April 25, 2008 GMT
1. The Beginning

My trip started with an Application for a US Visa as my stay was going to be longer than 3 months. I also applied for an Electronic Australian Passport as it is supposed to make things easier

I followed the very detailed instructions on the US Visa web page, jumped through all the hoops and everything worked out, they finished up giving me a 5 year multiple entry visa. This will save me having to go through this expensive ($350) and time consuming (2 months) process again within the next 5 years.
The only hiccup was with my photograph, it was not exactly 5cm x 5cm. They have a list of Photographers that know the US visa requirements and one was conveniently located right outside the consulate in Perth, it only took a few minutes to get some new pictures taken.
And make sure your fingerprints are in good condition because they get taken about 43 times.
.
Next job was to crate my bike. I used a Ducati ST3 crate, its made of steel and looks strong. A crate made of wood would have to be fumigated.
I got the crate from Causeway Ducati in Perth in exchange for a carton of Tooheys Extra Dry. It came complete with all the nuts and bolts and straps needed to secure the bike. Thank you Grant.
.
Squeezing it all in, the 2 panniers just fit in front of the headlight.
crate1.JPG
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On the way to the Airport ($80 by Bike Lifters - 0412 917 959).
crate2.JPG
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On the scales at Dangerous Goods.
You are allowed to have a quarter tank of fuel and the Battery leads must be disconnected and taped up.
crate5.JPG
.
Total weight was 260kg but it was cheaper to send it at the 300kg rate.
crate4.JPG
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The Crate was shrink wrapped in black plastic before shipping.
It left Perth on Thursday 24 Apr 08 and arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday 26 Apr 08
.
EXPORTAIR did the job. Thank you Phil Drake.
Ph: 08 9477 1080
.
Cost $2,331.
.
I flew out on Friday at 0105 via Singapore and Tokyo to Los Angeles, arrived the same day at 1255 , 23 hours of misery, you guessed I don't like being cooped up in a tin box.
I amused myself by taking pictures of the flaps.
.
Flaps over Singapore.
1FlapsSingapore.JPG
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More
2FlapsSingapore.JPG
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Air Brake over Japan, I think the pilot hit the wrong button.
3AirbrakeJapan.JPG
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Japan in neat little squares.
4FirstViewJapan.JPG
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Rough Landing in Japan, Flaps, Airbrake, Bounce, Swerve, I think the pilot must have been watching the in-flight Fast and Furious movie.
5LandingJapan.JPG
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The N stands for NIPPON, there were hundreds of them.
6ANAJapan.JPG
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First view of the USA, that's the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco in the middle, its my out of focus camera not the smog that's making things blurry
7GoldenGateSF.JPG
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Enroute to LA
8SFtoLA.JPG
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LA from the air
9LA1.JPG
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Temple to the Automobile
10AutoTemple1.JPG
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Downtown LA
11LADowntown.JPG
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Another Temple to the Great 4 Wheels
12LAAutoTemple2.JPG

Posted by Chris Desmond at April 25, 2008 09:10 PM GMT
 
 

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