April 15, 2002 GMT
1. Ushuaia to Chaiten - Shake rattle and roll...

Philipp , Tina and I arrived in Ushuaia in time to celebrate my birthday on the 17th of February, complete with some bubbles in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego - great. Almost didn't make it though, as I gave to birth to a kidney stone in a place called Piedra Buena...

Funnily enough "Piedra Buena" means nice rock in Spanish. I can laugh about it now, but when they say a kidney stone is as close as a man gets to knowing the pain of giving birth, they ain't kidding. I landed in hospital there for the day, and an ugly bruise on my forearm from the IV gave people the impression I was a druggie for at least a week afterwards.


The druggie arm

Amateur Day for the IV Man


Worlds end, or Fin del Mundo, is a mecca for motorcyclists and travellers alike, and it was great to meet people from everywhere you'd care to mention. Scarce as a Harley Davidson on a rough road however, is the amount of Kiwis in this neck of the woods. Strange.


Mauro and his mates.
click for larger image

Mauro and his team proud of their work on the F650



Fin del Mundo
Just to prove it, Click here for a larger view

From Ushuaia we travelled across the Argentina / Chile border at San Sebastian, and instead of taking the handy but expensive hostel there, we spent the night in a farmers house, greeted by three real "Gauchos" the next morning - complete with the boots, pantaloons and french style caps...

Via Puerto Natales we drove on to Torres del Paines national park, practically freezing in our tents prior to ascending the hill the next day. Here we met Mariola Chicon, an American / Pole doing RTW by herself on a KLR 650. www.rideoftheheart.com . Real nice, real crazy lady - quite motivating to meet her (and her machete). The climb the next day to see the towers was well worth the effort, but man did our unused motorcycle legs suffer going up and down !


Mariola, me, Tina and Philipp

Mariola, me, Tina and Philipp


Upon arriving back at our tents, I broke the news to Philipp and Tina that I would be continuing the journey on my own. It was clear to me for a couple of weeks it wasn't working the way I'd expected, and I have to admit I relish the independance now - good times and bad. Philipp took it ok, and it was all a bit emotional as we said our goodbyes. Perhaps Philipp and I will still do Colombia together in the interests of safety.

I holed up in Calafate for 4-5 days trying to kick a nasty flu which left me absolutely wrecked. I actually encountered my first Kiwi here doing Alaska - Ushuaia by bicycle, and he gave me plenty of route info. I spent one day visiting the Perito Merino Glacier, which you could practically drive right up to. Quite breathtaking listening to the monster creek and groan, and occasionally watching huge chunks crashing into the water.The last night in Calafate I managed to buy a much lighter tent off a Ukranian guy called Bohdan who said his tenting days were coming to an end ( he'd rather be on a boat ). This has saved at least two kilos and a lot of space, both of which are at a premium on the bike.


Perito Merino Glacier
Perito Merino Glacier - Click here for a larger view

On the way to El Chalten I stopped to help a Japanese guy called Yoshi on his XL250 Baja - poor guy was dealing with his third puncture in two days. ( Touch wood I havn't had any yet). Eventually I gave him my can of tyre pando so he could make the last 100 km's. What stunned me about Yoshi was the speed he threw himself down the gravel road, easily leaving me behind as my heavy F650 snake tailed it's way along. I couldn't help but say to myself "Banzai !!!! " as he dissapeared from view.

The next day was my first real taste of the Ruta 40, a notorious stretch of wind swept gravel going north through Argentina. Scoring a good 500km's on that road and I was patting myself on the back as I emerged without mishap. At times the odds are against a heavily loaded motorcycle :- narrow tracks that run between 10-15cm high gravel ridges which sometimes vanish , rocks the size of volleyballs here and there, and constant wind gusts which actually push the bike right across the road. Topping off this tasty menu are the ceaseless corrugations designed to destroy man and bike alike as they vibrate you into oblivion....

Demanding riding, but ultimately satisfying at the end of the day.

After overnighting in Chile Chico I rode the Carretera Austral (Chile) for the first time, a real slice out of New Zealand's west coast, resulting in frequent photo stops. The road itself was full of corrugations, which eventually snapped my chain guard


Dsc00040.jpg

Beautiful Scenery on the Carretera Austral


Now the comes the roll part. Heading from Coihaique towards the thermal baths of Puyuhaupi, I was enjoying some great riding through the National Park on Chile's Ruta 7, varying in speed from 5 to 80 km/h as the hairpins and straights unfolded. The ruta 7 has it's own challenges, truckdrivers who own the road, and never ending potholes which are of course surrounded by corrugations. Keeping right within reason, there I was cutting the apex of a right hander when the unthinkable, yet inevitable happened. With a 'Thump!' my right hand luggage box slammed into a protruding rock, and I was airborne heading for the other side of the road. Bike and I landed against a bank of gravel and foliage, and I realised after a few seconds that I had in fact just crashed. Surveying the scene I had travelled partly airbourne a good 20 metres, and the contents of the box were strewn over the road like an aircraft crash scene. Not detecting any injury, I had to resist the chance to take a photo as I noticed copious amounts of fuel leaking, and I had instant visions of my bike going up in flames. I ripped off the luggage and picked up the bike - thanking my lucky stars I'd come out of this unscathed. I guess the St Christopher chain from Mum around my neck had done it's job.


Bang!

Point of impact...


Score : Rock 5 , Touratech box 0

Unbelievably, there was zero damage to the bike, although the box was buckled and the mounts had ripped off. I could see now why the mounts were made of plastic, perhaps designed to break on impact rather than twist the mounting frame or the rear subframe of the bike. I strapped up the case and my ego and continued on to Casa Ludwig at Puyuhaupi.

Moral of the story ? At just over 1 metre wide, I have to remember I'm riding a bus, not a motorcycle.

Temuco, Chile - 8092 km's to date.

Late addition >> Under extreme duress I must admit meeting 4 Americans at Torres del Paines in Chile. There are no better words to describe them other than thier own....
"I enjoyed reading your update, but I couldn't help but notice the
omission of your encounter with three of the most enchanting, humorous, not to
mention good looking Americans you could ever meet. Perhaps you didn't
have the words to accurately describe our time spent together. Anyway, there
aren't any hard feelings( as long as this is rectified in the next
update)''

The 4 in question were Brian and Kristen Applegate, Amy Frederickson , and John.

Posted by Jeremy Andrews at April 15, 2002 04:26 AM GMT
Comments

Hi, Jermy, your new hompage looks very nice! you look and sound extremely happy doing the dream of your life! How is your Spanish doing? and what do you think about the girls in Chile? I guess not so beautiful as in Argentina.
Do you know when are you coming to Mexico?
Well just keep in touch and you are welcome whenever you want! please have my telephone number in case you lost it.
00 52 722 271-1705
Yadira

Posted by: yadira on April 30, 2002 06:49 PM GMT

Hi Jeremy, Stuart has fowarded me your updates.
Great to hear you are still going strong.
Can you add me to your list.

Cheers
Carl

Posted by: Carl on May 2, 2002 07:36 AM GMT

Hi Jeremy, I have logged onto you at last, although Philipp has been keeping me informed. I also was overtaken by your Japanese madman on my first day out of Puerto Natales where Ralph Katja and I got drunk again! How yer going? I have been home for weeks, England in the spring, I couldn't miss! Regards.

Posted by: Chris, the old Englishman on May 13, 2002 09:54 PM GMT
Sorry, due to heavy form spamming, Comments are OFF.
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!