Chapter 28 – The Altiplano

December 24, 2011

Trip distance and Time trip correct at La Paz, Bolivia on 28/11/11

More photos in the galleries Bolivia 2011 Chile 2011Argentina 2011

The motorcyclists amongst you may also like the

‘Trails of South America…a photo journal’ gallery which supports my ADV Rider thread

Continued from Chapter 27…

After a painless border crossing at Copacabana (I’d exited Bolivia there in 2009 and so knew the system) I rode on to La Paz only to arrive at Hostel El Careterro just as Mark & Claire appeared on foot to take a look at the place. They’d been staying elsewhere but soon moved when they realized how much they could save my moving to El Careterro.

Bolivian policeman Amadeo Condori was impressed with Rosie!

…read the rest of Chapter 28


Chapter 27 – “Here comes the sun…do do do do…”

September 23, 2011

Trip distance and Time trip correct at Peru/Bolivia border 11/08/11

More photos in the Peru 2011 gallery

The motorcyclists amongst you may also like the

‘Trails of South America…a photo journal’ gallery which supports my ADV Rider thread


When I first properly looked at the map of Peru I was immediately struck by the potential to traverse it along the Andes, primarily on dirt roads. Despite a government TV advert claiming 10k km of new roads had been built (or should that be ‘surfaced’?) I still rode 3193km of dirt; almost 50% of my total distance in the country. The graph below shows how much of that time was in the mountains.

GPS profile of Peru 2011 route

…read the rest of Chapter 27

Chapter 26 – “Rain drops keep falling on my head…”

August 27, 2011

Trip distance and Time trip correct at Ecuador/Peru border 16/06/11

More photos in the Ecuador gallery

I was a little nervous as I rolled down the hill to the border, filtering past a long queue of traffic in the rain as my Temporary Import Permit for Rosie had expired whilst I’d been back in GB attending my niece’s 1st birthday and best mate’s wedding. As a result I was hoping to bypass customs, go straight to Immigration and then ski across the across the border to Ecuador unnoticed. Mike at Casa Blanca Hostel in Cali had told me how the border was laid out and so as everyone queued for the customs window I slipped down the outside, around the back to the carpark and walked into the empty ‘Migracion’ office where I quickly got stamped out. For once the rain was probably doing me a favor as no officials were outside wandering around. Once across the bridge I was directed to a parking space by an Ecuadorian Policeman and I relaxed and grabbed a quick coffee outside the photocopy shop.

…read the rest of Chapter 26

Chapter 25 – South to South America

May 14, 2011

“What do you mean you want the receipt for my tourist visa!!!???…How could I have entered without paying for it!?”

The ‘migracion’ officer was adamant I pay again and gave me a form to take to the bank opposite. I was adamant I wasn’t going to pay again and so began our Mexican stand-off. To let him know I was prepared for a long wait I removed my crash helmet, donned my sun hat and shades but refused to move away from the window.

I’m not sure exactly what changed but after several minutes a different voice asked me for my passport and I handed it to a different officer who stamped me out without question.

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Chapter 24 – Mexico

February 2, 2011

“Mmmm…that was a bit too easy” I thought as I rolled out of the Mexican border in Tecate. No US exit post, no Mexican immigration, no Customs. No paperwork was bound to make things difficult for me later on so I returned to the border and spoke to a security guard who pointed me to the immigration office. I was given a tourist visa form to complete and told to walk two blocks down the hill to the bank to pay the M$262 (Mexican Pesos) and obtain a receipt. Once I had my visa I asked about Customs and the temporary import document for my bike only to be told they couldn’t be issued there; only Tijuana or Mexicali. Both of those were wellout of my way and so I asked about La Paz on the Baja peninsula. “En La Paz tambien”. Great, no detour required. Read the rest of this entry »

Chapter 23 – USA Finale

January 2, 2011

Back in the USA…

I hit the ‘Update’ button for the blog (Chapter 22), finished loading Rosie and headed out into Vancouver’s late afternoon traffic. An hour later arrived at the border, and 20 minutes after that I was back in the USA.

The same standard of living had cost me 60-70% more in Canada and I was glad to be back in the US. I found a bush camp by the river right in the middle of Skagit River and pitched my tent.

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Chapter 22 – 100,000 miles…

August 26, 2010

It would have been nice to have passed the 100k miles marker on the same bike I’d left home with but it wasn’t to be; and so with Lady P (my BMW F650) taking early retirement the task was left to the newly named ‘Rosie’* (my Suzuki DR650). And so it was on August 11th 2010, somewhere on the Alaska Highway west of Tok, Alaska I rolled over 100,000 miles since leaving home on St.Patricks Day 2006.

And what a 100,000 miles it’s been – 4½ years, 5 continents, 38 countries.

* Why Rosie? DR=Desert Rose. Rose Tyler was Dr.Who’s best ever assistant and was played by top bird and my beautiful niece’s namesake – Billie Piper. So ‘Rosie’ it is.

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