Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Dylan.S, Dec 26, 2012.
Every city you visit seem to offer this type of exotic scenic views in Mexico.
Your trip looks fantastic, you can write well and tae a decent pic. Why not write a book and try to fund your travels whilst spreading the joy to many more than just guys on ADVRider?
Congrats and keep going
That's it, I'm subscribed!
Your Ethiopian experience brings back some not- so-pleasant, and also many great memories of working in that part of the world for 5 years.
Lake Maninjau, Sumatra, Indonesia.
I arrived in Lake Maninjau just before dusk and started riding around the beautiful crater lake looking for a spot to set up my tent. Though I spotted a few good places to camp, my gut feeling was telling me that I shouldn't be out there. As I ride along the broken road which at some places heavily subjected to landslides, I notice dozens of houses at the base of the crater rim badly damaged and empty and it paints a picture of a ghost town. At some places below the road there were old roofs to be seen, piles of bricks, tiles, parts of furniture and it all tells one sad story. People have lost homes and the devastation at the time of happening must have been enormous. In some of those deserted properties I find enough space for a night of camping. "It looks perfect", I tell myself. But I ride on dodging rocks which are in the middle of the road and deeply eroded places. After a while I spot a man on a small motorcycle riding towards me. I stop him and ask him if he knows a place where I could set up my tent. Such questions from me to a stranger on the road is as rare as a spotting a kangaroo in the arctics.
The man asks me to follow him and I obey him without further questions. After reaching his house which is above the road, he parks his motorcycle and signals me to follow him on foot. We cross the road and walk down to the lake. At the water edge, there is a small old wooden house with two rooms. There is a bed and a table inside of the house and a veranda with two chairs.
The man tells me that I could sleep there by myself. It seems a very good offer. Then he shows me the three canoes in front of the house and tells me that I could use them whenever I like to take a ride on the lake. I end up staying there for 4 days enjoying the beautiful surrounding and give Bruce a rest while I explore things by cruising on water.
It looks like you like the letter 'W" a lot WillWilkins Wollongong Wollwich.
Thanks for the message and for the encouragement! I think you might see a book from me one of these days. First I have to bring this tour to an end. Hope you're happy in Woolwich.
Read you soon pal!
Riding around the world on a motorcycle, you have to have a good portion of luck with you all the time. There were so many close calls so many near misses which would have ended in tragedy. This picture was taken in Indonesia. This kind of scenario is quite harmless. But a man who's travelling on a tight budget having to exchange the tire to a new, prematurely, is not at all desirable. However, when I pulled out the big nail I was in for a surprise. It did not have a puncture. I rode the bike through all Indonesian Islands until Sydney Australia before I bought a new one.
Sometime I have taken a passenger on my bike. I couldn't count this passenger to one of the pretty ones but he certainly was the biggest of them all. Alex was nearly two meters tall and weighed 100Kg. When I met him in Jogjakarta we immediately became friends and travelling together for a few days in Indonesia was fun. However, Bruce, my bike took some scars. As a consequence of travelling with Alex and his backpack plus all my luggage made my rear shockabsober to sag.
One day Alex and I decided to explore a scenic area called Green Canyon. We road the bike through some rough terrain parallel to a gorgeous looking river and parked the bike in a small space we found off the footpath and walked into the canyon. After a day of hiking, swimming abseiling down to the canyon bottom, we returned to the bike exhausted hungry and thirsty. Something looked different. There was a wooden plank leaning on the bike. i take a closer look and there was a message on the wooden plank written with Charcoal. It read "from Abdul, Mister, The young coconut is for you"
We tracked down the the generous man and did not forget to thank him for his kindness. As the picture shows, he certainly didn't look a rich man. On the contrary, men in ragged cloths can be more hospitable than those in expensive suits.
Catching some sun in cold Alaska
Awesome you live the dream of many. Im in!
Viel Glück auf das die BMW noch ewig fährt.
I am experiencing something extraordinary. I arrived in the city of Gomez Palacio (Mexico) and searched for internet access. There stood a strong looking man in front of a Pizzeria Domino. I asked him if he knew where I could find an internet cafe. He hardly spoke English. Then he signaled that I wait a second and made a phone call. After a few minutes he received an SMS which he showed to me. It read "Follow my car, I'll take you to a place where you can have WiFi". So he brought me to another Pizza Domino shop and provided me with the password. Brought me a Pizza and we started communicating with each other sitting in front of two computers through Google translation!
As our discussion went on he asked me where I was going to stay. I said I'll ride out of the city somewhere and camp. But he insists that he pays for a hotel room and he typed " I will take no for an answer!"
I am speechless!
* You're Kidding Me right?*
When I camp somewhere in the wilderness, there is hardly anything to do early part of the evenings. No bars around and no tables for table dancers.(don't get upset ladies, it's a joke) I usually take out the computer and try to do some work. Either editing my photos and videos or try to write something about the experiences I made during the day.
On this occasion I wanted to do some video editing and for that I thought of installing the voice program which I had bought a couple of weeks earlier. But before finishing the installation it asked me to register the program. I promptly gave the long code which was required. Then came the notice "connect to Internet"
Since I was in the wilderness had no internet access I opted for the second option "Registration Offline".
So I typed in the long numbers again and proceeded to the second step.
The computer gave me a second number with twelve digits and said..
Please proceed to another computer with internet access and log into the website, type in the twelve digits and close the installation!
What the hell!!!!
How can you possibly call this offline registration??
The one thing of which you can be sure is that it made perfect sense to the site programmer.
I'm still chuckling to myself about the video of you taking a hacksaw to a perfectly good (new?) final drive housing to convert the GS into a long-tail outboard motor. I saw many of those when in the western Pacific many, many years ago, then found that there's something similar in common use in southern Louisiana. There, they're called "Go Devils" but I'm reasonably sure that there are none powered by a bike.
This is a fun RR and I'm ready for more whenever you have time to post.
Appearance is what sells. That is quite true when it comes to the way Mexicans are dressed. I walk the broken walkways of Mazatlan and greet the locals Hola as they pass me by. People seem to be very friendly as in most places in Mexico. Though Ive spent already four weeks here in Mexico so far, I havent added more than a dozen words to my Spanish vocabulary and I am ashamed of myself in how bad Ive become in learning a new language. But there is no hassle in understanding them when it comes to basic communication. With hands and feet you can achieve a lot. Once they realize that youre a foreigner, you receive much more attention. Besides, there seem to be no shortage of people who speak English and in worst case scenario I can pull out the dictionary. From the very first day I entered Mexico, I learned that Mexicans love to show their hospitality to foreign visitors. A smile goes a long way and it sends good vibes and brings out the good in many.
The streets get busier as I get closer to the city square. This being a Saturday, there seems to be lot more going on than just the usual folks hanging around the small garden benches. I see the church yard is full of people, a wedding, perhaps? My suspicion is confirmed by the photographers and then the glimpse of a woman in a white dress surrounded by the dressed up crowd.
Then I see the shoeshine stands, probably a couple of dozen in this small square. In each corner of the square there are at least three or four stands. The men dont seem be short of work. Some men sitting on the high chairs watch in admiration as the worker gives his best to get those dirty shoes back to their glory. Some read newspapers and others just enjoy watching the pedestrians walk by. I ask myself, why dont they polish those shoes at home and spare some money?
Well, I guess the answer to that lies in the dusty pavements. What if you are going to some important meeting and just before reaching the office or meeting place, your dirty shoes wont give that big impression youre trying to make? So, it makes sense to get your shoes cleaned and polished just five minutes before the appointment. Hats too, seem to be a very important part of the dress code among men, especially older men. But I have never seen anyone wearing a dirty hat here in Mexico, or a hat that seems to be an old one. They are always immaculately clean and in their proper shape. Mexicans pay a lot of attention to their appearance and I ask myself what must they think when they see me? Most of the time, Im getting off my motorcycle with faded and worn motorcycle gear. Not only are they worn out, they are dusty and dirty since I spend so much time riding these dusty roads.
Among all the shoeshine stands, my eyes catch one slightly different from the others. This fellow repairs shoes! Ive been waiting for this moment since a couple months. At last, I could get my broken Army boots mended! You may wonder, why does a motorcycle rider wear Army boots. Thats another side story.
When I reached West Timor last December, I camped on a quiet beach on the south end of the island. I spent about three days there enjoying the beautiful warm, crystal clear water. There was a fishermans village about half a mile to the west of the bay. During the day there were people walking up and down the beach. As it was low tide, every morning before day break, the women came walking across the waist deep water catching small fish and collecting mussels. During the day there were a handful of local people, who came from the city of Kupang to swim and walk down the beach. Most of those folks had a small chitchat about me being there on a big motorcycle which aroused their curiosity. On the third day of camping however, I discovered that my riding boots were gone. Since I did not have too much space in my tent, I had left them at the entrance. I guess there must be a happy rider somewhere in West Timor riding his small scooter with a pair of shiny riding boots. Fortunately enough, I only had couple of hundred kilometers to ride until I had to ship my bike to Australia. Nevertheless, I was quite annoyed by the loss, but it wasnt that devastating.
When I reached Australia I had to wait for about a week before I could get my motorcycle cleared out of the port. I spent the days idling around the city of Darwin, hanging around with the people I met in the hostel. One of those nights, I was sharing the stories of my travels with a group of young people in the hostel. When I mentioned the fate of my riding boots, one of those men, who happened to be an Australian soldier, offered me a brand new pair of army boots, which fitted me perfectly. Since then, those boots have seen some serious adventures, and as a result they were beginning to fall apart. I cannot possibly buy another pair of riding boots. Though I tried on a couple of occasions to buy a pair of cheap riding boots, they never felt comfortable enough for wearing the whole day and every day.
I approach the shoe repairer and show him my shoes. The sole around the heel is starting to open up from the upper in both shoes. He wants 100 Pesos for the repair and is overly keen to have me as a customer. The price seems to be high for Mexico and I have serious doubts about him being able to repair the shoes for long term use. But I feel pity for the poor man and sit down on the bench and hand him one shoe and he begins his work. From the moment he starts applying glue on my dirty and dusty shoes without cleaning it, I realize that my shoe wont be lasting too long. But I wait there patiently till he finishes his work. There is a man reclining on a bench a few yards away from me. He has fallen into a deep sleep. Probably the plastic bag on the bench is his grocery shopping. Does his wife worry about where he got to? Maybe the busy street provides him a quieter surrounding than his home. I keep myself amused while my shoe is being repaired and 10 min later the repairer hands me the shoe and waits for the other one. But I pay him 60 Pesos and tell him that one shoe is good enough and wish him prospero ano.
I start my walk through the streets away from the crowd to take some snap shots of the old colonial style houses. Its so beautiful here. Each house tells a unique story. Some looking really fancy and well maintained and others show red bricks through the broken plaster and are dilapidated but equally beautiful for a photo.
Travel the world and you'll be riding through many doors. Some of them will be large and you'll have to squeeze through the others. What if the doors are closed? Well, the true adventure is all about trying to ride through those closed ones and the more you try the tougher you'll get. But the best adventures are when you find no doors and you have to make holes in walls to find a way through.
The Shock, the Bike and a Reunion.
It was somewhat a distressing observation. Once I started riding in Australia my rear tire appeared to be wearing out one side more than the other. Initially, I thought, it could be due to one pannier being heavier than the other which would make me lean to one side as I rode those long straight roads. But the reality proved to be something else. My rear suspension had become weak and as a result it made the tire rub the underside of the mudguard thus making the tire to wear out prematurely. The only remedy according to BMW was to replace the suspension completely. As the BMW parts usually come with gold plating, it was going to be expensive. As far as I remember, a new suspension was sold at around 1000 US dollars.
In order to keep the costs down, I was determined to solve the problem my way. When I removed the old suspension to find a cure for the disease, I noticed that there was a warning sticker. “Do Not Dismantle” it read. So I took the whole suspension apart using crude, homemade tools, and preloaded it by using a spacer which I cut out of a thick gauge metal tube. It worked wonders. And I was happy riding around Australia and then from Canada to Alaska with the original suspension that the bike had since its birth.
However, after having done more than 215,000km, 90% of that in fully loaded condition, I began to worry about worse case scenarios. I looked for possibilities of buying a second hand suspension on ebay and various other venues, but was not quite lucky enough to obtain one. On a couple of occasions, I replaced the suspension with a secondhand one, only to find out my old one was much better. On my last day in the USA, I was given a gift by one of the independent BMW motorcycle repair shops in Phoenix. I was so thrilled just to hold that shiny piece of art in my hands. I knew that a good suspension would take a big worry out of my head. That evening I worked till late, replacing the suspension and packing my bike for Mexico.
The next day I started early. When I reached the border area I realized that the new old part happens to be a bad old part. Every bump on the road was becoming a nightmare. Talking about nightmares, Mexico proved to be the country I have encountered most topes on roads. Every village you rode through had at least ten topes and a small town was armed with a hundred. Ride through a city and you’ll go insane! My suspension problem was becoming a real issue. I just left the land of plenty and couldn’t organize a reasonable solution. Now I’m in deep shit, I told myself.
In Metapec, I met some incredibly friendly people. Some of them were motorcycle enthusiasts and we had a lot in common and enough interests to share with one another. These bikers understood the needs of fellow rider. One of them who happened to be a friend of the BMW dealer in Metapec asked me if I needed to do any work on my motorcycle or needed any parts. Of course! I need to replace my suspension. But I wasn’t overly keen on going to BMW dealers to ask for favors. But my friends insisted that I accompany them and they were so confident that I will find a solution to my suspension problem there. “After all, you are an ambassador for BMW as you ride around the world” they said. Next day, as I stood in the car park, the BMW chief stood five meters away from me and shook his head without a handshake. Buy a new suspension!
However, my luck was rising to the occasion. A friend of mine from San Francisco was riding her motorcycle to Mexico over the Christmas and the New Year. I contacted her and asked if she would be kind enough to make a small detour to my friends in Phoenix and bring my old suspension to Mexico. Molly understood the saying “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. A few days later Bruce was reunited with the old shocks and he’s running without the limp. For how long? I don’t know! Bruce! Don’t worry. You and I are going to pull it through and make it around the world together!
Oh Nooooooo!!!! They're coming in boat loads!!!!!
After a very long time I rode in the rain again. It started shortly after Mazatlan and maintained the same intensity till I reached San Blas. Another coastal town and it seems to be a popular among tourists. There is no shortage of hotels and motels. There are even RV parks here. That's a strong indication of American presence. The rain made me kind of go numb in the brain. I couldn't make a decision what I should do regarding camping for the night. So I ended up riding till it was completely dark. But it all worked out in the end. I found this nice campground right on the beach with hot water and powered sites for just under 5USD per night. After setting up camp and after a light meal, I'm listening to the rain drops beating on my tent. But the sound of the waves of the ocean is much more powerful. I'm happy to be here. I'm happy that it rains. I'm happy for the sound of the sea. What a great way to begin the first night of the year! I bless the whole world and hope they are happy too!
An evening in Mazatlan. Mexico