LoneStar's Adventure to South America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LoneStar, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,715
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Yep. Heading solo to Tierra del Fuego!

    If you happened to catch my last ride report, “The Adventures of LoneStar & The Iron Butterfly”, then you’ll know that I just spent 9 months and 30,000 miles traveling and photographing the American West, Canada, Alaska and Mexico with my partner-in-crime Kim, aka "The Iron Butterfly". If you didn't know, now you do :lol3


    The Dalton, Alaska
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    San Juans, Colorado
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    Somewhere In, Colorado
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    Yukon Territory, Canada
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    San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas
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    Uruapan, Michoacan
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    Patzcuaro, Michoacan
    [​IMG]

    The seed for South America was planted in 1991, overhearing a group of six guys at a BMW dealer in Fort Worth preparing for a trip from Alaska to Ushuaia. The idea bit me hard at 31, but it seemed an eternal impossibility with children and a life-consuming business to run. Nevertheless, the idea remained a faint orange ember in the back of my consciousness, never quite dying out.

    After getting back into riding 10 years ago, the ember was fanned by ride reports and travelers met, glowing brighter until it flickered into a flame. Attempts to make the trip happen wandered and deflected as time slipped away. The reality that unless something radical was done, the cycle of working to pay bills would never end. Waiting any longer seemed much more foolish than making a radical life change. I know too many people who postponed dreams, only to die or develop issues that would never allow it.

    I began selling my sacred cows and possessions, including the sale of my home to free me of responsibility and make the trip possible. During that time I’d met “The Iron Butterfly”, aka Kim, who also wanted to make a significant trip in life, hitting the road with me for the North America portion. It was an awesome trip indeed.

    The U.S., Canada and Mexico route this past year:
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    A bit more detail on the recent Mexico route
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    And now my solo journey south begins, the direction on the map Ushuaia, but the real destination lying somewhere in the soul. Traveling to the tip is a bit common now, but for me it's the journey I've waited for. It's always about the journey, not the destination. The last 30,000 miles proved that roads simply lead to the people who will touch your life. We make our plans, but they are often confounded, so rather than saying “I’m riding to Ushuaia!”, I’m just gonna say “I’m riding south” :D


    Currently I’m in the mini-Manhattan of Dilley, Texas, hanging out with Motohank discussing photography, art, motorcycles and travel, getting new Heidenau’s slapped on and doing final maintenance on the R1200GSA. Also trying once again to fit 100 pounds of potatoes into a 10 pound sack… the eternal quest of packing for a long trek.

    If you want to see what I’m bringing on the bike, with lists, check out the tail end of my report “The Adventures of LoneStar & The Iron Butterfly”... not a bad read in itself.

    The route will take me back through Mexico, where we’d explored for 3 months previously, then Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. From there, I hope to ship by sailboat to Cartagena and explore South America, ending up in Tierra Del Fuego circa February.

    Gracias!
    #1
  2. agplant

    agplant Ride Fast Travel Slo

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    High Level, Alberta
    :lurk
    I'm in, looking forward to the next installment.
    #2
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  3. Trip Hammer

    Trip Hammer It's not the years, it's the mileage

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    773
    Location:
    Seattle
    :clap!!!!
    #3
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  4. SpiritAtBay

    SpiritAtBay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    114
    And we're off!

    Ride far, ride safe, Gigantica
    #4
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  5. joenuclear

    joenuclear Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,328
    N!
    #5
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  6. drfood

    drfood Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Houston, TX (Westbury area)
    Joseph... God speed and may the journey be everything and more than you anticipated.

    Jay and I will be reading every new post and absorbing the amazing photos all along the way.

    We wish IB well in her next adventure in life in Dallas. We know you guys will miss one another.


    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
    #6
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  7. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    699
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA, USA
    Enjoyed the last RR, looking forward to this one!

    :lurk
    #7
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  8. mattscott

    mattscott Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Ridgway Colorado
    Looking forward to this, good luck!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #8
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  9. TheNetworker

    TheNetworker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    185
    Location:
    Germany, Lower Saxony
    I am in too - gentleman - start you engine and let the words and pictures of that journey appear here.

    Yout thoughts about and how to do such a trip are inspiring. It's a transition from function a life to living a life.

    Keep the rubber side down.
    #9
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  10. jeepman63

    jeepman63 daplumber

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    south corolina
    Im in also, safe travels joe, we all know your going to miss the "iron butterfly" :rofl
    #10
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  11. Merfman

    Merfman Trustin' my cape...

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,428
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    In! Have a great trip!
    #11
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  12. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,715
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    So I left Dilley, Texas yesterday from my friend MotoHank's shop, a few days later than I would have preferred, but the time spent was worth it, especially finding the potential issue with the driveshaft.

    I rolled onto the highway about 9:30, an hour later than planned. It felt good to be moving in the mid-sixties temperatures and sunshine. Cotulla slipped by with its mass of quickly built oil boom hotels and fast food restaurants and I settled into the rythm of the road, the howl of the Heidenau's ringing in my ears until crossing the magical noise abating line of 65. I tried to block my thoughts of all that lay ahead and just enjoy the moments, determined to live day by day.

    The exit for Highway 255 finally came up after an hour of droning on I-35 amidst the endless flats of scrub mesquite, it's status as a toll road now apparently changed, pieces of tape covering the word "toll" on every sign.


    Deciding to head for the Colombia Solidarity crossing into Mexico to avoid the lines at Nuevo Laredo proved a good decision. There were no people at the crossing on either side. I paid the $3.50 bridge fee and headed over. Pulling under the inspection port on the Mexican side, I got my first red light and siren ever. I climbed off the bike as the guard began a barrage of questions in Spanish of which none did I understand. I stuttered back "no hablo Espanol". He pointed to each case for me to open as he continued in Spanish. I wasn't sure what he was saying, to which I randomly replied "Argentina". His eyes got wide and he shook his head as if I were crazy. I pointed to myself and said "Gringo Loco". He didn't respond but pointed to my duffel and asked about it. I could not think of the word for tent so I just said "camping". He stared for a bit, then lost interest and said "Bueno" and turned away, just as the inspection alarm went off again. There sat an identical red R1200GSA, waiting for inspection. The guard spun back around and looked at me like "WTF?", doing a double take at each of us again. I shrugged and made a goofy face, then headed inside for the Inmigracion and Aduana process. It was quick and easy and I was on the road in about 15 minutes.


    For anyone heading to Mexico, consider the Colombia crossing if you don't get across to the Aduana in Nuevo Laredo early in the morning. Much after 9 and the lines can get really long. Colombia is about 30 miles north of Laredo and it adds about an hour overall, however you'll spend that long in a line in NL easily.


    If you haven't done it before, the process is as follows:

    Go to immigration first, present your passport, fill out the visa form you receive, return to immigration officer. He gives it back.

    Next, you take the immigration form, passport, your vehicle title (and/or registration), and drivers license to the little combination snack & copy kiosk. Pay for copies. Take them and the originals to the Aduana window. You'll pay a $400 deposit for the moto ($200 if it's pre-2000 iirc) which is refunded upon checking out of the country, plus $29 fee, then $52 for the tourist visa. Credit cards accepted other than for copies. Take the receipt back to immigration for proof of payment. The process is similar at each crossing but can differ. Recently at both Laredo and Colombia, they've been demanding vehicle registration and not a title, turning away those without. Today however, they didn't even mention registration. Such is Mexico.


    [​IMG]


    Arrived in Santiago about 3 p.m. and had to wait for the hotel attendant to open the place. As I sat swigging water on the main square, an older distinguished gentleman pulled over on his scooter. He began speaking in Spanish then switched to English for my benefit. He talked of his other motorcycles and that he loved the scooter for running to the store. As we talked of my travels, he said “Mexico is a great and beautiful country, but I think the peoples is not so good.” It was his way of warning me to be careful as he rode off for an ice cream.

    [​IMG]


    I had the entire hotel to myself, with school and tourist season over it's a nice relief to have some solitude.


    [​IMG]

    The surrounding mountains were covered in mist and the sky undulated from blue to gray, slowly dissolving into dusk and darkness.

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    Thoughts of the day… the endless, flat landscape of scrub mesquite brush and wind-shredded plastic bags captive to barb wire fences, riding in hub deep water on the streets of Monterrey from heavy rains with the accompanying dousing from cars adjacent, the little girl staring at me through the dirty glass of a rear car window, eyes enlarging in fear as I turned to look, the strange cocktail mix of diesel fumes, grilling meat and Fabuloso cleaner in my nose as one cruises in traffic, the misty Sierra Madre mountains looming over me as the day shortens.


    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]



    Santiago is a beautiful, quiet town. A step back in time in some ways, but sitting on a park bench, it's tranquility swept over me as the dusk fell away to late night.


    [​IMG]


    The Canyons of the Sierra Madre either to Galeana or Los Lirios are tugging at me to head for Real de Catorce, always a stunning ride. However, I think I will take a different ride south through Linares, Ciudad Victoria and on to Xilitla, a route I have never taken. The bike is running well and handling like a dream with the new tires. Despite my micro-focus for vibrations with the new drive shaft, all seems to be well.
    #12
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  13. Zapgarou

    Zapgarou Ripper

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Abbeville
    Your photo's and reports are worthy of being in National Geographic someday you should write a a book about all your adventures.
    I'll be following your reports and wishing I was on such a great adventure.
    #13
  14. NAVIGATOR

    NAVIGATOR Wanderer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,773
    Location:
    SOUTH OF THE USA BORDER(friendlier Mexico)
    Have a great trip on your way south.
    Be aware of "Katia" it´s gonna pour some heavy rain over the Gulf coast and sierras, (Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo states)
    #14
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  15. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,201
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    In for your new titled report...
    #15
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  16. Andsetinn

    Andsetinn Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Oddometer:
    69
    Best of luck on your travels. I will be watching with interest.
    #16
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  17. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,385
    Location:
    Arizona--Semper Vestibulum
    Since you are on your own ( IB will be missed) again I'll jump in for the ride & fantastic photo's. How long before you get to "Rock n' Roll Chiapas ?
    #17
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  18. JoeBiker25

    JoeBiker25 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    Gilroy, CA
    Stunning pics that really draw you in!!!
    #18
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  19. inroads

    inroads Wimberley,Texas

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    729
    Dodging hurricanes and earthquakes.....vivid photography....
    Vaya Con Dios my friend....
    #19
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  20. elron

    elron Still Standing

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    427
    Location:
    Scott Walker Hell
    Made the jump over and enjoying the start of your RR part deux.
    #20
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