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2021 Leave Dates -Pan American

Discussion in 'Americas' started by jackattack13, May 3, 2020.

  1. jackattack13

    jackattack13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Escondido, CA
    Hi all,

    I am a long time lurker and follower of epic rides on this site and I have made the decision to set sail in 2021 on the Pan American Highway. A true lifetime dream of mine. There are a few problems I have been trying to nail down, and big one is dates to leave.

    I live in San Diego, so the southern border is just down the road from me, which makes it all so tempting to start south and then work my way back north. But my original plan was to head to Alaska and then shoot south. The problem is, that I have to wait till later in the year to do the Alaska portion, which delays the trip a bit.

    So I reach out to fellow inmates and the wise words of those who have ventured this path before me. Thanks ahead of time!
    #1
  2. slowriding

    slowriding Dopeless Hope Fiend

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
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    398
    Location:
    Geezerville, AZ
    How far south and have you been south of the border on a bike? I combed this site reading every RR I could find and it helped greatly when I went to Panama.
    #2
    knight likes this.
  3. oneway

    oneway Tehachapi CA

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    4,558
    Location:
    Tehachapi, CA when I'm home
    Yeah, the biggest question is how far are you going? And how long you’ll want to stay. If you’re headed to South America I would leave in late September or early October. That puts you in a nice place to enjoy Dia de Muertos in Mexico and jump on the Stahlratte to South America on about the last trip which is close to Thanksgiving.
    Then you’re good in SA to Ushaia until Feb\Mar.
    I left in 2017 on Oct 10th. I wanted to go earlier but had to wait on some paperwork.
    If you’re new to this I would go to a horizons unlimited meeting. They usually do them regionally and the so. Cal meeting is in Mariposa in late Sept.
    I have been a presenter there and have given details of my trip. Ideally you go there, learn what you need, find some like minded friends, and depart from there.
    I’ll be glad to answer any questions for you regarding my experience. There are many others here who can help as well.
    #3
  4. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    One aspect of any further information you'll find useful is to elaborate on your general plan of approach to such a trip. By this I mean to state if your an "A to B" rider or interested meandering some (or a lot!) to see whats of interest in countries along the way?
    Mexico is at your door and could easily be a place to not choose the Pan American route if you take the best routes for riding joy, scenery, culture, etc.. Same story as you proceed south into Central America and SA.
    Dates might just be conjecture for now but still fun to plan.
    I could make an easy argument for doing AK for it's own merits and separately, not as a part of some grand plan to make your way from way north down to way south. But I'm more into where I'm going than that "notch in your belt" sort of trip.
    You don't say how much you've traveled either so give us a better feel for this idea and you'll get better info.. How long/far matters of course as said.
    #4
  5. jackattack13

    jackattack13 Adventurer

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    Escondido, CA
    I guess I missed out some details. So I plan on travelling for a year or so, prefer the meandering, let the wind take me as I meet people and find out about "must see" places. As much as it does sound nice to do the entire trip from North to South in one swoop, I also feel like there is so much to see and do that it is worthy of splitting it into two sections and I would be fine with that. I am not going to over plan this trip, I will get some general ideas of where to go and what to see along the way, but by no means daily itineraries etc. The main reason I was trying to find out good dates to leave is so I know how much money I need to save per month to reach my goal. Would hate to hit jump off day and not be financially ready.

    As for my experience down south on a bike. NONE. But I have lived and traveled throughout Central and South America, but not on a travelling exploration basis. I was down there for work, so it was more of go to work, then back home maybe hit a club or a bar on the weekends, restaurants for dinner, etc. LOL I have been into the 4x4 Overlanding scene for about 6 years, have done some long trips in my 100 Series Land Cruiser, but am ready to flip the script and jump on my Tiger 800 and hit the road!
    #5
  6. GeoAdventure

    GeoAdventure Been here awhile Supporter

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    Whidbey Island
    Sounds like a great plan. I too, want to head south. I was thinking AK 2020, SA 2021. I now have To adjust my time line. I live near the Canadian border. My biggest question/concern is, can I wing it or do I need to have all my boarder crossing all worked out. I prefer to just go on a walk-about (ride-about). My daily destination will be determined when I get there. A coin will be my compass. The other concern is I only only know about 10 words in Spanish, but I am fluent in iPhone.
    #6
  7. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    The BORDER crossings are going to be prone to throw some kinks into the progress if the covid 19 does not get resolved by a totally effective vaccine which is available to all . Countries might decide that to be admitted a proof of vaccination needs to be shown . Also your travel health insurance might make such vaccination a requirement, and if you miss that detail in the fine print you could find yourself without any insurance at all.
    It used to be possible to wing it , just show up at a border with your passport and bike papers in order ,but that could change now.
    Geo , do try to learn some practical Spanish before you go, you still have plenty of time . Relying on iPhone to translate is a crappy way of getting your questions and ideas across.
    #7
  8. GeoAdventure

    GeoAdventure Been here awhile Supporter

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    The problem with learning Spanish, is my English is getten badder as I got older!

    I imagine the Covid will throw a curve ball at everything.

    I bicycled in Europe 40 years ago, without an issue. Due to the current global political and Covid environment, I imagine even doing that now would be difficult.
    #8
  9. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    In 1980 in Europe , just about every kid in school was learning some English . The same is true now in Mexico and I suppose most other countries where there are well set up schools with good funding . But the likelihood of running into finding that kid just when you want to babble away in Ingles is against your success. Sure ,you will meet adults who can work in English , but again they are not as common as you may think when you get out into the back country.Get away from any phobia about learning Spanish .Doing so in a language course may actually increase the quality of you English as a side benefit

    And Jack , you actually still have not said precisely how far south you want to go .
    Just because you are going on the road for a year does not tell us. You can easily spend a year filled with touring Mexico and Central America in a wandering ,unhurried visit.
    I agree with Kantuckid , do the Alaska trip as a separate event.It would be silly to go up there and then ride past your front door,as it were , as you hasten south. And if you live in San Diego there really is no reason to put off going into Mexico for shorter explorations ( once the Covid 19 gets resolved ) Why should it be just a blast down the PanAm ?
    #9
  10. GeoAdventure

    GeoAdventure Been here awhile Supporter

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    Bakker
    I agree, I don’t have any reservations about learning Spanish. Other than finding a source that I can trust. I always wanted to. I taught myself Italian, in two months while I was there. I purchased grade school primers. I will look into the CC branch, on the island.
    My biggest concern is the crossings and staying within the law. If I have to hang out for a couple of days, that is ok too. No hurry! If I was younger, and did not have a wife, I would spend over a year
    #10