not all those who wander are lost | two earthlings ride around the world

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Rockwell, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. Rockwell

    Rockwell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    670
    Location:
    Ontario
    Thread Index:
    Heading Out (August 20 – August 26, 2011)
    Leaving Ontario (August 26 – August 30, 2011)
    The Canadian Rockies (August 30 – September 5, 2011)
    Vancouver (September 5 – September 10, 2011)
    Into The U.S.A. (September 10 – September 16, 2011)
    The Alvord Desert (September 21 – September 27, 2011)
    Yellowstone (September 21 – September 27, 2011)
    Utah (September 27 – October 3, 2011)
    Colorado (October 3 – October 5, 2011)
    Valley of The Gods (October 5 – October 9, 2011)
    Flagstaff (October 9 – October 17, 2011)
    Into Texas (October 17 – October 25, 2011)
    Northern Mexico (October 26 – November 3, 2001)
    Central Mexico (November 4 – November 11, 2001)
    Southern Mexico (November 12 – November 22, 2011)
    San Cristóbal de las Casas (November 23 – December 10, 2011)
    The Yucatán (November 10 – December 21, 2011)
    Guatemala (December 22, 2011 – December 30, 2011)
    San Pedro La Laguna (December 30, 2011 – January 3, 2012)
    El Salvador (December 30, 2011 - January 7, 2012)
    The Accident (January 7 - January 14, 2012)
    Back In Canada (January 14, 2012 - Fall of 2012)
    Trip Expenses & Statistics (August 20, 2011 - January 7, 2012)
    Coming Back To Life (Completion in November of 2012)
    Preparing To Leave (Fall of 2012 - June 9, 2013)
    On The Road Again (June 9, 2013 - June 16, 2013)
    Québec (June 17, 2013 - June 23, 2013)
    The Maritimes (June 23, 2013 - July 5, 2013)
    Newfoundland (July 6, 2013 - July 16, 2013)
    Leaving Canada (July 16, 2013 - July 24, 2013)
    Vermont (July 25, 2013 - July 29, 2013)
    New York City (July 30, 2013 - August 5, 2013)
    Arriving In Iceland (August 5, 2013 - August 19, 2013)
    Iceland (August 20, 2013 - September 3, 2013)


    BLOG LINK

    [​IMG]

    The Route:

    The route for this trip began to take shape in 2008. Over the past two and a half years of researching, a solid route has formed. A general route was first arrived at by plotting points of interesting locations in Google Earth and then connecting the dots. The route, over the course of planning, has gone through many modifications, and will likely see more changes while on the road. Since the decision was made to stop for 6-8 months in Portugal to work and rest, this route has been broken down into two parts. The first part of our trip will take us from Canada to Portugal.

    Part I
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While in Portugal, we will solidify the plans for the second part of our journey. This part of the route, as it is now, is somewhat uncertain. The plan is to ride through Europe and into The Middle East through parts of the world that are somewhat unstable, partially due to the so-called “War On Terror”. After riding through Pakistan and India, the intention was to ride through mainland China, but, after finding out that to do so would mean a costly guided government escort, this part of the route was written off. If we can meet up with a group of riders who are willing to share the cost of an escort through China, this part of the trip can be reconsidered. Otherwise, heading south into Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia is a viable option. I’ve always wanted to visit Bali, Indonesia again anyway.

    Part II
    [​IMG]


    The Travellers:

    Rocky
    [​IMG]
    • Age: 35
    • Born: Hamilton, Canada
    • Lives: Hamilton, Canada
    • Profession: Electrical Engineering
    • Looking forward to the most: freedom
    • Will miss the most: Mama and Belle
    • Will miss the least: Mondays

    Paula
    [​IMG]
    • Age: 33
    • Born: Ponte de Vagos, Portugal
    • Lives: Hamilton, Canada
    • Profession: Customer Service
    • Looking forward to the most: really pretty landscapes, delicious food, and interesting people
    • Will miss the most: My little furry meow-meows
    • Will miss the least: Winter

    The Bike

    2007 KTM 990 Adventure
    [​IMG]

    My humble beginnings on Advrider

    After doing quite a bit of research, I decided that the KTM 990 Adventure would be the ideal bike for a trip around the world. *Its main competitor, the BMW R1200 GS Adventure, is an excellent long-distance touring bike, but is very heavy and reputed to be a handful in the off-road. The KTM 990 Adventure, according to many, is the best dual-sport motorcycle in the world, especially off the tarmac. Being an inexperienced rider, a bike’s ability off road was an important factor. The 990′s fuel efficiency and tank range can be seen as shortcomings, but can be remedied by carrying additional fuel canisters.

    In June of 2009, I took a motorcycle training course and obtained my motorcycle licence. Shortly after, I began the search for my dream bike – the 2007 KTM 990 Adventure. I searched locally and online, and eventually found a new one available at Mid-America Powersports, in Wichita, Kansas. Being a new rider, more experienced 990 riders tried to dissuade me by telling me I was going to kill myself. Being a reasonable person and not one who responds to alarmism, I gathered my confidence and took the plunge, flew down to Kansas and purchased my bike. I didn”t want the 2,200km ride back to Canada to end, but I knew there would soon be more miles of road to come.
    #1
  2. Rockwell

    Rockwell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    670
    Location:
    Ontario
    Update:
    We had been so busy preparing for this trip and trying to sell Paula's house that we didn't get a chance to post here. We have started this post a little late. We are currently in British Columbia, Canada, and we will try harder to update more frequently.
    #2
  3. elias

    elias Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    292
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Wish you the best guys, and hope everything will come as programed. :thumb

    Wy did you choose the east side of Africa to go north?
    #3
  4. ata

    ata expat in the jungle

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,297
    Location:
    Bilbao, close to the fu****ng Guggenheim
    good luck anywhere

    and before starting the second chapter, you know, a huge portion of sardinhas grelhadas :D
    #4
  5. tofire409

    tofire409 Geared up and ready.

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    742
    Location:
    Toronto, CDN
    I'm hooked :thumb

    I look forward to your adventures, particularly when the snow is flying here!

    :lurk
    #5
  6. Nokmuay

    Nokmuay Plan B Specialist

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    533
    Location:
    South Western Ontario, Canada
    Nice Tolkien Quote. I use that one too, usually on my tag line.

    Looks like a rockin trip, do keep the RRs coming!!!
    :clap

    BTW: I definitely do recomend THAILAND. I have been there 5 times for 3 months at a time usually to train in Muay Thai. The language is fairly easy, the people are extremely polite and generous, and even the slighest effort on your part to speak Thai ( and Thai and Laos speak the same language essentially, apart from a few words and whatnot) and they will reduce prices and bend over backwards to help you. The roads are definitely chaotic there, but by the time you get there, I am more then sure you will be accostomed with that. As you will probably be running into it from Mexico down. Any info you need on Thailand, I am more then willing to help you out!!!!!
    Be Safe!!!! And watch out for those damn donkeys in the middle of the street on the bends in Mexico and south!
    #6
  7. Ridesolo

    Ridesolo cereal lurker

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Zambo.Peninsula
    Good luck to both of you. :lurk
    #7
  8. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    1,972
    Location:
    in The Cloud
    I'm really looking forward to your ride report. I hope you will post often and include lots of pix!

    Buen Viaje,
    Steve in So Cal
    #8
  9. Rockwell

    Rockwell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    670
    Location:
    Ontario
    Thanks everyone!

    Not too sure why. There were just some things that we wanted to see on that side, and it seemed to be the best route over to Egypt and Jordan.

    We had a nice sardinhas grelhadas at Paula's mother's before we left!

    I've been to Thailand twice - Phuket and Bangkok. Paula has never been. I'm looking forward to Chaing Mai this time. I lived in Taiwan for four years and studied Mandarin Chinese for 6 months. It doesn't seem to help in Thailand. Taipei City has the craziest drivers of anywhere that I have driven (Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.). Thailand wasn't too bad, although I only rode scooter there in Phuket.
    #9
  10. Animo

    Animo Beastly n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,080
    Location:
    Playa del Carmen
    Hey Rocky, thanks for sending the link :lurk<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This is going to be a good one :thumb<o:p></o:p>
    #10
  11. Ford_Prefect

    Ford_Prefect Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Afghanistan... Lovely place minus the heat & dust!
    WOW, VERY COOL!

    So how does the 990adv compare with the 1200gs on the maintenence? I thought that they had to be worked on a lot more often?

    I have always liked that bike, as well as the 1200 gs, so I am looking forward to reading this and comparing it to others I have read who were on the GS.

    So what is / was your official departure date?


    If you get to Utah let me know, showers and laundry on me. Oh and Moab, and Arches are amazing! You might even enjoy the White Rim Trail!

    Safe travels!

    Brian
    #11
  12. Nokmuay

    Nokmuay Plan B Specialist

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    533
    Location:
    South Western Ontario, Canada
    yeah, Thailand rocks. If you ride east towards Issan and Ubon Ratchathani its very nice, and if you drop down to the coast there is TRAT, a seaside city, and you can ferry over to the Islands. Koh Chiang, Koh Kod and Koh Mak. these are great places, with cheap accoms. Jungle and mountan in the center, crazy roads up trhough it along the coast, with DS routes into the center, and jeeps and elephants for hire. Good diving and snorkling and whatnot. I paid 6 bucks a night for a bamboo bungaloo Hut with elec. on the beach sands on Koh Chiang.

    Chiang Mai is nice, but careful near the Thai / Myannamar border, there is some issues with that at times :evil
    #12
  13. Rockwell

    Rockwell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    670
    Location:
    Ontario
    No problem. Hopefully we'll see you south of the USA!
    #13
  14. Rockwell

    Rockwell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    670
    Location:
    Ontario
    This is my first bike! So far, the maintenance doesn't seem too bad.

    Our departure date was August 20th. We've been on the road for two weeks now. Just trying to find the time to edit photos and post.

    We might take you up on that offer of a shower and laundry.

    We're going to check out your website when we get a chance. It looks like an interesting idea!
    #14
  15. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,136
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    Subscribed and damn...this should be good.:clap
    Good luck and enjoy your journey.
    #15
  16. Rockwell

    Rockwell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    670
    Location:
    Ontario
    [​IMG] After a few delays and a lot of built up anticipation, we were ready and excited to finally greet the road. The house was sold and my belongings were either donated or traded for some shiny quarters. It was sad to part with the past eleven years of my life, but it was also liberating.

    Being accustomed to comfort, convenience and close relationships with my friends and family, it will take some adjusting to this new lifestyle. I will miss many things and people, but the toughest thing I am currently dealing with is being separated from my cats. I can’t yet forgive myself for leaving them. Mama is 16 years old and Belle is 11. Although they are safe and being well taken care of by my mom and brother, I hope they will be ok for the next few years.

    August 20th, 2011 was day 1 of our adventure. We packed up our gear, exchanged hugs with loved ones and rode through Hamilton one last time until we return.

    Good ol’ Hamilton is where this adventure was born. With a population of half a million, it is just the right size for comfort. Known as “Steel Town”, Hamilton is an industrial city located in southern Ontario at the center of the golden horseshoe. With an escarpment separating the upper and lower parts, it is also known for having over one hundred waterfalls.

    [​IMG]

    From Hamilton, we headed north to visit with Rocky’s dad. The weather was beautiful and traffic was flowing for the first few hours, but the roads quickly became congested with vehicles and clouds began to turn the skies grey. It didn’t take long before we got hit with a lot of rain. We chose not to stop and we continued north until the skies cleared. The ride wasn’t as bad as I imagined it could be, but my butt was definitely sore.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Larder lake is a really small town with less than 1000 people. We arrived with just enough sunlight to catch a glimpse of it’s beauty. *Rocky’s dad, Conrad, and his wife, Lorrain, have property that faces the lake. The view is perfect after a long day. We were spoiled with our own apartment above Conrad’s garage and we stayed a few days to spend some time with him. I now know where Rocky gets his charm from.

    Three nights and many beers and cigarettes later, we awoke to dark clouds and packed up to ride towards Timmins, Ontario. We went on route to visit with more of Rocky’s Family. His cousin Brandon had offered us a place to stay for the night, and Brandon’s wife Tracey prepared a yummy dinner. Wine, candy and a lot of laughs made for a great night. It is a short but sweet visit in Timmins.

    On August 24th, we spent a long day on the road. We saw many gold mines, forests and lakes. The roads were busy with construction and trucks, but I always enjoyed when a truck full of freshly cut lumber left it’s scent. We rode towards Lake Superior and set up the tent near the waters edge. Our first night in our new home was beautifully located, and the thunder helped me to sleep at night. The following day we prepared for another long ride along Lake Superior. We now regret rushing to make up distance because we didn’t take any pictures of the stunning scenery. “Ontario, yours to discover!”

    The following day, we made a trip to the university Rocky went to, and took a break for a couple of hours to wash and shower at the recreation center before getting back on the road. By sunset, we reached a town called Ignace and set up the tent on the side of the road. I have to admit, I didn’t want to set up camp there. It was beside a motel truck stop on a small patch of tall grass under a street light. It was an odd and random place, but I slept well.

    [​IMG] Having planned and thought about this trip for so long, the anticipation had me wishing that time would somehow speed up so that I could finally realize this journey that had lived inside my head for all that time. In the month or so leading up to our departure date, there was still so much to do that I found myself needing more time to ready ourselves for the trip.

    Our original departure date was set for July 23rd, but delays in selling Paula’s house and getting my full “M” motorcycle license set us back about one month. This was somewhat frustrating, but, at the same time, was a bit of a relief. The delay allowed us to better prepare, tie up all loose ends and spend more time with Mama and Belle, and our families and friends.

    Our date of departure finally arrived, and we set off from my mother’s house on Kitty Murray Lane in Ancaster, Ontario.

    We said good-bye to our families and finally hit the open road. The weather, heading off, was warm and sunny. My motorcycle, Almeida, and I were not accustomed to riding with so much weight. Halfway between Toronto and Barrie, the traffic came to a stall, and was stop-and-go for about, what seemed like, two hours. When it finally broke, we were hit by a torrential downpour. We rode through the rain and the sun finally broke through the clouds as we rode into North Bay. Shortly after leaving North Bay, a bird, flying up from the center of the road, met my forearm and its demise. 656km later, Paula, Almeida and I pulled into my father’s driveway just as the sun was setting. It was nice to arrive after my longest day ever on the bike. All three of us welcomed a good rest.

    We spent three nights with my father and his wife. For one reason or another, my father hadn’t been around for much of my life. During these three days, I felt that I got to know more of my father than I did in the first 33 years of my life.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our next destination was Timmins, Ontario to stay the night with my cousin, Brandon and his wife, Tracy. It was a short ride of roughly 150km, with a brief stop at a bike shop in Kirkland Lake, where Adam, a mechanic at Northern Freedom, helped us changed our clutch oil. That evening, we had dinner and wine with my cousin, his wife, my Aunt Marianne and her husband, Jean.

    We left Timmins the next morning to try to make up some distance. Over the next few days, we stopped in Marathon and Ignace, Ontario and, for the first time with no place to stay, we had to find spots to pitch our tent.

    Heading out of Ontario, I was a bit disappointed that I hadn’t gotten out my camera much to take photos of the scenery. This was, in part, because I had been trying to make up some time and distance and, trying to get use to the riding, needed to concentrate much on the road.

    Our next stop: Alberta.

    Dad & Paula
    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. Animo

    Animo Beastly n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,080
    Location:
    Playa del Carmen

    Initiation day is always a bitch, welcome to the Club :lol3

    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p>:thumb</o:p>
    #17
  18. JoDawg

    JoDawg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario Canada
    Rocky & Paula, Cheers from the crew at Dualsport Plus. We will be following along on this great adventure of yours. If you need anything do not hesitate to contact us and we will help you out.

    Be safe and enjoy the adventure!

    Cheers

    Les, Cath, Jody, Jen, and Tim
    The DSP Crew
    #18
  19. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    523
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    You two are off to a great start. Looking forward to following along. Safe travels.
    #19
  20. BRUTSQD

    BRUTSQD 2 scoops of stupid

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Looking like it's going to be a great trip, I'm jealous. Congrats on beginning your adventure and drive safe!! Subscribed.
    #20