Tuesday 31 December 2013

Back Home

Day 182, Dec 31, 2013

Made it safe and sound to Kingston, Ontario after some 25hrs of traveling with 12.5hrs of flying time, I was able to celebrated New Years eve with family.

I will be staying here for the next while sorting out some business matters and then back to Rockland/Ottawa to finish the books.

Its icy cold here and a real system shock for sure, after the hot 40c of Buenos Aires to minus 30c here, ouch.

I would like to wish everyone that followed along a very Happy New Year and may your dreams come true as it did for me, because without your support I would not have made it this far.

As I have said before an adventure like this will let you see nature and it's unbelievable beauty and will push your mental and physical ability to extremes that will go deep into your soul and after you think you have seen and felt it all it goes even further than that when meeting some of the most incredible people ever. I do believe that you have to live life to it's fullest so that you can feel what I have felt and so that you too will never have a regret.

A special heart felt thanks to all the ADVriders that opened there homes to me during this trip:

Sherpaguy in North Bay, Ontario
Albertabob in  Pincher Creek, Alberta
GISdood, in Prince George, BC
Yukon Jon in  Carmacks, Yukon
XB12R in Colombia Island, WA
dentedvw in Salt Lake City, Utah
HeadShrinker in  Kayenta, AZ
Cmnthead in  Las Tablas, Panama

And to those that I did meet and gave from there heart.

David Jeffrey in Eagle Plains, North West Territory
Steve & Wendy in Nanaimo, BC
Mark Kraft in  Pasco, WA
Steve & Sylvia Scholte, Mountain Home, Idaho
Dave & Julie, in Moab Utah
Tim & Kari Page in San Diego, California
Dan & Nancy in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica.
Oscar & Family in Rio Grande, Argentina

I cannot thank all of you enough, because you helped make this ride possible.


Monday 30 December 2013

Wandering through Buenos Aires

Day 175, Dec 24, to Day 181, Dec 30, 2013

In Buenos Aires they did close all museums and shops for the Dec 24 and 25 Christmas Holidays. They don't celebrate this at all, so this made for long hours talking with other travellers here at the hostel. Two girls from Australia were robbed a few days earlier (Tiffany and Lucy) and they were still a bit dazed from there experience. Lucy had her purse stolen that had everything in it so she needed to go to the Embassy for en emergency Passport. Luckily she was able to get one and did turn this experience into a positive one as to not have everything in one place. We also talked about our travels and we had a really great Christmas dinner that was organized by Hostel Ostinatto.
To sum a few things up.

The ride was 51,833 km's or 32,395 miles long and did take me through 18 country’s during 171 days.
52.084km’s if you add the Kingston to Ottawa mileage.
This set of tires has 29,996 km's (18,747 mi) on them and are still in one piece with zero flats (go Mitas).

Day 178, Dec 27, 2013, 32km
Finally was able to head down to the airport and get the biked wrapped for shipping, after waiting for 3 hours with another couple from Germany we were called to the cargo hall, where our bikes were weighed and then put onto a skid that they had made for us.
Did not have much time before customs would close so we had to hurry. I decided not to remove the front wheel for time sake and I just hope that this will not be to costly in the end.
Day 179, Dec 28, 2013
Walked to some of the Museums and Monasteries today but just could not get very excited about any of them, the heat outside and even inside these places is sucking the life out of everything, did buy 2 ltr's of water and your still thirsty. Buenos Aires is having it's worst heat wave ever and no end in sight.
The famous Obelisk on 9 de Julio and Corrientes.
Day 180, Dec 29, 2013
Did go back to the markets and just wandered around with water bottles at hand, its 40c and sat down at every opportunity I could get.
Can't get much sleep with temps inside around 38c, all you can do is sweat and drink more. Here is a link to a local paper about the heat:

Day 181, Dec 30, 2013
Headed downtown to Navicon for the final payment for the bike and it works out to the following:
Volume weight 397 Kg times 3.40 per Kg     US$1,349.80
Navicon packaging and handling charges       US$   325.00
Agent fee?                                                        US$     60.00
Storage fee                                                       US$     57.00
Airport tax                                                      US $   140.50
Undocumented handling fee?                        US $    54.08
Sub total                                                         US$ 1,986.38
Sub total times official bank exchange of 6.5 = $12,911.47 pesos
Did get Blue dollar exchange for pesos @ 9.75 and only paid US$1,324.25 for shipping after changing dollars for pesos
Plus US$ 100.00 for Dakarmotos for there involvement.
Making a grand total for the whole thing US $1,424.25
Was surprised about the volume weight even after not removing the front wheel.



Monday 23 December 2013

Shipping in Buenos Aires

Day 173, Dec 22, 2013

Lazy Sunday walking the markets that go on forever, taking in coffee, beer, ice cream breaks and having a juicy steak dinner, man this is hard. Buenos Aires is just so very European, can't believe I'm not walking some streets back in Amsterdam or Paris.

Forgot to put my SD memory card in the camera, so it gave me only one shot on internal, so here it is, will get more, next time.



Day 174, Dec 23, 2013, 42km

Headed to Navicon and found out that they will only work with Sandra from DakarMotors when it comes to Motorcycles, because Sandra gives them all the work they want you to go to them first.

Apparently they have a mutual agreement and they would not bend from this. So headed to DakarMotors and paid $100 for there involvement to arrange with Navicon when the bike could be dropped off. With all the Holidays and Aduana only working short hours I have to wait till Friday before my bike will be packaged and customs cleared. Then on Monday they will let me know how much the shipping will cost and I will need to pay this at Navicon, anyway welcome to the merry-go-round.

Something you should know about shipping is the dimensional weight.

The dimensional weight of a shipment is a calculation that reflects its density. Dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the length x height x width and dividing by 166 lb (if multiplied in inches) or by 6,000 kg (if multiplied in centimeters).

"Size counts" formula in common use:
Length x Width x Height in cm. divided by 6 = weight in KG.

Example. 225 x 100 x 115 = 2587.5 cm3 divided by 6 = 431kg

Weight times KG price gives you the airline shipping charge.

Hope this helps some of you still out there.

Was able to book a flight for myself on December 31, New Years Eve to Toronto, leaving 8 am to Bogota and then to Toronto arriving 9:40 pm, this will be the Champagne flight I guess.

Have another week to hang around here and see all the sites; just don't know how much of this I can take.


Saturday 21 December 2013

Buenos Aires

Day172, Dec, 21, 2013, 48km

Staying in Buenos Aires at Hostel Ostinatto for $9 and have the bike in secure parking for $3, it has free breakfast and is very close to everything.


For the Super Tenere Fans here are two shots of the engine after almost 52,000 km (32,000mi) and having not been cleaned. I think it looks damn good after all the beating it took, shifter and linkage is a little bent, but still functional.


More later,


Friday 20 December 2013

Buenos Aires

Day 171, Dec 20, 2013, 605km

Made it to Buenos Aires today after another gruelling windy day. Did stop at the Airport but it was after 6pm and none of the shipping offices were open anymore, but I did find out that you need a clearing house to take care of the shipping, none of the Airlines will bother with you until you have the item ready (packaged on a skid) and customs cleared. A company called Navicon takes care of this for you and arranges for the package to be sent to the proper Airline.

Monday I will talk with them and make arrangements.

Will give more info on this when done.


Thursday 19 December 2013

Punta Alta

Day 170, Dec 19, 2013, 555km

Another windy day and a whole lot of nothing to see but desert, except for the last hour when I was finally getting into some more farm land. The temperatures has been steadily rising the last few days and today it hit 34c, I know I shouldn’t complain but the wind and the heat have made this a challenge to stay hydrated.


Wednesday 18 December 2013

Las Grutas

Day 169, Dec 18, 2013, 710km

Much the same today, with one difference is that the wind shifted from the plains to the coast, but still very strong head  to side winds, the nice part is you get no blast from the trucks when they pass.

Ended up in Las Grutas looking for a hostel but found La Perla Azul Cabins instead, it's more like a bachelor apartment complex. When I asked how much they wanted $30 but I talked them down to $20; sweet.



View of the coast near Comodoro Rivadavia.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Rio Santa Cruz

Day 168, Dec 17, 2013, 698km

Drove down the RN3 along the coast to Rio Santa Cruz, and stayed at the Quequen Aike Hospedaje for $17. 

Today was a tiresome day battling strong head to side winds especially hitting those walls of wind that the trucks would blast at you as they come down this road. Also did come across this volcanic depression  known as the Gran Bajo San Julian


Monday 16 December 2013

Straits of Magellan Ferry

Day 167, Dec 16, 2013, 384km

Did leave Rio Grande today after staying another night at Oscars home and was treated like family. Oscar and a group of guys from the Vouken Kayen motorcycle group also have a dream to someday head out and do Route 66 across the USA. I wish for them that one day they can fulfill there dream.

There is a 100 km stretch of mostly hard packed gravel road between Argentina and Chile, and today with the rain made it a real challenge on some of the sections that was only mud and no gravel. With no more tread left on the rear tire, it was slip and slide the whole way. I just hope I can make it to BA without having to change it.

The good part was the Boat ride, what a breeze as to compared to the last time. Made it through Chili and  two easy border crossings. Staying in Rio Gallegos at the Oviedo Hotel for $20.


Sunday 15 December 2013

Rio Grande

Day 166, Dec 15, 2013


Did leave Ushuaia with mixed feelings, so very glad to have made it this far and now to commence on the road back home will be so different, for so long it has been a daily task as to seek a way to get here and now that has gone, I believe that only a few will understand this feeling. I do look very much forward to going back home and once again being amongst family and friends, but it will be a challenge to find some calm after riding almost everyday.

Made it to Rio Grande and was once again welcomed by a great bunch of people from the Vouken Kayen motorcycle group.

The views as you leave Ushuaia.

Saturday 14 December 2013


Day 165, Dec 14, 2013

Having a nice relax day in Ushuaia and will head out to Rio Grande tomorrow.
Also planning to make my way to Buenos Aires over the next couple of days and I will keep you informed on my progress, also working on a summery of things like bike and gear so stay tuned for that.

Old wooden tugboat in Ushuaia Harbor

Last Night I did meet up with Wei and we had a great dinner with a few beers, and of course while sharing some of our crazy rides we have done. He will be heading out to get his girlfriend and then take her on a tour that he had planned  including a boat trip to Antarctica and then come back to Ushuaia for his finish. I wish you the best of luck my friend, take care and may the bike gods be in your favor.

View of Lago Escondido




Friday 13 December 2013

Bahia Lapataia, Park Nacional, Tierra del Fuego

Day 164, Friday the 13th  December 2013, 51km

This morning I made the final 25km trek to Tierra del Fuego National Park and have reached the true End of the World. This was a super joyous occasion to have reached this point and have my dream come true. I was finally standing here with my heart pounding and with  emotions that did bring tears of joy and sadness all at the same time.
During that last 15km stretch going into the park and taking it easy on the sandy roads gave me some time to reflect a bit and kind of set me up for this event, because I have seen so much beauty during this trip that it has made my cup run over many times, the people I have encountered have astounded me with help and generosity far beyond anything I could  have ever imagined, the many roads of euphoric delight and those of disaster along with that the many faces of those that did catch a piece of my heart that I will never forget, this is truly a dream come true.




End of the Road.




The one and only sign at the end of Ruta 3, Terre del Fuego.

Jeff from World's End.

Thursday 12 December 2013


Day 163, Dec, 12, 210km

Made the ride into Ushuaia, with Oscar today and have finally reached The City at the End of The World. Oscar has some family that runs the Patagonia Pais Hostel here and there giving me a special.



The Andes Mountains at Ushuaia.

 Ushuaia Harbor

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Crossing The Straits of Magellan

Day 162, Dec 11, 2013

Staying in Rio Grande Today.

I had promised to give you the story of the other day’s events, so here it is.
I had left Puerto San Julian fairly early and was first planning to stay in Rio Galegos, but since it was still early when I arrived I decided to make a run for Chile and see how far I would get. Once on the road to Chile the wind started picking up and gusting to 120km/h and had me almost flat to compensate against it, plus it had me drifting across all the lanes, at one point I felt the bike lift off the ground and made for a very unnerving experience. Also did see some trucks along the side of the road that had tumbled (not good).
Continued through the Border crossing that was very easy and then to the Ferry for a fun ride. The deck hand signs to me to get the bike close to the wall and hang on, in front of me are two other motorcycle riders (Oscar & Maurice) and we start a conversation as to where we are going. One is riding a bike with sidecar and the other is riding a Mondial 254cc bike. We leave the harbour and the boat start to dip into the swales that are splashing over the 10' side walls and I could see the other waves coming at us from the front of the boat when we dipped down (oh crap). Hang on says the deck hand again; are you kidding me this was a understatement. I can barely keep myself afoot, so I manage to turn around with my back to a post and arms rapped around a side rail one hand clamping the bikes steering wheel and one leg up against it. After a good 30 min rumble tumble we did finally manage to get to the other side.
Back into the safe harbour Oscar says why don't you stay at my place for the night, unless you have other plans, I tell him not really and I would gladly take him up on his invite. We ride for a while on some good paved roads with the bike and sidecar making the pace at a whopping 40 to 60 km/h and then we head toward the unpaved portion that seemed to take forever, finally the border crossing back into Argentina and a fill-up with gas, it's dark and already 11:30 so how far is your place?  I find out that it's only another 90km and at 60km/h max I'm thinking this will be a late one.
I stayed that night with them and was invited to see the city and stay for the BBQ that would include there family and friends from there motorcycle club Vouken Kayen. What a great group of people this turned out to be, one's that really care and just goes to shows how motorcycle riders help each other out all over the world.


Rio Grande, Argentina, and the view to Antarctica.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Rio Grand

Day 161, Dec 10, 2013, 477km

Had a long day, even though I wanted to make it a short one, it just did not stop, more on that later.
I am on a borrowed Laptop at the moment, and staying at a lovely moto family that I came in contact with on the ferry while crossing the choppy water of the Straits of Magellan in Chile. They invited me to stay at there place for a day and see the surroundings in Rio Grande.


More to follow.


Monday 9 December 2013

Puerto San Julian

Day 160, Dec 9, 2013, 667km

Left Rio Mayo nice and early to continue down Ruta 40 but fond that on the other side of town there was more road work and after yesterdays shake and bake taking the forced roads seemed not the way to go again, so lets take option #2 and head back to the coast that's only 250 km (155 mi) away and hopefully it has better roads than this. Headed down R26 towards Comondoro Rivadavia and I was hoping that it would turn into a paved road (it did after 140km), even though the hard packed gravel is very drivable so long as you stay in the tire tracks. The only problems you encounter are usually in the curves where everyone just doesn’t know how to stay in a track and so there is none, most of the time you zig and zag a little but get through, then of course if your doing 100 km/h you get something like this, (wipe-out).

Was time for a little siesta anyway, and my left knee had been spared all the previous attempts for a nap, so now were done, bandaged it up and now were back to limping a little again. The bike did take another beating today though. The fall broke my hwy peg off, the luggage lock is busted and a bolt is ripped out of the bracket, luckily a trucker did drive by and helped me set the bike back up and I went back to riding at 100 but did take the curves way slower this time.

The scenery has changed again to a more stretched out desert look.

Made it to Puerto San Julian and staying at Hotel Sada for $22.


Sunday 8 December 2013

Rio Mayo

Day 159, Dec 8, 2013, 688km

Decided today to go further down Ruta 40 and see just how far I could get.

From Bariochi you first ride through a real nice green valley. And that later becomes more and more flat with Desert and of course then the detours from the construction that take you off the road onto a real shitty one. Nevertheless I made it to Rio Mayo and into a Hotel for $18 with Internet and secure parking.


Saturday 7 December 2013


Day 158, Dec 7, 2013, 53km

I started today by first having a good breakfast and then headed into town for some relax time and a good Cappuccino to take it all in.

Barilochi is just like all the other tourist hot spots that have a lake, mountains, and winter ski option's, you name it and you can do it here, it's all very nice but not my cup of tea. So I headed out of town towards a small village called Colonia Suiza that has one of the best Beer breweries around (Berlina), this place is well off the beaten path and has some beautiful views along the way.

Once I arrived I found out that today the brewery was closed because of the Beer festival that will take place tonight in town, and this sounded like fun.

Did go to the festival with some of the guys at the Hostel and had a good time, then later back at the Hostel the party continued, with steaks on the BBQ and more beer.


Friday 6 December 2013

San Carlos de Bariloche

Day 157, Dec 6, 2013, 477km

The road to S.C. de Bariloche did become way more scenic as I climbed higher and higher into the mountains and with that of coarse also making the temperature drop from 34c in the valley to 24c by the time I got there.

This town is a Mecca for trekkers and the like, it's one of those hubs where everything and everyone collects for there way either going North or South and has a ton of things to do and see just on it's own.

Will stay for an extra day and see the sights around here, and let you know what I find.


Thursday 5 December 2013

Rio Negro

Day 156, Dec 5, 2013, 934km

Another day of country roads with oddly enough pink Flamingos in the pounds.

Later today the road made way for desert with a bit more hills, sometimes you would be travelling for several hours before another truck or car would pass by and they would be waving there hands to great you as a sign of camaraderie on this desolate road. This is not the kind of place to go off the road for any reason.

Made it to Rio Negro this is just before Neuguen and will head out towards San Carlos de Bariloche.


Wednesday 4 December 2013

General Villegas

Day 155, Dec 4, 2013, 608km

Just before I left Salto today a lady (Jan) says hi to me and we strike a broad conversation on a lot of things, including the question of humanity and is it still there?  As it turns out she is an ex pat now living and teaching here for the last I believe was 20 years and she has found that now with the  Internet and Cable TV being offered, that here too the pace of live has changed, people are more in a hurry than before and the city is changing with new building designs (out with the old and in with the new). Jan was also in love with the old Gran Hotel Concordia where time has stood still and she fears that all the reasons why she moved and loves it so much here in Uruguay (laid back in a timeless era) will be lost.

I believe she is right in this respect that life will change and never be the same once all the new technologies have taken over, but I also believe that humanity has yet to learn how to use all this technology to there advantage and not to live life as a slave to it but to use it as a tool that can help preserve these thing we love and I can't stress this enough, we have YET TO LEARN.

Today started a bit late and another border crossing back to Argentina made for another one of those into the night rides. I do try to stop every now and then to move around while taking a little snack and drink, this just to brake things up and not get stiff.

Country roads again today with towns scattered far between and way past the roads edge. I finally pulled into a flea beaten place that had a friendly elderly couple running it, but it just looked so run down that I hesitated to go in, but being tired made me go. The room was decent so it will have to do. You could tell the couples life was hard by the way they were dressed and the scars of work and time was deep on there faces but still they were lit with a smile.