Here it is, the book to accompany the trip!

April 20, 2004 GMT - Shipping out of Argentina

the paperwork was done and dusted in a few minutes and it was time to get the bikes to the harbour.
The truck we had hired arrived surprisingly on time, but not surprisingly, without the requested pumptruck, needed to get our large and heavy crate onto the truck.

February 28, 2004 GMT - New friends and old

One bus came so close behind me, that I couldn't see the driver, just the big Mercedes star on the front of the radiator. Unfortunately, Arno had taken his 'Bolivian security' a machete, off the bike, so we had to settle with the usual hand gestures

February 15, 2004 GMT - Riding East

The constant stop-go, stop-go was frustrating, the bikes began to overheat and so did we. Stopped at the side of the road for a break hoping we were not in a dodgy area.

January 24, 2004 GMT - Lakes and Volcanoes

There were more potholes than tarmac in fact and riding in the gravel that lay at the sides of the road was preferable to the rim-wrecking road surface.

January 02, 2004 GMT - No Fuel or Insurance?

The next morning we took it easy, only 150kms to Mendoza and I thought we would be there for lunch. The Argentine police however had other ideas.

December 20, 2003 GMT - Dragon at the border

The road for the first 50kms, was really narrow in places and we wondered if we had missed a turn-off. After the village of Molinos the road widened and passed through valleys filled with spectacular rock formations.

December 10, 2003 GMT - Bloqueos, Bribes and BSAs

There were rocks littering the road as we approached one of the toll stations and a large crowd was gathered around a truck on the other side.
A bloqueo or roadblock!

November 29, 2003 GMT - Looking For Condors

There were a couple of tunnels carved out of the rock, one at least 500m long and curved, a little scary in the dusty blackness, luckily there were no buses coming in the other direction!

November 15, 2003 GMT - Carburettors and Wiring

As I watched however, the sun soon disappeared and the black clouds came my way. It didn't rain, it hailed, long and hard, my bike wasn't much protection and I was huddled next to it wearing all my kit, helmet included.

October 20, 2003 GMT - Inca Paradise

We climbed steeply out of the valley and soon found ourselves at 4000m. The XT was not amused and started spluttering again, we took the cover off the air intake and that helped.

September 25, 2003 GMT - Pillion to La Paz

It took 4 days in all, from the morning the postman delivered the parts, to restarting the bike after taking the engine apart, having the cylinder redrilled and putting all back together.

September 05, 2003 GMT - Salar de Uyuni

We finally made it onto the Salar and what an amazing experience, like riding on snow as hard as concrete and flat as far as the eye can see. Probably the only place on earth where you can ride with your eyes closed for a minute or two, exhilarating!

August 30, 2003 GMT - Up into the Bolivian highlands

On the other side of the river, the road works awaited, we thought we had missed a turn but no, this was the new road, trouble was, it was still being built.

August 14, 2003 GMT - Train of Death or Road to Hell.

There was a bridge to cross, a long one lane bridge shared with the trains. Had to get the bikes over one rail, then ride in the middle of the tracks, the planks full of gaps and nails

July 31, 2003 GMT - Mud, glorious mud.

At Passeo do Lontra, we stopped to get a few extra litres of fuel, the sun was beginning to redden, so tempting as it was to keep riding, we decided to stop at the campsite there.

July 02, 2003 GMT - Waiting in Sao Paulo

The ride to Sao Paulo was interesting but dangerous, the 3 lane road wound through the mountains, clogged with lines of slow moving trucks. Overtaking was a gamble, lines in the road were ignored, the crazy had priority.

June 05, 2003 GMT - Nutella, but where are the Germans

A few brave lorry and coach drivers were slowly descending, the corners so tight, that at each turn they had to stop and reverse a few metres before being able to get around.

May 30, 2003 GMT - Paraguay into Brazil

The traffic here is crazy, the police control the main street that leads across the bridge into Brazil, as otherwise it would be complete gridlock.

May 15, 2003 GMT - The Halfway Point?

On being stopped at a roadblock, the copper asked if we had been riding at 110kph, assured him we hadn't whereupon he asked us where our fire extinguishers were!

April 25, 2003 GMT - Diego’s Armadillo

It was a Friday night and the place was buzzing. We got out of our soggy gear, got to know everyone and ate the first of our Azul asados.

April 09, 2003 GMT - From West to East

Luck being on our side, we arrived just as the road was being reopened, it was like a bad obstacle course, and my idea of hell.

March 25, 2003 GMT - A dead sheep, a little mud, but no wind

Arno went to El Chalten to fetch the damaged bike. He came back, absolutely plastered with mud.

March 10, 2003 GMT - Panama to Ushuaia in 28 days

After riding around the few deserted buildings and gas plant, unable to see were we could get fuel, we asked directions at what looked like a canteen. Bad news, the fuel station had already closed!

February 22, 2003 GMT - Unexpected Hospitality

Arno had abandoned his bike outside the police station and ran back to see how I was doing and the police – being the suspicious sort - had followed.

February 14, 2003 GMT - Valentines Day Reunion

Clean streets, orderly traffic and German beer in the supermarket – hard to believe we are in South America

February 05, 2003 GMT - From Panama to…….?

We had an escort, in the shape of a gate guard with a clapped out DT125 and a big gun, who was assigned to us until the customs papers were done.

January 27, 2003 GMT - Must see that volcano

Our first meal in Costa Rica was goulash with dumplings, and Arno spent the morning making apple strudel and croissants

January 15, 2003 GMT - If its Tuesday it must be…………..

The evening started well with a lovely sunset and improved when the generator failed, so we spent a peaceful evening in front of a real fire, with only the sound of the waves and the insects to disturb us.

January 04, 2003 GMT - Rain in the Banana Republic

When we got back to our bikes, we were surprised to see another parked beside them, and with German plates. We waited for the rider to return and so met Georg.

December 29, 2002 GMT - Last Days in Guatemala

Arno took the chain off, gave it a good clean and oiling, then fitted it back on. It was only when he came to fit the chain connector did we find out it wasn’t the correct size, too big!!

December 23, 2002 GMT - Do All Roads Lead to Guatemala City?

. I thought to myself, “ah, that’s ok, they are just digging up the road here, it will get better soon” After 10kms, I had to face the fact that the next 180kms were not going to be any better – in fact things got rather worse.

December 15, 2002 GMT - Our Antiguan Fortnight

Our guide still carried a few good sized rocks in his jacket however, and there were a few uniformed lads with guns, just in case. We got to the steaming crater, that was the summit, as the sun was beginning to go down.

December 01, 2002 GMT - Looping the Loop into Guatemala.

We survived our night in the jungle, despite the spiders, mosquitoes and our own cooking. It wasn’t actually raining the next day, so we set off for the Lagos de Montebello, several beautiful lakes near the border.

November 26, 2002 GMT - Dark and de-registered

As we descended towards the city we found ourselves driving in the dark, breaking the first rule of motorcycle travelling. We had 30kms ahead of us, the road was ok, but it was still a nerve wracking experience.

November 15, 2002 GMT - Raining again

We awoke he next morning to the sound of rain on the tent, oh joy!! Now to decide, stay and get wet, or go and get wet. When Ruth came back from the bathrooms saying there was no water the decision was easier, we go.

November 07, 2002 GMT - Skulls and Scary Roads

At some points I wondered if I really had ridden down this road. Arno was having fun even though he has a much heavier bike, I was struggling at some points but chose a reasonably easy stretch to dump the bike for the second time.

October 25, 2002 GMT - Oktoberfest and the Rodeo
A lot has happened in a short time. We at last have our bikes, bade farewell to LA and went to an Oktoberfest in San Diego. After a taste of the desert in SE Arizona and a visit to the...

October 08, 2002 GMT - LA Story
We have been in LA 12 days now, we are running out of patience, but there is nothing that we can do. We call the warehouse every day in the vague hope that our crates have slipped through the...

October 02, 2002 GMT - It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to

Here we are on the correct continent at last. Things are not however, going exactly according to plan…….

The bikes arrived at Los Angeles Harbour as expected, we even manage to get a lift to the warehouse to pick up our bikes, problem is they aren’t there.

September 20, 2002 GMT - Unexpected Highlight
Quite by chance we discovered that the National Motorcycle museum of Australia is just down the road, (by Aussie standards) at Nabiac in NSW. We borrowed a car and headed down the mountain - 30km’s of unsealed road. A further...

September 14, 2002 GMT - On Our Way
Germany and England are behind us, we landed in Sydney yesterday, after an 18 hr flight and validated our new visas. For the next 2 weeks, we will be spending time with family and friends, and sorting out relevant paperwork,...

August 30, 2002 GMT - Preparing Ourselves

Our starting point was organising the shipping of the bikes to Los Angeles. Air was too expensive so we started collecting Ocean Freight quotes from various sources. The next big project was getting our camping equipment sorted out. For anyone that is interested, have a look in the archives for a complete equipment list of what we started out with.

August 30, 2002 GMT - Preparing the Bikes

The majority of the work on the bikes was done by Arno, he is more mechanically minded and has lots of experience from his first trip. I helped where possible and tried to learn more about my bike where I could.
Arno’s bike had had a complete overhaul recently in addition the drive shaft and the cam shaft chain had been replaced.
A little welding and painting and she was ready to go again.

August 27, 2002 GMT - Moving Out
The bikes are on their way, but there is still so much to do. We spent the next couple of days packing all our belongings. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a big van from L&M, and...

August 22, 2002 GMT - The Bikes Are Gone
Monday – first day free from our jobs, but no rest for the wicked. Spent the whole day packing and crating the bikes. The preparation that we had already done paid off and by 21:00, when we called it a...

August 13, 2002 GMT - Got Them!!
Highlight of the week – an email from the Australian Embassy, “pleased to inform you blah blah….” They have decided to grant us our visas at long last. That was darn quick!! Just have to wait for Arno’s new passport...

August 08, 2002 GMT - And So Things Progress……

Things are beginning to come together, we may even get our Permanent Resident visas before we leave. We spent a whole day preparing the crates for the bikes, time to see how they fitted together.
We are also the proud owners of a laptop - Thanks Micheal!!
Finally this week, we actually sold our car Yipee!

August 01, 2002 GMT - A Hectic Few Days
We have been in top gear the last couple of days, trying to get everything done. We went for our medicals and collected together all the extra paperwork that the Australian Embassy required. Arno took his gearbox out and took...

July 25, 2002 GMT - Good News, Bad News

Time is flying past, last week we visited one of our sponsors, Siebenrock in Stuttgart. With the shipping date now decided, it was time to do a trial pack of the bikes and see how and where everything would fit.
The really good news this week was an email from the Australian Embassy in Berlin.
We were all excited and on a real high until the end of the week, when we were hit by the bad news……

July 20, 2002 GMT - List of Equipment

Here for anyone who is interested in what we are taking with us, is an almost complete list of what we packed into our alu boxes and ortlieb sacks.

July 14, 2002 GMT - Paper, Paper Everywhere

In the last 2 weeks, we have been busy sorting out all the documents that we need to take with us.
We got our international drivers licences and international registration documents and booked the shipping of the bikes.

July 01, 2002 GMT - A Little About Us
This is the first instalment of what I hope will be an interesting Blog about our preparations for and journey through Central and South America. I thought it might be interesting not just to write about what an exciting time...


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