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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 the kissing camels of Tan Tan, the religious police in Saudi, black-bottomed monsters in Tierra del Fuego, shotgun repairs in Madagascar, the Afro-Cuban All Stars in Mozambique, the ghastliest joy-sucking rat-pits on the planet, Kalashnikovs in Iran, beaten with sticks in Chita, instant death in Goa, dream rides in Colombia, Muscovite Hells Angels in Chile, adventure riding in eastern Siberia, and much more...?

Then you're reading the right newsletter!

In this e-zine:

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

56th Edition, to February 2006

Welcome to the 56th Edition of the newsletter. Life has been pretty crazy the last while for us - in the last 8 months we've moved twice in London, and one move from Canada. It's embarrassing to admit that we had accumulated too much stuff while in Canada, so even after selling all appliances and furniture and filling up a storage locker in Canada, we still had too much stuff to fit into the flat we originally had found last summer. But everything is now in one place, the bike has arrived and we are finally getting settled in and mostly unpacked.

We've also been working hard on upgrades to the site, and those who know about systems projects will not be surprised to learn that everything takes at least five times as long as your most pessimistic estimate! So I (Grant) am working hard on it, as well as keeping the site running as is, answering your e-mails and getting the 2006 Meetings organised. We've had several plaintive emails (like the one below) asking where's the newsletter, so decided to hold off on everything else and get an ezine issue out!

From RTW travellers Peter and Kay Forwood: "Hi Grant and Susan, Missing the Ezine's here in Djibouti especially after just coming out of Somalia (Somaliland) and now waiting for parts and looking for a good read. Missing the ability to know where other travellers are in the world so we can perhaps meet up with them. Missing knowing what other travellers are now doing after we have met them on the road. Feeling all alone out here travelling. Where are the regular Ezine's I used to look forward to reading? Hoping they will return, Please, Please, Please! Peter and Kay"

We're going to try and be much more regular this year, we know you want it! In order to do that, we're now getting some assistance with the editing. Peter Henshaw helped with this issue, and a certain mad Scotsman who wishes to remain nameless - thanks to both of you!

Photo Contest 2006 for the 07 calendar

With the great success of last year's calendar and contest, we have decided to make it an annual event. So get your photos together, and start making some great new ones. If used in the calendar, you will receive a (small) portion of the proceeds. Details and signup to come.

The 2006 calendar is of course still available - check it out and get your copy now, for some terrific travel inspiration! For those photographers whose work was featured, we'll be doing the accounting soon and will let you know what your share is of the sales to date.

In Progress - "How to ride around the world" Video

Many of you who have attended our Travellers Meetings over the years, and at the meetings that Susan or I have been able to get to, have attended our 3 hour long "How-to" presentation. At last years UK Meeting, we had a videographer tape it for us. It's currently being edited, and will be available in June sometime. But in order to make it really interesting - we need some video from YOU! What we'll use is short, exciting clips, 10-60 seconds long or so, to intersperse all the yakking and boring stuff ;). The clips should be very high quality originals, not compressed. We don't expect to make enough money to pay for the clips, sorry - but you will get fame - or at least, credit on the DVD.

Remember, motorcycle travel clips only, showing the bike and rider in exotic locales, preferably moving, or from-the-bike video clips, on and off-road. More details, and Submission info here, and we'll let you know where to send it. NOTE: We need it soon!

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

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

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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 2006 - time to plan ahead!

New meetings added this year! We now have a meeting organised for Belgium, September 8-10, and for 2007, Kanchanaburi, Thailand, January 13-14 2007, and southern France August 2007.

Mark your new HU Calendar with the following dates:

USA East, North Carolina, USA, June 15-18, 2006

UK, June 22-25, 2006 register now - We expect up to 450 people!

USA West, Colorado, July 7-10, location shortly

Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, August 25-27, 2006 (note new date)

Belgium, September 8-10, 2006. Details and registration very soon, it's definitely on!

Portugal, September

Copper Canyon, Mexico, October 10-13, 2006 (note mid-week!)

Viedma, Argentina, December

NEW for 2007:

Thailand, Kanchanaburi, January 13-14, 2007, registration to come. Maarten Munnik is helping to organise this meeting.

Australia, probably in the state of Victoria or nearby, - Jan-Feb 2007 - we need a little help here - how about you!?

France, Sisteron - August 2007! Vincent Danna is helping to organise this meeting.

Grant will definitely be at the Mexico, UK, Belgium, Portugal and 2007 France meetings, and possibly others. If you've been to one, you know why it's worth going! If you haven't been to one, why not? 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 2006 the year to get to one, two or more events and meet your fellow travellers!

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"

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!

Volunteers for all meetings are needed, just a couple of hours of your time makes it all a lot easier - and fun - for all. You can volunteer a few hours of your time for any meeting here.

Motorcycle Rentals for Mexico Meeting available! See the Mexico Meeting page for details.

See the Meetings page for more details on all events.

See you there! Grin!

Grant and Susan.


Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
Please be sure to tell them how you heard about LDComfort!

Motorcycle Riding Shorts, Tops, and Tights. If the term 'Saddle Sore' sounds familiar to you then this is what you want!

"More important than all the fancy jackets and pants put together..."

Grant says: "I have some on order for myself - they sound great from all the rave reviews I've heard - I'll let you know how I like them!




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Horizons Unlimited New Links...

Too many to list! If you haven't checked out the Links page it's time you did - it's scary long, but it's a fascinating browse.


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 pagespacerTravellers' tips and advisories...

On the HUBB there has been a lot of discussion about the safety aspect in the Middle East lately, but it's not all bad news:

"riztech" replied to the topic entitled - Syria: Nordic embassies burnt down

"colesyboy! I am from Pakistan and if you travel to Pakistan either through KKH or simply from any airport, I guarantee you safety. No one is going to say anything to your girlfriend if she is Danish. She is not the one who printed those cartoons. Trust me you won't have any trouble in Pakistan except weather condition and adjustment with local food."

From Nicholas Laing,

"In May 2005 Johnny Raymond and I rode BMW 2100GS bikes from London to Vladivostok and then shipped them back to Moscow on the Trans Siberian. We then drove them back to London. The trip took 32 days of fairly hard riding and we covered around 8,200 miles.
For the would-be biker we have loads of information about the route on Northcrownriders and I can also supply kit lists and other useful hints if it is of interest. The key points are that accommodation is available everywhere although you need to start looking early on in the day as they get full, petrol (92 or 95 octane) is also in plentiful supply with the exception of one section just east of Chita when we rode for about 300 miles without seeing a garage. Heading east, the road is tarmac until 84 miles after of Chita when you then have 1200 miles of hard packed dirt or gravel. We used the standard tyres without any difficulty. Contrary to many web sites GPS navigation systems are perfectly legal. (Ed. Comment: Not HU!) Email me if you want any more information, I know Russia well. Nick"

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...

Peter and Kay Forwood, Australia, around the world since 1996, in Saudi Arabia, Harley-Davidson,

"Entering Saudi Arabia, riding the motorcycle, and with Kay as a pillion, we had been advised could be difficult, but apart from one officious officer things went smoothly. The bike again, with its covering of stickers and list of countries drew interest to our trip and turned around potential border problems to a smooth crossing. Very few, non Gulf registered vehicles cross into Saudi Arabia and it took 40 minutes, no special paperwork, just bike insurance, one month $US 37.00, all details entered into the border's computer system.

... The rules governing Saudi Arabia are different from almost all other countries. It doesn't mean that the laws enforce these rules but the 'religious police' do, or at least make people feel uncomfortable if they don't comply. Like many countries it has become more liberal, western, over the last few years, however a spate of bombing attacks and beheadings of westerners a couple of years ago by the more conservative nationals seems to have slowed that process. Nine westerners were killed in their housing compound in this region, not an isolated incident. News of these attacks rarely makes it to the media, so most news is spread word of mouth by those affected by the incident. It has resulted in most families, wives and children, leaving and many companies here not employing target nationalities of the U.S.A. and British or western looking people. A recent sharp crackdown and high security has prevented further attacks. Women are not allowed to drive vehicles in the country and are rarely seen alone without other women, children or their husbands.

Groups of single men cannot eat in the family section of restaurants and if accompanied by women can not sit in the single section. There are often separate lines for men and families in shops. So tonight our group of 19 men and one woman, Kay, rode along the corniche of Khobar and later ate at Chillies restaurant, in the family section, a rarity for the Harley riders as women aren't generally involved with motorcycles. The day was spent at the H-D workshop, a magnificent set up, modern and with all the specialized tools that we don't carry. We took advantage of the offer of a workbench and we worked together with Mohammad and Makram, the two mechanics, to replace wheel bearings, the inner primary bearing and many jack shaft parts. This area of the motorcycle had caused me problems in Russia and now with a bit of trained knowledge, the mechanics identified the main problem as the starter to jack shaft connector as the reason the starter would not retract. A steady group of spectators rolled past as we worked on the bike, photos, polite conversation, amid some tense repairs, food and coffee rolling through as frequently.

... One of the best ways to get a grip on a culture is simply to people watch. At the western style Dhahran Mall we sat in the food court over a cup of coffee, watching, as locals went about what they do. It was mid-day yet most of the shops were closed, their trading hours 9-12, then 4-9 pm. They also shut for a short period during prayer times, 20 to 30 minutes at sunset and again later in the evening. Restaurants stop serving or taking orders during this time, however patrons are generally allowed to continue eating their meals. All the women at the food court were in groups, many children, families, enjoying western fast foods, McDonalds, KFC and local generic equivalents. Dressed conservatively in black, with hair covered, many with just eye slits to see through but also many open faces. Men dressed in the white robe with traditional head dress. Children, until puberty, in western clothes.

... Our police shepherds had left us to the hotel yesterday afternoon, occasionally dropping by, and this morning we walked around an old ruined part of town alone which indicated they are not particularly concerned with safety issues in this area but have likely been instructed to ensure our steady progress through the region.

... We headed towards Medina, the town from where Muhammad conquered all of Arabia, and is now a Holy City. As such non Muslims are not permitted to enter, as with Mecca, and they must avoid the town by driving around the town along the signposted, "Road for Non Muslims".

Road for Non Muslims, Saudi Arabia.

Muhammad permitted all creeds to live in peace within the two cities and practised tolerance of other religions. Badr for the night. 330 km's, interesting road through the mountains, desert scenery. Wadi's with stone and mud brick ruins of previous cultures, now moved to more modern accommodation, dotted the landscape. Once our escort had gone we were allowed to wander the town alone and experience local people who would not normally approach us in the presence of police. A wealthy businessman invited us to his house for coffee, dates and tea. Kay entering the inner house with the women, John and I remained in the outer guest area. Dinner at a local restaurant where the proprietor refused payment from us, and gave us some fresh dates to take on our journey. We stayed in an old Sasco petrol station motel that had been closed due to the opening of a bypass highway nearby. They opened a couple of rooms for us for the night, the only accommodation in the area."

Peter and Kay Forwood have travelled to over 163 countries during 10 years on the road. Horizons Unlimited is proud to host their complete RTW story and pictures here!

Jeremiah St. Ours, USA, Alaska to Ushuaia, in Ushuaia, BMW F650GS (El Viento),

"... I awoke to blood on my pillow—again. That made 3 nights in a row. Scarier yet, I didn't know where it was coming from. Before I could think about it further I was distracted by another gust that nearly tore the tin off my quarter's antique roof. I dragged my aching body out of bed into the frosty morning air and drew the curtain. In front of me, churning and seething with tsunami-like white caps—the Strait of Magellan.

El Viento in Patagonia.

For two days I'd been holed up in a flea-bag hotel in a small fishing village on the island of Tierra del Fuego. I was coughing blood, had a splitting headache, a sinus infection and inflamed throat, and felt like someone had stuck an ice pick in my right eardrum. In spite of my being only one day out from my journey's final destination on the island's southern tip, I could not ride.

I hadn't planned on stopping here, so I arrived short of funds. With my illness the room was priority, lest I be forced to camp out in the cold, so I had to conserve. The first to go was food. Then water. And by the last morning I was reduced to conning a 7-year old out of a piece of bread. It happened something like this: She was watching cartoons in the hotel restaurant. I offered that Tom was always my favorite, she winced and said Jerry's MY favorite! Then—predictably—she said, ‘I know, you be Tom and I'll be Jerry.’ To which I replied, ‘OK, but Tom is sick and really hungry and would have much more energy to play if he only had a roll.’ Jerry ran to the kitchen to fetch it.

I crawled downstairs the next morning to inquire about the weather. ‘Is the sky always this cloudy here,’ I asked the matronly hotelier as I gazed up at a sky full of black-bottomed monsters preparing to unleash? ‘And is it always this windy?’ She quickly glanced up with her eyes without moving her head, as though simply confirming what she already knew, and deadpanned, ‘It's not cloudy.’ She then added, ‘And it's not windy.’

Well, if this is a Good day, I don't want to be here when it's Bad. I'm sick as a dog with no medical care. I haven't enough money to buy a ferry ticket back to the mainland. I'm out of food and water. And with the Antarctic winter blowing in I'm out of time. I donned everything I owned and saddled up. A dirt road led 100 miles east towards the Argentine border where I arrived with less than two US dollars worth of Chilean pesos to my name. Good thing there were no tolls. Those vicious-looking clouds gave me a break, though rain pelted me intermittently and the wind honked as I skirted the Atlantic Ocean. As the extreme southern Andes rose up, the temperature dropped. Add to all of this the sick-chill factor, and I was Freezing.

As dusk settled over Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, I rounded the final bend to my destination. It was beautiful, serene and altogether a fitting end to a journey that began eight months before on the north shore of Alaska. For more than 30 years I had dreamed of being right here, right now.

At the bottom of the world.

A mixture of strong emotions overcame my ailing body. I was as excited to have achieved my goal as I was sad for having it behind me. I wanted to shout and I wanted cry. Instead, I did neither. I simply pulled El Viento off the road overlooking the harbor, slowly removed my right glove and carefully turned off the key. I closed my eyes in the silence, took a deep breath and exhaled. From this point forward, I'm homeward bound."

Robert Bielesch, and Murray Castle, Canada, in Mexico, Central and South America,

Robert - "The trip plan was conceived a few years ago, to round out my travels in South America. You see, I had been to South America twice before. I had been bitten. I had to return.

Now, in 2006 the time has come to return to 'finish the trip'. The decision was made to ship to Santiago, Chile and ride back from there. Then, one day I received a phone call 'out of the blue'. Murray Castle, whom I had spoken to only once before, by telephone, several years ago, called me. Finally, in December 2004 I asked him if he was still interested. He was ecstatic. 'Yes of course', he responded. 'When do we leave?'

I knew it was a big trip, but with Murray being added in it became even bigger. Even though he had volunteered that 'he didn't care where we went', I could not imagine any first time visitor to South America not visiting Nazca, Cusco or Machu Picchu. How could you say to your friends, 'I went to South America but I did not visit Peru?' I added in a tour through southern Peru which became another twenty-five days and 4,000 kms. The trip was getting longer.

When the dust settled it was 180 days...6 months, fifteen (15) or more countries and 44,000 kms. Murray 'worked' to pay for his trip and I 'planned' to make it work. 'Father Time' kept ticking and soon it was time to leave.

The plan was to start in Santiago, Chile and work north through Chile sharing time between the coast, the desert and the Andes. Then at Arica we would leave Chile and enter Peru to visit some of my favorite places from years past, as well as some new ones...Arequipa, the White City and Nazca, the home of the Nazca lines followed by a traverse of the Andes to Huancayo and Ayacucho, the former stronghold of the 'Shining Path'. Cuzco, Pisac, the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu are but a few place names. Then onward to Lake Titicaca before dropping off of the Andes to return to Tacna and re-enter Chile.

At Arica, Chile we would re-provision before assaulting the Andes again. Then pointing eastward we would cross the spectacular Paso Tambo Quemado (15,280 ft) within the remote and pristine National Park, Reserva Nacionale Las Vicunas. On leaving the park we would enter Bolivia.

Travelling northeastward we would traverse the remote and desolate Altiplano, heading for Tiahuanaco and La Paz. At La Paz we would hopefully obtain our visas for Paraguay and Brazil. Then still heading northeastward we would ride the 'Yungas Road', once coined ‘the most dangerous road in the world’, heading into the Brazilian Amazon.

Pushing eastward, ever eastward we will work towards Trinidad where hopefully we can view the remnants of the 5,500 year old Paititi culture. Rising out of the Amazon we will ride the wonderful Bolivian Triangle bounded by Cochabamba, Sucre and Santa Cruz. We will exit Bolivia through the Jesuit Mission area and head for the Brazilian coast.

In Rio de Janeiro we will be re-united with our wives after an absence of eighty (80) days. Then for five (5) weeks we will ride the ‘Best of Brazil’ before returning the wives to Rio for their 'norte' departure. We too will head north, but through Brazil, up to Belem, up the Amazon to Manaus and then ever northward to Venezuela. When Venezuela has sated us we will push onward through Central America and Mexico, the USA and finally home to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Only time will tell what happens, where we get to and how it all unfolds. Stay tuned for the real story of ‘South America Re-Visited’. The trip starts the end of March. ...Until we meet again... Robert"

Valparaiso, Chile.

Murray - "'So, what do you pack?' I asked Bob one day over girlie-man lattes.

'I've worked up some lists. I'll email you. But don't take everything you own, keep it simple.' Bob smiled like it was an inside joke. I didn't get it. Yet.

Next day a MicroSoft ding on the laptop announced the arrival of a 9 page Complete Packing List , a 3 page Cost Estimate ($22,247 CAD), a 3 page line-by-line Trip Itinerary (Abancay to Cuzco, 1 day, 491 km), with 70 GPS routes to follow in the next email. I soberly scanned the lists, feeling a wee bit overwhelmed. Geez, I'll need two men and a boy to carry all this stuff! But to be fair, I was also impressed as hell. Bob is not a man to take things lightly - he'll be a damn good travelling companion. And besides, we toured the Arizona desert together February last year and got along great.

... So now that I have The Lists, what to put in, what to leave out? And what to do first? Well Murray, says I, let's start with Katie, 'cause that's more fun.

Katie M needed some practical clothes, nothing fancy, for this wee jog will include a cruise down the Bolivar, not down the boulevard. So what does an Austrian 200 kg mama wear for a seven month trip in Latin America? Well, considering the journey would include pavement/gravel/sand/no road/passing through narrow doorways and ship hatches, the clothing would have to be, like practical shoes, less than stylin'.

After some months dressing Katie in engine guards, high fenders, big Jesse panniers and other bulk I now have a bike that looks more like an Austrian extra in an B grade gladiator movie. Don't worry Arnold, your Terminator image is safe. And so are you no-fear teens that drop garage roofs with freestyle bicycles. The only thing I'm likely to drop is Katie.

With departure date set for January 24, 2006, lists transmogrified into loaded panniers (luggage 43 kg), documents collected, GPS loaded, and I've been injected, inspected, rejected and all kinds of mean and nasty stuff, I'm ready to launch.

Suffering in Santiago.

Murray slaving away in Santiago

... I like it here. Santiago is a city of 6 million within a Chilean population of around 15 million. This capital city is nestled, it appears to me, within a stone's throw of the Andes. The Pacific Ocean is an hour and a half drive to the west. Thirty degrees C in summer with pleasant shirt sleeve evenings; in winter it drops to 15C. Want snow? Then drive to it. It too is only an hour away. How civilized. Is this California?...

For six weeks, my life is school from 9 to 1. Then homework, daily guided tours of local sites, and in the evening, more homework. So far I have studied 6 million words, know 200, can use 5 in a broken sentence. And while I slave away, my trusty companion, Katie M, sails merrily through the Panama Canal with 20 other of her spoked friends. No doubt sipping on drinks-with-umbrellas, all from under the shade of 10 peso Panama hats...

By the 30th of marzo, our bikes should arrive in the port of Valparaiso and Bob flies in from the Great White North. We´ll collect our bikes and start the adventure up the Chilean coast, the northern target being Cuzco, Peru. There'll be time for another chapter before we ride off to glory, cheap wine and dazzling the locals with our sparkling spanglish..."

Bob and Murray each have their own blogs on Horizons Unlimited, so you can follow their adventures!


Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
Please be sure to tell them how you heard about GlobeRiders! Thanks!

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 the web page." Helge Pedersen.


Grant Guerin and Julie Rose, Australia, Trans America and Beyond, in Mexico, Suzuki V-Strom,

" ...We made Tehuntepec our home for a few days thoroughly enjoying the atmosphere of the town and its people. We spent a great deal of time wandering the amazing street markets that were set up each morning on the railway lines selling everything from plates to pineapples. Each night they would clear the tracks for the night freight trains to come through.

Street music in Mexico.

On the way into Mexico City an ominous sound began emanating from the rear wheel of the Suzuki. We stopped as soon as possible to inspect and found the chain guard had broken off and was caught up in the wheel. Grant suspects it was damaged from the accident in Xalapa. We pulled it out of the way (with trusty cable ties) and Grant, in true Mexican fashion, repaired it.

On the way into Centro we were confronted with some of the worst traffic conditions of our trip. Unfortunately a ute reversed and collided with us and we hit the deck. We picked ourselves and Miss Piggy up while the driver sat in his vehicle obviously not too concerned with our plight! Jules went to talk to him as he had hit us and he just yelled at her and drove off.

The southern coast of the Isthmus is renowned for its very strong winds and the next day ride to Tuxtla Gutierrez proved to be no exception. At times we were blown all over the road and at one point when we stopped to ask for directions Grant had to move the bike in fear of it being blown over. Grant could barely hold the bike in an upright position whilst stationery. It was quite scary and we were glad to head inland for Tuxtla about half way through the journey."

Ed. See Grant and Julie's blog here on Horizons Unlimited for more stories and lots of great photos!

Johan Arnt Bjorkas, Norway, in Madagascar, Kawasaki KLR650,

"My departure town was Morondava, on the west-coast of Madagascar. From there I rode 110km north to the city of Tsymafana (not hot) which was indeed very hot as the rest of coastal madagascar. There I had to put the bike on a boat to cross the river Tsiribihina which takes approx 40 minutes, and enter the town of Belo sur Tsiribihina. I came to Belo at about 1400 hours, and spent some time trying to get a new bulb for my headlight, as the one I had was broken due to all the shaking on the bad stretch of road between Miandrivazo and Malaimbandy. As I had expected, there was no bulb to be found in Belo.

Bekopaka is another 100km north, but because of the rain, the roads are terrible, and all the public transport had stopped running for the season. This meant that I would be riding the entire stretch of 200km from Belo to Bekopaka and back with the chance of not seeing any other vehicles, and thus no chance of getting a lift if my bike broke down. I decided to spend the rest of the day checking out the road, and then decide if I should go or not afterwards. The road seemed ok, there was places with lots of water, but not too bad.

...I had managed to stay on my wheels until now. But my good luck wouldn't last. I slipped in the mud, choking the engine, but got back on my feet within seconds, and the engine started, no problem. The second time I slipped in some water, and tipped the bike over again, choking the engine. This time it wouldn't start again, and this was what I had been fearing since I left the safety of Belo. My companions looked at me with a look which could only mean: what is this guy doing out here on his own? And I felt about the same. Anyway, the bike wouldn't start, and all the gasoline was pouring out of the carburetor. I'm no mechanic, and I was not sure what to do. The two malagasy men had stopped of course. They had agreed to ride together back to Belo. And even though the passenger with the shotgun didn't look too happy, the rider was very helpful. But after looking at the bike for a few minutes, he couldn't figure out what was the problem.

Some water on the roads, Madagascar.

I started to get really worried; it was still 40km to Belo, and the sun was really really hot. The sweat was pouring all over my body, and all I had was 3 litres of water. It didn't calm me down when my helpers asked if I carried a lock, and the guy with the shotgun looked at their bike and explained that it could only carry two people. In which I was not included. Since I didn't carry a lock, the decision was made to have another look at the bike, and luckily it turned out to be just the float in the carburetor which was stuck. The problem was fixed by tapping on it with a piece of metal. And to my relief, the engine started without any gasoline leaking. We were on the road again..."

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


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Lana Lowe, Canada, to South America, in Mexico, F650 GS,

"Born in British Columbia, Canada, I am a member of the Fort Nelson First Nation (Dene). After revealing my plans, one of the most difficult questions I'm asked is, 'Why?' Which is usually followed by a reference to Ché Guevara and his Motorcycle Diaries. While I won't deny that Motorcycle Diaries piqued my desire to ride South America, it was the exhilaration and growing sense of possibility that comes with learning to ride that inspired me to read the book three years ago.

... Freedom came when I realized that I alone am responsible for my life. The realization that my life is in my own hands grabbed hold of me the moment I prepared to take my first corners at speeds over 60 km/h. How much brake I applied, how far I dared to lean, the path I chose and how I responded to the unexpected, would all determine whether I would roar out of each corner with a big smile on my face, or end up in the bushes a tangled mess of blood, bones, chrome and rubber.

Lana leaving Victoria.

Lana leaving Victoria

... Though I may be faced with potholes, blind corners, bad weather and aggressive or inattentive drivers–I am responsible for how I prepare for and respond to these perils and risks of riding. Accepting this responsibility and mastering my fears and insecurities is what good riding (and good living, I suppose) is all about. Once I accepted responsibility for my life, I could no longer subsume my dreams to those of others, nor could I maintain a lifestyle of servitude. So I made a list of 'Ten Things to Do in my Life,' placing riding my motorcycle through South America near the top.

Since then I have earned my freedom by ridding myself of possessions and debt and completing my Masters’ degree. Unburdened by the past and undaunted by the future, I am free to take my experience, my thinking, my understanding - my life -to another level.

... I suppose there are other, safer ways of living freedom than jumping on a motorbike and roaming the Americas. However, I am not interested in just developing my own sense of freedom and self reliance. I am also interested in working towards indigenous freedom and self reliance throughout the Americas. I believe that connections must be made between the indigenous people of the north and south. We have a lot to share with each other and to learn from each other."


"... I’m chillin’ in Zihuatanejo once again...I’m having a hard time tearing myself away from the sun and surf to brave the cold mountains of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guatemala. But I will. Soon. Seriously, I am leaving Zihua at the end of the month to spend a week or so in Oaxaca, hopefully cross paths with the Zapatista delegation while I’m there. Then it’s off to Chiapas, the heart of Zapatista territory for a few days...


Just a quick note to let you know that I'm in Guatemala now. From what I've seen so far, it's a very beautiful country. Unfortunately, I'm only about three hours in to the country... I've been held up in Xelaju (Queztaltenango) for the past couple weeks with a hurtin' shoulder... but I'm ok now (despite the doom and gloom of my recent posts, I'm really feeling a lot better now, lol). By coincidence, I'm around for the BMW International Conference at Lake Atitlán next weekend...should be fun...I'll be sure to take lots of photos. I'll be in Guatemala until mid-April (my visa runs out two days after Semana Santa) then it's off to El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica.... Lana"

Simon Fitzpatrick, UK, London to Cape Town, in Mozambique and South Africa, Honda Dominator,

"Mozambique - I'm starting to think I might be a natural city boy. Roughing it in the countryside is all well and good for short periods, and the beach is great as long as you've got something to read, but looking back, the best times I've had on this trip have been in capital cities.

Maputo is stuffed with amenities. For the last three nights I've been in the Africa Bar watching live jazz and it's been a hoot. The first night's entertainment was 'Nanando'; the most technically accomplished guitarist I've ever seen or heard. How do they do that, as Des Lynam would say if he wasn't sulking. Made me want to go back to the hotel and throw my guitar out of the window.

Some forgettable stuff from some guys I've forgotten on the second night, and then last night the loose, Afro-Cuban-All-Stars-during-a-lost-weekend styling's of Luis Fernandes. A mix of Portuguese, African, American Maudlin and The Beatles. The only genuinely moving version of 'Yesterday' I've ever heard (including the original). One of the three or four singers is The Mozambique Tom Waits. He's fantastic and very intoxicated. The band play the intro to 'No Woman No Cry' and he starts singing 'My Way'. An obvious error. Superb.

Mozambique Church.

South Africa - After it survived over a year of being carted across the worst roads in the world, keeping me entertained in the ghastliest, most joy-sucking rat-pits on the planet, some awful thief (or words to that effect) has stolen my bloody guitar. "At last we are free!" - African music lovers.

Of course it's my fault. Morocco to Swaziland - zero crimes against property or person. I became blasé. Last night I left the instrument outside the tent. Now it's gone. *seethe*

The worst drivers in Africa live here. It's the combination of perfect roads, expensive SUV's and, I suspect, buckets and buckets of lager. With all the luggage on, the best I can do (with a tail wind) is 64 mph. I've lost count of the number of times some nurk in an Isuzu Trooper has overtaken me with 1 cm to spare, an event which occurred exactly once in the previous 20,000 miles."

Ed. Follow Simon's adventures in his blog, here on Horizons Unlimited - great pics and colourful language!


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Margus Sootla, to Turkey and Iran, in Iran, BMW R1150 GS,

"Soon enough we understood why it would not have been a good idea to travel at night – on the road there was a lot of roadkill: that of donkeys, sheep, cows and dogs, who like to sleep on the warm tarmac. As we already said, the more east the worse the quality of the roads, and we also began to notice differences in architecture. Driving past numerous checkpoints, where soldiers were sitting behind sandbags, with Kalashnikov machine guns over their shoulders, we realized that we were in the Kurdish region. It was really poor. In some places, people were living in clay shelters and wearing tattered clothes. Since we were very close to the Iranian border, we had to buy the required headscarf and a pinafore.

... we continued our journey towards Tehran, with a plan to make a small detour and go to Khal Khal where some kind of an interesting mosque was supposed to be. Unfortunately we weren't able to find the mosque nor the place itself, but we found ourselves on a breathtaking mountain road instead, that took us up and down, revealing the most amazing views of the Iranian landscape. Our map claimed that the same road should take us to Tehran, but at one moment we had to admit that the road conditions had become awful and that continuing to drive on the same road could result in damaging our bikes. The terrible potholes in the road had already managed to loosen the nut of our bike's telelever, and we didn't have the specific size tool to re-tighten it with us. Luckily there were many workshops along the road and though the mechanic did not have an appropriate wrench, made one with his welding gear. Everyone was happy, but he refused to accept any payment for the work...

Unfortunately a whole day’s riding on the hot tarmac road resulted in cracks on the rear tyre, and some of the tread had flown off completely. Yet the fact was that we would not have found a solution to our problem in Iran. We could only hope that the tire would last to the Turkish border (which was approximately 250 km away) and that it would be possible to replace it there. In despair, we reached Orumiyeh and took a hotel. In the hotel’s garage there was a Yamaha belonging to an Italian professor. As it turned out, it had broken down due to electrical problems which could not be repaired in Iran. Too bad for the professor, because he had just begun his journey through Iran and now he had to turn around. For us, it was a comforting thought that we had managed to make our tour round Iran without technical problems.

Heading back through Europe, we planned to reach home on 7th September, but that same day we were hit by a reckless Polish car driver, which resulted in several bruises and a completely wrecked bike. The next day we and our comatose friend were transported home by Margus’s father who had to come for us with his car and a trailer..."

Andrew Newton, in Moroccan Sahara, Yamaha XT600E

" We left for Tan Tan along an awesome desert road, windy, dusty and very hot. We rode on to see camels grazing at the side of the road then as we approached the northern edge of Tan Tan the gateway to the Western Sahara we saw the famous concrete camels.

Tan Tan concrete camels, Morocco.

The next day after filling up with petrol and water plus reserves of both we attempted the Tan Tan to Assa piste across the desert, we got 35km outside Tan Tan on the road to M'sied and a horrendous sandstorm was blowing. We were down to 40kph on the road in 3rd gear. It got so bad that I could only see 2 metres in front and there was an extremely powerful headwind. We battled on for another 15km's hoping to get through this before turning back but there was no way we could ride off road in this. There was zero visibility, so we decided to head back up the road to Guelmim ready for the next day’s piste - Ait Herbil to Tafraoute in the Anti Atlas. Ourselves and all our gear is covered in fine dust... even inside my dry bag and that is designed for canoeing! On the way to Guelmim another sandstorm hit although nowhere near as bad, so we took refuge in a cafe and had a coke before moving on. The road from Guelmim to Ait Herbel was a fantastic desert road with lots of dust in the air.

Road from Guelmim to Ait Herbel, Morocco.

We left Tafraoute campsite for Igherm then to Tata over the mountains off road. The track started off easy then got very rocky, climbing up over a Jebel and becoming very narrow with a scary 6km descent down a very steep windy track with big drop offs at the side, quite scary on a loaded up motorbike!

We eventually dropped down into a long wide gorge with palmeries and oueds, then when the tarmac started 30km short of Tata the road crosses a huge plain and then over the Jebel Tabarount and through the gorges with swirling rocks. Awesome. We got to Tata and refuelled for the next day and found a campsite that was once good, now slightly decrepit..."

Ed. For more stories and pics, see Andrew's blog here on Horizons Unlimited!


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Mick McDonald, Chris Tooth , Patrick Ploegstra and Scott Luttrell, 'The Last Stans Trans Siberia Trip', in Mongolia and Russia, 

"We left Mongolia fully expecting a rather boring ride to Vladivostok, we couldn't have been further off the mark. Crossing back into Russia, which only took 3 and a half hours we where on our way to Vlad but first we wanted to spend a night in Chita. For some reason the hotels always seem loathe to let us stay, silly us, imagine rocking up at a hotel and actually expecting a place to stay. In all of Russia hotel staff have been consistently rude and surly, we are sure there is a school of rudeness they attend.

Unfortunately Chita was also the place that Scott and Paddy got taken against their will and beaten with sticks after being made to strip down. A great bunch of blokes that spent an hour helping us find a hotel offered to take us all out that night, but Chris and I (being the oldest) decided to make the most of the hotel bed. Let me rephrase that, we wanted to sleep. So the boys went to a Russian banya, a sauna and massage, with sticks apparently. They claim they felt much better after this beating, hmmmm.

Crossing rivers in Mongolia.

Crossing rivers in Mongolia

So off we went for a 1400km dirt road adventure across far eastern Siberia. We have had numerous warnings about bandits on this section, but didn't really take them all that seriously, an incident made us reconsider. Whilst riding along with Chris in front, a guy walked out of the bush seemingly intending to pull me up. No drama, except he was toting a machine gun and had 2 mates sitting in the bush with him. Upon seeing two more bikes, Scott and Paddy coming towards him, he changed tack and wandered back into the bush. We will never know if this was a holdup about to take place, but it makes for a good read doesn't it?

The road was taking its toll on the bikes, only 15 minutes after the near holdup my chain guard snapped and as Paddy pulled up to help I noticed a little problem with his bike, the Bloody Thing was on Fire, all sorted we were on our way again. Next day we only managed to ride 20ft before Scott's bike just wouldn't run, his flat tyre on the rear didn't help either. So off came the carburetor as the trucks flew by covering us in dust, just what you want when working on a carburetor, no matter though as it wasn't long till it started to rain, so we put up a tent and huddled in that with half his motor in there. Thankfully got it going again and I thought this would be boring.

Arriving in Vladivostok at the end of the trip.

Arriving in Vladivostok at the end of the trip

We finally made it back to glorious bitumen after 1500km of dirt, varying from smooth as a babies bottom to a dusty goat track and we spent a full day in Khabarovsk doing you guessed it, bike repairs, Scott's radiator has cracked. With Scott's bike going again we left for the last 2 days riding to Vlad, and then came the last days riding. And so it was at 5.30 pm, Wednesday, in brilliant sunshine we rode into Vladivostok after doing 25500klms from London, 4 months to the day of leaving Paddy's place in the Netherlands."

Ed. Congratulations guys on making it all the way to Vladivostok. For more great stories of the trip and photos, see their website.


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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


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. 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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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!

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up to top of pagespacerShorts...

Russ Darr, USA, in Mexico, BMW R1200GS,

"A friend on a R1150RT and I on a R1200GS, traveled from Seattle Washington, down Baja, crossed the Sea of Cortez on a ferry to attend the Horizons Unlimited meeting in Creel. Chihuahua. Mexico. Creel is located in the heart of the Sierra Madre and the jumping off spot to see the Copper Canyon area. This area is very scenic and has some truly great motorcycling roads. The pavement is tight and twisty. The off pavement roads are fantastic. What more could one ask for?

Bridge near bottom of canyon.

Thursday morning October 13, 2005, I left Creel and headed for El Paso, Texas. I planned to spend a few days in Denver to visit my children. At about 10:30 in the morning, 50 miles south of La Junta a red pickup passed doing about 80mph. I thought, oh boy, a rabbit. I picked up my speed to match the rabbit's. I looked up from the speedo and there is a vehicle stopped in the road in front of me. I was hard on the brakes and realized immediately there is no way I could stop before slamming into the stopped vehicle. My only chance is to swerve to the right. I almost made it. The front of the bike missed but the left aluminum bag caught the right rear corner of the vehicle. The next thing I remember is I am lying on my back and several people are around me looking down. I didn't want to move any part of my body and was sure both arms were broken...

Now begins a saga of generosity, kindness and caring that I have never experienced in the USA... "

Ed. For the whole story and lots of pics, see Russ' blog here on Horizons Unlimited.

Bill and Becky, UK, RTW, in Goa, R1200 GS and F650 GS,

"... Following the discovery of the Horizons Unlimited website a year ago, it was only a matter of time before 2riders-1dream became a reality. We are 2riders Becky and Bill who have been together now for five years and are two ordinary people who share the same dreams in life. Becky is a nurse in the UK and Bill a driving instructor.

It all started about a year ago when after having a long day at work, we started talking about travelling and how much fun it would be on motorbikes. Becky had found the Horizons Unlimited website and it was then we realised that we could actually do it if we wanted. So then came the bikes, the house went up for sale in order to fund our trip and 2riders-1dream was born!

... Happy New Year to everyone back home. Well Christmas dinner just didn’t seem right without the cold weather outside. We met up with Simon, whom we had previously met in Iran and we all went out for Christmas dinner...The day began with cocktails before a fish dinner and giving everyone a little gift. This consisted of each member of the group being presented with a surprise present...the condition was that you had to model it for the evening.

Colourful trucks in Goa.

Today we decided to... go to one of the many stall located by the roadside where you buy really fresh live chickens! Not knowing what to expect Becky choose the cutest one thinking it would be taken out of sight.

But no, instant death it was to be and oh boy what a death. The stall holder grabbed the chicken and...its throat was slit...then the chicken moved and slipped out of her hands and into the jaws of a hungry dog! All hell broke loose then. The stall holder chased the dog up the road with a large knife in her hand...The dog having won the day she returned, and (a fresh chicken’s) throat was slit, head then feet removed, skinned and filleted...leaving Becky squealing as she was covered in blood from the chicken. The following morning the chicken was fed to the local cats as Becky dreamt that it was trying to get out of the fridge all night.

We are now getting ready to continue our journey after relaxing for a few weeks in Goa and will be heading for Hampi."


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Juan Carlos Ibarra, Mexico, in Colombia, Kawasaki KLR650,

“As many other travellers I was advised against visiting (Colombia). I can tell you it is a friendly and stunning country, well worth visiting. As with any love affair, one does not come into it free of risk... you all know that.

So I finally got to Bogotá. As I was getting my paperwork started a very friendly guy approached me, he told me he was a biker as well, the proud owner of a Virago 750. We immediately started talking bikes and trips. The bike was released smoothly and Germán agreed to guide me to my hotel. He then invited me to a "Harlistas" ride on Sunday. I immediately agreed, of course.

Sunday’s ride was the most fun I've had on two wheels since I got my XR400 under water at a river crossing back home.

The road to the city of Tunja was wonderful... people ride and drive like Juan Pablo Montoya (the F1 Colombian pilot) all the time; they have absolutely no respect for speed limits, lane lines, speed bumps, oncoming traffic... it was a teenager's dream ride. Lots of risk and total freedom.

We all parked at the main square and hundreds of people cheered us in. As I was the only foreigner I sort of became a one day star. I gave away autographs and kissed a bunch of babies... well I did kiss some babes as well. Then we took children for rides on our bikes. The look on their faces was of sheer joy. At one point I had three children on the bike as I rode down main street roaring loudly at very low speed... It was memorable.”

Ed. See Juan Carlos' blog here on Horizons Unlimited for more stories!

Jay Wright, Alberta, Canada, to South America and beyond,

writing to the Bangkok Community:

"Hello all! I'm just finishing up riding around India on an Enfield. Sold the Bullet today and bought a ticket for Bangkok on Thurs. Wondering if anyone has a used 350 Enduro, or used bike for sale. Any leads on where and how to buy new/used would be awesome. Looking forward to a well deserved rest in paradise. Thx in advance, Jay Wright...Cheers!"

Karin Lepa and Peter Pond, Australia

"So the bikes are happily bobbing their way to Australia via Singapore, or so we hope, and we plan to meet up with them in Freemantle on the 13th of Feb. and start the T.T. tour of Australia.

The idea behind this tour was born on a beautiful sunny day in Adelaide in 2004, when Peter and I happened into a souvenir shop on Rundle Mall to buy a T-shirt for Marcel, my brother in-law. Peter found this fabulous calendar of Australian Pubs, photographed by Steve Parish, and commented that it would be really neat to visit all these pubs. So back in rainy cold and wet Vancouver we revisited the idea as an itinerary for a motorcycle trip around Oz. This explaining the T.T. designation (Tavern to Tavern, or Tank to Tank)

A brilliantly romantic notion, yes. The reality not so romantic. There is a lot more involved in getting your motorbikes to Australia than just putting them on a boat and meeting up with them later."

Ed. See Karin and Peter's blog here on Horizons Unlimited for more stories!


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Thanks! Grant and Susan


Mike Jacobs, USA, to Tierra del Fuego, in Ecuador, KLR 650

"...I believe Ecuador has the friendliest people in this adventure. When I departed my hosts, Henry and Daisy’s, home they both blessed me and Henry gave me a rosary. Another confirm was a moment at a small grocery shop. The owner greeted with smiles and asked me to take his photo. I received of least 12 thumbs up and several hand shakes today.

Did you know that there is an law in Ecuador which states: 'Under no circumstances is any truck, bus, car or any motorized vehicle to turn on their lights. This shall be the rule of whoever does is chicken (pollo)!'

Some children were very enterprising business people. They stretched a rope across the road with small ribbons attached to it. Then they held the rope taut and expected to stop incoming traffic and collect a toll. I scared the hell out of one young girl as I sped up to her and then steered towards her. The reason I did this was to avoid a group of holes in the road. She thought I was aiming for her and ran like crazy towards her mother who was sitting on the side of the road. Both of their looks of surprise was a sight to see. I nodded at them as I passed..."

Mike Jacobs leaving Colorado.

Mike leaving Colorado


"Break out the champagne! I made it to my destination. Ushuaia. Yeah!

Ushuaia came to me with a warm greeting - 45 degrees F at 8 PM. The last 30 miles into town were in the southern tip of the Andes and beautiful mountain country. It was dusk when I arrived. I will take the famous photo tomorrow... The end of the world sign."

Chris Bright, UK, in Morocco, Honda Transalp,

" ...Set off bright and early on 1st Jan across the piste north towards Merzouga and Erg Chebbi (again). Made it about 120km. Fell off and trapped under bike. Took 1 hour to free self. In that time no traffic passed by.

Rode another 10 km. Totally toasted clutch in big sandy bit. It gets dark at 6. Couple of Berbers appear. At about 8pm pickup truck miraculously appears. He takes me and bike to Berber's village, about 10km across the sand and scrub. Camp in matie's yard with goats and donkey etc.

Now it's 2nd Jan. Drive with bike in Mercedes truck 5 hours for 100km along bad piste to town (Risanni). Back street mechanic and his son open bike. Can't get old clutch out because thread is damaged. Using lots of ingenuity we finally do it. Yep, clutch is Donald Ducked. Mechanic suggests calling Casablanca for possible new part. But no time...

Hang on says son, I've got an old 1970s Honda XL500 motor with a broken piston in the back room - let's have a look, the clutch might be the same. The one in a thousand chance that they are identical is.... True. My bike is an XLV600, so maybe it wasn't one in a thousand, but still....Put new, second hand clutch in.

Today, 4th Jan, touch wood, clutch still going great after 500km. Am near Meknes and intend to take ferry to Spain tomorrow..."

Craig Hutson, USA, RTW, in Australia, Harley-Davidson,

"I so lucked out today, a cool front moved in and rode the whole day in a long sleeve shirt, so instead of only 250-300K a day to get past the Nullarbor I did 1400K and did the whole thing, so much for well laid plans. Gas wasn’t a problem, the price jumped about $.40 a litre but 200K was the longest I had to go between stops. Other they the temperature the Nullarbor was all they said it would be.... A whole lot of nothing, but still in its own way beautiful, such openness.

90 mile straight road, Australia.

There was one stretch called ‘90 mile straight road’, and it was straight and pretty flat, it’s the longest straight road in Australia. One thing I did notice, hundreds of kangaroo road kills; I’m willing to bet there were at least 50 dead kangaroos for every mile then I started thinking, I was on it around 1pm, I passed one truck and saw 3 vehicles going eastbound; someone has to be hitting these, the odds were not very good on my behalf. As it turned out I never saw a live one, must be the people doing this trip at night...

Stopped for the night in Norseman, was going to be an 'I survived the Nullarbor' bumper sticker but there really wasn’t any(thing) to the ride, I would have felt guilty bragging about it..."

Ed. For more stories and pics, see Craig's blog here on Horizons Unlimited!

Winfried ‘Winne’ Lichtblau, in Mexico, BMW F650GS,

"Finally I reached the Pacific coast and spent the night in the very authentic and almost (apart from myself) gringo-free town of Tehuantepec. Actually I did not want to stay there but it was almost 5pm and continuing would most probably mean travelling in the dark. As my Cancun hotel manager had warned me particularly of this road - especially at night - I had decided to look for accommodation here. I liked the city, since it was lively and really looked like you imagine original Mexico. I liked especially the three-wheeled motorcycle taxis, driven by men and always with two women standing full of dignity on the back with their hair and skirts waving in the wind..."

Ed. See Winne's blog here on Horizons Unlimited!


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Caleb Dyjkstra and Liz Wilkinson, Canada, Toronto to Ushuaia, Kawasaki KLR 650 and Super Sherpa 250,

"Things just normalize after a while. I remember the other day we were driving down the Pan-American highway at 120km/h and we had to swerve to miss a guy on an over-loaded donkey hitting it with a stick to get it going faster. It was just a little donkey and the guy riding it had his legs dragging on the ground, and it was just normal... Liz and I don't even flinch when we come across a bunch of sheep, or goats or pigs or horses just wandering around on the road. I remember sitting at a cafe the other day, camera in hand, and this old man comes booting along on a home made three-wheeler that looked like it was built for a three-year-old. It was just one of the most ridiculous looking things I have ever seen, and we didn't even seem to notice, then Liz looked up at me and she said 'That's not normal.' We both took another look and then just sat there and laughed because it was normal."

Fixing the bike.

Caleb fixing the bike

Tommy and Rosa, Germany, RTW, in New Zealand, BMW F650GS's,

"We have an invitation from Faye and Andy, who live in Levin. The other travellers, Tanja, Christian, Elke and Arne stayed also with them and told us, we have to visit them, because they're so nice and lovely. And they are. We have a lot of fun with them and enjoy our stay with them very much. Both of them are motorcyclists, Andy owns even four motorbikes, Faye 'only' one. We go to a house warming party of a neighbour, the next day Tommy and Andy go for a ride, Rosa writes travelogues. Together with Faye and Andy we ride onto the beach and visit a neighbour of them, who moved an old house to his property with a truck. Because it was too big, they had to cut it into two parts! As we leave, Andy accompanies us to Masterton. There is a beautiful seaside village we visit - Castlepoint. There we stay overnight, but the motor camp is not cheap - 30 NZD for one night. So we leave the next day and take a beautiful country roads to Hastings. On the way we pass the longest place name of the world: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu."

Mountains in New Zealand.

Round Europe and Asia on a home-built Harley - full power to him!

Peter Jason Tonge and Linda, in India, home-built Harley (S&S engine, home-built frame using 36 and 46 parts),

"Saturday 11th Feb. Nice & early Marmite breakfast to try and miss the heat of the day... Had a high of 39 degrees yesterday on the thermometer (yes, oil cooler handy!) The No.17 road is a good surface (if only we had suspension)... Who's in a hurry, anyway? Must say the standard of driving is just below zero... Every bend you approach, get ready to stop, as there's probably, definitely two lorries or buses struggling it out, overtaking! Only one more thing... Never drive at night.. suicide's all I shall say! When we came down a couple of weeks before with the Land Rover, (there were) tractors on the motorway, no lights... oncoming vehicles in the fast lane - some with lights. And all trucks with no back lights whatsoever... only thing visible is the mandatory blue light shining up the beautifully painted back axle! Priorities! Arrived in Palolem,in the south of Goa, early afternoon... Straight into the sea for a warm dip. Fantastic!"

Takayuki Nezasa, Japan, in Mozambique, Suzuki DR250,

"Hi, I updated my web site which has much information. For example, accommodation, GPS, road condition, prices, border and so on especially in Africa.

Gorongosa Road, Mozambique.

Gorongosa Road, Mozambique

...In June, 2003, I crossed to Vladivostok, Russia from Fushiki, Japan on my Suzuki DR250, named Tetsuroh, which is the name of a traveler from a Japanese animation. I crossed the Eurasian Continent and the Western Sahara desert also... In May, 2004, I went back to Japan for a time, and in July, 2004 , I started my second stage around Africa from Ghana. I arrived at the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas, and now I travel north along the east side of Africa."

Children in Mozambique.

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

" Following our adventures in Bolivia we had been stuck in San Pedro de Atacama for over a week trying to procure anything that would serve as a temporary repair for our leaking petrol tank. We did the best we could and set off for La Serena with the tank still leaking but not as badly. Thanks to an email from Martin we knew we could get a permanent repair there. A third of the way down Chile, La Serena is a lovely Colonial city, marred by graffiti but saved by a good motorbike shop which for us makes up for anything.

As we rode to the bike shop we were assaulted by rude gestures and verbal abuse from three huge Russians in the back of a pickup with a broken down KTM. The gestures were aimed at our ailing Honda but we shouted back pointing out that at least our bike wasn’t in the back of a pickup. Evidently a good point. It turned out that they were going to the same place as us for repairs.

As we pulled up and hopped of the bike they jumped out of the pickup and loomed over us shaking our hands and laughing. Meeting several Muscovite Hells Angels in mid Chile is an odd experience made all the more mad for their perfect English, backgrounds of bankers, journalists and businessmen and personalities resembling 5 year-olds fed on a diet of steroids and having an adverse reaction to E-numbers resulting in something akin to kids in ToyRUs on an unlimited budget. Once the bike shop had our respective repairs underway we all jumped back into their pickup for a break-neck ride round La Serena in search of a McDonalds and more E-numbers. Sometimes life on the road takes on a surreal air for us.

The obligatory ride to the end of the road in Ushuaia.

The obligatory ride to the end of the road in Ushuaia

It was a long and cold ride across Tierra del Fuego to Ushuaia all in one day but upon reaching Rio Pipo campground it was like coming home. We pulled up at the gate to be greeted by old friends. Alec, Martin and Katya, Martin and Siliva and others. Hugs and warm welcomes were exchanged as we tried unsuccessfully to get of the bike with sore backsides. It was the 23rd of December and despite the best efforts of fate we’d bloody made it!."

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

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

"It's all downhill from the top of the 4733 meter Khunjerab Pass. We're happy to stop for a breath of rarified air near the post confirming our arrival in Pakistan.

A large plaque pays homage to the thousands of Chinese and Pakistani workers who toiled and gave their lives to build the chasm-overlooking-jaw-droppingly-cliff-overhanging-landslide-prone-and-rutted-jumble which now constitutes the Karakoram Highway. Accurate information regarding how much of the highway remains affected by the devastating October 8 earthquake has been hard to come by. It's decidedly sobering to be traipsing through a country where just a few weeks before over 80,000 people were killed.

So here we are, unsure about the highway; unsure about the reception we'll receive as Americans; unsure how it will be for Erika to travel (with dutifully covered head) in a strict Moslem country where in many places women are largely invisible. But as the truck holding us and the bike toodles down the now-snowless road, we're greeted time and time again by friendly road-stop guards who delightfully speak English and welcome us to Pakistan. The greetings of these men in their shalwar-kameez (long loose shirts with baggy matching trousers) gives hope that this will be a friendly, if complex, place to travel."

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

Deb and Dave Welton, USA/Canada, F650's

"The ride south and east to San Salvador de Jujuy was phenomenal. When we crested one mountain and looked down into the valley, we could see endless switchbacks and clouds obscuring the view into the bottom of the valley. We lost track, but there were probably forty switchbacks on the way down. It was more like skiing down a mountain than riding down it. The treeless mountains were multiple shades of brown, red, and green rock.

a road made for motorcycles in Argentina

The border crossing into Chile was breathtaking. The fact that it was over 16,000 feet may have had something to do with it!" More on their HU blog.

Anne Girardin, France, Arctic Ocean to the Land of Fire, F650GS,

"I just wanted to let you know that I arrived this afternoon in Ushuaia. It was a big moment, thinking about all these very intense moments along the road and all my friends around the world. The trip is not over yet as I still have to ride north to visit some friends in Buenos Aires and in Brazil before returning home... if there is a home...! Thank you so much for supporting my project. I am a bit speechless now... I am simply happy! Happy for accomplishing this long time wish. I feel like I was in a play... the landscape made the scenery and the people met made the story... a wonderful story... an unforgettable story!...

Now I am ready to go home and think about the next trip which should be with Lois and Erin. Hasta luego, Anne"


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.


Jurgen Bogaert, Belgium, to New Zealand,

writing to the Dunedin Community:

"Hi there, I'm a Belgian motorbike traveller and I'm currently in Dunedin. I'd like to meet some other bikers to stay with for a few days and who could tell me about the back country roads in the south. You can call or give me a message on 02102308995. Hope to hear from you! Thank you beforehand! Greetings from Jurgen."

Uwe and Ramona Krauss, Germany, around the world, KTM640's, (STILL in North America)

writing to the New York Community:

"Hi there, we are a couple from Germany, traveling around the globe since 5 years on 2 KTM's. Around the 25th of April we will arrive in NY. Are you interested in coming together with us? Meeting with locals is an important part of traveling for us. Regards Uwe & Ramona"

Patrick and Belinda Peck, Australia, around the world, again, on whatever comes to hand,

"Rome is a magical city and we walked all over it! We spent 7 days there and had aching feet after it, but it was truly spectacular. The history in that city is amazing. Everyone has to see Rome at least once in their life! We stayed in a pension near the main bus station, bought a week long pass for public transport and everyday hopped on a bus going in a different direction, then walked and explored the ruins and statues everywhere. If it rained we went to a museum (and there are many) or we went touring on a bus. We went to the Vatican, the Pope blessed us (not that we needed it) on Sunday 12 noon in Saint Peters Square and we viewed lots of Michelangelo's handiwork...

Pat on bike on bamboo bridge at Vang Vieng, Laos.

Pat on bike on bamboo bridge at Vang Vieng, Laos

...Tomorrow we leave for a month in Morocco and intend to go right down to the Sahara Desert- will tell you all when we get back!"

Check out their HU Blog!

Tom and Lynne Gefre, USA, North, Central and South America, F650GS's,

"We are currently camped next to the Arenal volcano in Costa Rica and are heading to San Jose next week."

Mike Graham, Canada,

"I will be out of the country much of December and January trying to muddle my way through Central America...

So, having been in Guatemala for a while now, I was starting to think how much I love this country, and then came today.

I set out from Antigua for a nice ride to Lago Atitlan and Chichicastenango, and about 5kms from the turn North to Chichi, I see a couple of vehicles stopped in the road in front of me. This is a mountainous area so I immediately think 'accident' so as I am slowing I see a man running toward me, then I notice he's wearing a balaclava ... SHIT! I then realized what was going on and turned the bike around as quickly as I could. Mid-turn I hear a pop pop sound and think 'no way this can't be real'. But it was real alright and I was now committed, and he was obviously pissed so I tried as hard as I could to get the hell going in the other direction. Between my tire spinning from all of the shit on the road, and me trying to move around as much as possible on the bike, I just about crashed!

Thankfully I did manage to get away and I made it about half a kilometre when I realized that my rear tire was flat! Had they hit it? or did I pick up something as I was riding half way in the ditch with my spinning tire?

I did not want to stop anywhere near there so I rode on the rim back to the next small town. I really thought I would wreck the tire completely but it seems to be ok now. From what I can tell the bullet must have entered at the rim bead because it damaged it so that the wheel had to be hammered a bit and smoothed with file to reseat the bead, with generous amounts of some kind of glue that the local bicycle repair guy had. The strange thing is that there is also an exit hole in the tire as well, and yet I recovered the bullet from inside the tire?


Anyway, I'm back safe and sound in Antigua and want to let anyone in the area know to check with the local policia if they are considering a trip to Chichicastenango or Atitlan and ensure that the area will be safe. I know I am sure NOT going that way again!

I don't mean to scare anyone away, because this is a fabulous country, but just hope to raise awareness that it's not always happening to 'the other guy'.

Ride safe! Mike."

READ the HUBB thread on this, there's more of interest!


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Linda Bootherstone-Bick, UK, Gibraltar to Australia, Suzuki DR650,

sent this in:

"Have now been on the road for a year on my Suzuki. Thought you may like the words to one of the songs I have written on this trip. When my webmaster has time he will put the music also up on my site.

Hope you enjoy it and good luck with your meetings. Keep up the good work! Love Linda

All through my travels people have asked me why I am doing this, what is my mission? I have written the following song to try and answer the questions. It will shortly be added to my web site in sound but, in the meantime, here are the lyrics."

Ballad of the Overlander, Linda Bick, India 2006

What makes you leave your home and your family
Your job and security so far behind
To face an existence full of uncertainty
Why be an Overlander?

To travel the world and see all its wonders
Its places and people and cultures distinct
To lose fear of the unknown, put faith in humanity
That's being an Overlander

But don't you feel lonely, lost and bewildered
How do you know which way to go
There are so many dangers in all those strange places
Where you are an Overlander

Yes, at times I feel lonely lost and bewildered
So often confused not knowing the way
But someone or something will happen to change things's
And help out an Overlander

The problems you face are outnumbered by pleasures
Life never is easy at home or abroad
But learning to trust is one of life's treasures
Helps in being an Overlander

Forget all the images painted by media
And open your heart and mind to the world
A smile is the only weapon expedient
In the pack of an Overlander

So I'll keep on my way across the great continents
To see many wonders both big and small
I'll help where I can and share out my knowledge
While being an Overlander

So raise up your glasses to all the travellers
We who have chosen to wander afar
And those left at home who keep us connected
Here's to you and the Overlander's

Linda celebrated her 60'th birthday in India, and is having a great time! Check out her website!

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

Mike and Ruby, Canada and Germany, in the Middle East,

"We love to travel to different parts of the world on our motorcycles. We decided to share some of our travels, because we love reading about other folks’ adventures. We are Canadians living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The most common question we get asked is what do we do professionally to get the time off and to afford the trips. Nothing comes easy. It is all possible pending on how much you want to give up and what is important to you. It did take a few years to get in the senior positions we are in now, to be able to do what we want (kind of). We both are contract consultants and work as project managers for oil and gas engineering companies. The sacrifices we make financially are nothing compared to the memories and experiences we will take away from each trip. Why wait until retirement, when you might not make it there?

United Arab Emirates

We wish we could explain our desire to explore the world. What better way to combine two passions, motorcycling and traveling, to experience the culture, the people and history of a country.

We would like to thank: other travelers who have shared their stories with us and inspired us; those of you who follow our journeys with the same passion as we experience them; and our family and friends who think we are nuts, but still support us.

Here is how our journey unfolds: United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany. February 17 to August 23, 2006 - 6 months."

John and Alanna Skillo, Australia, half way round, Suzuki V-Strom,

"Well next month I start on my own 'little' adventure trip, UK to Australia, the Half-Way-Round-trip (apologies to the LWR, but I reckon they only went half-way anyway)

We are currently still in Australia but the bike is on its way by ship (via Panama) to the UK (hope it arrives OK). The car is sold, the house rented and I quit my job of 25 years. My wife has 12 months leave from teaching & she is travelling pillion. We will be away for at least 12 months.

Our route takes us around UK, E & W. Europe for 5 months, then Turkey (maybe Syria & Jordan), Iran, Pakistan (KKH), India & Nepal. Not sure where after that, depends on time and money."


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

"We are in Buenos Aires, a beautiful city, clean, where they managed to maintain the historical buildings. Very pretty. Tomorrow we will take the bikes to the inspection and as soon as they are ready, we will cross the Rio de La plata to go to Punta Del Leste, in Uruguay, the last country before entering Brazil."

"Yamr6" started a HUBB thread:

"Hi, starting in Ireland(Galway), am looking to plan a short 3-4 week trip to N. Africa via Spain. Probably late summer or autumn 2006. Bike is 1994 Yam.xt400. Have no experience of this kind of trip which is sort of the point.This is to give a taste of long distance/RTW type travel without having to sell the house/dog.. Border crossing,ferries,camping or other means all add to the experience. So anyone interested can contact me, I would welcome the input. No experience necessary!

and got a host of replies! His final note:

"Thanks to all who responded to my post, I have now arranged to do a 10 day trip around Morocco with a group of French, English, Welsh, Dutch? riders none of which I have met before! This site may have a lot to answer for come September. Thanks again."

We'll be interested to see if it was good or bad... :)

Kevin Beretta, Canada, around the world, R80G/S,

"...I will be traveling generally eastwards. After flying from Vancouver to Amsterdam, I'll go overland to Nepal, then from Thailand to Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, via a number of countries in between...

Mar 8, 2006 - Vancouver, Canada

Packing is highly underrated. Trying to collect all the bits and pieces for being on the road for a long time requires going with the absolute minimum, and then cutting it in half. I'm down to just over a 109 pounds, including the bags. The right Touratech weighs 33 pounds and the left 36. I'm also carrying a backpack across the two which weighs 40 pounds. The Zega cases and the backpack weigh 21 pounds, so a net weight of 88 pounds or 40 kilos of gear, including spare parts and tools. Not a bad first cut."

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, 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.

Jack and Janet Murray, PR of China, China to Europe and North America, BMW engined Chiang Jiang,

From their webmaster, Patty Glenn: "What is your dream vacation on a motorcycle, maybe an around the world motorcycle tour? Can you imagine your travels taking you through 4 continents, over 40 + countries, and using an old Chiang Jiang and not a modern Harley, BMW or Honda?

Could you do this motorbike global journey when you are 65 year old from North East China west to Europe, Canada, America, and Mexico, over 70,000 miles?

Would you be willing to camp out with a very old motorcycle with two tractor style seats on the bike and a side car as your means of transportation? Would you be willing to do it with the same person that you have been with for the last 41 years?

Meet Jack and Janet! They are going for it and their journey will be a truly remarkable motorcycle adventure of a lifetime."

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

Allan Karl, USA, RTW, recuperating in California after breaking a leg in Bolivia, BMW F650GS,

"Jan 15, 2006 ... 'Miah and I prepared for the worst weather. We layered our clothing, fitted our rain gear, and pulled out our warmest and heaviest gloves. The chilling air of the highest city of the world at 6:30am was one reason. Rain was the other. Despite the blue skies littered with few puffy white clouds we knew the chance of rain was 100%. Then Doc started acting up again. Over the past few weeks riding the high altitude plains (altiplano) of the Andes, Doc's been a bit temperamental. Seems my bike just doesn't like to start without a little coaching or attention. Even pulling over to take pictures Doc would stall and give me trouble starting up again. Jeremiah had some bit of trouble with his Dakar, exactly the same bike as mine, but not to the degree of my starting hassles. Obstinate as Doc could be I'd eventually get the bike started.

Soon we dropped into a valley and through a grove of cacti and tiny trees - almost shrubs. Doc was running exquisitely and as the heat turned up we pulled over to shed some of our layers. While there was plenty of evidence of the rainy season -- we passed through several muddy patches, crossed a few rivers and saw pools of water on the road -- the sky remained blue with no evidence of impending rains. Yet rounding one corner we encountered a bus that had slid in the dirt and mud off the road.

Rolling into the town of Tica Tica I was immediately taken by the scenic narrow street lined with brownish red adobe buildings with the ubiquitous thatched roofs. A beautiful Bolivian girl locked her eyes on me as we slowed into the outskirts of town. I pulled out my camera to capture 'Miah as he rode into Tica Tica. I noticed the road ahead deteriorate into a muddy mess. I put the camera away and pressed on.

Jeremiah St. Ours.

At one point the entire middle of the road was a pool of water and mud. Jeremiah pulled to the right. If there was such thing as a sidewalk, he was riding it. I decided to go to the left. My tires swished and slid a bit as I gripped the bars with apprehension and continued moving slowly. Then in a matter of seconds without warning my bike slid out from under me. As I fell I watched my left leg in slow motion as the Jesse bag lands on top of it and I flop into the mud. Everything is still. My leg was caught under the bag -- I was worried. Something felt funny. I gently pulled my leg out from under the bike. My senses started reeling. Funny alright. I knew it immediately. It's broken.

Jeremiah pulls over on the other side of the road. 'My leg is broken,' I yell to him. 'It got caught under the Jesse bag,' I explain. 'Get your camera!' He idles his pace makes a U and grabs the camera. 'My leg is broken, I know it,' I explain to him. 'Take a picture.' He grabs a quick snap and leans over me. By now a small group has gathered around. I'm lying face up in the mud. '"Allan, we are in Bolivia. We're in the middle of nowhere. We've got to figure out how to get you out of here,' Jeremiah whispers to me while verifying that I'm okay, conscious and in control of pain. Pain. Hah! What pain?

'My trip is over, J.J.,' I say to him using the nickname he has kindly requested I avoid. 'I'm so pissed.'

Allan Karl, self portrait after breaking his leg in Bolivia.

Self portrait after breaking leg in Bolivia

Feb. 13, 2006 ... It's been 29 days since my accident in Tica Tica, Bolivia. 26 days since my surgery in Newport Beach, California. I'm moving around on the crutches more easily. I'm off the narcotics and have switched to Advil. My leg still stiffens up at night. I wake. Stretch and flex the bugger. Then have a hard time getting back to sleep. At least taking a shower is easier ever since the splint was removed. The scars from the incisions don't look too bad. Dry skin. Still some bruising, but even that's disappearing.

March 1, 2006 ... checking the voice mail of my cell phone today I heard from Miah: 'Allan I made it. I'm in Ushuaia and this place is hopping wish you were here!' It was great to hear his voice. I just wish I was near my cell phone when he called! He is there. The bottom of the world. I stare at my computer screen. Remnants of my journey are lying around the room: my muddy top box, Jesse bags, my riding jacket, tent and bundles of Eagle Creek bags with my supplies. I should be in Ushuaia and celebrating. But I'm here healing. No worries. The bottom of the world waits for me. I'm improving and will return..."

Into Africa

by Sam Manicom

This is a story of amazing Africa, its people and some very good reasons why not to fall off a motorcycle.

Riding across fourteen countries from the island of Jersey to Cape Town, this eye opening tale catapults you into Africa.

Sam’s plans frequently don’t work out as they should, and every twist in the road leads him to new challenges and surprises. The journey throws disaster in his way, seeing him jailed in Tanzania and hit by a serious wipeout in Namibia. He lives in a remote village, canoes a dug out in Malawi, escapes a bush fire, climbs a mountain and much more.

He says, “Traveling on two wheels is the perfect way to explore a continent like this; it’s all about freedom and the ability to take advantage of opportunity.”

A special shine is given to this adventure by the warmth and welcoming nature of Africa’s people; Sam’s love of Africa glows from this book.

Available from

Price: £13.50 – 10% off when ordered quoting Horizons Unlimited

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

New Communities:

We've now reached an amazing 398 communities in 83 Countries as of March 23 2006!

A big thanks to all those who took the first step and established the Community in their area. New Communities are too many to list - it has been a while!

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.

Mark Robinson, UK, found out how good the Communities are when he wrote to the Vancouver Community:

"Myself and two friends are riding the Pan-Am starting in Vancouver arriving on the 1st of August, 2006. This is our first BIG trip. I'm being really cheeky - can someone in the Vancouver area give us floor space for a day or so when we arrive or suggest a VERY cheap hotel. This will hopefully give us the time to collect the bikes from the airport and set them up for the trip."

He wrote me: Received two messages back already including one that said we can stay at their house just 10 mins from Vancouver airport. I don't know whether it's HUBB motorcyclists that are so kind to let strangers stay in their home or Canadians. In either case I'm very grateful and will hopefully see you again at the next England HU meet (or possibly Canada or Mexico since they happen to be on as we pass!) Thanks again, Mark."

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.

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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 400 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, 1987-2006.
All Rights Reserved.

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