? One native said we were there already, half an hour I ask the same question to another native, your almost there. Finally, we arrived at the springs, a couple of photos and we bolted from the place by a footpath which was a short cut. Lots of mud and we passes the front of several houses but soon enough we arrived at the hotel. They washed and dried all my clothes for $13.500 COP. We had lunch and just after 13:00 we left for Popayán, passed through the center, later by El Bordo (Cauca) and we were on the Pan-American which was at a halt. The reason: one hundred people walking on both ways to bury a person. I even saw a man with a shovel which had a 2.5 metre handle.
The afternoon came onto us quickly and we decided to stop at Hotel Cabaña for $12.000 COP, with cable, private bath without hot water. Basic but for 6,66 dol it is recommended, it's family business.
Although it is the Panamerican Highway the locals call it "El Tablon Panamericano" which means something like the panamerican Plank
Fruit juice is popular in Colombia, recently my last one was made of tomatos from Elm trees.

Via a pie Aguas C alientes.JPG


Lave el parabrisas de Angelina estaba llena de alquitrán, el sereno me dio un poco de alcohol, quedo mejor, desayunamos y nos fuimos caminando por la carretera a aguas calientes ya a medio camino estaba muerto, Shorty pancho, le pregunte a uno que pasaba, falta mucho? Ya han llegado me dice, a la media hora le pregunto lo mismo a una indígena, ya esta ahí atrás me dice, seguimos y nada hasta que por fin llegamos a las termas, un par de fotos y rajamos por un sendero que queda mucho mas cerca, atajo ellos le dicen,

Barro y pasamos por el frente de varias casas pero enseguida llegamos al parte de atrás del hotel. Me lavaron y secaron toda la ropa en el hotel por 13.500.00

Almorzamos y pasadas las 1300 salimos para Popayán que pasamos por el centro, después por Bordo (Cauca) y estaba la panamericana toda parada, como cien personas caminando en la las dos vías, pregunte, iban a enterrar a una persona y hasta vi un negro que llevaba una pala con un mango como de dos metros y medio.

La tarde se nos vino rápido y decidimos parar en el hotel La Cabaña por 12.000.00

Baño privado cable, sin agua caliente, básico pero por 6.66 dol es R. lo tiene una familia.

El lugar es la carretera panam se llama El Tablón Panamericano.

Mucho jugo de frutas se toma en Colombia el ultimo era de tomate de Olmos.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:35 AM GMT
DAY 35 - The end of a beautiful country


We left the hotel just as the weather was clearing, we passed through Pasto, a charming big city, arrived at Ipiales we passed it and immediately came to the border.
We got immigration and customs over in five minutes, less than a km after we went to immigration in Ecuador, filled the forms, they stamped the passports and sent us to customs and in ten minutes they did the import of the bikes, made a photocopy for 20 cents of the document and handed all other copies, passport, licenses and bike title one of each and that was that.
Taking a few photos of the mountains we calmly arrived at Ibarra, quite a large city. What can I say of the Andes that hasn't been said, it enchants us.
Before arriving into the city I had seen a good hotel Hosteria El Prado, the bikes are safe for $US36.60(Ecuador has adopted the US dollar as their national currency) everything in the hotel was first rate. I highly recommend it, included is an American breakfast, and Internet.
The food at restaurants is nice and prices are reasonable, the unleaded gas is $US1,48 per gallon (I had thought that it was the litre and that it was expensive but since it is the gallon it is the cheapest i have found yet, comparing all countries I visited)
I got myself up to date with inbox messages. We had a delicious supper and went to bed.

NOTE: We crossed all of Colombia in various forms of transport and never once got our 15 minutes of fame, we weren't kidnapped, robbed, stabbed, we weren't even offered some grams of coke. We passed the border quickly and incident free.

Now that I am in Ecuador I am getting to know better the issues and problems between both this country and neighbouring Colombia.

1-Bus Colombiano.JPG


Dejamos el hotel cuando estaba aclarando, pasamos por Pasto, una linda gran ciudad, llegamos a Ipiales lo pasamos y enseguida estaba la frontera, hicimos inmigración y aduana en cinco minutos, nos fuimos a menos de un km a inmigración en Ecuador, llenamos el formulario y nos sellaron los pasaportes, nos mandaron a aduana y en diez minutos nos hicieron la importación de las motos, saque una fotocopia por 20 cent, del documento y se lo entregue junto con fotocopias de pasaporte,licencia y titulo de la moto, una de cada una y se termino.

Sacando fotos de las montañas y tranquilos llegamos a Ibarra, una ciudad bastante grande, que puedo decir de los andes que ya no lo haya dicho, nos encanta, ya antes del centro vi Hosteria El Prado un buen hotel, las motos seguras por 36.60(Usan el dollar americano) todo de primera H.R con desayuno americano e Internet,, la comida en el restaurante es rica y a precio razonables, la gasolina sin plomo esta a 1.48 (Pensé que era el litro y que estaba charrísima) pero es por gallon, por lo tanto es la mas barata de todos los países que he visitado. Me puse al día con los mensajes.

Tuvimos una rica cena y a la cama.

Cruzamos toda Colombia, en varios medios de transporte y nunca tuvimos nuestro 15 segundos de fama, no nos secuestraron, robaron, apuñalarnos, ni siquiera nos ofrecieron una línea o dos de coca, pasamos la frontera sin ningún problema y ya en Ecuador me entere de los problemas entre estos dos países

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:37 AM GMT
DAY 36 - Ecuador

Ray Bradbury

We had breakfast and went to the shopping center to get cash from three different automatic tellers. Finally, one gave us what we wanted with a surcharge of 1,50 per transaction. We left Ibarra to go to Quito, we enjoyed the way, after having done about 60 kms. The highway is divided in two, we took the one on the left via Cayambe and a few minutes later we were in the centre or middle of the Earth, the equator, according to a guide who was there it has a millimetre of error. Ever since we left Ibarra, it is all populated along the Panamerican Highway. I liked Quito very much, It has a very modern and new system of highways, of course we got lost non the less entering the city and finding the Historical Centre which is very pretty. The traffic was chaotic and we got lost trying to go south and re take the Panamerican highway. Once we were right, we aimed for Riobamba since the next day at 7a.m we had to board a train which only leaves on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. But after a few kms it began to rain, i got soaked, Shorty with better gear was alright. We arrived at a hotel and nobody took care of to us, it stopped raining so we continued on and it began to rain once more with avengeance. We entered a hotel which looked promising on the outside but once inside was not so, Hotel Castillo del Valle for $US12,00 not recommended. I didn't shower and slept fully clothed.
I would like to clarify that the prices are always per room, until now Shorty and I have not yet found the need to share, both preferring some privacy. After all we see each other all throughout the day and generally we have our meals together, so by the end of the day we want to be left alone.

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Día 36 martes 4 $ U.S Dollars

Desayunamos y fuimos a un shopping center a sacar plata de tres cajeros automáticos el ultimo nos dio lo que queríamos con un recargo de 1.50 por transacción.

Dejamos Ibarra para ir a Quito, disfrutamos el camino después de haber hecho unos 60 kms. La carretera se divide en dos, tomamos la de la izquierda por Cayambe y a los pocos minutos estábamos en el medio del mundo o centro, la línea del ecuador, según un guía que estaba ahí con un milímetro de error. Desde que dejamos Ibarra casi todo poblado por la panam.

Me gusto mucho Quito, esta rodeado por una parabólica, el sistema de carreteras muy moderno y nuevo, por supuesto que nos perdimos para entrar y encontrar el Centro Histórico que es muy bonito, el trafico caótico y nos perdimos para tomar la panam Sur cuando nos encontramos con el camino apuntamos para Riobamba que el próximo día a las 7 a.m teníamos que tomar un tren que sale solo lunes, miércoles y viernes, pero después de unos kms empezó a llover, me empape, Shorty con mejor equipo iba mejor, llegamos a un hotel y nadie nos atendía, paro de llover seguimos empezó la lluvia con venganza, entramos a un hotel que de afuera lucia prometedor pero ya adentro no era así, Hotel Castillo del Valle 12.00 N.R dormí vestido sin ducha, aclaro que los precios son siempre por cada pieza o cuarto, hasta ahora no tuvimos la necesidad de compartir con Shorty y los dos preferimos la privacidad, después de vernos todo el día, las comidas generalmente las tenemos juntos, ambos queremos estar solos.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:41 AM GMT
DAY 37 - Riobamba - Wednesday 3rd of March


Miles on Angie are 6,177 she was saved from doing the journey to Portobello (140Kms), Cartagena-Medellin (600 Kms), Medillin-Bogota (400 Kms) Coconuco-San Agustín roundtrip (200 Kms). We left whilst it was raining, this time i was better prepared. The Journey was all uphill until we reached some 3,200 metres, cold and with the rain there was very poor visibility, soon after it started to clear so once again we began to enjoy the bike-ride and the views. We stopped in a town and had breakfast, two coffees and four pieces of bread with cheese nearly $US1.60.
The coffee in Ecuador is served separately, they bring the hot water or hot milk to you along with a container of coffee and the sugar bowl, i found that unusual.
We passed through several towns almost one after the other, many businesses and stands throughout the highway.
We saw a semitrailer overturned in a straight line. When we passed through the place of Salcedo I took a photo of the monument to the mother.
I am continually being confused for an Argentinean and others speak to me in English despite me knowing Spanish.
Often when we leave a hotel the guests and/or employees have come out to see us off and they wish us a good trip.

I am now in Riobamba at a hotel that is very pretty Hotel Golden Train, for $US10 buffet breakfast $US3 we found it through the Lonely Planet, it is half a block from the station. The bikes will be in the closed garage of the hotel. I payed for three nights and on Friday we will take the train.

After a shower I went to eat, Shorty did not feel perhaps due to the height, we are at 2,850 metres. I had a very tasty chicken with potatoes $US3 including the drink. I walked to the supermarket to buy water and other things, I am bewitched by this small city of about 130,000 inhabitants it has a touch of home-town Salto, main street with young people where, amongst them, everyone knows each other.

Monumento a la madre,Salcedo.JPGEn camino a Riobamba.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Día 37 miércoles 5

Millas en Angie 6.177 Le ahorre la ida a Portobello (140Kms),Cartagena-Medellín (600 Kms), Medillin-Bogota (400 Kms) Coconuco-San Agustín ida y vuelta (200 Kms). Salimos lloviendo, yo mejor preparado, empezamos a subir hasta unos 3.200 metros, frio y con la lluvia la visibilidad ere muy pobre, pronto de despejo y una vez mas empezamos a disfrutar las motos y las vistas, paramos en un pueblo y desayunamos, dos cafés con cuatro panes con queso adentro 1.60. El café en Ecuador te sirve separado, te traen el agua caliente o leche caliente y el frasco de café y el azucarero, raro? Pasamos por varios pueblos casi pegados unos a otros, muchos negocios y stand a lo largo de la Panam, vimos un semirremolque volcado en una recta. Cuando pasamos por el medio de Salcedo le saque una foto al monumento a la madre. Me siguen confundiendo con argentino y otros hablan en ingles. Muchas veces cuando dejamos un hotel la gente sale a vernos y nos desean buen viaje.

Ahora estamos en Riobamba en un hotel muy lindo Hotel Tren Dorado, por 10.00 el desayuno 3.00 buffet lo sacamos de Lonely Planet, queda a media cuadra de la estación y dejamos las motos abajo del hotel en el garaje cerrado, pague por tres noches, el viernes tomaremos el tren. Me duche y Salí a comer, Shorty no se sentía muy bien quizás por la altura, estamos 2.850 metros. Pollo con papas muy rico por 3.00 con una bebida. Fui al super a comprar agua y otras cosas caminado, me encanto esta pequeña ciudad de unos 130.000 habitantes con un toque Salteño, calle principal con gente joven que toda se conocen entre ellos.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:42 AM GMT
DAY 38 - A day of very little activity


I had a huge breakfast, Shorty is still unwell, he vomited through the night. He only had fruit and has gone to bed. I've gone to the station and the choo-choo train looks like it won't depart, too much rain and mudslides on the tracks. We will have to go by bus.
I have made 2 DVDs from the fotos, have them in order it is a mistake having used two cameras.
I went for a walk through the city, I started to climb up a hill to see the cathedral when i get to the top a woman with a pram walks by, looks at my Nikon and says to me 'hey mister, leave quickly, there are people stealing' so i quickly took a foto of the cathedral and bolted to the main street. Pity cause there were some great views of the city and mountains from the hill top.

I went to eat chicken at the same place as last night, the waiter asked for Shorty. I told him he is unwell possibly due to a yoghurt, he told me to bring him over for some chicken and all will be better. I also stopped at a baker today and had some meringue.
I waited at the station for the ticket seller, when he arrived he sold me a ticket for the bus to Alausi, only for $US2.50. From there we will have to take the train, with a capacity of 32 people. The bus leaves at 6 a.m. I spent the whole day bored, I stopped at the internet to send photos and I will now go to bed.

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Día 38……………………….Jueves 6

Tuve un gran desayuno, Shorty sigue mal, vomito toda la noche y comió solo fruta y se fue a la cama. Fui a la estación y el choo-choo tren parece que no sale, mucha lluvia y derrumbes en las vías. Lo tendremos que hacer en bus. Hice dos DVD con las fotos y las puse por orden, es un error usar dos cámaras.

Salí a pasear por esta ciudad, cuando llegue a la catedral que esta en una cima, en los últimos escalones baja una madre empujando el cochecito, me mira, mira la Nikon y me dice ¨Señor váyase rápido que están asaltando, así que le saque una foto de pasada a la iglesia y raje para la calle principal unas lindas vistas de la ciudad y montañas de ese punto, pero no fotos. Fui a comer pollo al mismo lugar y el mozo me pregunto por Shorty, le dije sigue mal creo que fue un yogurt, dile que venga a comer pollo y se le va todo me dijo, de paso entre a una panadería y me comí unos merengues, espere en la estación por el vendedor de pasajes y cuando llego me vendió para un bus por 2.50 a Alausi y de ahí tomamos un tren solo para 32 personas, sale el bus a las 6 a.m. Aburrido me pase el día, iré al internet a enviar fotos y luego cama.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:43 AM GMT
DAY 39 - Tour of Alausi & Nariz del Diablo


Shorty is feeling better.
Whilst it was dark we went to take the bus half a block away, we went through Quamote, Tixan and we arrived at Alausi where we took a bus that went on the train tracks, further ahead it stopped so we could go up on the roof. We sat around with our feet hanging over. The whole trip was in zig zag through the mountains until we arrived at one called Nariz del Diablo and the we began the return trip. All of it very beautiful.
Speaking with people, we got to find out some tips such as the road to our next stop in Cuenca is not the best for about 20kms and that the border to Peru is closed due to so much rain. We will take another route and we will see at the border what happens. Despite having two weeks of rain today the weather held off and made it such a wonderful day for us.
In Alausi we took photos and the bus to Riobamba was $2 but because it going to Quito it left us at a crossing and a taxi to the city centre was another $2, we walked a while and then went to the hotel, Internet, and packing up ready for the next morning, where i will re-encounter with Angie who I haven't seen for two days.

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Día 39…………………………………..Viernes 7

Shorty ya esta bien.

Oscuro fuimos a tomar el bus a media cuadra, pasamos por Quamote,Tixan y llegamos a Alausi, donde tomamos un bus que iba por la vía del tren, mas adelante paro y nos subimos al techo, nos sentamos todos alrededor con los pies para afuera, todo en zigzag por las montañas hasta que llegamos a una que se llama Nariz Del Diablo y empezó el regreso, todo bellísimo.

Siempre hablando con la gente me entere que el camino a nuestro próximo destino Cuenca esta malísimo como 20 kms, y también que la frontera a Perú esta cerrada por tanta lluvia. Tomaremos otra ruta y vemos en la frontera. El día estupendo nos hizo, ya hace dos semanas que estaba lloviendo. En Alausi tomamos fotos y el bus a Riobamba por 2.00 como iba a Quito nos dejo en un cruce, un taxi al centro 2.00, caminamos un rato y al hotel, internet, hotel a preparar las cosas para mañana y el reencuentro con Angie que hace dos días no la veo.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:44 AM GMT
March 29, 2008 GMT
DAY 40 - not an easy road


Saturday 8th of March

Yesterday afternoon i stopped at a tourist agency and was offered a 4 day package with everything except entry to the Galapagos for 700 Guayaquil. However they wanted me to book dates and i have no idea when i will be able to arrive there, particularly with all the rain and road closures we have come across. I had a chat with Shorty, but he has no interest, he has decided to go some other time with his wife. Then there was the matter of where the bike was to be stored while i was there. In a city of over 3 million with not the best of reputations, i decided i too will leave the Galapagos for some other time.

We took our bikes out of the garage and Shorty ran over a wooden board with nails. His front will was flat and got fixed in 5 minutes. We had a huge breakfast and departed with Machala in mind (near the Peruvian border).
The first kms, fine but as soon as we passed Cajabamba a mess, then from Pallatanga to El Triunfo fantastic. Some 20 kms before Guayaquil we turned left on the South Road number 25 towards Naranjal and Machala, again at first a good road then it worsens with pot holes so deep, it was a miracle i didn't fall off the bike after going full force into two of them.

It has been a long day, 300 kms. We are staying at Hotel Ejecutivo in the centre of Machala, third floor recommended by Lonely Planet it has cable, internet and air for $US18 dollars. Machala has a population of 250.000.

This morning while on the road we would have reached a height of 4000 mts, my feet and finger tips were frozen cold. But here in Machala it is 33 degrees, i reached my room 303 and thought i was burning. The bikes are at the side of the hotel in an enclosed area although with no roof cover but with security guard. Later on we might take a stroll around the centre and have dinner, at the moment i am watching a 'Cantinflas' movie.


Ayer de tarde fui a una agencia de viajes y me dieron un paquete por 4 días todo incluido menos la entrada al parque de Galapos por 700 de Guayaquil, pero quería que pusiera fecha y yo no se cuando podía llegar a esa ciudad, con tanta lluvia y caminos cerrados, hable con Shorty y no tenia interés, quiere hacerlo mas adelante con su señora, se empezó a complicar donde dejaba la moto por cinco días en esa ciudad de 3 millones y su fama de peligrosa, decidí dejar para otra vez.
Sacamos las motos del garaje y Shorty pasó por arriba de una tabla con un clavo y pincho la rueda de adelante, la arreglamos en cinco minutos, tomamos un buen desayuno y salimos a tratar de llegar a Machala, cerca de la frontera con Perú.
Los primeros kms la carretera bien pero después de Cajabamba un desastre, Pallatanga, hasta El Triunfo después un lujo y unos 20 kms antes de Guayaquil doblamos a la izquierda por la Sur25 para Naranjal y Machala, la carretera igual al principio muy bien y después había que hoyos que querían devorar a Angie, agarre dos de lleno que salte como un metro, fue un milagro que no caí. No podíamos comprender con Shorty la profundidad que tienen. Fue un largo día por 300 kms. Estamos en el Hotel Ejecutivo
En el tercer piso, en el centro de Machala un cuarto de millón de habitantes, hotel recomendado por Lonely Planet, cable, Internet, aire por 18 dol.
Hoy de mañana cuando salimos llegamos como a los metros se me congelaron los pies y las pu8ntas de los dedos, Aquí hace 33 grados, llegue a mi cuarto el 303 pensé que me iba a prender fuego. Las motos al costado del hotel en un lote cerrado y con guardia, sin techo. Saldremos a comer algo y caminar por el centro, en el momento estoy mirando una película de gran Cantinflas.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 07:55 AM GMT
DAY 41 - Crossing from Ecuador to Peru

"EMBRACE THE DETOURS". Kevin Charbonneau

Got the bikes ready, had breakfast and went to the port for a stroll. We didn't much like what we saw so we left Machala to go to Huaquillas, almost all the way was disastrous, detours, dirt, stones, holes, perhaps in six months this road will be better since there are road works in this section. Throughout the night Shorty's wheel was losing air so before Huaquillas we took it to a place and they fixed it at once .
Some 3 kms before the town we completed immigration, they stamped the exit and we followed on through Huaquilla, lots of people walking by the street, food stands on both sides of the streets. All in first gear, beeping the horn and fighting with everyone, requesting permission. Finally, we arrived at the international bridge, very small, which passes over an even smaller stream no water in sight.
Not even 30 meters after was customs, they removed the bike papers and indicated i continue on my journey. The bridge was full of people loading fruits and vegetables.
Peruvian customs is right next to the bridge, we had to make a photocopy of the exit of Ecuador from the passport and photocopies of passport, bike license, we filled out a form for importing of the bikes and that was it, everything free of charge.
We left this sea of people and 3---4 kms later, Peruvian immigration, we needed to fill a form for the visa, got it stamped and as fast as we could hit the Panamerican highway, which by the way is in excellent condition in Peru, we began to see the Pacific ocean and for a long time we were only 50 metres from the water, a couple of times, for short whiles, when we moved away from the coast it got boring and ugly.
Tired we committed the error in entering Tallara, we did not find a hotel and we had to return to the highway and continue on. The road was straight and the surroundings were dry with dirt mountains. Before Sullana the plantations and palms began, things improved considerably.
We are now at an Inn, La Posada for 25 Soles, basic, not recommended. They have a cyber cafe and they let me put the bikes inside so I gave them 10 Soles. The petrl goes for $11.45 Soles per gallon, even cheaper.
When inland of Ecuador by mountains the majority of the population was indigenous, towards coast and the south they are the minority.
In our trip we passed through Tumbas, Canoas, Talara. The heat begins from 7a.m.
There is much distrust around here, businesses maintain their doors closed and you are served through metal bars.

PHOTO: Leaving Ecuador and the road to Peru
Dejando Ecuador.JPG2924.jpgEn Camino a Peru.JPG

Preparamos las motos , desayunamos y fuimos al púerto a dar un paseo, no nos gusto lo que vimos y dejamos Machala para ir a Huaquillas, casi todo el camino un desastre, desvios, tierra, piedras,pozos, quizas en seis meses este todo bien ya que estan trabajando en este tramo. Como durante la noche la rueda de Shorty perdio aire, unos kims antes de Huaquillas la llevamos a una gomeria y se lo hicieron rapidisimo.Unos tres kms antes del pueblo hicimos inmigracioin, nos estamparon la salida y seguimos, pasamos por el medio de Huaquillas y toda la gente caminando por la calle stand de los dos lados todo en primera tocando bocina y peleando con todo el mundo, pidiendo permiso llegamos al puente internacional, chiquito arriba de un riacho que ni se veia el agua, no mas de 30 metros, en aduana me sacaron el papel de la moto y me dijeron siga viaje, el puente tapado de gente cargando frutas y verduras.
Aduana peruana pegada al puente, tuvimos que hacer fotocopia de la salida de Ecuador en el pasaporte y fotocopias de pasaporte, moto licencia, llenamos un formulario para la importacion de la moto y ta todo gratis, salimos de este gentio y a los 3---4 kms inmigracion Peruana, a llenar formulario para la visa, sellaron y rapido empezamos hacer carretera por la panamericana que esta muy buena en Peru, empezamos a ver el Pacifico y por largo tiempo ibamos a 50 metros del agua, un par de kms de a ratos, cuando nos alejamos de la costa se puso aburrido y feo. Cansados cometimos el error de entrar en Tallara, no encontramos hotel y decidimos volver a la panam y seguir, el camino derecho y los alrededores seco con montañas de tierra, antes de Sullana empezaron las plantaciones y palmeras, mejoro pila.
Aqui estamos en un Hostal La Posada por 25 soles Basico NR. Abajo hay un cyber cafe y me dejaron poner las motos adentro, les di 10 soles. la gasolina mas barata esta 11.45 el gallon.
Cuando estabamos en ecuador por las montañas la mayoria de la poblacion es indigina para la costa y el sur es la minoria. Pasamos por Tumbas, Canoas, Talara. Mucho calor desde las 7 a.m. Todo es una desconfianza, los negocios cerrados, te atienden atraves de rejas.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 07:56 AM GMT
DAY 42 - Desert & Sea


Miles on Angie 6,969, today we did 543 Kms. We left at 7 a.m from Sullana and out of this terrible inn, we stopped at a station and had coffee with biscuits for 1.50 Soles. We passed through the center of Piura, lost ourselves, Shorty with his GPS took over, we eventually were able to exit the city but via longest way out. Then we passed Olmos, after an hour of trip we realised we were the only ones on the road, desert with very little vegetation and several poor villages with farmers. We arrived at Chiclayo perhaps an hour over schedule, by taking the coastal road. I stopped at a church and several men offered to exchange money, Shorty pulled beside me and changed $US100 Shorty and received 288 soles. Lunch was Chinese at a supermarket. We continued on to Trujillo, all desert, arid, the highway awesome. We passed a lot of patrol cars, we were stopped they wanted us to bribe them for not having bike insurance. We argued, they threatened us with confiscating the bikes, I told them to do what they had to do and pointed out I would let the consulate know, frustrated they handed back the licenses and they let us go.
Shorty later told me that his license is a coloured photocopy of the true one, laminated, so when they threaten to take it and make him pick it up at the station he doesn't care about never seeing it again, I wish i had thought of doing that. About 5 kms later we were stopped again, straight up I mentioned to the young policeman that we were just stopped, he shook my hand and told us he had no other intention that stopping us to check out the bikes as he is a rider too. 5 minutes of blabla and we set off to Trujillo we took a right to Huanchaco and here we are in El Ancla Hostel, opposite the Pacific Ocean and three blocks from city centre for 60 soles with cable, hot water, fan, clean: Recommended, antiques all around the place. The bikes are in a safe garage.
Along the beach we went looking for the internet and to eat fish with a Trujillo beer 11 soles.
From the South of Ecuador and throughout Peru, motorbikes are not required to pay toll. Furthermore, driving south until Lima no one pays tolls as they are payed when heading north.

A WORD FOR THE WISER: Each time you enter a country be sure you ask (at customs) whether or not insurance is required for your vehicle. Police like to make you fall for things that aren't so in order to get a few bucks out of you.

Millas en Angie 6.969, hoy hicimos 543 Kms.
Salimos a las 7 a.m de Sullana y de este hostal malo, paramos en una estacion de servicio a tomar cafe con galletitas por 1.50 soles.
Pasamos por el centro de Piura, nos perdimos, Shorty con su GPS encabezo, salimos de la ciudad pero por el camino mas largo, por Olmos, despues de una hora de viaje nos dimos cuenta, ibamos solo por la carretera, desierto con algo de vegetacion y muchos pueblitos muy pobres con campesinos. Llegamos a Chiclayo quizas una hora mas tarde de lo que habiamos planeado por el camino de la costa.
En la iglesia pare y varios hombres me ofrecieron cambiar dinero, llego Shorty y cambio 100 dol. 288 soles. Almorazamos comida china en un super.
Seguimos para Trujillo, todo desierto, arido, la carretera A1 o sea de primera. Pasamos muchos policias de transito, nos pararon y querian coima porque no teniamos seguro.Discutimos como por media hora me amenazaron con sacarnos las motos, le dije que hicieran lo que tenian que hacer, nosotros contatariamos nuestros consul, frustrados nos devolvieron las licencias y nos dejaron ir., Shorty despues me dijo que su licencia es una fotocopia en color de la verdadera, plastificada, yo no pénse en esa buena idea. A los 5 kms otra vez nos pararon, le dije de entrada recien nos pararon y un policia joven me dio la mano y me dice, no los voy a intervenir los pare para ver las motos porque yo soy motoquero tambien., cinco minutos de blabla y rajamos de Trujillo torcimos a la derecha para Huanchaco y aqui estamos en el Hostal El Ancla enfrente del Pacifico y a tres cuadras del centro por 60 soles, cable, agua caliente, ventilador, limpio R todo con antiguedades, Las motos en garage bien seguras.
Por la playa nos fuimos al internet y a comer pescado con Pilsen Trujillo por 11 Soles
Ya en el Sur de Ecuador las motos no pagan peaje, Aqui en Peru tampoco y para el sur hasta Lima nadie paga solo para el norte.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 07:57 AM GMT
DAY 43 - Ready to go home


At 8a.m we arrived at the ruins in Chan Chan some 10 minutes from the hotel. Shorty will go in and I will wait outside as I have no interest whatsoever. I'm a bit fed up of the whole trip and have every intention in finishing this up and getting to Salto A.S.A.P.
We went into Trujillo, at the main square we exchanged money, took some photos and straight back onto the Panamerican, south. Passed Chimbote where traffic was crazy. A taxi bumped into the side of Shorty's bike, nothing much but the driver just kept on. Occasionally we could see the ocean, but it was mostly mountainous and arid. The police stopped us 5 times, that we were going too fast, bla bla bla bla and then they let us go. I couldn't bear the tiredness anymore, desperate for a descent hotel to stop at, but each town we passed was scarier than the other. Finally dusk came upon us and we found El Paraiso del Norte in Huaura for 25 soles with cable, hot water, lots of swimming pools and slides. Recommended.
The whole day was cloudy. At one stage of the highway we saw a film crew in the desert filming a movie. Peru and its people never sat well with me but I did like Trujillo, the place and its people were pleasant and nice.
We went for dinner half a chicken with potatoes and salad cost 11 soles. Stopped at a baker for some sweet bread. Internet was full so i wasn't able to use it. Went back in a taxi - 4 soles.

Llegamos a las ruinas de Chan Chan a 10 minutos del hotel a las 8 a.m pero como abren a las 9 aqui estamos esperando, Shorty entrara, yo espero afuera, no me interesa para nada. Estoy ya cansado del viaje y pienso llegar a Salto rapido.
Entramos a Trujillo, en la plaza mayor, cambiamos dinero, tomamos unas fotos y Panam Sur otra vez, pasamos por Chimbote, el trafico una locura, un taxi choco de costado a Shorty, no fue nada pero ni paro, todo el camino desierto, oceano de a ratos, montañas aridas, la policia nos paro cinco veces, que ibamos muy rapido, blabla y nos dejan ir, ya no soportaba el cansancio buscando un hotel decente, cada pueblo que da miedo solo pasar por ellos al final ya atardeciendo encontramos uno en Huaura EL Paraiso del Norte por 25 soles , cable y agua caliente con muchas piscinas y juegos de agua R. Todo el dia nublado, en el camino en el medio del desierto estaban filmando una pelicula. Peru y su gente nunca me gusto, pero Trujillo lo encontre lindo y agradable, fuimos al pueblo a comer en un minibus 0.50 pollo con papas y ensalada 11 soles en una panaderia me compre una miloja y otras macitas. Internet estaba lleno, no puede utilizarlo.
Regresamos en taxi 4 soles

Posted by Hugo Albini at 07:58 AM GMT
DAY 44 - More Police


Almost every truck had branches with thorns tied to the backdoor, so I had to ask its significance. Apparently, it is to stop people from climbing the truck to steal.

Miles 7,458
Gave Angelina's engine a quick wash and we left at 7a.m. Again arid land with mountains of sand, approaching Lima there are some very pretty places, the highway through the mountains, below us we had the sea and to our left the sandy mountains.
Not long after we left for our journey, we passed a toll booth, I went through the appropriate lane on the right side, Shorty took the car lane due to his bike being wider as a result of his bags. The police stopped us and wanted to fine us, i don't know why me but it really annoyed me. So I started insulting him and in an aggrevated voice asked him where is one meant to go through when the lanes are so narrow, I sarcastically commented if he wished that we bring some helicopters so they could carry the bikes over the toll. He replied he was the police officer and not the booth designer and let us go.
The day was cloudy not bad for the ride, but horrible for photo taking.
We spent hours to by pass Lima, the dangers were many in traffic the place is huge. We put petrol and while there i spotted a place where they could change Angelina's oil, I gave them the filter that was in my knapsack and for 70 soles, and a little hitch as they normally only do cars, everything was done. Shorty got the front wheel fixed.
We continued south and it looks like a totally different country, beaches one followed the other all with pretty houses. We arrived at Chincha, I went to a couple of Hostels to ask their prices and we chose to stay at Legas Inn, they wanted 95 soles but we managed to get it for 85. Quite pretty Recommended, the Internet connection slow but ok for short emails.
We went to eat at the main part of town but I didn't have anything, didn't feel the best.
Upon returning to the hotel, as it grew darker, I went to buy water so I placed the nikon on the counter, when a policie officer approached me and warned i didn't leave the camera there and to get to my hotel immediately. The shop assistant then explained that people rob absolutely everything. So it was back to the hotel watch T.V.
PHOTO: Outside of Lima
salida de lima.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 44 Miercoles 12
Casi todos los camiones tenian ramas con espinas atadas en la puerta de atras, asi que pregunte porque y es para que la gente no suba por ese lado a robar.
Millas 7.458
Lave un poco el motor de angie y salimos a las 7 a.m todo arido con montañas de arena, cuando nos acercamos a Lima hay unos lugares muy bonitos, la carretera va por el medio de la montaña, alla bajo teniamos el mar y a nuestra izquierda la montañas arenosa.
La policia nos paro ni bien salimos cuando pasamos por un peaje, yo pase por el costado derecho como siempre pero Shorty paso por el lado de los autos ya que la moto de el es mas ancha por las balijas que tiene y nos querian poner multa, a mi no se porque habia pasado por el lugar debido, me saco de las casillas y lo empece a insultar que por donde quiere que uno pase, si no hay lugar, tenemos que traer un helicoptero y pasarlas por arriba, cuando termine me dice, yo soy policia no fui el que hizo el pase para las motos tan pequeño, se pueden ir.
El dia nublado barbaro para las motos, pero no para sacar fotos siempre esta como con neblina y la visibilidad es pobre. Horas pasando por el costado de Lima, el peligro en el trafico es grandisimo. Pusimos gasolina y miradno alrededor habia un lugar para cambiar la aceite de angie, les di el filtro que tenia en la mochila y por 70 soles me lo hicieron despues de unos problemitas, hacian solo autos. Shorty hizo arreglar la rueda de adelante y para el sur continuamos, parece otro,pais, playas una seguida de otra con casas bonitas. Llegamos a Chincha fui a un par de Hostal a preguantar precios y nos quedamos en Lega s Hostal querian 95 pero lo saque por 85 soles R. muy bonito, el internet lento pero pude mandar dos dias para la web
Fuimos a comer al centro pero yo nada, no me sentia bien.De regreso al hotel ya oscureciendo compre agua y puse la nikon en el mostrador, se acerco un policia y me dice, no deje eso asi y larguese para su hotel y la señora que me vendio el agua me dice, roban de todo. asi que a mirar tele.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 07:58 AM GMT
DAY 45 - Making the k's - Nazca Lines


We left before 7a.m, determined to get as many kms done as possible. We went south via the coast, we passed through the side of Pisco, through Yauca, Chala, Atico, all very plain and deserted, but Ocoña is another thing, a beautiful town in a valley. Just after Chala the road got very interesting, seaside with mountains of sand, strong wind, loose sand that punished us severely. Not long after, began mountains of rocks, precipices and tunnels all very spectacular, we did about 650 kms. We met up with an Argentinean bike rider and chatted a while in a place we had stopped at to take photos. We are in Camana at the Hotel de Turistas with cable, Internet, AC, breakfast all for 80 soles. When I payed the petrol I had my last 50 soles left in my hand but as I moved the bike to give Shorty space I forgot about it and lost it, so I had to go change some more. We went to eat pizza opposite the hotel, alpaca meat with mushroom sauce and sprite for 25 soles.

It forgot that on the road we got to a point where we could see the Nazca lines or should i say two parts of them. To see all of it would require going in an aircraft. We paid a sol to go on a platform, where we took a couple of photos. Both of us were quite cynical about the whole thing, it seemed like modern hands had some involvement in making them. There were signs all about warning us not to step on the these pampas as the tracks remain for centuries.
Chincha a Camana29.JPGNazca.JPG

Antes de las 7 a.m salimos decididos a comer kms, Sur y por la costa, pasamos por al lado de Pisco, por Yauca, Chala, Atico, aburrido todo, Ocoña es otra cosa, hermoso pueblo en un valle, lo demas es desierto, carretera derecha despues de Chala se puso mas interesante, ibamos a lado del mar con montañas de arena, viento fuerte, arena suelta que nos castigo mucho, hasta en los oidos se nos metio, luego empezaron las montañas de rocas, precipicios, tuneles y todo espectacular, hicimos unos 650 kms, nos enocontramos con un motoquero Argentino y charlamos un rato en un lugar que habiamos parado a tomar fotos.
Estamos en el Hotel de Turistas en Camana, cable, internet, AC, desayuno por 80 soles, cuando pague la gasolina me quede con mis ultimos 50 soles en la mano al correr la moto para darle paso a Shorty, me olvide del dinero y lo perdi, asi que tuve que cambiar mas. Fuimos a comer en frente del hotel, pizza, lomo de alpaca con salsa de champinion, sprite por 25 soles.
Me olvidaba vimos las lineas o mas bien solo dos de Nasca, para verlas bien hay que ir en avion, nosotros pagamos un sol para subir a una plataforma, tomamos un par de fotos, cinicos los dos, parecieran que manos modernas las hicieron, carteles por todas partes diciendo que no podes caminar por estas pampas, ya que las huellas quedan por siglos.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 07:59 AM GMT
DAY 46 - A Day of Dramas

Moorish proverb

We had to wait a while for breakfast, after inhaling it, we left in the direction of Arequipa, which is inland so we left the coast. All desert or Peruvian Pampas as they call it. Before arriving at Arequipa we veered right towards Tacna, not as much traffic, at times we were the only one around, some mountains and valleys. We both had problems with trucks and car coming on the opposite side, they had plenty of opportunities for overtaking at the right places but evidently could not wait a few seconds. At one stage i had a nasty situation where two semis one trying to overtake the other, were occupying the whole road I made changes of lights, honked the horn with no avail, but I had to tighten everything and come to a halt. The truck put the brakes on and burnt the tyres, smoke coming out of them he went back behind the trucks just metres from me.
At about 150 kms before Tacna we arrived at a town in a valley, put gasoline, I put unleaded, cheap they call the 84. Shorty inadvertently pointed to another pump so the guy put the 95. A few metres later, his motorbike starts to fail, it would start and then stall, I continued on to find the closest servo, I went back for him and somehow he made it to the servo, convinced that the problem was sand in the carburetor as we had to pass through another sand storm today. While Shorty began to pull apart his Suzuki, I went to buy refreshments. Works out that in town there is a motorbike mechanic and hotels, so I returned to tell Shorty there was no need to panic. The air filter was super dirty, we cleaned it with air but nothing, we attempted to start it and petrol would leak, I said to Shorty it must be the carburetor but he says to me it has injection not carburetor, in that two boys of around 15 years old who were watching say to us that the liquid on the floor is diesel, so I translated to Shorty and there was no other choice but to drain the tank and refuel. I put a bit through the mouth of the filter and spilt a bit so when we tried to start the bike it caught fire, so then we all start to blow like mad to stop the fire, it extinguished immediately and we put wet rags to try again and with the aid of wd40 it started with a lot of smoke. Shorty began to put everything in its place, the tank, seat and I cleaned the air filter on Angie that also was dirty and with sand.
We gave the boys some money in gratitude, grabbed water from a well to wash our hands.
More of the pampas and we arrived at Tacna, 40kms from the border. We looked for a hotel, a native lady told me I could keep the bikes in the garage but it had a step that was too steep for Angie to go down. The lady put some bricks down and went to get some cardboard as Shorty went to enter his bike it touched the tiles and cracked two. When the lady returned I put Angie in without a problem but then she started that we needed to pay for the damages and to argue that she asked us to wait for the cardboard, bla bla. She wanted 15 soles, which is nothing but Shorty was adamant that he'd only pay 10 and thats when things turned ugly. With his limited Spanish he started "abra puerta yo take bike, llamar policia," he wanted to leave and have his money returned. In the end we negotiated for 11, basic place not recommended, 30 soles forget the name. The place is opposite a bus depot where we went to get chips and biscuits and that is how another very long and complicated day came to finish. Went to sleep, clothed, no shower and no descent food.
semi-trailers.JPGtunnel.JPGCamana a Tacna5.JPG


Un dia con dramas

Tuvimos que esperar un rato por el desayuno, despues de aspirarlo, salimos con rumbo a Arequipa, dejamos la costa, todo desierto o pampas Peruanas le llaman, antes de llegar a Arequipa torcimos a la derecha hacia Tacna, poco trafico, eramos solos por largos ratos, algunas montañas y valles. Los dos tuvimos problemas con camiones y auto en nuestra via de frente, tenian pila de lugares para pasar pero no podian esperar unos segundos, yo me la vi feo con dos semi uno tratando de pasar al otro, empece con cambios de luces, bocina pero tuve que apretar todo lo que tenia hasta quedar parado, el camion freno y las cubiertas largaban humo se puso detras del otro a pocos metros de mi.
A unos 150 kms antes de Tacna llegamos a un pueblo en un valle, pusimos gasolina, yo de la sin plomo, la mas barata le llaman la 84 y Shorty le señalo el otro grifo con la 95, a los pocos metros su moto empezo a fallar, prendia y se apagaba, yo segui y encontre a pocos metros otra estacion de servicio, lo fui a buscar y mas mal que bien estaba llegando. Convencido yo que era el carburador sucio de tanta tormenta de arena que pasamos, que tambien hoy nos toco. Mientras empezaba a desarmar la suzuki, me fui a comprar refrescos, me entere que en el pueblo habia mecanico de moto y hoteles, regreso para comunicarle a Shorty que no habia necesidad de panico. El filtro del aire estaba super sucio, lo limpiamos con aire y nada, hicimos como para prenderla y salia gasolina, tiene que ser el carburador le digo, y Shorty me dice es a injeccion no tiene carburador, en eso habia tres muchachos alrededor dos jovenes de 15 años y el de la estacion, uno de los jovencitos miro la gasolina que habia en la tierra y dice eso es petroleo asi le llaman al Diesel, el de la estacion trajo un poco de gasolina en una botella y le pusimos por la boca del filtro de aire y arranco, ahi le dije a Shorty, los muchachos estan diciendo que te pusieron Diesel en vez de gasolina, todos nos dimos que cuenta, no habia otra, a vaciar el tanque, le pusimos gasolina, yo le puse un chorro en la boca del filtro y derrame por el costado, tratamos de prendera, y se prende fuego, todos a soplar a lo loco, se apago enseguida y pusimos trapos mojados para intentar otra vez y con la ayuda del wd40, arranco tirando humo.
Shorty empezo a poner todo en su lugar, los costados, tanque, asiento mientras yo limpie el filtro de aire de Angie que tambien estaba sucio y con arena. Le dimos una propina a los tres, saque agua de un pozo, nos lavamos las manos, la estacion de servicio era todo de tierra, de esas de campaña.
Mas pampas, llegamos a Tacna, que esta a unos 40 kms de la frontera, buscamos un Hostal, una indigena me dijo que podiamos poner las motos en el garage, mire y tenia un escalon muy alto para Angie, me dijo que ella ponia unos ladrillos, abrimos la puerta, puso los ladrillos y me dice voy a buscar unos cartones, pero Shorty empezo a poner su moto, toco abajo y lasco dos baldosas, vino la mujer con el carton y pusimos a Angie despacito y sin problema, pero la mujer empezo que tenemos que pagar por los daños y a discutir que eso ya estaba que no , que te dije que esperaras por el carton y blabla mas discuciones, queria 15 soles que es nada, pero Shorty que no diez no more y ahi la cosa se puso fea, Shorty con su pobre español le dice abra puerta yo take bike, llamar policia, queria irse a toda costa y que nos devolvieran la plata, al final arregle por 11 soles. Basico NR 30 soles, no se como se llama, le saque una foto, esta en una esquina frente a la terminal de buses, a esta fuimos a comprar unas chips y galletitas y asi paso otro dia largo, complicado, a dormir vestrido sin baño y sin una comida decente.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 07:59 AM GMT
DAY 47 - Into Chile

Lemony Snicket

Miles on Angie: 8385
We departed from the hotel before 6:30 and a few blocks down Shorty bought some oil and gave his bike a service, then half an hour later we were on the road and onto the border.
We had to join a four lane queue, two to Peru and two to Chile, got passport stamped, declared the bikes and off to Chile. Here things were a little more lengthy as we had to complete 3 forms: 1 for customs, Chile has a phobia of the fruit fly. Another form for immigration and another to declare the bike. We also had to see 3 different officials to have the forms stamped. It is the only place I had to unpack the bags from the bike to scan them through a machine. Because my bike is not registered in any country they kicked up a bit of fuss, I showed them the papers from Panama which had the number plate granted in Texas. A bit of bureaucracy in Chile, we left and a few metres later we were stopped again, they requested a piece of paper which we had and off we were again.
We arrived at Arica and to civilisation. We ate at McDonalds, changed money, put petrol and off to Iquique. 300kms later more pampas, very monotonous and without a petrol station I arrived on reserve tank. I am surprised at the enormity and beauty of this city.
Petrol is 599 (CLP) Chilean pesos per litre ($US1.3)
We are at a family run business called King Hotel which is highly recommended, it has internet and cable. They wanted 16000 CLP but we got it for 14000. The bikes are in a closed garage.
Today we really struggled with the wind, it was strong and continuous and at intervals the blows were coming from one side or the other running us off the road.


Millas en Angie 8.385
Antes de 6 y media salimos del hotelito , a menos de un km compramos aceite y Shorty le hizo el servicio a su moto, media hora despues haciendo ruta a la frontera. Tuvimos que llenar en cuadriplicado un formulario que era dos para Peru y dos Para Chile, nos sellaron el pasaporte, dimos de baja la moto y a pasar a Chile, aqui fue mas largo, tuvimos que llenar tres formularios uno para Aduana, le tiene un terror a la mosca de la fruta, otra para inmigracion y otro para la moto, y tuvimos que ver como tres personas distintas afuera para los sellos en los papeles, fue el unico lugar que me hiceron sacar el bolso para pasarlo por la maquina, porqu emi moto no esta registrada en ningun pais, me hicieron un poco de bulla, le di un papel de Panama que tenia el numero de la chapa o mas bien carton que me dieron provisorio en Texas, bastante burocracia en Chile, salimos y a los cien metros nos pararon, nos sacaron un papel y seguimos viaje, llegamos a Arica y a la civilizacion, comi en McDonals,cambiamos dinero, llenamos los tanques, rajamos para Iquique a mas de trecientos kms, mas pampas, bastante aburrido y sin ninguna gasolinera, llegue en reserva. Me sorprendio lo grande y bonito que es esta ciudad.
La gasolina esta a 599.00 el litro
Estamos en un hotel familiar King Hotel por 14.000 querrian 16. HR. Las motos en el garage cerrado, cable,internet.
Hoy luchamos con el viento como nunca, el viento fuerte era continuo, pero por ratos eran rafagas de un lado u otro que se nos quedaba chico la carretera.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 08:00 AM GMT
DAY 48 - I thought we wouldn't get the chance to say goodbye.


We left the hotel after asking directions, where we were told that due to earthquakes there were some road closures and that we would have to return from where we came. We took a ride around the port and headed back north some 50kms to head back south again. We put petrol and asked if there were any servo stations on the road to come, yes plenty i was told. After 150kms there was a customs office where we got the bike papers stamped,and I was about to head off into a town to get petrol when we bumped into the Argentinean rider again, we said our goodbyes. I stopped a while because the natural scenery caught my interest but Shorty continued on.
Suddenly the road split I took the main road and made a few kms and returned. I took the other road into a small town, I was heading in when once again i bumped into the Argentinean I asked if he got petrol and he said there was nothing that way and that they told him of a place 20 kms further out and of Santa Elena where there was a place for sure. I left the Argentinean and headed to the town 20kms down and still no sight of Shorty, I had no idea if Shorty was ahead or behind me when suddenly i started to panic, i was alone on a desolate road with a low tank, without knowing if there was an open servo nearby or not. I stopped crossed the road and signaled to an oncoming car, a very friendly family told me that there were two posadas (road side eatery) 10 minutes away and a place in Santa Elena. I waited a bit and the Argentinean arrived so we continued on together to help each other out. Shortly after he was out of petrol, he put some from a bottle he had and we continued on. Nearing the posada his bike started jerking the attendant sold him a bottle but had nothing for me. Then in the middle of nowhere the bike jerks again, he stops the bike in full daylight heat removes the tank, cleans the filter which was all dirty, puts it together again and an hour later we headed off again. We passed the turn off i had to take into Calama, and saw the sign for Santa Elena. 8 kms later there was the petrol station, I filled up the tank, the Argentinean stayed to clean the filter. I suggested that if he wanted to join me in crossing Argentina that I would wait for him, he wanted to cross the Andes further down I didn't so i farewelled him and headed back to the Calama entry. At the entrance i asked some guys waiting for the bus if they had seen a bike go pass, 4 was their answer so i took it that it was 3 other Argentineans we saw at customs and Shorty. Did 90kms on my own, and saw a bike heading towards me so i slowed down, it was Shorty. After inquiring where he had been and i, having thought he had headed south and was near Santiago by now, since it had been hours i hadn't seen him. He said he got near Calama and was coming back to get me. So here we are now at Hotel Calama, first class with internet, cable, buffet breakfast, pools for 30000 CLP. We went for a walk into the city and had chicken, potatoes and pepsi for 2600.
Tomorrow we part ways Shorty will head South and I will go East.

Día 48 Domingo 16

Dejamos el hotel después de preguntar por el camino de la costa, me dijeron que por los terremotos había un túnel cerrado que teníamos que volver por donde vinimos. Dimos una vuelta por el puerto y regresamos unos 50 kms para empezar ir al Sur, puse gasolina y pregunte si había estaciones en el camino, si muchas me contestaron. Cuando hicimos 150 kms había una aduana y nos pusieron otro sello en los papeles de la moto, había un pueblo mas adelante donde iba a poner gasolina nos encontramos con el Argentino otra vez en Aduana, nos despedimos, yo pare porque la naturaleza me llamo y Shorty siguió viaje, de pronto el camino se abrió en dos, seguí por la principal, hice un par de kms y regrese el otro camino era la entrada del pueblo, estoy en eso cuando me encuentro con el Argentino, le pregunte si puso gasolina en el pueblo, y me dijo que no había nada que le dijeron que a 20 kms había y en Santa Elena a 70 seguro. Seguimos y lo deje para atrás, nada de Shorty, no se si estaba atrás o adelante, cuando me entro el pánico en esa soledad de quedarme sin gasolina, pare cruce la carretera y pare a un auto, una familia muy simpática con motor diesel, y me dijeron que había dos posadas a 10 minutos y seguro en Santa Elena. Espere un ratito y llego el Argentino, decidimos seguir juntos para ayudarnos, al ratito se quedo sin gas, le puso de una botella que tenia y continuamos, cerca de una posada empezó a fallar otra vez, el hombre le vendió un litro para mi no tenia nada, arranco y seguimos y empezó a fallar en el medio de la nada, a pleno sol le saco el tanque le limpio el filtro que estaba todo sucio, soplo, armo y después de una hora seguimos, pasamos por el cruce que yo tenia que tomar para la izquierda hacia Calama, vimos el cartel Santa Elena entramos y a unos 8 kms estaba la estación de servicio, llene y el argentino iba a limpiar el tanque, le propuse que si venia conmigo yo lo esperaba, el quería pasar la cordillera mas abajo, no quedamos de acuerdo, me despedí. Vuelvo al cruce y tomo el camino a Calama 90 kms, voy solo tranquilo, ya en el cruce había un par de muchachos esperando un bus y les pregunte si habían visto alguna moto, 4 pasaron me contestaron, me imagine tres argentinos que me entere en la aduana que habían pasado y Shorty.
A los pocos minutos veo una moto de frente, baje la velocidad, era Shorty y adonde te metisteis y todo eso, yo pensé que ya estaba cerca de Santiago hacia horas que lo había perdido, rumbo a Calama juntos, el había llegado cerca de esta ciudad lleno y regreso por mi, y aquí estamos en Hotel Hostería Calama de primera por 30.000 con Internet
Buffet desayuno, cable piscina. Fuimos caminando por el pueblo o ciudad comimos pollo con papas , pepsi 2.600.
Mañana nos separamos el para el sur yo para el este

Posted by Hugo Albini at 08:01 AM GMT
DAY 49 - Au revoir Mon Amié - Farewell Shorty - Chau Compañero


We had breakfast and exchanged pleasantries, went to put petrol together and to purchase a a container to load 10 lts more of petrol, shook hands and then Shorty gave me a hug, i got a bit emotional...if i had chosen i would not have had such luck in obtaining such great companion. Shorty is a gentleman, we helped each other out through 6 countries and i hope to see him again in the future.

I arrived at San Pedro de Atacama, the last town towards the Chilean border, outside of the town were immigration and customs. They stamped my passport and at customs they kept the transitory permission for the bike, I kept going another about 155 kms and arrived in Argentina through the Passage of Jama, a direct road with few mountains. I got immigration and customs out of the way in minutes, everything free. Bikes do not pay toll in Argentina, Chile nor Peru.
Hilltops, elevations, I left for Susgues where the mountains are very pretty, barren mountains but of different colors, passed through parts that were all white, salt mines, the way for San Salvador de Jujuy has pretty mountains with vegetation, valleys and many beautiful places. The day began beautifully but just before Jujuy it began to rain with strong winds. From Jujuy to Salta its a freeway. Litre of petrol, the 95, is 2.30 pesos. Arrived in Salta after 5p.m. and I stayed at a joint for 70 pesos ($US22), it has cable, private bath, breakfast, so another night where I slept fully dressed. Bike is in a closed garage. I am desperate for my sanctuary at Sauce 1837.


Desayunamos cambiamos cordialidades fuimos poner gasolina y yo a comprar un recipiente para poner 10 litros de gasolina, nos dimos las manos y después Shorty me dio un abrazo, me emociono un poco por un ratito. Si hubiese elegido un compañero para el viaje no hubiese tenido tanta suerte. Shorty un caballero, nos ayudamos mutuamente a través de seis países, espero verlo en el futuro.
Llegue a San Pedro de Atacama, el ultimo pueblo en chile hacia la frontera, a la salida estaba inmigración y Aduanas, me sellaron el pasaporte entre y en Aduana se quedaron con el Permiso transitorio de la moto, sigo unos 155 kms y entre en Argentina por el Paso de Jama, la ruta derecha y con pocos montañas. Hice inmigración y Aduana en unos minutos todo gratis y las motos no pagan peaje en Argentina, chile y Perú,
Topes, elevaciones, elevon hay en todos los países que cruce, México el mas exagerado.
Salí para Susgues donde las montañas muy bonitas, áridas pero de distintos colores, pase por partes todas blancas, salinas, el camino para San Salvador de Jujuy tiene montañas con vegetación, valles y muchos lugares bonitos. El dia empezó hermoso antes de Jujuy empezó a llover, vientos fuertes.
De Jujuy a Salta autopista. Litro de gasolina la 95 sale 2.30 pesos. Entre en Salta ya mas de las 5 p.m. y me quede en esta pocilga por 70 pesos, otra noche a dormir vestido, con baño privado, cable y desayuno, estacionamiento cerrado. Ya estoy desesperado por mi santuario en Sauce 1837

Posted by Hugo Albini at 08:02 AM GMT
DAY 50 - Last Night of the Journey

"WE TRAVEL JUST TO TRAVEL". Ernesto Che Guevara

A long day:
I left at dawn and arrived at Resistencia at dusk, more than 850 kms later. From Salta I had to return to General Quemes, i missed the roundabout which I was meant to turn right at and thereofre lost time on useless kms. I, finally took the correct road, the police stopped me yesterday and today twice, I showed them my license and they let me go on. The farmers have closed the highways, picketing about problems with taxes, the first time i was refused passage and had to wait one hour the other times i went through them, they shouted at me but i ignored them, didn't even look at them, went through the tyres they were burning and followed on with my trip. Today I encountered it all dogs, goats, horses, thousands of grasshoppers, detours onto dirt and stone tracks, llamas and flocks of birds which on several occasions made me duck as I thought they were heading straight onto the windshield. Entering Resistance I saw a hotel with the entrance surrounded by trees, followed into the centre of town, but I didn't find anything and returned thinking that the hotel at the entrance was a good one but it was a lover's joint. Nevertheless I stayed it had air con and the bike is right next to the room. I closed the curtains, brought all my bags in, I hope this night will be the last of the journey, nothing special on today's route.
Norte Argentino.JPG

Un dia largo
Salí amaneciendo, llegue a Resistencia atardeciendo, mas de 850 kms, de Salta tuve que regresar a General Quemes, me pase la rotonda que tenia que torcer para la derecha y perdí varios kms., tome el camino correcto, la policía me paro ayer y hoy dos veces,les mostré la licencia y me dejaron ir.Los agricultores cerraron las carreteras, piquetes, por problemas de impuestos,la primera vez no me dejaron pasar y tuve que esperar una hora los otros pase entre ellos, me dieron unos gritos y cero bola, ni los mire y pase entre las gomas que estaban quemando, seguí viaje. En este tramo me encontré con todo perros, chivitos, caballos miles de langostas, desvíos a tierra y piedras, bandadas de pájaros tenia que bajar la cabeza pensando que se iban a estrellar en el parabrisas.
Entrando en Resistencia vi. un hotel con la entrada llena de árboles, seguí a la ciudad no encontré nada y regrese pensando que era un buen hotel y era un mueble, igual con aire y la moto pegada al cuarto, cerré la cortina, baje las cosas, espero sea la ultima noche de este viaje,nada especial en la ruta.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 08:02 AM GMT
DAY 51 - Salto, Republica Oriental del Uruguay - The End of the Road (for now)


WEDNESDAY 19th of March:
I left the motel in the dark, at the first petrol station I loaded gasoline. I the arrived at Corrientes passing the Parana River, beautiful but I could not take any photos as there wan not yet sufficient light. The highway began perfect but by Mercedes highway number 14 is being repaired until Concordia. I would have liked to arrive before noon but with the change of hour in Uruguay, I finished immigration and customs at 1:15p.m. Without any difficulty, Uruguay customs granted a years permission for the motorbike, however I am not allowed to leave the country in that time so I am not sure how I will fix this problem. (For those readers who do not know me, I have a place in Uruguay where I want to store the bike while i return to my country of residence and then come back to Uruguay and continue a journey south of Argentina.)
As I was getting nearer to my destiny and the end of this journey I had to keep reminding myself to take it easy, to slow down, to be calm, serenity now. I didn't want anything to go wrong. Miles when entering Salto: 9.977.
Passed by my brother's Juan, was not there so I went to the Uruguay club where he eats and he had just left. I went to my sister's Coco. Finally home and what joy that I not once had problems, I never punctured and Angie behaved like a Lady.
I went to see Pico and Juancito and then to Juan's workplace. All good, everyone totally in love with Angelina. In three days I will start my journey around Uruguay.
In town the bike is getting a lot of attention from everyone, children get photos of themselves next to Angie, people ask me all sorts of questions. Several times articles about my journey and/or pictures of me and the bike have been published in the local newspaper. THE END

PHOTO: Getting nearer and nearer
Cartel lindo.JPGCartelito mas lindo.JPG

Salí del mueble oscuro, en la primera estación cargue gasolina, llegué a Corrientes pasando el rió Parana,hermoso pero no pude sacar fotos, aún no había suficiente luz
La carretera empezó perfecta pero por Mercedes están arreglando la 14 hasta concordia,me hubiese gustado llegar de mediodía pero con el cambio de hora en Uruguay , hice inmigración y Aduana a las 1.15 p.m Sin ningún problema, me dieron un año para la moto, pero yo no puedo salir del país por ese tiempo, así que aun no se como arreglare.
Tenia que decirme continuamente, ve despacio, cuando veía los carteles Concordia 85 kms, Concordia 65 kms, calma,calma, serenidad, no quería que nada saliera mal.
Millas cuando entre en Salto 9.977. Pase por lo de Juan, no estaba fui al club Uruguay
Donde come y recién se había ido, fui a lo de coco y que alegría de haber logrado, sin problemas, no pinché nunca y Angie se porto como una Dama.
Fui a ver a Pico y Juancito y luego al taller de Juan. Todo bien, todos enamorados de la moto, en tres días me iré a recorrer el Uruguay. En el centro un montón de atención recibimos de la gente los niños se sacan fotos al lado de angie, la gente me hace preguntas, salieron mis fotos varias veces en el diario el pueblo. Colorin colorado este viaje se ha terminado

Posted by Hugo Albini at 08:03 AM GMT
April 22, 2008 GMT
SPECIAL - A trip around Uruguay


After resting in Salto a few days and receiving a lot of attention from friends and acquaintances who congratulated me in finishing the trip, my brother's (Juan) neighbour said I was an inspiration to anyone who would want to do such a trip, all music to my ears, I went out to travel around Uruguay and did 2000 kms in 4 days.
I was impressed with the beauty of the farmlands between 33 and Melo. Tacuarembó and Rivera's beautiful hills and mountains and of course the friendliness from the habitants of Rivera and Artigas.
I really liked Mercedes and I passed by the Bosnia factory in Fray Bentos, which is constantly mentioned on the news.
Dolores, Nueva Palmira, Carmelo (a beautiful town), Colonia (part of the road was a disaster with very thin sand, every truck that went passed showered me in dust). Colonia is very beautiful, there was no vacant hotels all of it taken by Argentinean tourists. I had to head north up the coast and found a beauty for $US49, Posada del Bosque with breakfast, internet, cable and air con. I washed the bike and the next morning after a home made breakfast of buns and dulce de leche (a local and traditional caramel spread) I headed out to Montevideo.
In Montevideo I went to Aerolineas Argentinas to change airfare ticket, then I went to the United States Embassy to inform them I was still in their system as being in the USA as I didn't see immigration upon leaving Laredo. They gave me a form to complete and send off, which I did. Took the coastal road and arrived at Chicha Ambrossoni's place then to Pan de Azucar to see the Rodriguez family, I found Ademar, Reina and el loco had a chat and off to Maldonado to see the cousins Alo and family as well as Horacio and family. Passed by the peninsula and visitied the Brava and Gorlero beaches and at 7 p.m I followed Alo to his farm where we had a lovely supper. The next day I headed to la Paloma, then El Chuy (an eastern border with Brasil) where I was approached by a man and a woman who were journalists and wanted to interview me, thinking it was for a newspaper i said yes, but then they pulled out a film camera and a microphone so i refused, annoyed they packed up and left. I left for San Luis, I arrived at Lascano, bothered by a horrible dirt road I passed through 33, an unpleasant little town then Melo. Nearly the whole time it was raining so despite the marvelous scenery i couldn't get any photos. I stayed the night in Melo a lovers joint for 390 pesos. The next day I went to Tacuarembó, took some photos and then left for Rivera (a northern border with Brasil) In this town I was on the main road and was detoured due to road closures, they had killed a taxi driver. I got to the border and headed straight to Artigas, it is closer to go through Brasil but i went through Uruguay. At the entrance to the city I asked an old man there for directions to Chopo Roman a chicken place there used to be years ago he sent me to Rio Gas, four blocks straight and two left, (i love these towns where everyone knows everyplace and everybody). I found it although now its called Pollo Roman, he was very happy to see me, he remembered the last time we saw each other it was in the early 70's, a good mate of my youth. Then I went to a place where they work and sell stones in search of 70 Cadenas - Jose Belem. They gave me his number and i called him, he is in his 70 years now, a year ago they had kidnapped his daughter and murdered her in Montevideo. He gave me his email to give to Pito Piccion, I think he wasn't sure who I was he might have confused me with Lito Albini. He had helped us heaps when we were in New Jersey late 1960's. From there it was straight back to Salto where I arrived exhausted late afternoon.
Thursday 3rd of April I departed to Florida in bus where I met up with Ramon Iriñiz, met his wife and we had lunch together, a very dear cousin from my youth which we spent most our lives without seeing each other.
Then I went to Montevideo and had dinner with Marcela Barboza, Florencia Cordoba and my cousin Maria Albini who loves the wine as much as I do. When we finished Marcela took us to my cousin's house which is a couple of blocks from Tres Cruces, I chatted with my cousin until 5 am and then went to catch the bus back to Salto. In Salto I spend my days enjoying rides on Angelina by the river side.

This last journal/blog entry was written in a rush, since i need time to plan my next trip. Stay tuned.....


Despues de descansar unos dias en Salto con un monton de atencion de amigos y conocidos que me felicitaron por el viaje, una vecina de Juan (hermano) me dijo que era una inspiracion para gente que querria hacer ese tipo de viaje, todo musica para mis oidos. Sali a recorrer el Uruguay, hice 2.000 kms en cuatro dias, me sorprendio la belleza de los campos entre 33 y Melo, Tacuarembo y Rivera, con sus montañas, colinas y por supuesto la amabilidad de la gente en Rivera y Artigas.
Mercedes me gusto mucho, pase por Fray Bentos, la fabrica Bosnia que tanto la mencionan en las noticias,
Dolores,Nueva Palmira, Carmelo (pueblo hermoso), Colonia, partre del camino desastroso con un arena fina, cada camion que pasaba me baniaba en polvo. Colonia esta muy bonita, no habia habitaciones en los hoteles en la ciudad, todo tomado por Argentinos, tuve que ir por la costanera norte y encontre una joya en Posada del Bosque por 49 U.S desayuno e internet, aire. Lave la moto y el proximo dia con un desayuno casero con macitas con dulce de leche Sali para Montevideo, fui a Aerolineas Argentinas a cambiar la fecha de mi pasaje, luego a la Embajada de Estados Unidos para informarles que no tengo salida en Laredo ya que no vi inmigracion y que seguia en el sistema, no deje USA, me dieron un papel con informacion que ya lo llene y envie. Por la rambla fui a lo de Chicha Ambrossoni, luego a Pan de Azucar a visitar los Rodriguez, encontre a Ademar, Reina y al loco, charlamos un rato y raje para Maldonado, Vi a los primos Alo y flia, Horacio y familia. Pase por la peninsula, visite la brava que en el siglo pasado trabaje colocando sombrillas, un paseo por Gorlero y a las 19.00 lo segui a Alo con rumbo a la chacra donde tuvimos una linda cena y el proximo dia, nos fuimos con Angie a la paloma, luego al Chuy donde se me acerco un hombre acompaniado de una mujer, eran periodista y me querian hacer una entrevista, pensando que era para un diario le dije que si, pero saco una camara y me metio un microfono en la cara y le dije que no, enojados guardaron la camara en su lugar y partieron. Sali para San Luis, llegue a lascano, camino de tierra horrible, pase por 33 una ciudad feita, Melo, casi todo el camino lloviendo, las vistas maravillosas, no fotos, pase la noche en Melo
En un mueble por 390 pesos. Proximo dia a Tacuarembo, saque fotos y sali para Rivera, en esta ciudad iba por la principal y tuve que desviarme, habian cerrado la calle, mataron a un taxista, llegue a la frontera y raje para Artigas, es mas cerca por Brazil, pero fui por Uruguay. En la entrada vi a un veterano y me baje a preguntar por Chopo Roman que tenia una polleria hace unos anios atrás, me mando a Rio Gas
Cuatro cuadras derecho,dos a la izquierda (Amo estas pequenias ciudades que todo el mundo se conoce)
Lo encontre aunque ahora es Polo Roman, se alegro pila de verme, se acordaba de la ultima vez que nos habiamos visto por el principio de los 70, un buen amigo de la juventud. Luego fui a un lugar que venden
Y trabajan las piedras en busca del 70 Cadenas, Jose Belem , me dieron su telefono y lo llame ya esta en sus 70, unos anios atrás le secuestraron una hija y la asesinaron en Montevideo, me dio su direccion de e-mail para que se la pase a Pito Piccion, creo que no sabia quien era y me confundio con Lito Albini, el nos ayudo pila en New Jersey a fines de los 60. De ahí derecho para Salto donde llegue super cansado de tardecita
Viernes 28 de Marzo.
Jueves 3 de Abril Sali para Florida en omnibus, donde me encontre con Ramon Iriniz,(Conoci su Seniora) almorce con ellos,Un primo querido de la juventud que nos pasamos la mayoria de la vida sin vernos.
Luego a Montevideo a cenar con Marcela Barboza, Florencia Cordoba y mi prima Maria Albini que ama el vinito como yo, cuado terminamos Marcela nos llevo al apartamento de Maria que queda a dos cuadras de Tres Cruces, hablamos con la prima hasta las cinco de la maniana y me fui a tomar el bus de regreso a Salto donde paso mis dias difrutando a Angelina por la Costanera,.


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