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Photo by Mark Newton, Mexican camping

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Mark Newton,
Camping in the Mexican desert



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  #16  
Old 12 Oct 2005
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Ian / John,

I live in Leeds, could anyone suggest a place to meet to discuss this trip in more detail - weekends would be best for me ?

I'm sure it would be great to talk and see if we could start to turn this into a relality

Some info on the trip below which sounds fun

Gerard

Pan-American Highway, Alaska to Chile
Since the Conference of American States in 1923 there have been plans to build a Pan-American Highway - a continuous roadway running the full 25,800km (16,000 mi) from Alaska to the bottom of Chile. Now, all but 88km (54mi) are complete, so aside from a time-consuming detour, it's possible to drive from above the Arctic Circle down to Puerto Montt, nearly 1000km (600mi) south of Santiago, Chile. The road cuts through pretty much every kind of geography and climate possible, so make sure your vehicle, clothing and state of mind are all-terrain.

Few people attempt the drive from top to bottom. Getting to and from the extremes usually makes people think again, the difficult conditions in Alaska and along the Colombia-Panama border also discourage travellers, and the logistics of crossing 13 national borders are usually enough to put even the most persistent Yellow Brick Road devotee off for good. Still, it's good to know it's possible...

Although the Pan-American Highway, or Interamericana, is more of a concept than an actual route, most say that it starts in the tiny Alaskan town of Circle, some 150km (93mi) west of the Canadian border and about 100km (62mi) south of the Arctic Circle (from which the town gets its name). Since 1994, however, the Dalton Highway has allowed drivers the option of starting their trip further north, from the shores of the Beaufort Sea in Deadhorse. This oilfield town has a population of anywhere between 3000 and 8000 people, so there are plenty of places to stock up for the rough road ahead.

And it is rough. Deadhorse isn't just a cute name for the town, it was practically a guarantee earlier this century, and a summer drive along the dusty, potholed gravel surface will be the toughest test of your vehicle's suspension. But an hour or two after Fairbanks you'll hit the Alaska Highway, and it's pretty much plain sailing then for the trip all the way through the Yukon and British Columbia and down the west coast of the USA.

Choose your own route through the States - desert, ocean or a mix - then head via Palm Springs and Calexico into Mexico. Border delays and bandits aside, the roads remain pretty good through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Before chosing your route, however, you should check information on mudslides and flooding, which often close roads for weeks.

The one sticking point on the Pan-American is along the border between Colombia and Panama, where the Darien Gap - a lush rain forest with one of the highest degrees of biodiversity in the entire world - forms a natural, virtually impassable border. While the completion of the highway would make these countries more accessible to trade and tourism, it would not come without a price: many experts say that a road through this region would effectively destroy it. So roadtrippers now have to pull over in the grimy, muggy town of Yaviza. The only option to motorists is to somehow get to the Caribbean Sea port town of Puerto Obaldía (best done by boat), check in with the police, then boat-hop to Turbo, San Juan or Cartagena, where you can hit the road again.

After the long drive along the foot of the mountains in western Colombia, you bisect Ecuador - crossing the equator and passing through the charming, beautiful capital of Quito - then along the almost 2000km (1250mi) coast of Peru and, finally, Chile. Reach the strangely Nordic-style town of Puerto Montt, and you will have completed perhaps the most extraordinary inter-continental car trip possible.


[This message has been edited by tinman (edited 12 October 2005).]
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  #17  
Old 12 Oct 2005
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Looks like an 1150GS is on the cards then as I doubt my bike will be up to that never mind the more direct route, plenty of time to sort that out though - still want to meet ?
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  #18  
Old 14 Oct 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by iain:
Tinman,

Drop me an email with a phone number and I'll give you a call.

Cheers,

Iain.
Ian have sent you details via e-mail

Gerard
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  #19  
Old 17 Oct 2005
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Ian and Jsherm -

I'm looking at a very similiar trip with a very similiar timeline. Up to AK from NY, then ALL the way down . . .

Planned departure is also May of 06. I'm in my early 30's, very laid-back, and have no issues with camping for extended periods of time.



[This message has been edited by expansion (edited 17 October 2005).]
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  #20  
Old 17 Oct 2005
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For anyone who's in the London area, a few of us are going to meet up on Sunday 20th November to look at the trip.

If we have more than three people by next July, we can split in to two's/three's and meet up along the way, as if you end up with a big group convoy you lose all the contact with the people and it's much less likely people will invite you to stay with them and the like. Still we can cross that bridge when we get to it.

Just email me if you want to come along.

Iain.
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  #21  
Old 26 Oct 2005
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Hello everyone,

I'm planning a trip thru SA mid next year (July 2006) but I will bring my bike as a backup vehicle and not my main means of transportation. I'll be traveling with my wife and daughters thru Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. Hopefully we'll have enough time to do Brasil.

I'm in Tappan, NY and own a 1990 Kawasaki KL650B Tengai along with a few Rovers.

Maybe I'll see some of you guys on the road.

Good luck and hope to meet you guys/gals one day.

John C.
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  #22  
Old 16 Nov 2005
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Hello- I'm also looking into doing the same trip from alaska all the way down to S.A. and was thinking of doing this spring 2006 but being realistic, I now reckon will be more like June/July time.

I'm from Edinburgh, Scotland, in my mid thirties, am laid back and have a Beemer 1150GS which I'm in the process of kitting out. I'm thinking of taking about 6-8 months to do this but really have no idea as I've generally only done the normal european bike trips before. I was originally planning to do this trip solo but also think it would be great to meet up with others doing something similar.

Cheers

mike
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www.singapore-scotland.blogspot.com
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  #23  
Old 17 Nov 2005
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Hey Guys,

Sounds like an interesting trip you are planning there. A couple of us from Australia are planning a bit of a trip around Sth America in '06 also. I think your route is just a tad longer than we were planning on (we are planning on about 8 weeks), but perhaps we will see you along the way (planning to leave in about August).

As an aside, I really dont think the Hayabusa is up to the task. I have one also and think Ill retire it for the trip, do the trip on a Beemer and then get myself another Hayabusa when I get home.

Good luck folks, perhaps we can keep each other informed of progress as we plan our trips? May be able to offer each other some assistance.

Stu
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So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.\" - M.Twain
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  #24  
Old 17 Nov 2005
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Hi all,
Just looking through this thread out of interest. I did this trip a couple of years ago and my website has lots of stuff that might be useful to you. www.loisontheloose.com
I also have details of freight companies for getting the bike from London to Alaska and also for the Darien Gap if you need it.
Cheers,
Lois
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  #25  
Old 22 Nov 2005
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Excellent Iain. Ive updated my details so that you can email me, it would be great to keep in touch and perhaps meet up.

Im currently debating wether to buy a bike over there, or buy one here and ship it. I realise it may be cheaper to buy one there, but since Im a sports bike rider I am pretty keen to get a 1100GS (we will be two up) now and learn the intricacies of the bike before heading to a strange land to learn them.
Its a tough call because I will be trying to keep my expenses to a minimum.

Lois, thanks for the link, Ill sure be checking it out (Im currently trowlling through any forum I can find to get information on this trip - I even bought The Long Way Round video of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boormans trip as a research tool, hehe).

Back to my research, Im keeping a close eye on this thread Iain, please keep us up to date

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\"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didnt do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.\" - M.Twain
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  #26  
Old 22 Nov 2005
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I rode from Seattle to Prudhoe Bay in June, then south. I am currently in Peru heading south.

I have lots of fresh info and advice if you need it, email me using the mail button..... and check out www.oneworld-twowheels.com for other goodies including GPS tracks and photos etc.

Happy to help........

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  #27  
Old 23 Nov 2005
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Iain -
I just saw this on the Adventure rider site under the regional forum called the great white north and thought you might be interested. The price sounds not bad and there is no sales tax on a used bike as opposed to 7% gst plus the applicable provincial tax on new.
Anyway
02 KLR650 'A' model 4 sale in Edmonton, Alberta $4500.00 CDN
19,000 km's
new front (15T) rear (43T) sprockets
new RK 'O' ring chain
Twin-Air filter
Moose skid plate
Moose shifter
Moose bark busters
Moose wheel bearings front/rear NIB
DualStar security Oil filler cap
DR650 mirrors
DR650 pegs
Acerbis Motard front fender
Jardine Exhaust-chromed
Corbin Dished seat
(2) stock seats-1 modified
Happy Trails luggage rack
(2)Givi E36 monokey cases
Clymer manual
(2)new Tank shrouds
used (5k) rear shock
used (5k) front springs
used (16T) front sprocket

have all original parts-skid plate, handguards, front fender, pegs...

photo's available upon request

~Will~
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  #28  
Old 24 Nov 2005
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iain

I plan on taking a similar trip in 2006 as well, North 2 South through the Americas. I also will be doing an East 2 West through the US.

It would be good to meet up.

I am pushing thirties, I taught college for a while and now I just do anything to make a buck to run a muck. I travel as much as possible. I spent 3 months in SE Asia this year and walked from Mexico to Canada. I have hiked over 10k miles through the US mainly (AT,PCT,CDT etc.) Because of this I will be mainly camping with VERY minimal gear. (as in like 5 or 6 pounds camping gear) I will be going as cheap as I can. I just sold the BMW f650 to lighten up. Going with a 250, most likely a KLR250.

It would be good to hear from you. Feel free to drop me a line at wiese514$hotmail.com

Take care
WIESE

Oh yea, if anyone has any questions about camping/backpacking gear email me. I have worked at an outdoor gear shop for the last 7 years off and on, I design gear, and I have spent over 2 years living off my back.
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  #29  
Old 25 Nov 2005
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iain,
I am 37 from Australia and interested in doing the central and south american part of your trip. It sounds as though you are going to end up in argentina during the middle of winter though. I have ridden dirt bikes for years, and don't know what type of bike to buy for this trip. Maybe a Honda xr650r?
email address is bartarse@connexus.net.au
Peter
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  #30  
Old 25 Nov 2005
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Iain,
I am planning a similar trip through C.A. & S.A and would love to hook up on the road, as I live in Southern California and would be starting in Orange County in spring/summer 06. the timelines are up in the air right now, but if the dates would work out, I am really interested in joining up with you for a leg or two. I have a KLR650 and am seriously itching to put it to the test. so if you have any questions or comments, email me: koby686@hotmail.com
thanks.
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