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Old 02-21-2013, 08:12 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrish4ku View Post
Nice - it would be cool to get a sense of your route from CAN - LATAM.
Our intended route.

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Old 03-03-2013, 09:55 PM   #77
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This morning I started my journey from Victoria BC to the USA. I could not believe it when I saw the sign for highway #101 west – the journey has started! I rode east traveling from Italy to Japan; now riding west and south made me rethink of all the kilometers done so far. When I started to re elaborate all my adventures, I thought about Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Russia. The different cultures I have travelled through are all individually unique, it is astounding to think that I am finally traveling in the U.S.A. It is also a bit strange for me to start the American continent heading south toward our new project of helping children without Matteo. In his mind, I am famous for constantly forgetting or loosing some of my belonging along the way. Well guess what….. after only 75 KM from Port Angeles WA, I stopped to put my rain gear and forgot my first pair of sunglasses on the side of the road – I really need my riding partner soon, I miss him, but Matteo will meet me in Colombia. The ride down was freezing, I don’t remember the last time I was ever this cold in my entire life. I should have listened to my fiend Lee when he advised me to get a heated jacket, but of course I did not. There was freezing rain almost the all way, it was bitter and wet, but it was an absolutely amazing ride. # 101 is fantastic so far. I Left Victoria on the 10.30 AM ferry to Port Angeles WA, therefore I did not have a very long day riding since I make my number one rule not to drive at night. For the evening I found a little motel in the town of Raymond WA. and plan on going to bed early and make up for some road in the morning.





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Old 03-04-2013, 07:41 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by romafras View Post
Wait Wait Wait. Hold the phone. A 690 now?
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:59 AM   #79
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The 990 has been shipped from Japan to Italy.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:23 AM   #80
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As usual it start early in the morning. By 8.30 AM I am on the road again heading south. The road is still magnificent. Talked to Matthew over the phone and he was wondering weather I would be able to make it by the next couple of days. I am supposed to meet Matthew and Lee in Indio California. Still a long way to go for me so I decide that when I will reach San Francisco I better leave this great road (California #1) and get on the highway # 5 south toward Los Angeles to make it on time.

The ride from San Francisco to Indio is monotonous as I follow I 5 all the way. I spend the night in a motel on the way. I am 150 miles from Indio California which gives me plenty of time to meet the guys in the early afternoon the next day.

The following afternoon I arrive in Indio and go straight to change my tires at the mechanic. There I meet Matthew, Lee, and Matthews’s friend Greg. The plan is to stay over at Greg and Rose place for the night and leave first thing in morning for Mexico. I personally wish to thank Greg and his wife Sharon for the great hospitality in their beautiful california home. I had the best ahi tuna I ever had in a very long time. We set in their garden by the fire for a drink until it was time to go to bed and get ready to enter Mexico the following morning. A truly pleasant evening. Thank you.

















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Old 03-11-2013, 04:05 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by romafras View Post
So... did you buy this bike? The fairing is not the normal RallyRaid UK setup i'm use to seeing (and riding)....

Did you have fun on the coast? Highway 1 through Big Sur is amazing. Also I hope you got to get into the "lost coast" part of northern california. It is truly
breath taking.

Thanks for the update!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:04 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoninMoto View Post
So... did you buy this bike? The fairing is not the normal RallyRaid UK setup i'm use to seeing (and riding)....

Did you have fun on the coast? Highway 1 through Big Sur is amazing. Also I hope you got to get into the "lost coast" part of northern california. It is truly
breath taking.

Thanks for the update!
Sure did. Updates coming soon.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:16 PM   #83
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Mexico

After an amazing breakfast prepared by our most generous hosts Craig and Rose, the neighborhood gather in front of the house to send us on our travels.



We then rode Highway 111 to Mexicali to cross the border into Mexico. The plan was to make it to San Felipe just 140 Km south. San Felipe is a charming little village on the sea of Cortez. It looks like it was a popular destination for tourist in the past. As we ride into town we pass many resort like dreams that somehow never were completed. Many complex were abandoned.



Of course we had to celebrate the entry into Mexico with a few Mexican margaritas but decided to have an early night.















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Old 03-24-2013, 07:26 PM   #84
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Up at 7 this morning to travel along a road that I looked over on goggle earth. This road takes you along the coastline. Beautiful road with high winds and blowing sand made our ride a bit more challenging than expected but it was absolutely amazing. The color of the desert mixed with the pristine ocean made it like we were riding on a different planet. None of us ever rode through this part of Mexico and we are all very exited to be here. About 2 Km from Alfonsina, just before a military check point, Lee’s bike started backfired and the died. What a bummer. After a short consultation we decided to call Fabrizio, my good friend and mechanic from KTM in Italy to help diagnose the problem. Still unable to solve it we make ourselves a lunch along the way and decide to tow Lee’s bike to the closest gas station. At that point we think that the engine was starving for fuel and think the fuel pump might be our problem. Thank god we have a spare one with us and we change the pump. Still no success. The bike would not start. It could be worse but Alfonsina is truly beautiful place. There is a small hotel and restaurant waiting for us for the night. Tomorrow will be another day. We will call Scot in Victoria and try to get the bike working again and keep on riding in this great part of the world.



















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Old 03-25-2013, 06:39 PM   #85
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Arrived in Baya de los Angeles and decided to stop for dinner at a restaurant called Guillelmo. Matthew and I opted to camp on the beach while Lee took a room above the restaurant. I wondered into the kitchen and struck a conversation with the chef. It turned out that he was from Italy and in 1968 he travelled from Italy to India on a motorcycle. Lee and Matthew started a conversation with three couples from Arizona and they were traveling north so I asked them the condition of the road from Baya L.A to Santa Rosa. They informed us that a new road was completed last year and was in great shape. When I plotted the route with my usual method on Google Earth it was supposed to be all dirt. With this new information we took it easy the next morning. GUESS WHAT, the road was just as I expected. Only worse.





The road took us through the Egidio Desert. Deep sand, rocks,and dense cactus forest topped off the intense desert heat. What an experience ! After about 100 KM In this remote beautiful place I see Matthew in the distance on his knees next to the rear tire of his tire. In my mind I thought he had dropped the bike and was inspecting the damages. It turned out that he was trying to extinguish a fire. His rear brakes caliper was on fire. I wish I had a camera to show Matthew’s expression.




I never saw this happening in my life. Aluminum on fire.

Needless to say, driving through this challenging mountainous terrain is almost impossible. Lee and I were surprised how Matthew was able to drive his ” light ” BMW through this path. I was fully prepared to camp out in the middle of the desert as it was getting late and we were not be able to navigate the road in the dark. A crash on this road could mean the end of the trip. After 20 KM our “Angels” provide for a beautiful, one of a kind ranch in the middle of nowhere. We pull up to the gate and all is dark. Off in the distance we see a cowboy approaching the gate not certain on how we would be greeted. It turns out that Oscar, the owner of Ranch Escondido, is not only super friendly, but a great chef. As he is opening the gate with the flick of a switch the all Ranch was lit up with beautiful lights. We felt like we were on a Hollywood movie set. John Wayne eat your heart out.

















Coco at Coco's corner
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:06 AM   #86
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Still surviving in Mexico

Ok my friends. Now we have to push it. Mexico is a huge beautiful country. I wish we had more time to visit because the thing to see are endless. After crossing the sea of Cortez from La Paz to Topolobampo with a ferry that took 8 hours we meet Mike, Richard, and Alfonso in Mazatlan. Mike will be joining us for the rest of the trip until Costa Rica. Alfonso and Richard are heading back north. The riding itself is not that great as we are travelling along the highway 15 south. We are heading toward Irapuato to get the rear case for Matthew’s BMW that broke off on the road of terror and my new license plate. I lost the plate somewhere in the desert in Baja California a few days back. In Baja we met some riders that have really helped us out by getting what we needed. A special thanks goes to Edgar, Gustavo, Ruben, Hiram and Sergio.







Last night we stayed in the city of Ocatlan. Unfortunately i experienced a terrible tooth hake. I decided to have that looked after because the pain-killer we have with us didn’t seem to solve the problem. In the city of Irapuato, I ask where i could find a dentist. As soon as i entered the office the doctor was watching some youtube videos on his computer. It felt like going to the barber. First come, first serve. No one in the waiting room. I explain my situation. The video below explain better what happened next.

Feeling the pain




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Old 03-31-2013, 03:45 AM   #87
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this journey looks so amazing haven't spent 6 weeks in russia I just loved it out there despite the huge culture change it was still a good trip will be checking up on your ride to see what you get up to next.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:14 PM   #88
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:09 PM   #89
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It has always been the moto travelers achilles heal – there is never enough time to do everything – so you have to make a choice. Our choice is to move east then swing down to Chapas and the the Guatemalan border. I think it has taken us all by surprise how high Mexico City is (7,500 feet) and the mountains that surround the city as we move south hitting heights of almost 11.000 feet. It is hard to really express the exhilaration of working your way up though pine forests and the sweeping curves as we descend, only to climb again – a moto travelers dream. Matthew and Mike took a detour to the BMW dealer in Mexico City to deal with his side case and brake cable – fixed the former, but had no luck with the rear brake – so Matthew continues to ride without rear brakes.



Our destinations are often chosen because of the time of the day – but this time Lee has a special request to stay the evening in the colonial town of San Christobal de las Casas and the group agreed. Unfortunately as happens from time to time the group got separated in heavy traffic and when Lee’s bike had a second backfire and stalled – I somehow missed them on my way through the city. Fortunately , when we travel we always agree on the meeting place – on this trip it is the central square – so I went there and was surprised as the hours passed not to see any sign of my friends. Finally around 9pm I got a text saying they were sitting in a bar a block away and headed over to find out why they had been so delayed – which turned out to be a road repair of the air intake blowing off its connection – a problem we had on the Baja. The road side repair went well – but leaving the guys to ride the hour and a half in the dark, something Lee swore never to do! We all agreed that despite the late evening – we would be up bright and early to hit the Guatemalan border in good time.























It is always nice to have a plan – sometimes they even work! This time however, it did not! It stared well. First Try – we got Lee’s connections taken care of in a tyre shop – only to ride a kilometer out of town to have Lee pull over with serious back firing. So, we turn around and head back into town to find a bike shop, there in no time the bike was pulled apart and back together again. Second try we get to the same 1 Kilometer spot and the bike started acting up again – so back to the bike shop and we find it is an easy fix – so finally around 1 we head out for the Guatemala border arriving late afternoon.











I loved this kid. He approached me with a determination to get some money out of me that I haven't seen in adults in all my life. I got nervous because i thought he would have taken out a knife on me. I started to talk to him because I wanted to know a bit more about him. It turns out that he is an electrician and works around town to make a living for his family. We became good friends in a matter of minutes and shared an ice-cream together. Upon my return home I will share his story and the many stories that I have witnessed along my journey with my children. I wish I could find a way to teach my kids how privilege and fortunate they are and most of all not taking life and what they have for granted.

Kid with attitude BEFORE


Kid with attitude AFTER


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Old 04-11-2013, 01:26 PM   #90
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Guatemala

Arriving late in the day we know the border requires patience – clearing Mexico was reasonably painless, just time-consuming. Entering Guatemala is another story! Once through the gates and into the country, it is a wild mass of people and vehicles – and no real clear directions for clearing. “Helpers” (individuals who will help you process your entry) surround the bikes, all vying for the opportunity to get the business. I elect to try it on my own, after all this is not the first border I have had to go through! WIthout too much difficulty we have our TIP (Temporary Import Permit) and have cleared. WIth sunset approaching we decide to stay in this wild border town and manage to find hotel Laura with secure parking and pool.







The next morning Matthew has made an appointment in Guatemala City at the BMW dealer to deal with his rear brake – so he leaves early agreeing to meet up in the evening at a pre arranged meeting spot. Michael, Lee and I have planned a twisty side road agenda and can see immediately that distances are not what they seem – meaning 50km of curves, with trucks, scooters, dogs, cows, pigs can make for some exciting riding, but as we all agree the best we have experienced in some time.









A short word about the riding style here in Central America – to say it is wild, is probably an understatement. There are no rules, most aggressive wins and the larger you are the more weight you have to threw around. A moto riders job is to weave their way in and out, splitting the traffic at a pace and order that clearly would never happen in North America. Accustomed as I am to riding in Italy it is never a challenge for me.











Small roads, Atitlan lake and smoke where the highlights. Wood is the primary source of fuel and a familiar roadside view is of women and children carrying bundles of wood on their heads, which is only second to the same women and children carrying water jugs. The secondary result of all this wood burning is that the skies are foggy and there is rarely a clear view of the beautiful mountains and jungles surrounding us.











We find a wonderful hotel in Escuintla with a protected court-yard where Matthew joins us after an eventful day in Guatemala City where the BMW dealer went as far as stripping bikes for parts to make sure he could get back on the road as quickly as possible. However, as much as the bike was fixed, the tragedy of the day, was that he lost his top case. Speed bumps in Latin America are called “topas” – some are gentle and others are just plain ugly sharp bumps, and we assume he just hit one at speed and blew the case off.







Next morning, we were lucky enough to view the active volcano put on a little show of smoke on our way to Antigua – a beautiful colonial town not too far from the capital Guatemala city. Then headed for our next crossing into El Salvador.
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