The Wife takes on Chlamydia. A South American Retrospective

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ChrisUK, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    A bit of background: Between mid-1999 and early 2002 I rode around the world, that is UK through the Middle East and trans-Africa followed by New York to the Arctic circle to Tierra del Fuego, including about 9 months in South America. The bike I rode then was a 1989 BMW r100gs that had various names: Janis (too nice a name, allegedly), Helga (German and functional), the Wife (An Ethiopian policeman at a checkpoint upon demanding to know the make of vehicle for his ledger said it stood for “Be My Wife”), Ex-wife (we developed a rider/ridee relationship: She promised not to break down and I promised not to fall off…) and finally Goaty (as in “Old Goat”). The story of that trip is at my website at Round the World TBSdotCom


    In mid/late 2015 I was at a bit of a loose end and with less than a week of planning and prep I flew to Brazil, bought a pre abused 2005 Kawasaki KLR650 and set off. The trip was meant to last only 3 months (budgetary constraints), but took 8 (helped by creative accounting)… The guy who sold me the bike had called her/it “Klarissa”. No guesses why. As she/it already looked so cosmetically beaten up, Klamidia seemed a suitable new name. On a Facebook post, a spelling bee corrected the spelling. I wonder how he knew?


    So, the thread title is becoming clearer… Many things have changed in the world, in South America, in the “adventure” bike market niche, and of course, with me. I’m more ruggedly handsome, have gone grey, put on a bit of weight and am still bald. In this RR I want to compare the sights, sounds and experiences from the trip on the Wife to Chlamydia’s safari 15 years later. I revisited lots of places, saw many new sights, met old friends and made new ones. I also travelled to/through places like Antarctica and Colombia that I missed last time due to timing and security constraints.


    My 2015/16 route was rather haphazard with several places visited more than once. I’ll explain the route in the following posts. I’m going to have to present it chronologically as any other way would do my head in. I want to show images from the Millennium trip and compare what I saw and how I felt then and 15 years on.


    Please do ask questions and make comments. Hope you like the pictures and words. Here is a selection from the 15/16 trip.


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    End of the road in Argentina. 3rd visit, February 2015




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    Antarctic yacht




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    Mt Fitzroy, Patagonia, Argentina




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    Chlamydia and friend, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia




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    The ultimate wildcamp? Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia




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    Toby Price, 2016 Dakar winner, Stage 6, near Turpiza, Bolivia




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    The podium, Rosario, Argentina. I had sneaked into the VIP area




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    Flamingos, Lagunas route, the long way. Bolivia to Chile




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    The "so called" Death Road into the Yungas, Bolivia. Not so dangerous these days




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    Bemused Peruvian lady




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    Girl and sister, on a slightly longer detour around a landslide, northern Peru




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    Is he taking our picture? Dunno, bald git... Coffee triangle, Colombia




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    End to end done... Santa Marta, Colombia
    #1
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  2. Northstar Beemer

    Northstar Beemer Been here awhile

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    Outstanding pictures. I'm in.
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  3. Dirtroadbandit

    Dirtroadbandit Former lurker

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    i once had klamidia....


    and a wife!



    Im In!
    #3
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  4. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    I'm in ...
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  5. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Many thanks for your positive comments guys
    #5
  6. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    The bikes involved:

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    Wifey, here just crossed onto Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

    1989 BMW R100gs with big 43 litre Acerbis tank and what I thought at the time was a good idea: A pizza box on the back


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    Chlam, here at La Higuera, Ruta del Che, Bolivia

    2005 Kawasaki KLR650 bigger plastic tank (IMS?) and the panniers it came with (Pelican), along with a cheap kitbag from the camping shop.


    Both bikes did about 30.000 km = 20.000 miles in South America with me at the helm. Wifey also took a banana barge down the Amazon from Peru to the Atlantic. After abandoning Chlam to the clutches of a nasty man-hating psycho hostal chica in Ushuaia for 10 days, I joined a cruise ship across the Drake Passage to Antarctica and back. Chlam survived, as did I.

    The 2015/16 trip started in October 2015 in Sao Paulo in Brasil.

    Just a note, all the Millennium/Wife pictures will only be 500 pixels along their longest edge, and possibly a bit pixelated. They were taken with a good camera and on slide film, but in the scanning process (which took me forever all those years ago) they ended up like this. In those days I didn't understand such things as well as I do now and digital technology in the last 15 years has made huge strides too.

    Other recent RRs of mine include

    2012 Stans and Mongolia: http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...-brighty-in-central-asia-and-mongolia.828973/

    2013 Far East Siberia: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/mongolia-to-magadan-any-which-the-hard-way.961578/

    My Website: http://www.thebrightstuff.com/
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  7. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    It looks like you put the A in Adventure Chris. some very cool vids on your site. I felt like I was there with you when you drowned the bike in Mongolia. And was amazed at how it started up after the required procedures. Thanks for sharing.
    #7
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  8. jamie92j

    jamie92j Been here awhile

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    Awesome! Looking forward to this one Chris!
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  9. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Glad you like the videos. One or 2 of the Siberian ones from 2013 are very "adventurous". Particularly negotiating some of the ex-bridges along the BAM road.

    The flippant response to how easily the bike started after the river incident would be: What do you expect, it's a Honda! If I'm honest I was expecting my German riding buddy to say: "For yuh, ze trip iz over". That black Honda still runs today.

    South America was in some ways less "less adventurous" in terms of hard core moments, but every day there was new and exciting and I was never bored. Also a damn sight more fun than humouring spotty teenagers in a school classroom.
    #9
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  10. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    2015/16 Map overview, Brasil overview

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    Overview map of gps tracklogs

    Route:

    1. Green(Start Sao Paulo)
    2. Red
    3. Purple
    4. Yellow (following 2016 Dakar race)
    5. No tracklogs. Forgot? Lost? The most boring ride down Ruta 3 from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. Shame I haven't the "proof" of my longest ever ride day. One day I did 900 km/ 600 miles. A record for me. Some of you iron-butters riding a GS might do that before breakfast, but try it at 50mph only riding between sun up and sun down with 50mph winds, mainly hitting the bike between 12 noon and 3 o'clock (not time of day, but between head on and from the right quarter of the bike. All day). Also a horrid road surface and articulated trucks to overtake/ overtaking me or coming the other way. On a 650 thumper with a loud pipe. The significance of the pipe loudness will be mentioned in another post. It's pretty funny/sad depending on your outlook.
    6. Light blue
    7. Dark blue
    8. Dark purple (End Santa Marta and Bogota)

    I did enter and leave Bolivia multiple times… A veritable spaghetti of tracks left there.


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    I didn’t explore Brasil as much as I could have on this trip. The furthest north I got was Rio de Janeiro, which in terms of Brasil is not very far at all. In many places, major floods were causing a lot of destruction. I don’t like riding in the rain and the distances are huge.



    A couple of taster Brasil pictures…


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    Redeemed? Maybe not, but definitely a clean bike



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    Trinidad breakfast beach view from tent



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    Paraty Cathedral
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  11. GTMan

    GTMan Adventurer

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    Nuff Respect. Awesome.
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  12. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®

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    Subscribed.

    Which for me, is a first.

    :lurk
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  13. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Hope you like the rest of the RR folks!
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  14. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    In and around Campos do Jordao, SP State, Brasil


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    Set off from the mega city of Sao Paulo for a bit a spin in the area around Campos do Jordao. A super pretty part of the world and a huge and pleasant contrast. SP city has its charms, but riding through it on a motorcycle wasn't one of them!



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    Man and child on cow


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    A Brazilian friend gave me the name and vague location of a rural restaurant in the middle of nowhere. I found it! Not signposted or anything. Very popular and great food!


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    When not with Geraldo fettling the bike it was important to sample the delights of this place settled by the Swiss who brought their traditions with them


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    Chlam was in good hands in Geraldo Lima’s workshop in Campos do Jordao. He’s the race mechanic for top Brazilian Dakar works rider and multiple finisher Jean Azevedo, including when the chequered flag was still in Dakar, Senegal

    Geraldo is a top bloke! He also allowed me to stay FOC in his guest annex, which considering my budgetary constraints was very welcome. Brasil ain't a cheap travel destination!



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    One of Jean’s race bikes in Geraldo’s workshop

    In the 2016 race Jean walked away from this crash: Lucky lucky man!....


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    #14
  15. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Rio de Janeiro 2000 and 2015

    2000:

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    And

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    In 2000 it was a little less overcast on Copacabana beach

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    And the nights were clear

    More words from my website: Chapter 26 The Big Trip


    2015:

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    In October 2015 it was a tad more cloudy. At least it wasn’t raining like south of here



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    Statue to Antônio Carlos Jobim, the composer of The Girl from Ipanema



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    Beach art



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    Beach volleyball



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    Beach footvole. These guys are good!



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    Queen of Copacabana! No further comment required.
    #15
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  16. BIG OIL

    BIG OIL Loooozer

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    Following! Adventure on!
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  17. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Following Highway 101, south of Rio de Janeiro

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    While in Sao Paulo I took the opportunity to visit the bike show. I love Kawasakis



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    Theirs is bigger than mine. But I’ve been told size doesn’t matter. The one in the middle is a stretched Hayabusa



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    Marcelo is a great motorcycle traveller. As is his wife Beth. And great hosts at their luxurious house… Check out their website at Dream World Quest



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    Rural Sao Paulo state is rather green



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    One horsepower vs about 40



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    It did rain a lot, here at Trinidad, but what’s wrong with sitting under a beach umbrella, reading a book and sipping caipiroskas con maracuja?



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    Graffiti at Trinidad



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    Sometimes it didn’t rain, but the next downpour was never far away



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    Anyone for a yot?



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    Sun peeks through clouds at Ilhabela



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    Hipster chica or self mutilation?



    A picture I took of a surfer in 2001 in Salvador de Bahia:

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    Now: Men, lock up your womens. Beach Surf God in the area! (Including truckers’ tan…), Ubatuba
    #17
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  18. NSadv

    NSadv Adventurer

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    Wow. Just wow. Chris, your travels are proof that the world is waiting. All anyone needs to do to find adventure is to get out of their day to day routine and start going. Amazing. Thanks for sharing!
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  19. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Meeting old friends in Curitiba

    The twisty mountain road from Sao Paulo to Curitiba provided more experiences of riding in the rain. Not so good, especially because I left late and rode into the dark. I however had a destination and old friends to look forward to meeting again. Martin and his wife from Switzerland still live in Curitiba. I met them on my last trip through the Americas in 2000/2001. It was super fun to catch up!

    The word "retrospective" does appear in the thread title and so far there haven't been too many pictures or feelings from the Millennium trip. A lot of this is because several 2001 pictures were ruined in a Chilean photo development lab.

    BUT

    Here's a chance to check if anyone is into audience participation on this forum. The 2 following pictures include me: One is taken in Istanbul in 1999 prior to my trans-Africa trip (that led to the Americas leg of my RTW) and the other is from Curitiba in 2015.

    Clearly I'm now less skinny and more ruggedly handsome... Are there any other similarities and differences between these 2 pictures?

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    A couple of other 2015 Curitiba memories...

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    Martin really is into his flying and owns several aeroplanes. This one is being restored. It comes from Germany via Argentina. It is said to have belonged to a certain Mr Adolf H's personal pilot and is 1930s/40s vintage. The plane is a 2 seater and apparently small enough to take off in a (wide) city street.


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    Another German connection aircraft from the former DDR = East Germany


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    Martin on his Ural outfit, the factory for which was originally in Berlin before being dismantled and shipped east.



    Wow, an entire post without any ladies visible, except possibly a wife or 2? Also no STD references
    #19
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  20. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the kind words. Indeed, the hardest part to doing an extended trip is actually setting off.
    #20