I took 2 years and still thought it was a bit short. I've read reports where folks do it in 3 months and had fun, but thought 4 would be a bit better to not always feel so pressed for time. Remember, you will have to deal with maintenance days, parts finding days, I met a hot girl days, chill out days, man this place is so cool days, etc. You need to have some padding in your trip planning. Shit will happen that will cost you time, count on it. The shorter amount of time you have, the more pre-trip planning you have to do. I had the luxury of doing my planning on a daily basis, whatever I felt like doing on any given day was my plan. I had the luxury of time.
Of course if your goal is to just say you rode to Ushuaia, then 30 days might work for you. That's not my thing, however for some folks it is and that's fine too. Trips are personal things, we are all different in what we want to get out of it.
One bit of advice I would give is that if you are pressed for time, start in Colombia. North Americans can ride Mexico and CA any time with minimal expense and hassle compared to jumping the gap. If you're going to just blast through Mexico and CA to get to the southlands, you might as well fly to Colombia. Heck I spent almost 2 months in Guatemala alone, and still didnt see everything. In SA I stayed a long time in most every country and was still sad to leave, feeling like I really didnt get to know it properly. SA is a huge continent with many, many incredible sights to see and things to experience. Its' well worth as much time as you can give it.
Another thing that might be good to do with 4 weeks is to simply take off from Canada and go ride until you have to turn around. If you like to see and experience things, I doubt you would ever get south of Mexico, but it would still be a fantastic trip. That way, you dont need a plan. You only have to decide when its time go fast, time to go slow, and time to turn around and head home. And you can blast home very quickly if need be. There is a certain satisfaction of leaving home on your bike, travel to far away places, and return, on the bike. Its a pretty satisfying feeling when you pull into your driveway at home.
Also, for me, the most impressive countries were Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, but they are all interesting in their own right, even the Guianas. No matter what decision you make for a country to visit in 30 days time, you will enjoy yourself.
Riding the Americas: No Fumar Espaņol
crashmaster screwed with this post 01-17-2013 at 08:14 PM