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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 swimming in mud volcanoes, tempting Guatemalan crocodiles, getting creamed (and slightly broken) in Colombia, rescuing baby turtles, staring into the abyss, spaghetti-like roads in Morocco, the Cairo traffic maelstrom, vats of pigeon dung, nights with jungle shamans, at home with grenade launchers... 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
News Items
Photo Contest
Repair Shops on the

Seen on the road
Travellers Community
Who's on the Road
Your Privacy

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

Home Page
Become a Member!
HUBB (Bulletin Board)
HU Souk (Store)
Meetings (Registration)
Search the Website
Travellers Stories
Trip Planning

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Motorcycle Travellers' News Report

August 2011, 87th Edition

Welcome to the 87th Edition of the motorcycle travellers' e-zine! We're finally home again, after being away since late May in the UK, Europe and the USA. We've been living out of our panniers and working off our laptops for many months - would have been relaxing if we hadn't had seven events to organise plus a few presentations to do ;-) When we scheduled 2011 events, we were living in London, and it was a simple matter to ride to Ireland, Germany, Spain, etc., from there. But since we moved (with the bike) to Vancouver in January, the travel logistics got much more complicated! Thanks to our good friends at Touratech, we were able to borrow a 1200 GSA (with all the frills) for the European events, and we even got to ride to the top of Scotland - thanks Lindsay and our friends from last year's Ripley meeting for their gift!

We had a great time re-connecting with folks and making new friends at all the meetings we managed to get to. Though we cherish our families, the travellers' meetings are where we connect with our friends, most of whom are motorcycle travellers - quelle surprise! But many things fell off the table while we were on the road, so apologies to anyone who has been patiently waiting for us to do something, and please send a reminder!

As many of you know, we've had a lot of issues with the website upgrade this summer, if you want the background here's the HUBB post. Although many people didn't encounter any difficulties, too many of our loyal users have been frustrated to death for months, so heartfelt apologies to all of you! No consolation, but it's been very painful and expensive for us too! Still a few bugs to squash, so we do appreciate your patience. Now that we're back in office and can catch up with ourselves, we have some new stuff to get done, like improved blogs, more Community features, an improved shipping database, and a long-overdue redesign of the look and feel.

Next week we head to the CanWest meeting in Nakusp, alas, not on our bike, as it is still not rideable, and we have a lot of stuff to bring - t-shirts, etc.! Then we are home until mid-October, when we will head south to the California meeting, which is the last meeting we'll be at this year. And I promise, hand on heart, to get newsletters out in September, October, November and December :)

We're already working on the 2012 meeting schedule, and have firm dates up to mid-July (you can even sign up now!)

Where are our intrepid travellers this month?

We've got great stories from Mexico, Laos, Colombia, Morocco, South Africa, Spain, Kenya, Ecuador, Syria, Guatemala, Jordan, Egypt, Netherlands, Venezuela, Namibia, India, Montenegro and Australia... And those are just the ones we tracked down! 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 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 - 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!

Meetings and Events, 2011. Mark your calendars and sign up now!

Canada West - 25-28 August 2011, Nakusp, B.C. It's the 10th anniversary of the Canada West meeting, the location is fabulous for riding and this meeting is now the second largest HU event in the world! Never mind cooking road kill, learn survival skills like how to avoid getting eaten by a bear! RTW travellers Ekke and Audrey Kok, Andy and Luciana Miller are our local hosts. Grant and Susan will be there! Registration open now!

UK Autumn, Mendip, 2-4 September, 2011. Gabriel Bolton and Charlotte Moore are our local hosts. Numbers strictly limited and we're filling up fast! Registration open now!

Germany Autumn, 13-16 October, 2011. Jens Ruprecht promises another great event, a little earlier this year. Registration open now!

USA California - 14-16 October, 2011. New Location! New Location - Cambria, Central Coast near Big Sur. We have an amazing lineup of presenters for this meeting - Ted Simon, Dr. Gregory Frazier, Peter & Kay Forwood, Carla King, Clement Salvadori, Merritt & Pierre Saslawsky, Nicole Espinosa and more! Numbers strictly limited! Registration open now!

Greg Frazier riding SE Asia.

Dr. Gregory Frazier, 5 1/2 circumnavigations of the globe by motorcycle

Nicole Espinosa (Nicomama).

Nicole Espinosa (Nicomama)

Peter Forwood riding the world's most traveled motorcycle on the muddy roads of the Congo.

Peter Forwood riding the world's most traveled motorcycle on the muddy roads of the Congo

Merritt meeting the Masai.

Merritt meeting the Masai

2012 Meetings and Events Calendar

Thailand, Chiang Mai Mini-meeting, 14 January, 2012.

Australia, (within 1 hour of Brisbane - Dayboro showgrounds), 8-10 June, 2012. Registration coming soon!

Germany, 7-10 June, 2012, Registration open now!

Ireland, 29 June - 1 July, 2012. Registration coming soon!

UK Summer - Ripley - the big one! 5-8 July, 2012, Registration open now!

What's a Mini-Meeting?

Small 'local' HU Community meetings, often held in someone's backyard/garden/field for a barbie, or in a restaurant or local watering hole. Often held to welcome a traveller passing through, or just as an excuse to get together and keep the travel fires burning. Join, and contact your local Community to get a discussion started on where and when, then let me know and I'll post it here! OR just post it on the HUBB in the HU Events Forum.

Dates subject to change, more dates and locations to come as we get them.


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, first aid, 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.

Vendors/Traders sign up here to join us at a Meeting.

See the Meetings page for more details on all events.

See you there! Grin!

Grant and Susan

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.

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 e-mail 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

Tea with Bin Ladens Brother, by Simon Roberts.

Just Released!Tea with Bin Laden's Brother, by Simon Roberts

An Adventure motorbiking graphic novel telling the gripping story of a solo ride through Iran, Pakistan and India to Nepal. Take a look inside...

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 !

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 5 - Tire Changing!

Part 5 - Tire Changing!

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

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

Alex Smith (bigalsmith101), USA, Central and South America, in Colombia, Suzuki DR650,

"'We're in Barranquilla! And I have a broken leg! And here is how it all happened!

We arrived in the Cartagena, Colombia port on Saturday, July 30th. And that night was spent finding a hostel, and going to bed.

Our motorcycles had been on board the Stahlratte ever since we pulled into port. The immigration/customs office doesn't operate past mid day on Saturday, or at all on Sunday from what we were told, and thus we had to wait until Monday to take them off the boat to import them.

We arrived at the dock at 8:30 and within minutes the Stahlratte was winching bikes off the boat, into their small hard bottomed dinghy, and cruising them across the bay, headed to the docks edge. It didn't take long for the dinghy to arrive.

Arriving in Cartagena, getting the bikes on shore.

Arriving Cartagena, getting the bike onto the dock.

...And so we found ourselves heading out of town, northward it would seem, headed to an intersection 80 miles away that would lead us east and into the mountains. Or so we thought. Our day had a little more in store for us then planned... I would get clobbered, creamed, and slightly broken by a passing truck, and shortly thereafter would pose for this photo.

Alex just after accident.

I was walking/hopping at that point. That would be the best I moved for a few days.

...Soon, the ladies, all mid 20's (nurses?) were gathered around.

I must have looked really white to them, or just so different that they couldn't possibly fathom that I understand Spanish. For I am sure they wouldn't have said what follows if they thought I would understand, and thus it was very funny to hear them say from behind the curtain, quite loudly, the following:

Girl number one, 'He doesn't even fit in the bed. Did you see the size of him?'
Girls one through six, 'Hehehe, giggle giggle giggle, hehehehehehe!'
Random girl, 'Can you imagine the size of him? He probably doesn't fit anywhere else!'
Girls one through six, and at least 5 other patients, 'Giggle giggle, laugh, gag, choke, gasp, etc.'
Alex from behind the curtain, 'La cosa que es mejor es que puedo hablar espanol.'

(Or, 'The thing that is better, is that I can speak Spanish'.)

Well, that was a funny sight to behold, as I witnessed dust trails erupt from the ground as 6 pairs of feet took off into the distance like the Roadrunner from cartoons. Damn, I must have embarrassed them!

Nurses at the hospital don't know Alex speaks Spanish!

Nurses at the hospital don't know Alex speaks Spanish!

...It's hot as a witches tit in a brass bra down here and for the past three days I have been wifi-less in my room. It is an instant sweat fest if I leave the room, and the hotel lobby computers register a nice and toasty 85 degrees, with the fans blasting.

So. I solved my problem. I spent about an hour and 45 minutes disassembling the wireless routers on floors 2 and 3 of this hotel so I could fix my wi-fi signal. All in the name of getting internet access in my air conditioned room.

The 3rd floor router is f''ed, I get a great signal, connect, but can't access the web. The second floor router however, is good. But the second floor router's antenna was broken, and hanging off, pointed straight down. So I whipped out my leather man, hopped my crutched ass down the hall, and unscrewed the cover (on hallway surveillance camera) and reset both routers. Then I disassembled the antenna on the floor 2 router, re-assembled it appropriately, super glued it, re-attached it to its base where it had snapped off, and pointed it at an angle directly towards my room and VOILA mofo's, Alex is in 70 degree heaven on the damn internet.

Thank you very much. I'm a proud cripple."

Ed. Follow Alex's story and heaps of pics in the HU Ride Tales Forum!

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Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Uganda Bike Safaris. Thanks!

Uganda Bike Safaris for real adventure!

'The river Nile and the Great Lakes, mountain ranges and volcanoes, a pleasant climate all year round, and a wide variety of wildlife including the endangered mountain gorillas.'

Ian Moor, UK, Wrong Way Round The World, in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, BMW F650GS,

"Tikal, one of the most stunning Mayan ruins in existence is a couple of hours ride from Flores. It is now set in dense rain forest with towering trees and home to a variety of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. I saw a crocodile which lunged at someone getting too close rather than retreating further into the lake. I had learnt in Australia that freshwater crocodiles are not particularly dangerous but I guess the Guatemalan crocodiles haven't been informed of this.

Tikal - crocodile warning

Crocodile poses by its warning sign near Tikal

...The border crossing (from Belize to Guatemala) only took two hours but it felt longer as most of the time was spent standing in queues. Someone in front of me in the queue to pay the Belizean departure tax of $37.50 Blz was paying for a coach load of tourists, all of whom had to be processed individually. Eventually I was free to go, the barrier was lifted and I rode into country number five, Guatemala. The road to Flores was good for most of the way with only a couple of short bad sections although they made up for their shortness by being particularly rough, the surface had totally disintegrated leaving a mess of potholes and corrugations. I passed the Tikal turnoff that I intended to return to so stopped to record the GPS grid position then headed through the town of Santa Elena and by keeping the lake in sight found the bridge to Flores, an island in Petan Itza Lake."

Guatemala - Flores street

Flores Street in Guatemala

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

Björn Holland, (PanoMoto), RTW, Ecuador and Galapagos Islands, BMW F650 GS Dakar,

"Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. I had been looking forward to the Galapagos Islands for quite a long time now – and it was indeed absolutely gorgeous. Some information for other travellers reading this blog: I managed to get a real good last- minute price for a 7-day boat cruise. There's a lot of detailed information on other traveller's blogs already, on how to do the islands 'on the cheap', so just a brief summary here from my side:

Flight to Galapagos: US$380 (special promotion from TAME airlines, booked in the TAME office in Quito. Entrance fee to National Park: $100. I stayed on the islands for 4 nights, trying to get a last minute deal. There's plenty of offers, but only a few go to the 'good' islands (Española and Genovesa, with the best bird-life). I finally found one with the 'Guantanamera' boat, 7 days, US$840. Staying in Puerto Ayora (whilst looking for a local last-minute deal) is about $10-15 per day for accommodation, and $3 for a standard lunch. The local supermarket has all necessities for self-catering but prices are about double to mainland Ecuador.

Darwin's finch, land iguana

Darwin's finch

Guard dog on duty

Normally, these little fellas' favourite pastime is to chase motorbikes.

Market in Zumbahua

Market in Zumbahua

Ricardo and his girlfriend in Quito

Ricardo & his girl-friend in Quito. Ricardo is a member of Quito's 'Horizons Unlimited' community and offered me a safe place to park the motorcycle whilst I visited the Galapagos Islands. Thanks again for everything, Ricardo!

Once again... I meet Bernhard & Jasmin. We've been leapfrogging each other for a very long time now (since Ushuaia, Argentina!). And I'm sure this won't be the last 'good-bye' on this trip. (They're also travelling across to Central America and North America)."

Meeting Bernhard & Jasmin

Meeting Bernhard and Jasmin

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Panama Passage - Motorcycle and 4x4 guesthouse and shipping assistance in Panama City.

Sheonagh Ravensdale & Pat Thomson, 'Dusty Old Bags', UK, in Laos, Honda Falcon NX400s,

"$2 came the surly demand at the Laos border post before they would stamp our passports. $2 was the jovial demand at the quarantine post (a tent) just inside Cambodia where our temperatures were taken. And $2 to get our passports stamped into Cambodia. We'd been warned this was routine at the only crossing between the two countries and paid up along with all the backpackers and locals who'd piled off a bus. Fortunately we persuaded the officials to take the $12 total in redundant Laos kip before heading for customs.

No worries here. We filled in the only forms they had, designed for air passengers, putting our bike reg. numbers in the place for the flight number and the friendly customs officer didn't ask for a cent. He didn't give us a receipt or photocopy either, so we got him to stamp our carnets so at least we would have some proof of entering Cambodia legally. All these procedures were done in scruffy huts and the tent.

Phnom Penh traffic

You must be careful where you stand on the pavement when the lights change in Phnom Penh.

...Down an astonishingly good, straight road, with wasteland on either side for a good 50km. Hardly any habitation and hardly any traffic of any description. Just the occasional big black 4x4 tearing past at top speed. Curious. We started coughing. Stubble burning (or is it land clearance?) is widely practised and smoke drifts everywhere.

Extra wide load on moped

It's surprising what you can fit on a moped. Just outside Kratie.

The wild parts of Cambodia with the best off-road riding are to the North East and over in the South West, but we needed to get to Phnom Penh to find out about renewing Pat's passport, so we headed south towards Kampong Cham avoiding the big new highway and taking the old minor road. This section is about 125 km, approximately 25% of which is paved. The rest is a small dirt road that runs past innumerable villages along the Mekong River. The traffic was mainly ox-carts, mopeds and bicycles and a few ponies lugging unfeasibly heavy loads. Lots of new wats were being built in the grounds of old ones destroyed by the Khmer Rouge and we wondered who was paying for them as the villages looked very poor. It was so dusty we stopped and bought paper face masks from a roadside stall.

Ponies have the right of way
Pat has a discussion with a pony about right of way.

...Apart from its posh new bridge, Kampong Cham is also famous for its bamboo bridge, which is entirely rebuilt every year after the monsoon. It's a toll bridge to an island in the Mekong, and cost us $2.50 for 2 return tickets. There are several small villages either side of a sandy road on the island, and having carefully negotiated this ourselves, we helped an elderly man pick his moped up after he overbalanced due to the unwieldy 50kg bag of rice on the back."

Bamboo bridge

The bridge flexes alarmingly under our weight, but cars and even small lorries regularly cross to get to the villages on the island.

Ed. See Sheonagh and Pat's blog here on Horizons Unlimited for more great stories and pics! Check out their stories in the 'Ladies on the Loose!' DVD, shipping now!

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Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures. Thanks!

Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures offers affordable motorcycle adventures in the wild west of South America, Bolivia.

Dom Giles, UK, in South Africa, BMW 1200GS,

"It's hard to describe the feeling of actually being on the bike again - and in a brand new continent. The last time I had ridden my bike was on January 12th through the streets of Panama City. The last time I'd ridden without Tracy on the back was when I rode into Mexico City on 22nd November. It was now March 18th and I was in Cape Town, South Africa. All that waiting (not to mention the cost of shipping) now seemed worth it. I'd been volunteering teaching in a school in a township south of Cape Town for the last three weeks and I'd chosen to ride back to my accommodation round the beautiful Chapman's Peak road along the rugged windswept Atlantic coast. It reminded me of the North Californian or Oregon coast and for a moment I'd actually forgotten I was in Africa. Oh, it was a wonderful nine miles.

Uncrating the bike

Uncrating the bike

Leaving the depot

Leaving the depot

And then she cut out. Fuel just stopped getting through and the engine died. I had that horrible, horrible feeling of riding along, one minute everything being fine then the engine just dying, as if I'd taken my hand off the throttle but, crucially, I hadn't. In that split second I'd gone from pure bliss to devastation. It was 5 p.m. on a Friday...

I phoned Steve 'The bike collector' who said he was on another job and in traffic and wouldn't be with me for at least 2 hours. I phoned the bike shop and spoke to Shane who immediately thought the problem was a dodgy fuel pump. Now I don't want to pretend that I know anything about motorbikes or anything. But I had suggested this when I had arrived at the dealership. Mainly because I'd heard BMW suffer from fuel pump issues and it was on my list of expensive spare parts to take that I didn't have with me, so it was bound to go wrong at some point.

Shane jumped onto his bike and found me at 5:45 p.m. with a spare second hand fuel pump. He changed it over and the bike worked fine. The old fuel pump (original one?? - bike has now done 67,000 miles) was chipped at one end. Unbelievably Shane didn't even charge me. Again long distance motorbike travel had managed to evoke all possible emotions in an incredibly short space of time. At 6 p.m. I was in heaven again riding my lovely machine over the twisty, beautiful coastal Chapman's Peak drive. At last riding in Africa! However in the back on my mind I was thinking what chance have I got of getting to Nairobi if I break down TWICE on the first day?

...Two days later I did a 320 mile (500 km) round trip to Cape L'Aguhlas. It's the southern most point in Africa. Question. What's the difference between (North) America and (South) Africa? Answer: At the Arctic Circle they have someone there to take your photo for you, give you some information, have a chat and wish you a good day. At the southern most point of the continent of Africa they have practically zilch. There is a sign but you can't park near it so the furthest you can ride/drive is some dusty little car park. No sign, no welcoming committee nothing. Although the actual area is stunningly beautiful (even on a windy day like I had) it must be something of a disappointment if you've ridden ALL THE WAY down Africa.

Me, bike, Cape Laguhlas

me, bike, Cape L'Agulhas

Anyway, I parked Heidi as far south as I could and took a couple of pictures. Some guy offered to take my photo for me, so he did. I then got on the bike and just like I did when I got to the Arctic circle in Alaska I shouted into my helmet, 'Let's go to Nairobi' and headed north."

Ed. Dom will be presenting about his adventures in Africa at the HU UK Autumn meeting!

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Ionut and Ana, Romania, Trans-Africa, in Morocco, Yamaha Tenere,

"We are a Romanian couple of architects: Ionut, riding the bike and Ana, bickering in the back. Fuelled by Sir David Attenborough's documentaries, an Achilles tendon rupture and past travels to Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and South-East Asia, here we are, daring ourselves to make a dream come true. We've been thinking about this trip for two years and preparing for it for one and, after another freak motor accident that postponed our departure by over 9 months, we finally loaded our Yamaha Tenere motorbike in a van and left Bucharest on the 11th of June. A car broken down and a two-day 'cruise' by ferry from Livorno to Tangier later, we begin our trans-Africa biking adventure with a warm up month in Morocco.

With over 6 years of riding under my belt, mostly on street bikes, this time I have chosen the Tenere for our 2-up RTW trip, knowing that there is no perfect bike, only the will o do something like this. The soul of my first totaled Tenere is alive in the current motorbike, after I did an engine swap to a newer, but with higher mileage 2010 machine.

Ionut and Ana, Romania, in Morocco.

EU citizens are allowed a 90 days stay in Morocco without a visa. We entered via the newly launched Tangier Med port, where the border formalities are a breeze; its a one-stop-shop, you get your passport stamped, then checked by the gendarmerie, then the duane officer issues for free a Declaration d'admission temporaire de moyens de transport (temporary import permit).

For the customs you can apply online, using this form. The International Motor Insurance Card (green card) from your country of origin may also cover Morocco, you want to check this with your insurer (that is the case for Romania). Otherwise you can purchase insurance at the border.

Arriving in Morocco by boat.

The Moroccan infrastructure is quite developed, with over 1145km of autoroute and good tarred roads even in countryside. Morocco is an off-road paradise, with adrenaline-pumping pistes zig-zagging the ever changing landscape. The gas (essence) is about 1 Euro/liter and widely available at gas stations or at hole-in-the-walls in small villages. There are ATM machines everywhere, but obviously the food stalls are cash only.

Morocco boasts a diverse landscape, ranging from wild Atlantic coasts to 4K High Atlas peaks, from sterile desert to lush oases, from Sahara dunes to mud brick villages. We rode through the north (Tangier, Larache) which is feeling the crunch of the real estate bubble, with ghost towns and suburbs that nobody can afford built in the middle of nowhere. We stayed in and around Rabat for a week, waiting for the Mali and Mauritania visas, camping on beaches and getting to know the local way of life.

After eating some freshly baked bread in the morning, we left behind the Bhutan-like atmosphere of beautifully camouflaged Imilchil behind, heading to Gorges Dades via Agoudal. Enter the most thrilling piste so far: after Agoudal the tarmac turns to gravel, then just traces in the dust. For 5 km we rode through a riverbed that had erased the piste during the recent floods. Off-roading with a heavily loaded bike proved difficult and we took a few tumbles, managing to cover only 100km in more than 4 hours.

Okay, not sure what he's doing here!

Ed. Not sure what Ionut is doing here!

Apart from the riverbed crossings, the piste is a fun ride, climbing to 2700m then going down in hairpins and thrilling turns, with alternating gravel, rocky patches, sand and dirt. The piste ends with a 30cm deep river crossing, from where the road is all tarmac, interrupted by landslides that are easy to manage. As if the whole day ride wasn't enough, we crossed the canyon of Dades back to another famous set of spaghetti-like roads."

Ed. See Ionut and Ana's story and pics in the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

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Pascal (Nish) and Abby Leclerc, Hong Kong, RTW, Spain, Kawasaki W650,

"Everything looked very quiet in Melilla on that Sunday. Suddenly, unlike in Morocco, the streets were almost empty. Our dumb Garmin GPS took us through the smallest alleys of the city, eventually leading us to some narrow stairs which we were supposed to fly down I guess. We eventually made it to a gloomy looking hotel which Abby checked out. Fortunately, it was closed.

We carried on riding and turning in some empty streets and finally stumbled upon two better looking hotels in a deserted avenue. It was pretty expensive compared to Morocco, even during off-season but what the heck, we weren't planning to stay there for very long anyhow.

Together with Europe came a certain set of rules which we did so well without, on the other side of the border. I really couldn't tell if these rules existed or if they were only present in our minds. Even though the hotel carpark was only at the corner, that street was a one way only. A few hours earlier, I wouldn't have hesitated to ride the few meters that separated me from the car park. Not anymore. Instead, I took the long way around and made sure to respect street signs.

When we unloaded our panniers, the Transalp was of course parked in front of the hotel doors, on the sidewalk. I had moved it there from the tarmac because of yellow lines that forbid to even stop there despite the traffic being nonexistent. But then we weren't too sure if leaving the bike on the sidewalk was allowed either, despite of the lack of passersby, so one of us remained next to it while the other was taking our stuff inside. When I returned from the car park, I lit a fag. Not that I wanted one right then but I knew I couldn't smoke inside the hotel so I packed up on a bit of nicotine beforehand.

And I did all that without even being told to.

Is this really what it takes to be 'civilised', in the norms?

I didn't feel myself as having been particularly 'uncivilised' a few hours earlier, in Morocco. But I certainly was in a jollier mood.

A modern Don Quixote

A Modern Don Quixote and his sidekick, Sancho Panza

...The next day, while the laptop was busy duplicating one drive onto the other, Abby and me went looking for a front tire. It took us a while and we ended up at a Honda workshop in the suburbs. Spanish suburbs are beautiful places to visit, the walls are covered with magnificent tags which I dutifully shot, one by one, with our Ixus... Abby's a patient girl.

Wall painting

Wall painting

...That's how we got the shock of our lives that late evening. After about an hour of hanging around, we had found ourselves at the entrance of a public park and I had suggested to take a walk inside to take a look. At the end of the main alley, we could see the countryside at the horizon, with a few mountains. Was that park marking the end of the city ? I walked a bit faster than Abby while watching the mountains in front of me until I reached some railings that seemed to limit the park. Putting my hands on the cold metal, I naturally looked down to the level where I expected the ground to be... nothing! I lowered my eyes even more... still no ground! In fact I was standing on a sort of balcony hanging on the edge of a giant cliff next to an abyss of more than a hundred meters deep! Breath taking!"

Ronda - over the edge

Ronda - edge of abyss

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Larry and Sharon McGillewie - BMW 650 and 1150, in Kenya,

"Well we are back in Africa and the traffic did not disappoint. We flew from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam to Cairo and then caught a connection flight to Nairobi all with Egyptair. We were very pleasantly surprised with the good service and clean (ish) aircraft that we received from Egyptair. The only problem was that the passengers on the Cairo to Nairobi leg were all very noisy and we did not get any sleep. We arrived in Nairobi at 2.30am (3.30am local time) and decided that we would wait at the airport as we probably wouldn't get into Jungle Junction at that ungodly hour. No place to lie down at all, not even a small piece of carpet to lie down and we managed to find a small coffee bar that was open so at least we could sit! Which we did until 7.30am and then we took a taxi to Martin Air to start trying to clear our bikes.

We arrived at the Cargo Terminal and we (including the taxi driver) had to be searched and eventually were allowed in. Our main luggage weighted 43kg together had to be carted into the lobby of the main Kenyan Airways building and I promptly sat down on it while Larry went up to the Martin Air Offices.

All the staff for Kenyan Airways were arriving at work and were very concerned to see me sitting on the luggage and all asked if they could help. One lady by the name of Mqeni Ndunda came back and said that she could not leave me sitting there like that and she and a friend came back and helped carry the luggage to the waiting area of Kenyan Airways. She later during the day took me to the staff canteen to get a plate of food for Larry and myself. Thank you very much for your kindness Mqeni!

At Nairobi airport with Mqeni Ndunda

Standing next to the bikes with Mqeni Ndunda

The normal hurry up and wait when dealing with customs and getting cargo released, we also had very good and pleasant dealings with Martin Air and in particular Jacky. Larry was told that we could not clear the bike ourselves we would have to use a clearing agent, he managed to get hold of Martin (very professional) and he helped us getting the bike cleared. We were at the Cargo Terminal from 7.30am until 2.30pm.

Jacky told me that this was very quick as it normally takes at least 2 full days to clear cargo. The pallets were brought out into the front of the warehouse and the crowds gathered to watch and see who the first person was to get the pallets. We had agreed with Martin that he could have the pallets if he could hang onto them. Martin, Jacky and I moved the luggage to the bikes and Larry had already got most of the bubble and cling wrap off both bikes and shortly we had my bike off the pallet and I could start packing clothes into the panniers. It took about 1 hour for us to get both bikes off the pallets and re-packed and loaded and we were ready to leave.

Back to driving on the left hand side of the road and straight into the worst traffic that we have experienced on our journey. The normal pushing and shoving to get into the traffic and we had 24km to travel to get to Jungle Junction. This took us 2.5 hours in the rain, potholed roads and grid locked traffic. Both bikes started overheating and we had to stop at least 3 times to let them cool down. We did try and take a short cut along the pavement (normal practice in most large African cities) and I got stuck in some nice mud and Larry had to come back and help me! Just shows you the conditions of the roads and pavements here. We arrived at Jungle Junction very tired and thirsty and I had the second beer of the trip! We managed to get some mundazi, local bread/ rolls and had our tent up and our tummies full in record time, we slept for 12 hours and feel a whole lot better. The stress of packing and airfreighting the bikes and then the flight here and getting them out of the cargo depot had made us exhausted (and the ride of 24km). We are now getting ready to do some shopping and then an afternoon sleep!"

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Chad Watson and Kyla, NZ, in Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, 2-up on a Chinese 250,

"After a couple of days here we hadn't quite had enough of the beach so went for a 4 hour or so ride south to Canoa. A beautiful beach town and after our first night in a disgusting hostel we move to a nicer one, with our room and balcony right on the beach, for $10 night. One night we notice baby sea turtles on the road getting squashed by cars so we end up being up most of the night and taking about 60 baby turtles to the ocean. After we learnt they head towards the lights of town, mistaking them for brighter horizon of the ocean and it's a major issue with sea turtle reproduction.

Rescuing sea turtles in Ecuador.

Rescuing sea turtles in Ecuador

...Going to San Gil we took the scenic route (you'd have thought we would have learnt by now), and end up taking 4 hours to go 100km on a dirt road, passing through a random hippy commune and crashing at night on slippery clay in a thunderstorm. Fun times and we make it to San Gil at about 9.30.

In San Gil we relaxed for a couple of days, got a new rear tyre $40, new rear wheel bearings $5 and about 8 new spokes and the rear wheel straightened in a shoe repair shop for about $20. Then it was off to camp a night on the football field of a nearby small town (just down the road from Barricharra), then went to check out the Chicamocha Canyon, it´s a big canyon.

Near Barricharra, Colombia.

Near Barricharra, Colombia

So, after Manizales we headed north, up to Medellin. Found Medellin to be a really nice city, stayed for a few days to relax and recharge before keeping on heading north, through Monteria to go for a swim in a mud volcano near Arboletes. This was one of the nicer mud volcanoes on the Colombian coast we decided as we had the whole thing to ourselves for most of the time, not needing to crawl over other gringos to get anywhere like the one near Cartagena.

Mud volcano, Arboletes.

Mud volcano, Arboletes

Cartagena - I decided it was time to get a new rear shock here as I was sick of the back tyre eating through the rear mudguard/airbox whenever we hit a bump. This ended up being a bit of a nightmare but I eventually found one that fit, or so I thought. It ended up being too long so when I put it on, it looked like I had some sort of freak drag racing motorbike. I couldn't touch the ground and it felt I was going over the bars the while sitting on it. After having a good laugh with the guys at the bike shop, I realised that there was no way I was getting any money back. The guys at the shop decided cutting and welding it would work. With not much in the way of money or options I went along with it.

So we walk a km or so to the welding guy, he puts it in a vice, cuts it, the thing explodes and almost takes a few of us out with flying springs and bits of metal. Turns out he had cut it below the thread that was holding it together. Not to worry, we find the pieces, put it in a press to dodgily hold it together as he welds it. The welding cables were all exposed wires and the earth cable wasn't long enough, so he just clipped it to a 3m piece of rebar that he could lie so one end was on a metal table. I'm there cringing, looking the other way while he does his welding.

Looks ok in the end (still in one piece after 10,000+ km now). So we head back to the bike, put the shock on and its still a bit high, so we all laugh again and the mechanic gives me a bit of 4x2 to put under the kickstand so the bike won't fall over with the now too short kick stand. Fixed. Slightly annoyed by then but it's getting late so I just go. Off I ride, a bit scared with a super high back end, not really knowing what to do and a $100 or so poorer. Getting back to the hostel, Kyla comes in and looks at me and the bike strangely, I shrug my shoulders and laugh with not much else to do. We end up spending a couple of hours loosening off the preload with a wrench as a screwdriver and a flathead screwdriver. A fellow motorcycle traveller advises us that this change of geometry may affect handling, but we decide to wing it anyway.

Something's not right.

Something's not right.

Next day we leave most of our gear at the posada and head of towards Lake Maracaibo. We take the scenic route there via La Azulitia, and see a whole lot of cloud and more cold rain.

Waterfall near La Azulita.

Waterfall near La Azulita

Down in the warmer lower altitudes heading towards El Vigia, traffic on the road is not moving, and after passing 10km of stopped vehicles with some creative riding we reach the obstruction. There was a landslide that had just finished being cleared so we sailed on through after about 5 mins wait instead of 5 hours. I love motorcycles."

Ed. See Chad's story and pics in the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Roberto Santos-Williams, Ecuador and Colombia,

"...After 5 days in the jungle and a terrible night with a shaman and a dose of his 'ayahuasca' I made it back to Iquitos. From there I decided to take the rarely travelled route up the Rio Napo to Ecuador and into Colombia. Caught an old river barge from Iquitos to Indiana where I got off and rode a narrow path to the port of Mazan. Calling it a port is very generous... more like shacks by the river.


Boards through the water

From my research on the internet I learned that this route can take anywhere from 7 to 15 days depending on how lucky you are with the boat schedules since they don't travel everyday. Usually you have to take a boat to Santa Clotilde a day up the river and wait a couple of days, then continue up to Pantoja then wait a couple of days, then Nuevo Rocafuerte, Ecuador and wait and finally you reach a city called Coca or Francisco de Orellana and that's where the roads begin again.

Being an especially lucky person I ran into a boat that only comes down from Coca a few times a year, has 2 engines and could get me to Coca in 2 days so I took it and made it to Ecuador early this morning. From there I went to the nearest border crossing a couple of hours ride and entered the Colombian district of Putumayo. I find myself in a town called La Hormiga (The Ant), supposedly one of the three most active fighting areas against the FARC in Colombia. Should make it to Cali tomorrow and on to Cartagena within a few days.

On the boatto Ecuador

On the boat

After reaching Colombia so quickly I happened to enter the country through a little known border crossing called San Miguel that doesn't actually have the ability to give me my temporary vehicle permit. Instead of going to Puerto Asis which was a bit out of the way I was told by the soldiers at the border, who kept giving me a drink called 'Cola y Pola' which is a mixture of cola and beer, that I could get the permit inland at a town called Mocoa.

Went there and found there was no DIAN which is the immigration and tax agency down here. I was told there was one in Pitalito still farther inland so I went. They didn't have the capability to give that document but said in Neiva even farther in they might be able to help me. So I went. Spoke to an agent and they called Bogota. They couldn't help me and said the only way I could get the paper was back at the border in Puerto Asis. They also said that if the national police pulled me over at the many road blocks that I had gotten through on the way up and now had to pass on the way down they could confiscate the bike. I had been stopped once and they had told me they were taking the bike but I chatted them up and convinced them to let me go to the next town where I would be able to get my permit.

Roberto and friendly sloth.

So back to the border I went. 2 days inland and 2 days back out. 4 days wasted riding around like a dipshit and when I finally reach the border town and find the DIAN offices on Saturday afternoon guess what... They're closed until Monday! So I'm stuck for two days, the only tourist in the whole town. Nothing to do, not even a library in town. Did give me a chance to get my bike checked out. Carburetor cleaned, new battery, air filter cleaned, nuts & bolts tightened, spark plugs changed.

Finally Monday came along, got the permit and booked it up to Medellin. And as it turned out Puerto Asis was only actually about 15 minutes out of my way the first time up. Instead I drove about 500 miles up and down. It took me about a day to get over the frustration but that's the way it goes sometimes."

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Bob and Sheila Oldfield, UK, ATW 2010-2011, Syria, Jordan and Egypt,

"Africa was far too complicated to organize visas so far in advance, so we decided to do it separately from the 'around the world' leg. So now came the challenging part – trying to miss out all of the dangerous parts, checking which countries had roads, which needed visas and whether they started from the day of issue, finding a route through places and getting to and from the continent without too much hassle. We soon realized it wasn't going to be easy – and was made worse once Tunisia threw out its government, the Egyptian people routed Mubarak, and then Libya tried to get rid of Gaddafi. We made a list of visas that needed to be bought in London, then a list of visas that could be obtained on the border, and then the remaining ones had to be bought in a previous country nearer the time.

...It again cost us money to get out of Syria, and a shed-load more to get into Jordan, having to pay for compulsory insurance, visas, and a carnet processing fee. I'd found an ATM on the border to get some cash out, but then used all of it in fees, so had to go and get another lot out. But at last we were on the pretty good roads towards the Dead Sea, and then on to Petra. We were looking for a campsite but found a Bedouin camp instead who offered us a marquee-size tent to put our tent inside, with a load of benches to sleep on. So we just slept inside that. They were very hospitable, and the sage tea was very refreshing.

The Jordan scenery is very beautiful again with rocky desert, and its fair share of donkeys and camels. We were staying near Little Petra, and were told by another guest at the campsite that it wasn't really worth the fee they were charging for Petra, and that Little Petra was just as good, and free. So we went there instead. And stunning it was too. It looked like a practice version of the real thing (so we're reliably informed).

Petra,  Jordan

Petra, Jordan

Robert of Arabia

Robert of Arabia

...Top tip for anyone travelling to Cairo: Do as the locals do, and let Allah guide you through the maelstrom. Alternatively, leave your bike at home.

I'd heard all the stories, but had taken them with a pinch of salt. But the locals are maniacs – I've never seen such poor driving. As long as your horn works, you have a right to the smallest of gaps. Even if your car doesn't look big enough for the space, you have to fill it, otherwise someone else will. The badly-maintained pick-ups that act as buses, and the minibuses, coaches and lorries are seemingly all out to kill you, and even if there are only two lanes painted on the road, it doesn't really mean two, it means four, and sometimes five if there's enough space. And the horn isn't used aggressively in general, it's more of an 'I'm here' beep, or an 'I'm coming through' indication. And just because you're on the correct side of the road doesn't mean you won't meet someone coming the opposite way straight towards you, just because it's quicker for him to get where he wants to go. The only rule is that there are no rules. Learn that and you'll be fine. Just don't break your horn (or have small hands like me so that you can't cover the clutch and beep at the same time!)

We had planned to go around Cairo on the ring-road, but Sod's Law intervened, and we found ourselves in the very centre, fairly near Tahrir Square. Eventually Bob's GPS got us going the correct way, doing illegal U-turns a good few times, and we found the campsite. This was an awful place, with very poor facilities, but the only campground near enough the Embassies but far enough to steer clear of any trouble. The only good thing was the taxi-driver that took you into the Embassy and stayed around while you got all the necessary paperwork done."

Ed. Read about Bob and Sheila's trip here on Horizons Unlimited!

Dan Peters, Milwaukee to South America, in Guatemala, Suzuki TS185,

"...The HUBB was a great help in planning the latest adventure. I convinced UW-Milwaukee to give me 9 credits of independent studies so that the GI Bill would fund the trip. The photoblog and videos are my homework.

...We would have unknowingly ridden back into Mexico if we were not stopped by the military. Guatemalan troops asked politely what the hell we were doing out there and searched our bags thoroughly. The military base's commander came out and shook our hands before telling us to go back the way we came because the road ahead was too dangerous for crazy foreigners.

Tycho was nervous around the troops and their rifles, mounted with grenade launchers. I felt right at home and was only disappointed that they would not allow photos. (I did get helmet camera footage)

Roadside advice

Roadside advice

We turned around and an hour later were at the town of Santa Amelia. Our first stop was for a cold drink and directions. The store we pulled up to was run by a shy woman with dozens of strange, wild turkeys, chickens and parrots . We named her 'Crazy Bird Lady' and rode further into town for food.

Welcome to Guatemala

Welcome to Guatemala

...Tycho slept on the floor the last time we stayed with a family with only one bed available, so it was my turn. Covered in sweat, I collapsed onto my sleeping pad over the dirt floor. Tycho slept soundly all night. I was awakened frequently by a family of foxes living in the back closet and spiders running up my leg.

It was a great first day in Guatemala. It felt like a fresh start crossing the border."

Ed. See Dan's video blog in the HUBB Ride Tales forum.

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More stories below...

up to top of pagespacerBooks

Tea with Bin Ladens Brother, by Simon Roberts.

Just Released!Tea with Bin Laden's Brother, by Simon Roberts

An Adventure motorbiking graphic novel telling the gripping story of a solo ride through Iran, Pakistan and India to Nepal. Take a look inside...

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' 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.

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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

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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 !

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 5 - Tire Changing!

Part 5 - Tire Changing!

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

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up to top of pagespacerHorizons Unlimited presents...

Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales!

We are very pleased to announce the release of Part 1 of 'Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales'. The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (Challenges of travelling to 193 countries 2-up on a Harley Electra-Glide), Dr. Gregory Frazier (5 times RTW on a variety of bikes), Tiffany Coates (RTW traveller recounts her Mongolia Mayhem) and Rene Cormier (5 years in the University of Gravel Roads).

Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales - Part 1.

Check out the trailer and go here to order.

Achievable Dream - the Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide!

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?

But you've got questions: Will I be safe? What do I need to know? Which bike should I take, and what gear do I need? And what the heck's a carnet anyway?

We are proud to present a remarkable series of DVDs - the inspiration, encyclopedia and definitive how-to for everyone who dreams of travel to faraway places, whether it's the next country, or another continent. This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an incredible 18 hours of informative and entertaining content - everything you need to know about motorcycle adventure travel!

The series features interviews with veteran travellers, such as Ted Simon (Jupiter's Travels), Austin Vince (Mondo Enduro), Greg Frazier (5 times RTW), Lois on the Loose, Chris and Erin Ratay (Guinness World Record), Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley), Tiffany Coates, Sam Manicom (Into Africa, Totems to Tortillas), Sheonagh Ravensdale and Pat Thomson and many others. Over 150 contributors from all over the world tell their fantastic and entertaining stories, sharing their hard-earned knowledge from amazing motorcycle trips to every country on earth. Includes thousands of great photos, video clips, presentations and demos by experts.

The series was filmed in broadcast quality wide screen, with multiple cameras and custom written music. Filming took place at Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers meetings and on location in the USA, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Spain, Germany and the South Pacific.The Achievable Dream Series - the Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide!

  • 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.
  • 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 is a 2-DVD set, almost 6 hours!
  • 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.
  • 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, answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road!
  • Part 5 - Tire Changing! On a long-distance motorcycle trip, you will find that nail, usually in the most inconvenient time and place. When you're venturing off the beaten path, you can't just call your friendly automobile association! Fear no more - Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair in this 1.5 hour DVD full of expert tips and information to help you STAY on the road!

Grant's tire changing demo at the HU UK 2010 meeting - photo by Bob Goddard.

Grant's tire changing demo at the HU UK 2010 meeting - photo by Bob Goddard

There is also a 'Collectors Box Set'- all 5 DVDs in a custom box.

Achievable Dream Collectors Box Set - 5 Motorcycle Adventure Travel DVDs!

What the press say:

'The Ultimate Round the World Rider's How-to DVD - The founders of round-the-world riders' Mecca have produced a new DVD aimed at making epic bike adventures more accessible to ordinary mortals.'

MCN (Motorcycle News, UK)

'It simply makes you want to chuck it all for an adventure. Two dusty riding thumbs up!'

Motorcycle Mojo, Canada

'We were very impressed by these well done and incredibly useful DVDs. The videos are an excellent watch, especially if you have ever dreamed of chucking it all and disappearing down the road for a few years.'

Backroads Magazine, USA

'...will save you money, help unravel the red tape and might keep you out of jail.'

Motor Cycle Monthly, UK

'Inspiring and extremely informative. The down-to-earth and factual nature of the material is reinforced by the inclusion of interviews and information from a number of different motorcycle travelers. Very easy to watch... production values of professional quality...'

Road Show Magazine, USA

What our viewers say:

  • 'The first motorcycle travel encyclopedia on DVD - a long lasting work of reference.'
  • 'Superb set of thought-provoking and informative DVDs.'
  • 'Highly informative, funny and more. Best thing on adventure motorcycling we have seen!'
  • 'Mouth watering and heart warming at the same time, a very good intro into adventure travelling.'

The DVD's are not 'region-locked' and we have both PAL and NTSC (North America) formats stocked.

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.

Tortillas to Totems

by Sam Manicom
Tortillas to Totems by Sam Manicom.

The latest Adventure Motorcycle travel book by Sam Manicom
Motorcycling the magnificent landscapes of Mexico, the USA and Canada. 'Sidetracked by the Unexpected'

'One of the World's leading Motorcycle Authors' - Motorcycle Sport and Leisure
'Sam's descriptions are in Technicolor.' - The Riders Digest
'Inspirational reading.' - World of BMW
'Superbly entertaining travel writing.' - BM Riders Club
'Few travel writers can conjure up sights and smells so provocatively as Sam.' - Daily Record - Scotland

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

up to top of pagespacerShorts.

Peter and Kay Forwood, Australia, RTW (193 countries), in Netherlands, on Harley-Davidson,

"We had first met Marcus Kingma in Norway last year when he was on a Harley for a Muscular Dystrophy charity ride to Nordkapp, YouTube videoing his progress and interviewing people he met along the way, including us. Over the years he has produced more than 600 YouTube videos, receiving almost 2 million views, test riding many motorcycles, taking them to much of Europe, reviewing their benefits and faults as well as his experiences along the way. He also videoed Sjaak Lucassen's trip to Nordkapp in the winter of 2008 and edited and produced the many part series of Sjaak's and Doris Wiedemann's Alaska winter ride to Prudhoe Bay in 2009.

Marcus had arranged to meet us at the German-Netherlands border and was waiting there with his camera poised, along with two other friends, one also a camera man, to catch our arrival. Then it was filming the ride to Marcus's home. Two helmet cameras plus a boom camera, operated by Marcus from an automatic motorcycle, loaned from a motorcycle collector friend, Johen, specifically to allow a free hand whilst riding, for filming.

Johen's motorcycle collection.

Johen's motorcycle collection

Marcus lives in a high rise 70's complex near Utrecht which overlooks forest. A magnificent view from either side of the apartment adds to its location on the 10th floor. With professional lighting and a world map for reference we were video interviewed by Ripko and Marcus for over an hour in the evening at his apartment after a great dinner cooked by his girlfriend. A full on day, afternoon and filming, something we are not that accustomed to, but it was an interesting experience. The YouTube video should be online in a week or two.

Marcus and Ripko get the lounge room studio ready for our interview.

Marcus and Ripko get the lounge room studio ready for our interview

More photos after breakfast, mostly stills of us at the motorcycle, but another small YouTube video of us placing Doris Wiedemann's stickers on our motorcycle appeared on YouTube soon after. Something we have not considered before but we should be a little aware of when people are using a camera, everything we say or do, can and might appear in the media, a different world than when we started travelling."

Ed. Peter and Kay are not yet used to their celebrity status ;-) Horizons Unlimited is proud to host their complete RTW story and pictures here! See their story on the new Road Heroes DVD, or come listen to them in person at the HU California meeting 14-16 October in Cambria!

Darius and Jane Skrzpiec, RTW, now in Windhoek, Namibia,

"...Jane finally received her visa for South Africa and we can leave Windhoek! in a week or so we should be in cape town when everything is ok. We're taking the risk and don't change the chain kit and tyres in Windhoek as it is quite difficult to get the right parts in here...

One more time at the Equator.

One more time at the Equator

Jane making friends in Gabon.

Jane making friends in Gabon

Windy road in Sierra Leone

Windy road in Sierra Leone

Mother and baby elephant at Etosha National Park in Namibia

Mother and baby elephant at Etosha National Park in Namibia

...Arriving at a border in the dark is never a pleasure but arriving at the Niger border after sunset seems like a nightmare. Well, we had no choice but to cross the border. The security situation in this part of Mali is more than questionable after the disastrous rescue attempt of the 2 French hostages and the police wouldn't like us to camp anywhere near them... At least the procedures on Mali side don't take long - go with god but GO to Niger!

Its a 30km ride to the Niger Immigration. Here, even its dark and the border closes anytime soon, they want to play some games with us.

We need to produce almost all papers I can think of; and this 3 times! I guess the officers really want to find a problem. As it appears that all our papers are OK, I'm asked to pay 15EU stamp fee! Smile on my side is the only thing the question produces... surely no payment!"

David and Heidi Winters, USA, RTW, in India, KTM 640 Adventure,

"...How do you begin to describe Chennai?

It is filthier then I could have imagined; it is ear-piercingly loud 24/7; it's like being in an arcade all day with so much noise and visual stimulus but having barf and feces and garbage all over the ground (I'm so sorry I can't show you in photos – I'm sure you're dying to see...).

The only thing it has going for it is the food. AMAZING! But, like everything, you can only handle so much, so we are trying not to get sick of it.

Thali - Indian meal

Thali-Indian meal

...After the most absurd run-around and paper-pushing, we finally freed Charlie! Wow, what a time we have had already here in India.

To break it down quickly, we have been hanging out with some friends of a friend, recharging ourselves in the nice a/c malls eating fro-yo, watching India win the World Cup of Cricket and exploring the outer reaches of our patience.

I have written a fairly in depth summary of what we have been going through, but I feel it might be a little too raw to post it on our website. I'm still considering it though.

Anyways, on to the good stuff. Through the help of an AWESOME Christian Indian man we met on Friday, our overall bill from Synergy Cargo was dropped by $60 (the corrupt fee) and the bike was actually brought to the yard to be unloaded. This was a real miracle, literally. Synergy Cargo had been lying to us for the past 15 days but our new friend spotted the problem immediately and worked hard for five hours to help us.

Bike at last

Bike at last

Today, Monday, Charlie arrived safe and sound and is now sitting out in front of our hotel (YWCA) catching everyone's eye and systematically elevating our social status. It's great! I love traveling with my bike! I also love honking my horn because it freaks out the people in front of me and probably sounds like a freight train is bearing down on them! Your really don't know what you're missing until it's gone.

We plan on celebrating with some of our new friends at Sparky's American Diner tonight! We always sit under the 'Seattle' sign and eat burritos when we are here!"

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

“A 9,000-mile journey through a dozen African countries on BMW GS motorcycles. An Ayres Adventures premium tour.”

'A 9,000-mile journey through a dozen African countries on BMW GS motorcycles. An Ayres Adventures premium tour.'

Sherri Jo Wilkins, Australia/USA, in Montenegro, KTM 690 Enduro,

Sherri Jo Wilkins, Montenegro curve.

They all told me I have to ride this road before I leave.. it is a really really really fun road. It's the mountain road from Cetinje to Kotor.

Sherri Jo Wilkins, looking back at view, Montenegro.

Below is a view across the water where we stopped to fix Blazo's bike when I first arrived.. I was looking directly here that day, now I'm looking straight back.. very cool!

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

The Rukka brand name has become a synonym for high quality textile motorcycling apparel, and year after year the Finnish manufacturer has caused sensations pioneering highly innovative solutions for those looking for maximum quality, comfort and protection.

Adventure motorcycling clothing for the demanding traveller
Grant: We've been wearing Rukka since 2002 and highly recommend it!

Hubert Kriegel, France, Sidecar-ing the world, in Morocco,

"At Fès, walking along and above the walls of the Medina, It doesn't take long to find out that the artisans are drying the leather skins in the sun.

Follow the donkeys

Tannery approach

You just need to follow the donkeys carrying the dried skins to get to the tanneries. All the tanneries are close to the river.

Vats of pigeon dung

Vats of pigeon's dung with their pungent ammoniac odor...

Vats of colour

It is hard work for the bare legged workers...

...But the fascinating spectacle of the tanneries is inside the walls of the Souk Dabbaghin!"

Ed. See the rest of the photos and fantastic colours on Hubert's website. Hubert is a Horizons Unlimited 2010 Photo Contest Winner, and his winter photo on Lake Baikal is on the cover of the 2011 Horizons Unlimited Calendar! Check out Hubert's website for lots of great pics!

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


Leaving soon below...

up to top of pagespacerContests!

2011 Photo Contest closes September 1, 2011, so get your entry in! Anyone can win!

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. 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 2012 calendar, and 1 year Gold Member status on the HUBB.

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 DVD's, 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, 2011, so get your entry in! Anyone can win!

Congratulations to the 2010 Photo Contest winners: Hubert Kriegel, Eric Starling, Darius Skrzypiec, Peter Russell, Erdem Yucel, Iza Gamanska, Heike Pander, Adam Lewis, Martin Hák, Scott Kindleysides, Matthias Kuhlmann, Matjaz Prosen and Peter Cullen!

The 2011 calendar is now 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.

Cover by Hubert Kriegel, France, Crossing the frozen lake Baikal in Siberia, during my 'Ten Years on the Road!', 2WD Ural.

January by Eric Starling, USA, Under dark skies at Muley Point, UT, Wet West Ride, XR650L, F650GS Dakar, F800GS.February by Mary Jane Skrzypiec, of Darius Skrzypiec, Germany / Philippines, Endless possibilities with loading a bike in Cambodia, RTW tour, Africa Twin.March by Peter Russell, of Petra Russell, Canada, Riding on the coastal dunes outside Huarmey, Peru, from Buenos Aires to Toronto, 2009 KLR650.April by Erdem Yucel, USA, Cornered by a herd of goats on a mountain pass in Greece on my RTW trip, Suzuki DL1000.

May by Iza Gamanska, of Kamil Gamanski and Eugeniusz Frycz, Poland, Going nowhere in the Andean sands of Northern Argentina, on our RTW, KLR650 and Africa Twin.June by Heike Pander, Germany, Large elephant intruding in campsite in Livingstone, Zambia, during our Africa trip, Honda Dominator NX650 and BMW R80GS.July by Adam Lewis, UK, Me on my birthday, camping on the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia during my RTW trip, F650GS/Dakar Hybrid.August by Martin Hak, Czech Republic, A beautiful morning in Jotunheim, Norway, BMW R1150GS Adventure.

September by Scott Kindleysides, UK, Marrakech is in sight, taken during my UK to Morocco trip, Vespa.October by Matthias Kuhlmann, Germany, Sunrise at Spitzkoppe Campsite, Namibia, on our Africa trip, BMW R80GS and Honda Dominator NX650.November by Matjaz Prosen, Slovenia, 'Gas station' in high Atlas mountains, riding through Morocco and Mauritania, KTM 690 Enduro.December by Peter Cullen, UK, Crossing the Kyzyl Art Pass, Tajikstan, part of my Central Asian Tour, BMW R1200GS.

New!T-shirt Slogan Contest!

What's your favourite slogan? What do you think are the words that epitomise motorcycle adventure travel? We had a terrific slogan contest years ago, and we have now 'used up' all those slogans - so we thought we'd have another one!

First Prize - A t-shirt with your slogan on it, "The Achievable Dream - the Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide Collectors Box Set" and FREE entry to an HU Travellers Meeting anywhere in the world - you just have to get yourself there!

Second Prize -A t-shirt with your slogan on it, plus your choice of any "Achievable Dream" title.

Third Prize - A t-shirt with your slogan on it, and a copy of "Road Heroes"

There will be a RANDOM DRAW for a FREE copy of the 2012 Calendar!

Rules are simple - it can't be one we've already used (see the list on the contest entry page), you assign us full rights to use as we see fit anywhere we choose, and you assert that you own the rights to it so they can be assigned to us, and that it is not trademarked / copyrighted etc elsewhere (or we can't use it.)

When we close submissions, we'll pick the top 10-20, and those will be put to a VOTE by you to determine the winners!

Entries must be in by: October 30. The vote will be shortly after, and close November 30. Winners will then be announced. You will be notified if you are a winner by email. So get your creative juices flowing, and enter here.


up to top of pagespacerLeaving soon, or just left.

Bea & Helle, Germany, RTW, Honda Transalps,

"We - a young German couple - will start our ride RTW in June 2011! We are a couple - Bea 27 years old and Helle 29 years old - from Upper Bavaria in Germany.

Bea & Helle, starting their RTW trip.

We'll start on our motorbike world tour with our two Honda Transalps - year of construction 1991 and 1993 - in June 2011.

We'll drive through eastern Europe (Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia) till Vladivostok. From there we'll ship to Thailand. There we'll ride around to Cambodia and Laos before we'll drive southbound to Australia. There we eventually will do a little work & travel to fill up our vacation fund.

Then we'll ship to Alaska to ride the famous Panamericana to Tierra del Fuego. Maybe, if we have enough money, we'll visit some more areas in Canada and North America and the African continent, too, at our way home to Germany. But that'll come up...

We hope to get more information about foreign countries in this forum and - eventually - contact to local bikers which can give us tips to their countries. We would be very pleased to hear from you!"

Ed. Best wishes on your adventure, and keep in touch!

Marco Hoffmann (BikingMarco), Australia/Germany, Sydney to Germany - the African way, Suzuki DR650,

"It's only one week to go, one week and the greatest adventure of my life will start. On Sunday the 7th August 2011 early in the morning my good old bike will be packed and I will leave my lovely hometown Sydney, not seeing this beautiful city for a whole entire year.

The Barrier Hwy - not changing my road for a thousand km.

The Barrier Hwy - not changing my road for a thousand km.

The plan is to first ride across Australia from Sydney to Perth, 4000km away. When I say 'we' I mean my humble little Suzuki DR650 and myself because for this first leg of the journey it's only gonna be the two of us. From Perth we will fly across the Indian Ocean to Johannesburg, South Africa. And then keep heading north towards West Africa and Morocco. Catching a ferry from there will see us arriving in Gibraltar and will start the final leg of the journey to Germany. Finally we will arrive in the small town of Schoenheide in Germany, the place where I grew up and which most of my family still calls home. But at this stage Germany still seems a world away, much too far to worry about. For now.

Somehow our story will remind you of the famous tales of Don Quixote and his fearless horse Rosinante. A very able horse ridden by a rather clueless hero through the most incredible of adventures.

The 'hero' in our story would be me. A 1977 German born Australian who, until last year, has never ridden a motorbike. So the term 'clueless' fits perfectly. My own 'Rosinante' stood by me on the big adventure of me learning to ride motorbikes. And she is the one who paid the price, being dropped many times in sand and dirt and dust by her swearing rider. She's the one teaching me the secrets of her kind while bits and pieces of her spread out across the footpath in Sydney during various 'improvement' surgeries. She was always there and never complained and we properly checked each other out on a 3700km team bonding tour through the Australian outback and became good friends there and then. By now we are a proven team for almost 10000km worth of good times together. I am a very happy man to have her by my side for our first ever adventure trip.

Silverton, NSW, where Mad Max was filmed.

For all you Mad Max fans out there: this is Silverton, NSW, where Mad Max was filmed. And this is the original Mad Max film car. Chatting to my proud little Suzuki.

But back to the real topic here - the journey. Once we made it to the other side of Australia we will both fly across the Indian Ocean to get the adventure really started. My old best friend Martin will be eagerly waiting for our arrival in Johannesburg. He will be there on his Honda Africa Twin. And we all will then travel together through Africa. Back to the old home country, back all the way to Germany. Passing through Central and West Africa on the way and meeting as many people as we can.

At this stage I would be incredibly nervous if I hadn't had the support of the Horizons Unlimited community. You guys gave me lots of great advice and patiently answered all my questions . So here I am, still nervous but ready to go. On a second thought - still incredibly nervous actually.

Provided there is an internet connection where we are going this thread will tell our story in text and pictures live from the road. So stay tuned and wish us luck and see if this newbie on his bike can make it through Australia and Africa and Europe!"

Ed. Check out Marco's story on the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

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!


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

Bruce and Jean Porter, UK, in Patagonia, and now home again,

"...While at Mike and Moira's we were kidnapped and dragged back across the country to a bike rally near Peterborough (which we had ridden past the previous Monday). Our appearance at home was only to drop Jean's bike off, as the shock has gone again, then repack and use the one bike.

For years we have been visiting bike rallies up and down the country and failing to get any long distance awards, usually being beaten by people from Cornwall or people on holiday.

For once I believe I was unassailable, I listed my mileage as 24735.

Long distance award

long distance award

'So here's a picture of seals performing properly for the camera instead. They can do synchronised jumping without being trained by humans! Amazing. It could make all the animal trainers redundant...

Seals performing for camera.

It's been over six months, somewhere around 19,000 miles with more highs than lows.

End of the Andes.

The end of the Andes

We set out with a target of Patagonia, and even though technically we have been in the region since the Chilean 'Lake District' just north of Puerto Montt, we didn't feel we had truly arrived until we got to Torres Del Paine National Park.

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.

The ripio has taken its toll, it may look smooth but it is corrugated with many bumps and pot holes. As we returned to Puerto Natales Jean mentioned that it felt different on the speed bumps, so I looked at her bike and noticed the rear shock was not at the right angle.

Broken shock.

We may now have a small delay to the trip while we get the required part delivered to a man who can fix this for us. Fortunately for Jean we are near lots of penguin colonies, so this is not a hardship (for her!)."

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

Support Horizons Unlimited - check out the HU Souk for DVD's, map stickers, 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 683 Communities in 108 Countries as of July 17, 2011!

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

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.

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.

Become a Horizons Unlimited Contributing Member or Gold Member!

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Thanks, Grant and Susan


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up to top of pagespacerIn Progress.

I am working on a listing of people who have ridden around the world, as well as what I call 'significant journeys' e.g. the first across Africa. Any information you may have on this topic, please let me know. Preferably e-mail me direct. I currently have information on over 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, 1987-2011.
All Rights Reserved.

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