Earth's Ends: Riding DR650's from End to End

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by micko01, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Huntxs

    Huntxs n00b

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    They have a post from May 21st on their Facebook page showing they are in Argentina. So, looks like all is well, just no updates for a bit.
  2. migilito

    migilito Been here awhile

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    Cool
  3. wilddog

    wilddog n00b

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    Phew! This has taken a while to read from the start.

    Thank you for sharing your trip. I have traveled in Africa quite a bit for work and the DRC specifically was no fun - a very scary place.

    Respect to all you achieved and may all your miles be smiles.

    p.s. I stay in Cape Town and would have liked to meet you in person when you were here. You guys rock ;)
    Tan101 likes this.
  4. Crashes

    Crashes Been here awhile

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    WOW out in the middle of nowhere you two fine an oasis compliments of the Chinese road workers. They did by the sound of it an awesome job of taking great care of both of you. How have the bikes been running with the 790 kits installed up in the mountains?
    Tan101 likes this.
  5. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

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    I never realized how hard it would be to keep reading others reports as I do my own journey. And you 2 are making it especially difficult with the length of your installments :jack
    However... Your travels and reports still top the list of one of the best RR's I have ever come across and worth every second of my time to read them.
    But I can only wonder what century you'll be caught up to your current location :imaposer

    Can you write a Cole's book type of report for folks like me? :rofl
    I'm sure you know what Cole's books are haha

    Cheers mates
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  6. klrva

    klrva

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    Tan/Mick - Due to your wonderful writing abilities, I almost feel like I have been there.. You certainly convey the sadness and the challenges of your situations well.

    Again,, thanks for your incredible effort in writing this report,,, and your willingness to relive some difficult moments.
    Tan101 likes this.
  7. Tan101

    Tan101 Been here awhile

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    Sorry Migilio. We are THE WORST rider reporters on Advrider. We are so behind in our RR and don’t interact nearly as much as we ought to. Especially lately. I am at the very end of my studies and am starting to feel pretty burnt out by managing study on the road. More and more of our spare time is going into my course as I find myself in the final stretch lacking motivation and therefore working pretty ineffectively. This means Mick doesn’t get the laptop access he needs to punch out his blogs either. But just bear with us. We are dead keen to pick up with the blog but I just need to get this next exam out of the way (in 11 days) then we shall be at blog writing action stations once more!

    Vicarious and visceral - I like it. That is what we are going for with these report - to really try and take people along with us. It must be working.

    Always enjoy your comments LotusJones, though you really do flatter us. We never tried the fetal position tactic though I did once sit on the bike staring ahead with my music blaring ignoring the presence of everyone while at a border crossing back in East Africa. I must have looked in a catatonic state. That worked pretty well. May have worked in DRC. Don't know about that talk....public speaking is horror inducing for me....crossing DRC again sounds less daunting that that.

    Our DRC crossing will always stay with us as you say it was something pretty big we accomplished together. It really was our standout Africa experience in 2 years of pretty great Africa experiences. We are so keen to go back again and do a couple more routes in DRC and would love to do a crossing by 4WD one day to really take things up a notch. One day.

    Thanks for the question about how I handle crowds, I’d say on the whole I tend not to notice them as much as Mick does. I spent years living in a city in China with very few foreigners so I got quite used to people staring at me going about my business. I can block it out pretty easily. But that day, that crowd was a bit much. I didn’t enjoy it. We were exhausted and it was really hot and humid and I was on the side with all the kids who were going nuts with excitement once their fear of the foreigners wore off.

    So, yeah, I don’t mind the crowds so much but my real weakness is with aggressive hawkers, the ones that won’t go away and give you massive attitude (like the ones in the big Moroccan cities)– I have no tolerance for these guys. They get me so angry I can barely contain myself and Mick has had to intervene on many occasions.

    South America is defiantly a different kettle of fish. Its been a transition. Our first couple of months here was quite hard as we missed Africa so badly and found things here so simple and so highly functional compared to our last couple of years on the road. We thought we would find it a relief and a delight. But Africa got under our skin and we miss it even though by the end we felt we needed a break. We wonder if we would have felt the same way about Africa if we had spent 2 years doing South America in detail first.

    Thanks for looking out for us. It was certainly a full on time crossing Congo but also incredibly rewarding as well. It was the highlight of our time in Africa. But it was in no way easy. It did change us, at least in the short term and after we left DRC we had a few weeks there were we found ourselves getting very easily agitated after having been at a level of heightened awareness for so long. In the end we were able to observe each other and be like, “Ok, we need to find a place and chill for a bit and that we could afford to let the defenses down a bit.” And we did. And were all the better for it.

    Great comment. You get it. It’s a bit of a tough one this as there is definitely regret for how we acted but also we are so convinced it was the best thing to do in the circumstances. It was an easy decision that just unpleasant to execute.

    Comments like these and all the other stellar thoughtful comments we get on this ride report have us so often remarking to each other “is it just me or do we not have the most clever, thoughtful RR followers getting about?” I think so. We are so grateful as we find a lot of these comments get us thinking and help us see our trip from a different angle.

    Thanks! Until recently I think we might have reluctantly agreed with you a bit about being tough sorts. However our recent riding in South America has been humbling. We have found ourselves dealing with cold weather….our Achilles’ heal. You’ve never seen such wingeing and complaining until you’ve seen us dealing with cold weather. Its embarrassing hahaha

    Interesting to learn you have a similar perspective BergDonk!

    As ever so glad you’re enjoying the report. I also didn’t expect Chinese to come in nearly as handy as it did from this point on. You’ll see in later blogs we ended up using it daily when our French language skills continued to fail us.

    So glad to hear you enjoy reading the stuff we enjoy writing about. We know its not the type of writing and content that’s up everyone’s alley so its great hearing people getting something from it.

    There is always another side to any story. We enjoy considering the other side despite how much it seems to complicate once clear views on a subject. We don’t mind a bit of nuance and are glad others feel the same.

    I love this comment because I also ran into an African woman that looked so much like my mother, it was the cheekbones in that case.

    Whenever I make the mistake of reading random Facebook comments I always remind myself that few of the people being so anti-social online would ever be so unpleasant to people in person. Its as you said that it is easy to distrust someone you never have to meet.

    The adventure dress is not Klim...its couture.... which is French for "I'm the only one with this ugly dress"

    So awesome to hear from a follower since day dot. It seems so long ago that we published our first blog and we feel like slightly different people from the ones in the first blog. We’ve seen and experienced so much between then and now if seems a lifetime ago though in reality it was less than 3 years ago. The discussions we’ve had with people along the way have become some of the most memorable parts of the trips. It is relatively infrequesntly that we ever reminisce on or discuss a tourist attracation that we visited on the trip, like Victoria Falls for example. It was stunning for sure but it just isn’t something we ponder than much since seeing. But there are individual conversations we have had with people that we constantly go back to and revisit and discuss once more. Thanks for enjoying the report and letting us know as much

    So glad to get your comment. Always love hearing the perspectives of other visitors/travellers in Africa. I am glad to hear you share similar thoughts based on your own experiences. Its funny how things seems so clear cut before you get to a place. We have had many of our preconceptions and opinions challenged along the way. Turns out things are way more complicated than they appear from the outside...who'da'thunkit.

    And kudos to you for your work in Ethiopia. It was a place that really, seriously wore us down. Much respect for you commitment to working in such a challenging place. And so glad to hear you're enjoying the report.


    Wow! Mind blown! I honestly haven’t really thought about it from that perspective. We’ve always been so glad to have the opportunity to talk and learn from others but hadn’t previously considered that we are leaving them with something. It’s a bit of a product of being on the road, without a fixed base and a stranger everywhere we go. We always feels like we are benefiting from the generosity and expertise of others and that we can’t really give back. It makes us feel like total moochers sometimes. Perhaps I was just looking at it wrong and that people might be gaining something from us in other ways. Thank you! Thank you!
  8. B-ManFX4

    B-ManFX4 2 Wheels Are Better Than 1 Or 4

    Joined:
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    East TN
    Tan & Mick -

    I am fairly new to ADV Rider and adventure riding. Actually I guess I'm a poser because I haven't purchased my adventure bike yet. :-( I am an avid street bike rider (Suzuki sport-tourer) and I want to step into the adventure world. Your blog has inspired me to get motivated to find and purchase an adventure bike and to plan my own excursions. However, I think I will start with just the US for now. :-) I said that as a preface to this:

    You two have blessed myself, and countless others, by sharing your time, your skills, your patience and your love of adventure riding. Your thoughtful narrative regarding the natural aspects of the trip contains more information than can be absorbed by a once-over reading. Including the photographs of the people and places, in a manner that is consistent with the story being shared, adds a real tangible benefit to the entire story line. Your insights into the people and politics of each region, and the continual revelation that we all are pretty much the same, adds a facet to the RR that sets it apart from many I have read.

    I have read this entire blog and I am embarrassed to admit that I am guilty of believing some of the preconceptions about other peoples and places that you two so eloquently expose as government propaganda / media lies / internet garbage. If nothing else your blog serves as a reminder that we all should strive to see the good in people first, trust that most common people are very much like us and to seriously challenge what the governments / media / politicians / internet tell us about most anything - especially if money or power is involved.

    Please don't underestimate the importance of your interactions with the people along your journey. As JagLite said you are teaching people in other places that foreign people (especially white travelers) are not always there to exploit the land / resources / people in the area. Your willingness to interact with them, even when you are ready to drop from exhaustion, is the exact kind of ambassadors the ADV world needs, along with mankind in general. I am especially impressed by you both taking the time to identify an easily provided "gift" (taking someones picture) and then doing so, time after time. Who would have thought something so easily done (minus the time and trip interruptions) would make such an impression on people without the means to even view the pictures after you leave ? Kudos to you guys !!!

    I know you both are not the type to accept charity. However, it is easily understood that this RTW has morphed into something the best fiction writers around could not have easily imagined. With that said, if you find yourselves in need of help with parts, money, research (when you don't have internet access), etc. please accept my offer to PM me. I will respond with my mobile # and will do my best to help you out.

    BTW - When you find yourselves in the USA one day, and you have any interest in checking out eastern Tennessee (we live 45 minutes from the Tail of the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway) / western North Carolina / southern Kentucky / southern Virginia / northern Georgia, we have an empty fully furnished walk-out basement with a full kitchen, washer / dryer, bedroom, living room and outside deck with a view of the mountains. For Mick to service or repair the bikes, I have a fairly well equipped garage (including a MIG welder setup for steel or aluminum). As a bonus, we have easy access to a liquor store too. :-) We are pretty good at smoking brisket / chicken / steaks and have a modest stocked bar so I am positive we would have a great time.

    You are welcome to stay as long as you like or need. Consider it a small token of gratitude for the wonderful blog you are sharing with those of us who likely will never attempt what you are doing.

    May God continue to bless you both and please remain vigilant and careful as you explore and experience this wonderful planet from an awesome venue - the back of a trusty adventure bike.
  9. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

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    Wow... Even your fan mail replies are impressive.

    Good luck with your studies and future travels in S America.
    You could try riding the Amazon if you need the adrenaline rush of thrill seeking that Africa gave you.
    :jack

    Cheers
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  10. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    GTA, ON, CDA
    Ya, or the Darian Gap...

    Thanks again.
    Tan101 and goodcat like this.
  11. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    RTW, currently Argentina
    Wow B-Man.... That is an amazing comment and contribution to the thread.... To be honest we read this comment a few days ago and we haven't been sure exactly how to reply to such a flattering and well thought out message.

    So, firstly, thanks very much and especially for the invite. Sadly, we will have to take a rain check though as our plans have changed a lot over the duration of this trip, and we are now planning on heading home sometime later this year after having a good look around South America. But we do plan on getting to the States at some stage and doing some riding so I'll definitely take you up on the offer of some good bbq then! Tanya was particulatly enthusiastic about the brisket you described.

    Regarding your plan to transition to an adv bike.... Yep, that's a good move. There is nothing quite like riding until the end of the road, dropping a gear and riding some more! With a good off-road capable ADV bike the roads won't constrain you anymore (well, not as much anyway!).

    Get out and find a bike you like and ride the clacker out of it. And for input into making that bike choice, you're definitely in the right place. There are a lot of people here with a lot of info who can lead you in the right direction. Feel free to send any questions my way.

    Thanks again and thanks for following along. We really enjoy sharing here on ADV because of interactions like this.

    Cheers, Mick and Tan
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  12. TSSRA

    TSSRA DR650 Rider

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    Jan 6, 2014
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    Middle Tennessee
    Mick & Tan... I too am from East Tennessee. Although, I have lived in Middle Tennessee about half my life. I have followed along from the beginning and have enjoyed your adventures. When you get to the States, you'd be welcome to camp on my small rural farm with a shop and plenty of privacy. I do have "facilities" there, but no house. I'm not far from Jack Daniels Distillery and, Nashville is close by too. However, we enjoy miles of back road riding, but, it does not begin to compare to the area where B-ManFX4 lives! Obviously, my heart is in East Tenn, but my feet are firmly planted here in Middle Tenn. You will find a warm welcome across the States when you arrive. May God bless and continue a safe journey!
  13. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    563
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    RTW, currently Argentina
    Hi peeps, just thought we'd let everyone know we are safe and well and should be crossing into Bolivia today.

    We most certainly haven't abandoned this ADV RR, we've just been busy with lots of riding and planning for the end of the year when we head home; organising our resumés and talking with some employers and that sort of business.

    In Bolivia we are going to park up for a bit, rest and work on our Spanish (I'm sick of being able to understand a fair bit but just can't speak!) so that will give us an opportunity to get back into the RR and finish up the DR Congo, plus get into some great stuff we did in the Republic of Congo.

    Mick.
    ONandOFF, BillUA, LM15 and 21 others like this.
  14. DiscRider

    DiscRider DiscRider

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    Feb 3, 2013
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    11
    Great to hear that you both are doing well.
    It is always a pleasure to read of your adventures.


    Dave
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  15. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

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    Your disciples await :beer
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  16. Brainflex

    Brainflex Adventurer

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    Whakatane, Bay of Plenty
    It gets my hopes up of another excellent installment when this pops up n my watched threads. Disappointment abounds when I'm left hanging for even longer. Oh well anticipation builds the reward.
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  17. Dan Lorenze

    Dan Lorenze Adventurer

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    Pretty much the most extreme, epic RR I've ever read. You guys are incredible, congratulations on your wedding vows. Those DR's are really getting tested, lol. Have fun and be safe.
    Tan101 likes this.
  18. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Thanks for the quick note. It is nice to know all is well. Even though the peanut gallery hasn't met you in person people get concerned if the RR suddenly goes silent for too long.
    Ride safe!....just jeff
  19. TreasureState

    TreasureState Freelance dirt rider posing as a murse

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Likely on the lagging strand . . .
    Mick & Tan,

    I can certainly sympathize with you, Tan, for letting the blog slip as you pursue academic diligence. For me, it has certainly been the other way around; I have been reading your blog instead of doing homework.

    You both have written something truly special. With this being my first ever RR that I have read, you have set the bar pretty high. As a reader, I have gone through the spectrum of emotions from laughing out loud, to utter amazement (the history, the science, the culture, the riding, the wrenching), to extreme rage. That last one was from reading the caption on page 68 talking about Nsala of Wala. Having been on 9 different combat zone deployment tours, I did not think that I could see an example so aberrant of what human beings are capable of doing to each other, but having a daughter of my own that age, that really hit me hard.

    With all of that said, as a fellow DR650 rider, there are just two questions left on my mind:

    1. It has been mentioned twice before, but I am enthralled with what you are doing and would love to support you through the cycles of “budget hammering” that are involved with RTW epic trips like yours. You see, I would love to do something like this, but I have far too many responsibilities to put life on hold and do what you two are doing now. Having enjoyed your RR like few other things I have ever read on the Internet, I would love to know if you thought about setting up some means for your fans to send in support (Go Fund Me, paypal link, etc.)? If you say, “No!,” I, likely we (the readers), would need a pretty good reason beyond modesty why we could not support you as you spin your yarn about your adventures.

    2. I know that you are not likely to see North America on this go ‘round. However, I talked it over with HH6, and she and I would love to host you if you ever come through Montana (PM sent) whether next year or twenty years from now. Any tools, space, whatever that we have is yours to use. Montana is a wheat and beef state, so beer and steaks are definitely on the menu. We have tons of trails here, and there just so happens to be a Suzuki dealer a few blocks away from my house. As a matter of fact, if one were in a predicament where they had a rolling chassis of a motorcycle and could not repair it, one could coast all the way down to the service shop (ask me how I know that). However, after seeing Mick do that clutch job on in the bush, serious props are in order.
    If those are not enough reasons, here is one more. Montana is located in the Rocky Mountains (spoiler alert: we have lots of rocks here). A geologist would lose some serious street cred if they came to North America and missed Yellowstone National Park, just sayin’


    Love what you are doing and cheers for sharing!

    Attached Files:

  20. istephens

    istephens FJR Pilot

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
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    Cochrane, Alberta
    Mick, Tan, I just got the end of this ride report and all I can say is WOW! I've done some long distance riding here in western North America, but nothing like 18+ months on the road. You guys have had some amazing experiences and your writing is excellent. I've really enjoyed all aspects of your reports - bike stuff, the history and especially your personal experiences and how you dealt with the issues.

    Thank you for sharing.

    So I know that I speak for many others when I say please PLEASE post up some more reports!!!

    Ride on and ride safe

    Ian