Picking up our road Glide in Tampa
As I lay in bed on, Sunday morning, nursing my burnt lip, aching bones and blackened eyes, the realisation of the sheer immensity of what we had taken on hit me like a ton of bricks.
ready for the off
We were back at Steph’s house, on the Golf Course in Venice, Florida, after our dry run down to the Keys and back. Two things had become apparent to us on this run; firstly, that we were spending far far too much, our $100/day budget was being demolished on a regular basis, we were spending more than twice that on most days, but quite often even more than that!
The second worry was that we were severely overloaded and highly un-organised in our packing. Each evening we were trying to leave as much stuff on the bike so as to avoid having to re-pack each morning, but after having to search for clean underwear, getting the wash bags out, then delving deeper for one of my spare lighters after loosing yet another one somewhere on the road, then retrieving the computer, cables and plugs, all the luggage would be strewn across the floor of out temporary accommodations, ready to be re-packed in a hurry once again the next morning.
Two other factors were really not aiding us on this journey. The exchange rate was one of the ultimate evils. During our “planning” stage, the rate was a little over $2 to £1, now we were on an all time low of $1.4 to £1, meaning everything was about 35% more expensive, and because of the time of year we had chosen, the days were short. Sunset was at 5.30pm, we were rarely out the hotel/motel/holiday inn before 11, add in a a lunch stop along the way and a couple of gas fills, and we were on the road for about 3 hours a day.
Nevertheless, we had already covered over 1,000 miles, even though we were now back where we started! And that’s not counting the up and down through Florida we had done during our search for the bike which would be our companion through the Americas, which saw us covering the Northern half of Florida several times.
We had stayed in 5* resorts in Orlando, budget hotels, Motels, Holiday Inns, flea pits and even a stationary motor home in Key Largo, which, although looking extremely cool , and in an idyllic location right on the shore, gave us our most sleepless nights due to the world’s loudest bin men emptying the skips from the neighbouring restaurant at 5am fro half an hour, followed by the grounds man using what sounded like a Harley powered leaf blower at 8am before the sun came bursting through our net curtains at around 9.
Miami had been our most expensive stop, with Jacquie falling for the charms of an talented Israeli jeans salesman in South beach and succumbing to a couple of new pairs of leopard skin- pocketed jeans, and us both being stung for an expensive and internally unappealing art deco hotel (The Parisienne), before finding a much more “rock star” style hotel slightly further away from South Beach called the Circa 39, built, surprisingly enough, circa 1939 by the Hudson property company.
We took a fantastic airboat tour through the Everglades, and had a couple of close encounters with marsh-mellow friendly alligators on our way down to Miami,. After our brief but expensive sojourn in South Beach, we headed south for Key West, stopping off at “Where is Robert” famed for its delicious milkshakes, before continuing over the many bridges that led down to Key West.
The sun shone brightly and the ride, with water on either side of us over 7 Mile Bridge, past the Honda National Park and beyond was glorious, up until the final approach to Key West where the traffic slowed to a painful 35mph, and we got stuck behind a UPS van as the sun went down and the view tipped away into darkness, with nothing but the rear doors and the red lights of the UPS van to lead us into the Southernmost landmass of continental USA.
We arrived in Key West utterly exhausted, wanting nothing but to lie in a hot bath and soak away the long ride of the day. We pulled up to the guest house that we had booked from Venice, and sat and listened to the owner about all the wonderfully quirky goings on that Key West is known for, from the re-enactment of the “war” when the mayor of Key West declared Key West an independent state from the rest of America, before surrendering the very next day and then demanding millions of dollars of aid from the US government, to the annual Key West “drag races” where the man would dress as women and race over obstacle courses to the bed races and more, before recommending almost every bar, restaurant and club on the island….we finally got sent off to our cottage, the beautiful, pink “Olivia by Duval” where we took a depressingly weak shower before walking along Duval, watching a “Sexy Bull-Riding” competition in a Western Bar , chatting to an extremely over made up Drag Queen performing in Cabaret in 801, and then heading off (early)to bed.
The following day we sampled the beaches of Key West before heading off to do the local (ie extremely Touristy) thing of watching the sunset at Mallory Square. This was very much like Covent Garden by the sea, with jugglers juggling, painters painting, and buskers busking, while the tourists watched the sunset-needless to say with 5 minutes before the sun set , the clouds appeared an provided us with a rather dismal , and crowded , sunset.
We walked back up Duval, tried to find (without success) a reasonably priced eatery, and then headed back to our quaint, but rather chilly cottage for another early night.
our cottage in Key West
Leaving Key West, we motored back along US1, stopping fro a delicious fish sandwich at Porky’s by the sea at Key Largo, we rode along at a slow pace, enjoying our thin roadway with blue water on either side until we came across the John Pennicamp national park, where Jacquie had found a place for us to snorkel on continental USA’s largest reef. We boarded our boat with a dozen others and headed out to the reef. After a 40-minute trip on the boat, we arrived at the reef, donned our masks and newly acquired snorkels and jumped off the boat, but after only a few minutes in the water, Jacquie started having some problems. With nothing to see immediately on leaving the boat, she had nothing to distract her from the coldness of the water and the whole breathing through a snorkel issue. We went back to the boat and then tried again after a brief respite, but it was too late. I was sent out on my own to enjoy the reef and the fish solo. I saw a couple of large Barracuda and an assortment of other beautiful fish in and around the reef, but the experience was dulled without Jacquie’s hand to hold.
We returned to the shore just as the sun was setting and headed off to our next night time stopover.
Sunset Cove was a lovely little Motel/resort that we had passed on the way down to Key West. The resort was made up of bungalows and beach cottages, an old airstream trailer and a motor home. We jumped at the chance of spending a night in the motor home, which was great, with the exception of the aforementioned bin men doing their thing at 5am!
Making up for our rude awakening, we were treated to a 6 year old episode of Eastenders’ as we went through the tedious routine of trying to fit our entire luggage back on the bike, which at this stage was still accompanied by my related tantrum. Fortunately this process became easier as we settled into a routine, sorted our bags out a bit better, and, more to the point Jacquie took charge.
We had another little hiccup on leaving the Sunset Cove, in search of the “Conch House” where we were told we could get the best breakfast south of Miami. We took ages packing the bike, then got a bit lost-which is quite hard to do where there is only one road – and when we finally found the right entrance, we had missed breakfast-by 5 minutes. We settled for a coffee and toast and headed back up to Miami.
After a great ride along the dead straight, and, as it turned out, very aptly named “Alligator Alley”, we arrived back in Venice to rest, recoup and re-organise after our trial run while we waited for the insurance papers and the new GPS system to arrive.
This was now November and it was Thanksgiving, Jacquie and I were both looking forward to a night in together, maybe a little cuddle up on the sofa in front of the telly, and cooking ourselves (or rather Jacquie cooking me) a lovely Turkey dinner. We were both thrown a little when we got an invitation to a Thanksgiving meal being held at one of Steph’s friends’ houses, and we surprised ourselves even more by agreeing to go!
The next day was great fun going through borrowed clothes to find ourselves suitable attire for such an occasion. Jacquie ended up looking remarkably like Krystle Carrington, whilst I pulled off a very convincing “preppy” look with white Chinos, a blue shirt and boating sandals!
The average age at the dinner was well into the upper 80s, the Pianist, who was the only other male present in a room full of widows was an extremely sprightly 93 year old who played the piano beautifully, later accompanied by Steph and a few of the other ladies as the wine flowed freely.
We excused ourselves a little after 8pm to go back to the house to pack for our departure the next day, and eventually were allowed to leave after several stern warnings about security in Mexico and thieves in Honduras.
We were finally ready to head off on the real start of the trip, well , almost, wwe would still be on roads that we had travelled before, but at least we were off in the right direction now. We were to head back to Tampa, across to Orlando, and then the plan was to ride up to Daytona to spend the night, before riding up A1A to St Augustine ti see Giz and spend a couple of days at the beach house there. But, as usual, things didn’t quite go to plan.
As we got to the East side of Orlando , about 2 hours behind schedule, we stopped for a Wendy’s and a map check. A closer look at the map revealed that we would be better retracing our steps for 10 miles or so, heading in to Titusville, so that we would be able to have a run along A1A the next day all the way along to St Augustine, so off we went, arriving in Titusville just after dark.
The great thing about arriving somewhere in the dark is that you never know what you are going to see when day breaks. Titusville held a great surprise for us.
On drawing back the curtains of our room in the Riverside Inn, we saw we really were right on the riverside, and on the other side of the water were the Nasa Shuttle launch pads.
We debated on weather or not to book in for another night in Titusville, and just have a day riding the A1A and hanging out on Cocoa Beach,
but ended up deciding against it. Once again, I was wrong, Jacquie was right, and after a day of riding along stretches of A1A, having a wee kip on the beach at Cocoa and a spot of lunch, we ended up back at the Riverside!
One of the major factors was bumping into Doug.
Doug and his wife, Julie, owned a saddle shop on the road to Daytona, which we dropped into on our way north. They were a great couple, and we got talking, firstly about how to make Jacquie’s seat more comfortable, and ending in world economics. …like you do!
Anyway, Doug convinced us to wait around to see the shuttle land the next day, which was mainly why we ended up back at the Riverside. Once again, things didn’t quite go to plan that day either. The weather rolled in, the landing was postponed, and we decided to head for St Augustine, but just as we were finishing our breakfast, the storm, predicted for 4pm, arrived.
We put on our waterproofs for the first time and with some trepidation, started off.The rain gathered intensity as we headed north, the weather station channel on the bike’s radio bleeped in continually, with alarming frequency, to report on Tornado warnings, some to the east of us, the more worrying ones to the north, where we were headed.
As we approached Doug and Julie’s shop, the rain became so hard we could hardly see the road, and we decided to pull in.
We dried off a little in the shop, drank some coffee, chatted, shopped, and killed time until the weather seemed to ease , and we took our cue to make a break for it and try our luck once more.
The rain stayed with us all the way to Daytona, be it less forceful as the morning deluge, and when we got to Daytona , we pulled into the first hotel we found and checked in.
Our 7th floor room afforded a great view of Daytona beach, with a moody grey sky and crashing waves, it was a far cry from the not so distant memory of my last visit here, when I had ridden along the beach in swim trunks and flip flops, and indeed had ridden all round Florida in shorts and a T shirt in beautiful 80degree heat , but that was March, and this was December, and my what a difference!
We went out after making a makeshift clothes line and hanging our wet clothes above the heater to dry. Not having much in the way of back up clothing, Jacquie wore my combats, about 10inches too big for her in every direction, and I put my damp jeans back on, as we went out in Daytona to search for “biker heaven”. But it was closed…or on holiday, or just not there. The town was all but deserted. We rode around for a while, went up to look at the outside of the Daytona speedway, and then went to the Starlite diner, another cool chrome 50s diner for some good old fashioned American comfort food, meatloaf!
The next day we awoke to sunlight streaming through the faded curtains, rested and dried off, we dismantled our ingenious clothesline, and after a quick dip in the freezing cold pool(I didn’t tell Jacquie that there was a heated one on the other side of the hotel) we headed off, finally riding up the A1A in sunshine.
We had a great ride up the coast road, the ocean to our right and beach houses scattered along the road on our left, and best of all, warm air and sunshine. I relished riding without my jacket, neck warmer, fleece and gloves, not to mention how happy we both were just to be dry!
I insisted on taking Jacquie to see the Kennedy space centre, and after a quick look around,we rode all the way up the coast to St Augustine, America’s oldest settlement, and stopped for a walk round the Anastasia lighthouse, before heading on to Jacksonville.
We stopped for a quick rest and a bite at another funky chrome old school diner, before continuing on to Tallahassee, the state’s capital.
Tallahassee was, to all intents and purposes, quite a disappointment. I had been led to believe that we were to be met with grand old houses and parades, a formidable historic district, and other delights of the state’s capital. This was, alas not entirely the case. True, the former Capitol building was most pleasant, but there was hardly any sign of life around the town, and try as we might, we couldn’t find anything…. interesting. We took 3 elevators to the observatory on the 22nd floor of the new capitol building, to look at, well, trees mainly.
After spending too much time in the city-in my opinion, 5 minutes would have been too long, so we saddled up and headed to Wakulla and the Wakulla Springs State Park.
Wakulla was another of Jacquie’s finds after researching in her guidebook whilst I had the unenviable task of flicking through the innumerable amount of rubbish TV channels to find something to watch, usually falling asleep in the process.
The Springs were used as the set for two Tarzan movies as well as “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”. We were also hopeful that we may come across the ever elusive Floridian Manatee, which had so far evaded us. A gorgeous ride south of Tallahassee for some 30 minutes or so, took us along winding roads and through lush forests until we reached the State Parks. We were greeted by a very welcoming Park Ranger, who informed us that the Manatees were indeed out in the Springs and could easily be spotted from the swimming area.
We rode up to the lodge, parked up, and headed down to the Boat House to embark on a boat tour of the Springs. Sure enough, right there by the pier, were a dozen or so Manatees, rolling around up close to us in the water. There were 3 mothers, with their young suckling, and what I guess were a few males lolling around nearby. Jacquie was pleased as punch, and it was a great sight to see.
The boat ride was another great moment. We spotted several Alligators, various species of bird (lost on me but keeping Jacquie’s interest up), and were shown the original Tarzan tree, were Johnny Weissmuller hollered his Ah-ah-ah-ah-ahhh. There were many more manatee sightings, and in the clear waters of the springs, these creatures really looked so cute. Once back ashore, we went into the lodge, begged a couple of towels, and after changing in the Pool House, we braved the Spring waters, which supposedly maintained a 67 degree average year round, even though it felt a whole lot colder. It was even more chilly when we got out the water, after remembering all the alligators we had seen a few minutes ago just along the bank, into the 50 degree temperature of the early evening.
We ran back to the pool house, changed and got back on the bike to find our moterl for the night before it got really cold.
A half hour or so up the road, our trusty (usually) GPS took us to the Panacea Motel, which would serve our purpose, and looked like it would be in our price range - by its sheer bedraggled-ness- we would have paid anything they asked us though, to get out of the cold, which had now dropped to high 30s.
We showered and warmed up, then headed out to the only eatery for miles, which fortunately proved to be a great little steamed shrimp joint, before walking back under a sky of a thousand stars back to the Panacea Motel for some rest.
The next day we woke bright and early, well at about 10, and headed back the road we had come the night before to re-visit a sight we had seen in the dusk the previous night. Parked on a patch of land by the roadside, in a perfect crescent were 15 or 20 rusted old relics from the 40’s and 50,s. Fords, Cadillacs, Desotos and Buicks, still looking amazing in their decay were parked, and seemingly abandoned, to me it was like an art installation.
I jumped off the bike and set about clambering all over the cars, opening doors, taking pictures, and generally frolicking about, while Jacquie looked on quite bemused.
It was only later that day, about 40miles down the road in charming Carrabelle, that we were told by a local that the “crazy ol’ coot” that owns the cars quite regularly calls the cops on people who “trespass” on his property…seems we had a lucky break!
Our ride from Car Art Show, as I called it, down and around the coast was a beaut. We had warm sunshine, a real rarity so far, and a one-lane road running along the side of the Gulf of Mexico. We passed a couple of small towns, and decided it was time for a brunch stop. Just at that moment, I looked around for a place and lo and behold, just off the road, in the town of Carrabelle, I spotted the Carrabelle Junction Café.
A great place to take a quick break
This place, and as it turned out, the whole town, was a little gem.
The Café was owned by Ron, a native Floridian who had spent most his adult lifer in San Francisco, before coming back to Florida to open this Café.
The place was full of 50s memorabilia, had old diner style booths, and a menu to die for. We got chatting, and after brunch walked around the town to visit the World’s smallest Police station. On returning to the bike, a big, white-bearded gent stopped and started talking bikes with us. As it turned out, he too was a biker, from up Georgia way, and was a Minister.
At his request, we joined hands while he uttered a little prayer and blessed us, and Garth-our bike, for the trip ahead.
Once again, we headed off, on our way out of Florida.
Mexico City beach
There were a couple more stops, before the county line, our first of the trip, in Mexico Beach and Gainsville, before we finally made it to our next state, Alabama.
We only had a tiny part of Alabama to cross at its southern most strip, and all we really saw of the state was the USS Alabama, the aviation museum next to it, and the sub. We scrambled about the Battleship, took pictures with the big guns, went below decks on the sub, and then headed off again to find refuge from the cold front and the night.
We had really wanted to get to New Orleans that night, but what with our unexpected and elongated trip to the USS Alabama, and a good 100 or more miles before New Orleans, we decided instead to cut an early break, and rode down to Biloxi to find a place to stop for the night. Biloxi, was, for want of a better word, bollocks.
Nothing but Casinos, Casinos, a few motels, and more Casinos!
We checked in to the cheapest place we could find, I popped across the street for a take out from the Waffle House, and we after being beaten by the winds and the cold, promptly fell asleep.
Once again, Jacquie had been planning. She had found us a great boutique hotel, ever so slightly above our budget, but in the infamous French Quarter, and a short walk away from the hustle and bustle of Bourbon St.
New Orleans delivered on all fronts, Bourbon street was jumping from noon til 5 in the morning, not that we ever stayed out that long. The French quarter was full of character and characters. On every corner there were street musicians and buskers of all shapes and varieties.Royal Street, one block south of Bourbon contained a series of art galleries, all housed in beautiful buildings. The Steamboat Natchez paddled up and down on the Mississippi river. It was just as we expected it.
The mounted policemen we saw on horseback in Bourbon St were more like tourist attractions than crime stoppers, and spent their night smiling and joking with the crowds, having pictures taken and generally exuding a god vibe among the revellers.
We enjoyed a couple of café au laits and Beignets at the Café du Monde, like all good tourists in New Orleans should, Jacquie had her palms read, we visited a couple of live music bars, and heard some great blues and jazz, although the best of it was either on the street, or just round the back of our hotel, in the much less commercialised and more civilised DBA and Snug Harbour. We took a streetcar up St Charles to have brunch at the Camellia Grill, which also delivered on all fronts, great burgers, singing staff, and a real party atmosphere.
It was all topped off by catching a New Orleans Jazz Wedding parading down the street, and a concert of Gospel singers in the cathedral at Jackson Square.
Come Monday morning it was time to drag ourselves, unwilling as we were, out of New Orleans, westward bound out of Mississippi and into Texas!
Texas is big! One of the first things we saw after crossing the state line was a road sign, bearing the news, “El Paso 857miles”
Texas was not what we were expecting. I had in my mind many pictures of what I thought I would see in Texas, Oil pumps in fields, tumbleweed, ghost towns, prairie fields and Cacti, what we had instead to welcome us into America’s largest state was a whole lotta rain. It was warm, in fact at almost 80 degrees , it was the warmest day we had had for a long time, which made conditions inside my rain suit almost sauna-like! During our 337 mile ride, we experienced rain, heavy rain, light rain, drizzle and “biblical” downpours, at one point we simply had to pull off the road and let it pass. Fortunately, aided by the ridiculously strong winds that accompanied these sections of heavy rain, the weather usually moved quickly. By the time we had got into Whataburger, soaked the whole floor- prompting the staff to surround us with bright yellow “WET FLOOR” signs-and downed a coke, a coffee and a couple of mighty tasty burgers, the road was once again rideable.
The staff and customers of this fine establishment took great amusement at our predicament, and even more at our accents, and after giving us a pair of free cookies, we were once again on our way down the I 10 to Austin.
We stayed ahead of the heavy rain the rest of the way into Austin. I kept my waterproofs on, as well as my home-made custom waterproof footwear, in the shape of a pair of plastic bags tied over my trainers as we rode on under threatening skies, but stayed dry apart from the sweat inside my rain suit. There were a couple more unplanned stops on the way to Texas’ capital. One at a classic car showroom, full of old Stingrays, Cadillacs and Thunderbirds and others, and the other at a the opposite end of the scale, a Hot Rod builders garage, backing on to a junkyard full of rusty old relics.
We made it into Austin just as the sun was setting and the temperature dropped rapidly from mid 70’s to mid 40’s. I followed the GPS instructions right o the door of Wholefoods, a special treat I had planned for Jacquie to give her a burger break. It was justifiable as Austin was the birthplace of the Wholefoods chain, and this was the world flagship store. We got our food and went and sat down next to a couple of guys, and once again, within minutes, we were chatting away, swapping stories, and after a couple of beers, the two guys were on their respective computer and telephone, trying to find us a cheap motel.
A few hours later, we were on our way to the Super 8 , in freezing rain, with an open face helmet. Not a good combination. The temperature had dropped to 30 degrees, and the sleet on my cold face felt like I was being pinched-hard!
Fortunately we only had a couple of miles to go, and as we looked out the window of our budget accommodation, the sleet turned into snow, then that turned into torrential rain. This kind of put our plans for the rest of the evening in the Live Music Capital of the World on hold.
Christmas was drawing near, so we decided to spend it here in Big Bend with our new friends. We hung around the ranch, rode around on the bike, took Chris’ Cadillac out for a little spin, and spent time with Voni and Paul. We left the ranch for a couple of days just before Christmas for a ride out to Marfa and some of the surrounding towns, and had a look around Fort Davis, and even went for a swim in the natural pools of Balmorea, before returning to the Ranch in time for the Christmas eve party at Voni and Paul’s.
The Natural Pools at Balmorea, in the middle of the desert
The road to Marfa
The party was great fun, many of Paul and Voni’s mates were also bikers, and they were all really interested in our trip. I made a Christmas Punch, Chris and the Sheriff played their guitars and sang, and in true Christmas tradition, we all ate and drank too much.
Christmas morning, Jacquie and I were woken with breakfast in bed, served by Chris and Sonny. It was ridiculously chilly, our Honeymoon shed constantly whistled with the cold air rushing in from all sides, and the little heater was totally overpowered by the forces of nature.
Nevertheless, the sun shone, and after the coffee clicked in a cleared our fuzzy heads, Jacquie and I set up some empty beer bottles and practised our shooting with Chris’ cowboy guns.
Chris had seen I had a video camera and had asked me if we could make our own mini movie, just for kicks, on the ranch. We decided we would make a little Cowboy Shootout, and Chris went rummaging through his stuff to see if he could get us in a suitable outfit.
We played dress up for a bit, and finally, after the wardrobe was properly raided, Jacquie and I emerged Cowboy’d up to the max. We spent the afternoon running around, guns popping, as Jacquie and Chris took turns in directing and filming the action.
We all had such a laugh making Chris’ movie, and finished the day off with a cowboy bath, before heading out on the bike for a little run around the park in the sunset, bumping into our friend Ara, with his dog, Spirit, out for a ride in their BMW sidecar combo.
The following day, on Boxing Day, we had a visit from the Sheriff.
“I hear you done been shooting guns on this here ranch, and I gotta tell ya, if you gonna shoot in Big Bend, you darn well better come shoot with me, you folks come round my house this afternoon, and we’ll have ourselves a shoot ‘em up, sound good to ya bowy?” said the Sheriff.
With an offer like that, how could we decline? An hour or so later, we were at the Sheriff’s house, looking through some of hi sguns that he kept in a big safe in his garage. He really did have quite a collection, from small bore pistols right through to AR15 assault rifles.
We were invited to “grab a load o’ guns” and help load them in to the Sheriff’s truck, and then we drove round the back of his house and down to his “range”.
Paul and Voni had arrived and when we unloaded some of the guns off the back of the truck, and after a few words of warning from the Sheriff and a few simple instructions, we were blasting away with Glocks, Magnums and rifles.
We demolished a few plastic bottles and destroyed a couple of targets before heading back up to Ara’s for an early evening stew and to watch the sunset from his patch.
The next few days we spent really exploring the park, which was just magnificent, huge canyons, mountains and rivers, no cars or buildings, it was fantastic. But we had to move on. We easily could have stayed longer in Big Bend with the wonderful people we had met there, but, we still had a lot of country to see, and not much time in which to see it, so , 4 days after Christmas, we headed through Terlingua, and out of Big Bend.
We rode through some more spectacular scenery, and stopped by the banks of a river for a stroll. We were walking back to the bike when we saw our old mate Ara, riding along the road with Spirit.
Ara pulled over and we had a chat, it seemed Ara was heading the same direction as us, so we rode along together to the Mexican bakery at Presidio, where we stopped for some fine cakes fuelling up before we left Ara and headed off on our way westwards once more.
Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.
"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."
"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.
Next HU Events
- Canada West: Aug 21-24
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- France Mini: Sep 5-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
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
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!
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 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.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
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.
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 © 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!