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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 cows on bikes in Tanzania, fainting camels in India, dodgy tarmac, mud and maniacs in Pakistan, riding ditches in Burundi, havoc in Nepal, Frazier's Cream Puff Ride, ecstatic about gorillas, stuck in salt flats in the Salar, the large intestines of Sardinia, and much more?

Then you're reading the right newsletter!

In this e-zine:

Achievable Dream DVD Series
Final Thoughts
Home Again
In Progress.
Leaving Soon
New Links
Photo Contest
Repair Shops on the

Travellers Community
Who's on the Road
Your Privacy

On the Website: (All pages open in new window)

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Motorcycle Travellers' News Report

April 2010, 81st Edition

Welcome to the 81st Edition of the e-zine. Spring finally feels like it's here! Yay! And I'm not going to talk about this month's natural disaster, the Icelandic volcano, which thankfully didn't result in fatalities!

Regular readers of this e-zine may remember it was just over a year ago that your editor was laid off from her salaried job, which was the catalyst to join Grant working full-time on Horizons. Of course, unlike Microsoft, Horizons doesn't pay any salary or benefits, and the hours are somewhat longer (7 days a week is normal and we haven't had a whole week off in the past year). On the plus side, I get to spend all my waking hours with Grant. Hmm, is that a plus? ;-)

Two recent comments have hit a nerve:
1. A vendor of custom panniers told us they were getting new customers who had seen their products mentioned in a HUBB posting, but he didn't see any reason to pay for advertising.
2. A traveller setting off this summer wrote that he had really appreciated the advice he got from HU and the Achievable Dream DVDs when planning his trip, but he would be posting his trip stories on another site.

Last year was the first year that we've relied only on Horizons income to feed us and pay the bills, so I've taken a keen interest in the income and expenses. About a third of our revenue is from advertising, a third from meetings and now a third from DVD sales, which is a nice balance. We're happy to be diversified, not just a bulletin board and website. We love that people connect through meetings and the HU communities, and that the meetings (as many as we can get to) allow us to make a face-to-face connection with you and share stories. But most of our net income is from advertising. Some meetings are profitable, but many just break even and some lose money. And although we hope the DVD series will be a long term revenue stream and eventually will be profitable, for over two years now it's been a money pit, and it will probably be another two years before we're in the black on it.

So advertising is hugely important, as it contributes the cash flow that allows us to fund the website and all the other activities. We've recently finished major upgrades to two of the four software programs underpinning the site - the database and content management system. Still to come (over the next couple of months) is a new and faster server box and a better search engine. We will also be getting new blogging software (finally!), which will have more functionality and improved ease of use. Also importantly, it will allow us to implement something we have wanted to do for some time, namely to share the revenue from text ads (e.g. Google Adwords) with individual travellers. So in addition to all the good karma you'll get from posting your story with us, you will also get some dosh to help fund your travels!

Many folks write us to say they've been inspired, encouraged and informed by the site, by Grant's advice, by the people they've met through the HUBB and HU meetings, the HU Communities, even by the DVDs. It's helped them to take the plunge and head off on their own big trip. But then they tell us their trip story will be posted on Blogger (owned by Google) or some other massive site, which is somewhat disheartening. :(

Here's the way the web works: Content, especially fresh content, drives the search engine rankings and the traffic, and attracts the advertisers. That's part of why we're keen to host trip stories, it's partly why we produce this regular (usually monthly) newsletter, and of course it's why the HUBB is so important. If you're heading off on that big trip, and you feel HU has helped you to make it happen, please consider posting your content on the site, either through a blog or ride reports on the HUBB. On the plus side for you is that a lot more people interested in motorcycle travel will find your blog on HU than on Blogger! Don't forget, whether you blog on HU or have your own site, we're always happy to get your stories and pics for the e-zine.

Okay, end of rant. Where are our intrepid travellers this month? We've got great stories from Nicaragua, Bolivia, Corsica, Sardinia, Nepal, Mexico, India, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Java, Pakistan, Thailand, Chile, South Africa, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Kenya, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Morocco and the good old USA! What about you? Get out there on the road and make your own adventure, and don't forget to write!

Susan Johnson, Editor

up to top of pagespacerHorizons Unlimited Achievable Dream DVD Series

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - DVD1 - Get Ready!

Have you been inspired by the stories you've read in this e-zine? Or perhaps you watched the 'Long Way' series and it's got you thinking of a motorcycle trip to distant climes – the markets of Marrakech, the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan, the salt flats of Bolivia, the Bungle Bungles of Australia, the Pan American to Tierra del Fuego?

Did you finally fork out for that dream bike built for high adventure, and you know every highway and byway within range of an annual vacation? Is something indefinable calling you farther afield. to the next country. the next continent?

We took what we learned from our own travels, and since then, from helping other travellers, to create the new 'Achievable Dream - the Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide' series. We also asked the many veteran travellers who attend Horizons Unlimited meetings to tell us their stories, give us their opinions, and share their hard-earned knowledge from their amazing motorcycle trips to every country on earth. And they have lots of opinions, sometimes contradictory, so you'll get lots of great ideas. You'll hear from Sam Manicom, Chris and Erin Ratay, Greg Frazier, Austin Vince, and many others. We've even interviewed Ted Simon in California, and Peter and Kay Forwood while on location in Samoa! We've got a fantastic and entertaining bunch of contributors with many amazing stories to tell and hard-earned wisdom to impart, enhanced with demos, video clips and heaps of great photos. We think it strikes the right balance between information and entertainment!

What's covered? Everything you ever wanted to know about motorcycle travel!

  • Part 1- Get Ready! aims to inspire you to take the plunge, and start to prepare for the trip. Topics include planning, travelling solo or with others, money, paperwork for you and the bike, off-road riding, health and medical. Now Shipping!
  • Part 2 - Gear Up! covers the Kit - bike and other stuff, including what bike, preparing the bike, tyres, panniers and top boxes, riding gear, GPS and maps, what to take and how to pack it. This will be a 2-DVD set, approximately 6 hours! Shipping early June 2010.
  • Part 3 - On the Road! What is it like to spend weeks, months or years on the road? In this 2-DVD set (5.5 hours!), our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. You'll get the advice you need to help you cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike across oceans or war zones, and deal with the 'stuff' that happens such as breakdowns and emergencies. Demos include building a shipping crate and first aid for bikers. See the trailer here! Now Shipping!
  • Part 4 - Ladies on the Loose! Here, for the first time ever, is a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! An intrepid band of well-travelled women motorcyclists share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure - choose and maintain a bike, decide what to take and tackle tough terrain. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! This DVD is presented by Lois on the Loose, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose' and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles'. Lois' husband Austin Vince (Terra Circa, Mondo Enduro) is her director and cameraman for this production. Read viewer comments and see the trailer here! Now Shipping!
  • Part 5 - Tire Changing! Coming soon!

For this new series, we have invested in professional filming, editing and production. Filmed in broadcast quality wide screen, incorporating multiple cameras and with custom written vocals and music.

Recent comments / reviews:

"Just want to confirm that I've now received the 'On the Road' DVD... Thank you so much! Just one complaint though... It was tooo good! Now I wanna go even more!" Dennis, Sweden

"I have finished watching Parts 1 & 3 and almost done with Part 4. They are GREAT! So great in fact, that I ordered a copy to be sent to a friend as a gift." Tom, USA

And what a great gift idea! We do love to get your feedback, so keep it coming! If you have a problem, we want to know about it so we can try to fix it. And of course we're always very happy to get positive comments :-)

But I do have a favor to ask ;-) We're now selling Parts 1, 3 and 4 of the DVDs on and, and positive reviews are always helpful for sales. So if you have enjoyed the DVDs and you're an Amazon customer (it's not necessary to have bought the DVD from them), we would really appreciate it if you could put a comment on Amazon. Here's the links:


Where can you get them?

We are taking orders now for all DVD's. 'Get Ready!', 'Ladies on the Loose!' and 'On the Road!' are shipping now and we have both PAL and NTSC formats stocked.

'Gear Up!' is now content-locked and in final edit. We hope to be sending it to authoring first week of May, and then on to production, all of which will take another 4-6 weeks. We expect to ship it in early June, but we'll keep you apprised of its status. It will also be a 2-DVD set, approximately 6 hours of content. Once it's in production, it will be $36.99 plus shipping, but for pre-orders it is only $24.99 and free shipping, so you'll save $12 plus shipping by pre-ordering, which hopefully makes it worth the wait.

However, if you have ordered it and don't want to wait, just let us know and we'll be happy to provide a refund. We will then notify you when 'Gear Up!' is ready so you can reorder at that time. At the higher price!

Watch the trailers and order now!

Special thanks to our generous sponsors of the Horizons Unlimited Achievable Dream Series, Touratech and Michelin!

Everything for the motorcycle traveller.    Michelin Tires, quality tyres for motorcycles and cars.

up to top of pagespacerHorizons Unlimited

How to contribute, and become an HU Member

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 how you can help, and the benefits to you of becoming a Horizons Unlimited Contributing Member or Gold Member!

Please Support our Advertisers

Our advertisers and sponsors help 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 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 even better send them to our Advertisers page with your recommendation.

Klim Adventure Rally Jacket

Speaking of advertisers, one of our new advertisers this month, Klim, who make top quality technical riding gear, are looking for feedback from our readers to inform their marketing strategy. Klim is offering a fantastic prize to encourage you to complete their survey form:

"We are looking for feedback from dual-sport and adventure riders. Take our short survey and be entered to win a Klim Adventure Rally Jacket (a $1,300 value)."

Be entered to win a Klim Adventure Rally Jacket by taking our short survey, (a $1,300 value).

Want to see your stories 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. 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 ;-) off. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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

Horizons Unlimited
New Links.

Too many to list! If you haven't checked out the Links page it's time you did - it's huge, and 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! From there you can request your link.

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!'

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 pagespacer Repair Shops.

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

. in other words, somewhere there isn't a large number of shops? (Also of course any shop that 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's of shops listed in out - of - the - way places, from Abidjan to Ghana to Peru! Be sure to check out the HUBB 'Repair shops around the world' forum if you need work done!

up to top of pagespacerWho are they?

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

Thanks, Grant

Request for info

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

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


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

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.

Motorcycle Rental, hiring Honda's Transalp for touring Argentina and Chile. Ride across the Andes, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, lakes, deserts, salt pans, waterfalls, beaches, rain forests, glaciers.
Motocare Argentina

Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker.

Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker

From the Canadian Rockies to the Panamanian Jungle, Motorcycle Therapy rumbles with comic adventure as two men, fleeing failed relationships, test the limits of their motorcycles and their friendship. Get it here!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 1 - Get Ready!

Part 1 - Get Ready!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 2 - Gear Up! 2-DVD Set!

Part 2 - Gear Up!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 3 - On the Road! 2-DVD Set!

Part 3 - On the Road!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 4 - Ladies on the Loose!

Part 4 - Ladies on the Loose !

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

Pete and Caf McGuire, UK, Europe to India and back in search of perfect curry, in Pakistan,

"There can't be many places on the planet that can capture a westerner's imagination like the Baluchistan desert can, with its craggy peaks bursting from the washed out desert floor like rotten black teeth, the vast undulating dunes that cross the broken highway just because it can and when travelling west you always seem to notice those mountains just off to your right, out of the corner of your eye, the perfect hiding place.

Pakistan border.

We pass through villages with black turban clad Pashtun men passing the time of day, it's difficult to forget all of the tabloid press headlines and take it in our stride, but we stop, drink tea and give roll up lessons to the bewildered masses.

Karakoram Highway, Pakistan.

Karakoram Highway

At the countless check points we are told in no uncertain terms that we must wait for our escort because this is a very dangerous area and it is not safe to continue, so after out-running the escort we have time to take in what's around us and the more we look the more we stare.

In search of perfect curry!

In search of perfect curry!

Having traversed the Bolan Pass the day before, Alexander The Great being one of its greatest toll payers, the Baluchistan area and its people seem real in every sense of the word, and I love it for that, these people wear their heart on their sleeve. Across the foreboding plains you can see mud brick villages, open, harsh and in a weird way inviting and goatherds grazing in amongst the scrub with wild camels striding alongside.

Now what I failed to mention beforehand is that the dual carriage-way Grand Trunk Rd on which we travelled from Multan (as 2-wheeled vehicles are not permitted on the brand spanking new motorway due to it being too dangerous!) is in the process of being torn up and 'improved' like most other main roads in Pak. The Lahore circular road is smooth, big and fast which, after weeks of dicing with dodgy tarmac, sand, rubble and mud, not to mention the maniacs, made quite a refreshing change. The maniacs were still there of course but they were a piece of cake as we were all going in the same direction, hurrah."

Sheonagh Ravensdale & Pat Thomson, 'Dusty Old Bags', Central America & beyond 2010, in Nicaragua, Honda Falcon NX400s,

"'Licencia, licencia, licencia' demanded the motorcycle cop who'd whistled us to a stop on the outskirts of the capital city Managua. Our crime was apparently to cross over an imaginary line on a deserted roundabout on a Sunday morning. I went dumb, and left Pat to undertake negotiations with her three words of Spanish and we went into a double act of not understanding what was going on at all.

We knew that Nicaraguan police have the right to take your licence but were hazy about what happens next. Over the next 45 minutes under a very hot sun, we discovered he wanted us to pay a fine of a thousand cordobas (approx $50 each). He would keep our licences and give us a yellow ticket. We have to take the ticket to a bank and pay the fine, then take the receipt to an office somewhere in Managua and swap it for our licences.

After he's laboriously drawn us a map of where that office is and Pat's wailed 'no banco, Sunday' and anyway we're en route to somewhere else, he quietly asks in Spanish if we'd like to pay today... I ignore this bribery approach and watch spellbound as Pat crumples to the ground, demands water and pours it over her head. 'Muy caliente, muy caliente' she says and he looks aghast (Pat has no idea she's said she's gagging for it, rather than that she's overheating). I stroke her shoulder and look concerned.

He gets his mobile out either to call for help for himself or to call for a doctor. Fortunately Pat stages a quick recovery, at which point he gives up the unequal struggle and hands our licences back. We thank him profusely and then persuade him to lead us right through Managua (at double the speed limit) and onto the right road.

And the best bit? They're not our actual licences, but bright green miniature laminated photocopies that we'd had done for just such an eventuality. It was however a bit unnerving and we were paranoid about police throughout Nicaragua as a result.

Testing the waters at Crater’s Edge.

Testing the waters at Crater’s Edge

Our final stop in Nicaragua was Somoto and its famous Canyon. We hired a guide and hiked a couple of hot kilometres down into the canyon. In the distance was the unmarked border with Honduras, which we were told was full of drug smugglers and very dangerous. Pat picked up an orchid plant that had fallen out of a tree and a swarm of wasps flew out, one of which stung our guide, but fortunately not Pat. He was very brave and didn't whimper at all.

Floating down the Canyon de Somoto

Floating down the Canyon de Somoto

The canyon got extremely narrow and soon we were paddling and finally floating in our life-jackets down the river, idyllic after the hot walk. Fortunately we'd taken dry bags for our cameras and binoculars, as the 'dry' box our guide had brought for our benefit had a large hole in it and our rucksacks and clothes just floated around inside the box as he pushed it down the river. Luckily for him we could store his mobile in one of our bags. Apart from one part of the canyon, which was heaving with Sunday trippers, we had the whole place almost to ourselves. Finally we got into a rowing boat for the last section and then walked out of the canyon to our waiting taxi. It was a great finale to our stay in Nicaragua. Only a pity that being Sunday, all the restaurants were shut so we ate from a street stall - and it was either that or swallowing canyon water that gave me the runs for the next week."

Ed. See Sheonagh and Pat's blog here on Horizons Unlimited for more great stories and pics!

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

The new REV'IT! SAND collection for true Adventure Motorcycle Travellers.

Daniel Shell, UK, in Bolivia, Harley-Davidson,

"Although Bolivia was by far the poorest country in the region, it was so far one of the most friendly and welcoming. True, Colombia had also been extremely welcoming in the rural areas and smaller towns, but Bogotá and Medellin, the biggest cities in the country were cities like anywhere else in the world. People rushing about, mostly too busy to stop and chat, but in La Paz I had people stopping their work to take time to talk, most of them wanting to know the answer to the question that was on everyone's lips: 'what do you think of my country?'

I was passing the town square when I spotted a couple of motorbikes parked up in one corner. I walked over to take a closer look, and was amazed to see, parked in between a Honda Shadow and a Suzuki, a gorgeous 60's Triumph chopper, complete with Union Jack Flag emblazoned across the petrol tank.

bike with flag tank.

The bikers were chatting together behind the bikes and I asked who the owner of the triumph was. The owner introduced himself as Sergio, 'but my friends call me Chopper, because of the bike' he explained. Chopper introduced me to the rest of the gang, and as we were all shaking hands, a few more bikes and bikers showed up. Chopper explained that every Friday night, he and his biker friends met at this corner and hung out. When I asked if they were going to go for a ride together, Chopper told me that he'd be lucky if he'd be able to ride his bike home, let alone around the city. Marco, another one of the bikers, nodded in agreement, he was still working on getting his 50's Jawa in full working order, and wasn't up for testing his work just yet.

The bikers invited me to go eat Pizza with them and we spent the evening together munching, drinking and talking bikes. I asked again about the Salar de Ayuni, the world's largest salt flats that I had originally wanted to take my bike up to, and the answer was unanimous, and not the one I wanted. I knew the road was unpaved, and I know it was tough, but when the bikers told me that on top of that the flats were covered in water from the recent rains and that the road was in an even worse state than usual, I realised that I would finally have to accept that Garth and I wouldn't be riding across the salt flats together after all. I was really gutted about this. It was going to be one of the highlights of the trip, but with all of Chile and Argentina still to come, I couldn't risk any damage to the bike, plus I was riding alone, so if I got stuck in the mud, I could be stuck there for a while.

Mountain - 80 kilometers away.

Mountain - 80 kilometers away

I was excited about another country, and, as much as I had enjoyed Bolivia, I was ready to get back to civilisation. I yearned for a hot shower, for continuous Internet connection, for high octane fuel, and for a return to a more manageable altitude. I was exhausted from the smallest amount of exertion, and was finding it hard to enjoy one of my favourite hobbies, smoking.

My last day's riding in Bolivia was one of my most memorable to date. I was still high up on the altiplano, enjoying the freshest air I had ever breathed, with the blacktop all to myself, and amazing vistas of distant snow-capped peaks that I could see clearly, even when I was still well over 80 kms away."

Ed. See more great stories and pics in Daniel's blog here on Horizons Unlimited!

Alexandros Papadopoulos, UK to India, in India,

"Next day was India's Republic Day and Chaitanya and Anjana had a little surprise for me - they took me to a nearby village school they supported and we enjoyed all the celebrations of that special day with many special kids - kids whose lifeline and probably only chance to a better future was this very school.

I was asked to say a couple of words about the trip to the kids and their families that had gathered there to celebrate. I found it quite intimidating to stand before these people - what would a soft-foot like me have to say to them? I spurted out some words and Chaitanya translated. It would be easier to have a presentation in front of 15 grumpy CEOs.

Resting camel.

resting camel

The next day it was so hot that camels dropped to the ground for a breather.

Relief supplies for Haiti.

Mumbai relief supplies

And I pondered what cooking sets sent by the Austrian Red Cross for the Haiti earthquake relief were doing in Mumbai.

Not surprisingly at all, the idiots who had loaded the trucks had not given much thought to the whole movement/inertia/vibration business, so as soon as the truck moved, tens of boxes crashed to the ground.

Camouflaged mantis.

A well camouflaged mantis

Ed. See Alexandros' blog here on Horizons Unlimited for lots of great stories and pics!

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Bikers Travel Insurance, by H-C Travel. Thanks!

Quality travel insurance by bikers for bikers, single trip, annual, longstay, Europe, worldwide.

Ronnie Borrageiro, South Africa, RTW, in Tanzania, BMW 1200 GSA,

"Once I had cleared the city limits, I tore up the A7, to Chilinze and refueled before I pointed the Big Fella northwards for Lushoto. Just before this, I had overtaken a slow moving bus, which was crawling over the new bridge spanning the Ruvu River, and had been waved down by a traffic officer. He politely asked me where I was going and where I had come from, before advising me that the solid white line separating the two lanes of traffic crossing the bridge meant that there was no overtaking allowed. He furthermore advised me that this little transgression would cost me a mere TSh 60 000.00.

The cow seems to be enjoying the ride.

The cow seems to be enjoying the ride.

I just as politely, answered his questions about my recent travels, and enquired about the health of his family, before advising him that the solid white line he was referring to was so faint on the bridge, that it was practically invisible. I furthermore enquired whether or not the TSh 60 000.00 would be put to good use, by purchasing 5 litres of white paint, to restore the solid white line to its former glory. He replied that the money would not be going towards this particular purchase, and I therefore refused to pay it. We argued the point for a while longer, before settling on TSh 10 000.00 and an apology.

My GPS took me on a walkabout through some of the worst roads in Arusha... Needless to say, we had little to say to each other for the rest of the ride.

My GPS took me on a walkabout through some of the worst roads in Arusha. Needless to say, we had little to say to each other for the rest of the ride.

I spent my last night at The Outpost in Arusha, and early the following morning, set off for Kenya. It was raining again, and I debated whether or not I should get my rain gear out, but decided against it. It seemed that the rain was just part of a few isolated showers that would clear up north of the town.

I spent the first half hour trying to extricate myself from this frontier town, and by the time I finally got onto the A104, the Garmin Girl and I had 'had a few words' and were no longer on speaking terms. She had taken me on what seemed like a tour of the entire town. down dirt tracks, through areas that were awash in mud and puddles of dirty water and around just about every traffic circle in Arusha. In exasperation, I finally resorted to ignoring her altogether and asked directions from half a dozen people, before managing to point the Big Fella in the general direction of the Kenyan border."

Ed. See Ronnie's blog for lots of great pics and stories about his trip. Parental Guidance suggested ;-)

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

Ferris Wheels Motorcycle Safaris.

Ferris Wheels Motorcycle Safaris are one of the pioneers of the motorcycle tour industry. We have been taking clients professionally to the highest road in the world several times a year since 1994; over 50 times now! Other exotic destinations include Morocco, Turkey, Bhutan, South America, and the Dalmatian Coastline.

All fully-detailed itineraries can be found at where you may also find countless client accolades and many press articles endorsing our tours over the past 15 years or so, and request our free DVD!

Peter and Kay Forwood, Australia, in Corsica and Sardinia, on Harley-Davidson,

"Tottubella's accommodation is run by the women of the family while they also help the men work their nearby fields. Breakfast was almost entirely locally produced produce. Jams, cheese, eggs, fresh orange juice, bacon, butter and honey, then a ride along the western peninsula to Neptune's Grotto, watching seabirds nest on offshore islands, finding a couple of the thousands of stone nuraghi (stone towers) that dot the island as well as again meeting up with a British motor home couple we had crossed with on the ferry yesterday.

Stone nuraghi - towers - in Sicily.

Stone nuraghi

They describe the roads on these islands as intestines. A good description of the tight curves outlined on maps. Perhaps the oesophagus would be the major highways. Long sweeping curves the large intestines and the tight twisties the small intestines. Under this description Corsica would be the king of the small intestines with Sardinia pretty much large intestines.

Buggeru road sign.

Spent the afternoon in the old town of Alghero, wandering the narrow pedestrian streets of ancient high rise, dotted with churches, town squares, and now upmarket restaurants and shops, but it is still a used part of the city as can be attested to by the washing draping from pull cord lines outside each upper story window."

Sardinia - lines washing lines across the street.

Sardinia - lines across the street in Alghero

Ed. Horizons Unlimited is proud to host Peter and Kay's complete RTW story and pictures here! Check out their travel tips in the 'On the Road!' DVD, shipping now!

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Cam Brookes, Australia, in Nepal, Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark,

"Not too much to report from Nepal so far.

A 6am start from Kakarbitta, the eastern border of Nepal, meant we didn't have to deal with the heat of the Terai (low lands) as we headed north into the middle hills before it really heated up. The quality of the road to Ilam was outstanding and a pleasure to ride. Torb couldn't believe just how different Nepal is from India, even though we were only 60km from the border. The roads seemed less busy, the countryside less polluted and the atmosphere more relaxed. the latter is almost always true, not so sure about the first two though.

Ilam is a nice old town that is thriving on its tea industry

Road to Ilam.

Road to Ilam

From Ilam we headed to Phidim and on to Taplejung in the far northeast. The road to Taplejung was the worst we had ridden to date and it took us 6 hours to cover the 90km of bone jarring dirt track. The bikes took a few heavy hits in the undercarriage as we came across large rocks while trying to keep enough speed to get up the hill without getting stuck in the slippery sand and loose gravel. Somewhere along the way I lost my side stand and the lid came off our bottle of oil, soaking the bike, my bag, my shorts and my shirt, creating a new slimy coating for the dust to stick to thickly.

Muddy rear wheel.

Muddy rear wheel

Taplejung is a pleasant town which wouldn't, I think, receive many visitors by road, though it does have an airport and is the starting off point for some remote treks into the Himalayas. The streets are narrow, some paved with cobblestone in the time of your great great grandmother's grandfather, and the old town carries similar vintage buildings with narrow verandahs and fine timber work.


There was a relaxed feel about the place and Orchard Guesthouse, at 600 Rupees ($9), provided a reasonable room with hot water '24 hours a day' according to the sign, but in reality only a few hours a day when the power shortage that cripples Nepal isn't causing havoc.

Village on the  road to Kodari.

A ride to Kodari, 120km north of Kathmandu, took us through villages nestled amongst jagged hills

Chassis frame.

Now here's something that I've been curious about: Why is that we see the chassis of a truck driving down the road occasionally? So the new owner can choose the design of the shell themselves?

I've been curled up in a ball in Kathmandu for a few days, stomach cramps, runny. stuff, etc :)
And I say:

Truck with  legent "Oh God, save me".

Ed. See more of Cam's stories and great pics here on Horizons Unlimited!

Greg Frazier, 5 times RTW, in Java, considering his options...

"Eventually the KLR 650 went into storage and I flew across the Pacific Ocean with my adventure travel motorcycle gear. Once on Asian soil I leapfrogged my way to Indonesia where the next large body of water, the Indian Ocean, brought me to a halt. I had ruled out going north through China or Russia due to the time of the year, knowing a frozen ride across either country was not in my definition of a fun adventure. In addition, my research for a film, magazine articles and book projects focused on Indochina and larger SE Asia, not the cold north.

While wandering around Java I continued researching costs and timing to get across the rest of Asia, Europe or Africa and then to New York by April, and back to my home base of Montana some days later. The options were expensive, some requiring bureaucratic paperwork that tired and bored me thinking about it. The large quantities of money needed I concluded would be better spent on motorcycling fun than the adventure of crating motorcycles and dealing with Customs officials. The less expensive optional routes would take me places I had been before and wished not to visit again.

Java - bike in front of guesthouse.

Wandering around Java while planning which way to proceed, found me and my motorcycle in some colorful and interesting places.

Publisher demands for serious progress on a new book made the decision for me. I had been trying to complete the book while traveling, using Internet cafes and questionable uploads and downloads. The book project had taken over ten years of research with the assistance of numerous friends, colleagues and associates to get it near completion. The working title was Motorcycle Adventurer (, the true story about what had been described as 'the world's longest, most difficult and most perilous motorcycle journey ever attempted.' Compared to what I was facing in the middle of my sixth ride around the world, my current motorcycle journey could be called the Cream Puff Ride. While I had faced some nearly insurmountable problems, all could be rather simply overcome with money. The motorcycle adventure of writing, some modicum of responsibility and fiscal conservativeness moved my 'on the road adventure' behind that of the motorcycle adventurer who had broken ground, made trail, long before I was born. The decision on the shores of the Indian Ocean was to not deficit spend and instead finish the book.

Standing in the rain.

Standing in the rain in Java, this pictured what I thought about paying for the adventure of piloting again a motorcycle across India, North Africa, the middle east or paying to fly over those areas where I would not be granted a visa."

Ed. Read more about Greg's many RTW and other trips here on Horizons Unlimited!

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Hubert Kriegel, France, Sidecar-ing the world, taking a break from the cold in the Caribbean and France but heading back to Mongolia,

"2 weeks ago, I was riding the frozen Lake Baikal. Then I was here on the beach thinking of my friend Pourou, the Mongolian Nomad who is moving his herd at this time to a better pasture at the end of this cruel winter. I will go back visit Pourou in couple of weeks when I return to my sidecar in Mongolia.

Caribbean beach.

Then to France:
We were about 50 at the Closerie des Lilas. Most from Paris but two Germans rode 500 miles to come from Germany, five or six came from Alsace 300 miles and one came from Netherlands 350 miles. Fabrice I met on the Carretera Austral in Patagonia came as well as Patrick, one of the Pieds Nickeles from the Krystal Rally, the full crew of le Pieds Nickeles from Kyrgyzstan was there (blue sidecars), Marc I met in Kazakstan was there.

Also came, Micheline and Francoise from the Paradis Latin, Claire from Dutilleul, Alain and PerfideAvion from the Ural Est Motorcycle forum, Pinpin, Etiennne le Petit Rigolo and many other people I did not know before.

Kriegel - Closerie, France.

Thank you to all of you who came, it was fantastic for me to be with you.

I was able to change my plane ticket to Moscow and Ulaanbaatar from tomorrow to Friday on Aeroflot at the Champs Elysées office.

Ed. Check out Hubert's website for lots of great pics!

David Radford, Canada, in Rwanda and Burundi, BMW R1200 GS Adventure,

"This was also the day where I booked my trip to see the mountain gorillas (the same group that Dian Fossey studied and died for). It was booked more as a duty than a real desire. $500 USD seemed a lot for an hour with gorillas- even if blah, blah, blah. I was really desperately hoping that no one in my group would break down and cry over the 'life-changing' experience. Despite my indifference, I was looking forward to it and had a fantastic ride to the campsite.

The 'campsite' was actually a mini-resort kind of place where they let people camp on the lawn. It was okay, I guess.

Campsite view.

The view from my tent was. It was bloody fantastic is what it was!

Early the next morning I went off to the gorillas. I'd post pics, but I left my memory card in my pc. No, really. A nice American lady took some pics and will send them to me (I hope). Thing is, I'm not too fussed about it. The gorillas were an amazing experience and well worth the price, but they were an experience - a feeling you got from them looking at you, a tingling in your spine when they did something that screamed out their close link to us. The power wasn't in the photos, it was in having been there and experiencing their presence. No one broke down and cried, but two Danish ladies did seem to go into a state of ecstasy.

Rwanda- sunset, lake view.

In the evening, the local fishermen went out on their odd, sort of tri-hulls, singing in time with their rowing into the sunset, and leaving me once again in wonder at the sights this trip allows me to see and experience.

Rwanda- sunset, lake view.

I kicked back for the rest of the day and then headed south to Burundi.

20,000 Leagues Above the Sea - Hitting Burundi, I might as well have ridden into the ocean. The rain was amazing - more than anything I'd experienced to date, or even in Bermuda. The daily mudslides blocking the roads where cleared within hours, but were always replaced within hours by more. The few times I ventured off the tarmac I spent the whole time in the ditch-not on my side, but riding in it. The dirt roads are built like a roof, with the peak in the middle. Assuming there is no traffic you can almost keep on the road and fight against the slow slide to the ditch, but once a truck pushes you off the road it can take ages to get yourself back on it. After a few of these encounters, the ditch starts looking pretty good - fairly levelish, no traffic, the sides go up instead of down (you can put your leg out and hit more than air). And you just go with it.

I would have some more pics of this fun little detour, but my camera wasn’t exactly welcome.

I would have some more pics of this fun little detour, but my camera wasn’t exactly welcome...

I got to Bujumbura in a cloud of steam as the water soaking into my bike cooked-off in the slow lines of traffic and temporary break in the rain. Again, it was a nice city, but this time I couldn’t really explore since the rain would only let up long enough to lure me out into the open. On my second day I gave up and headed for Tanzania. At some point you just have to admit defeat - realising that the huge pool with a small fountain in its center was actually a roundabout with a park and a small pool with a large fountain at its center was mine. We weren't in Sudan anymore and we needed to do a complete reset."

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Adventure motorcycling clothing for the demanding traveller
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Ross and Jan Moorhouse, in Vietnam, Yamaha YBR125 ,

"Lunch time is fast approaching. My tummy is making those feed me now feelings. Not long after this we have pulled over into a road side cafe. This is no McDonalds as we are so used to in the west. This is a country side road cafe. You sit on the floor here. In one room Government officials are having a business lunch. Lots of food and lots of happy juice is flowing. Ok so business lunches are the same world over.

Mr Pink orders for us. Fried chicken. I would say freshly killed out the back. Sticky rice. Some green plant roots and garlic. Chili with oil and salt. Then some meat. Before we left Australia Jan had looked up the word for dog in Vietnamese. We don't eat pets. The cafes in the area all had signs up advertising Pho (rice noodles which are so yummy) and the word for dog. I was too busy watching the road and the traffic to see these. Our cafe had this sign too. A bowl of meat is served up to us. I ask what is this and hear the word 'Pork'. I am not really a Pork eater. Buy hey I am in their country and I don't want to be rude. So I tuck in with my chop sticks. Jan heard 'Like Pork'.

Spot the dog.

Spot the dog!

So it looks like I may have eaten dog. I can never tell our dogs this here at home. They will never talk to me again. Jan did not tell me what she heard till that night when we talked about the lunch. You can imagine how I felt. I did keep my dinner down somehow."

Ed. Lots of great pics of bikes in Vietnam on Ross (Future's) ride report on the HUBB.

Peter Sever, Thao Nguyen, RTW, in the USA, Honda Goldwing,

"Beloved Black Bike is on a plane to Los Angeles, we follow it tomorrow. The 2-year 40-country RTW bike ride is almost over. Sigh. It'll be some 90,000 km on land + 30,000 km by sea/air = 120,000 km total. (A world circumnav by sea, via shortest route, is 45,000 km.) We're a tad reflective about ending our tiny perfect adventure, but simultaneously look forward to re-entering Toronto's semi-normalcy and friends/family.

It's the first RTW on a Honda GL1800 Goldwing. RTW on a Goldwing? Are they crazy? Yup x 2. GL1800 weighs the same as a big Harley or BMW K1200. A bit heavier than a Boxer. Lower centre of gravity than most big bikes. Piece of cake to handle once its rolling. Plus all that luggage room, blissful comfort, conservative drive train, stump-pulling torque, great chassis design - it proved to be the right bike for a two-up RTW.

Bike after refurb in LA.

Jack (left) John (right) Wear. The best GoldWing shop I know anywhere.

This trip on a 'street-ready' GL1800? Clearly not a dirt bike. Normal street tires. But for perhaps 95% of the RTW roads it was perfect machinery. A few times I wished I was solo on a 250cc knobby dirt bike, but that's a tiny portion of the distance. You can read up on it in our blog.

Nothing broke on this bike, which amazed me. Every little button/system still works. No rattles, tight as a drum. New suspensions front + rear after 50,000 km in SE Asia. Front wheel bearings replaced. Other than that lots of tires (Metzeler ME880 was my fav) and routine maintenance. That's it. A bloody tank. Big bonus: It never gave us sore butts, standard seat is brilliant and heated, which we often needed! Next time I'd increase ground clearance and/or build in a more serious bash plate (the one I added looks like a wrinkled napkin!) But I never cracked the oil pan (phew!)

Fell only once during the entire trip, in horrid Cambodian mud, but that was minor. Bike unscratched, me very muddy with damaged ego. I'd asked Thao to walk that stretch fortunately, I knew this was a nearly-impossible bit ahead.

In fact if you look at the bike after the circumnav, it's hard to believe it ever left western paved roads. But it sure did some pretty serious riding!

Pete and bike.

If we can do it, so can you. I'm almost 64. Thao is 29 and Vietnamese born. We're not enduro riders nor macho. No athletes. I have a bad artificial left shoulder from a previous bike accident; part of my left hip remains. Iffy knees too. But here we are, a mixed-age, mixed-race couple, completing an RTW.

We're not total newbies, but once were. I've spent 4 years in Africa when younger and ridden/driven most of the circumference. Circumference of Africa? In an AWD? Nope, in a 1-wheel drive VW van (no limited slip differential). Trans-Sahara. Thao has taught in the Kenyan bush and lived all over Europe. She's a natural bike traveler and loves it. Man am I lucky!

This world travel riding/driving is no cake-walk but entirely do-able by almost anyone with the desire. Some folks make it sound like a series of death-defying feats. Balderdash. I read some stories and shake my head at the melodrama. I was there too. It was/is far, far less dramatic. Most of it is quite easy; don't let anyone's tales scare you away. Sure there are a few moments here and there - but you'll cope. Just stay cool and move on. Stuff happens at home too. It's not that hard nor dangerous. Do it smart, don't provoke the authorities or locals, be friendly, carry balloons for the kids - but Just Do it! Two wheels or four. 250 cc or 1800 cc. Almost anyone can.

Horizons Unlimited has been a great travel resource, my hearty congrats and thanks to Susan and Grant and everyone who contributed travel knowledge. Our blog took so much time on the road, wish we'd had more time to contribute to HU. We hope our trip record helps some travelers and HU readers. Cheers and muddy side down!"

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More stories below...

up to top of pagespacerBooks

Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker.

Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker

From the Canadian Rockies to the Panamanian Jungle, Motorcycle Therapy rumbles with comic adventure as two men, fleeing failed relationships, test the limits of their motorcycles and their friendship. Get it here!

Red Tape and White Knuckles: One Woman's Motorcycle Adventure Through Africa

Lois' new adventures in Africa!

"Alone. No support vehicles, no fancy GPS and no satellite phone. Leaving from London, finishing in Cape Town - and the small matter of tackling the Sahara, war-torn Angola and the Congo Basin along the way - this feisty independent woman's grand trek through the Dark Continent of Africa is the definitive motorcycling adventure." Get it here!

Distant Suns, by Sam Manicom

Adventure in the vastness of Africa and South America

"Sam Manicom's dynamic third book transports you to Southern Africa, South and Central America in an action-packed three year voyage of discovery. a thought-provoking mix of scrapes and encounters with people which illuminate some moments of true darkness. acute observations on everything from human behaviour, to remote and stunning locations. Distant Suns grabs you, enthrals you and spits you out as a convert to the dream of overlanding these amazing continents." Buy direct from Sam here!

Adventure Motorbiking Handbook.

Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, by Chris Scott

Into the Den of the Bear and the Lair of the Dragon on a Motorcycle.

Into the Den of the Bear and the Lair of the Dragon on a Motorcycle. 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
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.

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 Aimimage 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 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

Help support your favourite website! Here's how!

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See our complete Privacy Policy here.

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ISSN 1703-1397 Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' E-zine - Copyright 1999-2010, Horizons Unlimited and Grant and Susan Johnson. All rights reserved.

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

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Motorcycle Rental, hiring Honda's Transalp for touring Argentina and Chile. Ride across the Andes, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, lakes, deserts, salt pans, waterfalls, beaches, rain forests, glaciers.

Motocare Argentina

Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker.

Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker

From the Canadian Rockies to the Panamanian Jungle, Motorcycle Therapy rumbles with comic adventure as two men, fleeing failed relationships, test the limits of their motorcycles and their friendship. Get it here!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 1 - Get Ready!

Part 1 - Get Ready!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 2 - Gear Up! 2-DVD Set!

Part 2 - Gear Up!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 3 - On the Road! 2-DVD Set!

Part 3 - On the Road!

Get the Achievable Dream DVD's NOW and learn how YOU can get on the road!

Achievable Dream DVD series - The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide - Part 4 - Ladies on the Loose!

Part 4 - Ladies on the Loose !

up to top of pagespacerHorizons Unlimited Travellers Meetings.

Why Come to a Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers Meeting?

You can meet people who don't think you're crazy for wanting to ride your bike to South America or Africa or across Asia, or even around the world! Admit it, all your 'normal' friends and most of your family fear for your sanity! So, this is your opportunity to meet the people who will encourage you in that craziness, share their experiences and advice on how to do it, and maybe you'll meet them again in Mongolia or Timbuktu!

Also importantly, the meetings help to make HU more than just a website, but a community of motorcycle travellers - real people, not just e-mail addresses ;-) And last but not least, they make a significant contribution to HU revenue, thus helping us to keep the HUBB and website going! So thanks to everyone who comes!

The HU Australia meeting just took place last weekend in Cooroy, Queensland. Despite a rainy Saturday, the Aussie meeting was well attended and sounds like a good time was had!

Danielle Murdoch, our lead organiser, reports on the HUBB from :

"Hi Everyone, I just want to say thank you everyone for making this weekend possible, we had over 130 people arrive to this years Australian HU meeting. I want to thank all the volunteers for pulling together all the information we required to make this weekend possible. You guys were amazing, I could have never done it without you guys! Also to those volunteers who stepped up on the and helped out over the entire weekend. Thanks a lot.

I specially want to thank Glen and Guy for helping me pull all the volunteers strings together to make this weekend possible. They ran around endlessly for the entire weekend, being plumbers, electricians, first aiders (ones still looking after our only incident! Thanks Guy)

For those who couldn't make it, we arrived Thursday night, to a wet ground which dried out over Friday only have it pour down with rain on Saturday. But this didn't stop everyone from arriving plus more... Presenters kept on talking until 2am... you know who you are Richard! and then Sunday went off without a hitch! We had a great line up and continued into the night also.

Thanks again to everyone, our SPONSORS, supporters and the die hard people who hung around long enough on Monday to help pull down the marquee. Oh and I will upload photos as soon as I receive them.
Thanks, Danielle. "

What exactly do the women talk about?

What exactly do the women talk about at the 'For Women Only' session? We'll never tell!

First comments from participants:

"I would like to thank all involved for a fantastic intro to bike travel. Our 1st meeting and definitely not the last. The weekends activities were 1st class. Thanks again to all involved. Mike and Sally"

"I had a fantastic time at my first HU meeting. I am looking forward to attending many more in future years with hopefully some of those being overseas. Thanks to the organisers and presenters you did a fantastic job. Becsta"

Ed. Grant and Susan would like to add their thanks to Danielle, Glen Cochrane and Guy Basile and all the volunteers for making this event happen! Good on ya! TravellingStrom has posted quite a few pics on the HUBB already.

Meetings and Events, 2010. Mark your calendars and sign up now!

New for 2010! Ireland (North) - 28-30 May. Liam McIlhone and Drew Millar are organising this event near Enniskillen. Registration open now!

UK - 24-27 June. This is the event of the year for motorcycle travellers - with 50+ presenters including Ted Simon, Austin Vince, Peter and Kay Forwood, and many more telling their stories and giving their best how-to demonstrations in 3 separate rooms over 4 days, and of course, activities like Yoga for Bikers and the Road Kill Cookout that you won't find anywhere else! Numbers are limited, and we've got over 450 registrations by mid-April, so register and pay early to avoid disappointment -we really hate to see grown men cry ;-) Register here!

Germany - 1-4 July. Jens Ruprecht is our local host for this event, near Heidelberg. Full details and Register here!

New for 2010! Bulgaria - 9-11 July. Doug Wothke is our local host, at Moto Camp Bulgaria, near Idilevo. Registration open now!

New for 2010! Italy - 15-18 July, near Lake Garda. Details to come very soon, but get it into your calendar and be sure to register early, it's a small venue and the numbers will be very small, only 60 people. The riding in the area is truly spectacular, so if you've never been, now's a great time! Registration open now!

HUMM - 27-29 July. The 4th Annual Horizons Unlimited Mountain Madness (HUMM) event. A two and a half (riding)-day, no GPS, orienteering event in the eastern Pyrenees of Catalunya, Spain and Andorra. Test your map reading and navigation skills, find hidden secrets and enjoy the fabulous riding. This event is presented in partnership with Austin Vince (Terra Circa/Mondo Enduro) and (Red Tape and White Knuckles), who lay out the off-road course. As usual, Austin and Lois have outdone themselves again in 2010 and laid out even more markers for the off-road HUMM in an all new area!

Susan and I laid out the HUMM on-road course, two up on our ancient R80 G/S, riding the many well-paved, twisty and fantastic tarmac roads in the area for over two weeks, loving every minute. Awesome roads, from first gear slip the clutch hairpins to high speed sweepers, with amazing views, minimal traffic, some roads you'll see one car in 10 minutes or more - and some less than that - roads you dream of.

Fabulous views in the Spanish Pyrenees.

OFF or ON road, it's the most fun you can have on two wheels ;-) Registration is closing soon so get in quick!

Canada West - Nakusp, BC. 12-15 August. (NOTE date changed!) Ekke Kok and Andy Miller are the local organizers for this event. Grant and Susan will be there. Full details and Registration open now!

California - 19-22 Aug, the 'Lost Coast' north of San Francisco. Stephen Leblanc is our local organizer. Grant and probably Susan will be there, and we hope, Ted Simon, after missing last year due to illness. Full details and Registration open now!

Colorado - 26-29 Aug, Silverton. By popular request, and after a lot of negotiating with the venue, we're returning to Silverton! Hal Johnson and Brad and Judy Tutor are the local organizers. Grant will be there. Full details and Registration open now!

Portugal - 3-5 Sep, Gois. António Caldeira, our local organiser, and the town of Gois are welcoming motorcycle travellers back to this great venue in a very scenic part of Portugal. Austin Vince (Terra Circa/Mondo Enduro) and (Red Tape and White Knuckles) will be featured presenters! Registration coming soon, but mark your calendars now!

North Carolina - 9-12 Sep, Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge is located near the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap and the scenic Cherohala Skyway, two of the best motorcycle destinations in the United States. Mike Kilpatrick is the local organizer. Full details and Registration open now!

Malaga, Spain - 9-12 Sep. Alison Makin is the local organizer for this event. Registration coming soon.

Germany (Autumn) - 29 Oct - 1 Nov. Same location as summer event. Registration coming soon.


How about you? We're all here to learn, and there's LOTS to learn! We want to do more presentations and seminars - but we need volunteers to give them! Any topic you can contribute having to do with motorcycle travel, maintenance, planning etc, lasting 20 minutes or more, would be great. Please contact us here to volunteer.

Volunteers and Hosts

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. And volunteering is always a great way to meet a lot of people!

If you'd like to host an HU Meeting in your area, please see the How To Host a Meeting page for details.

See the Meetings page for more details on all events.

See you there! Grin!

Grant and Susan

up to top of pagespacerShorts.

Graham Holden, UK, RTW, leaving Thailand, R100GS PD,

It's my Birthday and I was invited to the Kings palace, unfortunately it wasn't by the King, it was Jeab's suggestion as a birthday treat. We shot down to central Bangkok, parked up and entered the palace, the building within the complex are so varied and so beautiful, so much detail! Wow!

It was yet another steaming hot day as we wandered around snapping away at the many different exotic features. We watch the guards march along stopping to change guard, I must be getting old as they all look so young in their white uniforms."

Palace of the King. King's palace - statues. King's palace - three.

Simon Gandolfi, Old Man on a Bike, in Darjeeling, India, Honda Stunner 125,

"A Swiss baker built the Hotel Swiss in the 1920s as a family home and place of work. Now 'Help Tourism' have the lease and run the hotel as a training ground for local employees. I follow the pick-up down a steep narrow road. The turn to the hotel is on a sharp corner and at an angle of 300 degrees. The gradient is even more acute. Three tour jeeps parked on the corner bar the pick-up from making the turn. The driver waves me on. I creep in first gear. An Indian tourist seated in one of the jeeps opens the door in my face. I can't hold the bike upright against the slope. Down I go, head in the ditch. A couple of drivers drag me and the bike upright. The Indian tourist continues chatting on his mobile."

Jon Yates, UK, in Argentina,

"After just over 27,000 miles I'm currently having time out in northern Argentina and looking to ride into Bolivia in the next few days - having the bike serviced on Wednesday & replacing the tyres etc."

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

Visit the Motorrad Elektrik website for more info!Motorrad Elektrik has been offering the best in electrical parts for classic and modern BMW's for over 11 years. From 12 volt conversion for /2 to better than stock replacement parts for your late model 'R' or 'K', we've got you covered. Specialty parts for 'hardening' the charging and ignition systems for world-travelling Airhead GS's. Riders like Bob Higdon, Dr. Gregory Frazier, Grant Johnson and hundreds of others depend on Motorrad Elektrik components as they wander the globe.

Our Omega system has solved the charging problems for 1970-95 Boxers with 400 Watts Output, and our Nippon Denso starter is the perfect cure for Valeo syndrome. NOTE: Omega has been upgraded - now even more power!

Grant says: "The Omega system is simply a must-do for all airheads" (And I have the starter too!)

Frank Butler, PNG, RTW since 2002, in Chile, BMW F650 GS Dakar,

"The story starts in Puerto Montt, Chile, where I boarded the Navmag ferry for a cruise for four days and three nights through the Patagonian Fjords. It always rains and the clouds are always low.

ferry at Puerto Montt.

This is the infamous Ruta 40, the roughest road a biker can travel, assuming he has never been to Africa. it is famous for loose gravel and super strong winds.

Ruta 40, Argentina.

As I headed north I began to see signs of earthquake damage.

highway damage.

The high rise with earthquake damage was in Conception, which was the nearest to the epicentre. The house with red walls was called 'The Happy House Hostel'. I was going to stay there. it was completely destroyed"

Damaged highrise in Concepcion, Chile. Destroyed hostel in Concepcion, Chile.

High rise and damaged hostel

Tormod Amlien & Klaus Ulvestad, Norway, King Croesus Contempt for Death Tour, RTW, in USA, on 1937 Nimbuses with sidecars,

"Leaving Las Vegas. After some fear and loathing in Las Vegas due to some head gasket challenges we're hitting the road again today. Thanks a lot to Tyler that hosted us, and the guys helping out. This weekend we had the one year anniversary for the trip, and we celebrated in an extremely controlled form at Tyler's place, no 'hålligong'* this time. The route now is through Death Valley to Visalia, Monterey, maybe San Francisco and down again to LA. Cheers, Tormod

* Holligong: -noun. A noisy or drunken feast or social gathering; revelry. Origins from Scandinavian and is highly regarded up North, but gaining popularity all over the world due to Holligong Ambassadors sent out by the Norwegian Government."

Alisa Clickenger, USA, to South America, in Bolivia, DR650,

"I meant to stay two days and ended up staying over a week here. La Paz is a GREAT city-and I don't even like cities!

I spent a couple of days running around to embassies getting visas, getting more pages added to my US passport, jumping through hoops with UPS to get my tires out of customs etc. And then I fell down.

I got hit so hard by an intestinal parasite I ended up in the hospital and IN BED for most of the last week. Today I could eat real food (although my gut still wants to liquefy it).

Tomorrow? I ride. It has a terrible name but let's just say it's Bolivia's most famous road.

Meat Stall.

Fruit Stall.

Market photos

Belinda and Patrick Peck, RTW, in South Africa,

"We have made it to South Africa, home of the friendliest people in the world!

On our way south from Windhoek we visited Fish River Canyon, one of the largest canyons in the world. On the way in we met a group of bikers, all South African fathers and farmers all out for a long weekend ride. We stayed at the same campsite as them on the Orange River and had a great time with them. They all invited us to visit their farms and families all over South Africa! We are now in the process of doing that! One of them has offered to store our bike for 6 months, just out of Johannesburg. Fantastic!

We have visited people on winery farms, Ostrich farms and in the cities! Pat turned the big 60 in the last few weeks and we celebrated that in style at H/U members, Johan and Nicky Naudes wine farm outside of Capetown. We danced to music videos in front of an open fire and drank South African Chardonnay and ate Bins Red Thai chicken and veggie curry with noodles.

We have slowly worked our way along the coast and in the wine growing region around Capetown... stunning! Capetown has got to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, gorgeous setting and the weather was fantastic while we were there.

We revisited Jeffreys Bay, one of the best surfing breaks in the world and stayed at African Perfection with our room having the best view of Supertubes available! Yes, it was expensive, but worth it. There were hundreds of dolphins surfing the waves, as well as some of South Africa's best surfers! We couldn't watch them enough!

We are now in Port Elizabeth, staying with HU members, Terry and Dorrienne Baker's lovely home with Bins turkish lentil soup cooking now for dinner!

From here we will travel up the coast via Durban and the Drakensberg Mountains towards Dries's place near Johannesburg to store Miss Adventure II again, while we go to Europe for 6 months of summer! Then back to Africa in October when our children Kate and Jonathan will join us and travel on a motorbike behind us! This will fulfill a lifelong dream of ours!

We have had an absolutely superb time in Africa, though its cost us a lot more than we thought! There are 2 ways to travel here. camp for next to nothing or stay in beautiful lodges and pay a fortune! Luckily it was always low season, so we could negotiate with the lodges. B&Bs in South Africa are very nice, plentiful and about US$50 per night... great value!

As usual we can't wait for the next step and see all our great friends. We have a saying that 'the world is full of friends we haven't met yet!' Bring it on!"

Ed. Happy Birthday Pat! Here in the UK, Grant gets free bus and tube travel at that age ;-) But we'd much rather be in Africa! For more stories, see Pat and Belinda's blog here on Horizons Unlimited!

MedjetAssist is an air medical evacuation and consultation membership program and is HIGHLY recommended by us and many others for all travellers. The regular MedjetAssist program is for citizens or residents of the US, Mexico and Canada, and gives hospital of choice protection virtually anywhere in the world and air evacuation as needed. (See below for more on the Foreign National Plan) Click the logo below for US, Mexico and Canada citizens to find out more. (NOTE: It's still in progress for the final HU version, but you can get MedjetAssist now!)

Get MedjetAssist for your next trip!

For OTHER nationalities it is currently a little more complicated. There IS a Foreign National Plan, but you can't enrol online. It's a faxable enrolment and subject to underwriting approval. The rates are the same, but transport is restricted to 'back to home country - hospital of choice' rather than 'anywhere in the world - hospital of choice'. We are working on improving that, but at least it IS available! Go here to contact MedjetAssist and inquire about the Foreign National Plan. Be sure to mention Horizons Unlimited.

Michael Paull adds his endorsement of MedJet (and he DID use their services - twice!):

". After an additional three days in Beijing, I was deemed stable enough for air evacuation back to the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA, in the company of my wife Aillene (who had flown in from Japan), and an air transport trauma nurse provided by the company that I had procured medical evacuation insurance from, MEDJET Assistance - without doubt, the best insurance coverage I have ever purchased in my life. A small plug here - these people were remarkable. If there was ever a better case for '. don't leave home without it.', MEDJET Assistance is at the top of my checklist, no matter where I travel (and I hope to do a LOT more)."

Note: Per the Medjet Assistance site: ". a medical transport between Europe and America can run more than $35,000. Middle East and South American flights range from $60,000 to $80,000. Transport from Asia often exceeds $100,000." Sounds like $205.00 for a single is pretty cheap insurance!


Bas, Roel & Steve (Dutch Dangleberries), Netherlands, Americas 2010, in Guatemala, XT Yamahas,

"Monday April 5, we left Flores and wanted to go to Lanquin. The ride was beautiful and according to the map we also had to do some unpaved roads. We figured that would be about 30 km's and would take us an hour. At 3 in the afternoon we said goodbye to tarmac and hello to dust. What looked like a short unpaved route on the map appeared to be a 80 km's curvy mountain route which led us through the poorest Mayan villages.

Road to Lanquin.

Road to Lanquin

We were definitely off the Lonely Planet trail and had taken quite an alternative route to Lanquin. Although tough, we were rewarded with the most beautiful views and with the real Guatemala.

Lanquin, Guatemala.

Antigua, Guatemala.

We fell in love with Antigua and have to force ourselves to leave this place.

We've spent now ten days in this dangerous place. Dangerous because before you know it, you'll never leave. Surrounded by volcanoes, this colonial city with its plazas, bars and nice restaurants seduces you and before you know it... you're married. But as real bikers, we can't be seduced by anything else than a bike, so we will leave this place soon.

What have we done these days? We did a week Spanish course. 5 days 4 hours in a row. One teacher, one student. So, quite intensive. We really improved our Spanish. Instead of tres cervezas, we can now order seis cervezas."

Distant Suns

by Sam Manicom
Distant Suns by Sam Manicom.

Sam Manicom's dynamic third book transports you to Southern Africa, South and Central America in an action-packed three year voyage of discovery. a thought-provoking mix of scrapes and encounters with people which illuminate some moments of true darkness. acute observations on everything from human behaviour, to remote and stunning locations. Distant Suns grabs you, enthrals you and spits you out as a convert to the dream of overlanding these amazing continents.'


"It's been a pleasure to read as it makes me feel as if I'm there seeing the people and landscape that Sam describes. He has a gift for painting pictures with words, which is rare amongst long-distance riders. In summary, a damn good read, not to be missed." Dave - BMW Club Journal

". as the book progressed and the story unravelled, it developed into a truly involving and enthralling read. Distant Suns doesn't just document the journey, Sam also describes cultural differences, traditions and lifestyles of the various countries they cross, whilst painting a vivid picture of the terrain they cross. A really great read that'll doubtless give you itchy feet. " TBM - Trail Bike Magazine

"Distant Suns' is based on what Sam acknowledges are Birgit's wonderfully descriptive diaries. The result is a strangely powerful combination of Sam's already masterful writing with the added perspectives of a travelling companion who is both in-tune and adding a different melody line to the rhythm of their journey together." Nich Brown - The Road Magazine

Signed copies available directly from the Author here.
Order your copy now!


Ken Thomas, UK to Cape Town, in Ethiopia and Kenya, Yamaha TTR,

"We headed south-west from Isiolo into the Rift Valley and its many lakes. There's plenty to see and do, not the least zig-zagging across the equator about five times in ten days.

Our first sight-seeing stop was Nyahururu and Thomson Falls, a scenic Rift Valley water fall. A few days later we arrived at Lake Boringo, to the north, and Robert's Camp located on its shores. Both had been recommended to us quite a few times. The camp, like most we had stayed at, is within a fenced compound, and we had become grateful to find such fenced areas now and again on this journey.

It's all very well, and entertaining, stopping on the road somewhere for a break, or the shops, or outside a hotel, and being surrounded by curious children and welcoming adults, wanting to know 'Where from?' 'What country?' 'Where to?' 'How long in Ethiopia/Kenya?' 'How much the motorcycle?' 'Give me the motorcycle.' 'Manchester United!' 'Jambo!' But a spot of relaxation is needed now and again. So a hotel inside a walled compound is welcomed, or even, in southern Ethiopia, roadside restaurants within fenced courtyards that we could ride straight into.

So we were happy to ride through the gates of Robert's Camp and to be able to park and unload with no one around.

But no! Within a few minutes of selecting a likely-looking spot for my tent, these two locals ambled up."

Hippos at campsite.

You've heard of swimming with dolphins, well, Robert's Camp is famous for Sleeping with Hippopotami.

Ed. Follow the adventure at Ken's blog here on Horizons Unlimited!

Overland to India

Overland to India book by Gordon May

by Gordon May

Paperback, 21x14.8 cm 234 pages incl 8 pages of colour photographs. £9.95.


In 2008, Gordon May set off on an 8,400 mile ride from Manchester, UK, to Chennai, India, on his 1953 Royal Enfield. Despite encountering intense heat, suffering a crash in the Baluchistan desert and battling against some of the worst roads and driving standards on the planet, Gordon and his old Bullet did make it to Chennai.

In Overland to India Gordon describes how he restored his beloved motorcycle, the build up to departure, the larger-than-life characters he met and how he tackled the many challenges that came his way. He also recounts the more personal highs and lows of life on the road. Above all, Overland To India is a heart-warming book that reveals that there is much human kindness and hospitality to be found, sometimes in the most unexpected places and situations.


What I really liked about Overland to India was the sheer determination of the rider. Gordon's love of his motorcycle shone through too; he often thanks it for getting him to his various destinations along the gruelling route and I liked reading about his running repairs. I felt his joy, his euphoria, at being out on the open road. I also felt his exhaustion. When Gordon suffered a crash I could almost feel those bruises and also his fear following an attempted highway robbery. What was also really striking was the generosity, friendliness and humility of many of the people he met along the way, who Gordon describes with real warmth. It's uplifting to discover that it's a welcoming world out there. Overland to India is a lesson to all of us who have a dream and want to pursue it. Inspiring. Judith Coyle


Ian Moor, UK, Wrong Way Round The World, in Wyoming, BMW F650GS,

"I had been looking at the snow capped mountains behind the ranch all winter hoping for an opportunity to walk amongst them. I made an attempt on my last weekend although I could see there was a fair bit of snow higher up. It was a warm sunny morning when I set off. After a couple of miles and a 1000 feet of height gain I got to a plateau with snow drifts here and there and solid snow all the way up to the peaks. A hailstone shower started and lasted half an hour just as I wanted to sit down for a picnic lunch. The route went through a dip before climbing again and the dip was full of snow. I tried crossing in two places and was sinking into the snow almost to my waist. I bravely or foolishly (depending on whether you are my mother or not) crawled and dragged myself through the drift at the second spot reaching trees where I thought the snow wouldn't be so deep. I was right but I was still sinking into soft snow up to two foot deep with no sign of it reducing. After a couple of hundred yards I gave up and retraced my steps back down.

The forecast for 19th April 2010 was good in Montana and on my route to Utah so I made plans to leave then. I had hoped to travel south through Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks but the road south from Yellowstone was still closed for the winter. The north and west entrance roads had just opened on the 16th April so I was able to travel through Yellowstone from Gardiner to West Yellowstone passing through the Theodore Roosevelt arch.

Bike in snow at Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Snow

I saw my first grizzly bear in Yellowstone. It was between 200 and 250 yards away. Close enough to see clearly but too far to get a photograph with my camera. It looked pretty big and in good condition considering it must have just emerged from winter hibernation. I'd assumed they would be thin, bedraggled and hungry for tourist blood after sleeping through the winter."

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

Book special just for Horizons Unlimited Readers!

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

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

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

Mike Rafferty (and daughter Heather), USA, South America, in Peru, BMW R1200 GS 'Sport' and BMW F650 GS,

"We rolled into Puerto Iguazu right on schedule, and found our current digs - a great little hotel called the 'Jardin de Iguazu'. It is only 4 months old and extremely well maintained, which means all the towels are new, the rooms are perfect - everything is tip-top! And the staff are equally fresh and friendly. We would absolutely recommend this one to anyone headed this way. After a great dinner, we hit the sack with plans to go and see the falls in the morning.

And see the falls we did! When we recount the many memorable places and things we have seen on this trip, this is definitely one of the most remarkable, and should mark a place on everyone's 'things to see before I croak' list. Legend has it that Eleanor Roosevelt, when shown the falls here, said that Niagara was a 'dripping faucet' after Iguazu. It is absolutely tremendous and we now understand fully why people come here from all over the world. Well worth the days spent riding to get here. No question.

Iguazu Falls.

We started our tour by taking the bus to the park, which is a few miles outside the town. It filled a good, full day to walk the many catwalks and bridges they've installed to get folks up close and personal with the many different falls that comprise Iguazu, for Iguazu isn't really just one fall, but a wall of waterfalls that stretches across several miles. Without question, the most exhilarating part was the boat-ride that takes you right up into the crashing waters. It's a full soaking event, and worth the considerable hike down to the river where the boats launch. We both commented how much James and Becky would love it.



The park is home to LOTS of critters, including literally millions of butterflies, some the size of small birds. We saw dozens of Coatis - the South and Central American cousin to the raccoon, tame as cats. Lots of signs warn the visitors not to feed the Coatis - but the Coatis seem to have quite another view. One particularly bold youngster started nosing through a ladies purse that had been enticing him with potato chips, to the crowd's delight, when he suddenly grabbed her bag of potato chips and bolted. I guess he didn't read the signs that say human food is bad for him, and nobody was ready to try and get that bag back."

Nicolas Cavallero, Ecuador, writes to the HU Cartagena community about how to get his bike to Panama:

"Hola amigos espero que esten vien les tengo una consulta. He estado viajando en mi moto ya hace par meses años y bueno estoy regresando a los USA, en este momento estoy en Ecuador. Queria legalizar la moto aca pero como no me dejan me toca regresar a los estados, estoy viendo la forma mas economica para llegar a Panama. Alguna sugerencia. Muchas gracias y espero verlos pronto. Nicolas"

Tim Bussey, USA, in Morocco, Harley-Davidson,

"I did the tourist thing in Marrakesh today. Walking around the market, check out a famous garden and getting over charged buy taxi drivers. I did meet the one honest driver, he was the one that said, 60 cents not 5 euros. I'm hearing that there isn't much gasoline in the Western Sahara so I'm mailing some stuff home and going to carry as much gas as I can. I'm not sure I want to be sitting on the side of the road bumming gas in the middle of nowhere. I'm also practicing saying in English, 'do you wish you had a Beemer now?' the weather is overcast here in Marrakesh, looks like it might rain tonight.

I'm in Rabat till Monday. I have to get a visa for Mauritania then I'm heading to Marrakesh. It's been raining here in the North. I spend a couple of hours on mountain roads in heavy rain. That was interesting. I did some hiking, not too much just enough to start wishing I had a donkey like everyone else. I saw the Roman ruins yesterday that was very cool. The bike has been running good. The gas here is 4 to 5 dollars a gallon but my mileage is up. I'll update when I can."

Peter Russell, Canada, in Mexico, KLR's,

"The morning ride from Monte Pio out to Angel Cabrada was similar to the ride in, tight curves, lush tropical green mountain landscape, and plenty of topes. Topes is the Mexican term for each of the multitude of speed bumps placed across any populated section of road. They must be quite severe for cars and trucks, because drivers slow to a virtual stop to pass over them, creating long lines of traffic behind. Our bikes barely notice the bumps, and if we stand on the pegs, we can ride across them at 60kmh. At first a nuisance, the topes quickly became our allies in passing buses, trucks, and other vehicles - as they'd slow we would sail past them unhindered - especially useful given that most of the trucks are double length trailers. We rode through Boca del Rio and Veracruz around lunchtime with little trouble. They are beautiful and modern cities with a mix of new and colonial buildings, and a long beach waterfront.

Pulpos in Veracruz.

Pulpos Veracruz

Lunch was in a roadside restaurant outside of Los Palmas. I had a delicious Pulpos (octopus) Veracruz. The sauce was tomato based with onions and tarragon, and a delicious chile picante on the side.

Atlantic Coast of Mexico.

Atlantic Coast of Mexico

This is the first time we have seen the Atlantic Ocean since leaving Argentina for Tierra del Fuego."

Ken and Carol Duval, Australia, in Peru, write to the HU Lima Community about tyres/tires:

"Hola, We are Australians travelling Sth America and currently in Lima. We will need tyres further north of Lima. Maybe in Trujillo, Piura or Sullana. Does anyone know if the following sizes are available in MT60 or MT70's. 90 x 90 x 21 and 120 x 80 x 18 for a BMW R80 g/s. We are heading north along the coast to Ecuador. Thank you for your help. Carol & Ken"

Ali Franks, UK, in Colombia, Bajaj 135, writes to the HU Cali Community for suggestions on places to see:

"Muy buenas, yo soy un ingles aqui en Cali, hace ratico compre una moto Bajaj 135 y he disfrutado pasear con ella muchichisimo por el valle y el norte del cauca. En semana santa recorri bastante, hasta Antioquia, Caldas, Tolima, pero me preguntaba si ustedes conocian otras buenas partes para conocer. Ademas, dentro de unos meses quiero hacer un viaje mas largo, pero no se como es de adecuada la moto para hacer eso. Muchas gracias, un saludo, ali"

Iza Gamanska, Poland, in Bolivia, writes to the HU Lima Community about selling a bike:

"Hi all, We are a Polish couple travelling around the world on Africa Twin and Honda Bross for last two year( Now we are in La Paz and heading soon to Lima. Our family member who has been traveling with us from Buenos to Lima is going back to Poland, therefore his bike registered in USA, KLR650, 2008 year is for sale. The price is very attractive, 2800 USD, and the bike is ready for touring. The bike is for sale from 9th May onwards. Let us know, if anyone interested, wants to have a chat or few beers. Iza"

Björn Holland, Germany, in Paraguay and Bolivia, BMW F650 Dakar,

"The Paraguay photo-diary/slide show is online now. Had a very interesting & fun time there: cheap electronics shopping in Ciudad del Este, very friendly people, hardly any tourists, quite a hot ride on the Trans-Chaco Highway, some wildlife and an interesting encounter with some motorcycle-crazy Mennonites in the Chaco :)"

up to top of pagespacer2010 Photo Contest for 2011 Calendar

2010 Photo Contest is now on!

The contest is now an annual event, where you can showcase your best photos, and they can help inspire others to get on the road too. Your photos could also be in the "Achievable Dream" DVD series! The best 13 photos will be used in the calendar, and those photographers will share equally in half the proceeds. Winners will also get a free 2010 calendar, and 1 year Gold Member status on the HUBB.

Prizes (two categories)

First place NON V-Strom / KLR photo prize is generously donated by, the popular "Trackpicker Qstarz BT-Q 1000 X"! By simply pressing a button you can store your favourite places as waypoints!
(Winners responsible for any customs and duties payable. Touratech is awarded rights to use the Photo in promotion and advertising)."

Trackpicker Qstarz BT-Q 1000 X

Trackpicker Qstarz BT-Q 1000 X

First Place KLR or V-Strom photo wins a Progressive Suspension Makeover, approx value US$650, shipped to your door.
(Winners responsible for any customs and duties payable. Progressive Suspension is awarded rights to use the Photo in promotion and advertising)."

PSi - 465 Series Shock

The new Progressive Suspension PSi - 465 Series Shock

Submit up to 6 photos, in high resolution jpg or tif format. To be a winner, so we can publish the calendar, you must have available at least 2300x1800 pixel or greater files, at a high jpg quality. Either dimension - or both can be larger! Photos must clearly portray Motorcycle Travel. The whole bike doesn't need to be in the picture, but it must be obvious that it's a motorcycle trip. If you are NOT THE PHOTOGRAPHER - please don't submit it!

Note: Copyright remains with the photographer, but Horizons Unlimited (HU) requires the right to:

  • publish the photos on the Horizons Unlimited website as we see fit,
  • in Horizons Unlimited DVDs, and
  • in the Horizons Unlimited Travellers Calendar. If used in the Calendar, you will receive a portion of the proceeds.
  • You will always get credit for your photo wherever it's used.

Remember, contest closes September 1, 2010, so get your entry in soon! Anyone can win!

First Prize 2009 Contest: Stefan Cedergren, Sweden; Dades Gorge, Morocco, waiting for the traffic to pass.

First Prize 2009 Contest: Stefan Cedergren, Sweden; Dades Gorge, Morocco, waiting for the traffic to pass

The 2010 calendar is still available! Check it out and get your copy now, for some terrific travel inspiration! The calendars are available through CafePress, and the price is US$24.99 plus postage. The cost to us from CafePress is $14.99, and we split the $10.00 profit with the photographers.

up to top of pagespacerLeaving soon, or just left.

Pascal Leclerc and Abby, Hong Kong, to Africa, Honda Transalp,

"My name's Pascal but friends call me Nish, I'm originally from France (Le Mans) but I moved to Hong Kong 27 years ago. I got married there with a local Chinese girl and we had two superb Eurasian daughters. Then I got divorced a decade or so ago and raised them up myself. Now they're gone to live their own adventures and I just turned 50 last Monday.

I guess I've reached that age when, like Mike Carter says in his 'Uneasy Rider', one starts feeling rather puzzled with the whole point of it all. I knew it would come but I had my plans for it, I had always kept that secret hope in a corner of my mind that one day, perhaps, I'd be free enough to go on a big ride, a big trip that one begins without knowing when or wanting to ever come back to 'normal' again. And I've always hoped to be able to do it by the age of 50. We both had just watched 'The Long Way Round' and somehow we weren't too enthusiastic about repeating that very same journey. It just looked too short all of a sudden, too expectable. We needed more. So naturally, we decided that since we were going to start from UK, we might as well take the really long way round which would include riding down all along the West Coast of Africa to Cape Town and then up again by the East Coast to Egypt and then Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Greece and finally head North until the cold would drive us East towards Mongolia. Ha, that would be more like it! It could take us two to three years to ride all these miles, that's perfect for what we have! Let's go homeless for a while see what's that got in store for us! We might end up our trip in New Zealand and settle there or carry on and go to South America. No boundaries! Yeah, that's what we need.

So while Geoff (Giles) began searching for good wheels, Abby started taking some riding lessons. I took her to the local MX Club as well so she could get her feel of dirt tracks and she showed a real determination and perseverance which delighted me even further. Alas Hong Kong had a new dirty trick to play on our little project. Even if Abby was to pass her licence in time, she'd still be on probation for a year and that would prevent her from obtaining her International Driving Licence, damn! We rushed to Horizon Unlimited web site to ask and see if there was any way out of this one, being even flying her to the Bahamas if required but to no avail. Alright then, no worries, we'll start our journey with just one bike and once we're in Africa, she could still have a go at it on rented bikes so that when we'll reach Cape Town, hopefully a year after our departure, she could get herself some decent wheels as we heard lots of adv bikers sell their bike there and fly home. It should cut our cost too.

It took me a while to get used to the idea that I'll have to ride about 350kg of bike + 2 persons + luggage around Africa's pistes but decided that, at 50 years old, I shouldn't be dreaming of winning the Paris-Dakar anymore but should rather consider taking a look at the landscape instead, for once. That did it.

So we did start looking at the landscape. I downloaded as many documentaries about Africa as eMule would allow me, in French, in English, we got to know a certain Bear who taught us how to eat snakes alive in deserts and sleep in dead camels, we read tons of diaries on the HUBB, tried to find answers to the most obvious questions that popped to our minds, we collected Lonely Planet guidebooks, ordered more novels from Amazon, got maps, searched for visa requirements, freaked out about vaccinations and malaria threats, selected equipment items. and began to feel good, to smile again, to take it easy with life and people, we knew our trip had already started by then and it felt great.

Nish and Abby with Transalp.

With a little help from Photoshop...

We met other adventure riders while watching the excellent DVDs produced by Horizon Unlimited and were delighted to conclude that they were indeed the sort of people we wanted to hang around with. Watching them tell us about their own adventures was the turning point I think when Abby and me both looked at each other with a confident smile on our faces: yes definitely, that's what we wanted and no, definitely, we weren't scared, quite the opposite! And we started suffering from a daily burst of 'I just can't wait to be gone!' that's just getting louder and louder every day, the trip had turned into our primary concern. Everything else, our duties, our possessions, our daily routines started to feel secondary and a bit dull... Soon we'll have to cancel our internet accounts, mobile phone plans, arrange a few things with the banks, do those vaccinations and visit the dentist as well as a doctor to sort out our first aid kit. Already, we don't have to pay rent anymore, we're on the two months deposit return period! Oh yes, it feels good, we getting there. Everyone we meet asks us about our trip. We're in the queue already, all we need is a little more patience but I'm already kick starting when asleep! So you know what? We just can't wait to be gone!"

Ed. Happy Birthday, Nish, and we'll look forward to hearing your adventures from the road!

David Kitson, UK, writes to the HU Merida Community,

"I'm on my way. If anyone would like to meet up would be good to get some info about your country maybe even a place to stay. Thanks David"

Jorge Sánchez, Barcelona, writes to the HU Barcelona Community:

"Hi, I am planning a trip in August this year from Barcelona to Istanbul and I would like to contact people who plan to make the same trip or a similar path."

Ben Campbell, Sydney, Australia, writes to the HU Seoul Community:

"Hello My Name is Ben Campbell and I will be riding my bike from Osaka, Japan to London UK. I am trying to find some help booking the Korean owned ferry 'Eastern Dream' from Japan to Vladivostok. I'm unable to translate the website as it is coded in Flash. If there is someone who is able to help me translate and book this ferry I would be greatly appreciative. I would be happy to compensate you for your time. The ferry is based out of Dong Hae and the website is here. Many thanks in advance Ben"

Si Johnston, Belfast, Northern Ireland, writes to the HU Moscow Community:

"Hi, I'm thinking of riding my bike from Ireland to Magadan this summer, and am wondering if it's possible to somehow get me and the bike on the trans-siberian or a train afterwards? I'm looking for the most economical way of getting the bike back to Europe. Many thanks for your help."

Andy and Gosia Woynarowski, UK, write to the HU San Francisco Community:

"Hi! Me and my wife are planning a RTW trip that will obviously take us to the US. We're applying for a US Visa and obviously during the process of filling the form 'Uncle Sam' wants us to provide an address in the US as a reference. Would it be possible to obtain such an address from you guys? We would also love to visit you once there! Kindest regards, Andy and Gosia"

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up to top of pagespacerHome again (or at least off the road temporarily).

Peter Hendricks and Su, stopping to work in New Zealand, sigh...

"April 2010: We have enjoyed our trip around both islands, despite the initially chilly and windy weather. After long deliberations we have decided to stay here, if Su is allowed to stay. Our trip is now finished. However, we have given up the idea of buying or renting a camp ground/hostel in Northland. Instead, once Su has her work permit, we will do what all good people have to do occasionally in their lives - work."

 Auckland suburbs.

We walk up Mangere Mountain for a good view of some Auckland suburbs

Piha Beach .

Famous Piha beach West of Auckland.

Oliver Abrahams, UK, back home in the UK, on a Honda XL650 Transalp,

"After 345 days away I'm back on British soil, and it all feels rather strange. I'm hoping this will be my penultimate post. The final post explaining how uneventful collecting my motorbike from Tilbury docks was, in about 2 weeks time.

I didn't find what I was looking for. Although if I'm honest, I probably couldn't tell you exactly what 'it' is. I did have a good time looking for it though and I definitely learnt quite a bit about myself in the process. I met some wonderful people that I hope I'll remain in contact with. It wasn't all rosy though and I also met people I'd happily never see again. Fortunately may more of the former than the later. Over the 27,500 miles I got through 5 rear tyres, 3 front tyres, 4 oil filters, 10 litres of oil, 1 chain and sprockets, loads of chain lube, 1 helmet, about 2,500 litres of petrol and about £15,000 (total for everything consumed. i.e. I don't have it now - plane tickets, bike transport, insurance, living/spending money, etc.)

I've been asked quite a few times this year: 'So what's next? You going to ride round the world?' The thing is; I like riding my motorbike but I'm not fanatical about it. I only learnt to ride a bike for this trip because I thought it would be more interesting than doing it on a bus. And it was. However, if there is a next adventure I think it will be slightly different. The idea of flying a light aircraft around Africa or sailing a boat to a far off land are top of the list at the moment. Whether they remain just ideas is another matter though, as I would imagine the time and financial commitment involved in either is considerably more than learning to ride a motorbike. I guess we'll see what happens."

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

Baby doll T-shirt - front.Check out t-shirts and other goodies at the HU Souk. Support your favorite website!Check out t-shirts and other goodies at the HU Souk. Support your favorite website!

Thanks! Grant and Susan

up to top of pagespacerTraveller's Community News.

New Communities:

We've now reached an amazing 650 Communities in 106 Countries as of April 26, 2010!

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!

David Bird writes from Kas, Antalya, Turkey"

"Hi Grant and Susan, Just a quick note. Thanks for a great site. Since putting my Kas, Turkey Community page up we have had the pleasure of meeting and hosting a number of Germans, Brits, French and Belgians and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We would like to meet more travellers. Do you have any suggestions on how to increase our exposure? Take care and thanks once again. Kind Regards, David and Julet"

Ed. Grant suggested they might hold a mini-meeting, so stay tuned!

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

For details on how you can join a Community in your area, or use the Communities to get information and help, or just meet people on the road or at home, go to the Community page. Send me some photos - with captions please - and a little text and you can have a web page about your Community! A few links to web pages about your area would be useful too.

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

Become a Horizons Unlimited Contributing Member or Gold Member!

To help with the cost of creating and distributing the newsletter and running a huge website, which has been a full time job for Grant for ten years, Susan as much as she can, plus a couple of part time assistants, we gratefully accept contributions via PayPal, credit card, and cheque. Members also get additional privileges on the HUBB, such as more PM's, custom avatars, and more photo space.

Support this Newsletter by becoming a Contributing Member today, by PayPal, credit card, or cheque.

Become an HU Contributing Member!

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If you want a t-shirt or other logoed merchandise, go to the Store.

All contributions will be acknowledged and gratefully accepted. If you later decide you do want a t-shirt or other member logoed merchandise from the store, let us know and we will arrange access to the Members Private Store.

More ways to support your favourite website!

How to Link to Horizons Unlimited

Also, you can just click on any Amazon link on the site and we'll get a small commission on your purchase of any Amazon merchandise - and it won't cost you any more!

Thanks, Grant and Susan


up to top of page Subscribe!

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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 800 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.

We'd like to think that Horizons Unlimited; the website, the HUBB, the Communities and this newsletter help to push back the fear through knowledge and connecting with others, and teach all of us about the world and it's wonderful people.

See you on the road!

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, 1987-2010.
All Rights Reserved.

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