Trails of South America (PtI)... a photo journal

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JediMaster, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    From a Chielan , tihis is just breathtaking. Wonderful , overwhelming roads and views.

    I a mpromoting SAmerica in Florida. I will use your pictures as part of the videos and shots to show what everybody is missing n their bucket.

    No doubt, Dakar rally want to stay in S.A. , is so young and so vast to discover.

    Congratulations, I 've been in those landscapes and I know what it means.

    Gaston
    #21
  2. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Pretty handy with the camera to say the least. Nice job! I thought you captured the essence of the altiplano very well with your photos. :freaky
    #22
  3. cirrus365

    cirrus365 beaned

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    Wow! Beautiful photos. Cant wait for more.
    #23
  4. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    That's the first time anyone's mentioned "capturing the essence" of a region with regard to my photo's. That's much appreciated coming from someone who's explored/experienced the region on a motorcycle. Cheers!

    I look forward to a few beers with yourself and that crazy man Throttlemeister at the weekend. :beer
    #24
  5. meteorite

    meteorite MoreDust

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    Great pictures. Sounds like an awesome trip. Also good write-up. I'm planning to ride there in the near future. Do you have GPS tracks to pass on? Why the swop from the BMW to the DR? How did those tires treat you? (Mefo's right:hmmmmm) Was fuel a problem? What was the main considerations/sources, during route planning? (besides the next beer:lol3)
    #25
  6. meteorite

    meteorite MoreDust

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    Subscribed.
    #26
  7. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    Send me an email and I'll send you my GPS tracks.

    Why did I replace the BMW? THe following is taken from here - ShortWayRound - Chapter 20

    "Whilst the engine (with the exception of the waterpump of which I’ve replaced 4) has been extremely reliable (apart from the cold starting) the chassis has been another story. The headlight has been held in with zip ties for 3 years + (all the mountings having vibrated themselves to bits), I’ve replaced 4 sets of steering head bearings, 6 fork seals, 7 engine cradle bolts, 4 sets link arm bearings (and the current set are seized), 1 pair of link arms, 1 set linkage bearings (and the current set are seized), 2 Ohlins suspension complete failures and 5 batteries. All that despite stripping cleaning and greasing with waterproof grease on several occasions. Had I been paying dealers to do my repairs I would have spent more repairing the bike than I did buying it."

    Why did I choose a DR650? The following is taken from here - ShortWayRound/Suzuki

    "Replacing my F650 was an opportunity to take a slightly different approach and incorporate much of what I’ve learnt over the last 4 years. What have I learnt? Well, if you want to travel off the beaten track then weight is the key. My F650 took me to places I would never have believed possible prior to leaving home but at great expense to the chassis. A lighter bike and kit mean its gentler on its suspension so requires lighter springing which in turn puts less strain on surrounding components – at least that’s my theory. Lady P weighed 300kg + food & water. I’m hoping the DR will weigh in around 220kg. I’m hoping too that it won’t just mean it’s more reliable on the kind of terrain I’ve traversed so far, but that I’ll be able to tackle routes that I would have considered ‘off-limits’ on my F650."

    Tyres - I've never used Mefo's. There's a lot of bollocks talked about tyres but unless you're going to spend a fortune shipping tyres ahead you buy what's available when you need them. In South America the most widely available are Pirelli and Metzeler (all made in Brazil).

    The rear tyres you see in the pictures are either Metzeler Saharas (which I like a lot) or Pirelli MT60's. The front tyres will either be Metz Sahara's. Metz Karoo or Pirelli MT21.

    Different continents; different tyres. In Australia & New Zealand Pirelli, Metzeler and Conti were DOUBLE the price of Michelin. That was where I started using Michelin T63's. I used them throughout North America. The Pirelli MT21 front is better than the T63 but doesn't wear as well, altough it is bi-directional so I swith then round every 3k to get the most from them.

    Fuel - Never a problem with the Beemer. 39ltr tank = 800km. More in the mountains. Very few places need a long range, Paso Sico and Paso San Francisco spring to mind.

    Route planning -

    #1 avoid the Pan American!
    #2 Buy the best maps you can find and follow the wiggly lines
    #3 Read this - Best Road in South America?
    #4 Talk to everyone you meet
    #5 Fill up with gas, food, water and take a chance!

    Hope that helps, anywhere in the Andes is awesome :nod

    Adam

    #27
  8. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

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    Nice stuff here man:thumb
    Keep it comin'!

    Are you still on the road? I'm just thinking you might be able to get the lens repaired under warranty. I think it's five-years on Nikkor lenses...
    There's always manual focus in the meantime...
    #28
  9. TrophyHunter

    TrophyHunter Long timer Supporter

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    Adam - good to see you're still "around" and doing well. As mentioned, the incredible photos just keep comin'. Tommy's just about to get in a load of those hocky puck scallops....sorry ya won't be here to get some.

    Safe travels.
    #29
  10. Alex G

    Alex G Wanderer

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    Front Page material! Bravo! Great photography and RR! Thanks for sharing!

    #30
  11. Callahan

    Callahan Long timer

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    geat trip great photos thanks
    #31
  12. Flys Lo

    Flys Lo cool hand fluke

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    Wow.
    Stunning photos, and great story, muchas gracias :thumb
    Sorry to hear about the accident with the filter/lens.

    Do you mind me asking what filters you use (or used) in this case?
    #32
  13. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    Thanks:thumb

    I use a circular polarizing filter for most of my outdoor photography. I also have a UV filter but rarely use it although I'm going to play with it a bit more in Colombia to see if it will help with the haze.
    #33
  14. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    I was only relating the tale of staying with you, Tommy's seafood and your excellent cooking two days ago!

    I can taste them from here...:dg
    #34
  15. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    Yes I'm still on the road. Just returned to Jersey and the UK for a few weeks to attend my niece's 1st birthday and my best mates wedding. I'll be back in Colombia on Wednesday. :nod

    Now then...It's always nice to have people pass favourable comments about ones photo's, but when those comments come from a pro it's just a touch more satisfying:D

    5yr Nikkor Warranty seems to depend on where you bought it. I bought mine in Malaysia back in 2007 but finding the receipt would be a mission in itself! I've checked Nikon's website and my best bet looks like Santiago, Chile (although I'm not planning on going that far south)

    I've had a quick look at your website (I'll have a longer look when I can). Funny to see Ara's bike on the homepage. I met him outside a supermarket in Moab and again by complete chance in Nevada (or was it Oregon?) a few months later...Global Village!
    #35
  16. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    Trails of South America (PtII)...a photo journal STARTS HERE



    I was going to start a new thread for SA part II but I think it’s better to continue with this one…

    (If a MOD is reading perhaps you could remove the ‘PtI’ from the thread title?)

    OK, so just a quick reminder…

    I left home in March 2006 to ride around the world on my BMW F650. In September 2009 I was riding north through Bolivia when I broke the Ohlins suspension (again). Fed up with fixing it and with the total lack of customer service from Ohlins (See Chapter 19 & Maintenance for full story), I threw the BMW towel in, shipped the Beemer back to Europe, flew to the US and bought a 3 year old DR650.

    Once I’d completed turning the DR (from here on known as Rosie) into a RTW bike (DR Build page) I set off around the US and Canada before heading south through Mexico and Central America.

    My complete journey is documented on my website – ShortWayRound, but for ADV I created Trails of North America…a photo journal which is basically a gallery of photos taken from dirt roads between Alaska and Panama with sufficient comment to make sense of them.

    That idea led to this thread. PtI (until now) covers ‘The BMW Years’ ’08-’09, when I rode Valparaiso – Buenos Aires – followed the Dakar for 4 days – Ushuaia (via Caraterra Austral) – Mendoza (via Ruta 40) – Uruguay – Rio de Janeiro – Paraguay – NW Argentina/Chilean Andes – Bolivia – Lima.

    PtII (from now on) will cover ‘The Suzuki Years’. It is my intention to follow the following route: Colombia – Ecuador – Peru - northern Chile/Argentina – Bolivia – Amazon (via Porto Velho and Santarem) – Macapa (via boat) – Guianas – Venezuela – Colombia.

    Once again I’ll be posting photos from dirt roads with sufficient comment to make sense of them. The full story will be on my website – ShortWayRound

    I tend to write long but infrequent updates there so you’ll find more up-to-date comments at facebook.com/shortwayround


    All clear? Good, Colombia’s up next…
    #36
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  17. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    I sailed from Panama to Colombia on the Stahlratte with nine other motorcyclists including ADV's Throttlemeister - 33 1/3 N C S

    Once we eventually got our bikes custom cleared most set off south but a few of us hung around in the north. A day after leaving Cartagena I bumped into Sharna, an Australian girl riding a Guatemalan registered Yamaha YBR125. The following day Josh (Georgia, DR650) arrived with his Danish mat Patrick (Wee-Strom). Josh had sailed from Panama on the same boat as Sharna and we'd all previously met at customs.

    Together we set off to ride to Punta Gallinas, the most northerly point in South America.

    The gang head north...

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    It was slow going with the gang but they all rode well for different reasons. Josh had passed his test just prior to the trip and was riding an overloaded bike. Patricks Wee-Strom had road tyres and lacked ground clearance but he made up for its shortcomings with long legs and his trials riding experience. Sharna had a small bike that she struggled to stand-up on.

    Combined with a multitude of tracks to choose from and no sign posts we ended up riding for 3hrs in the dark.
    Eventually we rode into Luther's garden in Taroa. When we asked for directions he got out his bike and led the way!

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    Once on the right track he phoned ahead to the only accomodation in Punta Gallinas to tell them we were coming.

    We were pleased enough to have arrived but doubly pleased to discover a lobster dinner and 50c beers!

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    #37
  18. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    The following day we set about finding the most northerly point of South America. It turns out there isn't even a sign. Just a ramshackle concrete hut adorned with graffiti and an electronic 'lighthouse' tower.

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    We got a warm welcome from the school kids in one of the settlements on the way back

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    Before filling up with lovely cheap gas smuggled in from Venezuela on the outskirts of Uribia

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    A few more pics from the ride...

    This little tienda was blasting 70's disco and Queen from a huge speaker...random.

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    A local goes for gas

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    #38
  19. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    I left Josh, Patrick and Sharna in Santa Marta, rode south to Bucaramanga and after buying new tyres headed for the hills.

    Colombia took an absolute hammering from 'La Nina' earlier this year and at the end of last year. Hundreds died in flooding and landslides and thousands remain homeless. On occasion Medellin, the country's second city, was cut-off from the rest of the country by landslides.
    I came across the first of many clean-up operations south of Pamplona on the road to Malaga.

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    Colombians are devout Catholics and I encountered many roadside shrines to the Virgin Mary that had been adorned with car headlights.

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    Pamplona - Malaga road

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    #39
  20. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    After a night in the rather pleasant town of Malaga I continued south - destination Sierra Nevada El Cocuy.
    With 21 peaks most of which are above 5000m, the National Park of Sierra Nevada del Cocuy Chita offers some spectacular hiking and I was in need of some exercise.

    At first I missed the turn-off in the town of Capitanelo as I wasn't expecting a small dirt road but I was delighted when I did find it...

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    With absolutely no traffic it was my favourite kind of dirt road...

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    #40
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