Around the world on a classic Suzuki for a cause

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by T.H.E, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Jacl-Kampuchea

    Jacl-Kampuchea Booze Merchant

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    I see Drunk People.
    You certainly have an eye for a photograph, I'll give you that.

    I'm happy your mood seems better than during your time in Bolivia.

    Plus those oysters look special.

    Do you regret the weight you added to the bike with all those metal boxes at all?

    J
  2. T.H.E

    T.H.E Been here awhile

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    Well Brazil is awesome and it's impossible to be in a bad mood when traveling there :) As for the boxes, they really don't bother me. I don't even feel the weight plus they are not as heavy as they look.

    Thanks for sticking around , stay tuned :)
  3. T.H.E

    T.H.E Been here awhile

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    December 16th, 2012 - Touring Brazil on Motorcycle – Santos

    With two useless shocks, leaking fork seals, broken swingarm bearings, and a leaky transmission; the possibilities of going further into Brazil was growing dim, but you just have to keep fixing and rolling. After a few visits to different shops with Renato, we finally located the bearings and the oil seal. The problem was that we couldn’t find the right bearings as the original bearings had built-in rubber dust caps and the ones we found*didn't.*Since Renato taught a machining course at the Curitiba University, we headed to the university machine shop and we built our own. Taking off the old bearing races turned out to be a time consuming job without a welder, but nothing that a turret head milling machine*couldn't*handle. Finally, we cut two aluminum caps for the bearings and it actually turned out better than the original ones.

    Curitiba is a nice city, with a very cool climate. Compared to the rest of Brazil, Curitiba is rather a cold place and when the rest of South Americans were in short sleeves and shorts, we bundled up with everything we had. We had a great time with Patricia and Renato and as much as they tried to teach us some basic Portuguese, I’m afraid I’ll never be able to pronounce a word correctly. Portuguese is an easy language to read but as soon as they speak it, all hopes go out of the window. From their apartment in the middle of downtown Curitiba, you could see a large flock of Herons that had made the tall trees of the city their permanent home. It was fascinating watching the giant birds, maneuver in the air so gracefully. Three feet tall with wing span of 5 feet, Great Egrets were almost driven to extinction at the end of the 19th century so that their feathers could decorate ladies’ hats, but they’ve bounced back in numbers and now they rightfully shit on hat of others.

    We visited a local fair and a cool classic car show while there and passed time drinking Chimarrão (Brazilian version of Mate) and coco water. In good company, the time flies by and by the weekend, the bike was back on the road and we had to head north again. We were all set to head out on Friday but a sudden invitation back to Renato’s friend’s Farm was too good to resist. If I thought that the first festivity was the best that Brazil could offer, I was in for a surprise. Back at the farm, we ate and drank to a level which will be hard to beat, even by South American standards. As it turned out, Anderson also made homemade liquors so a tasting session was in order. All in all, when I tried to put on my motorcycle pants on Sunday, I*couldn't*button it up, no matter how hard I tried. I must have gained at least 10lb since entering Brazil. We said our farewell to our gracious friends and they sent us away with beautiful local woodwork gifts and Chimarrão for the road.

    We headed north along the Atlantic coast for the coastal city of Santos in São Paulo State. Traffic started to get heavier as we got closer to São Paulo and it came to a halt 50 miles outside of the city. With 12 million souls in the city limit alone, São Paulo spreads out seemingly to no end and sheds its population on weekends to the nearby beaches. Those who have money go north or south, and the rest go straight for the beaches of Santos. Covering the last 50 miles to Santos became a Nintendo game of lane splitting between rows of cars with less than 5 inch clearance on each side.

    We arrived in Santos around 8pm and found the city unnerving. With a long stretch of beaches, giant buildings, rival gangs, drunks, and drug dealers; Santos mirrors Miami in every sense except the language. Santos is a city that you could very well be killed for a nice pair of shoes if in a wrong place at a wrong time. As unnerving the city was, the people we met were extremely helpful and hospitable. Our couchsurfing host was a guy named Valmique and he bent backward and forward to make us comfortable. He arranged for the bike to be parked inside the garage, we chained it down and unloaded every piece of gear and hauled them up to his apartment on the 12th floor, and then we went to his friend’s house for a little party. It was at Shirley’s house that I remembered that it was my birthday so we doubly celebrated it. We had a great time in Santos, thanks to our new friends and we stayed another day. Lat day on the way down to the garage, a naked drunk guy walked in the elevator and rode down with us 12 floors in complete silence while staring at us. It was definitely time to leave Santos for a less happening city. Stay tuned.

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  4. JourneyRider.com

    JourneyRider.com Been here awhile

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    Having also done this trip I can relate with Chris's attitude during his time period in Bolivia. I do not think he honestly hates Bolivia or the Bolivian people and that he was just venting his frustrations.

    This late in the trip it is hard to go back to a Nicaraguan lifestyle. Everything on your motorcycle starts to break and you are in the worst possible place for it. Running into a bout of bad luck just makes you hate everything about the place you are in, including the damn Bolivian grass hopper that you just saw.

    Is is impractical to ride a 1000 pound bike to the tip of Argentina? Yes, but how boring would the world be if everyone did the exact same journey.

    I think it is kind of a low blow to mention Chris's (donated dollars). He has spent countless hours of his time doing a charity that he is passionate about. He invested everything he had going into this. I am sure that you, and I, and most of the other riders on here would not have the generosity nor ambition to do something so selfless.

    If I wanted to be a jerk I could rag on you for how you were only able to do your trip from a cushy government funded Alaskan delivery job, but there is no sense in acting like women.

    Another difference between Chris's trip and your trip is that you were doing yours with a friend. It makes a huge difference in morale when you have someone else in the exact same predicament as you. You can help each other in lifting the bike over obstacles. If one person runs out of gas you just send the other to get more. Until you have done a trip of this magnitude by yourself you can not understand is my opinion.

    I think it is great that you have a positive attitude in your travels Alex, but I just think you were sitting on a high horse there for a bit.
  5. T.H.E

    T.H.E Been here awhile

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    I'm always the nutcase just because I'm not riding a BMW or a KLR and the funny things is that I love breakdowns. I never get in a bad mood because something breaks, keeping this bike running is the real adventure for me.

    I've learned to not even bother with these kinds of responses, but once in a while, I just can't shut up :)

    Thanks for the comment.
  6. george248

    george248 runwhatUbrung

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    I have been keeping up with another ride report: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=787153&page=11
    written by an ADVer who is very well traveled. I thought it was interesting to hear his thoughts on Bolivia, compared with other countries he has visited. Have posted a few of his comments from page 11 of his RR below (hope this is not inappropriate or bad etiquette).

    I am glad BigAl had a different experience and I thoroughly enjoyed his ride report (look forward to another!)

    I also enjoy reading about the experiences of other travelers.


    Enjoying your ride report... good luck with the remainder of your trip!




    "La Paz and Bolivia in general feel a bit odd to me. I can't quite put my finger on it, whether it's the fact you need to pay three times the local price for gas as a foreigner, or the general attitude that foreigners are "targets". If you don't ask and agree on a price beforehand, it is always a bad surprise"

    "People are not very warm compared to other South American countries and are borderline unfriendly."

    "Before I cleared the border, I had to pay a two dollar bribe at the police station before I got my exit stamp. I asked for a receipt first and the only answer I got was that everyone paid it. I am done with Bolivia and its people. On to Chile."

    "Bolivia wasn't too friendly. Chile is a lot better."
  7. Tracks1

    Tracks1 Arctic Rider

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    I've been following this RR and wonder what happened?

    Did SA swallow him up?
  8. TassieMark

    TassieMark Been here awhile

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    Hi T.H.E
    You got my respect man. I like the idea of making do with what you got. To think you need such and such a bike to do a particular trip is just plain wrong. I remember reading a book about an Argentinian riding a Honda Goldwing 500,000 miles RTW several times, including the Brazilian jungle from Manaus to Venezuela back in 1984.
    And thanks for telling us your experiences in Bolivia. You done me a favour.
    Regards,
    Mark

    PS. Last night I went to the local library and got that book out again. It's 'The Longest Ride' written by Emilio Scotto. It's well worth another read, just to remind me that when things get half hard, it's nothing compared to what Emilio endured and conquered.
  9. far

    far ADVreader

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    Chris are you still on the road