With the Redhead on Back!
Joined: Jul 2004
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 3rd 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.