Motorcycle Travellers' News Report - May 2016, 104th Edition

Are you a TRAVELLER? Are you interested in psychopathic roads in Sumatra, burning season in Thailand, the longest mountain bike ride in the world, turtle encounters in Iran and India, spider and howler monkeys in Mexico, boa and armadillo for lunch, the 'swing at the end of the world' in Ecuador, experiencing the Wave in Utah, land mine camping in Angola... and much more? Then you're reading the right newsletter!

Introduction to this issue.

Welcome to the 104th Edition of the overland travellers' e-zine! Winter has flown by, spring is almost over and we're about to fly off to HU Ontario, HUBB UK and HU Ireland, in quick succession, so we realized we'd better get this e-zine out now!

What have we been doing with ourselves? Firstly, helping our local volunteers to organize almost 20 travellers meetings for 2016 in Europe, North America, Australia, Africa, South America, Asia - in other words, on every continent except Antarctica! Highlights below and all the details on individual events are on the website.

HUMM Canadian Rockies - July 22-24, 2016.

We've spent a lot of time getting organized to expand Horizons Unlimited Mountain Madness events globally! The HUMM is a unique 2 or 3-day, off-road motorcycle orienteering/geo-caching event. Previously in the Spanish Pyrenees and Morocco, we're now planning three events - in the Canadian Rockies of BC in mid-July, the Sierras de Aragón in Spain in mid-October, and the Western Ghats in India in early 2017. We're very gratified by the response - the first of these, HUMM Canadian Rockies, is already sold out with a waiting list, and we will be opening registration for Spain in a couple of weeks. You can register your interest here for Spain or India and we'll notify you first when we open registration! We're also scouting locations in the USA for 2017, so stay tuned!

Horizons Unlimited 2017 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.What else? Well, the photo contest for the HU 2017 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar provided a fantastic crop of pics and a very enjoyable process to select the winners. The final result is awesome - see below! You can order yours at the HU Store now for delivery in July.

We've also started a major upgrade of the website. Due to the size and complexity of the site, this is an expensive proposition but will allow us to add new features, to be unveiled over the next few months. We've been pleased to connect with Rachel Lawson, an awesome Drupal developer who is also a keen motorcycle traveller, to help us on this journey. We'll be seeking suggestions and feedback from yourselves via the HUBB, as we did for the last upgrade and redesign.

Lastly, we've been giving serious thought to our own long-term work/ life/ travel plans. We've been intrigued and inspired by some of our travelling friends, who have managed to avoid the question of 'What happens when the trip ends?' entirely! Some have become permanent travellers, either living on pensions or rental income, or having portable skills to generate income from the road. Others have found the perfect place to retire to (and continue to travel!) while they're still able to enjoy it! Food for thought...

Where are our intrepid travellers this month?

We've got great stories from Thailand, Iran, Sumatra, China, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador, India, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, UK, Argentina, Angola, Kenya, Egypt and the USA!

...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! We try to link to your blog/website if you have one. If you don't have a blog, we can help!

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

Travellers on the Road

Gene and Neda 'Lightcycle', Canada, RTW, in Thailand, Honda CRF 250s

"So exciting! It's been months since we've traveled by motorcycle and we're eager to hit the road again. Hopefully our license plates will be waiting for us in Chiang Mai by the time we've finished the loop, because we want to continue exploring SE Asia after this short trip. Fingers crossed!

So true to form, we're already deviating from the Mae Hong Son loop on our first day. We're going to spend a day at the Mae Ngat Somboon Lake, which is actually a reservoir created by a dam at one end of the river. It's only 70 kms away.

We travel slowly.

... I think most visitors take a taxi or tuk tuk to get here. There's not a lot of parked vehicles down here. We just stick our bikes behind the huts and hope they will still be there when we return. I think I'm being overly paranoid about the security here in Thailand, but it's our first road trip with these motorcycles, so I don't really know what to expect. Neda listens to me clucking on about locking everything up, 'Don't worry so much, it'll be fine!'

Gene and Neda riding down to docks in Thailand.

Riding down to the docks, the soil beneath our wheels is kicking up an orange-red cloud behind us

A private longboat takes us out onto the lake. The coast of the artificial river is sparsely lined by houseboats, floating accommodations that you can stay overnight in and hang out and swim in the lake during the day! The most popular houseboat that was recommended online was fully booked, so Neda just chose another one by random. We're a bit worried because it has no reviews. I guess we'll find out what we signed up for soon!

It's not a perfect blue-sky/clear-water day here on Mae Ngat Somboon Lake. The smoke from burning season has tinged the air just a few shades more opaque and the water in the reservoir almost matches the sky.

Every time we approached a nicer-looking houseboat, I secretly hoped that our longboat would stop in front of it. But, it always passed those nicer ones... :( And then when we approached the decrepit-looking ones, I also hoped the longboat would not stop in front of those... In the end, we ended up docking at what looks to be a middle-of-the-road houseboat. Not run-down, but definitely not as nice as some others along the lake. :( We have to plan ahead a lot earlier the next time we do this!

Gene and Neda finding their perfect houseboat in Thailand.

As the sun sinks below the horizon, we stare at the lights from the houseboats across the lake reflecting off the water. But what really captivates us are the fields on fire on the hills around the lake. Burning season has become much more vivid at night-time. This is what we'll have to ride through in the next few days! Fun times ahead!"

Light show from the houseboat in Thailand.

more »

Ed. See Gene and Neda's posts and great pics on the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Juvena Huang (Wandering Wasp), Singapore, Round the World, in Iran, Vespa,

"It feels really awesome to be back on the road again. I took a ferry to Qeshm Island. First stop was Shib Deraz beach. Bumped into a cycling couple from Switzerland. We camped at the beach to wait for turtles to lay eggs. I was dozing off when the park ranger alerted us about Turtles. An Iranian family next to us drove us to the site.

Every night some two to five turtles will come to the beach to lay eggs. 83 eggs for this one.

Turtle eggs in Iran.

...In the midst of dull grey living quarters of Hormoz, I followed the smatters of vibrant colours on the wall to find this. There is a museum and gallery of Dr. Ahmad Nadalian, an environmental artist whose work can be found all over the world in rivers and nature."

Colourful wall in Bandar, Iran.

more »

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Laura Pattara, Australia, in Sumatra,

"This was never meant to be a gargantuan off-roading adventure. This was meant to be a shortcut. With the added bonus of a change of scenery, perhaps, but a simple shortcut nonetheless.

Leaving our friends heading for Banda Aceh and the lovely island of Weh, Chris and I decided that we were indeed in desperate need of a change of scenery and, even more importantly, some cooler temps. Google insisted there was no road across the volcanic Barisan Mountains which traverse western Sumatra, but rumours told us otherwise. Some evil motorbike overlander even went as far as to write 'totally cool jungle off-road' on one of the maps we came across, and the legendary tales of this elusive road, linking Blangkejeren to the east and Babahrot to the west, started to take momentum.

By the time we turned off westbound in Blangkejeren, we'd surmised the road was 'quite good' in fact, about 135km in length and had parts which 'may or may not be slippery when wet'. This shall now go down in my travel history as the understatement of the flamin' century.

The road started out pleasantly before revealing itself as a psychopath!

I read a BBC article yesterday, about the making of a psychopath. About how difficult it is to profile them because they are so adept at appearing charming, and normal, and friendly. Until they turn evil. Well... this road we took was the epitome of a psychopath. The first 50kms out of Blangkejeren were simply stunning. We rode through a pine forest, saw autumn colours, admired buffalo cooling off in lakes. We were so happy and awestruck we completely let our guards down. But then again, evil hardly ever comes with a warning.

...It's a pity that photos can't quite portray the angle of a road. At least, not whilst you take them lying down.

Steep starts in Sumatra.

As usual, I trailed behind Chris. I find this to be the safest way for me to ride on dirt roads, as while he's busy working out the best route, all I do is follow in his wake. I then only make adjustments if I see him wavering. What I hadn't counted on, was his bike stalling on the steepest part of an insanely gravelly pass. The scene played as if by slow motion. I saw Chris desperately trying to hold his bike upright and stop it from sliding backwards. His brakes just couldn't hold the weight, at that angle, on such slippery rock. The moment he gently laid his bike to the side, I had nowhere else to go. Well... except horizontal, of course.

As I laid off the accelerator to prevent myself crashing into Chris, Pixie stalled too. My brakes? Bloody useless. I then did the most idiotic thing ever. As Pixie started to slide and tilt on the downhill slope (gravity's a bitch), I should have simply hurled myself on the uphill side and let the bike go. But no. That would have been way too smart. Instead, I ingeniously decided to pit my left leg against the gravity-assisted slide of a 280kg heavy bike, thinking I'd have the strength to tilt Pixie the other (and much safer) way. Yes, I'm also still laughing about that.

Laura Pattara bike down in Sumatra.

I heard the 'pop' in my knee almost as soon as I said to myself 'this may not be your brightest moment yet'. The agony was excruciating. I screamed into my helmet and was overcome by nausea, which is never a good sign.

In hindsight, it wasn't a big fall at all. It was just an incredibly unlucky one. The big fall was yet to come. "

more »

Ed. For the rest of this amazing story, check out Laura's blog post.


"Winter 2015 'Shakedown Run' Southern China - very good times once again, really pleasant weather with balmy water for a surf or relaxed swim, skateboarding, solid great mountain and off-road riding, let's not forget outstanding very tasty and well prepared food.

Nothing comes close to that sensation of the tropical wind in your face, the million smells, the sh*t you've gotta dodge -- dogs, goats, buffalo, kids, scooters, trucks, spilled diesel and oil on the best curves, escaping coconuts, man-eating potholes -- I miss it all already... definitely will be back for some more Hainan Island cruising in the future...

The RELAXED WAY HOME from Hainan Island to Shanghai through different provinces with a bike cruising and exploring day at Mao-Town = Shaoshan...

Mao's home in Shaoshan, China.

Mao's home in Shaoshan, China

more »

Ed. Lots of great pix and some yummy sounding food on TBR's thread on the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

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Whether you are a youngster about to enter the rat race, a seasoned soul stuck in the rigmaroles of life, or a young at heart ready to embrace new experiences, we have an adventure for you. Ride dual sport motorcycles (BMW GS OR Triumph Tiger) through some of the toughest but breathtaking terrains in India and other parts of the world.

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Sara and Dan Pedersen, Canada, RTW, in Spain, BMW F650GS,

"Well we are back on the road this week. Flying to Madrid and then traveling about 200 km south to get the bikes out of their winter storage in our friend Modesto's garage. We have some maintenance to do including oil changes, some upgrades to the crash bar hardware, new chains and sprockets, install new headlights and rewire bike lighting, install voltage meters, install new wire harness for the 650, and remove the 'tool tubes'.

We are also headed back to the Schengen Zone. WTF is the Schengen Zone you may ask? Well so did we. I have polled a lot of North Americans and none knew what it was or what the implications are for non-Schengen residents."

Palais Royale on the Plaza Oriente in Madrid, Spain.

Palais Royal on the Plaza Oriente Madrid

more »

Ed. See Sara's valuable explanation of how the Schengen Zone works on their post on the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

HU Events

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 and a roof over our heads! So thanks to everyone who comes!

New in 2016 - 9 Minute Moto Film Festival (9MMFF)

Horizons Unlimited has joined up with Motoexped and We Love Motogeo to bring the 9MMFF (9 Minute Moto Film Festival) to HU meetings worldwide.

Here's how it works: A real story is hiding in the hours of footage you've taken by helmet cam, SLR, or camcorder. We provide an opportunity that motivates you to reveal the story and create a film that's 9-minutes or shorter. Submit it in time and your film could be chosen to share at an HU meeting. Hint: there will also be prizes... The world is a beautiful place. Let's show it off together! Learn more and submit your video at 9MMFF's website.

Meetings and Events, 2016. Mark your calendars and sign up now!

It's shaping up to be an awesome year! Great meetings already in Thailand, Virginia and Germany! Next week we head for Ontario, for the first of 3 in a row, then hop across the Atlantic for HUBB UK and HU Ireland!

Ontario, June 9-12. New! Great New Location - Camp Tamarack! Greg Powell is organizing this event, with able assistance by David Hollinsworth, Liz Jansen, Lorry Gombos, Keith VandenBeukel, Bill Hooykaas, and a lot of volunteers. Online registration closes soon!

HUBB UK is back! June 16-19 at Baskerville Hall in Wales! We're super excited to be back in the UK at a new venue, with a new team, and featuring heaps of new presentations, workshops, discussions and exhibitors to inspire, inform and connect overland adventure travellers. If you haven't looked recently, check out the HUBB UK event page (click on the presenters name for all the details)! From old favourites like Danny and Fil's Road Kill Cookout to new features like the 9MMFF, there's literally something for everyone! For a taster, check out the HUBB UK trailer!

Baskerville Hall, UK.

Heaps of exhibitors are already confirmed for 2016, including REV'IT, Touratech, James Cargo, Rally-Raid, MotoFreight, RTW Moto Tours, The Overlander, Stahlkoffer Panniers, Kaapstad Motorcycle Tours, Globe Busters, Expedition Equipment, Moto Explorers, TravelDri Plus, Code AV and others.

BUT all that just wasn't enough, so we're adding off-road skills training for HUBB UK registrants and a wee prize challenge on the Saturday afternoon! We're delighted that Ramey 'Coach' Stroud, Lee Walters, and David (Knighter) Knight will be there to help you improve your off-road riding skills! Online registration is closing soon, so don't miss out!

Ireland - June 24-26. We're back in Enniskillen, what a fantastic venue and the friendliest people you will ever meet! "The food was delicious (without a doubt the best I ever had at a rally or meet up), the entertainment fabulous and the presentations mind-blowing!" Liam, Naomi, Jochen and the team already have a bunch of great presenters lined up. We'll be there, hope to see you there! Online registration is open now!

Colorado - July 15-17. Grant, Colorado. Chris Kelly is hosting this Campfire and Ride Adventure Weekend, assisted by Bones Engelmann, John Nelson and Fritz Sampson. Plan to RIDE! Online registration is open now!

New! HUMM Canadian Rockies, July 22-24. Trent Schumann and Daan Stehouwer of Wanduro are our Event Partners for this event - they rode the trails to find the best spots. We are sold out for this event - Waiting list in case of cancellations is open now!

Canada West, August 25-28. Nakusp, BC. Super riding in the area and very friendly town. Kevan and Karen Ibbotson, Mark and Leslie Kuzminski are hosting this event, since Ekke Kok and Audrey Allenspach-Kok are off travelling for the year! We'll be there! Online registration is open now, early bird rates until June 30!

Montenegro - August 25-28. Eko katun Vranjak on Bjelasica Mountain, in the Biogradska Gora National Park near Kolasin. NOTE the later date - expecting warmer weather! Blazo Milic and Tonko Nisavic will be hosting the 4th HU Montenegro event, and already have some great presentations, a First Aid course, technical sessions and some great rides planned! Online registration is open now!

France, September 9-11. Camping Les Hirondelles, Al'Pech, Loupiac. John Whyman (Pongo) is organizing this 4th HU event in France. Ted Simon will be there, launching the new edition of Les Voyages de Jupiter! Online registration is open now!

HU France 2015 Rocamadour, France.

Australia WA - Perth, September 16-18. Fairbridge Village, WA. NOTE the earlier dates! Jaye Edwards is the local host for this event, supported by Xander and Tam Kabat, John Lizamore, Jenny Engwirda, Suze Trappitt and heaps of volunteers. Online registration is open now!

California, September 22-25. Great location - Yosemite! Lots of camping space, several large presentation rooms, and a very friendly town! Flip Morton, Nicole Espinosa, Craig Haggart, Allen Barnes and Bill Miner are the local hosts. Online registration is open now, early bird rates until June 30!

North Carolina, Oct 6-9, 2016. Stecoah, NC. Perfect time of year! Southern hospitality provided by Mike Kilpatrick, assisted by Steve Anderson, John and Charlene and the team at Ironhorse Motorcycle Lodge. Great riding in the Tail of the Dragon, Cherohala Skyway and Blue Ridge Parkway. Online registration is open now!

New! HUMM Sierras de España, Aragón, Oct 17-20. La Trufa Negra, Mora de Rubielos, Teruel, Spain. Horizons Unlimited Mountain Madness (HUMM) is an off-road, competitive, motorcycle navigation challenge for teams of 2-4 bikes, and the most fun you can have on two wheels ;-) Simon Rice of The Spanish Biker is our Event Partner. Mark your calendars now, online registration with early bird rates will be open soon!

What's a HUMM, you say? Check out the HUMM event trailer!

HUMM Trailer 2016.

Thanks to Trent Schumann, Daan Stehouwer, Patrick Trahan, David Hodgson, & Ashley Moule for video clips!

South Africa, Nov 3-6, near Potchefstroom. Kobus Fourie is again hosting this event at his fabulous Elgro River game lodge and conference centre, with help from his lovely daughter Claudine Kidson. Ever wanted to ride your bike in a game park? Here's your chance! Registration is open now!

Elgro River Lodge, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Aus Snowy Mountains, Nov 18-20. New! Jindabyne, NSW. We're very pleased to announce the first Horizons Unlimited Snowy Mountain Travellers Meeting! We've been searching for a venue in the southeast to attract adventure travellers from NSW and VIC (plus the ACT!) We spent a week checking out locations last year, and Jindabyne ticks all the boxes! Our organizing team hails from both sides of the line and even WA! Veteran travellers Brian Rix, Shirley Hardy-Rix, Pamela & Dave Hyde, Bryce Tobias and Tony Pollard have stepped up to the challenge, and we're VERY grateful to them all! Registration is open now!

Argentina - Dec 3-4. To all travelling friends who are planning to go to Ushuaia this year, Oscar Knecht will again be hosting a Horizons Unlimited mini-meeting in Balneario El Cóndor. Los Trentinos campground, del Balneario El Cóndor, Argentina.

More details on Bulgaria and Haggs Bank as we have them!


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

Had a great trip? Got good stories and pics of it? Never presented before? Tips for putting on a successful Travel Slide Show!

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.

Exhibitors sign up here to join us at a Meeting.

See the Events page for more details on all events.

Hope to see you there! Grin!

Grant and Susan

Steve and Janette Douglas, UK, RTW, still in Mexico, Triumph Tiger 800,

"...The Mayan site of Uxmal, pronounced "ooshmal", is about 18 miles from Santa Elena and the first thing you notice about the roads is just how good they are. There is a network of roads on the peninsula specially designed to waft visiting tourists in their air conditioned coaches effortlessly between one Mayan attraction and the next. With this in mind we got to the site early before the many tourist buses started to arrive from about 10:00 onwards. It's amazing just how little time some people spend at these places. Watching them slavishly follow their tour leader as they are led round in less than 1 hour is a real eye opener and I'm not sure if anyone on these tours really appreciates what they see, or probably don't see!

Uxmal Mayan site, Mexico.

With the luxury of time we were able to enjoy the site for the whole day, taking it all in, having a break at the peak visitor time and resuming our exploration once most people had been bussed onto their next whirlwind stop. We really liked Uxmal.

...After the excitement in Tulum we decided it was time to track down a nice beach which took us to the sea side town of Mahahual. Many travelers we'd spoken to raved about this place but we just didn't get it. It's a sleepy but not particularly attractive place with a very narrow, mostly sea weed afflicted beach. The peace and tranquility however is shattered when cruise ships, which dock a short taxi ride away from the town, arrive and hordes of visitors descend on the place. We stayed a couple of nights and moved on.

I have to say that Bacalar was one of my favourite places in this part of Mexico. Bacalar is both the name of a pretty nondescript town but also the name of a beautiful lagoon. Finally managing to find a place next to the lagoon that was in budget we settled in and really enjoyed our few days here including camping in the grounds of the hotel once it became clear that the room we were occupying was already booked! Still, it was nice to break out the camping stuff next to the lagoon.

Steve Douglas exfoliating with mud in Bacalar Lagoon, Mexico.

Exfoliating with the mud in Bacalar Lagoon

From Bacalar to Xpujil is about 140 miles. As is the case with much of this part of the world the riding is not too interesting. The landscape is flat and the roads are, for the most part, dead straight. Xpujil would be our jumping off point for a visit to another Mayan site, this time at Calakmul. Xpujil would also mark our 18 months on the road anniversary, has it really been that long?

Jungle and sky from Calakul pyramid, Mexico.
Jungle and sky from Calakmul pyramid

We really enjoyed Calakmul. There are few visitors and the site itself is about 40 miles from the main road. Riding through the jungle to the site is a delight and leaving early in the morning meant that we were able to see some of the wildlife here. There are a couple of tall pyramids which poke their way through the jungle canopy affording an amazing view over the surrounding jungle. For as far as the eye can see, and 360 degrees around, there's nothing to see but jungle. Spider and howler monkeys are also numerous here and with some of the vantage points from the ruins being at jungle canopy height we get a great view of them."

more »

Ed. They do say time flies when you're having fun, Steve and Janette are good examples!

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Ride in Tours is a motorcycle tours and rental company in France, we offer Guided or self-guided tours as well as rental and sell and buyback.

Ride in Tours is a motorcycle tours and rental company in France, we offer Guided or self-guided tours as well as rental and sell and buyback.

Sylvana & Felipe, in Nicaragua, 2-up on a Suzuki DL1000,

"Nicaragua gave us a special welcome with sky and rainbow.

Felipe and Sylvana, rainbow in Nicaragua.

Heading south, we detour to Lake Nicaragua to explore the beautiful Ometepe Island which hides many adventures, sunsets and unique places. Then we finish the route through this beautiful country with a stay in a quiet and recommended Playa Marsella.

Felipe and Sylvana finding wildlife in Playa Marsella, Nicaragua.

Before crossing to Ometepe, we met its two volcanoes.

Felipe and Sylvana, Ometepe volcanos, Nicaragua.

The following route through Nicaragua remained one of the most beautiful in Central America. We felt very safe adventuring on its cobblestone roads, meeting friendly people and policemen who gave us a wave in farewell.

First stop, Restaurant Antojitos del Desierto. Recommended by our friends in El Salvador. He who dares to experiment with meat, this is your place... we ate boa and armadillo."

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Ed. Yummy! See more on their blog!

Hubert Kriegel, France, RTW, finds sea turtles in Agonda, India

"Just in front of our bungalow on Agonda Beach, a sea turtle laid her eggs the day before we arrived.

Sea turtle fence in Agonda, India.

Sea turtle fence

Last Tuesday another turtle came early in the morning to lay her eggs. She went back at sea, rudely ignoring all request for selfies. The 'Olive Ridley' turtle is a sea marine reptile who loves the open ocean. The shell is about two feet long, and it can weigh up to 100 lbs. It is an omnivore; her favorite food are jellyfish, snails, crabs, and shrimp. The females migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles every year, and return to the beaches where they were born.

Sea turtle in India.

After she left, the forest department crew checked with a stick to locate the eggs under the sharp criticism of the locals... They are relocated in front of the hut where the turtle crew camps for the season. After 50 days they hatch. They were very adamant to go out to sea. When released they knew exactly where to go. They all crawled to the sea as fast as they could, resting a few seconds every few feet. The closer they were to the water, the faster they got going. When in the water, they were gone in seconds."

Turtle babies heading to the sea.

more »

Ed. Hubert has been on the road for more than 10 years, producing many 1000s of fantastic pics on the way!

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Peter and Leonie, Amsterdam to Anywhere, in Bolivia and Chile,

"we rode the 'Lagunas Route', a multi-day trip through rugged terrain between Uyuni in Bolivia and San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. For us it was the most beautiful long distance off-road trail we rode in South America. It was a definite highlight of our trip!

The roads in the area are not signposted, so we will have to rely on the GPS and the tracks in the sand. Based on information from other travelers, we put different routes in the GPS and make waypoints for places to sleep. Along the way, we will not be able to buy fuel, so we have to bring enough for the whole route. We fill the jerry cans and tie two water bottles filled with fuel on each motorbike. A total of 25 liters, which should be enough. We can take 18 liters of water, which we use for drinking, cooking and brushing our teeth. That is not enough for four days, but if the information is correct we can buy some more on the route.

The motorbikes are now quite heavy because of the extra fuel and water. That will not make riding in the sand any easier. To prevent putting even more weight on the bikes, we cut down on the food we take. We only take nutritious food that does not weigh too much and is quick to prepare: oatmeal, tacos, boiled eggs, peanuts, noodle soup, pasta and packets of soup that can serve as a pasta sauce... It will be no culinary delights, but it is certainly enough to feed us for a few days.

Here comes the cloud on the Lagunas Route between Bolivia and Chile.

Here comes the... cloud!

At the top of the hill, we are at the level where we just saw the clouds. From the valley a huge cloud comes floating towards us and moments later everything is gray. We are riding just underneath the cloud, it's like someone just closed the cover over our heads. We turn left onto a gravel road and say goodbye to the asphalt. The next 400 km we will ride on gravel roads and dirt tracks. To have some more grip on the soft surfaces we let some air out of the tires, and continue in the direction of the border."

more »

Ed. Lots more wonderful photos on Peter and Leonie's site.

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Classic Bike India - Guided Motorcycle Adventure Tours To Ladakh - Sri Lanka - Bhutan - Rajasthan - Nepal - Thailand - Tibet - Goa & South India.

Guided Motorcycle Adventure Tours To
Ladakh - Sri Lanka - Bhutan - Rajasthan - Nepal - Thailand - Tibet - Goa & South India

Tolga Basol, Ride Must Go On, in Peru,

"Most adventure bike owners love to ride to a Starbucks on a sunny weekend. As Duncan and I were riding south to Lima through mountains, we also wanted to find a Starbucks but we ended up making our own at the campsite. Some of the sections were paved recently, but we managed to find some good dirt tracks along the way. Please watch in HD."

Tolga Basol in Peru.

It took some time to get here, but the scenery was worth it. Should be around 4700 metres.

more »

Ed. Tolga took the cover photo for the Horizons Unlimited 2017 calendar! Get yours here!

Lisa Morris and Jason Spafford, UK, Argentina to Alaska, in USA, BMW F650GS and F800GS,

"In spite of my hot irritation of wrongly assuming we wouldn't need our heated clothing by late March in the southern states, a sudden need to shiver settled in my flesh. The bracing air probed my riding gear with such icy fingers, I couldn't help shivering shortly into the 75-mile motorcycle ride from Page in northern Arizona to Kanab, just north of the state line into Utah. Riding the last ten was no easy task with fingers beginning to stiffen like clubs from the cold.

Lisa Morris at sandstone cliffs in Arizona.

Situated on the Colorado Plateau, the Wave is a series of sandstone buttes, which sit at the bottom of Utah's Grand Staircase, Escalante National Monument and the upper section of Arizona's Paria Canyon—part of the Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness area. Scores of travelers gravitate from all over the globe with an unyielding desire of experiencing the Wave. Although obtaining a permit is on a par to winning a Willy Wonka ticket. We just happened to get monumentally lucky.

Famed for its gallery of implausibly twisted sandstone resembling: uncannily American pancake stacks, deformed pillars, textbook-perfect cones, domed mushrooms and other unfathomable creations. As part of the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone, the Wave is notorious for a handful of fatalities each year. People often undertake the hike in summer armed with sunglasses and a litre or less of water—get caught royally unawares, heinously lost and succumb to dehydration. Around a gallon per person: check."

more »

Ed. Jason has a great pic in the Horizons Unlimited 2017 Calendar, shipping soon!
Photo Contest

2017 HU Calendar Winners have been selected! Order yours NOW!

The 12th Annual Contest is open for the 2018 Calendar! Check out this years fantastic prizes from Touratech!

The Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Adventure Travel photo contest is an annual event for travellers to showcase their best photographs from their travels around the world. The next Calendar contest is on now - enter to win!

Photo of Duncan Cartwright by Tolga Basol (Turkey) - Punta Olimpica, Peru - Checking the gorgeous view during the Ride Must Go On RTW, 2015 - Triumph Tiger 800.

Grand Prize 2016 Winner (for 2017 Calendar) (and Cover) - by Tolga Basol (Turkey); Photo of Duncan Cartwright - Punta Olimpica, Peru - Checking the gorgeous view during the Ride Must Go On RTW, 2015 - Triumph Tiger 800. Tolga wins a Touratech Suspension!

Photo of Lisa Morris and "Pearl" by Jason Spafford (United Kingdom) - Cordillera Blanca, Peru - 2015 Antarctica to the Arctic trip - BMW F650GS.

Second Prize Winner - by Jason Spafford (United Kingdom), Two Wheeled Nomad; Photo of Lisa Morris and 'Pearl' in Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Jason wins the Touratech Companero suit!

Other Winners for the 2017 Adventure Travel Calendar
(Free calendar plus HU Gold Membership, and

share in the 2017 calendar profits)

Photo by Moritz Alexy (Germany) - Riding the sandy Lagunas route from Chile to Bolivia on his RTW tour - 2001 Honda Transalp.

Photo by Moritz Alexy (Germany),; A fork in the road... choices. The road less traveled? Riding the sandy Lagunas route from Chile to Bolivia on his RTW tour

Photo by Helmut Koch (Germany) of himself and Bea Höbenreich - Laguna Negra, Uruguay - On our 2015 RTW trip - 1989 and 1993 Honda Transalp.

Photo by Helmut Koch (Germany),; of himself and Bea Höbenreich - Laguna Negra, Uruguay

Photo of Hubert Kriegel by Behzad Larry (India) -  Just south of Leh in the Himalayas, India, during the summer 2015 - Ural sidecar.

Photo of Hubert Kriegel (France) by Behzad Larry (India); on the Timeless Ride just south of Leh in the Himalayas, India

Photo by Dylan Samarawickrama (Switzerland) of his raft, The Courage of Bridget - Anchored in Brujas, Panama, during a RTW 2010-2013 - BMW 1150 ADV.

Photo by Dylan Samarawickrama (Switzerland),; of his 'boatercycle', anchored in Brujas, Panama

Photo by Daniel Rintz (Germany) of himself from a tripod - Near the Rocktree in the desert of south Bolivia - Riding by a friend's Ténéré on our RTW tour in 2015. BMW R1200GS and Yamaha Ténéré 660.

Photo by Daniel Rintz (Germany),; near the Rocktree in the desert of south Bolivia

Photo by Mihai Barbu (Romania) - Sedlo Pass, Durmitor National Park, Montenegro - Our 2014 Ural Ranger and us, resting on a bench during our family trip in 2015.

Photo by Mihai Barbu (Romania) of the family and their Ural Ranger at Sedlo Pass, Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

Photo of Ulrike and Stephan by Stephan Hahnel (Germany) - Riding next to the Laguna Parón in Peru in 2015 on two Yamaha Ténéré XT660Z.

Photo by Stephan Hahnel (Germany),; of Ulrike and Stephan riding next to the Laguna Parón in Peru

Photo of Alexander taken by Alexander Conrad (Germany) - Hyder, Alaska - Crossing a flooded dirt road on his 2003 BMW F650GS Dakar.

Photo by Alexander Conrad (Germany); Crossing a flooded dirt road in Hyder, Alaska-

Photo by David Denis (Belgium) - Antofagasta Region, Chile - "La Mano del Desierto" under the Milky Way - 2015-2016 Trans-American adventure - 1997 Honda Africa Twin.

Photo by David Denis (Belgium); "La Mano del Desierto" under the Milky Way, Antofagasta Region, Chile

Photo by Marianne De Leeuw (Belgium) -   Another great day in North East India, Sikkim - KTM 950 Adventure.

Photo by Marianne De Leeuw (Belgium); Another great day in North East India, Sikkim

Photo by Rohit Upadhyay (India) - Riding at 14,200 feet returning from Kibber village in Himachal Pradesh, India - 2013 KTM Duke 390.

Photo by Rohit Upadhyay (India),; Riding at 14,200 feet returning from Kibber village in Himachal Pradesh, India


We want to thank Touratech for their very generous contributions, and we hope you'll check them out - they're good people to deal with!

Grand Prize is a Touratech Compañero Worldwide riding suit, in mens or womens, in a wide range of sizes and fits, shipped anywhere in the world! We now have these ourselves, and they are great suits! You'd love to have one for your next trip.

Companero Worldwide suit, also available in Black/greyCompanero Worldwide Womens suit, also available in Black/grey
Click to see a bigger picture, or for more information: mens or womens.

Second prize is a Touratech Suspension.

  • Made for adventure and touring bikes
  • Built for hard use and heavy loads
  • Supplied with special Touratech setup for each respective motorbike
  • Top performance on and offroad
  • Highest quality materials for long life
  • Uniquely solid Touratech hydraulic spring preload with 50% greater adjustment range
  • For weekend trips, riding with a passenger and/or a long tour with lots of luggage
  • Precise, high-performance damping even with very high damping frequency (bad roads, dirt tracks)
  • Maximum ride dynamics for total enjoyment
  • Unique Touratech suspension setup for your motorbike
  • Enhanced ride comfort and more sensitive response than standard suspension
  • Touratech Suspension also has suspension components for long-distance and extreme riding
  • Touratech Suspension shocks are fully serviceable for a long lifespan

ALSO: The best 13 photos will be used in the calendar, and those photographers will share in the proceeds. All Winners will also get a free calendar, and 1 year Gold Member status on the HUBB! Your photos could also be in an HU DVD or on the website!

Previous Photo Contests Winners:

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014/5

The winning photos go into the HU Calendar, and the calendars have proved to be very popular too! Photos from previous years will continue to be available in 2013 and beyond calendars from CafePress (print on demand in small or large sizes) in case you really like the photos from a particular year.

Paul Nomad, Australia, in the UK,

"Nine generations ago in 1788 my ancestor was unceremoniously dumped on a far flung island called Australia as a convict.

We're BACK!

I've loved my first few days in London with my wonderful adventure rider friends Jim and Caroline Carver. I'm adjusting to the chilly weather by wearing ALL my clothes at once.
It's taking a little getting used to. There are no holes in the streets or footpaths, people are incredibly polite and friendly, give way to me with their cars (which also don't choke me with fumes), don't push in front of me in lines, speak to me in English (of a sort hehe).
There are no piles of rubbish, no skinny dogs wandering the streets, safety barriers around building works and road works, no hanging live power wires, no sewage leaking onto the street, and recycling exists.

Paul Nomad's pic of his Coffee Break in Lençois Maranhenses, Brazil was a Horizons Unlimited 2017 Calendar finalist.

On a coffee break in Brazil

There are food choices from across the globe, magnificent buildings dating back hundreds of years nestled in modern sculptures of glass and steel, theatres, museums and castles to rediscover arts and culture.

Paul Nomad in chilly London.

I've loved my two years in Latin America and I'll return in a heartbeat. In the meantime thank you London for welcoming back to the western world. I can't wait to see a concert!"

more »

Ed. But those warm Brazilian days...

Ivana Colokovska, in Baja California,

"... the only problem for now in Baja California, it seems, is that it will be hard to decide in which of the many amazing places that we put our tent. The Baja is one of those places to reconnect with nature, sunrises and sunsets, yoga, and millions of stars to accompany us in the fire. It doesn't matter that we have only instant soup for tonight.

Life's a beach for Ivana Colokovska!

...the route in Baja California brings us every day new friends coming down from the north, and all with the same news, escape from the cold which is always harder to take. So we have to use the chance of the warm turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortes and give ourselves a last farewell swim."

more »

Ed. Life's a beach!

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Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Extreme Bike Tours. Thanks!

Extreme Bike Tours India, Raasthan, Bhutan

Extreme Bike Tours - India, Rajasthan, Bhutan

Shannon and Mike Mills, USA, Round the World, in Argentina,

"A Sunday ride north of Bariloche, Argentina was deliciously slow paced, warm, and an utterly satisfying way to spend a lazy afternoon. Since entering Patagonia, we slow down or stop at every bridge to look for trout. None spotted here in Lago Nahuel Huapi but a worthy stop nonetheless.

Lago Nahuel Huapi, Argentina. Trees with sweaters, Patagonia.
Even the trees need sweaters in Patagonia.

more »

Ed. See the rest of the story at Mike and Shannon's blog.

Pat Garrod, in Africa,

"Camping has to be one of the greatest joys of motorcycle overlanding and essential for those of us on a budget, which let's face it, is pretty much all of us, except of course for the Dynamic Duo film stars! And one of the best things about riding around the entire world is that you get to camp just about everywhere. In much of Africa bush-camping is free, but in heavily populated countries like India it can be virtually impossible.

Pat Garrod camping in Africa.

Here in this photo, in heavily mined Angola where you dare not venture off the roads even to pee, we have set up camp in a village with the chief's permission. You just have to realise that you become the entertainment for the evening. The friendly villagers set up their seats and stared, fascinated by our every move, and there they remained through to the morning, even the Chief who was blind!

Don't ever set off without that tent, unless of course you want to restrict yourself to a tiny percentage of the Earth's surface with all its accommodation options."

more »

Ed. Great book by Pat Garrod, see below!
BEARBACK, The world overland, by Pat Garrod.

BEARBACK, The world overland
by Pat Garrod

Two doctors, one motorcycle and a remarkable four year journey around the world.

'We've all dreamed about it - quitting the job, packing up the house, and hitting the road for the adventure of a lifetime. Few do it, and even fewer do it as well as Pat Garrod.' Travel Africa

'An inspired travelogue.' National Geographic Traveller

'Belts along at a cracking pace.' RIDE

'I didn't want this enthralling book to end. If you only read one travelogue this year, make it this one.' Real Travel

2nd edition now available in paperback and hardback. Get it here.

Gail Baillargeon, USA, to wherever, in Kenya, BMW R1200GSA,

"It's time to say kwaheri, goodbye, to Kenya and to this part of Africa. Tomorrow I catch a flight to Spain, the moto is departing today and will meet me in Madrid. Africa's been a great adventure along with meeting lots of good people and making many great friends.

Gail Baillargeon at the equator in Kenya.

Gail Baillargeon's giraffe pic in Kenya.

I'm excited about moving on though and hopefully I'll be back in the saddle in a few days."

more »

Ed. See more great pics on Gail's blog here on Horizons Unlimited!

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
Please be sure to tell Laurent Bendel how you heard about his L'Aventure A Moto book. Thanks!

One of many great pics from Laurent Bendel's L'Aventure A Moto book.

One of many great pics from Laurent Bendel's L'Aventure A Moto book! Book available in French only.

Martin, Away on my Bike, in Egypt,

"Unfortunately my self-congratulations of last week on a successful border crossing into Egypt proved a little premature - an email from the shipping agent I'm to use to get the bike out of Egypt and back to Europe told me I'd failed to get an important piece of paper at one of the towns near the border and without it the bike won't be leaving. The easiest solution was go back and get it, so one thousand kilometres later...

No traffic fines!

... I had the above. Only a very creative bureaucracy could dream up a system where you need to get a piece of paper saying you've got no outstanding traffic fines from the Traffic Court closest to your place of entry, before allowing you to drive the length of the country to your port of departure. Bizarre.

I was advised by the shipping agent that before my bike could leave Egypt I would need to obtain a certificate showing no outstanding traffic fines are due.

Egyptian bureaucratic logic says that if you enter from the south (i.e. Sudan) this can only be issued by the Aswan Traffic Court despite the fact this is at the opposite end of the country to where I was planning to leave from (Alexandria).

As a further complication it is only valid for 15 days - the bike must enter the port boundaries within this time or you need a new certificate.

If you are shipping within the 15 days after you pass through Aswan you can get it yourself , if not I was told you have to use a fixer to get it and then courier it north (no doubt at significant cost - sorry I have no more info on this).

Getting it yourself in Aswan is relatively easy and is cheap - the certificate costs 10EGP (just over a dollar). The process is:

1) Get one photocopy each of your passport and the A5 card Arabic Registration document they gave you when you crossed the border.
2) Take these, plus the originals to the Traffic Court which is located at N24.06195 E032.88609. This is a nondescript set of rooms on the ground floor of a white painted apartment building (it does not look anything like the normal European idea of a court building). Look for the small white sign showing a small "scales of justice" (see the photo) to confirm you are at the right place.

Traffic court in Egypt.

Aswan - Getting certificate showing "No traffic fines"

3) Go to the rear of the building and you will find 4 small service windows, go to them and explain you want the certificate showing no fines due. Hand over the photocopies (which will be checked against the originals so have these with you) and 10EGP.

4) Come back 1 - 2 hour later and collect certificate. Note the court closes at 2pm so make sure you get there at a reasonable time in the morning if you want the certificate the same day.

Hope this is of help."

more »

Ed. Posted on the HUBB where it jogged Chris's memory of the same process way back in 1999. Things move slowly in bureaucracies!

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

Motocare Motorcycle Rental.  Motorcycle Rental, hiring Honda's Transalp for touring Argentina and Chile.

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

Michelle Lamphere, USA (Sturgis Chick), getting ready for the Great Divide Ride

"Different from the Continental Divide Ride…is the longest mountain bike ride in the world, at nearly 2800 miles, running from Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

The route follows, as close as practicable, the Continental Divide while crossing it 30 times. It's mostly made up of unpaved roads and trails. And it's a bucket list ride for a lot of riders.

Mountainous hillside on the Great Divide Ride.

Molly messaged me a couple of years ago about putting together a small ride (as in number of riders) on the Continental Divide some autumn and I was honored she offered the chance for me to tag along. I knew the autumn of 2014 wouldn't work because Brian and I were still traveling. And last autumn didn't work since I had some other things lined up... like Horizons Unlimited, etc. maybe the third times the charm, because this autumn will be the third since Molly mentioned the idea (where does the time go?) and we are going to try and make it happen this year.

While I won't be able to do the whole ride, what with my job and all, at least I hope to tag along for a couple of weeks. So now begins the planning…what bike? Which maps? What gear? What to pack? What to wear (kidding... well, sort of)?
Eeks! Exciting!"

more »

Ed. Go for it, Michelle. We'll expect to hear the stories and see the pics at an HU Meeting eventually!
HU Presents...

Achievable Dream and Road Heroes DVDs!

Summer Special! What are you waiting for - Get On the Road with your own adventure! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until July 31 only. Get On the Road for your own adventure - our veteran travellers share everything you need to know!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. You'll get the advice you need to help you cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock and deal with the 'stuff' that happens such as breakdowns and emergencies. It also covers how to get the bike across oceans or war zones - shipping and the alternatives - air, sea, rent, swap, buy, organised tours. "An ideal present for any would-be bike traveller!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Achievable Dream

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.

This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series: "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.

The Achievable Dream Series - the Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide!

The series features interviews with veteran travellers, such as Ted Simon, Austin Vince, Greg Frazier, Lois book., Chris and Erin Ratay, Peter and Kay Forwood, Tiffany Coates, Sam Manicom, and many others. Over 150 contributors from all over the world tell their fantastic and entertaining stories, sharing their hard-earned knowledge from amazing motorcycle trips to every country on earth. Includes thousands of great photos, video clips, presentations and demos by experts.

Achievable Dream Collectors Box Set - 5 Motorcycle Adventure Travel DVDs!The series was filmed in broadcast quality wide screen, with multiple cameras and custom written music. Filming took place at Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers meetings and on location in the USA, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Spain, Germany and the South Pacific.

The 'Collectors Box Set' is also available - all 5 DVDs (18 hours of informative and entertaining content!) in a custom box for only $99). "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."

Road Heroes

Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales - Part 1.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!

We've sold thousands of these DVDs, so 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.

Matthew (Poodle) and Megan Snyman, Great American Trek, in Ecuador,

"Baños is a small, tourist town in a lush valley, complete with hot-springs and famous for its hand-made taffy. Baños was first established after a vision of the Virgin Mary was seen at its main waterfall, so it was primarily a religious site. Up to this point, we had been told by every backpacker we met, that we had to visit Baños. Not having learnt our lesson yet (we are slow learners) we listened, and got ourselves appropriately excited. What we were met with, was a heavily touristy town, with gringo-style fast food restaurants, a million tour companies, and locals trying invasively and forcefully to sell you some or other form of crap on every corner. All authenticity has been lost, and the mighty dollar has taken over.

Hostel parking in Banos, Ecuador.

But it's not all bad. If I stop being a grumpy old arse for 10min, I remember the great craft beer, pulled pork sandwiches and fantastic hot chocolate and chocolate slabs for which Ecuador is so famous. We also had a nice little day ride up to the 'swing at the end of the world' through curvy cobbled streets we climbed up to the swing, where you swing out over the clouds and the void whilst marveling at the gigantic volcano staring back at you from across the valley. There are highlights to the touristy stuff sometimes, no matter how much I complain."

Matthew Snyman swinging at the end of the world, Ecuador.

more »

Ed. More great stories and pics, plus useful info on Matthew and Megan's blog!

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Buenos Aires Caracas Moto Tours. Thanks!

Discover Argentina as only a local guide can show you. Since 2004 offering tours, rentals and customizable tours for groups.

"Come discover Argentina and South America with me. A pioneer in moto tourism in Argentina since 2004, I organize and guide my tours to show you the wonderful places of our region. You will get to know the history, gastronomy and culture of Argentina as only a local guide can show it to you. Always the same standards of quality as the big motorcycle tour companies of the world, but with personalized attention in order to make your trip an experience of a life time. I also offer the most reliable bikes for rental so you can do your own tour. BMW's provided by the BMW Motorrad Official partner for Argentina."

Frank Voellm, Germany, in Cambodia,

"13 years between the photos. Good to see that the old trees are still there and the walls haven't crumbled further."

Frank Voellm in Cambodia.

Frank Voellm in Cambodia.

more »

Ed. Frank is a prolific blogger and photographer on Facebook!
Become an HU Member

Become a Horizons Unlimited Contributing Member or Gold Member!

To help with the cost of creating and distributing the newsletter and running and maintaining a huge website and forum, which has been a full time job for Grant for over ten years, Susan for over 5 years, plus occasional part time assistants, we gratefully accept contributions via PayPal, credit card, and cheque.

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!

Become an HU Contributing Member!

Cheque (or check ;-)

$20 Contributing Membership Payment:
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Your choice of amount Payment:

All contributions will be acknowledged and appreciated.

Please Support our Advertisers

Our advertisers and sponsors help us to make the website and e-zine available to you. We hope you'll check out their products and services and if you plan to buy these products, 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.

More ways to support your favourite website!

Thanks, Grant and Susan

Support Horizons Unlimited - check out the HU Store for DVD's, map stickers, calendars, t-shirts and more!

Road Heroes - Part 1. Baby doll T-shirt - front.

2016 Horizons Unlimited Calendar.

2017 Calendars shipping soon - pre-order yours now!

Pannier map.

Muchas Gracias! Grant and Susan

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Touratech - Touring Rallye Racing Equipment.


Looking for a travel book for someone special?

Here's a few of our favorite picks! Check out our Books pages, where we have listed hundreds of the best motorcycle travel books, as well as overland travel stories, BMW 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 HU.

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!

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

Down and Out in Patagonia, Kamchatka and Timbuktu.

Down and Out in Patagonia, Kamchatka, and Timbuktu
by Greg Frazier

A little over 40 years ago, a man named Gregory W. Frazier got on his motorcycle, went for a ride, and never returned. He's still out there, circumnavigating the globe: exploring the jungles of Asia in the winter, trout fishing in Alaska in the summer, and covering all points in between during the rest of the year. He's been shot at by rebels, jailed by unfriendly authorities, bitten by snakes, run over by Pamplona bulls, and smitten by a product of Adam's rib. He's circled the globe five times and has covered well over one million miles (and counting).

Circle to Circle, by Shirley Hardy-Rix and Brian Rix.

Circle to Circle - a journey through the Americas and beyond
by Shirley Hardy-Rix

Brian and Shirley rode from the Antarctic Circle to the Arctic Circle, over 5,000 metre mountain ranges, through snow and ice, through deserts and tropics, enduring altitude sickness and a near catastrophic breakdown in the heart of bear country.

Circle to Circle is an inspiring and engaging account of the travels of an adventurous couple. It will entertain you in your armchair, or it may even inspire you to get up and go.

The Road Gets Better From Here.

The Road Gets Better from Here, by Adrian Scott

With virtually no experience and absolutely no support, Adrian rides a basic stock motorbike 20,000kms across nine countries in three months to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Adrian is adopted by a vast array of characters, each with stories to tell, each insisting that he join them in their homes to share their lives and most of their provisions. It is these encounters which provide such a rich and compelling subtext to his extraordinary journey.

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

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.'

American Borders - A Motorcycle Misadventures Journey

American Borders
A comedy of breakdowns...

by Carla King

Excellent! Well-written - Carla's easy and engaging style sucks you in to the adventure and keeps you going right to the end. Highly Recommended - Grant

Obsessions Die Hard

Obsessions Die Hard:
Motorcycling the Pan American Highway's Jungle Gap...

by Ed Culberson

"For the die-hard motorcycling adventurer... both a riveting adventure story and a practical guide to this exotic and dangerous sport." 

Into Africa

Into Africa:
Channel Islands to Cape Town by Motorcycle

by Sam Manicom

"Whether he's thrust into a brutal jail cell in Tanzania, being shot at, or knocked unconscious in the Namibian desert, this eye-opening tale catapults you into Africa. He lives in a remote village, escapes a bush fire and climbs a mountain. This is a captivating book."

Old Man on a Bike

Old Man on a Bike: A Septuagenarian Odyssey
by Simon Gandolfi

"Outrageously irresponsible and undeniably liberating, Gandolfi's travels will fire the imaginations of every traveller, young or old."

Tea with Bin Ladens Brother, by Simon Roberts.

Tea with Bin Laden's Brother
by Simon Roberts

"Evocative, honest and inspiring, it's all brightened up by a great design and amusing comic book graphics which all help set Simon's book above the average motorcycling travelogue". Chris Scott

Mi Moto Fidel

Mi Moto Fidel:
Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba

by Chris Baker

"A unique, exhilarating solo adventure into Cuba astride a cherry-red, 1000cc BMW Paris-Dakar motorcycle."

Motorcycle Adventurer

Motorcycle Adventurer - Carl Stearns Clancy
by Greg Frazier

"The longest, most difficult, and most perilous motorcycle journey ever attempted." In 1912, there were no GPSs, ATMs, Internet, and often no gas, roads or motorcycle repair shops...

One Man Caravan

One Man Caravan
by Robert Fulton Jr.

RTW in 1932! Grant: "A terrific book, right at the top of the list. Recommended."

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.

Rolling through the Isles, by Ted Simon.

Rolling through the Isles
by Ted Simon

From the bestselling author of Jupiter's Travels and Dreaming of Jupiter comes an entertaining and inspiring new journey round Britain. Having crisscrossed the globe twice, Ted returns to the British Isles to rediscover the country of his youth. The result is a revealing portrait of modern Britain. It is also a witty and affectionate journey back to the past.

The University of Gravel Roads

The University of Gravel Roads
by Rene Cormier

Rene runs out of money half way through the tour and ultimately takes five years to cover his 41-country, 154,000-kilometre route. The ride of a lifetime, the old-fashioned way; no sponsors, no support vehicles, and no idea about what he is going to learn along the way.

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 we'll put it on the site.

Traveller's Community News

We've now reached an amazing 790+ Communities in 114 Countries! 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.

Final 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
Inspiring, informing and connecting travellers since 1997

Horizons Unlimited - Inspring, Informing and Connecting Travellers since 1997.

Subscriptions, Privacy and Administrivia

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All comments and suggestions are carefully read, and where possible will be acted on. Your help will make this a useful service for all travellers.

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ISSN 1703-1397 Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' E-zine - All text and photographs are copyright Grant and Susan Johnson, 1987-2016, or their respective authors. All Rights Reserved.

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

Every newsletter is permanently archived online. Back issues here.

Legal gibberish: (particularly for those in countries that have more lawyers in one town, just for instance, New York, not to name any names, than some whole countries, as another example, Japan. Again, not naming anybody specifically you understand).

Recommendations are based on positive or negative experiences of somebody, somewhere. Your mileage (kilometrage if you insist) may vary. We are not responsible in any way for any product or service mentioned, and do not warrant any such mentioned product or service, and are not responsible for any bad things that may befall you. You are responsible for yourself! Act accordingly. We check all links and information given as close as possible to publication, and all info is correct as best we can determine at that time.


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Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

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