Darren and Erik's Excellent Adventure! ==San Francisco to Tierra del Fuego==

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by einnocent, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. einnocent

    einnocent Adventurer

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    Hi, all! Erik here, and Darren and I are riding from San Francisco, California to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. We are in the final stages of preparation for our journey to the very tippy end of South America. Our bikes are nearly farkled out and lubed and prepped with new rubber all around; our packages of cool toys and impervious fabrics arrive daily via all the usual common carriers; our employment has ended, stuff is going into storage, and sacrificial virgins have been thrown into the appropriate volcanoes for the gods of Hi-Viz and Lo-Wind. Things feel like they're getting done.

    We shall soon be ready for D-day, t-minus zero: May 2nd, 2012. Stompers Boots, for which I'll be doing blog posts on Facebook, is graciously hosting a send-off party that morning at 10am. If you're in SF it would be great to see you there! 323 10th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

    I've been preparing lately by going to the Krav Maga Institute in San Francisco, which has graciously provided me with classes to help get me in shape and to give me the confidence in martial arts that will hopefully keep me calm enough that I'll be able to use my words and not my fists. Thanks, Danny!

    Other preparation has included: breaking into vacant places and throwing parties, giving me practice in sound decision making under pressure (thanks, Phil!); getting gorgeous business cards made to hand out to all the new friends I'll be making (thanks, Karen!); doing adventure riding through mud and ruts and changing the resulting flats (thanks, Xiao! Hope your knees recover from that deer); and doing orgasmic meditation just in time to get headtripped/mindf*cked before I get a heavy dose of helmet time (thanks, Maya and Aubrey!).

    With just a week away, things are finally coming together, and every day feels full of activity. We're looking forward to telling all you cool peeps on ADVRider all about what we're up to, and to hearing all your advice and feedback. It's exhilarating to think I'm finally living the dream, that I'll be doing what I've read about, that I'll be in the esteemed company of adventure riders. Cheers and godspeed to you all!

    --E
    #1
  2. einnocent

    einnocent Adventurer

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  3. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Darren and Erik,

    Best wishes for a safe and awesome adventure! I'm looking forward to following this one :ricky :ricky.


    Cheers,
    #3
  4. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    don't know what a place holder post is, but RADIOMAN is king! seriously, post up preparations....like what is a tvip, where do you get it, and what does it cost? what is a visa--do you need to get one before you leave? how do you get money on the road? will your cell phone work? what kind of computer are you taking? are you expecting to camp...taking gear?
    #4
  5. einnocent

    einnocent Adventurer

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    Agreed, Radioman is pretty kingly :D After Googling "tvip", I can say with some certainty that I will not be doing any two-variable integer programming. We aren't getting any visas because everything we've read has indicated that, as Americanos, we can just pleasantly glide through all borders without issue, waving and smiling while accepting bouquets of flowers. Or at least this is how I picture it. I'll be getting money via ATMs and, near borders, via shady dudes with missing teeth. My rule of thumb: fewer teeth = better deal.

    My cell phone won't work so I'm not taking it, instead I've switched my phone number over to Google Voice so I can make calls from my laptop, which I'll be bringing. I'm bringing it so I can do all I need via wifi, thus making pic uploads easier, and I'll be protected from keyboard logging attacks when I inevitably log into Paypal or my bank. Remember: local water and computers can have viruses! I'm bringing a 13" Macbook Pro, which feels pretty sturdy and is plenty fast.

    I'm bringing very basic camp gear: sleeping bag, bivy, Therm-a-rest. Still debating on the stove (Radioman didn't use his till south of Colombia). The camp gear, until we get out of the tropics, is going to be for emergencies -- breakdowns and otherwise getting caught out in the dark.

    I'll list my bike mods later (SO MANY, OMG), and hopefully Darren will chime in soon!
    #5
  6. Incredulous

    Incredulous Peanut Gallery

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    Hey Erik

    I found the thread! Won't be able to make the send-off cause some of us gotta work, but I am looking forward to following your journey-subscribed.

    You have the right attitude, so have fun. I'm jealous. :D

    Tyler
    #6
  7. thedarren

    thedarren thedarren

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    The time has come for me to leave the tender opulence of the bosom of south Orange County, California and prove to myself that I can still sleep on the ground and grit my teeth through mild dysentery. Trip prep is progressing well and is expected to reach the obligatory level of stressful desperation the night before Erik and I depart next week. In the end, aside from a few basics like passports, money and common sense, nothing is absolutely necessary and the best attitude I’ve found is to embrace the adversity of broken bikes and unavailable parts and enjoy it as part of the experience (feel free to remind me of that when it’s dark out and I’m cold, wet and hungry next to my broken bike).<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    For bikes and gear, Erik and I will see what works best under what conditions in our different kits – there’s more than one way to remove the pelt from a domesticated feline, and I look forward to see how the choice of bikes, gear and riders perform. Thanks to ADVrider and the other adventure forums for the plethora of advice on everything from headlights to lube - I look forward to contributing my own dos centavos for the rumination of others. You, my fellow adventure riders, have my respect and admiration. I wish you the best for your own rides.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Erik, you are a gentleman and scholar, and I close with this oath:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Adventure Rider Oath of Loyalty<o:p></o:p>
    As an adventure rider, I do freely and with sound mind bind myself to this oath:<o:p></o:p>
    - I shall not leave my fellow rider behind, nor put the goals of my trip before the well-being of my fellow rider.<o:p></o:p>
    - I shall freely render whatever assistance may be needed by my fellow rider, emergency or otherwise.<o:p></o:p>
    - I shall trust my life to my fellow rider, and be prepared for the responsibility of being trusted with theirs.<o:p></o:p>
    - I shall be free and honest to my fellow rider with my opinion, especially if something may go tits up. I entreat my fellow rider to be free and honest in their opinion as well.<o:p></o:p>
    - I shall not cast my fellow rider out of our lodging for the opportunity of a woman’s embrace, yet I shall go freely from the room of my own accord, should it allow them to enjoy a woman’s embrace.<o:p></o:p>
    - I shall sympathize with my fellow rider if the plato tipico he ate the day before causes him to experience unintended rectal discharge while riding his motorcycle.<o:p></o:p>
    Should I lose focus on the principals of this oath, I humbly request my fellow rider to remind me of this oath. Should I willfully and materially stray from this oath, may Cthulhu strike down my bike with a dropped valve and spun main bearing.<o:p></o:p>
    #7
  8. einnocent

    einnocent Adventurer

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    I just laughed for a minute straight. Did you make up this oath? For all witnesses, I raise my left hand and state, "I do!"

    (We are both lefties.)
    #8
  9. Brajole

    Brajole Adventurer

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    Yo Guys!
    What route are y'all taking southbound?
    I'm in SF, and looking to head out toward the Four Corners from Monument Vally, UT. I'm taking the month of May off and just going for it...
    How long before you meet the boarder?

    BTW: why do you think you don't need a passport?
    #9
  10. thedarren

    thedarren thedarren

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    Brajole:

    We're leaving May 2 (Murphy's Law notwithstanding) and taking I-5, I-10, I-8 and some highways (yes I know, too much asphalt), with the intent of crossing into Mexico at Lukeville, AZ on May 5, so unless you're planning on leaving early May and swinging fairly far south, we're prolly off your route.

    We should need our passports for all the border crossings (with the possible exception of Mexico), but shouldn't need any separate entry visas beyond what can be fairly easily obtained at the actual border crossing (with the possible exception of a handful of South American countries - still confirming that)
    #10
  11. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    Good luck with the trip guys. I came through Sonoyta a couple of weeks ago. You probably already know that the Banjercito is about 30km across the border on the way to Caborca. This is where you'll get your tourist visa and TVIP.
    #11
  12. Iowegian

    Iowegian n00b

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    Good Luck and Good Riding Gentlemen. Looking forward to the tale of your travels. <o:p></o:p>
    #12
  13. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Good luck guys!
    You will need a TVIP (temporary vehicle import permit) its about $37 for Mexico ... and something similar for every country you pass through, but most don't cost much, if anything.

    What is new about the Mex. TVIP is they now actually CHARGE your credit card the odd $300 to $400 deposit (based on bike value). You must return your Turista sticker/paperwork and present your bike and check out with Banjercito/Aduana upon departure from Mexico. You also need a Tourist Visa. ($22) Then, Banjercito will issue a "credit" to your credit card and you get your deposit back.

    Both the TVIP and Tourist Visa are good for 6 months. Don't over stay or fines will be levied! :D

    I'm surprised you guys are going the Lukeville / Sonoita route. IMHO ... (and I've done both many times) ... Baja is far more pleasant and a way better introduction to Mexico than mainland route. Mellow, diverse, beautiful.

    Mainland Mexico (far North) is not my favorite area. If you go Baja you can Ferry over either at Santa Rosalia (to Guaymas) or La Paz over to either Mazatlan or Topolobambo. I prefer going to Topo, then onto Copper Canyon via Mex. 12, onto Mex 16 and on to Creel. To Topo is reasonable $. Several options from there ... almost all good.

    PM me is you want info about getting up to Copper Canyon or points inland.

    [​IMG]
    Private Hotel in Batopilas, Copper Canyon.
    #13
  14. einnocent

    einnocent Adventurer

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    We figured Baja might be boring/monotonous, hence the mainland southern route. And we figured we should do an out-of-the-way location that would allow us to get down to Hermosillo as directly as possible, since everything we've read has said that the closer to the border you are, the sketchier it is. We might be wrong, there's a lot of debate, but... "A bad decision is better than no decision". :D

    We will be doing Copper Canyon, so one of us will definitely PM you, Adv Grifter. Thanks!
    #14
  15. thedarren

    thedarren thedarren

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    Thanks for the tip on the Banjercito, I was wondering how close or far it was gonna be. Apparently you can do most of the process online in advance now on the Internet, but we didn't start the process with enough lead time.
    #15
  16. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    If you change your mind and decide to go South down Baja, you can get your TVIP and Visa just at the border in Tijuana. The Tourist visa you get literally right at border entrance. Park on right. walk over to Migracion Turistica Kiosk or some such.

    Banjercito office is due West from the Migracion office but you can't walk there. Ride your bikes over. It's about a block away. As you pass through border, take immediate right, watch for Banjercito sign, another right and your in. Park where they tell you, walk in and get TVIP. Should only take about an hour. They are rarely busy.

    You will need:
    Passport
    Credit card
    Bike registration in your name (or title)
    No proof of Mex insurance required ... but not a bad idea to have.
    #16
  17. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    Getting into and out of Mexico will be the easiest border crossing of your trip. You will go to immigration and get a 180 day tourist visa. Don't tell them you are heading to Guatemala, tell them that you plan on touring all over Mexico. They will send you to the Banjercito to pay for the tourist visa. Once you have the tourist visa, go back to the Banjercito and tell them you want a TVIP. They will need your original title, your driver's license (good idea to get a least one international DL from AAA) and your passport. They may also require you to get photocopies of the same. They will check the VIN on the bike, then charge you about $35 for the permit. They will also require you to pay a deposit on the bike of $300/$400 depending upon the year of the bike. This can either be cash or a credit card, and will be refunded when you exit the country into Guatemala.
    #17
  18. einnocent

    einnocent Adventurer

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    We will be crossing over on May 5. Do you think we may have problems finding an open banjercito or have any other problems because of this?
    #18
  19. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I don't believe it's a national (federal) holiday. But you may find some celebrations, not sure on this. Look up the history, IIRC, it celebrates Mexico's victory over the French.
    #19
  20. LateNate

    LateNate Been here awhile

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    The oaths awesome! I should of thought of something like that for my last trip. It might have saved it.
    #20