Adventure Motorcycling Highlights, the FINAL CUT, 3 Continents in 3 Vids

Adventure Motorcycling Highlights, the FINAL CUT, 3 Continents in 3 Vids

Adventure Motorcycling Highlights – North, Central and South America

Adventure Motorcycling Video highlights from the big trip as we arrived in Anchorage in Alaska and then traveled south through Canada, America, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina. 15 countries in total, 29,500 miles over 12 months.

Very difficult to summarise 10 months into three short videos but we have managed to capture some of our best videos and photos to give you a real taste of what we encountered along the way. So here it is, the whole of our big trip in three songs and a few extra bits. Get yourself a cuppa and a few biscuits  and enjoy our adventure motorcycling video highlight marathon.

Part 1 – South America

From the Bolivian Salt Flats, to Machuu Pichuu, then Patagonia to the Ecuadorian jungle. This video features us arriving at the top of South America in Cartagena, then meandering down to the ‘bottom of the world’ to the town of Ushuaia, Southern Argentina. Check out the extra video footage at the end which talks about our most difficult days riding. Music: Jamiroquai – Canned Heat.

Part 2 – Central America

Arriving in Mexico, then heading south  through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Here we met the Stahlratte fishing boat and travelled south (as always) through the San Blas islands to Cartagena. Extra footage includes our little chat with the camera as we talk about potential roadside robberies in Guatemala. Music: Blur, Park Life.

Part 3 – North America

Here we arrived in Anchorage, unpacked the bike from its crate then headed north up to the Arctic Circle to the town of Deadhorse – the ‘top of the world.’ After this we head through British Colombia, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Vancouver, San Fran, Yosamite, Death Valley, Orange County and then Tijuana – The gateway to the Baja Peninsula, Mexico. Music: The Doors, LA Woman

We hope you enjoy the footage and we welcome everyone’s comments particularly from those that we met along the way.

Part 1 – South America

Part 2 – Central America

Part 3 – North America – The Beginning

Outdoor Motorbike Cover – BMW GS Adventure

Outdoor Motorbike Cover

Outdoor Motorcycle Cover for a BMW GS Adventure Motorcycle: Review

Finding an indoor or outdoor motorbike cover which will fit a BMW GS Adventure motorcycle or just a BMW GS is very hard work in my opinion. Particularly when you are buying an XL motorcycle cover off the shelf in the hope that it will cover the extent of your large bike, its top box, any additional panniers and its mirrors. It just won’t work usually.

So recently I have found an excellent quality motorbike cover for my new BMW GS Adventure and it is by far the best I have ever found for an adventure motorcycle. It was via Prestige Motorcycle Covers which I found one Saturday when I was looking through the web. I went for a black and green design which you can see in the post image.

www.prestigemotorbikecovers.co.uk

They seem to provide the most stylish custom made semi-fitted  outdoor motorbike covers you can buy on the market today, plus they are available for a range of motorbikes: Scooters, Adventure, Enduro, Trial, Trail, Retro, Cruisers & Sports Bikes.

What happens with them is you provide them with 5 measurements for your bike, you then select the colour (10 to choose from) and material you want and then they tailor make a motorcycle cover specific for your bike (indoor or outdoor) and then they send it to you in the post free of charge.

The material they use is waterproof and breathable, the design of the motorcycle cover means you have additional straps within the design so you can stop any flapping, it is a snug fit, plus the quality of the end product means that it will last for a long time.

Unfortunately my bike sits on the pavement every night as we don’t have a garage and it has to survive the UK winter and lots of salty sea air. So the new outdoor motorcycle cover means it is well covered during the day and night, it is out of sight, it is protected from the elements and it doesn’t draw any attention to it.

In the past I have had covers which only just go over the top box at the back but the cover never seemed to stretch further past the seat. So you were squeezing a cover on, it wasn’t doing the job and if you buy a universal large motorcycle cover off the shelf I’m sorry but you aren’t getting something which fits well for your motorbike.

The cost was very reasonable too. You are paying about £20-£30 more for the cover compared to other suppliers of off the shelf products, but you are guaranteed a quality motorcycle cover from a professional team. In total I paid £80 for something which was custom made and I am very happy, knowing that this motorcycle cover will look after the BMW GS for years to come.

Here are the details for Prestige Motorbike Covers:
www.prestigemotorbikecovers.co.uk

They can be contacted on 0191 284 6498

Heading off again – Looking forward to Bosnia Hercegovina

Heading off again

So we made it from the top to the bottom of the world and it feels great to be heading off to sunny climates for a couple of months.

Join us on our adventure motorcycling journey from the UK to Bosnia Hercegovina as we hope to fit in a bit more riding and enjoying stuff.

South East Coast of Argentina to Buenos Aires – It’s time to come home!

South East Coast of Argentina to Buenos Aires

Featuring the final leg of the journey as we headed from Tierra Del Fuego up Ruta 3, all the way to Buenos Aires. This adventure motorcyling video features clips from the stunning Peninsula Valdes with all its wildlife all the way up to packaging the bike with the freight forwarding company at the Buenos Aires airport.

A big thank you to everyone we have met along the way – it has been the most incredible journey and one we will keep with us forever.

For those of you in the UK and in Croatia, we look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Patagonia to Ushuaia – the bottom of the world

Patagonia to Ushuaia

This part of the trip has been a absolute pleasure with breathtaking scenery and remoteness that we haven’t encountered before!

Here are the highlights of Patagonia all the way from southern Chile to southern Argentina.

Highlights include arriving in Ushuaia at the bottom of the world and the all the amazing scenery along the way.
The video also features scenes of a domestic nature ‘egggate’ as Nick and Ivanka have a few words about why the eggs were broken? This adventure motorcycling isn’t straight forward you know!


 

Road of Death – Bolivia

Road of Death

Nick, Ivanka, Kevin, Andre & Mark are in Bolivia and they set off from La Paz to Cuzco encountering road blocks, snow and great mountain scenery.

To be honest we have done harder roads than the road of death but we are glad that the road was open only one way when we did it. If there would have been traffic coming the other way then it would have been a different story.

Ecuador and Crossing the Equator – Video

Ecuador and Crossing the Equator

Colombia has been relaxing, an adventure, we only probably road 10 days in the month we stayed there and we are now ready for the big ride down to Ushuaia in Tierra Del Fuego/ Argentina. We are currently in the Ecuadorian part of the Amazon jungle, having crossed the Equator.

Leaving Bogota we headed south over a magnificent pass between Ibague and Armenia. Climbing to an altitude of 4000m through sweeping bends, lush mountains and small villages along the way. Then after this mountain crossing we straight-lined it south towards Popayan and then the border town of Ipiales where we crossed into Ecuador.

Here is our latest video.

Archive Footage – Salmon Glacier near Hyder.

Archive Footage

Hyder, Salmon Glacier in British Colombia.
Nick and Ivanka take a break on route up the long trek to Salmon Glacier. A long gravel road, bears on route – with some of the most spectacular scenery we have seen so far on the trip. Quite a challenging narrow road with steep drops to one side, then of course the odd bear to watch out for.

A memorable journey indeed.

That evening we booked ourselves into our first hotel stay of the trip. This was because every camp ground had massive bear signs up stating that all food should be kept in the bear lockers and all pets should be kept indoors. All a bit too excessive so we thought we deserved the comfort of a nice hotel without the worries of bears prowling around the tent while we tried to sleep.

Very soon we will be heading back to the mountains as we head towards the Andes via southern Colombia and Ecuador.

Almost missing in Colombia

Almost missing in Colombia

Last week we started the bike after it had been sat in heavy rain for a couple of days and the motorbike did not sound good. It would not tick over, it sounded very rough and it struggled to make it from one side of Cartagena to the other.

I found water in the spark plug chamber and inside the lip of the petrol cap but after having a look at the plugs, speaking to a few motorcycle dudes, changing the oil, revving, riding, we were still in the same situation. The bike was spluttering and it was not going to take us anywhere reliably.

We were tinkering with the bike in the car park of the apartments we were staying in with some friends (very nice friends!) when a Colombian chap took an interest in what we were doing and he just seemed super keen to help. He said he had a mechanic friend, he could take us there. So, Ivanka and I looked at each other, thought it was the best shot we had and agreed to meet Alfredo at midday. It was a great idea – but, Ivanka and I have been side-by-side for 7 months and we never do missions separately and Alfredo doesn’t have a car of his own.

At midday my new amigo Alfredo (on the back of the bike and wearing Ivanka’s helmet) was kindly directing him and me on a mission across Cartagena in order to get the bike back to its best.

The journey itself was the usual kind of stuff on latin american roads; buses, motorbikes, traffic from bumper to bumper and I suppose I was expecting to get there within 10 minutes or so. 20 minutes later we were heading more inner city and I started to think: “Shit! Where is he taking me?” I got all sorts of ideas in my head – let me tell you! Is he taking me somewhere so he can do over the ‘gringo’? How will I get in touch with Ivanka to let her know about my progress? But then you remind yourself that Alfredo seemed like a nice bloke. Didn’t he?

The journey took us about 30 minutes in total and Alfredo said: “if you don’t like the mechanic just let me know”. We pulled down several back streets and eventually arrived in a neighborhood where there was a line of several bikes at the side of the kerb with a bunch of guys hanging out.

We got off the bike, Alfredo said hello to his friends and I thought: “shit, this clearly isn’t a proper mechanic – what am I supposed to do?”. The mechanic and I conversed in my basic Spanish and we agreed that he would look at the bike in about 45 minutes, once it had cooled down. In the meantime word must have got out that there was an English ‘gringo’ with a big bike and I must have met 10-15 kids who couldn’t help but come and have a look! Alfredo reminded me to watch my wallet and my belongings over and over again while I tried to keep the crowds entertained with my tales of places I have been and English football – all delivered in my excellent gringo Spanish!

Much later, the mechanic returned, he checked the spark plugs, took my engine case apart and then adjusted one of my throttle bodies and the bike seemed to be back just as it should be. It cost me $30 for his time and I had to let him have a go on the bike. Alfredo had come up with the goods, the mechanic had done the business and I was ready to go.

While we had been waiting there was a discussion about fitting my bike with fog lights and Alfredo said that there was a shop around the corner that could help. I thought to myself that I had only been gone a couple of hours so what was the harm? And anyway, I needed a new bulb for my headlight…

Alfredo called the doorman of the apartment block, left a message for Ivanka, and off we went.

To cut a long story short, I ended up going to 2 or 3 shops with Alfredo. We then went to 2 welders who needed to help with fitting a bracket and we had to go to an electrician so he could fit the lights. The whole process took us to 6.30 and we met so many nice people! One guy made us a Colombia sticker and everyone wanted a photo with me and the bike.

That was it. What a day! My bike was fixed, I had a new set of spotlights and I had a really really great day with Alfredo. Turns out he had had a BMW motorbike himself for a number of years which was part of the reason he was so keen to help. All in all we had spent 8 hours together by the time we got home and we had set up a friendship; I had invited him to visit in the UK and we had agreed to go out for some beers in Cartagena.

The journey home was more eventful than the whole day! It was dark, it was rush hour; there were cars, motorbikes and buses all over the place but that is just how it is and we made it back together safely.

When we met Ivanka on our return it was clear that she had been worried. Properly worried. She got the update call at 4pm and by 8pm she had been fighting all the paranoid possibilities for the best part of 5 hours. As she said, she had been trying very hard to except everything for what it was, a nice person being helpful, but it can be hard not to think of the alternatives because, even by latin american standards it had taken “an awfully long time”.

This story really highlights the kindness that you experience on a trip like this – all the crap you hear about Mexicans and Colombians is definitely there for a reason but the majority of people you meet out there are great people with really big hearts.

When was the last time you helped a stranger?

Thanks Alfredo for a special day around Cartagena and I look forward to our beer!

Crossing from Panama to Colombia – the Darien Gap

Crossing from Panama to Colombia

A major part of the trip so far as we cross from Central America to South America
Leaving from a small fishing village called Carti in the Panama jungle and then heading on a four day crossing to the big city lights of Cartagena in Colombia via the San Blas Islands.

In short one of the most exciting things we have done for a very long time. From the buzz of hoisting the motorbike in the air and placing it on a 100 year old fishing boat, to snorkelling along the reefs of the San Blas Islands.

It feels superb to be now settled in Colombia, with the second half of the Americas to look forward to.

Enjoy the video.

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