9-27-06 5,200 trip miles, 34,200 total bike miles
I've been pretty lax on blog updates here lately, but I figured since I've mainly
been hanging out on the beach with my canine friends, that a motorcycle oriented
reader wouldn't be that interested anyway. At least that is my excuse. If you recall, I was house and dog sitting for another Horizons Unlimited member,
Lorraine turned out to be a really interesting person, which was no surprise
after what she had told me about herself before I came down here. She was born in England, but grew up in California. (Edit: She has since told me she was actully born in the USA, but her parents are English. Oops.) As an adult, she lived in Cairo, Egypt as a
writer for a magazine for several years, and then near a game preserve in Kenya.
When Ted Simon broke his leg in Kenya on his second round the world trip, he
recovered while staying with Lorraine, so there is some moto content here too. If
you don't know who Ted Simon is, go buy a book called Jupiter's Travels, the story of his early 70's trip around the world on a motorcycle. Suffice to say,
she has some stories to tell. Bruiser and Dog, her two dogs, followed her back to
the US from Kenya. Maybe with a little help from an airplane, but they are African dogs, and seem to have adapted just fine to chasing skunks and squirrels, rather than whatever they chased in Africa.
Shameless Promotion: Lorraine has two books out that I know of. One is called
"Shadows in the Sand" and is about a camel drive that she and another white woman participated in, from Sudan to Egypt in 1995. This is not a warm fuzzy animal book, but a look at the realities of the camel trade in desert Africa, through
western eyes. From a traveller's perspective, I thought this was a great look at life in the Africa desert, regardless if you give a flip about camels or not. The
other one is called "Cats of Cairo" and you can guess what that one is about. This one is a warm fuzzy animal book, and of course, focuses on cat culture in Egypt, where they were revered in the times of the Pharohs. Both books are high quality, coffee table type books, with many high quality glossy photos of their subjects, and would make great Christmas presents. Take a look at www.lorrainechittock.com , or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will
be HAPPY to tell you how to get one or both for yourself. Dog and Bruiser will thank you for the extra dog bisquits Lorraine will be able to buy them. End of Shameless Plug.
After 2 weeks of living here, I got to know enough about the beach life to say that I don't see it in my future as a lifestyle. I really enjoyed my time here, and I think the beach is a great place for a break, but the heat just sucks away all my ambition after awhile. I now understand how the expats living down here have so many drug and alcohol problems. It must be really easy to get sucked into the lifestyle where you go and swim or surf for awhile in the morning, and then go to the bar for lunch, and just stay there. Most of this trip I have alternated between mountainous and beach type areas, and I can now say that I would rather live in the mountains and go to the beach for a break, than the reverse. Now I just have to figure out how to afford to do that. I'm working on it.
Most of the time, I pretty much stayed to myself, walked the dogs, and studied my Spanish. I went in to town, of course, to go to the grocery store, restaraunts
and bars a couple times, but the road is SO potholed, I didn't even want to ride my motorcycle on it. My KLR has stiffer springs, both front and rear, than what
it came with, to habndle the extra weight of all the crap I am hauling around, and that makes it ride really harsh when the luggage is off. The effect on me is bad enough, but I have been on a lot rougher roads through Honduras, Nicaragua
and Costa Rica than what I originally planned on, and I need to make this bike
last another 12,000 miles at least. Costa Rica gets my vote for the worst road
conditions, once you get off the main highways. Its like they built all these gravel roads and never maintained them, just let the potholes get bigger and bigger, until there are just a great big checkerboard of potholes and washboard. It's not technically difficult, just tedious going slow enough to avoid the worst ones and not being able to look at the scenery, because you always need to watch where your wheels are going.
After Lorraine got back from England, we took a ride on the motorcycle up the coast to check out a wildlife reserve up there and just see the area. Like idiots, neither one of us took a camera, so we missed probably the hairiest motorcycle pictures of the whole trip, I hope. The road crossed a river several times, and being the rainy season, some of the crossings were pretty deep. Since she had sandals on , and I had running shoes, I made her walk the crocodile infested river to see how deep it really was before crossing. Conveniently, the crossings that were scary deep, had suspension pedestrian bridges that were a little bouncy, but just wide enough for a motorcycle, so we put them to good use. Anyway this all would have made great pictures, but you'll just have to take my word for it now.
Posted by Andy Tiegs at September 28, 2006 03:50 AM GMT
I am now in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, known for the Arenal volcano, which has been
erupting more or less continuously since 1968. Unfortunately, it has been cloudy
and rainy, so when I went and hike the trails this afternoon, I didn't see much.
Whose idea was it to make this trip in the rainy season anyway? I am getting
anxious to get over into South America and am resisting the urge to just blast
down the PanAm to get to Panama City. I think I am going to go back over to the
Carribean coast again and down to Panama that way.
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!