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Riding the globe...

Horizons Unlimited
Motorcycle Travellers'

in cooperation with
Quality Touring equipment worldwide.

Are you a TRAVELLER? Are you interested in riding in gooey black clay, over-the-handlebars face-plants, land mines and torture centers in Cambodia, mosquito infested swamps, snipers hanging from trees in Colombia, the Yukon river crossing, men with Kalashnikovs in Pakistan, Afghan Black Gold, Sufi dancing, robbed at gunpoint by guerillas in Guatemala and much more...?

Then you're reading the right newsletter!

In this e-zine:

Calendar, Events
Community News
Final Thoughts
Helpful People
Home Again
In Progress...
Leaving Soon
New Links
Repair Shops on the

Travellers Community
Who Are They?
Your Privacy

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Motorcycle Travellers' News Report

55th Edition, August 2005

Welcome to the 55th Edition of the newsletter. This newsletter is a short one, but we did want to catch up and give you an update. Just like last time, Grant is in Vancouver and Susan is in London, but we will be reunited again very soon. Since the last newsletter, the USA East, UK and USA West (Colorado) meetings have all been held. Grant was at all of them, Susan only managed to get to the UK meeting, which set a new record with over 300 people!

We did sell the house, and confronted the challenge of moving from a 4 bedroom house in Canada to a 2 bedroom furnished flat in London. Susan went back for 2 weeks in early August to help sort stuff into Sell, Store and Ship piles. We had a massive garage sale which actually took place in the house, sold all the furniture and appliances, filled a 10 x 20 storage locker and still have over 100 boxes (including the bike) coming from Canada. Yikes! Obviously we have accumulated way too much stuff for nomads ;-)

So the movers have come and gone and Grant is now homeless, staying with relatives, with only his laptop. Those who don't know us might think this is a heartless thing to do to a man, to sell his house and workshop out from under him, but we decided that it would be better for our relationship if we lived together again, and so London it is. He'll be over in mid-September, and we plan a get together with the HU London community end of September.

Meanwhile, he will be at the Canada West meeting in Nelson, BC on September 9-11, where he will give his 'How YOU can do it' presentation. On that note, we hope to have the video from the presentation that we both did at the HU UK meeting available sometime this autumn, so folks who haven't been able to get to a meeting where it's been presented can see it, complete with Q&A from the audience.

So life has been hectic. We didn't get the site redesign completed, although it's much closer. More on this once Grant is back online.

As I said, it's a short newsletter, but there are some great stories from our intrepid travellers in Guatemala, Laos, Cambodia, Pakistan, Colombia, Iran, the 'stans, Russia and Nepal to tide you over until the next issue, and we'll try to get on a regular schedule this autumn.

Also check out the latest (USA) Rider magazine for a very nice story on Horizons Unlimited!


Photo Contest deadline extended to September 6, 2005.

We want your photos! For the Portugal 2005 Travellers Meeting, and for a calendar we plan to have available for 2006!

They will be displayed in the theater in Porto, Portugal, where the Meeting will be held. Prizes to be announced. If used in the calendar, you will receive a portion of the proceeds. More details and sign up here.

The Horizons Unlimited Traveller's Meeting Video

...presents an overview of the events and presentations of the 2005 Colorado Traveller's Meeting, in Buena Vista, Colorado.

Narrated by Grant Johnson, this DVD provides the viewer with a sampling of the events from one of the nine Traveller's Meetings held around the world—perfect for anyone interested in learning about the benefits of attending a Traveller's Meeting, or learning more about long distance motorcycle travel.

DVD Highlights include:

• Interviews with Grant Johnson (Horizons Unlimited), Chris & Erin Ratay (Ultimate Journey), and many others...
• Extracts of Presentations on off-road riding techniques, tips on travel photography, travel stories through South Africa, South America, and more...
• Running time: 45-minutes
• $14.99 if you order before September 15, 2005, thereafter add $3.00 for shipping.

Click here to view the trailer and to order.


How to contribute

As always, thanks to all our generous supporters for helping us to keep going. For those who haven't yet contributed, or haven't recently contributed, here's all the ways you can help!

Become a Member - Support HU via PayPal

Sign-up to PayPal

Can't/Don't want to use electronic payment? Support HU via Snail Mail

Start your planning with travel books at the Horizons Unlimited books page, and use the Amazon search function for your region to look for what you want. Don't forget to visit the Souk for sweatshirts, mugs, boxer shorts and much more.

If you know anyone who should be advertising with us (anyone who sells motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transports motorcycles, organizes motorcycle tours, or has motorcycles to rent should be advertising), please let us know or send them to our Advertising page with your recommendation.

It's our advertisers, sponsors and product sales that make it possible for us to make the website and e-zine available to you. We hope you'll check out their products and services and if you plan to buy these products, do it from our site or links. If you do use the services of one of our advertisers/supporters, we hope you'll let them know that you're buying from them because of their support for HU - and of course that they have a great product or service! :)


If you've had problems receiving the e-zine due to spam filters or insufficient bandwidth, remember you can subscribe to the 'Notice' edition instead of the full HTML version. The Notice edition is a short, straight text message that contains a URL to bring you to the full text on the website. Because the Notice email is so small, it downloads in a flash, and leaves your mailbox uncluttered. Change to the Notice version here.

We now have an Syndicate this Channel RSS feed for the e-zine and all the travellers' blogs. If you're not sure what that's all about, there's a great RSS guide here, or a more detailed one here, and an RSS Q and A here.

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, and it won't cost you anything.

This newsletter is provided as a complimentary service for travellers everywhere, both on the road and (temporarily of course ;-) off. Your support is greatly appreciated.

your editors, Grant and Susan Johnson, (about us, contact us)

up to top of pagespacerHorizons Unlimited Travellers Meetings...

Horizons Unlimited Travellers Meetings 2005 - time to plan ahead!

There are still 5 meetings left this year, including Western Canada, Portugal, Mexico, Australia and Argentina, so plenty of opportunity to get to at least one meeting. Grant will be at the Western Canada and Mexico meetings. If you haven't been to one, why not? If you have been you know why it's worth going!

It's a great experience, different from any other motorcycle event, described as a ...uniquely typical travellers atmosphere that's an odd ball combination of mellow, and tail wagging enthusiasm. Make 2005 the year to get to one, two or more events and meet your fellow travellers!

Route planning at the HU UK 2004 meeting.

Route planning at an HU meeting. Photo by Harvey and Lisa

If you are planning on coming to one of the meetings, please register early. Also let us know if you'd like to show a few slides from one of your trips too - it doesn't have to be a fancy multimedia presentation, a few slides and a few words about the area is great. Length can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes.

From Brian Coles, who presented at the HU UK 2005 meeting:

... Since attending the 2003 meeting a month before I set out to 'do the Americas,' I feel that I have now come full circle by presenting a slideshow of my trip at Derby. It was an incredible feeling to have achieved my first public presentation. The thanks I received afterwards made it extra special. The HU meetings are unique in size and atmosphere. Everyone is friendly and more than willing to help, whatever the question. I felt that when I started the trip in 2003, and I felt that this weekend when I then presented it. I can recommend presenting your 'trip of a lifetime' to anyone that has been out there and done it. Thanks to you, Susan and all the organisers, Brian

We have added breakout sessions to all meetings for 2005. There will be sheets of paper to post up that anyone can write on and say:

-Breakout session on Crossing the Sahara table 6 at dinner - 8 people max - sign up here
-Breakout session on Airhead gearboxes table 4 at lunch - 10 people max - sign up here

So what do you want to talk about? Come prepared!

For the Saturday afternoon (for most meetings) we are also adding even more prepared seminars on all subjects, and looking for more volunteers to lead them. Tech subjects such as tire changing, travel prep on documentation, health, packing the bike and anything else anyone wants to talk about are all of interest. You don't need to be an expert, just have done it! Let us know if you can help!

Motorcycle Rentals for Mexico now available!

Oscar Calderon of Mexico Motorcycle Adventures has arranged to have two BMW F650GS's available for rental during the Meeting, exclusively for our use. So if you want to ride your street bike down, and have a great dual-purpose bike available to ride the amazing Canyon, here's your chance!

Oscar says: We can make arrangements to have the bikes on site as early as 15 days before the HU event and as long as needed after the event.

See the Mexico Meeting page for details.

See the Meetings page for more details on all events.

See you there! Grin!

Grant and Susan.


Tips on setting up a motorcycle for third world travel, packing lists, and more. Tire repair tools - Trail Irons - titanium tire iron/axle wrench combo!



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.

Horizons Unlimited Travellers' Meetings:

Lots of HU Travellers Meetings planned for 2005 - check them out to see if there's one near you - and if there isn't... well, you're a traveller, right?

Western Canada, Fourth Annual Meeting, Nelson BC, Canada, September 9-11 2005

Portugal, Third Annual Meeting, September 22-25, 2005.

Australia, September 30 - October 2, 2005

Copper Canyon, Creel, Mexico, MID-week - Oct 11 - 14, 2005

Viedma, Argentina, Third Annual Meeting, December 8-11, 2005

Note: Grant will be at all the North American Meetings.


Other Events of Interest:

Motorrad Reise Treffen Gieboldehausen, Germany, 04 Sep 2005.

Always a good event, well worth going.

BMW Motor Club Vlaanderen Meeting, Ardennes, 30 Sep - 2 Oct 2005

Borzée – La-Roche-en-Ardennes, Belgium. For details, check their website or Tel. 00/32/53/80.81.58 or e-mail:
secretariaat @

Last chance?

New York City's world famous Guggenheim Museum has hosted much of the world's fine art in the four plus decades of it's existence, but none has been more popular than the 1998 exhibit of The Art of the Motorcycle

It was literally a Blockbuster, with lines four abreast going around several of New York City`s blocks. The exhibit was so successful that it traveled to Chicago, Las Vegas, Bilbao, Spain, and now we are fortunate to have it come to Memphis, TN. The exhibit opens April 22 at the Pyramid.

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

Tiffany Coates pointed us to The Pink Way Round official website. In 2004, four women rode their BMW GS's from John 'O' Groats to Lands End in 24 hours, raising over £5,000 for breast cancer charities.
Following the amazing enthusiasm and support we received, we wanted to come up with another challenge for 2006 from which Breast Cancer charities would benefit.
This year, twelve women who all share a passion for the GS range of BMW motorcycles have come together from all over the country , to help produce a calendar with a difference. The calendars will retail for £8.95 each and all funds raised, after paying for the printing and production of the calendar, will go to breast cancer charities. Calendars are available on their website.


Get your website 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. We reserve the right to refuse to link back.

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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,' other words, somewhere there isn't a large number of shops? (Also of course any shop that specializes 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.

There are now 100 + shops listed in out - of - the - way places, from Abidjan to Ghana to Peru! Be sure to check out the HUBB Repair shops around the world forum if you need work done!


up to top of pagespacerWho are they?

When you meet people on the road, and they haven't heard of this e-zine or the website, we'd appreciate it (and hope they would too!) if you'd get their names and email addresses and send it in to me.

Thanks, Grant

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!


The Shipping page on the site is HUGE! It can be reached directly or from the Shipping link on the Trip Planning page.

If you have any information to contribute, please go here, and register (or just login IF you have used this system before) and you can then submit your information. Thanks!

Travel Advisories:

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

The US State Department regularly issues updated travel advisories, information and/or warnings.

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

Chris Smith and Liz Peel, UK, in Guatemala, Africa Twin,

We've been on the road for nearly one and a half years now which obviously makes us experienced ‘overland motorcycle adventurers’. We're no longer ‘wanna-be's’ or the people who need to ask the questions of the inexperienced. We've been there and done it all!

So, here we are in Guatemala riding to Antigua on tires that are once again bald and in need of replacement. Every mile counts. We ride into a lovely town as we get closer to Antigua, the streets are cobbled and the buildings are Colonial and unmolested. A definite opportunity to take some photos and we stop outside a church, then we stop on a side street and take some more photos.

Finally we decide time is getting on and we need to get back on the road to Antigua. We ride round the town looking for the road but as is the case everywhere in Guatemala there are no road signs and we ride around, up and down the same streets time and time again looking for the right road. It really is a lovely town and we swear to each other that in a day or two, once we get to Antigua we'll come back for the day and have a good walk round.

The road to Antigua is not to be found so eventually, defeated and frustrated we pull over and Liz runs over the road to a Tourist Information Office. In her improving but poor Spanish she asks. ‘Dónde está Antigua, por favor?’ The guy looks at her a little strangely. ‘Antigua es aquí!’ Liz thinks she hasn't pronounced it correctly, as sometimes happens. ‘No, dirección por Antigua, por favor?’ The guy repeats, ‘Antigua es aquí!’ and looks at Liz even more strangely. ‘Aquí?’ ‘Si, aquí. Es Antigua!’ the guy repeats a third time with a sweep of the hands. Realisation comes over Liz and with a laugh she says, ‘Soy de Inglaterra, lo siento - mi stupido!’ (I'm from England, I'm sorry - I'm stupid!) If there's one thing travelling as we are does for you it shows you up for what you are. In this case - lost and confused.

On the road in Guatemala.

On the road in Guatemala

The greatest danger in Guatemala is riding on the roads. There's a belief of immortality in road users that we've never seen before. Busses overtake us on blind bends, on wet roads with bald tires doing 70 mph+. Many of the roads are so rough that drivers use either side at any time anywhere just to avoid the potholes, regardless of what is coming the other way. Right of way comes down to the size of your vehicle. Mine's bigger than yours mate!

And excellent bridges too!

And excellent bridges too!

Having said all that, if you ever come to Guatemala and only ever travel one road here make sure it’s the road from Coban to Huehuetenango (known locally as ‘Wee-wee’). The '7W' is described on our map as ‘Major road - unpaved.’ Unpaved yes, major - they've got to be kidding. Its a road that takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, following tropical river valleys, ascending and winding over and between volcanoes up onto barren mountain tops with views that go on forever.

However the road is such that there is no time to take your eyes off it and take in the views. River crossings, gravel, washed out hairpin bends with 18-inch ruts carving them up. Bridges of which 50% have been stolen to rebuild someone's house and mud slides from the seasonal rains (and boy does it rain).

Ed. See Chris and Liz blog here on Horizons Unlimited for more stories and great photos!


Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
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GlobeRiders, making tracks around the world.

Now available from GlobeRiders is the all-new BMW F650GS Instructional Adventure DVD together with our two other DVD titles, the R1150GS and the Iceland DVD. We still have a few copies left of my book “10 Years on 2 Wheels”. This too can be ordered through our web page. Helge Pedersen.


Glen Heggstad, USA, around the world, in Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, F650GS Dakar,

With three days left on my visa and hungry for a deeper view, I opt for a dirt track loop further east toward Viet Nam. As long as there’re no other foreigners it’ll be more interesting. Spiraling into dark swirling clouds, the Bolaven Plateau rises a chilly 4500 feet above the steamy Mae Khong lowlands. In this region of lush coffee and rubber plantations indigenous hill-tribes have experienced little exposure to tourism. Each village along the way offers unique markets of fruit and vegetable stands with aromatic arrays of specialty dishes ready to sizzle palates of the bold. Breaks for sticky rice and rambutaams end up as photo sessions with dazzled children anxious to see their images on the playback screen. Eventually elders join in and take turns studying the GPS. But ominous gray skies are constant reminders that it’s best to ride while dry.

Glen always finds the girls. Long neck women, Thailand

Long neck women, Thailand

Crossing rivers is interesting because even when studying the rippling currents for shallow spots, you’re never sure about slick rocks or underwater dips. I crossed the first hundred meter stream twice--advancing and retreating. Once on the other side, after an exhausting half mile test of gooey black clay and one over-the-handlebars face-plant, I re-evaluated. Inching along foot-paddling with more of the same meant the next sixty miles would likely take days. This was confirmed by aid workers stopping to help lift the Blue Beast because my feet kept sliding out from underneath. Even when parked, their four-wheel drive slipped sideways. Wet clay is too difficult to walk on let alone ride over.

S-21 Prison was originally a Phnom Penh schoolhouse until 1975 when bloodthirsty conquering Khmer Rouge rebels converted it into a detention facility for interrogation—a torture center. Whoever survived the hideous horrors of questioning here was later transferred to an extermination camp. Like Nazis and other oppressive regimes, the Khmer Rouge maintained records and photographs of their victims. To preserve the memory of this twisted nightmare, S-21 Prison has been converted into a museum of shocking revulsion where its victims can still be heard.

Khmer Rouge commands.

Khmer Rouge commands

Within the first few steps of S-21 Prison Museum, the power of anguish smothers your spirit. Before entering the first torture chamber, tears will have been flowing down your face while some find it difficult to breathe. No one speaks during the tour--you merely wander through rooms reeling in a daze of nausea. The ghosts of S-21 Prison not only cry out but you can see their faces. Recovered mug-shots of torture victims are on display so visitors can slowly walk by each one and look them in the eye. The innocent young, the helpless old and the average Cambodian—you study them as they study you. The softness in their eyes reveals their naïve nature.

And what were their thoughts?

And what were their thoughts?

What’s made this extra tragic is meeting surviving Cambodians first. From the tormented families to the unlucky legless who stepped on one of millions of landmines buried in farm fields, gentle Buddhist Cambodians silently bear their sorrow. But, the human spirit triumphs, and still they are always first to smile.

Young Thais catching motorcycle fever.

Young Thais catching motorcycle fever

Two weeks is hardly enough to tour an entire country but with monsoon storms washing away exit roads to Thailand, it became now or never. As it was, torrential rains transformed sections of once solid dirt track into rivers of slimy orange mud. In the past, I’ve been anxious for the next country, yet even after lingering an extra day at the border, little sad Cambodia, like a jilted lover, offered only a peck on the cheek.

Departing Mae Salong.

Departing Mae Salong

From Phnom Penh it was a smooth ride to Kampot, a small country town delivering sweet riverside sunsets alongside wicked backstreets through fingers of swampland. Mosquito infested shantytowns on stilts were reminders how far the people have to go. While pausing to study their living, excited children rush to pull on my sleeves and clamor aboard The Beast. Shrieks of bright-eyed laughter draw crowds of babbling villagers curious about the invading alien. Everyone wants to be in the picture--from the camera to a visitor’s memory.


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Daniel Todd, USA/Puerto Rico, second around the world tour, in Colombia, KLR650,

I write to tell you that my latest sojourn is coming to an end as Cecilia and I head to the house of a new biker friend that has offered to store my bike here in Bogotá. This is the completion of a 14,000 KM journey, the 15th odyssey I have made on this bike and I am proud to tell you that it is still in stellar condition.

After crossing this wonderful country for the 12th time, four times on motorbike, I would highly agree with just about every other traveller and writer and say that Colombia has to be one of the most misunderstood countries in the world, that it is so much more that just drugs, terrorism and violence. It is one of the most diverse Countries in the world, the only country in South America where the Cordillera actually split into three, offering the most spectacular scenery and roads. And with two rainy seasons it has the greenest topography of any country that I have ever seen. The people are some of the most hospitable in the world and if you had the chance to read about the largest sociological study ever made about which countries have the happiest people, you would have read that Colombia took first place! A far cry from the common perception that the average person has of this country.

Like every other person that gets bombarded with all the bad press about Colombia, I too was weary and made a commitment to stick to certain rules: travel early in the day, stick to the main roads, and constantly ask questions about the particular area we were crossing at the time. The difference for me was that I learned much from all my other experiences in Colombia and knew that while certain risks exist, they can be avoided with a little common sense. I guess if I had listened to every travel advisory that the USA ever issued I would have a fraction of the experiences that I enjoy today.

The President of Colombia seems to have made a firm commitment to send the guerillas back to the jungle and this was made clear by the highest military presence I’ve yet seen anywhere in Latin America. From the Border of Ecuador to Cali, along the Pan American Highway, foot soldiers were placed at close intervals, all with sophisticated weaponry and a very serious composure. I even noticed snipers hanging from trees. For a person not familiar with this kind of environment, it appears intimidating, or at the very least surreal. But for us, it was the extra bit of confidence we needed to have a secure ride.

In short, I would say that this ride was everything I was hoping to find when I returned to this wonderful Continent: hospitable happy people, great scenery, spectacular bike adventures and the pleasure to meet so many other biker friends after years of email contact. After a five week stay in the house of Latin America’s Biker Ambassador Ricardo Rocco, it was more than inspirational to know that so many of us could come together and bond with different ideas and share freely all in the name of biker travel camaraderie. All the best my friend, Daniel


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Maarten Munnik, Netherlands, around the world, in Alaska, Honda Africa Twin,

Today is the day. After celebrating the ‘Midsummer night sun’ festival in Fairbanks, it’s strange to see the sun high in the sky at midnight; I am ready for the last part of my journey. The sky is blue and Pam is fueled up and ready to go... Well... Almost ready to go because the knobbly front-tyre I got in Revelstoke (especially for the Dalton highway) is almost completely gone. It looks more like a slick with one row of bumps in the middle. Very strange and very unexpected after only 3000 Km. I decide not to go, all the way, up to Deadhorse. The tyre won’t last long enough to get me down to Anchorage after such a trip.

But I do want to visit the arctic tundra so I set off towards the Polar circle. When I start I am wearing my ‘summer’-gloves, but soon I change to the thick ones. It’s not as warm as it should be and I see why. The wind has shifted and now comes from the north. And up north is where it’s cold... very cold. With the cold air come... of course... clouds. Which makes it even less warm since the sun can no longer warm me. I guess this is the way to experience Alaska... Cold.

The road is not too bad. OK, its no highway and the parts that have been graded just before are soft and sandy... but its not even close to the description people have used to scare me out of this adventure. When it starts to rain I decide I decide I don’t like it any more. I am getting cold, very cold and wet, very wet... and why? To see an imaginary line? But... I cannot turn back... I have past the point of no return. No, its nothing dramatic, just a question of fuel. I don’t have enough of it to get back to the last filling station... So I have no other option to move forward.

After a break at the ‘Yukon river crossing’ - a break inside a warm restaurant with a warm hamburger and some warm french-fries -the wind has shifted. Clouds make place for a bit of sun and the ‘icy cold’ turns to just ‘very cold’. I have my fuel... I can go back... but I go on... North. Why? Because I’m a stupid dumb fool who never learns. I go on and on, even though there is a faint sun in the sky... it seems to get colder and colder... Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am approaching the North Pole?

At the Arctic Circle I take the obligatory photographs. I even take a few since taking photographs is less cold then riding a bike at 90 km/hour. I go a bit further. But since it’s still early (a silly thing to think in a place where the sun does not go down) I turn around and head back to town. Why camp out here in the tundra, while I can have a warm shower only 5 hours away? No, I am not the adventurer you all think. Truth is, I can’t stand the cold. And the wet.

When I meet another motorcyclist, who went all the way up north and said it was not too bad, I watched him take off his clothes. First a rain-jacket, then a thick winter jacket, then a fleece-wind stopper, then a (electrical heated) vest. When he finally was ready I just took off my summer-jacket, liner and gloves. Maybe I am an adventurer after all? Maarten

Later, Maarten writes:

So what has happened since I crossed the Arctic Circle in Alaska? I needed to go to Thailand. Why? To build a home and make plans with my girlfriend who was waiting for me for too long now. So I shipped 'Pam' to Bangkok (or at least I hope I did since she is still in Vancouver due to a trucker-strike) and jumped in an Airbus A380 and went to Holland. Why? Aha, did I mention I had sold my house? I only needed to collect the cash, get myself a Thai 'non-immigrant-visa' and hop into another big plane to Bangkok. Unfortunately the visa did not happen... but I will still jump into a big plane tomorrow... and I'll just sweet-talk my way across the border as I did so many times before... The visa will come later.

Ed. Best of luck to Maarten, who has provided us with much entertainment over the past few years, as he settles down in Thailand for awhile...


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Erik and Hanka Forkert , Germany, around the world, in Pakistan and Iran, Honda Transalp,

Salam Alaykom, here we are again, this time from the amazing desert town of Yazd in Persia. Instead of mighty mountain ranges we talked about in our last newsletter, we had to face a lot of rather plain desert within the last 2 weeks. Still we can enjoy the odd-looking camels, rather than the temperatures in this area. With up to 44 degrees Celsius at noontime it often feels like riding through an oven. Leaving Islamabad and the mountainous northern part of Pakistan it felt like coming to another country although we still had to go 2000 km to the Iranian border.

The people in the western provinces of Pakistan are really different. First we had to get used to the sight of ordinary men carrying a Kalashnikov or a pump gun on the street. Often people would stare at you or ask a lot of questions (if someone spoke English) and it was obvious that only few tourists came here so far. But we never had a situation where we felt unsafe or even threatened. And the Pakistani police is so much intent on the safety of foreigners - they don't hesitate to knock on your door at 11 pm to double check your passports or to escort you for 160 km through Baluchistan on a 50 cc motorbike. Safe and well we finally arrived to Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan. From here it was only 640 km to the border - desert, desert, desert.

It was a lucky chance that we met Cheryl and David again in Quetta. These are the two Australians on Honda Shadows we had met in Bangkok already. So we continued the journey towards Iran in convoy and we had good fun together. The border crossing was a very nasty affair with a lot of waiting and bureaucracy. It took us half a day and a lot of nerves before we could enter the fuel-paradise of Persia. One litre of petrol is only 7 Eurocents here and it takes only 1,50 Euro to fill up our tank!

Unfortunately on our first day in Iran we had to face a severe sandstorm. Well, there wasn't only sand in the air but also some gravel and a lot of rubbish when we drove past a tip. Sometimes we couldn't even see the headlights of the two Aussies behind us and gusts of wind were pushing us across the road. Our windscreens looked like sandblasted afterwards!

The next day we went to Bam. Who of you can still remember the devastating earthquake which hit the unique old city on the 26th December 2003, exactly one year before the Tsunami? 26.000 people died in the disaster. Today Bam still looks like after a bombing raid. Many People are living in tents and shops are put up in shipping containers.

Via Kerman we arrived to Yazd a couple of days ago. The city has so many beautiful mosques, portals, mud brick labyrinths, bazaars and museums that you could spend easily a couple of weeks here. But we have to carry on: Tomorrow we will head to Esfahan, apparently the most amazing city of Iran. We have 2 weeks left before our visa runs out and we will hit Turkey. Hanka & Erik


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Chris Smith, Australia, Around the world, in Pakistan, KTM 640 Adventure,

I enter a new land where the rumors prevail; the infamous Bin Laden is hiding; a land where Taliban members feel at ease amidst the anti western messages that are splashed throughout newspapers and the media. I look into the hard long bearded faces that surround me as I ride through the crowded border. I receive strong stares, unlike those dreamy looks you get in India and Nepal, I immediately feel I am in another zone and the vibe seems much more heavy and intense, as I leave the country of the holy cow and enter the Islamic republic of Pakistan for what I feel is sure to be another one of life’s real experiences.

... I pulled over to a florist stand to ask, with a smile, for directions to this hotel I was frantically trying to find. He obviously felt my confusion in trying to find it. He put his work on hold and guided me to the hotel through alleyways and side streets. On reaching the guesthouse I offered the man some money for his effort he strongly declined the cash and said ‘Welcome to Pakistan’. ‘It’s good to be here’ I said, shook his hand and felt comfortable with the people of Pakistan and the surroundings of this vibrant city immediately.

Karakorum Highway, Pakistan.

Karakoram Highway, Pakistan

The evening begins on a misty Thursday night in Lahore at a location you would never find if you did not know the bustling cities alleyways and side streets. As I enter I am surrounded by men selling meat on a stick and dried figs. The place is overflowing with people who are very passionate about their Sufi culture – a culture that originates from the neighboring land of Turkey. The air is thick with smoke that has the sweet smell of Afghan Black Gold. The atmosphere is broken with a quick Boom, Boom, Boom followed by a howl. Then the drums start their rhythm and the crowd roars and chants in Urdu in a tribal manner. Then the dancing begins - a men only tradition. This style of dancing consists of spinning and rhythmic movement. They spin for two to three minutes with their long hair flying around with them. They then come out of the spin and simply bow to the crowd and continue on dancing. It is such a powerful evening in all, as the drums grow faster and the night gets longer. The event continues for some 4 hours and by 3 o’clock it is all finished, the crowd vanished.

... By the time I reached the Chinese border, some five days after the Hunza Valley, there were very few people to be seen outside in the freezing temperatures. The temperature drops to minus nineteen degrees in this part of the country. Here I was, in the middle of this mess, sliding around like someone learning how to ice skate on the road - which was now packed with ice. I was moving at a ‘furious’ speed of 15 km/ph. I had to take it very slowly because not only was the wind chill too harsh to be going fast, but the back wheel was not keeping traction and if I placed my feet on the ground for balancing they would just slide along with the icy road. I found out later to wrap rope around my tyres, which worked very well. I had ridden nearly 8 hours in this freezing cold to get to the Chinese border. I had to stay the night there after riding through the dark on dangerous icy roads. I was cursing myself for getting stuck there as it was totally unbearable and I suffered minor frostbite on my fingers. As a result, I could hardly move my hands to pull the brake and clutch.

Just a bit chilly on the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan.

Just a bit chilly on the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan.

I was welcomed into a small shack with a chi and a warm plate of rice and vegetables that my body responded to immediately. It was the most rewarding meal I have ever eaten in my life - and rightly so. After an interesting night on the border, I rode onto China for another 80km. Again, back on the horrible icy road, eventually, my perseverance gave out and I decided to turn back as it was simply too cold and icy to travel. My body could not take the cold anymore. At one point I looked at my thermometer and it read -25 degrees.


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Mick McDonald, Chris Tooth , Patrick Ploegstra and Scott Luttrell, 'The Last Stans Trans Siberia Trip', in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, 

As always thing did not go as planned. We left Yak & Yeti, where Valentin and his mates have been very helpful during our stay and headed for the Kazakh border that we crossed in 2 minutes without doing any paperwork. We where very amazed and a bit worried what would happen when we try to leave the country but there was nothing we could do about it anymore so we just went to Almaty.

In Almaty we tried to get our Mongolian visas but this found out to be a waste of time because the run down consulate was anything but helpful. We gave it a small chance anyway but after 3 days we left without a visa and made a run for Irkutsk to try it again. Almaty wasn't a total loss as we met an Aussie/Dutch couple who recognized our stickers from Kazakhstan and came over for a chat. They had left Dublin around the same time as us and are heading to Australia on their Ténéré’s. We swapped travel stories while we caught up with David from Stan Tours who has been very helpful as well.

After leaving Almaty it took us only 3 days to get to the border and crossed without any problems into Russia where it took us again 4 hours to fill out all the paperwork. Now we had 2400km to cover and only 4 days to do it in so we had a couple of long riding days ahead of us. The fact that our bikes are starting to show problems didn’t help at all. Mick has a wobbly front wheel and has tried everything to fix it, we worked till deep in the night to fix Chris’s almost broken chain and halfway the last day of really rough roads my pannier support frame broke and needed a quick fix with a stick and of course a heap of Tyraps. But on Wednesday evening we road into Irkutsk where Roman from the Baikal Motorcycle Club Irkutsk helped us to find a hotel and a place to get my frame welded.

Mick writes to the HU Vladivostok Community:

Hello, we are 4 riders riding from London to Vladivostok in support of a charity. We hope to be in Vlad in late Sept,will this be to late for the weather? We will then ship out to Australia. Can you tell us how long it usually takes to do all the paper work? If Peter Forwood is still there please say hello to him from me - Mick Mcdonald from Mission Beach Australia. Hope we can meet with you guys while in Vlad. Thank you, Mick.


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Leonard and Karyn Dolezsar, Canada, in Mexico and Central America, Harley Davidson,

There are a few traffic customs that we found different from North America. Firstly, the left hand signal light means a different thing in Mexico and Central America. When the bus or truck in front of you turns on their left signal light it means that it is safe to pass and that you are expected to pass. I never did get comfortable with passing on blind corners where I could not see passed the vehicle in front of me, but I either passed on the faith of their signal light or possibly stay behind that vehicle for hours as there are very few stretches of straight road.

Entering Honduras.

Villages and towns in Mexico and Central America control the speed of traffic through the use of speed bumps called Topes. These are often so severe that you must come to a full stop before attempting to cross. The side stand took a beating in those few instances where the Harley could not clear the Topes even after coming to a full stop. A Topes is not always signed and we missed seeing one, which fortunately was not that severe but, still resulted in the bike leaving the ground. This also resulted in Karyn giving me driving instructions for remainder of the trip.

We found that in many parts of Mexico and Central America we were sharing the highway with livestock. Around any given curve we could expect to find cattle, or donkeys, or horses, or pigs on the road. Like many people in Mexico we did not drive after dark because of the threat of livestock being on the road.

Checking bike into hotel in Mexico.

Another custom I soon became aware of is that a motorcycle is not given the same rights as other vehicles on Mexican and Central American Highways. A motorcycle does not have a traffic lane. This is both good and bad, but mostly bad. Traffic approaching a motorcycle will often pull out to pass giving the motorcyclist no choice but to simply find a way to avoid the collision. Traffic traveling in the same direction will pull into the motorcyclist's lane giving the motorcyclist no choice but to more over in order to avoid a collision. The only advantage might be that it is customary for a motorcyclist to travel between lanes where you can pass all the traffic. If there is any room on the road where the bike will fit, then that is where it will be ridden.

up to top of pagespacerBooks

Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World

by Ewan McGregor, and Charley Boorman

Buy now! Just click the Amazon nearest you:

buy from Amazon USA buy from Amazon UK buy from Amazon Deutschland Shop at Amazon Canada


Arno Backes and Sian Mackenzie's story of their around the world trip, see their blog. Book available from them for €14.95 + p&p. Contact Arno and Sian directly.


La Vuelta al Mundo por la Paz - Un Sueno que se hace Realidad,

by Ricardo Rocco Paz,

Ricardo's adventures in South America, in Spanish. There's two tapes and a book, contact him for details.

One Year on the Road, Cinq Continents en Moto, by Manou Emringer and Ellen Spencer, in English and French. Flag of France This travelogue, illustrated with over 400 photos, follows their journey through North and South America, West Africa, Europe and Asia.

Available through Manou and Ellen directly, 38 Euros plus shipping, or in North America from HU. Don't forget to tell them where you heard about it. It's a very nice book, well done - I have one! Grant


book cover

From Nordkapp to Cape York on a Motorcycle, by Werner Bausenhart. Werner, 66, was born in Germany and worked in Canada until his retirement. He has authored a number of books since getting bit by the motorcycle travel bug, including

-8 Around the Americas by Motorcycle,
-Into the Den of the Bear and the Lair of the Dragon on a Motorcycle
, and
-Africa Against the Clock on a Motorcycle

Werner's latest book describes his travels from Nordkapp to Australia overland, and back to Canada to complete the RTW trip. Should be an inspiration to any of you who have been thinking you're too old to go around the world on a motorcycle!

All his books are available directly from Werner. Tell him we sent you and get US$5.00 off the regular US$20 price!

For details on his books see here. Contact Werner via this link to get the deal.


video cover picture

The Producers of Mondo Enduro present Terra Circa, Around the World by Motorcycle (6 x 20 minute episodes).

Regular readers of this newsletter will remember Terra Circa's adventures around the world, and especially the Zilov Gap. Now's your chance to see it in video. Austin Vince is a very funny guy and the video is hilarious, as he leads his intrepid crew through misadventure after misadventure.

This is adventure motorcycling says Chris Scott, who wrote the book, so he ought to know!

Contact Terra Circa video distributors for the PAL video or all format DVD. Don't forget to tell them you heard about it on HU, we'll make a bit, and it won't cost you any more.


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, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Deutschland, so no matter where you are - you can order books at great prices, and we'll make a dollar or a pound or a Euro, which goes a very little way 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!

NOTE: If you buy a book starting with one of our links below, we get a little bit to help support the website!

buy from Amazon USA buy from Amazon UK buy from Amazon Deutschland Shop at Amazon Canada

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


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ISSN 1703-1397 Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' E-zine - Copyright 1999-2005, Horizons Unlimited and Grant and Susan Johnson. All rights reserved.

Redistribution - sending it on to friends 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: (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 pagespacerShorts...

Peter Forwood, Australia, around the world since 1996, in Tajikistan, Harley-Davidson,

As I sit and watch, having breakfast, a small caravan of laden donkeys passes on the other side of the river and I wonder for how many thousands of years has this successful process been occurring, and ponder the right of our 200 yr old mechanized society to judge its values. Just 30 km to Kalaikhum and a decision, take the 300 km mountain road to the north or the 400 km southern route to Dushanbe. Bicyclists I have met all took the northern route and reported a deep river crossing and 150 km of steep rocky road. I have met no-one who used the southern route. Locals go by the north in summer and the south in winter when the other route is closed from snow or landslides. When I ask locals about the southern route the answer is a thumbs up, but that often means the road is open, no landslides, not that it is good.

Tajikistan road.

I chose the southern route which for the first 65 km's there is a new western quality road over 50% completed, funded by the Aga Khan, the 49th Imam of the Ismali Muslims, a group that took the rebel side in the recent civil war, consequently they have received little government support since. From there the road becomes a single lane track, hugging the mountains alongside the river, across creeks and under a small waterfall where riding through I was cooled from the increasing heat of the lowlands. Trucks use this route and one was blocking the road unable to climb over a rocky hill.

Few if any tourists pass this way and I and my papers were scrutinized at a couple of check posts. Military posts dot this region and personnel are seen patrolling. I was flagged down by one, I presumed he wanted a lift, so indicated no and kept moving. A couple of km's later a Russian made jeep skidded to a stop blocking the road in front of me and four armed military leapt out in combat style, the officer loading a round into the breach of his rifle for extra effect...

Horizons Unlimited is proud to host Peter and Kay Forwood's complete RTW story and pictures here!


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Check out Highway Manager from Tiny Stocks!

TinyStocks presents Highway Manager: the most complete and flexible gas mileage application for the Palm OS® platform, written by a biker for bikers. Keep track of your gas mileage, insurance payments, garage bills, hotels, highway tolls and whatever is necessary. Statistics, charting function, multi-currency, and more... So, got a Palm OS device? Why not take it on the road?



James Klotz, USA, to South America, in Argentina, BMW R1150GS,

Greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the final destination of my 6 month adventure. My journey began on November 11, 2004 in Atlanta. Since that time I have crossed 11 borders, 2 continents and over 16,000 miles, all on my motorcycle. I reached Rio Gallegos on May 12, which is 300 miles from Ushuaia, the farthest point south accessible by driving on the planet. Below that was Cape Horn, the most treacherous seas in the world, and below that the Antarctic.

I celebrated Thanksgiving in Mazatlan by eating shrimp, my birthday and Christmas in Zacatecas, New Years in Guadalajara. I've crossed the Andes Mountain Range, the Panama Canal, the Atacama desert, freezing cold Patagonia and the Uyuni salt flats. I've battled mosquitoes the size of birds in Costa Rica, winds in Mexico that was so strong they blew semi trucks off the road, rain so hard it hurt in Chile, roads so bad in Bolivia that 4 X 4 trucks couldn't pass.

I drove through sand, mud, rivers, rocks and volcanoes. I got the flu 3 times, had digestive problems constantly, got robbed at gunpoint by guerillas in Guatemala and was stranded by a broken motorcycle on 3 different occasions. I stayed in hotel rooms that were so scary I slept in my sleeping bag so as to avoid physical contact with the bed. I ran out of gas, food, water and patience more times than I can count. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Thanks to all of you! I hope to see you all again, maybe on my next adventure! James


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Tommy and Rosa, Germany, RTW, in Russia, BMW F650GS's,

We stay three days in Jalutorovsk. In the evening the two ladies of the reception storm our room - and with them there is Nuri, another motorcycle- traveller from Germany! He ride also BMW- he owns a R 1150 GS and for his trip through Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and a visit in his home Turkey. Long time we sit together and tell us our experiences. And we arrange that we'll travel the next time together, because it‘s the same way and we ride our bikes the same tempo.

... We want to visit the Altai mountains. We know, that there are many motorcyclists in Barnaul, so we stop there. Somebody shows us the way to the Bike Bar. The bar is great! It's new, in March they open it the first time. Above the entry there is a big motorcycle and the fittings are made of old bike- parts.

Interesting motorcycle event!

Ed. Not sure what this is, but it looks like fun!

Max arrives. He lives in Dresden/ Germany and is in his home Barnaul for holidays. He speaks very good German. He accompanies us to his brother, who works in a motorcycle workshop. At the Moto- Center we are able to store our bikes and they show us a reasonable Gastiniza. In the evening the motorbus- members invite us for dinner. We hear that there were motorcyclists from New Zealand and England a few days in Barnaul! What a pity that we don‘t meet them.


Book special just for Horizons Unlimited Readers!

Into the den of the Bear and the Lair of the Dragon on a Motorcycle
8 Around the Americas on a Motorcycle
Africa Against the Clock on a Motorcycle
From Nordkapp to Cape York on a Motorcycle

Werner Bausenhart has written several books on his travels around the world, and has offered them to HU readers at a great price. Tell him we sent you and get US$5.00 off the regular US$20 price!

For details on his books see here. Contact Werner now via this link to get the deal.


Dave McCluskey, Canada, in Nepal,

Well I just rode in to Katmandu, stopped last night at a small town half way from Pokara. Today, I rode by a huge tai-chew-do competition, stopped and watched for an hour, neat sport, they just kick, no punching, 3, 3-minute rounds. I can't describe how beautiful Nepal and the people are, the mountains remind me of a fairytale cartoon or Dr. Seuss book or something, Very dangerous motor biking tho, road carnage everywhere, I rode past 2 head-on big bus accident scenes in 20 kms, loads of ditched trucks too, I bought a cool looking new old school helmet and goggles and gloves for 33 $ Canuck, looks like a Davida.

Dave in Katmandu.

... 3 days in Katmandu is enough fer this redneck, I stayed at the Royal Gurka Hotel, it had a great tradition Nepalese dance show, men and women in stunning costumes. Staff almost over-friendly polishing my bike all the time, etc. The cops have cool blue camo and ride around in trucks or vans and are on most corners to suppress Maoist Insurgents. Friendly guys too, I always salute them and drive right through the numerous roadblocks they have set up to stop buses and traffic and check for insurgents. che-che McCluskey (un-revolutionary extraordinaire).


Motoqueros -
Mit dem Motorrad durch Lateinamerika

by Arno Backes, in German only, €14.95 plus shipping and packing

Motoqueros - Mit dem Motorrad durch Lateinamerika

Written by Arno, with contributions from Sian and others, this book is in German, and follows our 18 month trip of 55,000kms, from the beaches of California to the most southerly city in the world. As we ride down Central America, past Mayan ruins and steaming volcanoes, read how we then cross into South America, battle through the endless Pampa in Patagonia, along the Altiplano to the heart of the Inca kingdom, ending after 18 months in the city of tango.

At almost 340 pages and with over 150 photos, both colour and black and white, the book really gives you a feeling of participating with this journey, even if you can't read German! Some photos have been used previously in Sian's blogs, but most are brand new.

Order details.


David McMillan and Erika Tunick, Paris to Sydney, in Serbia, Honda Transalp,

We've decided to check out Belgrade, the capital, but don't plan on spending more than a few days in Serbia. It seems fitting to see at least some small part of that infamous place, so intertwined with the painful recent history of the other ex-Yugoslavian countries we've visited. Not that you can make a fair assessment of a place after visiting for a week and a half, nor can you judge individual people for the history of their country. It's all random impressions based on who you happen to meet, what road you happen to take. Next door you might have come across someone much friendlier or ruder; one road over might have led to some sparkling lake instead of the outskirts of some scruffy impoverished town. Our impression of Serbia will be culled of heat and plains and one big huge city.

Old fort near the river in Belgrade.

Old fort near the river in Belgrade

It's too hot and the city's too big to cruise around in on the bike to get our bearings. We pull into a travel agency where there is air conditioning and helpful young people who proceed to call every hotel in town, passing along blow-by-blow news that each place is either 1) way too expensive 2) way too far away, or 3) full. We are enjoying the air conditioning too much to stop them from continuing to call every possible place in Serbia. Eventually we thank them and head towards the train station to utilize The Dave McMillan Method of Room-Finding: Ask A Taxi Driver. Before resorting to that, Erika spots the cheapest hotel in the book, which we were previously told was full. It isn't, of course, full. We happily fall into our dark, not-quite-dank, somewhat-clean, almost-cool room with its stinky-yet...existing toilet across the hall.

Ed. See David and Erika's blog here on Horizons Unlimited for more stories and great photos!

Simon Fitzpatrick, UK, London to Cape Town, in Kenya and Uganda, Honda Dominator,

The day starts oh so fabulously well when I'm stopped in Nairobi and asked to produce insurance which I just plain don't have. 'In that case we must take you to court sir' says the copper, resplendent in his Met cast-offs. This also happened five days ago; on that occasion I smarmed my way out of it by blathering on about my pan-African odyssey and all that cobblers. It doesn't work this time. I am asked to step behind a police vehicle.

'You are a good fellow. Tall, like me' says the undeniably lanky rozzer. I begin to sense the choking, sickly fug of corruption in the air. Good news! 'Maybe you have some pounds or dollars...' comes the hint. My brain crunches through the lower gears into top. It so happens that I have in my wallet about $100 worth of Central African CFA from Chad. I've been to several banks and forex bureaux in Ethiopia and Kenya trying to change them and it doesn't work. Outside Chad, it's useless paper, badly printed and childishly designed. I offer it to Constable Badapple, emphasizing its theoretical dollar value and skirting round the issue of it's utter uselessness. He accepts - I run away quickly. (Later in the day I actually buy some insurance. I don't think this scam will work twice.)

Ed. Follow Simon's adventures in his blog, here on Horizons Unlimited!


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Allan Karl, USA, RTW, in British Columbia, BMW F650GS,

...After the typical where you going, where you from, what's your citizenship questions, the border guard moved to the nitty gritty.

'Carrying any tobacco or alcohol.' I confided in the two bottles of wine Jonathan had sent me with -- not that I needed the extra weight, but there I was sitting at the Canadian border with two cigars and two bottles of wine.
'Any weapons, firearms?'
'No weapons? Not pepper spray?'
'You sure?'
Yes. I have no weapons.
'Aren't you worried, traveling alone and camping, about bears?'
No. Should I?
'Yes. You might want to get some bear spray.'
Should I get some pepper spray? I couldn't hear him too well because of my earplugs.
'No pepper spray is illegal in Canada. But you can use bear spray.'

He sent me on my way thinking about bears and the need to defend myself.

...As usual conversation and curiosity peaked about my journey with two young kids from Vancouver who were on their way to Tombstone Reserve and then Denali to do what they called 'light mountaineering'. Also joining the conversation was a young Brazilian Girl. With backpack on and carrying a small puppy she admitted she'd like to do what I'm doing. 'But it takes time and money,' she agreed, 'it all comes down to time and money, doesn't it?' I pondered perhaps one of my favorite subjects and philosophical explorations and said, 'yeah, but at the end of the day all the money in the world can't buy you time,' I explained, 'so I'll take time.' She frowned and squished up her face and poked at me, 'you couldn't do this without the world. You must eat, buy' Her thick accent coupled with the puppy made her appear so cute. But she didn't get my point. She was too focused and insisted on the need for money. And while my answer may have appeared to her as a utopian view and a bit lofty, she didn't get the concept that too many of us will complain we don't have the time to do something that we want to do. I insist that you'll never have the time so it's up to you to make the time. And while we could work work and work, thinking we needed just a little bit more before we 'find' the time to do something, the worse disease is to wake up finding you never found the time because you didn't make the time.

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

Lots of travellers heading south for the winter to Mexico, Central, South America, Morocco, Cape Town ...

Homero Levy de Barros, and Gildo, Brazil, Miami to Ushuaia and Rio, R1200GS,

Hi Everyone, We are two Brazilian friends (Homero and Gildo) riding two R 1200 GS (yellow and red) from Fort lauderdale to Ushuaia and back to Rio de janeiro. We are departing Aug. 12. Hope to find you all on the road. Safe ride Homero.

Charlie Hehl, USA, to Mexico and Central America, R100GS,

I am leaving for Mexico, Central and South America 2nd week of September 2005. Hope to see you guys on the road. I will be on a BMW R100GS. I will not be spending much time in Mexico as I did a fairly extensive tour there in March 2005.

Dimitri, Belgium, Morocco to Mauritania, Africa Twin,

I'm travelling from Morocco through Mauritania on to Bamako (and fly back) in November 2005 with my Africa Twin 1992. (Morocco: passage only, Mauritania main purpose, Bamako because I want to visit the most south-eastern villages of Mauritania) For some 'off the beaten track' passages in Mauritania a second person with a bike would be nice for the company and to avoid problems in case of technical break-down. enthusiasts, feel free to react. Cheers. (Ed. See the HUBB)

Josh, USA, to Cape Town via the west coast, BMW 1150GS,

Well I have finally made it over to Europe and spending the next 3-4 months cruising around. After that I am planning on heading from Morocco to Cape Town. If anybody wants to join me for part or all of the trip through Africa I would enjoy the company. I plan to go down west coast most of the way trying to skirt the bad spots. A carnet de passage is required so you would have to do some planning. I am thinking it will take 3 months for the trip north to south. Happy Travels. Josh

Thomas Gillespie (Dizzie), Norway, RTW (little by little), to West Africa, BMW F 650 GS,

Hi! My plans are fairly flexible, but I plan to ride down to West Africa and perhaps further (east) south in the October timeframe.

Miss Pink, UK

Hi there. I am also planning more or less the same trip in September / October. Myself and a friend are finally going to head off after two years of day-dreaming about this. My bike is desperate to get on the road as she hates being in London, stuck in the slow traffic...she just wants to wheelie all the time and go up and down pot-holes. Sorry - I love my bike (KTM 640 Adventure), even though I've only been riding for two years! Also I can't wait to get out of the city and just free flow for a few months. So, let me know if you're heading over to England - maybe we could hook up?

Chris Wilkins, France, Morocco

I am thinking of heading to Morocco around that time, something to bear in mind though is that Ramadan is in October which could make travelling through North Africa a little trickier.

Rob, Scotland

Hi folks, Am thinking of a similar trip. Drop me an e to chat. Take Care, Rob.

Bert, UK, to Dakar / Timbuktu

Thinking similar possibly to Dakar/Tombouctou- can we chat/hook up? I'm down the road in Bromley?

Trans-Americas Guinness World Record

dvd pic

video pic

book pic

The first people to ever hold Double Guinness World Records™ of 'Around the World by Motorcycle' and the 'Trans-Americas by Motorcycle'.

On 22 September 2003, a rugged, mud caked BMW R1150GS Adventure armed with battered metal panniers and a buckled back wheel, crawled into the town of Ushuaia, the most southern city in the world that can be reached by road. An exhausted couple, having just slid their way treacherously through a snowy Paso de Garibaldi, finally reached the very end of the road, beyond which lay Antarctica. The bike was ridden by Kevin Sanders, with his wife Julia on the back, and the husband and wife team had just completed what had never been done before. Starting from Deadhorse, Alaska, they had ridden the length of the Americas Continent, some 27,200 kms, in less than 35 days and in doing so, rode into the Guinness World Record™ Book for a second time. Unaided, with no back up team, no support vehicle and only their spirit of adventure to bring them through, they smashed the existing record by over 12 days.

Filmed by Kevin & Julia as the record unfolded, this is an inspired account of the challenges they faced, braving the remote wilderness of the Arctic tundra, riding over 1,000 miles day in the USA, facing border bureaucracy through Central America, kidnap risks in Colombia, Ecuadorian civil unrest, and the icy wastelands of Patagonia, but ultimately winning through to claim their second Guinness World Record.

Special for Horizons Unlimited - 15% discount - Just use the Promotion code Horizons when ordering. DVD, Video, and a book coming. Order details on their site.


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up to top of pagespacerHome again (temporarily) ...

Kerstin Gaeckle and Volker, back home in Germany,

The last e-mail from our journey... For approx. 8 weeks we are at home again. The adventure 'home' began. Our flight from Australia to Italy was problem-free. The way home to Germany not. We chose the beginning of winter for the Alpen crossing. Snow, ice and cold weather made the ride to Germany very interesting. The reception from family and friends was overwhelming. Sometimes with the many embraces we lost the overview. But we have been pleased to see everyone again.

Back home to snow and ice!

We keep fantastic memories and again and again we can laugh about them. Unforgettably all the super humans. We had been able to win many new friends. Thank You DANKE. We also wanna say THANK YOU to Susan and Grant. Your website is the best help on the way. We got so many information out of it. And we knew we are not the only crazy one... Now of course we want to be a part of the community. We will give back all the hospitality we got. Everybody is welcome in our home at the Black Forest, Germany. We are looking forward to our next trip. Because after the world tour is for the world tour. No question: with our 2 bikes!! We see you again Kerstin and Volker (Ed. note: Contact Volker and Kerstin through the HU Black Forest Community.)


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

Baby doll T-shirt - front.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


up to top of pagespacerTraveller's Community News...

New Communities:

We've now reached an amazing 354 communities in 80 countries as of 21 August 2005!

A big thanks to all those who took the first step and established the Community in their area.

New Communities are in Gaines, Michigan, USA; Hartlepool, England; Kabul, Afghanistan (yes, really!); Liverpool, England; Lyon, France; Maracaibo, Venezuela; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Puyo, Ecuador; Qazvin, Iran; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Tijuana, Mexico; Togliatti, Russia; Zacatecas, Mexico and more to come.

If you are on the road, do check out the Communities - don't feel like you're imposing on people! They signed up for a Community because they want to meet travellers - that's you! You'll have a great time, so go to the Communities page and let them know you're coming. Please remember that they are volunteers and offering to help because they're great people - common courtesy helps! When you write, tell them who you are, that you're passing through, and would like to meet them. Let them know if you need anything, and I'm sure they'll help as best they can.

For details on how you can join a Community in your area, or use the Communities 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 web page about your Community! A few links to web pages about your area would be useful too.

Just a reminder to all, when you Join a Community in your area, send a note to the Community introducing yourself and suggesting a meeting, or go for a ride or something. It's a good way of meeting like-minded individuals in your own town.

More ways to support your favourite website!

If you want a t-shirt or other logoed merchandise, go to the Store. Also, you can just click on any Amazon link on the site and we'll get a small commission on your purchase of any Amazon merchandise - and it won't cost you any more!

  Click to Support Horizons Unlimited!

Thanks! Grant and Susan

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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 250 world travellers listed, but there are many more. 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...

Grant and Susan Johnson

Live the dream! at:

Riding the globe...

All text and photographs are copyright © Grant and Susan Johnson and their respective authors or creators, 1987-2005.
All Rights Reserved.

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