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Horizons Unlimited
Motorcycle Travellers'

in cooperation with
Quality Touring equipment worldwide.

Are you a TRAVELLER? Are you interested in howling winds, pouncing coyotes, scraggly crackheads, bike-swallowing moon dust, American Werewolves in Kazakhstan, between Lars and luggage, motorcycling the Zambezi River, landslides in Colombia, gang territory in Mexico, avalanche alert in Antarctica, riding the slippery edge of a mountainside in the dark... 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
Make a Difference
New Links
Photo Contest
Repair Shops on the

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

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Motorcycle Travellers' News Report

June/July 2012, 92nd Edition

Welcome to the 92nd Edition of the motorcycle travellers' e-zine! This is the June 2012 edition, because it was still June when I started it! And as I said last month, not beating self up as much as I used to... We have been overwhelmed with messages of support from all over this month, very good for the soul to be reminded that many people are pulling for us, thank you all :-)

Grant has now finished 6 rounds of chemo, and though the process was really unpleasant for him, it did have the effect of dropping his PSA from 13 down to 1.17! So we're encouraged that the chemo/hormone combination may have shrunk the tumor and killed any cancer cells that had escaped the prostate. His surgery is scheduled for Aug 28, after which we'll know whether that's true. Part of the attraction of the clinical trial is that his surgeon, Dr. Martin Gleave, is the best in Vancouver, one of the best in North America, so we're hopeful! As a bonus, they will continue to monitor him regularly for the next 15 years :-) He is now into a serious exercise routine to build up his muscles, lose the flab and strengthen his immune system before surgery, which is less than a month now!

Since the last edition at the end of May, we have had 5 meetings, in Germany, Australia, Ireland, Ripley and Greece! Whew! We were gutted that we couldn't be there for them, but we're very grateful to our local organizers for these meetings - they have done us proud! All the reports have been excellent, so thanks to the organizers, the presenters, the volunteers and all the participants :) Planning is well underway for all the 2013 meetings, so stay tuned for announcements!

And still 5 major meetings to go, mostly in North America - Canada West (Nakusp), UK Autumn (Mendip), North Carolina (Stecoah), Ontario (Barrie) and California (Cambria)! I would like Grant to focus on his health for the next couple of months, though we do plan to attend the CanWest meeting, and since our local organizers are off travelling this year, we will have to be quite 'hands on'. Then he has surgery a couple of days after the meeting and will be in hospital for 2-3 days, recuperating for 3-6 weeks, so we'll be grateful for any help we can get with the meeting tasks. Dates and more details on meetings below.

Where are our intrepid travellers this month?

Wow, we've got heaps of folks out there, making us bitter and twisted with envy! We've got great stories from Antarctica, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Chile, Colombia, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, French Guyana, Germany, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Turkey, Zambia, Zanzibar, and of course good old USA and Canada!

... 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! Seriously, there are so many travellers out there now that it's hard for me to keep up with them all. If you send me a couple of paragraphs and pics every month you'll have a much better chance of making it into the e-zine!

Susan Johnson, Editor

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How to contribute, and become an HU Member

Finances have been especially tight this year, so we are grateful 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!

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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, please start your purchase 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.

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.

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...

Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales - Part 1.

Road Heroes Part 1!

Get your Road Heroes DVD now for inspirational and funny tales from the road!

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.

Sean Patrick Dillon, Ireland, Alaska to Argentina, in Guatemala, Honda Cub,

"I headed out the road road towards Sayaxché the next big town. I had planned to go towards Lanquin, where there was a river deep in the jungle with cascading water falls and pools. The normal route to take to Lanquin is the main road towards Cobán. The road initially leads to the south west and then you double back eastwards towards Lanquin. I opted for the more direct route across the mountains. This road took me high in to Los Altos of the Verapaces in Guatemala.

The road wound and twisted and doubled back on itself forever climbing. El burro coped well but was getting very hot, but I had no option but to push on.

This was real adventurous stuff. I was out there on my own, no cars or vans dared this road. At least I didn't meet any. I only met locals on motorcycles, though bigger than mine and with lovely telescopic front suspension with several inches of travel.

The land was the lushest I have seen anywhere. It is the rainy season here and everything seems to be taking full advantage the afternoon downpours. I rode through lush palm forests and skirted along the sides of mountains. The road was treacherous to say the least and had broken away in several places.

Skirting along the mountain side, Guatemala.

Skirting along the mountain side

Hill climbs were especially difficult made worse by the heavily broken rock road and having so much weight over the front wheel which served to add weight and worse still momentum into the steering and made it difficult to control as the wheel bounded against rock and stones. I removed my food bag from the front basket and placed it between my legs to take the weight off the front. That made a huge difference as expected.

I was totally buzzing from my experience. Its hard to describe the energy and the excitement that overland motorcycling brings, and for me, being out there on my own doing it. I thought about backpackers, about all the stuff they miss out on in between the tourist spots they can visit and the constant meeting of other backpackers and the same stories and the same routes. The overnight buses. Missing out on the beautiful scenery.

High in Los Altos.

Travelling by motorcycle gives you enormous freedom to explore, to go to places that nobody else goes to and to interact with local people in a way that most travellers never get to. I certainly feel very privileged to be able to experience this. But aside from that there certainly is truth in the old saying regarding travelling and vehicles. 'Travelling by car is like watching a movie, travelling by motorcycle is like being in one'."

Ekke and Audrey Kok, Canada, Circumnavigation of Asia, in Europe, R1200GS, F650GS,

"A few hours down the autobahn took us to Tiefenbach and Motorrad Zierer, near Landshut. Audrey was very happy to see her bike sitting in the parking lot, ready to ride to China. We dropped off the new shock absorbers for my Adventure and then drove to Erding where Brian Dean, a friend from Calgary, was just starting an Edelweiss motorcycle tour of the Alps. We remembered roughly where Hotel Henry was from the time we spent living near Erding five years ago and went there via Schwaig.

Ekke, Audrey, Bob and Brian in front of the Edelweiss support van.

Ekke, Audrey, Bob and Brian Dean

At the front desk we called his room but there was no answer. Someone walking by in an Edelweiss shirt didn't know Brian but he did hear a couple of people talking about Calgary in the parkade a few minutes earlier so we headed downstairs. Brian looked a bit surprised as we opened the door to the parkade and nearly ran into him. We had a little time before Brian and his friend Bob had to attend a briefing before their tour so we headed over to one of our favourite cake places, the Gezundheit's Park where I used to go for physiotherapy. Cake was part of the physio regimen at the time so a banana and egg liqueur cake seemed appropriate now. I was not disappointed.

Ekke gives his bike a hug when he sees it while Michael Zierer looks on in bemusement.

Ekke gives his bike a hug when he sees it while Michael Zierer looks on in bemusement

One order of business was to take care of the motorcycles. The shocks we had brought from Canada would be installed by 5 pm on July 4th so we drove over to Zierer Motorrad to pick up the bikes. Michael Zierer, after learning about our trip plans, had us pose for photos in front of the shop. He wanted to put them on their dealership website.

It felt great to get on the bikes again - the F650 GS twin purred to life when I eventually remembered how to start it. It had been a year and it took me a few moments to become familiar with the controls again.

Ready to ride to China!

Ready to ride to China!

...Tallinn is a gorgeous old town, with fairy-tale spires and a stone wall with a wooden roof surrounding the World Heritage Site. The streets were heavily cobblestoned and we had to step carefully so we didn't twist an ankle. First order of business was to get a map, then find out about ferry schedules to Finland, and then get a cappuccino and cake.

Spectacular view over Tallinn towards the docks.

Spectacular view over Tallinn towards the docks

A walk up the hill took us to Kiek-in-da-Kok tower which means 'Peep into the Kitchen'. In the 15th century, tower occupants were able to peek into the kitchens of nearby houses. Maybe that's why curtains were invented. The tower had four metre thick walls and still had cannon balls embedded in it from 1577. The Toompea building, flanked by Tall Hermann Tower, is the centre of government of Tallinn. When Estonia was part of the Russian Empire in the late 1800s, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built nearby. Inside, there was a lot of gold and marble, all stunning. The Doma Cathedral around the corner had a totally different feel, very plain, all concrete with huge tombs, and big coats of arms hanging on the walls.

The main gates into Tallinn's old town centre.

The main gates into Tallinn's old town centre

Finland was such an easy country to ride in compared to the Baltic States and especially compared to Poland. One could actually sit back and enjoy the ride rather than having to give 100% attention forward (cars passing without regard for oncoming traffic and slow moving vehicles in our lane) and backward (for cars coming up to pass and shoving us off to the side).

Helsinki Cathedral.

Helsinki Cathedral

The last outpost of Western Civilisation for us was a gas station with a market and café so we picked up a few last supplies and rode to the border. The queue of trucks was only a few kilometres long but we had heard reports that they could stretch for 50 or 60 kilometres waiting to enter Russia. We passed them and waited a few minutes to enter the border control point on the Finnish side. Once inside it was a quick stamp in the passport (the first one since landing in Frankfurt) to exit the Schengen countries and we entered no-man's land to Russia."

Ed. Ekke and Audrey will be missed at the HU Canada West meeting, but we know they'll eventually be back to tell us stories about their adventures! Lots more great pics on their blog!

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

Rome to Sicily with Edelweiss Bike Tours!

Tour Dates: October 11 - 21, 2012 | October 22 - November 01, 2012

This one-way Edelweiss motorcycle trip commences in Italy's impressive capital of Rome, an exciting city. Making our way through the breath-taking beauty of Italy's southern regions, we have time to stop and admire such famous landmarks as Mount Vesuvius, the world-famous Costa Amalfitana and the buried city of Pompeii outside Naples. Riding through unpopulated, hilly roads, we bisect this country from north to south or the other way round depending on which date you choose. After seemingly endless curves with the distant view of Mount Etna always in sight, we reach our final destination, Catania, just in time for a last cappuccino in the Old City before our Southern Italian dream comes to an end.

BugsonmyBoard, USA, Baja Motosurf 2012, in Baja California, Mexico,

"Sitting in the middle of what was essentially a giant mud puddle halfway down the Baja peninsula I was utterly exhausted, and now quite muddy. This was my second day riding in Baja and my crash course in off-road riding was beginning to take a toll on my morale. Every time I'd crashed this day I'd cursed myself for not being more careful. I was in the middle of the desert, I hadn't seen a soul in a day and a half, and I had never ridden a motorcycle in the dirt, let alone one fully loaded down with gear, tools, water, and extra gas. It seemed to be wishful thinking that anyone would happen along anytime close to a moment that I might happen to get myself into a spot and need some help.

The Baja peninsula of Mexico was my first experience leaving home for a different country in pursuit of uncrowded waves to ride. I've been here many times since those trips just out of high school, nearly always to the groomed point breaks on the Northern half of the peninsula. Baja has provided heaving tubes, dead flat surf for weeks on end, howling winds, barren landscapes to disappear into, holes in oil pans, unlikely friends, and unforgettable times. It felt like time for a fresh take on the region that's become somewhat familiar. Tales of difficult road conditions to the north of our usual destinations that we approach from the south on a relatively good road were common, and since we were quite happy with the waves and camping that we'd found in the past, we'd only ever ventured so far north along the coast. On a bike, I figured, the dirt tracks should be a piece of cake.

Baja Motosurf.

So, a plan was hatched to ride from San Diego to just South of El Rosario, leaving the highway to ride approximately 200 miles on dirt tracks along the coast. My motosurf compadre Steve couldn't make the trip, so I was to ride solo to meet my friends Mike and Jeremy at the south end of the off-road section.

It was nearly dark by the time I started riding out to Punta Canoas from the highway. I motored off into dark, with very little idea where I was going and even less idea how to ride a motorcycle off road. Coyote flashed across the road from one direction and then from the other along with jack rabbits and field mice illuminated in my headlight. Becoming a bit apprehensive about this whole situation, I managed to get this idea in my head that the coyote were flanking me and maneuvering to pounce. My GPS unit was just about useless, as I didn't have data loaded to show any of the tracks that I was on.

The feeling of moisture in the air on my face was the first indication that I was near the coast. I was terribly disoriented, and couldn't tell my position relative to the coastline. Then, I thought that I saw campfires in the distance and headed that direction. I appeared to be way out on a different headland than these fires were, so I found a flat spot and made camp. The wind was so fierce that I could barely manage to get my tent up and I cursed loudly at the air. I surely wouldn't have managed it without my bike and spare gas can to tie the tent off at either end. I was exhausted and very happy to crawl into my secured tent after eating just few bits of veggie jerky for dinner.

Surf's up in Baja California, Mexico.

Have board, will travel...

...One of the best parts about being aboard a bike in terrain like this was that I could just ride up to whatever struck my interest – way out onto points that I would hesitate to drive onto in a truck for fear of getting stuck. In my truck driving on tracks like this would quickly lose its novelty and become an arduous task, feeling as though my truck was being systematically disassembled as every bolt rattled loose. On the bike, getting out to any of the points that I saw in the distance became just as much fun as getting to see the what the waves were like there.

The next morning I found the moon dust. I'd heard about this stuff - silt as fine as talcum powder that could swallow a bike whole if you run into it at speed.

Moon dust in Baja California, Mexico.

I was finally gaining some confidence on the bike and feeling more comfortable, with the words of faceless internet forum moto-gurus echoing in my brain: stand on the pegs, steer with your feet, use the throttle for traction control, look where you want to go. I'm aware that that riding into the middle of nowhere alone and channeling the words of 'mxrob' et. al. is an absolutely ridiculous way to learn to ride a motorcycle. Like trying to learn to play the the clarinet by having a very detailed understanding of what a clarinet smells like. But here I was none the less, ripping through the Baja desert on my bike! My confidence didn't last long.

Lying face down in the mud for the first time sufficiently deflated my growing ego. Perhaps I wasn't quite fit to run the Dakar rally just yet. The second and third crashes helped with that too.

Bike after crash in Baja California, Mexico.

Mud was a whole new deal - slicker than snot. It just looked like nice smooth dirt and I hit it at speed. I was sliding sideways on both wheels for long enough to think about how I might like to crash. I knew I was coming off and it was just a matter of exactly when and how: lay down with the thing, jump off now, jump off in a second, there seemed lots of options, none of which were particularly good..."

Ionut and Ana, Romania, Trans-Africa, in Zambia and Mozambique, Yamaha Tenere,

"Before noon we were out of Lusaka: Bomoko oats and roasted chicken from Pick&pay - check, Motul oil from Ali Boats Yamaha - check. East Zambia had a more tropical feel and as the nights continued to become longer, they also became warmer. Crossing the rolling valley of Luangwa we could imagine that the northern and southern national parks must be beautiful. Here the parks were unfenced, bordered by GMAs (Game Management Areas), populated by both game and humans. But we were determined not to cross borders on Sundays, so we were in a bit in a hurry to be in Mozambique the next day.

Huts in Zambia.


Morning camp.

Morning camp

We had devised a system to warn critters we were there: poke the grass with a long stick, as there are snakes around here and last night we had some rodent foraging about. We had also capped the exhausts with the beer bottles we had for dinner.

...After 279 km of powder and sun we were spent. We had hit the Dona Ana Bridge, at its time the longest railway bridge in Africa, spanning for 3,67 km the Lower Zambezi. The bridge cost more than £1,400,000 in 1935 and is even today an example of engineering achievement.

...As we were waiting for the train to pass, we spotted pedestrians and cyclists coming from the bridge. Could we cross it as well, instead of searching for a ferry ahead that might be working on not, especially on a Sunday? That required some investigation.

Bike up stairs.

Bike up stairs

...The villagers helped us navigate the maze of paths leading to the bridge, where we discovered we needed to climb a 45 degrees flight of stairs in order to access the pedestrian way. With the panniers off and the strength of me plus other 4 men combined, the bike was up. I generally don't give money to people, but I figured it was the decent thing to buy them some beer."

Ed. Fantastic pics and stories on Ionut and Ana's blog.

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
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.'

Mike, USA, RTW, in Kenya and Ethiopia, BMW R1150 GSA,

"There are two inescapable obstacles that you must get past while traveling the eastern route of Africa. Of course you can make all the obstacles you want, but there is no getting around these two spots on the map - the northern road out of Kenya and entering Egypt from Sudan via the Wadi Halfa ferry.

Back from western Kenya with my passport and visas sorted, I was ready to tackle the first challenge, the Marsabit-Moyale road to the border of Ethiopia... well almost.

During my two weeks at Jungle Junction (JJ's) I saw many southbound trucks and motorcycles roll in or being towed in, most in various states of disrepair. The road was taking on mythical proportions. It is not that the road is that technical, but it is because it is a drawn out 300-mile two-day journey consisting of large rocks, corrugations, deep wheel ruts, through an incredibly hot and barren landscape. One BMW bike was trucked into JJ's with its transfer case cracked, leaving the bike almost broken in two. Others in the yard were busy replacing shocks and/or wheel bearings among other things. Another biker reported how he had several flat tires during his trip. I knew my tired weeping Ohlin shocks were not going to fare very well. If they did make to Moyale, there would not be anything left of them and I would need replacements to get through the rest of Africa. Once I left Nairobi, there would not be any more support available.

My money was running low and I could not afford to have a new pair of shocks shipped to me. I talked to Chris, the owner and head mechanic at JJ's about a solution. Not many options were available to me outside of shipping the shocks back to South Africa for another rebuild... I then contacted Kimmo at Touratech USA in Seattle and discussed the problem with him. He immediately wanted to help but did not have the shocks in stock to send me. He offered me a discount from the German supplier, but with shipping it would still be a hell of a lot of money. Kimmo then came back with another option. He had made some calls and found someone who would sell him a pair of stock BMW shocks, slightly used, and he could send them to me in Addis Ababa - all at his cost! Kimmo and Touratech USA have done me a lot of favors during this trip and they have always been supporters of Write Around the World, but this time they really 'did me a solid'.

Knowing that I would have some shocks waiting for me on the another side of Moyale was not only a relief to my wallet, but it also enabled me to keep traveling. I would never have done the road to Lodwar if I had to 'pamper' my existing shocks. It gave me confidence to keep moving.

Broken shock in Kenya.

Broken shock

...Eventually, we made it to Marsabit and went straight to the gas station to fill up for the morning. It had been a long eight-hour day. We got rooms at the unexciting Jay Jay's, and went to bed early. In the morning, we packed each bike with four liters of water and some chapati for a snack later. Today would be a longer ride but easier. The mild metallic 'chirp' coming from my rear shock was now a loud grinding 'squawk'. The sun had just come up and the air still a bit cool, or at least comfortable. The day progressed as we passed large lorries and the occasional overlander in a truck, but mostly, we were on our own. Hours into the ride, we commented to each other how today was much more difficult than they day before – contrary to what we had been told. The wheel ruts were deeper, the rocks larger and there were more pockets of the talcum powder-like 'bull dust'. The riding required constant attention. During breaks I would splash water on my rear shock, which would elicit a sizzle and burst of steam.

The road to Marsabit, Kenya.

Everybody was getting tired. The heat and the tediousness of going so slow (an average speed of about 20-mph was wearing on everyone. Standing up on the bike was better for control, but was more tiring. We were getting close, but so incredibly slow! Suddenly, on a stretch of boring gravel road my bike came to a sudden stop – dead in it's tracks and I was sitting much lower on the bike.

'Noooooo!' The rear fender was now resting on top of the rear tire. The rear shock had finally snapped 40-miles from Moyale. The bike was now a 650-pound immovable object baking in the sun. Shin and Sheldon went ahead to try and find a truck at the next village while Julien stayed with me. We tried to spread a tarp over the thorn bushes to create some shade but that turned out to be a fruitless and comical venture. Eventually we just sat on the edge of the road holding the tarp over our heads. It was now about 110-degrees."

Jordan and Sandra Hasselmann, Canada, From Calgary to Argentina, in Antarctica,

"...We had not planned, nor budgeted for a trip to Antarctica, but since it has always been in on my top 3 places to visit, I was over the moon that we were able to fit it in.

The first 2 hours on the island of Tierra del Fuego involved some seriously scary riding. We chose the worst of 2 possible routes available, and the Patagonian winds made an overwhelming appearance. Just to keep it spicy.

During that ride, I promised myself that if I got there without a fall – which would have been a hard off, due to the speeds we maintained to keep the bikes atop the deep gravel – we would go to Antarctica. And, since neither of us dropped our bikes on the way down, I announced my new plan to Jordan...

...With the extra time available from the quick Drake crossing we were able to disembark to visit some Penguin colonies on the South Shetland Islands before making our first continental landing on the Antarctic Peninsula. Each day after that, we got off the ship twice to explore islands, icebergs, historical sites and mainland Antarctica.

Gentoo penguin pair in the South Shetland Islands.

Gentoo penguin pair in the South Shetland Islands

On board, in addition to the Captain and the crew responsible for keeping the ship afloat, we were entertained, guided and educated by the resident geologist, ornithologist, and Antarctic experts. Presentations about ice or penguins or local geology were provided each day on the ship to complement what we would see during our daily excursions.

Penguins on Antarctica.

Penguins on Antarctica

The scenery on shore and the views from the boat were some of the most dramatic we've ever seen, simply awesome in the true sense of the word. Whether we were navigating the small zodiacs through a maze of giant icebergs that practically choked an entire channel, or climbing a snow covered ridge to get a better view of a massive glacier, we were never less than gobsmacked. We can see how people become obsessed with Antarctica.

Excursions were made twice each day. We would hop in to the zodiacs and make our way to shore to explore Penguin colonies & rookeries of various breeds or quietly make our way through mazes of the biggest ice bergs we've ever seen. We found old whaling stations and ship wrecks, and were fascinated by all kinds of marine life – from minke whales & leopard seals to the dramatic and very cool looking albatrosses.

A seal swimming through giant icebergs in Antartica.

A seal swimming through giant icebergs in Antarctica

...At one point we were sailing between a very narrow channel between two islands. The passage was about 80 meters wide between islands of steep mountains rising directly out of the sea. With only a few meters to spare on either side of the ship we were very close to the mountain sides – the sun was starting to set and a lot of people were outside enjoying the spectacle and taking photos. Jordan was one of them. He was out on deck taking in the views when he was interrupted by a very loud noise off the port side of the ship, followed by a large cloud of ice and snow.

Avalanche collage, Antarctica.

The avalanche slid down the mountains and swept over the ship, covering everything and everyone in a cold, white blanket. Luckily Jordan just happened to be holding the camera and was able to capture much of it on film. Unfortunately, I missed the entire episode as I was relaxing in our room reading. Though I was the only one who heard the Crew Director request that 'All passengers please get inside the boat, immediately'. Outside, the cheering passengers who just witnessed an avalanche up close, drowned him out."

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Henriette and Lars, Americas, in Argentina,

"In Caleta Olivia a local motorcycle shop – Coyote Motos - looked at the bike and found that the 3rd gear was broken in 2 pieces and that the oil was full of metal parts.

Examining the bike with a camera and a magnet.

Examining the bike with a camera and a magnet

They recommended that we bring the bike to Buenos Aires for repair since getting parts to Caleta Olivia would take too much time. Time we didn't have or wanted to spent either. We still had 1400 km to go, to make it to Ushuaia and we weren't gonna spend the rest of our time in Argentina on an expensive bike repair.

We discussed what to do and decided not to waste more time and continue 2 up on the KLR to Ushuaia.

...Next morning we arranged our stuff and left all the camping gear together with the bike at Coyote Motos and took off towards The End of The World.

Boarding the ferry - Strait of Magellan.

Boarding the ferry - Strait of Magellan

Lars is a very smart man. He had the KLR raised 10 cm's a long time ago. Not so much to make it more comfortable for him as to make it unrideable for me! So it was the pillion for me or nothing.

I couldn't believe how little space there was left for me between Lars and the luggage, but since he's such a tall guy and I couldn't see anything anyways except for his helmet, at least I was trapped and could sleep without falling off.

All the space that's left for me!

All the space that's left for me. The buckles from the Wolfman bags weren't particular comfortable to sit on either, but then I had my magical Airhawk seat with the IKEA sheep skin. Mmmmm, butt likes!"

Brian Kennedy, Canada, in Colombia, Aprilia ETV 1000 cc CapeNord,

"Just a few miles down the road from where I was, I found the turnoff for Popayan. According to the signpost, the city of Popayan was only 126 kilometers away, a distance of only 75 miles. According to my Lonely Planet Guide book, the trip from San Agustin by bus takes over 8 hours or more depending on the road conditions. I remember Mike from Motolombia telling me that by motorcycle it takes 5 to 6 hours. The first section of the road from San Agustin to the village of Isnos was along a Tarmac surface road. There was a lot construction going on and many stretches of the roadway was torn up with a few tricky sections where they had just laid down a bed of deep gravel.

Leaving San Vicente, Colombia.

Leaving San Vicente, Colombia

...I continued along my ride, I had now reached the halfway point on the road to Popayan, I had crossed over a few mountain passes and aside from from a few stretches of slippery clay covered roads the ride had not been that difficult. All of that would change as I was making my way down a mountain pass that led to a small village.

Road to Popayan, Colombia.

Road to Popayan, Colombia

At the bottom of the descent I could see that the color of the road surface was a different color from the road above it. As I neared the bottom of the hill, I stopped and pulled off to the side of the road. What I saw before me would induce fear into even the most hardened motorcyclist. Before me extending for several hundred yards was a sea of mud. I watched a large truck making its way across this quagmire, its wheels displacing mud as it pushed ahead. I could see now that the mud was at least a foot and half deep which by itself would have not been so bad, but what made the situation even worse and made me fearful was the deeply rutted road hidden underneath this ocean of muck. The ruts caused by the heavy truck traffic looked to be at least a foot deep. Getting a wheel caught up in one of these ruts could lead to ... you can conjure up your own images of bike and rider covered in mud after getting a front wheel trapped in a deep hole. Looking up the side of the road adjacent to the mountain side, it was evident that there had been a landslide here and the road crews just bulldozed over and flattened the loose earth into the road bed. The last few days of rain had turned the road into this mess before me.

Stop near first military checkpoint, Colombia.

Stop near first military checkpoint

I started my run down the hillside into the town, there was a couple of trucks following tailgating behind me. With the bike in first gear I moved ahead, right away, my front wheel dropped into a rut, I accelerated a little and the bike lurched out of one rut and into another, I was now riding with my feet spread out on either side of the bike like outriggers, my feet touched down a number of time as the bike lurched from one rut to another but I managed to keep the bike upright and going forward. After the longest minute I got the bike safely to the other side of the mud bog."

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

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Patrick McCarthy, Pat around the Americas, in Mexico,

"By 2 in the afternoon the wind had beaten me. I had managed only 20 kms since my last rest stop, and my body was now so strained that my arms and hands were shaking. The wind just continued to increase, and I felt that perhaps this was the tail of the hurricane whipping around the Gulf and back across this flat landscape. To make matters worse the line of trees that had been shielding much of the route to date just petered out. It was now a full on side wind that forced me to stop. And stop I did as we wobbled into the forecourt of a small roadside restaurant in the tiniest of villages south of Santa Teresa. We were some 80 kms from the border at Matamoros, and right in the heart of gang territory.


I threw myself on the mercy of the local family that ran the restaurant, as we explored possible options for transporting me and the bike to the border or a local hotel. But there were no local hotels, and the nearest (some 20kms away) was in any event fully occupied by the extra police drafted in to work in the area. Equally there were no vehicles available to transport the bike... and the wind continued to increase to gale force. The Gonzalez Fernandez family agreed that I could stay at their home. Indeed they noted that I should stay, citing the dangers not only from the wind, but from the hoods that frequented the area. They proceeded to feed and water me, finding a safe haven for Idris for the night, while I was regaled with horrendous tales of life in the Mexican border lands.

Gonzalez Fernandez family, Mexico.

These were good people, seeking to scratch out a life in an already difficult economic situation, but the violence that had been steadily increasing in the area over recent years had impacted badly on the volume of passing trade. This was also notable when I passed through the beautiful Costa Esmeralda a couple of days earlier, where hotels which once serviced a steady flow of US tourists were sitting idle and falling to ruin. I was told that no one should travel the road between 6 in the evening and 8 in the morning – and that locals had been shot for not answering to the thugs. The wind had died right down (almost as if someone had finally switched off the fan), but as I didn't fancy a death of my own I stayed put - with huge gratitude to the family who had taken in this vulnerable stranger. As a measure of the hospitality I received I had to insist that they take some money for the food, drink and accommodation provided. But I had to insist hard, and only then was such a small amount accepted that I doubt it even covered their costs for what I was given. A really humbling experience, and one that has enriched my journey the memories of which will stay with me for a very long time."

Ed. See Pat's story on the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Colin and Re (Underboning), USA, RTW on 100cc underbones, in Laos, on SYM Symbas,

"Around 5:00 pm, we put on our helmets and went for a ride around the island. For being an island in the river, Don Khong is fairly large, at about 12 miles long and 5 miles wide. We rode north along the east side of the island as far as we could and then returned down the west to see the sunset over the Mekong.

The area we rode through was agricultural, with surprisingly large areas of rice paddy and many water buffaloes. Re stopped to take a picture of what must have been a very young buffalo...

Water Buffalo, Laos.

Water Buffalo

We rode through the town to the river's edge, where we watched the sun set. After it dipped below the horizon, we cut through the center of the island and back to our guesthouse for dinner.

On our way north, I had spied a large motorcycle with aluminum bags and German plates, so we walked up to check it out. It was an Africa Twin covered in Touratech and Zega, and Re and I just smiled at each other. The more we ride our little bikes, the more we chuckle about this kind of 'Charlie and Ewan' special. When you consider that the accessories alone on this motorcycle cost more than our motorcycles, it is kind of funny. We have now been through thirteen countries and ridden nearly 19,000 miles, and although it might take us a little longer, there's almost no place that these big bikes can go that we can't (and there are plenty of places we can go that they can't). To each his own, but I think that too many people spend a lot of money on their bikes and gear that they could instead spend on traveling and !

We walked back to our guesthouse, had another good dinner. Later, we grabbed a couple of Beer Laos and headed to the room and drank a toast to our last Beer Lao in Laos."

Ed. See Colin and Re's story on the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

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

"Six weeks after taking my motorcycle to a Cusco workshop to have a broken piston ring changed I finally got it back. The estimated time to complete the job had been 'four or five days' although I never for a moment thought that was achievable; I hadn't expected it to take six weeks. The phrase 'Mañana, Mañana' will always remind me of this time and the continuously moving completion date.

Fortunately Cusco turned out to be a nice place to wait and I have plenty of time as I'm waiting for the warmer weather of the southern hemisphere summer before venturing too far south. A steady stream of motorcyclists turned up at the Estrellita Hospedaje where I was staying. The most unusual bikes were ridden by four Germans. They had shipped their tiny 125cc machines with scooter sized wheels from Germany to Santiago, Chile for $250 (£158) each then ridden them north to Cusco. They were turning round at Cusco to return to Santiago to ship the bikes back to Germany. Not wanting to ride the first leg south to Arequipa they rode to the bus station, put the bikes in the luggage bay of an overnight bus and planned to sleep while they travelled.

German Riders Heading To The Bus Station On Their Mini Bikes.

German riders heading to the Bus Station on their mini bikes

I had been complaining that my bike had proved too heavy for me on the badly eroded and/or muddy dirt roads of Central America, Colombia and Ecuador during the wet season and decided that if my bike's problems turned out to be terminal (I was beginning to doubt I would ever get it back in working order) I would migrate to the opposite end of the motorcycling spectrum and buy a similar small bike as the Germans and save tons of money shipping across the stretches of water.

Lake In The Sacred Valley.

I had a week and a half left on my Peru visa and temporary motorcycle import document when I got the bike back from the mechanic and decided to go to Colca Canyon before leaving Peru for Bolivia. Colca Canyon is one of around five canyons that claim to be the deepest in the world and is home to some impressively large condors. I plotted a 420km (262 mile) route, mainly on secondary roads.

The snow had eventually eased but the road; which was fine for most of the way had a few rough rocky sections and water crossings seemed to appear more frequently as black shapes looming out of the increasing darkness. At one of the deeper crossings I had to put a foot down to keep the bike upright and got a boot full of icy water. I continued to ride; hoping to drop to a lower altitude and out of the snow which would make camping a more comfortable option but the darkness descended, my progress slowed still further and I was still at a chilly and windy 3900 metres.

When it got dark, I had according to the GPS, twenty kilometres to go to the next junction which could be the start of a paved road or even a village with some accommodation. Riding twenty kilometres on dirt roads in the dark seemed marginally better than camping in the bad weather but progress was slow as I looked for rocks and potholes in the beam of the headlight. Eventually lights from a small town appeared way below me and the road descended through a series of tight hairpin bends. The wind dropped and the temperature rose as soon as I left the Alto Plano and got into the shelter of the hills.

Chacapi, Colca Canyon - Near Yanque.

Chacapi, Colca Canyon - Near Yanque

The hairpin bends were tricky in the dark with the headlight peering straight out over an open mountainside, all I could see was blackness which I knew represented a long drop down the mountain and the outside of the bend which seemed to continue forever as I pulled the bike tighter into the turns until, eventually the road would appear in the beam of the headlamp once again. I was concentrating on the outside of the bends and the void beyond them more than the road surface and on one bend I skidded and stalled the engine on some fine powdery 'bull dust'. As I regained control of the bike I pressed the starter and as I don't normally ride at night; didn't realise that the lights go out while the starter is turning. Plunged into total darkness on a slippery road surface; near the edge of a mountainside even at less than walking pace and for only a few seconds provided enough excitement to last me for quite a while."

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

Fern Hume, UK to New Zealand, in Germany,

"Expect the Unexpected… Trundled down to the German Horizons Unlimited rally in Ober-Liebersbach. There were about ten of us on the first night, and Thursday the numbers started to grow. Had my first German beer in the guesthouse. Weather started to improve.

Thursday was a church holiday, so lots of horse riders, dog walkers, cyclists, all heading for the hills. The surroundings were beautiful, lots of twisty roads.

I mentioned my concerns about my oil to friends, and was advised to go get it checked out. I could have dropped the oil at the rally, but Jens suggested a local dealership that could squeeze me in. So tootled over there, popped to Aldi for provisions whilst waiting for the mechanic to be free.

Off the bike went, and 20 mins later, the bad news came. The mechanic was not happy with the amount of metal in the oil and on the filter. He said it was not safe to ride the bike further. Gutted. Seriously bad news. They wanted 700 euro just to open, investigate and close the engine. Not money I have and because of the church holiday, it would take them another week. My engine was only opened up 8 weeks ago, so best to get the mechanic who did it to check it over. So got lift back to the campsite, and got thinking. Tried ringing my breakdown cover company to get the bike home, but this would take them three weeks. Problem being I have to be at the Iranian Turkish border soon.

Bike parts.

Bike parts

...I was so lucky for this to happen at the HUBB, I was surrounded by other travellers who offered great advice, encouragement and sympathy.

Moving away from the Bike issue, the HUBB meet was fantastic. By Saturday there were 150 of us present. The presentations on various trips were fascinating. It was interesting to meet such a range of people including the two men from Cuba. They really taught a lesson on how to get by with no spares to hand. Bertrand kindly made me a wooden spade by hand as I forgot mine. I drank lots of Apfelwein (cider) from a local farm, and from the Guesthouse on site, German Beer was great, and lots of sausages. The variety of bikes and equipment just goes to show that everyone has their own way of doing things."

Editor's note: Fern's trip plans have been slowed down due to the above, but she's heading out again soon. See her blog for details.

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Troy from Texas, Tejas a la Tierra, in Argentina,

"Every time I embark on a ride, I do a quick inspection of my bike. While inspecting my bike in the morning, I noticed that my rear tire was wearing unevenly. The knobbies on one side were showing much more wear than the knobbies on the other side. I was a bit surprised, because I only had about 4000 miles on the rear tire. However, I had been riding quite a bit of dirt and gravel.

Rear tire wearing unevenly.

I was hoping to buy new tires in Bolivia where I had heard motorcycle tires and parts were less expensive. However, I had promised myself that on this trip if I ever had to choose between my safety and spending money, I would part with the money.

So I took my bike to a local tire shop and bought the only knobby tire in town that would fit on my bike... US$180 for a single rear tire... ouch. The tire was a Pirelli MT40.

Tire shop in Argentina.

I suspected that the uneven wear on the rear tire was caused by wear and tear on my chain and sprockets. My friend Sam, who is a mechanic, once told me that after some use a chain will stretch and the circular sprockets will actually turn into ovals. I had noticed lately that while riding on asphalt that my rear wheel was hopping a bit. I attributed this action to my sprockets turning into ovals. Well, I was not going to be able to find a new chain and sprocket in Andalgala, so a new tire was in order.

There was still tread on the old tire, but I was concerned about the next segment of my journey.

While in Andalgala a few people had asked me, 'Vas por la cuesta?' or 'Are you going by the incline?' A 'cuesta' can be an incline, a hill or a mountain. By the manner in which I was repeatedly asked this question, I inferred that this 'cuesta' was a mountain. I inquired a bit about the 'cuesta' and learned that there were actually two 'cuestas' and that the ride would be about 5-6 hours of steep dirt road. Four hours of climbing and two hours of descending. With this in mind, I thought that it would be nice to have some knobbies on my rear tire.

With new rubber on the road, set off in the direction of the 'cuesta'.

The route to La Cuesta.

The route soon turned mountainous.

The asphalt gave way to gravel.

And the straight road turned twisty.

And the straight road turned twisty.

It was dirt, gravel and rocks. It was steep, twisty and narrow. It was single lane, remote and mountainous. It was 'La Cuesta'. Perhaps one of the most treacherous routes over dirt that I have traversed during my trip. I was glad that I had bought the new rear tire. It had just paid for itself based on this one ride."

Ed. Fantastic pics, videos and stories from Troy on the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Belinda Sinclair, UK, Scooters Ride the World, in Kazakhstan,

"Rear puncture for Nadine just outside a small mining village wasn't the best thing that could have happened especially as we were besieged by small children but they turned out to be lovely kids who took me to buy water and food. They stayed with us for about an hour while Nadine fixed the flat while three very uncouth camels belched and farted nearby. The kids told me they were called tria – or something similar sounding in Kazak, and generally had a good play with the bikes and our cameras.

kids on bike, Kazakhstan.

Kids on bike

We stopped at about 2000 hrs tonight. camping next to a railway line, not ideal but is the only semi suitable hiding place for miles. Goods trains going past all night.

Not a great end to the day though as in the late afternoon, I fell off and hurt my wrist, having bashed it hard in the morning when riding through craters Nadine reckons it is fractured and sorted it out for me. Fortunately, she didn't see me fall off that time, so there is no picture.

I've lost track of what day it is but I think it might be Wednesday. Up and set off OK but it was really hard going from the start with the road being little more than rough track. My wrist is painful and I'm having to ride one handed, which is difficult off road anyway, but these roads are particularly rough, and it is very slow going generally.

Stopped at a town called Mugyr for water. It was like two cowboys riding into a dusty town in the wild west, with people appearing along the roadside and starting. The roads were just tracks, and as usual, it was hard to spot what any buildings were, so we asked a man. To our surprise, he spoke a bit of English – mad; a farmer in the middle of Kazakhstan telling us to go 300m down the track, turn right – not left – and look for a flat roofed building with writing on the side, but he couldn't remember the word for 'blue' so he told us 'not the green one'. So we did, and there was the shop.

Another American Werewolf in London moment as we went in – stares of disbelief and astonishment at two strangers, women on motorbikes, covered in dust, appearing out of the desert. But we do look rather a bit of a sight."

Ed. Lots of great pics on Belinda's blog.

Neil and Clarissa, Australia, RTW, in Malaysia,

"We were invited the second night we ate at 'Satay Warisan' by Rizal to go along to his niece's engagement party in Pekan, Pahang. 'We'd be bloody honoured' I replied. They put a feed on for almost the whole street, literally.

Feast at the engagement party, Malaysia.

Feast at the engagement party

Really can't say how eye opening it was to experience a traditional Malay engagement ceremony. The culture was a bit overwhelming when compared to the normal 'BBQ and beers' ceremony we have in Australia. Magical spread of food and drinks. Including the infamous, and soon to be released 'Poker dot' muffin which we did some promotional photos of with the bikes. The men wore traditional dress including the wonderfully painted Malay sarong. The women were all dressed up for the occasion also. The bride/husband to be were in their finest obviously to boot. Just to sit down and watch on as all manner of details were discussed/decided between the two fathers was intriguing and interesting. Excited and also exhausted after a big day of eating/chatting we ended up staying in a local budget hotel (expensive, but fast wifi). The next day we even got in on their family re-union. Kicked arse too! At a bloody monster waterfall.

Family reunion, Malaysia.

Family reunion

We met many friendly people and experienced great hospitality. Thank you very much to all that bought us tea, water, ice cream, beer, and that have translated for us – otherwise we would have been completely lost!"

More stories below...

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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! People who will encourage you, share their experiences and advice on how to do it!

Also, 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 still to come, 2012. Mark your calendars and sign up now!

Canada West, Nakusp, BC, August 23-26. Same great location! Registration open now!

UK Autumn - Mendip, Aug 31 - Sep 2 - newlyweds Gabe and Char are hosting this again! Assistant volunteers needed! Registration open now!

North Carolina USA, Stecoah, Sep 7-9. Note: New dates, a month later and hopefully cooler weather ;-) Registration open now!

Ontario, Canada New Location! Sep 20-23, near Barrie. Registration open now!.

California - October 18-21 - 1 day added = 3 very full days, Thursday noon to Sunday noon! Great location on the Central Coast near Big Sur. Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria, CA is set in 13 acres of Monterey Pine forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Numbers are strictly limited! Registration open now!

Argentina (mini-meeting) - 7-9 December, the 10th Anniversary meeting!

Brazil (mini-meeting) is in progress for 2012! Contact Grant if you're interested in helping out.

Dates subject to change, more dates and locations to come as we get them. Check back here before you plan a trip!


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 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!

Looking for a travel book for someone special?

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

There's links to Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Deutschland, so no matter where you are - you can order books at great prices, and we'll make a dollar or a pound or a Euro, which goes a very little way to supporting this e-zine.

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

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

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

Book suggestions please!

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

Help support your favourite website! Here's how!

Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales - Part 1.

Road Heroes Part 1!

Get your Road Heroes DVD now for inspirational and funny tales from the road!

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!

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

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!

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

See our complete Privacy Policy here.

Grant & Susan Johnson, Editors

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up to top of pagespacerShorts.

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

"On a trip to the desert to view the hidden wildlife, with Francois, the owner of the guesthouse.

François saw a hint with the traces of a 'Web footed palmato gecko' hiding under the sand...


A Gecko cannot be exposed at direct sun and stays under the shadow of the sand during the day. It weighs only a few grams.

Lizard, Namibia.

White dancing lady spider, Namibia.

Welcome to the 'White dancing lady' with 8 eyes. When we put her back on the sand, she dug her hole within minutes."

Ed. More great photos on Hubert's blog!

Daan Stehouwer and Mirjam van Immerzeel, Netherlands, the Americas, Africa and beyond, in Botswana and South Africa, Africa Twins,

"Botswana, country of elephants! We love it here and have a great time. Internet is hard to find and slow; we have uploaded some stories and pictures but the movies will be put online once we arrive back in South Africa and have fast internet! After already 6300km's through Botswana and Namibia, we're back in South Africa. We did finish the movie of Botswana though!"

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

"Dudes! Mexico is a big country! I have covered almost 5 000 km since crossing the border from Belize... and I am still 2,000 km from the border with the USA! Suffice to say, that I have been hosted by a fantastic bunch of Motorcycle Clubs since leaving the Venados in Huajuapan de Leon... They have passed me on to the Manosos Riders in Morelia, where I had a brilliant time... Details to follow as soon as the fog in my head clears sufficiently!

Manoso Bike Club, Mexico.

Manosos Bike Club

TV and newspaper interviews were followed by a presentation from the Secretary of Tourism, who all but gave me the keys to the city of Morelia! With me are Gabriel, Juanito and Maurizio of the Manosos Riders... They in turn passed me on to their Guadalajara chapter, where I spent a great evening with the riders from this city...

I am currently in Mazatlán, being hosted by the Moto Club of Mazatlán Riders, who have an annual get-together which I just missed, and where over 17,000 riders from all over the world had a rip-roaring time in this seaside city! Lots of ripping and roaring, I am told!

Today I am riding further north, with a slightly aching head after yet another late night! Mexican bikers do not need sleep it would seem! And they have cast iron livers!

I need to get into the USA by Wednesday, and take a short break to tell you all about Mexico... I am looking for a place that has sugar-white beaches, preferably an island relatively close by..."

Editor's Note: Ronnie left the bike for a tune up in Phoenix, while he headed for a few days in Turks and Caicos. It's a hard life...

Jay, Mercedes and Erik, Canada, A year in the Americas, in French Guyana,

"28/May 2012 We wake in the morning in our tent under the canopy of the combined police/duty office. The 'European' side of the bridge is completed and ready for traffic. The Brazilian side is still in progress.

The narrow road curving thru lush rain forest toward Cayenne is in excellent shape with European road signs. Frequent rain falls alternate with blue skies. Humidity is 100%.

Rain Coast, French Guyana.

The gas station attendants are delighted by our shock at the price of gas €1.80/l.

We are even more shocked by the condition of Cayenne. This is the seediest capital of South America indeed! We seek refuge from the scraggly crack heads in the main square's only nice restaurant.

Mercedes ignores the one completely nude guy who is yelling at her thru the window. The nude guy throws a plastic bottle at M. He misses the target and he gets punished by another guest and the staff of the restaurant. The nude crack head is in a wheel chair. He is missing his left leg. The leg was cut off with a machete many years ago by the owner of a car which the crack head stole.

We secure ourselves for the night in a friendly lady's garden outside of Cayenne. Diana is from (British) Guyana and she lives in a simple but charming house with her four children. She enjoys the French social benefits."

Ed. Jay, Mercedes and Erik will be telling their stories of the Americas at the HU CanWest meeting in Nakusp. We look forward to hearing them!

Rocky and Paula, Canada, two earthlings ride around the world, in Utah and Colorado,

"...The following morning we were well rested and ready to visit Mesa Verde National Park. The area features numerous ruins of homes and villages built by the Ancestral Puebloan people (sometimes called the Anasazi), and is best known for cliff dwellings, which are structures built within caves and under outcropping in cliffs.

Cliff dwellings.

Cliff dwellings

It was beautifully well preserved, and before I nearly squashed a tarantula as I was walking, I imagined that it could have been a fantastic place to live. I am not a fan of spiders, I am petrified actually but as soon as I noticed this one, I couldn't help but stare at it for a few seconds, it was huge. As I was admiring it, a girl, maybe 7 years old, was running backwards laughing and singing. She wasn't paying attention to where she was stepping and as she came awfully close. I had to stop her and warn her to be careful not step on the spider. She starred at me with a very bratty expression on her face, she was probably wondering what kind of person goes out of their way to protect a spider from getting stepped on. I pointed to the tarantula for her to see it and her reaction was priceless as she screamed in horror and cried hysterically. Maybe I'm mean, but I laughed about it most of the ride back into Utah."

Tortillas to Totems

by Sam Manicom
Tortillas to Totems by Sam Manicom.

The latest Adventure Motorcycle travel book by the legendary 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! Be sure to tell Sam where you heard about him!

Brad Cougle, Canada, Calgary to Argentina, in Peru, Suzuki V Strom 650 ABS,

"Potosi was not as lovely as I expected, but I didn't come here for lovely, I was here to survive a Silver Mine tour. And that's what I did damn it. Initially I wasn't doing the tour, but enough people convinced me that I had to. It is always easier to face a mountain in a group than alone.

Potosi - tight street.

Potosi - tight street

Potosi - entering the mine.

Potosi - entering the mine

trolley tracks.

The trolleys don't move too fast, but when there's no space you want to be sure you are out of the way of the 2000kg bin on wheels.

Luckily my group 'Sexy Dynamite' was full of great internationals (no local would be dumb enough to pay for this tour!). I would recommend a tour of one of the mines (likely Candaleria), but I will tell you right now you probably won't enjoy it. I'll let the photos and videos do the talking..."

Danielle Murdoch, Australia, Australia to Africa, in Zanzibar, Suzuki DR350,

"A cloudless blue sky that merges seamlessly in to the bluely green ocean that washes gently onto the blinding white sand. Dhows dance in the sun, as they head out for their night fishing. Birds in skimpy fluorescent bikinis & old hairy men in Speedos dip their toes into the warm water while their very own Masai warrior dressed in traditional clothing, topped off with hot pink trendy sun glasses, stands guard against any sea urchins or local predators.

Bike repair shop/beach hut, Zanzibar.

Bike repair shop/beach hut, Zanzibar

After spending nine months in strict Muslim countries, I felt pretty much naked as I lay half buried in the white sand, struggling to keep the sun from turning my skin an ugly pink colour. After a week or so relaxing in the sun, slowly turning my skin from pink to brown, getting accustomed to walking around bare footed, it was time to get to work."

Ed. Great stories and heaps of pics on Danielle's blog. Danielle was interviewed (from Africa via Skype) for the HU Australia meeting!

Sherri Jo Wilkins, Australia/USA, RTW, in Mexico, KTM 690 Enduro,

"From Puerto Vallarta we all want to head inland again. Found another very curvy road to follow... shock!

Bikes in a row.

Bikes parked in garden, Mexico.

Lunch break, Mexico.

I personally want to make my way toward Mexico City. The boys do too at this point, as there are some really cool ruins near the city. But first we ride away from the west coast.

The boys spot a tequila distillery and took them 2 seconds to turn around and check it out. It's like Tequila school! I have no patience... can we just try the stuff? Not like we can try and swallow. We haven't been on the road very long yet today and we still have a long ride on the bikes. (I didn't inhale either, Bill! ;-)"

Ed. Read more on Sherri Jo's blog!

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. 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!

Paul and Angie, UK, RTW, in New Zealand, Yamaha XT660Rs,

"...Our host checked the weather and with it looking dull on the west side of the island we decided to cross the mountain divide via Arthurs Pass and visit the museum in Christchurch which is home to an impressive Antarctic display. Although cold, we had a spectacular day en route to Christchurch through snow-capped peaks.


On entering the city no signs of the earth quake were readily visible, only a few undulating roads that may have been like that before. The nearest motel we could find to the centre that offered a cheap rate had props under a cracked arch but still no obvious signs. The next morning we walked down town to the red zone, the museum is just outside of the no go area.

On first glance most of the buildings look unaffected until on closer inspection you notice that the rain water down pipes have all pulled out of the inlets... the paving is all 6 to 9 inches lower than garage floors and entrance steps have sunk leaving a double size top step. The earth quake proof buildings have survived but all services to them are sheared off with the sinking ground levels. Some of the newer buildings have sunk to one side but still look perfect; they still have to be demolished. Roads that once were straight now have bumps and kinks in them, only noticeable to the stranger by the cracked and repositioned walls and fences.

The red zone, probably a square mile is being slowly demolished... High rise buildings are being stripped of valuable fixtures to be reclaimed and refitted to new buildings before the demo balls swing. The museum had closed the week before as the engineers had brought in new stricter criteria to test buildings integrity and the museum was waiting to be cleared as safe. Bugger!"

Ron Fellowes, The Old Bloke on a Bike, in Turkey, on FN,

"...I was getting utterly sick of climbing hills when the road began to level out and the riding became easier. The hills which thankfully all seem to be behind me are really steep, in fact they're a 7% gradient and that's a hell of a lot to expect of a bike as old as Effie to manage, but she's done a pretty good job. Mind you I think I've done nearly as much pushing as I've done riding these past few days so we're probably on a par.

...It's becoming much hotter now I'm out of the hills and for a short time today I rode without my long sleeved shirt on. Not a wise thing to do obviously as I've now got sunburnt arms to show for it. But that's not such a big deal now I realise I'm halfway across Turkey and reckon I must have covered about 8000kms since I set off from Nepal . The back tyre is looking like it is almost due to be changed again so I can put on one of the good ones from Europe and know I've got plenty of rubber between me and the tarmac for a change. The bike is running nicely again now I've solved the problem with the drive shaft bearing not getting the grease into it. I'm keeping it well greased now and that seems to be working well.

Near Cappadocia, Turkey.

Near Cappadocia

Despite the difficulties, the loneliness, frustration and the sheer exhaustion I've felt at times, I'm starting to feel pretty chuffed that I've made it this far. Not that I ever doubted I would, but there've definitely been times when I wondered what the hell I was doing this for. But I can think back to when I was working on my lathe over the past years making parts for the FN and dreaming about what it would be like to ride her back to Belgium. Now I know what it's like and while I've still got a good long way to go, no doubt with plenty more hills (make that mountains) to climb, nothing seems half as daunting as it did in the beginning."

Heike Wanner, Switzerland and Filippo Fania, Germany, Europe to Australia and beyond, in Turkey, BMW F650G and BMW R1150 GS,

"We know motorcycle festivals at home – you meet like-minded people, you talk, you have a beer or two, you tell stories of your travels or you talk about the motorcycle techniques and equipment – some rock music and BBQ: these are normally the credentials of a motorcycle meeting or festival in central Europe.

Now we have also experienced a motorcycle festival in Turkey, and actually most of it was not so different from a meeting at home – but it still was very different from what we know. But in any case: it was a great experience. We were just about to look for a place to set up our tent for the night, when in a supermarket we were told about this meeting. And of course we didn't want to miss this chance and so we went there.

Turkish flag and organizers, bike festival.

Turkish flag and organizers

We were welcomed with open arms, and of course we were also a bit of an attraction being the only non-Turkish motorcycle riders there. Heike as a woman attracted some more attention: She even got an award for being the only woman at the festival that was riding a bike herself.

Beer, motorcycle talk, BBQ, fire, rock musique – all this was also present at the meeting in Turkey. But it was rather special that the whole festival was also a kind of a party for the whole city, where everybody went to see the freaks on their motorcycles – including the mayor, who stayed with a very serious but friendly face until the music stopped. In front of the stage motorcycle rockers and children were jumping to the music – and the folk dance in traditional clothes was also rather unexpected at such a meeting.

It was a very nice and interesting experience. It has shown us that we are not so different from each other – but still, a motorcycle festival in Turkey is something completely different from what we know at home."

Andi & Ellen Delis, New Zealand, Alaska to Ushuaia, write to the HU Vancouver Island community:

"Good evening HUBBers, Ellen and I have arrived on Vancouver Island and only on one bike as Ellen's bike failed and is in hospital in Bellingham getting fixed.

We are traveling very lite with two of us wedged on one DR650, we are looking to meet fellow HUBBers and if possible we are looking for places to stay over during the next few days as we can not carry our camping and cooking gear.

We have air beds and sleeping bags so only need something to keep us dry and keep the mozzies off, we look forward to meeting you guys and enjoying your Island.

We have a phone but probably won't hear it while riding, if you can help and would like to meet up please txt us and we will ring or txt back 780 240 9240. Many thanks, Andi & Ellen"

Ed. We met Andi & Ellen for dinner while they were staying in our area and they're good people!

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


Tiffany Coates, UK, RTW traveller, discovers strange goings on in Seattle,

"Remember that picture of those strange looking Mounties?

Strange looking mounties in Seattle.

Due to the economic recession, it looks like they've had to trade in their horses for bicycles and the uniforms aren't quite as smart as they used to be, then look more closely and you'll see that actually they are naked! It's all body paint.

Yep, folks... America, a country not known for its tolerance of nudity (I've never seen a topless woman on a beach here) had a festival parade which consisted of naked or nearly naked people riding bicycles. And in case you missed them first time, they rode and skated past several times!

I had to retire to the pub for a drink to settle my nerves after that."

Ed. See Tiffany's story about Mongolia Mayhem on the Road Heroes Part 1 DVD!

Seen on the Road, by Grant & Susan

Miguel Silvestre, Spain, RTW, in Canada, stopped over at an HU Vancouver mini-meeting last month to tell stories about Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines on the trail of the forgotten Spanish explorers. Who knew that much of the Pacific northwest was settled by Spanish explorers? Perhaps the clue is in names like 'Juan de Fuca Strait', and 'Galiano Island' - doh! Read about/see Miguel's travels around the area on a borrowed RT here on the HUBB Ride Tales Forum.

Leaving soon below...

up to top of pagespacerPhoto Contest!

2012 Photo Contest ends September 1, 2012!

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. All winners get a free 2012 calendar, and 1 year Gold Member status on the HUBB.

Grand Prize for 2012 is a South America Tour with Compass Expeditions! 28th Dec 2012 to 5th Jan 2013 - This wonderful 9 day tour by Compass Expeditions explores the scenic wonderland of the famous Chilean Lakes District, the frontier lands of Chiloe Island and the epic riding experienced as you cross the Andes and ride into Argentina. As with all Compass Expeditions rides the lucky winner will be aboard a BMW F650GS Twin. Approximate Value at time of writing: $3,990.

First Prize - For Suzuki DL1000 / 650, Kawasaki KLR650, BMW F650GS / F800GS entries wins a Progressive Suspension Makeover, approx value US$650, shipped to your door.

To enter the 2012 contest, start here!

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Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Compass Expeditions. Thanks!

Discover the extraordinary with Compass Expeditions.


up to top of pagespacerLeaving soon, or just left.

Nacho Vaca Arenaza, France, RTW, in Turkey,

"After reading so much the HUBB until my eyes closed by themselves in front of the screen and avidly watching the Achievable Dream DVDs and telling everyone around me about how wonderful my trip would be, I have finally set off on my own adventure around the world...

My life now fits in 6 cubic meters.

My life now fits in 6 cubic meters

...I heard the muezzin's call and I knew I was somewhere else. The muezzin was calling for the Maghrib prayer just when I was arriving to María José and Gabriel's apartment. It was a good sign, I like cities with muezzin calls.

There's is so much to say about Istanbul and so little words, maybe the stupendous welcome from Gabriel and María José helped me perceive this city as I did (Thank you María José and Gabriel!). Maybe the city is just magnificent on its own. For a fan of maps, a city that spans over two continents is already something worthy of attention. You arrive on one side, let's say Europe and you can leave from the other side into Asia.

Bridge to Asia from Istanbul.

Bridge to Asia

The first day I stayed on the European side. No particular reason other than that the most well-known attractions are on that side, in that part of the city that is Istanbul proper. I visited, among other attractions, the blue mosque and Ayasofya. Amazing! In the evening we went to a local restaurant to taste the local specialties and it was very good but the shock was yet to come: we went for a walk after dinner into the crowded Istikal street. On a Thursday! It wasn't even Friday. On the next day I went on my own only to be confronted with hordes of people walking on the same street. This city has such a vibe, there is parties everywhere, bars everywhere, restaurants, it's just amazing.



The third day I went on my own with the bike to the Grand Bazaar and managed to not get lost while getting there and to do get lost after 2 minutes inside. It's almost a miracle I managed to exit through the same entrance and find the place where I had left the bike. That place is a maze! Whatever landmark you try to remember, you will find it somewhere else and realize it was a useless landmark. On the other hand, the secret to not getting lost while getting there is simple: I didn't aim for the Grand Bazaar, I aimed for the Grand Bazaar OR Hagia Sophia. That way, when I got to one of them, I could say I didn't get lost and got to my original destination. One of them at least.

This third day was also the extra day, it was July 14th and Gabriel had invited me, as soon as I got to Istanbul to the consulate party for Bastille day and since I am a good citizen, I accepted joyfully. That and the free wine, the free dinner (including pork cold cuts) and the chance to see where my tax money goes. If you are a French taxpayer and wonder where your money goes, now I can tell you: Into big awesome parties!"

Brian Foster, Australia, RTW, in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan,

"After about 45km, there had been no sign of the Kyrgyz border post at Bor Dobo. Based on the direction of my shadow on the road and the position of the mountain range, I was convinced that I was heading along the wrong road. I stopped at some roadworks and asked if this was the road to Murghab. After looking at my map, the road workers assured me it was and pointed down the road. I continued for another 10km to a small village, all the time convinced I was on the wrong road. I found another gang of road workers and asked them if this was the road to Murghab. They perused my map carefully and confirmed I was on the wrong road.

Damn! This was my first significant navigational error. I had no choice but to retrace the 55km back to Sary Tash and find where I had gone wrong. Just outside Sary Tash on the way back, I stopped at a minor road junction and asked an old man in an equally old stone building if he knew where the road to Murghab was. He immediately pointed to the minor side road. This was the Pamir Highway? To Murghab? He assured me it was. I had wasted almost 2hrs and 110km of fuel. After topping up the bike again (I wanted to have a full tank for the 235km trip to Murghab) I headed out of town for the second time that morning to the turnoff at the old stone building. The first 10-15km was not too bad but the road deteriorated rapidly after that. I couldn't believe that this was a 'highway'. Convinced I had made another mistake, I stopped and waved down a passing car. Yes, this WAS the Pamir Highway to Murghab.

Yep, THIS is the Pamir Highway!

Yep, THIS is the Pamir Highway!

I arrived at the Kyrgyz border post at Bor Dobo about 11:30am: Formalities took a staggering 15min and I only had about 15km to cover before I reached the actual border at Kyzyl Art Pass. The road to the pass deteriorated even further and it was back to a 1st gear crawl.

The Tajik border at Kyzyl Art Pass - complete with statue of the famous ibex.

The Tajik border at Kyzyl Art Pass - complete with statue of the famous ibex

A few kilometres after the pass I arrived at the border checkpoint where I was greeted warmly - firstly by the border police, then by the Immigration officers and finally by the Customs officers. All were very friendly and were very curious about the Australian travelling across Asia by motorcycle. The formalities were over in about 20-30min. And, as for the GBAO permit that I had had so much trouble getting in Islamabad - they barely looked at it. One officer who spoke a bit of English said it was not important and to forget about it."

Taz Hirani and Joel Juergens, Canada, in Montenegro,

"We are now in northern Montenegro - it is absolutely lovely here in the mountains - we were not impressed by the beach area and were keeping our fingers crossed that the northern part would be better. We are not beach people anyway and the temps have been in the high 30s, pretty unbearable. Also, this country is much more affordable than Croatia, which wasn't that bad either. We like this area so much, we have rented a cosy apartment for 25 euros for 3 nights, to nest a little - bit of bike maintenance, bit of human maintenance too! It is good to stop now and then and just unwind, as you well know.

Dennis Robinson traveled with us for a couple of weeks and then we split up in Italy - he headed straight to Greece and we went to Croatia. We will meet up again at the Greece meeting. We sure did laugh a lot with him.

We have decided to go through Kosovo and Macedonia on our way to Greece instead of Albania. Can't do it all. Until later, Susan and hugs to both of you, Taz"

Ed. Taz and Joel have just restarted their trip after his knee injury sidelined them for a few months. They got to the first HU Greece Meeting last weekend and had a great time!

Kieran Elliott and Patrick Mullen, Ireland, RTW, in Russia, BMW F650GS,

"During the summer of 2012 Irishmen Kieran Elliott and Patrick Mullen will drive two motorbikes 35 thousand kilometers around the world. Their journey is being undertaken as an opportunity to raise funds for the 'Make a Wish Foundation' and the Holy Family School for Disabled Children.

Kieran Elliott and Patrick Mullen, Ireland, RTW, BMW F650GS.

...We arrived into Vladivostok on the boat from Korea and on the boat we met Andrew and Frank from Australia who are on a bike trip to Istanbul and then Andrew is traveling to Amsterdam. They offered great advice on the customs clearance in Russia and also advised of a fixer called Uri who could help with clearance. We also met a Japanese biker called Akira Yokota who we have christened the "Dominator" as he rides a Honda Dominator 650. He is a legend of a man. He has three answers for everything. Wow, Really and Ohhh. We have had brilliant crack with him over the last few days.

The five of us have travelled together and looked out for one another along the way. The Aussie boys are great fun as well, Frank is a Principal of a special needs school and Andy or Chandy as he is originally from China is retired but worked in computers.

We had been warned that the road from Khabaravosk to Ulan-Ude was pretty dangerous and several people had been killed while camping and several robbed at gun point. Now this is not want you want to hear once landing in a country. The locals ask you what road you are going and straight away you get this funny look as if to say, you crazy. They laugh at each other wondering how far we will get before we are shot and buried out in the woods and never heard of again. But we are here in Ulan-Ude safe and sound.


The last couple of days have been tough. The roads can be great one minute and then completely shit the next, huge potholes, massive dips and just shitty conditions. We had no idea of petrol stops and accommodation. We have arrived late to a few places. One night we had to camp on the verandah of a cafe after riding in the pissing rain and wet to the skin. It was better than nothing. The hard part is trying to explain to the lady in the cafe with very limited Russian that we want to camp here for fear of being attacked in the middle of the night."

Mitch Flint, from Australia, writes to the HU Santiago Community:

"Hi, I am trying to buy a bike in Santiago and cannot get a RUT. I went to the SIL office and they told me I needed a visa. After spending half a day at the department of immigration I was told I can't get a visa... Do I actually need a visa for RUT?? Any advice would be much appreciated."

Later, Mitch writes:

"Yes you definitely need a RUT to buy a bike in Chile (legally). I was able to get one by filling out the form f4415 which you can get off the SII online site. I then took this form to the SII office just off Santa Rosa av and I received my RUT. I have no idea why I was told at the first office I went to that I needed a visa. That same office sent me on a wild goose. The first day they sent me to the department of immigration, where I spend many hours trying to get a visa, which I couldn't get and didn't need anyway. The next day they sent me to a different building in the city, I have no Idea what it actually was. But when I told the security guard at the door that I was trying to get my RUT he then sent me to the correct building... Please note that I have read you are supposed to go to the SII office which corresponds with your address. I'm not sure how we got away with that one...

After that I simply found a bike I was happy with off and bought it. After a test ride of course. This involves quite a lot of paperwork at a Notaria (of which there are many). There are a couple of good guides on the net about the paperwork, one on the HUBB and another I found through google.

The only other problem I had was withdrawing enough cash. All the banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. The bike I bought was 2.300.000 pesos. Which is about $4600 Australian. I had 2 cards which both had only $1500 ATM withdrawal limits (not to be confused with a daily transaction limit). So basically I had to withdraw cash on 2 different days (based on Sydney midnight). Unfortunately I withdrew before midnight but the transactions took some time to go through and I missed the time. My bank flat out refused to help me with this problem and in the end the man I bought it off signed the papers before receiving the full amount, which I then paid through depositing into his account through an ATM today. This was basically the only hard thing about buying from a private seller as opposed to a shop. The shops also have very very few used bikes.

So we had been in the country for 5 days, one of which we spent completely jet lagged, and were able to legally buy a bike. However I would warn you that it was very tiring and stressful, especially considering we don't speak Spanish. Many people have been surprised we could organise it so quickly, so I would leave more time than that. We're still waiting on the Pardron (official ownership paper) which we need to leave the country, but we should be able to pick that up from a Registro Civil in 5 working days.

I hope some of this story is useful to you.
Cheers, Mitch."

Sara and Dan Pedersen, Canada, the Americas, on the Dempster Highway, BMW F650GS,

"A guy and his gal have got to live somewhere and this is our 'Palace' that we are taking on the road."

Tent testing.

Tent testing

How is it possible that we have never been to northern BC and the Yukon! This land is massive and spectacular. We followed the Gold Rush trail thru 100 Mile House, Burns Lake, and Dease Lake. The highlight has been the ride into Stewart, BC with the valley dripping in green and dotted with dozens of waterfalls streaming down the steep sides. The Bear glacier comes down to meet you at the bottom of WINDY hill. We visited Hyder, Alaska at mile zero then headed north to the Yukon.

Sara: It was all smiles and sunshine as we started out from the mile zero sign up to Tombstone. We had an amazing view from the campsite. We hiked up the Klondike river trail to see the ice still on the river. There will be no photos from the day up to Eagle Plains because it poured rain all day. The riding was challenging at best. The mud was 4 inches thick for several hours and was like trying to drive in peanut butter. Thank goodness for our rain over suits!

Good mud.

Good mud

Daniel: A little note about Sara is in order here. Wow was the mud bad. Like hardcore for the big guy bad. Like OMG we may not make it and why are we doing this stupid Dempster highway bad. Okay with this in mind picture tiny Sara on a very big machine, loaded to the max and weighing over five hundred pounds. Wow what a trooper. My wife is officially a hardcore adventure rider forged out of the mud of the Dempster at its very worst.

Sara the hardcore adventure rider.

Sara: Just when we thought the northern highway was not going to reveal its wild inhabitants wow did we get treated to an arctic spectacle. Fifty kilometers north of the Arctic Circle in the gleaming sun and green tundra we happened upon a massive herd of Caribou. This day was adventure riding at its very best."

Herd of caribou.

Ed. We met Sara and Dan last summer at the HU Canada West meeting in Nakusp, then caught up with them at the HU Vancouver mini-meeting before they left. Good luck and keep in touch!

up to top of pagespacerMake a Difference

Chris and Chloe Granger, UK, Buenos Aires to Vancouver, in Bolivia, F650GS DAKAR and F650GS,

"We had been given the opportunity to take on a project of our own in Bolivia: to take a semi-derelict shed and turn it into a library and meeting point for the children of a small community.

Future library for Bolivian community.

The future library

Working in the community, (Comunidad Maria Auxiliadora), from 8.30am till 6.30pm, seven days a week left us a little bit stuck for time to ourselves, or indeed to write a blog.

It has been two months since our last update, and when we left off last time, we had been digging and pouring foundations with the help of the local bowler-hatted women, and were getting ready to start building with adobe blocks, once we could afford to buy them - a quick thank you to those of you who responded to our last plea for donations in our last blog!

With some help from friends we'd met on the road, Daniel, Anders and Josefin, we quickly got off to a good start on the walling, Daniel being particularly keen to prove himself with a trowel and marathon sessions of adobe block-laying. Their stay however was short lived and before we knew it, we were back on our own, with the help of faithful Gustavo.

Chloe sets the ball rolling...

Chloe sets the ball rolling...

In these first few weeks we did have a few festivities to break up the work, including a Community Food Festival, a traditional dance evening, a Mother's Day fete which also included traditional dancing performed by pupils from the school, then a visit to the water park and aquarium with our little ward Pablito, (aka Erick), depending on what mood he, or we were in.

More traditional costume and dance at the Mother's Day fete, Bolivia.

More traditional costume and dance at the Mother's Day fete

...Back to the building, adobe walls were steadily going up, and the old dilapidated roof came off ready for an impatient Chris to start erecting the new timber beams, with some help from Gustavo and Miguel. Only after much frustration and days and days of broken promises did Chris finally manage to get hold of a drill, enabling him to drill holes for the bolts, only to find there was no power supply from the house we were connecting up to. Hours later we managed to cobble together a ridiculously long cable with raw wires at the end that we could push into some open sockets in the local shop. Great!

...The big day arrived - Sunday morning, Community Asemblea. We were called up to accept and give thanks and be clapped at, before rushing off to frantically finish fixing the ceiling covering, signage and generally cleaning up ready for the bookshelves and books to be brought down... All before the community descended for the 'official opening'.

People start gathering for the 'official opening' of the Biblioteca.

People start gathering for the 'official opening' of the Biblioteca

By 5pm, people started to arrive and we tried to stay calm. A quick scrub of the bottles while the book shelves were being stacked was all that was left, then we snook off to quickly change and were back as good as new within record time, ready to face the limelight! Speeches, cutting of the ribbon, gifts, drinks and dancing all ensued, bringing the community together in one big party, well on into the night...

Speeches - where Chris is telling Chloe he couldn't have done it without her... hem hem...

Speeches - where Chris is telling Chloe he couldn't have done it without her... hem hem..."

Ed. Well done you guys!

Patrick McCarthy, Pat around the Americas,

"My name is Pat McCarthy (aka Barcelona Pat), and I am travelling by motorcycle solo from Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of Argentina to Alaska.

However, as I head from the developing countries into the more affluent world, I thought it timely to reflect on some of what I have seen and how that relates to my fundraising efforts.

Once I had taken the decision to do the 'Big Trip' I quickly realised that it would be more meaningful if I linked my efforts to some cause. I had two thoughts: the organisation had to be working in each of the countries through which I travel (for obvious reasons); and they had to be helping kids (the reasoning for this is explained in the Day 76 entry on my website). There were not many organisations that met these criteria, and UNICEF was the obvious choice.

I was aware of their work in a general sense through my job, but it was only when I looked more closely into what UNICEF are achieving across the world in support of those most in need did I fully realise how worthy an organisation they are. While a United Nations agency, they are only funded through voluntary donations, but they are very efficient. For example UNICEF UK is able to direct 76% of all donations direct to programme work with children (2009 figure). That's pretty impressive in my book.

I have deliberately not taken photos of young people as I have travelled, emotive as they can be. But the images I have seen will remain with me. Children as young as 5 or 6 years old having to hawk their wares on street corners, instead of having the opportunity to learn and enjoy a true childhood. Cheeky and often cute it is easy to forget as a traveller passing through that they should not be there! I am alive to the economic pressures placed on people in poorer countries - but depriving small children of their rights to education, their rights to gain the tools to achieve their full potential, their rights to better contribute to their own societies as they grow up - is false economy in my book. UNICEF works to ensure that children's rights are protected - as violence against kids is not limited to the developing world. Just have a look at the statistics for the number of children living in poverty in the world's richest countries - eye opening stuff!

This is where UNICEF plays a real role. Because of who they are they are able to affect change at the Governmental level in over 190 countries around the world, ensuring that policies and programmes are put in train that protect these kids, and their right to be children. But they are also able to work at the ground level directly funding projects that changes real lives every day.

In the education field, an area close to my heart, they help build schools, train teachers and buy books so that those without access can learn. But interestingly they view the development of the child in a holistic way. A child's wellbeing is not simply served through access to classes. UNICEF's rights work is essential, so are their health programmes. An estimated 4,000 children die every day from diarrhoea caused by poor sanitation and a lack of safe water. A preventable disease that claims so many is outrageous in the 21st century. Any world traveller who has experienced the 'travellers trots' (as I did in Peru) will have some insight into the problems experienced by these kids on a daily basis.

UNICEF's work in seeking to tackle these problems is truly amazing stuff by anyone's standards - and that is why I chose to link my journey to their work.

I am funding every penny of this trip myself, but I want to eventually match those costs with donations to UNICEF."

Ed. You can support UNICEF's work with children through Patrick's JustGiving site.

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). Follow 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).

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

"After Ethiopia the exotic feel of Africa somehow lost itself. The desert countries of Sudan and Egypt were very different in mentality and environment than all previous places. And pretty developed. The wide open landscapes again making my 'feeling free' experience top of the list of good things.

My accident in Egypt changed a lot and eventually gave me a very special experience, meeting the unconditional charity and hospitality of two families. Said's family in MitGhamr who took care of me bleeding on the roadside and of my little Suzuki and all my stuff during my recovery. Ameen and his family in Ismailia who hosted me for three weeks and helped me so much recovering. Both expecting nothing in return. During that period 'people' became the only topic of my journey.

After Egypt came Turkey and Eastern Europe. The further I travelled through these countries the more efficient life became. Feeling less welcoming to me. Combined with the rainy and cold weather I felt like riding and riding and riding towards Germany and the end of the trip. Rules and regulation began to creep up on me again from Hungary onwards. Things like Vignettes and paid parking. So during the last few days it was the 'riding' of my little Suzuki which I enjoyed most. She's been an awesome bike all along.

The three most impressive and most enjoyable things of this trip in no particular order: people, freedom, riding.

And you guys from the HUBB have been there all along. Travelling with me from your computers. I hope you enjoyed the trip and maybe, hopefully, you got an inspiration or two for your own trip out of this story. Somehow. One day. Believe me, it's an awesome thing to do!"

Ed. note: Read Marco's stories in the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Kurt Nugent, USA, Mexico and the American West, back home, BMW R1200GS,

"Trip is Done! I rode on through the mid-west which, as you know, is a lot of flat, straight riding where 500 mile days are easy.

You see a lot of this in Kansas.

You see a lot of this in Kansas.

While riding through Dodge City a lady talking on her cell phone almost ran me down. I was riding in the right lane of a four lane road and she was pulling out of a veterinarian's parking lot. She was too busy talking on her phone to even check traffic before pulling out into the road. She never looked in my direction. Luckily no one was passing me and I swerved into the left lane. My right pannier missed her front fender by no more than six inches. I leaned on the horn and looked back at her and she just shrugged her shoulders. I really hope that call was important.

About the only stops I made were to get gas.

The next day I made it to Oklahoma. Northern OK is a lot like Kansas. I made it into Muskogee and stayed in the Catalina Motel. The proprietor of this establishment likes motorcyclists. The room was only $35 and was really pretty good.

The next night I stayed somewhere east of Memphis. My GPS decided I should experience the wonders of downtown Memphis during rush hour.

The next day I made it home to an empty house. The frau is away on business in Washington, D.C.

I would like to thank the several thousand bugs that died making this trip possible.

I would like to thank the several thousand bugs that died making this trip possible."

Ed. Kurt will be presenting the highlights of his trip at the HU USA East meeting in North Carolina in September - come and cheer him on!

Greg Powell, Canada, exploring the Americas, back home in Canada, Honda Varadero,

"After spending so many months riding solo it felt very strange to be pulling out onto the road with so many other bikes. When my friend Sean emailed me a few weeks ago about the Hero's Highway ride I told him he could count me in, I would be there rain or shine. I could not think of a better way to spend a Saturday, riding motorcycles, climbing on Military equipment and supporting people who deserve support but don't always get the support they deserve.

Arriving early was a great idea! The Soldiers were very eager to give us a tour and explanation of the equipment they had on display and a Canadian C-130 Hercules made a low flying pass as a thousand motorcycles revved their engines. Talk about creating excitement!

We left in groups of 50, pulling out of Canadian Forces Base in Trenton and heading towards Toronto along the Hero's Highway. Over 1,000 bikers came out to show support for our Canadian Soldiers serving overseas. It did not take long for the groups of 50 bikes to get bunched up, we were riding as a group of several hundred by the time we were only 50 kilometers into our 200 kilometer ride. It felt amazing, we passed under bridges covered in people waving the Canadian Flag and giving us the thumbs up. It was a great show of support all the way to Cherry Beach in Toronto.

Photo: Arrived in Toronto We all arrived at 'The Sound Academy' in Toronto for the closing ceremonies. Some of the speeches were too long, the personal stories of fallen soldiers were too short but the live music was nice and loud. It was also here that I met the lovely and very sweet Theresa Longo – aka; Miss Italia North America 2011 -12, Miss Budweiser Honda Indy 2010, 2012 SUNshine Girl Swimsuit Edition , 2010 SUNshine Girl Calendar (Miss December). I invited her for a ride on my motorcycle; she accepted, I gave her my number and I have been waiting by the phone ever since. She must be busy."

David Bailey, UK, Single ticket to Sarajevo, home again, Aprilia Pegaso,

"There were the white cliffs of Dover. A wonderful welcome home and I really mean that. Home is home, it may not be as wonderful as some of the things that you see, but it is home, and home... well... it's Home!

It had gone from right right right to left left left, but old habits die hard so I reverted to scooteristis and took whatever lane I wanted. Soon I was on the M25 and found the Dartford Tunnel creating a 5 mile traffic jam. It was Friday. I filtered between cars expecting a right who har, but to be honest, I had no problems apart from a transit van driver who tried to kill me by closing up the gap. Well, he might need a new nearside wing mirror, because I hit it pretty hard. Nob.

I got to the toll booth and didn't pay anything again only to find Betty was flashing red and overheating, her fan had not come on and she was about to pop, so a slow build up to speed brought the temperature back down. Any standing in traffic was going to be bad so I guess I had a doctor's note...

The rest of the trip up the M1 and M6 was a nightmare, stop, start standing traffic, roadworks, it was a terrible welcome home. I decided to take the M6 toll road to avoid more traffic around Birmingham, although I was convinced that there should not be so much traffic. Typical English people working late on a Friday Evening. Then I realised I had not put my clock back, therefore, I was in fact in the middle of the rush hour!

The toll road was great apart from a massive thunderstorm that turned it into the M6 toll river. One biker had stopped under a bridge, it was so bad.

Getting off the motorway, I was sup prised by how many people had put out bunting and union jacks to celebrate that I was coming home, especially as it was a bit of a surprise for everyone. I wonder who had told... Saying that, it could have been some other minor event that had happened like some old lady having a job for a very long time being celebrated...

Sharing a tender moment.

Sharing a tender moment...

So I arrived home... How good it was to see everyone again, should I start telling the stories now... No. I was going to enjoy a really big cup of tea that someone else had made, but before I did that, Betty and I had a little 'Valle' moment. It wasn't 'bye bye baby', it was 'Well done Baby'. 'Oh, and I will buy you a new clutch lever'."

Ed. Read Dave's stories in his blog here on Horizons Unlimited!

Graham Holden, UK, RTW, home again temporarily, BMW R100GS PD,

"Well after a month on a cargo boat, which did seem to drag on the last week and England being the hardest country to get into, after four years on the road passing through world, I'm home, but only for a short time before leaving again for Thailand.

So the last month here on home soil has been spent catching up with old friends, selling bikes and parts and preparing my next bike for its trip to Thailand.

Where do I start to thank all the wonderful people I've met along the roads of the world, to me I've seen some wonderful things, from ancient to modern, but nothing comes close to the help, friendship, love and wonderful memories I will carry for the rest of my life of all you fantastic people out there, if you're reading this you know who you are and what a special part I hold in my heart for you. Love Graham!"

up to top of pagespacerHorizons Unlimited presents...

Achievable Dream and Road Heroes DVDs!

Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales, 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). Not to be missed!

Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales - Part 1.

If you've been inspired by the stories you've read in this e-zine and are keen to get on the road yourself, the Achievable Dream is the definitive 'How To' series on long-distance motorcycle travel.

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After selling over 6,000 DVDs, we're pretty confident you'll like them. If you're not completely happy with them, just let us know within 30 days of purchase for a full refund or exchange. And you don't even have to send them back!

If by some chance you've never heard of the Achievable Dream and Road Heroes DVDs, you can see the trailers and read the comments for all the DVDs here.

up to top of pagespacerTraveller's Community News.


New Communities:

We've now reached an amazing 725 Communities in 109 Countries as of July 31, 2012! 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.

Remember that although some HU communities are very small, many others are large and could be more active in getting together for rides (even just to the pub!) or other activities. It's a great way to meet other travellers in your area - who knows, you could meet your next travel partner! All you need is for someone to suggest a place and time, kick it around a bit and make it happen. If there aren't any HU Travellers Meetings in your area, perhaps it's time there was one? A Community could do a Mini-Meeting, (just a get-together in someone's backyard or at a restaurant), or a full meeting! Let us know about it and we'll help promote it :)

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!

To help with the cost of creating and distributing the newsletter and running a huge website, which has been a full time job for Grant for ten years, Susan for 3 years, plus occasional part time assistants, we gratefully accept contributions via PayPal, credit card, and cheque. Members also get additional privileges on the HUBB, such as more PM's, custom avatars, and more photo space.

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

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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 its wonderful people.

See you on the road!

Grant and Susan Johnson

Live the dream! at:

Riding the globe...

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