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Horizons Unlimited
Motorcycle Travellers'

in cooperation with
Quality Touring equipment worldwide.

Are you a TRAVELLER? Are you interested in broken bones in the Congo, charging bulls and boulders the size of truck cabs in Peru, hongi, haka and painful tattoos in New Zealand, biker babe in Nepal, riding through minefields in Vietnam, motorcycling TV stars in Argentina, Masai warriors and safaris in the Serengeti, stuck in the desert with a dead horse, Motoloquesea in Buenos Aires, riding in snow in Oregon, burning bikes in Australia, burning romance in Peru, world record attempts, and much more...?
Then you're reading the right newsletter!

In this e-zine:

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Final Thoughts
Helpful People
Home Again
In Progress...
Leaving Soon
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Really Shorts
Repair Shops on the

Seen on the road
Tech Tips and Bits
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Travellers' Questions
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Travellers' News Report

30th Edition, April 1, 2002

Happy Easter, for those of you who celebrate it. This month, we're ahead of schedule (well, on the west coast of BC, anyway, we know it's already April 1st in some parts of the world!)

The First Horizons Unlimited B.C., Canada Travellers Meeting is May 25-26 in the Vancouver / Vancouver Island area. Location to be announced asap, we will be personally checking out possible venues for a final decision in the next couple of weeks. Check out the thread on the HUBB if you wish to contribute to the discussions or attend. If you're wondering what the weather will be like here in May, the fruit trees are in full blossom and the daffodils are out - and it's only March 31. Lots of long-distance travellers are expected to attend. There should be good rides, and we plan slide shows for the evenings. We do need volunteers for slides shows - hint! Mark it on your calendars now, you don't want to miss it!

The Second annual Horizons Unlimited UK Travellers Meeting looks set to be June 14-16 - though it's not locked in yet, keep that weekend open - and check out the thread on the HUBB if you wish to contribute or attend.

The First Horizons Unlimited Ontario, Canada Travellers Meeting is July 11-14 at the BMWMOA Rally in Trenton Ontario, where we will also be presenting slide shows. Check out the thread on the HUBB if you wish to contribute or attend.

What's in this Issue?

It's another big month - reports from over 30 travellers, in Cambodia, Peru, the Congo, Argentina, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Tanzania, Nepal, Laos, Chile and Colombia, and a record number of intrepid adventurers planning to hit the road soon. Hope you enjoy this issue, and that it inspires you to plan your own adventure!

The Horizons Unlimited Souk is Open!

We opened the Souk for business at the beginning of this month. The keener types and our contest winners are already wearing their t-shirts and sweatshirts, and feedback is good. From Steve Braun (7 continents, 2 wheels, 1 home): "Hi Susan, Just wanted to let you know the shirt came today (3/21), 10 days -not bad! The shirt is great and quality is excellent. Couldn't wait, so I put it on right away and am wearing it as I type this. Thanx again so much for the contest and your site!" We've added new products and the most popular slogans to the Souk, so check it out. If you don't need a t-shirt, but still want to show your support, click here.

We Want Your Travel Story!

You'll get a lot more readers here than in some obscure corner of the web. There are plenty of new stories in the Travellers Stories section, the new Blogging software is getting a workout. Have a look! Don't forget you can post your story there too, it's easy, and the price is right. And you can do it from anywhere on the road at any internet cafe, no software required. To see how it looks, see Ken and Carol Duvals' stories. If you don't have a web site (or you're tired of maintaining your own), click here for more info and to request a 'blog' of your own!

Please submit news reports, web links etc. to us for inclusion in this newsletter.

We try to link to your website if you have one. And if you don't have a website, we can help.

This is a free service for travellers everywhere, both on the road and (temporarily;-) off. Your support is greatly appreciated.

your editors, Grant and Susan Johnson

contact Grant and Susan

up to top of page Calendar

Plan where to be when!

If you know of any events of interest to travellers, send me a note.

Tesch Travel Treffen, Malmedy, Belgium, April 12-14, 2002

24th annual meeting for motorcycle world travellers. Slide shows, 300 odd travellers, great meeting, well worth going. Booking required. Details

Latin Bikers of Chicago USA, April 13, 2002, to Mexico

16 to 20 days depending on your start point. On entering Mexico there will be several city parties hosted by local m/c clubs, and or the town mayor, with bands, great food, beauty pageants, etc. The rally starts in Chicago on April 13th and you can join in at any point thru the route. For detailed schedule contact the organizers.

3rd Annual Spring Roundup Dual Sport Camp Out, Songdog Ranch, New Cuyama, California, USA, April 13-14 2002,

"...gathering for dual sporters of all interests to meet, network, and discuss issues which affect all users of dual sport motorcycles. Riders may choose to ride some of the best roads and trails in California, either on their own or with other riders." More info

BMW Rally, Victoria, Australia, April 27-28, 2002

" be held at a Nudist resort, yes that's right folks, you read correctly, located at Thoona, 20 kms west of Wangaratta, in north east Victoria. Entry fee is $15 for a badge and camping spot. If you don't want to camp, there are several levels of accommodation available up to ensuite cabins on site but you pay the extra. The north east of Victoria is at its best in autumn, many wineries abound

PS Clothes optional:):)"

Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers Meeting, B.C., Canada, May 25-26 2002,

Location not set yet but will be either Vancouver Island or the Lower Mainland / Vancouver area. Mark it on your calendars now, you don't want to miss it! More details here soon.

Canyonlands Motor Classic - Street legal motorcycle rally in Moab, Utah, May 30 -June 2, 2002

"We are now officially an Adventure Touring/Sport Touring rally. This year looks promising with lots of interest already thanks to a write up by Dr. Greg Frazier in Rider Magazine. We fully anticipate 150 riders this year. There will be just as much to do for an ST1100 rider as there would be for a KTM rider. Gino"
More info, including places to stay and maps. Note: it's 95% dual sport bikes here despite the sign.

Third China (Yinchuan) International Motorcycle Tourist Festival June 12 - June 15, 2002,

Interested? Info is sketchy at best, but here is what we have so far - if you learn any more please pass it on.

Enduraid 2002 - Third Annual Upper Midwest Dual Purpose Motorcycle Rally, Wisconsin USA, June 21-23, 2002,

Dual Sport Ride, afternoon slow trials, Knobby Ridge Trail Ride, cookout etc. Info.

International BMW Motorrad Biker Meeting, in south Bavarian Garmisch - Partenkirchen, July 5-7, 2002,

This will be the BMW event of the year, with 10,000 visitors expected. More info.

O'Keefe Ranch Rally, Vernon, BC, Canada, July 6-7 2002,

This year featuring a show and shine, flat track racing and a longer scenic road rally. Jim Green 1-250-542-9191

BMWMOA International Rally, Trenton, Ontario Canada, July 11-14 2002,

Biggest BMW Club Rally on the planet. And we'll be there to do a couple of slide shows! See ya there!

Black Dog AMA/Suzuki National Dualsport Ride, USA, July 13-14 2002,

If you're seriously into dual sporting... info

Stella Alpina, near Bardonecchia, Northern Italy, 10-19 July,

"a large trail bike Rally with several thousand bikes turning up over the weekend to ride up the mountain road on Sunday morning. It is not a competitive event but more a large gathering of like minded people." More info. Street bikes go up too!

30th Anniversary Top O' the Rockies Rally, Colorado, USA, July 18-21, 2002,

"In honor of the 30th anniversary, Special door prize drawing BMW F650GS Dakar.

70 miles SW of Glenwood Springs Colorado. Door prizes, and loads of vendors, BMW Denver onsite, free camping in the shady city park, hot showers, food vendors, music, Saturday evening dinner, field events, and great roads to ride in beautiful Colorado. Check out website for info and a preregistration form."

Allroad Tour, Finnish Lapland, 3-10 August 2002,

Allroad Tour is a special route ride ridden in Finnish Lapland. It is focused on heavy touring enduros. More info.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis South Dakota, USA, August 5-11, 2002,

The biggest rally there is, primarily Harleys and choppers, but interesting.

The Buckride Rally, Offroad Touring Club, Norway, 15-18 August 2002,

" the heart of Jotunheimen in the central part of southern Norway. Jotunheimen is among the most beautiful parts in our country and consists of Norways highest mountains, national parks, forests, wild rivers and great motorcycle roads."

"6TH EAR" (European Airhead-riders Rendezvous) Sept. 2nd to 6th,

Likely in the south of France. Details coming.

Beaverton Honda-Yamaha/Rat Dog Dualsport Ride, Oregon USA, Saturday, September 21 2002 ,

Held in my favourite off-road area, Trask Mountain. info

up to top of page Horizons Unlimited New LINKS...

GET YOUR WEB SITE LISTED in the LINKS section by listing Horizons Unlimited on YOUR web site, let me know you've done it by mailing me a link to the page, and you may get listed here in the next newsletter and on the Horizons Unlimited web site Links page. To make it easy for you, we even have our logo and link code here!

All sites will be considered for listing, but must be a MOTORCYCLE or TRAVEL site, useful or of interest in some way to travellers.

Links will be rotated regularly as needed.

The Miniature Earth,

A little slow to load, but a great message. Also in Español, Français, Português(BR) and Italiano.

From rroberts - Australia - This site is the best known source for buying / selling anything.

There is a a section just for bikes. Trading Post.

up to top of page A host of
volunteers for 'People en route willing to help!'

There are many 'Helpful People' listed on the Links page, a huge thanks to all of them. How about you? Or you can join a Community, or start your own!

up to top of pagespacerRepair Shops...

Do you know of a good shop 'on the road,'

in other words somewhere there isn't a large number of shops? (Also of course any shop that specialises in travellers equipment and repairs is of interest.) But we're particularly looking for those rare items, good repair shops in South America, Africa and Asia etc. Please post your info in the Repair shops around the world Forum on the HUBB.

Getting some interesting listings here - Casablanca, Cairo, Chiang Mai - and that's just the C's! Then there's a major list of KTM shops from the boys on the KTM forum. Post your favourite"on the road" shop here!

up to top of pagespacerTech tips and bits...

Submit your tips and questions here, anything goes! Got a great idea for travellers, found a new solution to a problem? Send it in! If you're having a problem, just ask, there's a lot of people with a ton of experience out there to help.

up to top of pagespacerWho are they?

When you meet people on the road, and they haven't heard of this ezine or the website, we'd appreciate it - and hope they would too! - if you get their names and email addresses and send it in to me, or better use the recommend form available on most all pages of the website.

Thanks, Grant

up to top of pagespacerTravellers' Questions...

Chris and Erin Ratay are having trouble with an F650 in Argentina,

"...there is oil in the airbox, enough so that we continually need to monitor the level and periodically add oil. The excess oil is dripping out the exhaust hole between the air filter and the intake funnel, and we've added a tube to keep the oil off the rear tire. The air filter is cleaned, and the problem continues.

Someone suggested it may be a valve / respirator that has failed, located in the motor itself and shooting the oil up the breather. I don't know how to confirm this..."

More on their website

Plenty more questions and answers on the HU Bulletin Board! We've over 1200 registered users on the Board, which I think is pretty amazing, and gives a huge resource of knowledge and experience to help you with anything you might need to know.

Check it out!

up to top of pagespacerTravellers' tips and advisories...

Ted Simon, UK/USA, "Jupiter's Travels," around the world, again, in Guatemala, R80GS Basic,

"Someone in your ezine is complaining that you can't fly a bike into Brasil. Of course it can be awful, but anyone who cares to go to my journal for September 3rd will find complete - to the point of stifling - instructions on how to get a bike into Rio in 2 or 3 days. They should just scroll down to Part Two, unless they're flying from South Africa, in which case they need to suffer through the whole thing.

You do run a lovely show. Ted"

Ed. Thanks Ted! Visit Ted's site for more great stories and the latest updates on his trip.

From Colombia;

"... at this time do not recommend travelers to visit Colombia, the guerrilla is trying to kidnap many people in order to press the government for an exchange of prisoners (guerrillos) in jails."

From Spud, (Dave Yaki?) UK,

For those going to Nepal, this link from the UK's BBC website may be of interest.

From Michael Moore, 'PanEuropean'

on shipping 'dangerous goods' by air, on the HUBB

Chris Bright,

when asked about how to do the Amazon from Peru, responded with a detailed post on the HUBB. Check it out!

From Hernan 'Che' Reyes

Crossing the Darien - Panama to Quito by air. From a post on the HUBB 15 March.

Later, Hernan reports on which is the best border crossing between Ecuador and Peru - From a post on the HUBB 29 March.

From Lance

Extending a vehicle permit in Costa Rica - From a post on the HUBB.

Ear plugs while riding:

Plenty of discussion on this on the HUBB. The "wearers" are winning over the "non-wearers."

Other Hot equipment topics on boots and GPS, Video Cameras, tents that fit in panniers, to digital or not to digital, and lots more!

Join in!

Request for info

Wouldn't YOU like to know all about the border you're approaching - what it should cost, paperwork required, 'tips' needed, and who to talk to, etc.?

When you cross ANY border, take some notes, and pass them on to us. Thanks!


There is now a Shipping page on the site. It can be reached directly or from the Shipping link on the Trip Planning page.

If you have any information to contribute, there is a form at the bottom of the page which you can submit and we will put it on the page. Thanks!

Travel Advisories:

The Foreign Office in London's Travel Advice Unit advises against all travel to all sorts of places. Check out the listing before you start!

The US State Department has issued travel advisories, information and/or warnings.


up to top of pagespacerWho's on the road, and where...

Harald and Udo Lamers, the Bike Brothers, Netherlands, around the world (?) on Suzuki DR 600s, in New Zealand

"The good thing of travelling is that you meet interesting characters and learn a bit about other cultures. You have to deal with other habits, other food and different languages. It is a mind opener. You get a different look at the world. It's makes you rich!

One of the things we pick up in daily life is some words from the local language. We learned a few Maori words but after a while we talk like Kiwis with their flattening English.

A chat on a parking place:
Kiwi: Whur u up to?
BB: To the wopwops, grab some metal roads.
Kiwi: Good on ya. Is he yu cuzzie?
BB: Yep, he's my bro.
Kiwi: Cool. 'r the bikes holdin?
BB: Yeah, no worries, 180.000k's and still going strong.
Kiwi: Awesome, wanna Steinie?
BB: No thanks mate, w've to ride.
Kiwi: Choice.

After a long day of winding roads we find a nice spot to camp near Waitomo. Nearby is a waterfall, which we walk to. We descend on a steep, slippery trail through a dense fern jungle. We reach the pool where the waterfall in plunges and the spray cools us down. We sit down and listen to the 'thundering' sound of the falling water. It's relaxing.

In this area are a lot of caves where glowworms live. In the evening we enter a cave and when our eyes are used to the dark we see thousands little lights. Just like the Milky Way on a bright night. Choice!

Glowworms are larvae of the fungus gnat and are about one centimeter long and a millimeter thick. They have a luminescent organ that produces a soft green light. Hanging on the rocks they weave sticky threads to catch unwary insects attracted by their lights. It is not allowed to shine a torch on them because they will dim their lights and it will take hours to become bright again. During this time the glowworms will catch no food. The glowworms that shine most brightly are the hungriest. This is more friendly then crying babies...

A few days later we are guests at Nigel and Kitty and they take us to their Maori friend Vincent. Vincent is a woodcarver. In a very exciting way he explains the carving symbols and how to make them. Woodcarving was very important to the Maoris because they had no written history. His art collection covers tiny figures till war canoes of some metres. Vincent felt a certain 'vibe' among us and gives a 'koha'. This is a gift and is custom in the Maori culture. We receive a special 'tiki' necklace for good protection.

We became more interested in the Maori culture and visit Tamaki village. This is a replica of a Maori village how they lived in ancient times. Many Maori tribes were warlike and for a better defense they built their villages on hilltops and surrounded it with fences of trees and wood carved guarding statues. When we want to enter the village a Maori guard, dressed in a cloak made of dog fur and feathers, jumps in front of us and make a 'haka'. This dance comes with fierce shouting, flexing arm movements with a spear, thunderous stamping and showing his tongue. It is a frightening sight and is done to chase unwanted visitors away. But we come in peace and may enter. A Maori woman makes a 'hongi'. This is a traditional greeting where noses are twice pressed together and share the breath of life.

Higher classes and warriors decorated themselves with 'Moko'. This is a tattoo where they made incisions with chisels of bone and color it with charcoal. Women only had Moko on their chin and lips, while high-ranking men had tattoos over their entire face and buttocks. The Maori had no natural painkiller so this was a very painful ritual.

They show us around the village demonstrate some music instruments and weapons. The traditional Maori diet consists of chicken or fish, kumara (sweet potato) and some vegetables. They steam this in baskets, by hanging it above a hole dug in the ground with hot stones. They call this 'hangi'. It is a healthy BBQ."

Denis Dennehy, Ireland, RTW 2000-2003, in Peru on R1100GS.

"Though difficult, Peru is intriguing. If Argentina was 'derivative', and Chile 'mestizo', then Peru must truly be 'indigenous'. Here I am more culturally excited than at any point in my journey thus far. The gaily-clad Indians are to be found throughout this part of the Andes. Each exhibits patterns, materials, and costumes that are not to be found anywhere else in the world. It is such a relief to find peoples who have not yet been swallowed by the global mono-culture.

Women in heavy alpaca pink skirts, wearing hats that resemble button-mushrooms, stand knee deep in mud as they reap with sickles. The children herd and maintain vigilance over the family's four-legged fortune. Electricity and piped water are nowhere to be found and the mudbrick huts are heated with dried llama dung. Though now in rainy season the torrents do not have any visible impact on their activities and without any form of rain protection they continue to work exhibiting even more saturated colour. All have chaffed cheeks from constant exposure to the elements and appear insensitive to the cold. These people are very industrious.

As I ride past they exhibit a friendliness and curiosity that was lacking in Chile. One old-man uncharacteristically goes "Ohhwaaaa!" as I pass and I muse what a chasm exists between our worlds. I stare at them; they stare back. They stare at me; I stare back. Does any understanding really transpire or are we just respective marvels?

I make for the famous Lake Titicaca, a destination that must sound rude in every language known to man. The route involves a six hour ride through icy rain and a menagerie of animals. Some of the animals are tethered so as to reach the roadside where the crown provides better growth. Others are untied and roam more menacingly. This ride is punctuated with one dog attack, one bull charge, and a very entertaining ride amongst the local pedal-taxis through market stalls in a country town. On the rest of the patchwork road most of the action is centred on avoiding being asphyxiated by the Hi-Ace buses (Combis) that without exception billow plumes of black smoke.

The roads are inevitably fully of surprises and rock-fall signs that routinely signal a few scattered rocks now announced boulders the size of a truck cabs. In addition, the heavy rains mean that many floods had to be forded; often blindly due to the muddiness of the water. In spite of all these routine calamities that can easily half or double travel times the distance markers on the signs are all done to TWO DECIMAL PLACES.

The Inca planners of the 12th century gave little thought to motorcycle parking. The steep cobble streets (of Cusco) are awash with rain water and they are typically interconnected by flights of stairs. The city is an intriguing stacking of architectures, as one civilization just built on the foundations of the other. At eye level the mortarless Inca foundations support the later colonial Spanish styles. There is so much to see here other than the obvious hike up to Macchu Picchu."

Harvey Gordon-Sawyers & Lisa Roberts, UK, Round the World, in Nepal, Harvey on a BMW R100GS and Lisa on a BMW R80ST,

"Pokhara Nepal, 14th March 2002 - We enjoyed our week in Kathmandu, slowly feeling more relaxed, sorting things out and generally chilling.

… We have both lost a lot of weight since leaving the UK so that our rears are not as well-padded as they may have been before and our seats have bedded down after nearly nine thousand miles and we are both suffering after only about an hour on the road. After much traipsing around the tiny streets of Kathmandu, and many confused looks at the mention of sheepskin, we found some cushions and elastic to make our own seat reinforcers. It is wonderfully easy to get things done here, although it all takes time. Everyone is very friendly and eager to help and it is a relief after India not to have to worry whether someone will expect money for rendering the smallest service. It helps of course that most people in this area of Kathmandu speak good English, but even those who don't seem friendly and helpful.

Harvey and Lisa's bikes, so pretty with their new seatcovers!

We met up with a Swedish couple, Rory and Asa, who we have been in contact with through Horizons Unlimited. They bought an Enfield in India and are here for a few weeks to do some trekking and enjoy the peace and tranquility of Nepal before heading back into India to fly the bike home. We spent a very enjoyable evening with them and a French couple who have been studying in India - we swapped stories about India all night - a pastime which I'm sure is never exhausted!

… Once we had overtaken all the lorries and coaches leaving Kathmandu we had the road pretty much to ourselves with all its sweeping bends and beautiful surroundings. It feels like a long time since we really enjoyed the riding - back in Turkey probably - but today almost every moment was a joy. For most of the journey the road runs along a deep gorge by the side of a beautiful green river which must make an awesome sight during the monsoon. Canoeing and rafting are very popular in Nepal and with rapids like this it's easy to see why. The road twists and turns in a way that is just peachy to ride a bike on - smooth, twisty and with very little traffic. When we do meet traffic, in the main it is very civilised and courteous - trucks wave us past (although often their assessment of when it's safe for us to overtake differs a bit from ours). Occasionally we have to slow down because someone is overtaking the other way, but generally if they see us they will not overtake towards us - a very pleasant change from India where the fact that we were coming the other way made no difference to their decision to pull out and overtake anyway.

Every inch of land that can be cultivated is carefully used, so many of the hills are cut into tiered rice terraces from top to bottom which makes an impressive sight. Rice fields are usually only a few metres square and the leaves of the rice plants go the most wonderful bright green. Although it is nearly six months since the end of the monsoon, much of the land is a patchwork of lots of different greens. If you have ever imagined where elves, gnomes and pixies live - I think they probably live up here with the Nepalese! Nearly everyone smiles as we ride past and everything feels so easy.

We overtook a couple of Western guys in a taxi on the way and we saw them looking after our bikes with interest probably spotting the British plates. When they caught us up at an army checkpoint, one of them leaned out of the window and called to me 'we're doing it the easy way' I laughed and called back 'yes, but we're doing it the fun way!' They both chuckled and we all continued on our way. It's true though, there are no two ways about it - and I know I'll get into trouble back home with some of my friends who are convinced that I will turn into a 'biker babe' on our travels and start talking about sprockets, tyres, and the like - this is a truly great way to see the world."

Ed. Never mind, Lisa, we understand even if your friends won't!

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors! Please be sure you tell them how you heard about Morton's BMW!

Mortons BMW, adventure touring specialists


Falk Thümer and Reina Kasperowski, Germany, around the world, in the USA, R100GSPD and Suzuki XF 650 Freewind,

"Thanks, that we are on your site. We just found our link. There's only one thing more, we want to tell you. First of all it won't be only a year. We just decided that we will travel for longer. And the second thing is how we came to this trip. It' s a kind of a nice story and I thought you may like it.

You know I told you we lived a normal life. And like many other young couples we wanted to do something for the future. And so we decided to buy a old run down house and renovate it. We looked at maybe 30 houses and chose one. We had the agreement with the houseseller. It was one day before we had to sign the contract. Falk came home and we both were sitting in the kitchen and he took a long look at me and asked me. Reina what would you rather do, buy this house tomorrow, take a credit for your lifetime or travel around the world on your motorcycle?

I thought one second and answered, "Take a trip around the world."
Falk said, "Me too."
And then he asked me, "When would you like to start?"
And I said again after only one second, "At the first of September next year."
He said, "Well, lets do this."

I jumped up, phoned the houseseller and cancelled the agreement. Hey, and since that we did everything that was necessary to start the trip.

And we started this trip the 1st September 2001. And we are so glad that we chose this way of living.

At the moment we are in New Mexico and we were so lucky to be invited from the Zuni Indians to a ceremonial dance. We were the only 'white' people there, it made a deep impression on us. The dance was with kachinas and clowns, the rhythm was like a heartbeat and the singing very hypnotic.

So long - Reina and Falk"

Ed. That's the spirit, Reina and Falk. Who needs a house anyway? Reina and Falk are planning to make it to our travellers meeting May 25-26 in B.C., Canada!

Frank Amberger, Germany, suffering in Cambodia and Laos, R80GS,

"We set off to cross the Vietnamese border at a new border crossing they've recently opened. The road was bad and became worse as we went: dusty, potholed with sandy bits in between. I had a flat tyre, which I changed at roughly 35 degrees! I nearly collapsed when I did this. I had to drink three bottles of water and was still quite shaky and wet with sweat.

We continued to the border crossing, which turned out to be the wrong one as we had taken a wrong turn somewhere earlier. We would have to go back to Phnom Penh, as there are no other ways. In the evening we decided not to try Vietnam again.

We started towards the north on the next morning. The street is fine till Kratie, then it turns very very bad (1.5m deep holes, sand parts, gravel, etc.). I had my second flat tyre- OK, take a deep breath, change the thing and on we go. On the way we saw lots of designated mined areas marked with big warnings (danger - mines!) and skulls... even in the middle of villages.

Next morning we continued just a few kilometers till - right! I had my third flat tyre in three days. After some screaming, threats and swears to the tyre (more for psychological reasons) I did what I had done the last two days, sweating in the sun with work to do and tropical insects all around me, NICE!!!!!

… I went across the Kong River in a tiny boat, afraid not to fall into it. The road led me straight into the tropical forest and you might have guessed it; I had the fourth flat tyre. I needed a couple of minutes to regain my normal self after I was jumping and screaming around the bike (luckily I was alone). I had taken no water with me, sure that I would be in Laos by afternoon. After I had used up my last patches to repair the tube I knew that there would be not much to do next time except to walk....

My tongue was thick and dry and I felt terribly weak. I managed to reach the Cambodian border. There I found a well and wasn't bothered with any health concerns when I drank the water. It was delicious.

… Soon after the Laos border I had this well-known sensation of wobbliness and I was right, the tyre was flat once again. You can't imagine my despair. It was so hot and I had no energy left, not even to shout around. I had to stop at a bar full of drunks who immediately tried to help me with good advice. At least they had water on sale and shade...

I hadn't any patches left. I decided to use the spare front tube and try to make my way to the Khong Island where nice guesthouses would wait for me. After just a couple of kilometers this last tube gave up and the back tyre was flat again. I drove on to the next village hoping for a ferry to the nearby island and found out that there were only passengers boats leaving from here and that this place had no guesthouse at all.

Next morning I found someone to fix the two rear tubes (the front one was unusable after I drove with it deflated the day before). I managed to find the car ferry and reached the guesthouse at 10 am where I crashed out and slept the whole day and night. I did a tour around the four thousand islands the day after. It's really beautiful and well worth visiting.

Today I went up to Pakse (with 40 km/hr) the second biggest city in Laos to try to get a new tyre, but there is no chance, as they don't have bikes that size here. So I have to go to Thailand, because I REALLY need a new one.... sad but I can't change it. I think from there I will head towards the south and find some chill out places there, as I am not willing to pay the visa fee for Laos again. Wish me luck for the future. I seem to need it, till then take care, Frank"

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Liam McCabe, Northern Ireland, around the world, in Argentina, Africa Twin,

"I went to a town called Bariloche and there was a bike-gathering happening. I'm in this town, couple of hundred bikes, and I have no one to talk to, starting to get a bit bored. I went over to my bike to head back to my hostel. I'd seen two men hanging around it, but this is nothing new. I went over, one of the men starts talking in very fast Spanish and trying to get me to wait a minute. I explained about lack of Spanish and he said three things: We, Make film, You. That was enough, he had my attention. The other one came over and explained they where from Brazil and were in town to make a series of programs for a Brazilian cable TV company and wanted to do one on me. No mention of money but would I meet them in two days when the director arrived for dinner and that was it. You can imagine what sort of nonsense was going through my head for the next two days...

First day of filming... The story was so bad and the acting was like something from a cheap porn or a children's program (which ever you watched last). The only good thing was I had myself a professional film crew who would hang off the roof of a Land rover to make a good home movie for me. The presenter would say something to me in Portuguese and I would answer in my best Belfast television English. It wasn't until the last scene that the director told me it would be on TV at 11pm and then repeated 12 times in the following two weeks. He said if I went to Brazil surely people would recognize me as all the poor people have their TV's on constantly. The first photo is the 'Crew' staging one of the scenes, after robbing a cow's grave.

Don't know if you'll ever get the chance to see the video when it's finally on TV. The Program is called Moto and Roll, sporttv Channel 39(Brazil) sometime in April.

… I met up with two friends, also on bikes from New York Chris and Erin Ratay, to go rafting. We parked the bikes outside a supermarket to pick up some food and when we were at the checkout we were told the police and TV cameras were waiting on us outside. Sure enough as we walked out, with hardly enough time to get my sunglasses out, the cameras were on. I tried to explain to the guy to one side 'Very Bad Spanish, Si. He smiled and then stuck a mike in my face and started to ask me what did I think of the Country. I was a bit confused exactly what he said and answered 'delicious (Rico)' He moved quickly on to Erin and asked her much the same question. Erin has great Spanish, but needs to sort out her Geography and she told him she loved Chile and it was one of her favorite countries (we were in Argentina). We never got to see it on TV. They probably just said 'three foreigners rode through town on motorbikes today' and then showed us ride off.

Ruta 40 and the Patagonia winds which everyone told me about. Well the first day on the road was great, I loved it, Second day it started to rain, bit more difficult as it was hard to find the tracks, the third and last day the wind started, and the rain and the mud, bit of a nightmare to tell you the truth. So the second photo is of me with the aid of some props (two weeks ago it was toilet paper, but when you're in the business, hey) depicting Patagonia winds.

So now I'm in Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia. Otherwise known as the End of the World. Tomorrow I do the big turnaround, and start heading in the general direction of north till I reach the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco where I'll turn right, direction New York. Hope to be in touch next from somewhere warm. Liam"

Jurgen Homann, Germany, RTW as Official Ambassador for The Global Polio Awareness Campaign 2001+, UNICEF NZ (, in Thailand and back on the road in Laos, on R80GS,

"I went to the Bombay guesthouse to meet a German couple - Fred and Sabine Baer- travelling around the world on a BMW R100GS. They have been to Laos and Cambodia and they shared some of their experience with me, before I went back to Yut to mount the brake disk.

Yut is a really nice guy. He plans to open a small kind of guesthouse for motorcycle travellers, including space for repair or service of the motorcycle - for the ones, which like to do that by themselves. He plans to offer it for free or some kind of a voluntary donation. He believes that if you are doing good in this lifetime you will be having a better next life.

… Dirk would have been proud of me - he always had the fight to get me out of bed in the morning. I got up at 5:45 in order to be on the road, leaving Bangkok by 6:15. No problem to leave Bangkok at that time. It was already busy traffic but no jams. The funny thing is I felt a little bit chilly - only 28C°. I thought 'uff, that is quite fresh'.

It is close to the lunch break now, stopped for drinking, put the sun cream on (hands and face). The roads are straight and boring, not much scenery. I feel a bit tired, due to the early start. I try my best and simply go as fast as the roads, the traffic and the police allows.

By the way the brakes are still fine - good job Yut. The motorcycle is just quite unstable now. I do not know if this is due to the new rear tyre or something else came up now. If I drive faster than 110 the motorcycle starts rocking.

I arrived at the border around 14:00 and it only took 1h for all the paperwork including insurance on the Laos' side. I had my Visa for Laos already. No problems to use the carnet de passage to enter Laos. I was even allowed to drive over the Friendship bridge. I learned that in the past it was not possible to ride the bike over the bridge - it seems that they changed it.

After the border crossing I had only a few remaining km to go - riding on the right side again - no problem so far. The drivers are a bit more crazy than in Thailand and Malaysia."

Peter and Kay Forwood, Australia, around the world since 1996, in Colombia, on a Harley Davidson,

"A few days ago we arrived in Colombia, South America. The sixth and last continent on our trip. We have now ridden in all the inhabited continents of the world on the same Harley-Davidson motorcycle, although we are only just starting out on this continent.

This, our eighth trip away over the last six years started in Florida, USA, on the 9th Jan 2002 and took us across to Mexico, and the countries of Central America before flying the motorcycle and ourselves over the Darien Gap and into Colombia. We hope now to travel down the east side of South America to Buenos Aires, Argentina before flying home for a rest in late July this year.

I always hesitate to say the bike is running well because that is when things usually go wrong, but we have had few problems so far this trip. The roads have been reasonable and the border crossings pretty efficient and mostly honest.

The vibrancy of the area, particularly the Mexican desire to party with great music, has kept us entertained. Belize, an ex-British colony of English speaking, African descendants in a region predominantly of Spanish influence. Guatemala with its still traditionally dressed native people living in the highlands resisting change despite or because of the great influx of western tourists. The untouristed Nicaragua, only now showing its real face after so much strife, is still a backpacker's country away from the tour groups. Costa Rica, America's playground, with beautiful lush green mountains, rainforests and volcanoes. Businesslike Panama and the Panama Canal.

All the countries have great beaches on either the Pacific or Caribbean coasts which we crossed from side to side many times as we weaved our way down the narrow peninsula of land. We had a great time riding with our American friend, Jim Milliken, who joined us in Mexico, and travelled with us through all of Central America.

Sometimes we get out on the road and don't get any messages from friends for a while and wonder if anyone still remembers us, so if you have a spare moment drop us an email. Its great to hear what is going on in different parts of the world, and about people we have met. Keep in touch Peter and Kay Forwood"

Ed. Peter and Kay have travelled to over 100 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Horizons Unlimited is proud to host all their stories on our site. Fantastic adventures and great pictures!

Goose and Lucy, (Adrian Greygoose and Lucy Gardner), UK, around the world, in Tanzania, R1100GS,

"If you don't mind a bit of rain, March is an ideal time to visit Tanzania, particularly if game viewing is your aim. Not only did we strike a fine deal with the very capable Mamo Trek Safaris, we also had a distinctly uncrowded exploration of both the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Because of the unpredictable weather, we opted for a lodge-based safari and spent our second night in rooms perched on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater. We wanted to see the Big Five and with the exception of leopards, we weren't disappointed. Quite the opposite in fact - lions, rhino, buffalo and elephants came close enough to our Land Rover to photograph without zoom lenses.

Just to finish off a memorable trip, Mt. Kilimanjaro, which had been clouded over all week, decided to show its peak. Rob and Kim finished their holiday on the roof of our hotel in Moshi watching the sunset on the volcano."

Mariola Cichon, USA, aiming to be the first American woman to ride around the world solo, philosophical in Ushuaia, KLR650,

"3rd of March 2002 - Ushuaia- Estancia Moat, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina S 54(58.531) W 66(44.676). Killing the engine I look around. Apart from a small building with a sign in front of it reading 'Pto Moat Prefectura Naval' and the sea behind it there isn't much to see. Few permanently wind bent trees break the monotony of the landscape.

My heart is racing. I am excited. I have just reached the furthest possible point on Earth reachable by a road! Here, the road truly ends. There is a small town across the Beagle Channel - Puerto Williams - but it can only be reached by water. This is it then. From now on I will travel north, until reaching Brazilian Atlantic coast.

A string of thoughts and images buzz in my mind. Prudhoe Bay 8 months ago, Inuvik shortly after, then wonderful, colorful Central America, Macchu Pichu, Lake Titicaca, Colombian coca plantations, Bolivian silver mines, Salar of Uyuni, turquoise Patagonian lakes, Christmas in Cuzco, New Year in Coroico, volcanoes, Atacama, fighting the wind, shivering with cold at the geysers, Peruvian desert, golden beetle walking into the camp fire... it goes on and on... I will come to terms with all of it later. For now I am simply glad I made it safely and unharmed. I am grateful and proud.

In 9 months I have traveled from Chicago to Dead Horse, Alaska, then all the way south to Ushuaia, Argentina! Almost 34,000 miles! Suddenly, I fell almost empty, sort of burned out. What will the future show? Could it be any better? This question does not make any sense... it will be different... every day is different... every moment brings new experiences... I just have to keep my mind open... that is all."

Simon Kennedy, Ireland, in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Transalp,

"The tunnels at Vinh Moc central Vietnam were brilliant. Dug so the villagers could avoid the murderous bombs in the American war, they are a testament to both human perseverance and brutality. The couples of Vietnam now use them for far less martial pursuits. Our party had to wait until the panting stopped before exiting. Now that's a multi-use building. Living history; making the next generation while remembering the last.

Stayed at one of those government places that have a drive-in movie size Karaoke screen under the giant bust of Ho Chi Minh. 'We make sing-song,' the hotelier explained cheerfully on my arrival. Real amusing. Until they started up at six thirty in the morning. I mean, what sort of crazy society makes sing- song at breakfast? But that's the great thing about Vietnam, the combination of the command economy, Stalinist bureaucracy and a money free for all. Someone said that they are trying to build capitalism without the instruction manual. That's about right.

Had a fine drive through the coffee plantations. Off the joyless north-south Highway One the temperature drops, the traffic thins out to almost nothing and the people get all smiley. No tourists in days. The 10-foot plants line the highway. The brew comes short and fearsome, like the strongest espresso you've ever had, only stronger. It tastes like it has brandy in it. I was dizzy. Before ordering another.

In Delat I discovered a drawback of finding a hotel in the dark. You can't see the roof. I thought I was getting a dead good deal (5USD for en suite with breakfast), until morning time. The bloody thing isn't built yet is it? Thus siesta attempt was fruitless as hammer and axes tapped out an unrelentingly cheerless rhythm through the afternoon.

Liked Laos a lot, but aside from the quaint French built centre of Luang Probaang, there is not much here aside from hill villages. And the contradiction is starting to bug me. My hulk of expensive metal zooms through the pre-industrial villages; while the inhabitants look on open-mouthed, I get to feel smug. It's not healthy is it? I am an out of context problem that shouldn't hang around too long.

Cambodian roads are not as bad as everyone makes out. The trick is not to slow down; stay at the top of potholes and glide man, just glide. The half-built bridges are a bit of a laugh though. Angkor is just as they say however. Perfect with your own vehicle. Wind in hair; low yellow sun; bike purring; ancient jungle cities of stone all around. Oh yes, this works for me.

Cop tried to stop me on way back for doing a correct left turn at the traffic lights, instead of forcing my way across the minor road entrance blocking everyone's way. This seems to constitute dangerous driving. He jumped out into the middle of the road and furiously waved a battery-powered baton at me. It was like a toy version of what they wave aircraft down onto carriers with. Could hardly see the red plastic tip flash pathetically in the sun. Hilarious. I smiled his way and accelerated. He stepped aside astutely.

Now some time on the beach and a piston ring change will see me through the next few weeks before arranging transport to Australia. South East Asia has been the best."

Mika Kuhn and Damaris, Germany, around the world, in Argentina, on a Yamaha Tenere and a Honda XR200R

"Hola! It was just a short jump over the Pacific Ocean from Sydney to Buenos Aires by airplane and we are in SOUTH AMERICA and so much is different and new for us. Over the internet I had contacted the motorcycle club 'Motoloquesea' in Bs As, and the welcome they gave us was just unbelievable. Four bikers picked us up at the airport and everything was arranged for a comfortable stay. And as you know, the first impression will always stay. A big THANK YOU to Hueso and to all the other bikers we met in the three weeks in Bs As.

We spend three weeks in Bs As, mainly buying a bike for Damaris and getting it registered. I know after all the help we got from Yamaha Motors Argentina, we should have bought a Yamaha. They made us a special price for a new XT225, but we didn't have the money to buy a new bike. The bikers from Motoloquesea found a nearly new Honda XR200R (made in Brazil) with only 2000kms for an incredible low price, and they helped as well with all the paperwork to get it registered. So we bought the Honda and are now, after travelling more than 3.000 kms with it, still very happy with a good bike.

Argentina is at the moment in a difficult economical situation, the first time in ten years the peso is not connected to the US Dollar with a fixed rate. So the peso is losing its value since we arrived a month ago and people can't access their bank accounts as freely as they wish to. We could see a lot of people waiting outside of banks and exchange houses, and demonstrations against the government in downtown Bs As.

We left Bs As and all our friends on a sunny Saturday morning to start our journey in South America with our two bikes. The first day we went to Azul, about 300 kms to the South to visit 'La posta del viajero en moto', the place where nearly all bike travelers in South America stop for some time - some even for months. Jorge, the biker running this place, made us a warm welcome with an 'asado' (the big Argentinean BBQ) and a few beers. We stayed for three days and Damaris had her first off road adventure, as we went for a ride with the guys on Sunday.

Through the Pampas we continued down South to have a look at the sea lions on the peninsular Valdes and further down at Punto Tombo at the penguins. Against very strong winds we turned West to travel into the Andes. We arrived yesterday here in Bariloche after riding for 130kms in the cold rain and wind. A German biker had recommended a good Hostel and all of a sudden I met the American couple Chris and Erin Ratay again. We had met in Goa India in December 1999 and had irregular email contact since, they are traveling on two BMW F650 around the world. And of course we had a lot to talk about as we went for dinner together yesterday. This email I type on their laptop, thank you guys.

From here we plan to travel to Chile and than up North to Bolivia, Peru …, lets see where the wind blows us to. All the best to you, keep in touch, MIKA"

Grant March, Ireland, learning about snow in the USA, KLR650,

"Well when I reached LA from Dallas I turned right instead of left and that is why I am now in Seattle and not Central America. Oh well... you live and learn.

I met an old friend in LA and she and all of her friends and two of her neighbours were all in self help/support or personal development programmes of some kind. I managed to get myself involved with a girl there until she started telling me MY problems - which was basically why I was wasting my life motorcycling around the world and not doing high tech computer jobs.

I was really pleased to leave LA. But 50 miles out on Interstate 5 I felt that horrible wobble in the rear and sure enough I had another puncture. The stock suspension doesn't seem able to handle what I've got loaded up and when the rear tyre goes the bike is too low for me to use the side stand. There was no camber on the road to ameliorate this problem but luckily there was a kerb and I could lean the aluminium boxes onto the kerb and then got it on the side stand.

I thought I knew about changing tyres. However, this time I simply couldn't break the bead no matter what I did. It must have seemed crazy to these articulated trucks going over 75mph just a yard away from me to see a mad guy jumping up and down on his tyre. Eventually I figured out a way I could do it using the tyre levers to manipulate the tyre edge into the centre of the wheel. To cut a long story short I got 4 'punctures' in 2 days. One was me pinching the new tube. Another was a faulty patch. Not my favourite time.

On the way up the Oregon coast I heard that there was a hostel in Portland within walking distance of 4 Irish pubs. As a pseudo Irishman this sounded rather good. So I took a mountain pass heading inland. It started to snow. Then I saw a 4WD on its side - people were climbing in and out of the window, which was now facing skywards. But the road still didn't seem too bad and I kept going. Then I saw another car in the ditch. And another. When I'd seen 6 of then and had had a wobble on the bike (God knows how I didn't come off!) I decided to turn back - there was no way I'd make another 80 miles in this weather without coming a cropper. For a while it looked like I'd have to camp in the snow as the road back was just as bad as the road forward. Luckily after about half an hour the cars going my way created tracks, which I could relatively safely drive in."

Travellers: BMWGS Club UK wants to show YOUR story at the BMF Meeting!

Calling all BMW GS Travellers! Have you gone somewhere on your GS? Have an interesting story, pictures, whatever?

The GS Club UK, a purely loose group of GS riders of all models, colours, shapes, etc. with a membership of more than 600 members in the British Isles, the colonies and territories, is participating in the BMF Rally, arguably the biggest bikers Rally in Europe, in Peterborough, near Cambridge in the UK on May 18-19. Check our web site for details.

On the stand, we would like to have your pictures, text, memento's, or anything you can contribute to the event. Please contact me, Yosi.

C'mon adventurers, dig out those items you have and help us to spread the fame of the mighty BMW GS!


up to top of pagespacerBooks

Looking for a travel book for someone special? Go to our Books pages, where we have listed some of the best motorcycle travel books, as well as a number of BMW books, general motorcycle books, and travel guides.

There's links to Amazon USA, Amazon UK, and Amazon Deutschland, so no matter where you are - Canadians and Aussies order from Amazon USA;-) you can order books at great prices, and we'll make a dollar or a pound, which goes to supporting this e-zine.

There's also links to search Amazon sites for all their products, books, CDs etc., and yes, we get a tiny piece of that too. We really appreciate it when you start your book search from our website! Thanks for the support!

Book suggestions please!

If you have a book or want a book that you think other travellers would be interested in please let me know and I'll put it on the site. Thanks, Grant

up to top of pagespacerFunnies...

Ineffective Daily Affirmations - from the Freeman Institute - "Dealing With People Who Drive You Crazy!"

"Only a lack of imagination saves me from immobilising myself with imaginary fears.

I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper and complain.

I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around me.

I honor my personality flaws, for without them I would have no personality at all.

My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of good judgement."

up to top of pagespacerQuotable Quotes...

"Let us so live life that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry."
Mark Twain

"Life is hard. It's even harder if you're stupid."

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you."
Francis Roberts

up to top of page Some nice comments...

"I have long wondered how in the hell you guys have survived on goodwill and free air. The new idea of receiving some financial support is long overdue. What you do for the motorcycle adventure community is priceless. You are entitled to some income to support all that you do. My check will be in the mail this afternoon. I am, unfortunately, now too old for adventuring. At age 70 I simply ride on hard road trips and read your website. But Lord it was fun riding through Mexico with my daughter and all over Europe before bikes became so popular." James Brosman, USA

"You've probably heard this before, but thanks for the superb site - it has made the planning task so much easier - especially the 'bits round the edges' -Russia to Japan, Carnets, etc. I tell you one thing you've missed on your site - something to help people with the task of "closing down life" before going away. Maybe some checklists, and advice on how to clean the house before renting. I am knackered before I've even started prepping the bike.

Later: "On lists for pre-trip prep - I'll see if I can adapt the lists I have into something generic over the next few weeks - that will put something back into the community. Definitely a task for a late night session." Simon McCarthy, UK, leaving soon for an around the world trip

"Hola amiga mia(?),Si quieres apprender algo del mundo de motoviajes, aqui hay mucho informacion." Porter Watson

My girlfriend and I are going to leave on a RTW trip in December or January. Horizons Unlimited provided us with invaluable information in the preparation for the trip and we are really looking forward to contribute at our turn during the next 3 years." Pierre Saslawsky, USA

"I enjoyed reading the story that lead off this month's newszine so much that I want to share it with the upper grade students in my school. Talk about suspense and adventure! Great piece of writing." Laura Thompson

"Geeft inspiratie!" Mathieu Stuyven, Belgium

"Love the website. See you down the road. Keep the shiny side up." Jim Branscom, USA

"Thanks a lot for all the info again again and again. Your site is so good, really really helpful and friendly. I'll be in touch RTW to share info. Take care, safe travels." Vincent Danna, France, leaving soon

"If you don't already have a free e-mail subscription to this great world-traveler biker site, I recommend that you check it out. Contains some good ideas about riding long-distance in other countries (especially Asia & Africa). Live to ride!" Fred Skala

"looke un peu ce site !!!!!!!" Michel Dentone

Your monthly ezine is something I look forward to every month. It is always hugely interesting." Peter Mellor, Norfolk, UK

"Thank you again for all your excellent information we got from you when we were on our 10 month fireland/ alaska trip!!! See you" Carola Dietler and Reto Scheller, Switzerland

"Thanks have one of the best sites on the net and definitely the best site on the net for the world tourer. I wish you both the best...we are all 'just passin' thru." Claude Stanley, USA

"Thank you for a wonderful site, it probably was the main ingredient in our trip coming from dream to reality. The forum is the best I have been on." Jason Smith, UK, currently in Libya

"Hi! Your website is without any doubt the most interesting and hottest one on the entire web. Finding it was even more exciting than finding my new bike:-) (650 Dominator). Until yesterday, me and my friend thought we were the only ones in this world that had figured out the meaning of life. Reading "Why? by James Richmond" was like reading my own mind. And now after reading about you guys maybe I even want to live after 30. Thank you for being who you are! Keep the spirit alive!!!" Ragnar Lindén

Well, Ragnar, we're not sure how to respond to that, but you're welcome!

up to top of page Your Privacy

Please be assured that we will NOT under any circumstances, rent, lease, sell, or give out our mailing list, and/or your name and e-mail address, to anyone for whatever purpose. Your privacy is assured, and personally guaranteed.

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ISSN 1703-1397 Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' Ezine - Copyright 1999-2002, Horizons Unlimited and Grant and Susan Johnson. All rights reserved.

REDISTRIBUTION is allowed, indeed encouraged, but other than the following requirements, only with permission. You may forward copies of the Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' e-zine by forwarding it yourself by hand. You must forward the issue in its entirety, no fee may be involved. Please suggest they Subscribe!

Legal gibberish disclaimer: (particularly for those in countries that have more lawyers in one town, just for instance, New York, not to name any names, than some whole countries, as another example, Japan. Again, not naming anybody specifically you understand) Recommendations are based on positive or negative experiences of somebody, somewhere. Your mileage (kilometrage if you insist) may vary. We are not responsible in any way for any product or service mentioned, and do not warrant any such mentioned product or service, and are not responsible for any bad things that may befall you. You are responsible for yourself! Act accordingly. We check all links and information given as close as possible to publication, and all info is correct as best we can determine at that time.

up to top of pagespacerNew Prizes!

March's prizes were for the Slogan Poll. The winner by a significant margin was: "One world, two wheels", contributed by Pierre Saslawsky. Pierre won a Gold Member long-sleeve t-shirt with his slogan on it!

Honourable mentions (and Member T-shirts with their slogans) went to Steve Braun, for "7 continents, 2 wheels, 1 home", and Claude Stanley for "We may not know where we are, but we ain't lost".

Remember, all of the above slogans and more are available with the new logo, on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, mugs, mousepads, totebags and other products from the Horizons Souk.

We're giving away prizes every month from a drawing of folks recommending us to others, or contributing useful information to the site, either via the HUBB, or Shipping Form or other info of interest to travellers. We particularly are looking for information for the Trip Planning section. Examples include, in the Where and When section: Country info, Weather, Road conditions, Border crossings, Paperwork, What to see, etc. Under Equipment: your suggested Packing Lists, Packing techniques, etc.

Here's what you get to choose from when YOU win!

Choose from A:

A T-shirt with the new Horizons Unlimited logo and your choice of slogan.

or B:

Dr. Gregory Frazier, round the world traveller and author extraordinaire, has very generously contributed a FREE book (or video) a month.

Gregory Frazier's books:

-New Zealand By MC
-MC S*x, or 'Freud would never understand the relationship between me and my motorcycle'
-Alaska by Motorcycle
-Europe by Motorcycle
-Poems by the biker Poet
-Two Wheel Wanderlust (NTSC Video)
-Motorcycling To Alaska, (NTSC Video)

Visit Gregory's website, find out more about these great titles, and have a look at some of his many other books and videos, there's sure to be one you can use.

Thanks Greg!

The Fine Print: Free shipping is included with the winning prize. Local Taxes and Duties, if any, are not included, sorry.

up to top of pagespacerShorts...

Martin Rooiman and Jeannette Boom, Netherlands, in Vietnam,

"We contacted Hamish (Saigon Community) by email and although there is nothing he can do for us (yet!) we agreed on meeting each other when we arrive in Saigon. So the Community thing really works!!"

March 5 - "today we were finally able to pickup our parts from Da Nang airport. Instead of what we were told they didn't arrive last Saturday but today, so we were for nothing at the airport yesterday. We confirmed the arrival of the parts first by phone before heading to the airport. Around 11 am. We picked up the papers but had to wait then until 2 pm. before Customs opened up. They inspected the bearings and rear tyre and when we had to pay I showed them my carnet to show them we were not really importing the parts. Because the included papers mentioned my registration number identical to the one mentioned in the carnet I finally managed to get all the parts free of charge! We only had to pay 1000 Dong for handling costs of the shipping agent, 3000 Dong for customs forms (2 copies) and 7000 Dong for handling costs of Customs. Total 11000 Dong equals USD 0.75. We had changed some money to be prepared to pay the Customs taxes but now we have to spend this money for beer.

Tomorrow we're putting the bike back together and then can't wait to hit the road again. We have to extend our visa as it runs out in a couple of days but we don't care as long we can keep on driving. All the best and thanks anyone for all the support and advice we had from everyone, we really appreciated it!!

More stories from Martin's travels in the Horizons Unlimited Travellers' Stories pages.

Chris and Erin Ratay, USA, around the world, in Argentina, two BMW F650's,

"...lots of overlanders passing to and fro. Met a Belgian guy the other day working on his R100GS with sidecar and dog. After 2 days of chatting, we concluded that we met almost 3 years ago in Morocco, on the first week of our trip. We both looked different, and he was on a R11GS, without dog and sidecar, but with a cute girl. A couple of weeks ago, bumped into Mika Kuhn on a rainy day in a hostel in Bariloche. Last saw Mika in India around Xmas 1999, and he just walked into the hostal the other day! Small world, eh?

People in Argentina continue to treat us very well (see Chap 93/94), but economic situation is finally taking it's toll. The Belgian rider (Marc) was in the middle of a 3-1 fight/mugging just after dark when I realised it was him and came in blasting the horn and yelling vulgarities (in English). Everyone stopped, and the three guys backed away -- Marc was doing quite well against the 2, but the third would have been too much. They were going for his bum bag. The following night I witnessed an attempted pickpocket in the CBD of Mendoza. People are getting desperate! Will be interesting to see what happens this weekend Samana Santa (Easter), when all the Chilenos come over for holiday, but this time THEY have the money!

With the peso plummeting, Argentina is the most expensive and cheapest country we have visited in South America. Ride safe, ride far, ride often, Erin & Chris Ratay"

Sjaak Lucassen, Netherlands, second around the world trip, in Democratic Republic of Congo, on Yamaha R1,

"We finally made it through hell! This was by far the most difficult thing I ever did in my life. It took its toll, for the R1 and me. The bike cracked its carter? twice, has no more petrol pump so I have to fill up every 5 liters, no more mirrors after plenty of falls, and so on and so on. I broke the big toe in my right foot and twisted the ankle badly. The doctor wanted to put it in a cast. I told him that it's to difficult to drive with a foot like that.

"No you can not drive," he told me with a face of unbelieving.

He ordered me to take x-rays for it. But why spend money on that if you're not planning to follow the orders. So I never went back to him and continue with pain. I changed my plan a little bit because of all the damage on the bike. I go now, from Lubumbashi D.R.C., directly to South Africa, repair the bike and go then via Swaziland to Mozambique.

That's it for this time. Greetings, Sjaak.

Marcel Burkard, and Beat "Sanchoz" Gisler, Switzerland, Africa Twin and R80GS, the America's, in Chile,

"You've not heard from us for quite a while. We're still going strong. After an excursion off our itinerary to Foz do Iguacu, we travelled thru Paraguay and the North of Argentina. From Salta we crossed Paso de Sico to San Pedro de Atacama. In the meantime we arrived in Uyuni after a troublesome two days on the Salar near Ollague (at the Chilean border to Bolivia). We almost got stuck for good in knee-deep mud (according to locals it had been raining quite heavily about two weeks ago). On the railway track my bike (Honda Africa Twin 650, 1988) had a breakdown. It's being fixed by the only "taller de moto" here in Uyuni (Don Angel, "El Suenitos"). Apparently it's the clutch discs. El Suenitos can fix it but says it would only last for another 2,000 km. Hence I should like to find a Honda dealer before I'm stuck in another desert with a dead horse, so to speak.

To cut the long story short (Inquiry): Where in Bolivia can I get Honda spare parts? If not possible: where should spare parts to be sent to Bolivia be ordered? Lima? Santiago de Chile?"

Ed. We gave him the info we had, but he sorted it out - there's always a way to get things done in out-of-the-way places;

"Thanks for your prompt reply. My bike is being fixed today by the only motorcycle mechanic in Uyuni (Don Angel "el Suenitos"). Spare parts (the clutch discs) arrived today from Oruru. So we're doing just fine and should be ready to continue our trip tomorrow. Potosi, Sucre, Cochabamba and La Paz are next. From La Paz we intend to go down the Yungas. In about three weeks we expect to cross the border to Peru."

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - check out the HU Souk for t-shirts, hats and other products with the new logo and a variety of slogans!


Check out t-shirts and other goodies at the HU Souk. Support your favorite website!Check out t-shirts and other goodies at the HU Souk. Support your favorite website!Check out t-shirts and other goodies at the HU Souk. Support your favorite website!

Thanks! Grant and Susan

Dorothea and Rene Landsee, Germany, round the world, in Australia, on two BMW R80 G/S's,

"G'day mates! ...coming from tropical Malaysia to Perth (West Australia) 5 weeks ago we had a little bit of a struggle to get the bikes out of the port and to adapt us to the brightness of the land sky and beaches.

What helped was the hospitality of an Anglo-Australian family (Eric, Anne and Henry Jennings) and the very helpful BMW club of West Australia. These people send us, as soon as we get the bikes tuned, to various places of the south west (with on following invitations!) and the people of the partner bike club (Vintage Club of Albany). All these people were very nice, gave us free accommodation, sightseeing tours (incl. boat tours) and beer!

On this occasion we say thanks a lot to them!

Now we prepare to leave for the north of Australia, to see more beaches, gorges, bush and the Kimberleys. Also we have to extend our carnets de passage and our visas in Darwin in 5 weeks time.

Australia is great and hard its sunrays, Dorothea und Rene"

Rik Blocksidge, UK, to Australia, in India, BMW,

"Changelings wiring went up in smoke - very unnerving as I could not stop it as it was in the part which is live all the time! I Will be able to make repair as the only damage is to haz light's but will have to go through all wires looking for damage, this takes time.

I am with an English couple called Chris & Kirsten, we are at Bhilar... It's near Mahabaleshwar (which is a hill station) between NH17 & NH 50.

I had a bad day getting very lost & hot in Pune, but the west Area AA MD took pity on me letting me use the AA's flat to cool off & have a wash. At the same time Chris & Kirsten were also in Pune, but Chris got hit by a car but did not come off. I meet them at the side of the road the first European biker's I had come across.

We had planned to meet for a ride out the following day. As I pulled up the next day, Changeling went up in smoke! So I had help to put out the fire. We made the wiring safe & pushed started her, she fired up with the first half turn of her wheel... this all took three hours, in the midday sun, lot's of people stopped to offer help!"

Lew Waterman (and Punky), USA, North and South America, in Peru, KLR 650,

"We are in Lima, Peru. We have made many new friends, seen countless miles of amazing scenery, and enjoyed the ride touring The Americas. The most amazing experience of this adventure, so far, occurred in Lima, Peru. After getting a piston and rings meltdown (my fault not the KLR's) repaired in Lima, we rode to the enchanting city of Cusco and visited the ancient Inca ruins at Machu Picchu.

Achi, a friendly señorita I met in Lima, flew to Cusco to visit me. She flew back to Lima after 2 days together that knocked my socks off. I decided to postpone the tour of the rest of South America and pursue Achi in earnest. Driven by an incredibly powerful obsession, we rode for 3 days through rain, freezing cold temps at high elevation in the Andes, snow, dirt, mud and numerous water crossings back to Lima. I have leased a nice $300/month furnished apartment in the Miraflores district for the next 8 months. If our relationship continues to progress as I expect, we will be married in October. In November, when the weather will be much improved down south, Punky & Lew & Achi TOO will continue the tour of South America together. We will then choose a Latin American country in which to live. Life is good, VERY GOOD. I am not religious, but Achi, 32, beautiful and incredibly loving, is the closest thing to a miracle I, a geezer of 64, have ever experienced. I know that many of our friends have been praying for us. Maybe there is a God? If this is a dream, please don't wake me. Later, amigos. Punky & Lew & Achi TOO"

up to top of pagespacerReally Shorts...

Martin Jensz, and Boxy, Australia, California to South America, in Ecuador, KTM LC4's,

"...Monday we rode to the equator which lies 22 km north of Quito, we spoke nicely to the security who then allowed us to take our bikes up to photograph them in front of the monument on the line. Unfortunately the data gathered was accidentally deleted from the cameras memory stick along with about 12 other photos...

...due to recent mudslides, the road had been washed away leaving gaps up to 50 meters across and almost as deep. No warning sign or roadblocks made discovering these hazards frightfully nerve racking...

'"The work on your bikes is done for free for travellers, its company policy " - Management at Bike dealership in Quito'"

Thomas Ochsenkühn, and Jochen Polak, Germany, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, in Peru,

"In Peru at present ... people are friendly and the weather is super... the high country, where we at present are. I became acquainted with a nice girl in Huanchaco Beach approx. 14 days ago and spent a beautiful time with her there. Jochen"

Angela Brandl, Germany, around the world, in New Zealand,

"arrived 11 March in Auckland from Australia, heading to the South Island."

Andy Miller, UK, around the world? in Australia, KTM Adventure,

"Things could so easily change re me coming to Alaska. The main reason is my relying on someone in NZ who runs a shipping company. His name is Hamish. I was due to sail with one of his ships on the 19 April. This ship has since been sold but I have since had another email from him saying there is another ship coming on line and he will let me know asap.

In my ride up the Great Alpine rd this morning I thought if I can't ride the bike to Canada I could possibly get a flight -NZ to Canada and then home while the bike goes home via sea, but as I say it could all change. I am on my way to Sydney to see if I can get some joy by walking around some shipping companies so will keep you posted. Cheers Andy"

up to top of pagespacerSeen on the road...

In Melbourne Australia, by Ralph Green and the Melbourne Community,

"Here's the Melbourne gossip. Angela Brandl (Germany), Michael Meier (Germany) passed through Melbourne recently while Connor Carson (UK) has taken up short term residence and some employment to assist with finances.

Connor Carson and Angela Brandl, photo from Ralph Green

Michael returned from NZ (where his bike was crated for shipping to Germany) to experience the Australian Formula 1 GP before flying home. Angela spent a few days in Melbourne (including also the F1) allowing time for us to assist in crating her bike (pictured) for the sailing to NZ. Her plans are to then go to Japan before attempting the trans-siberian route back to Europe.

Travelling horizonistas are always welcome to get in touch with the Melbourne community via the community page."

up to top of pagespacerLeaving soon, or just left...

Gregory Frazier, USA, around the world for the fourth time, Kawasaki KLR650,

"'Let The Good Times Roll,' around the world again. My 4th global circumnavigation began in March, 2002. This time I have switched brands of motorcycles to a Kawasaki KLR650. The 'Good Times' people at Kawasaki provided a KLR for a series of three articles in a USA magazine, Motorcycle Consumer News (March-May, 2002), a product review and testing publication. My assignment was to make the KLR ready for a 'long ride,' similar to my previous three rides around the world. When the motorcycle was finished I decided to take it on a quick loop around the globe to see if the modifications were necessary and correct.

In mid-March the KLR went into a shipping container in Orlando, Florida, after Bike Week, for a slow trip across the Atlantic. I will reconnect with it in Germany. In the meantime, with helmet in hand, I have dropped into Cuba for some motorcycle research and adventure in the land of Revolution and cigars.

After reuniting with the KLR I will ride four continents in just under three months. With a good group of sponsors, numerous friends, some magazine assignments, luck and prayers, I will ride at least 30,000 kilometers before returning to the Big Horn Mountains of Montana. My adventure will be chronicled at my Horizons Unlimited website under "What's New." For those interested in the KLR specifically, and how it compared to a BMW R80 G/S and a F650GS Dakar, you can find my technical postings here as I move around the globe."

Tiberio Jaramillo (and friends), Colombia, to Alaska, leaving soon... hopefully...

"Too bad we cannot make your meeting, in our schedule we may be in Vancouver at the end of June or first part July, right now we are waiting for visas and having problems with México visa, we may have to postpone our trip one or two weeks, regulation for Colombians visiting México are very tight, the last word from the consulate was that it takes time but that they recommend us for the special visa.

Ted (Simon) and I went for a ride in the near valley of Medellin. We want Ted to fly his bike to Panama, we are going to call Girag at Bogota in order to find out what kind of papers have to be filled, in order to ship his bike. Now we have other problem, asking for how to send Ted's bike to Panama, we asked about us sending the bikes to Panama, the answer was, if you are traveling with the carnet, you must leave the county by land or boat, not on airplane, (this is for Colombians), you have been here and you understand the laws. Oh, this one is nice, Colombians can take the bike on an airplane only if they are taking the bike in the same plane, not allowed to send the bike as a cargo. I thought the borders were going to be difficult, now is the other way around, I hope to meet Ricardo somewhere in C. America, I will take a bit of time to get in touch with him.
Saludos. Tiberio."

And you thought you had border crossing troubles - Tiberio is having trouble leaving his home country!

Ricardo Rocco Paz, Ecuador, "Around the World for Peace,"

Heading north, "leaving from Ecuador mid April, will be up there (Vancouver) sometime during the summer." Ed. Ricardo's going to try to make it for our meeting.

Kevin and Julia Sanders, UK, Around the World - in 18,661 miles (29858kms) and in 21 DAYS, R1150GS,

"Remember us - Kevin and Julia Sanders (now married!) - a couple of years ago, we sent you tales from the road when we travelled two-up on a 1989 BMW R80GS around Central and South America for 7 months. We are leaving on 11 May and are aiming to break the World record for the Fastest Circumnavigation of the World by Motorcycle. Riding a modified BMW R1150GS, we will be trying to take 10 days off the current record. (Nick Sanders, 31 days.) This time, we have a dedicated website to our ride, so rather than tell you all about it, go to and find out all about what we are up to. The site has diary updates about our long preparations and just before we leave it will be linked through to our satellite tracker fitted on the bike and you will be able to track our progress on-line. Hope you find it interesting!

...I am sure the gut reaction from most long distance motorbike travellers is to say - 'what is the point? you don't get to see / do anything relating to the countries you are in'. I suppose for this ride, the point isn't travelling in it's purest sense. It is an endurance ride, clocking up hard miles over long hours, and we wanted to see how we can work as rider and pillion in these circumstances.

...After this, then we will plan something more relaxed over a couple of years. Every time we get the e-zine we feel sick with envy at all the photos and the memories of the good old days. Perhaps you should do a 'where are they now / what are they doing now?' section! Cheers Kevin and Julia"

Ed. See the new section: Whatever Happened To... after Home Again.

Iris Heiremans and Trui Hanoulle, Belgium, 2nd overland from home to India, April-October 2002, now on DR650SE's

"Iris and I leave on April 1st, again towards the East. Travel schedule: At friends in Brescia (Italy) where we'll also meet Trui's sister-with-husband-Andrea. Boat from Venice to Igoumenitsa in Greece. Overland to Turkey (no Istanbul). Iran, Pakistan, Ladakh (Northern-India). August: decision for the return journey: either overland, or we fly + motorbikes are shipped (or motorbikes fly too)

We focus mainly on the 'exploration' of Northern Pakistan and Northern India (Ladakh) - depending obviously on the local situation of the moment. Of course we'll arrange a solid party upon our return. Salaam aleikum and salaam bombay. Iris and Trui"

Anthony Griffin, UK, heading for South America and Australia, XT600,

"I'm shipping my bike to Valparaiso, Chile. Everything I've read indicates I don't need a Carnet if not shipping to Ecuador or Argentina. I spoke to the AA in England and they 'suggested' I don't need a Carnet for Chile. I have sent e-mails to the Chilean AA but no response. I was contacted today by the shipping agent in Chile and has asked for my Carnet author and number! I will be travelling to Australia in September and will need a Carnet so am contemplating just getting one earlier and extending after 12 months if required (I don't know if this will be more costly) but time is running out as I fly out 31st March. What do you think. If you can offer any advice I'd be grateful.

Thanks again for the website. Without it I would be months off getting my trip underway."

Ed. We advised Tony that the agent would happily use the carnet if he had one, (and would like it because it means less paperwork for him,) but it wasn't necessary. We look forward to his stories from the road!

Paul Narramore, UK, Coast-to-Coast Trip - Vancouver to Toronto, PanEuropean,

"In May I shall be riding 'my dream' from Vancouver, across the US ending up in Toronto. Yet I'm really humbled at the incredible journeys I've read about in your tremendous site. As we fly out from Gatwick with the Pan safely stored in the back, we'll be wondering "what on earth have we let ourselves in for?"

Anyway I have set up a community website, partly to discuss my lifelong interest in bikes (even though I loath the term 'biker'), our plans for the Coast-to-Coast trip, and to be a sort of diary of the journey, adding stories whenever we come across internet cafes.

I'll be adding your super website to mine, I'd be happy if you'd do the same. Paul"

Werner Zwick, Germany, South and North America in stages, in Germany heading for Panama, Transalp,

"after one week of consideration, my new boss agreed today to my vacation (24.4. - 25.5.) today. Great , now I can plan the Panama- Dallas trip in detail."

up to top of pagespacerHome again...

Steve Raucher, South Africa, around the world, R1150GS,

"I am hanging up my suit and crating up my bike, I need a break from travel and will be moving back to the UK shortly. Will keep you informed."

up to top of pagespacerWhatever happened to...

In response to popular demand for information about those intrepid travellers of yesteryear, we've started this section.

Patrick Lüth and Lorenz Kerer, Austria, Indonesia to Austria, on BMW R100GS Paris/Dakars,

"impressions of transasia - Finally we did it. The impressions we had, an image of Asia, seen through our eyes and stories, that made our journey. A slide-show for our families, friends and all, who are interested, in a ten month motorcycle adventure in Asia. We'll meet on Tuesday, the 16th of April 2002, 8.00 p.m. in the hypo - saal in Innsbruck. Hope to see you soon. Lorenz and Patrick"

Rob and Dafne de Jong, Netherlands, around the world, on Yamaha with sidecar,

"After 5 months the storm in our heads has eased, but the silence that is there now is not too nice either. Coming back home has been like crossing a border every day. One can be rather nice, the other can take two days (or three weeks) and be very stressful. Yes, we are still homeless (shame on our country), but love to (illegally) stay in this little pigsty. We do have one new e-mail address. The old ones will be closed down from April 24th. Greeting and a smile, Rob and Dafne de Jong Ride-on World Tour"

up to top of pagespacerTravellers Community News...

From Michael Meier, a traveller's thank you to the Horizons Unlimited Community

"Hi Grant! I just want say thanks! To you for the great idea to create the Horizons Community! To the Melbourne Community. They offered me help in every way! Specifically to Ralph and Mary Ann for the hospitality. I could stay there and they loaned me a bike, as my bike was on the ship! To the Wellington Community. There I could stay with James and Andre, an 'old' travelmate. Thanks to you all for the great time. Michael"

Michael Meier and Angela Brandl, photo from Ralph Green

There are 133 Communities in over 50 countries running already. A big thanks to all those who took the first step and established the Community in their area. Latest additions are Aachen Germany, (covers the "Euregio" region), Seattle USA, Xalapa Mexico, Bodrum Turkey, Southampton UK and Osijek Croatia!

For details on how you can join, or use the Community to get information and help, or just meet people on the road or at home, go to the Community page.

Send me some photos - with captions please - and a little text and you can have a webpage about your Community! A few links to webpages about your area would be useful too.

Community Travellers Meetings 2002,

The Second Annual Horizons Unlimited UK Travellers Meeting is June 14-16. See HUBB for details.

The First Horizons Unlimited B.C., Canada Travellers Meeting is May 25-26 in the Nairn Falls National Park near Pemberton, BC, Canada. Check out the thread on the HUBB if you wish to contribute or attend.

The First Horizons Unlimited Ontario, Canada Travellers Meeting is July 11-14 at the BMWMOA Rally in Trenton Ontario, where we will also be presenting slide shows. Check out the thread on the HUBB if you wish to contribute or attend.

Have you thought about a 'Horizons Unlimited MC Travellers Meeting' in your Community area? I'd like to see at least one a year on every continent - I think there is enough interest, it's just a (small ;) matter of doing it! It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, just a get-together at an interesting location. Let me know what you think - we'll do all we can to support you and your Community.

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up to top of pagespacerIn Progress...

I am working on a listing of people who have ridden around the world, as well as what I call 'significant journeys' e.g. the first across Africa. Any information you may have on this topic, please let me know. Preferably e-mail me direct. I currently have information on over 100 world travellers listed, but there are many more. See Bernd Tesch's page for more. Bernd lists around 245 long distance travellers. And there's at least 20 enroute to an around the world. Have YOU done it? Let me know!

up to top of pagespacerFinal thoughts...

We hope you've enjoyed this issue, and do please let us know your thoughts. It's your newsletter, so tell us what you want to know about!

It is not the unknown, but the fear of it, that prevents us from doing what we want...

Riding the globe...

Grant and Susan Johnson

Live the dream! at:

All text and photographs are copyright © Grant and Susan Johnson and their respective authors or creators, 1987-2002.

All Rights Reserved.

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