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Old 04-03-2009, 10:32 AM   #1
DiabloBlanco OP
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Oddometer: 301
Wink Summer '09 - Venezuela to Minnestoa

Starting to get the ball rolling on writing, updated 26-29 June about dealing with Vzla customs

Thank you section:
Right up top, I'll be having a list here of all those that deserve a big thank you for their help throughout this trip.

I'm jumping the ball a little bit, but it's got to start somewhere....

So at 29 years of age I'm finally getting ready to gradumate from collemagege. Unfortunately at the end of this spring semester I'll be 4 credits short of graduating and 9 credits short of a minor in Spanish. I also have a brand new F650GS twin. Hmm... what to do?

So late fall/early winter I came to the decision to do a study abroad in Venezuela for 6 weeks from mid May to the end of June which kicked off a winter farkling party of epic proportions. The original plan was to ride down after this semester ends buuuut after comparing schedules and realizing this semester ends May 10th-ish and the Venezuela summer session starts May 18th, it just doesn't leave a lot of time to ride 5,000 miles to make it there in a timely fashion.

So I spent a little time on HUBB looking at advertised shippers and came across APX ( and I've been in contact with them for quite some time. Gini is a dream to work with, even though the paperwork stack is huge. Total price to ship to Venez: a lot. More than this college kid wants to pay. But I always tell myself you can't put a price on life experiences, so I gotta do it. So how it's going to work is in late April I'll ride from Minneapolis to Chicago to drop the bike off with a crating company, who, for 570 bucks will crate it and transport it to APX who will then truck it from Chicago to Miami and will then fly it to Venezuela. About 2 grand for that once it leaves the crating company's hands. Lotta dough! But the other companies I received initial quotes from were no cheaper and up to 2 grand more expensive

Other than that it's just been a farkle party of epic proportions. Here she is stock with only 500 miles on her:

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell my friend Brian to suck it, when, the day after I bought the bike (with 0 miles), and the odometer was then 75 miles, he paints my house with a paint gun... with the garage door open... so little flecks of paint ALL OVER my new ride. Thanks.

And here it is now: (sorry for cell phone pics)

Lots added, so I might miss a thing or two:
Jesse Odyssey II panniers - BMW oem bash plate - Holan crash bars - Wunderlich mud hugger - Wunderlich radiator guard - Adventure Spec luggage plate - BMW eom hand guards - Metal Mule screen - TT tank bag - TT front brake reservoir cover - TT locking mount/RAM swivel mount for Garmin 60Csx - Holan headlight protector - beak extender from F800 - GS black reflective logos - adv designs tool kit (with allen wrenches added since BMW uses hex and almost all aftermarket uses allen) - accessory socket air pump

Still to put on
CANbus power cable for GPS - devise best way to strap down Northface 70L duffel bag for rear in a manner that is secure, but easily removeable - Anakee tires - Sargent or TT seat - SPoT sat messenger - Wanderlust V2 GPS software

For personal gear:
Still waiting on my Vendramini Desert Alp boots.. have the BMW city pants, summer2 pants, and Boulder jacket with Arai XD3 helmet, couple pair of Rev'it gloves. Dell mini 9" laptop to type papers, play with GPS software, and kill time on this wonderful site when I'm not busy learning (drinking)

So in a month and a half the trip to Venezuela starts and I'll update this as things happen and as I toll around Venezuela and then go in depth about my ride back home, so I'll be paying special attention soon to the process of getting over the Darien and the best hotels to stay at.

A side mention, if anyone will be traveling north through South/Central America in late June/anytime July and would like to meet for drinks and some riding time give me a shout! (and I'm always open to advice, so thanks in advance for that).


Oh and I'd love to give a little shout out to all the naysayers in my life who just don't understand my need to do this. I appreciate how much everyone cares for me, but I'm starting to get sick of those trying to talk me out of it or trying to put fear in my head about all the evil-doers I will encounter.
Summer 09 Venezuela to Minnesota: Summer
The goal of course is everywhere
US (MN, WI, IA, KS, OK, MO, TX), Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela. 11 down, 184 to go.

DiabloBlanco screwed with this post 08-16-2009 at 09:28 AM
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