04-20-2008, 03:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
2up to India via Tierra del Fuego
My wife and I are currently six months into a 2+ year trip which should take us from Montreal to Tierra del Fuego then onto Europe with the goal of eventually making it to India (and maybe beyond). Other than knowing that we want to get to Tierra del Fuego and then India we haven’t really planned our route so we’ll see how it goes.
We are currently in Ecuador so it may take a couple of weeks to bring this ride report up to speed. Let’s start with some background and once that’s out of the way, some pics of the past 6 months on the road.
Eight years ago we had just returned from a 1 year backpacking trip to Asia and the middle-East and were already thinking about another backpacking trip, except longer. Problem was we came back with less than nothing (maxed out credit cards, no possessions, no jobs, no home). So we set ourselves a goal of getting back on our feet and leaving within 5 years (took a bit longer). About two years ago we decided we’d do it on motorcycle. I’m not sure how this came about but I’m happy it did. It was at about this time that someone suggested checking out Advrider. I spent a good part of the trip preparation on this site which has turned out to have some incredibly useful info.
When we made the decision to do our trip on a motorcycle I hadn’t owned one for well over 5 years so my riding experience at that point was, to say the least, very limited. Since we would be doing the trip 2up we needed something with enough power so we opted for an 1100gs.
The months prior to the departure were a mad dash to sell everything we owned and get everything in order. The getting rid of stuff part was just like our first trip together (really liberating and scary at the same time) but this time around we also had to learn about a new way of traveling. To a large extent that’s where Advrider came in. So with no more home, jobs and possessions (other than what would fit on the bike) we finally took off on the 4th of October 2007. It was just like old times except now we had traded our backpacks for metal boxes which, thankfully, can be bashed back into shape.
This is what the bike used to look like, before the busted flashers, snapped clutch cable, leaking seals, cracked windscreen, dented boxes and duct tape (God bless duct tape!). Note the cylinder attached to the bash plate, a great idea in theory but I had no idea at the time what kind of beating this thing would eventually take. We ended up getting rid of it in El Salvador.
We zipped through the US in only 7 days. We wanted to see more but we had a nasty cold front which seemed to follow us all the way to Texas. Given the tight budget we camped most of the way down. This was our first day of camping on the way through New-York State.
Again due to budget constraints we did our best to avoid restaurants whenever possible. This photo was taken in the parking lot of a shopping center near Roanoke a few days later. Home cooked meal! Yummm!
After 6 days on the road we finally arrived in Texas. Mexico was just a few short hours away…
Our first stop in Mexico was Cuatro Cienegas, a series of small lakes in the middle of the desert. For the first time since we left Montreal our trip started to feel like a bit of an adventure.
As usual Marie (my wife) had no problem taking things easy…
We then headed to Real de Catorce, a once abandoned mining town that is now a tourist spot. The road to get there is about 30 kilometers of cobblestone. It`s on this road that we took our first spill. (Since this spill happened I almost always remember to put the bike back into first gear before trying to get going again after stopping for directions)….
At the end of the road is a tunnel which leads into the town...
Which looks like this from the surrounding mountains....
We ended up arriving during a religious celebration, the highlight of which was a group of kids re-enacting a funeral procession…
More in a bit....