South American Adventure - 2 up on a R100GS
The PlanWe are embarking on the first part of traveling around the world on a motorcycle. The adventure will be over the next 4 to 5 years. Based on the physical requirements and age issues, we will be doing the roughest part of the journey first. For the next 1½ years we are off to South America. The motorcycle has been crated and shipped. It is now clearing customs in Miami. As soon as it clears customs and is loaded on a ship bound for Guayaquil, Ecuador, will we be off to wait for its arrival in Ecuador. Our goal is to head south from Ecuador, through Peru, Bolivia and Chile during the balance of this year. We will return home for Christmas. Then, during 2006, we head back to Chile, then Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Venezuela. At times I am sure we will get lonely for family and friends, but during February of 2006 we have 3 riding buddies joining us for our travels through the Lake District of southern Chile. Should be fun!
Preparing for the adventure has been much more intense than we thought. Every waking hour during the last 6 months has been spent getting ready (well, almost…. I have squeezed a few rides in here and there). We have had to prepared and equip the old BMW motorcycle, negotiate with doctors to get 6 months of prescriptions, purchase evacuation insurance, purchase a world phone which will work in all the countries of South America, purchase and learn how to use a Satellite phone (if needed for emergencies in the jungles or in the Andes), purchased a ruggedized laptop computer and GPS. We have both had $1,000 worth of shots for illnesses which we can’t pronounce. And paper work! Foreign travel on an airliner is relatively easy. Transport, export and importing motorcycles into 3<SUP>rd</SUP> world countries is not!
In addition, we have scanned 100's of pictures out of our collection of old books on South America. Part of our plan is attempt to locate the exact location of the pictures and then take pictures from exactly the same angle as that of many years ago. A kind of "Then and Now" photo journey!
The bike being crated at Irv Seavers in Orange. They used a R1200GS crate, but the old R100GS is longer, requiring them to remove the front wheel.
We do have a nice set of original BMW bags for sale, as we replaced them with Jesse´s for this adventure. The bike has been completely gone through.
The trip has begun,but before we start the pictures I would like to describe the kind of trip this will be, and how I think it will be slightly different than others. First of all, we have spent over ten years preparing for the adventure. This is not going to be a "Get on the BMW R100GS motorcycle every day and head further south". The adventure is a "HUNT". The preparation has included acquiring and reading hundreds of books, many of which are extremely rare and collectible. A few of the books are from private printings of fewer than 1,000 books. I have scanned hundreds of pictures from these old books (the collection of old books is listed on a link on the prior page). The plan is to find the same landmarks taken in the photographs from these old books, then attempt to re-photograph the landmark as it appears today. The goal is to take the new photos from the exact locations as the old photo. As we are successful, I will include, on this web site, the "Then and Now" photo's.
Here are a few samples of what we will be looking to photograph.
This is the "Plaza Independencia" in Quito, Ecuador (1954).
San Francisco Monastery located in Quito, Ecuador (1943).
Buenos Aires (1908).
Santa Lucia in Santiago, Chile (1948)
Hope you don't find this journey too boring, but it will take time. We have planned on approximately 1 1/2 years to travel slowly, but completely through South America. We left Los Angeles on Monday, the 28th of August, 2005 and arrived in Quito, Ecuador on the 29th. The BMW is not yet here. It got lost in shipping from Los Angeles to Miami, where it was going to be put on a ship for Guayaquil, Ecuador. The shipper has now agreed to make up some of the time, and now the bike will be air freighted to Quito during the next few days.
Sunrise over Chiapas, Mexico. I followed the pilots route with the Garmin 276c GPS, which I brought to mount on the BMW when it arrives. Altitude was 37,000 feet.
Clouds over El Salvador.
Lake Arenal on the left. Arenal Volcano on the right.
Sandy, trying to rest during our 4 hour layover in San Jose, Costa Rica.
We went 38 hours with out sleeping.
Our first view of Quito, Ecuador.
The capital of Ecuador is located at an elevation of 9,250 feet.
Sandy, happy to be standing on South American soil for the first time.
It is extremely clean in Quito, and VERY friendly!
We are keeping our eye out looking for the "Gangster" that owns this motorcycle.
I was surprised that a 150cc engine could get this much metal moving.
Looks like it is dual sportable!
Wednesday, the 31st of August, 2005
This is our first complete day in Quito. We walked about 8 miles through the older sections of the city, which was founded in 1585.
We were completely surprised by the number of people that ride motorcycles in Quito.
Does any one know who makes the "Ranger"?
Motorcycles do make a lot of sense based on all the narrow streets.
We saw many older people carrying heavy loads on their backs.
Some carry large pieces of furniture.
The Church of San Francisco, overlooking the Plaza Independencia.
Church of San Francisco.
A local native.
Looked like a Honda, but the label was "Xintian".
About 2 inches of fork travel.
As you walk, you pass thousands of places like this.
I started taking pictures of every home, as we walked by, but finally realized that I can not take a picture of every home in South America!
This kind of scene is repeated over and over again, as you walk through Quito.
Can't wait for the motorcycle to show up.
We are both getting short of breath walking up hills at 9,200 feet!
That is so awesome
What a great trip. Good luck, and keep the posts coming!
Different section of town specialize in various products.
This area had block after block of people with sewing machines, ready to mend your torn clothing.
There were shoe repair areas, potato salesman, and ballet shoe sales.
A Honda Hero
This was one of the larger motorcycles seen.
This was on the street of "7 Crosses".
About every 2 blocks there was another church and another cross.
Tourist are few and far between!
That is a good thing...
Another Quito Plaza, and Sandy, who complained rarely about the length of the walking and the altitude.
This should be good for losing a few pounds.
This is also a good thing as the "Jesse Bags" for the motorcycle weight in at over 130 pounds!
Traffic is orderly, but quick!
A lot of horn honking, but usually to notify other drivers as cars go through the narrow streets with the many blind corners.
The President of Ecuador lives in this home.......
I'm looking forward to every post!:thumb :lurk :super :ricky
Basilica del Voto Nacional, in the distance.
For 2 dollars you can walk through out the Basilica.
This includes climbing up into the clock towers on narrow ladders that are almost verticle.
This is the view from one tower to the other.
Every vista includes at least 3 or 4 church steeples.
I thought that Santa Barbara had a lot of red tile roofs.
Nothing compared to Quito, Ecuador!
As I said early, I think that all the homes deserve a photo.....
A native selling oranges.
Our first room of the trip, located across the street from the "South American Explorers Clubhouse". www.saexplorer.org
Joining this club is of high consideration for anybody planning on traveling in South America.
We are going to a lecture there on Thursday night.
A 200cc "Advant".
On our walk to dinner we passed a motorcycle repair shop.
I am going to go back and find out what the green motorcycle is (in the window).
We had a fine Italian meal before retiring for the night.
We have just realized that for the past four days we have not seen a tatoo, gang member, or an asshole in a car that would like to shoot you for looking at him the wrong way!
The people here are FRIENDLY. This includes the police. Sandy and I were about 50 feet from an intersection, where a policewoman was directing traffic. She left her post and came over to see if she could help us. In California we have gotten use to some pretty unacceptable behavior by others. Everybody smiles down here............
Another point to make is how quickly the Spanish is learned when immersed in a Spanish speaking society.
Hopefully our bike will show up in the next few days. Three Jesse cases and two suit cases are hard to lug around without a bike! As soon as it arrives we will be heading for the jungles in the remote eastern parts of Ecuador.
Adios for now......
Looks like an ADVENTURE of a lifetime. Enjoy yourselfs(like we need to tell you that?) and be safe. Keep the reports and pictures headin' this way!
What a trip
Nice thread. What an adventure motorcycling through South America. Wow. Have fun.
Great idea to take then-and-now pictures. La Avenida de Mayo in B.A. sure looks different now! My wife and I were there last October. What a great city. I hope you're not a vegetarian :D Buen viaje!
Dale and Sandy, having met you two will make following this trip that much more fun.
This is gonna be good :lurk
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