Dec. 22, 2012
After a full month of preparation the trip begins! We received a warm send off from the hostel, mounted our steeds, and drove onwards to the Mexican border. Finding the Banjercito in Tijuana proved challenging.
Dec. 23, 2012
First encounters with Baja street food: fish taco stands and ceviche. Smashed a night out in Ensenada with liter mojitos and a live cumbia band. A rowdy rendition of "Feliz Navidad" was had.
Dec. 24, 2012
Aidan holes up with Kigu work while Sean rides out solo to "La Bufadora" (the Blow Hole), supposedly one of only two water spurting caves in the world (the other being Spitting Caves on Oahu). Tides were wrong, but gorgeous place.
Dec. 25, 2012
Feliz Navidad! Christmas feast in the hostel, followed by enough King's Cup to make you think we were back in a college dorm.
Travel blog image for Dec. 26, 2012 in Ensenada, Mexico
Dec. 26, 2012
Waking up with a hazy recollection of the prior nights events, we decided to lay low and hang out at the hostel.
Dec. 27, 2012
We set off for our first real day of riding, determined to make it the 1000 miles to Cabo for New Years. The road quality on the Baja highway was stunningly good. First time hunting for food and accom on the dirt tracks of a dusty roadside town.
Dec. 28, 2012
What better start to the day than lobster burritos at Mama Espanozas, a fabled stop on the Baja 1000 race. Charged through the dessert landscapes to the next town; made it thanks to a rancher with a hand-written 'gasolina' sign in a tiny village.
Dec. 29, 2012
Coast to Coast, from one of the largest Grey Whale breeding grounds in the Pacific, to the gorgeous oasis town of Melege just off the Gulf of California.
Dec. 30, 2012
Super fun ride through the winding hills and sweeping ocean overlooks of Bahia de Concepcion, then back across coasts to make headway for our New Year's Eve charge tomorrow.
Travel blog image for Dec. 31, 2012 in Cabo san Lucas, Mexico
Dec. 31, 2012
After an epic sprint to make it to Cabo for new years eve, we tracked down Caitlyn, Maddy, Romy and the rest of the gang. An epic night proceeded, many bottles were drunk, severe hangovers were had.
Travel blog image for Jan. 1, 2013 in Cabo san Lucas, Mexico
Jan. 1, 2013
Struggling with a brutal hangover, we finally left the room around 5pm for food. We met the girls for post dinner drinks and almost decided to head back out, but the walk home was too tiring and we succumbed to sleep.
Jan. 2, 2013
After sufficiently recovering from New Years Eve shenanigans, we made our way back up the coast towards La Paz. Stopped to relax in Todos Santos for the day after Aidan experienced the dreaded 'death wobble' at speed in his front tire.
Jan. 3, 2013
Spent the day exploring the dirt roads and hidden beaches around Todos Santos; Aidan learns the hard way about the troubles of riding in deep sand.
Jan. 4, 2013
Arrived to La Paz, our last city in Baja. Found our way to Yeneka Hotel, which is no doubt the most eclectically decorated lodging of all time, with nick-nacks from antiquity ad nauseum, and even a Model T frame.
Jan. 8, 2013
Hired a boat to take us searching for whale sharks to snorkel with, swam alongside four of these magnificent creatures, who let us get right up alongside. Just amazing.
Jan. 10, 2013
Overnight ferry across the Gulf of California. Other motorcyclists were much better prepared with ropes to steady their bikes upright, our survived on kickstands. Were a little worried when the water main broke and the entire deck flooded.
Jan. 11, 2013
Hola Mexican mainland! Drove our bikes straight into the courtyard of a hotel in the historic quarter, poked around the hills of Mazatlan and the colonial old town, then smashed it, cause hey... it's viernes.
Jan. 12, 2013
Lobster baked potatoes, taking decadence to new levels.
Jan. 14, 2013
Ceviche tostadas and beers in a quiet, cobble-streeted town that recently revitalized following years of cartel violence, followed by camping at the quaint beach village of San Blas.
Jan. 15, 2013
Hippies, hippies everywhere! A couple nights at the quickly growing, gentrified village and surf haven that is Sayulita.
Jan. 17, 2013
Arrived to Tequila, the home of... well... tequila. Our CouchSurfing host Mike showed us around town including the massive Jose Cuervo complex, a mural of tequila mythology, and one of the oldest 'cantina's in Mexico for legendary local spirits.
Jan. 18, 2013
Mike took us to a local tequila distillery without all the pageantry and crowds of Jose, before driving us to a sprawling countryside hacienda where we sipped homemade tequila at its 19th century bar with the owner. Avoided cartel violence.
Jan. 19, 2013
Sad to leave Tequila and our fantastic CouchSurfing hosts, we reluctantly made our way to Guadalajara where we planned to spend only 2 days tuning up our bikes. Little did we know how much we would fall in love with the place and stay for 2 weeks.
Travel blog image for Jan. 20, 2013 in Guadalajara, Mexico
Jan. 20, 2013
Wildly hungover after exploding onto the scene with shots and buckets of beer in the legendary Favorita cantina, followed by cramming a dozen new friends in an SUV - fulfilling a Mexican stereotype - to take over a strip club and late night rave.
Jan. 21, 2013
First day of two weeks of motorcycle repair and maintenance with Chuqui, who let us hang out in the shop, help out, and learn about the more intricate parts of our bikes, manually changing tires and digging into the carburetor and engine.
Jan. 22, 2013
Party bus - complete with bar, dj, and 50 drunk mexicans dancing to latina beats - to/from Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling, Nacho Libre style). Sitting ringside, learning Mexican profanity... and Aidan inadvertently punching a girl in the face.
Travel blog image for Jan. 23, 2013 in Guadalajara, Mexico
Jan. 23, 2013
Unwittingly ordered what turned out to be 2 entire plates full of cheese and chorizo, each meant to feed a group of 5. Stubbornly tried to eat spoonful after spoonful of endless amounts of cheese, added substantial clogging to our arteries.
Travel blog image for Jan. 26, 2013 in Guadalajara, Mexico
Jan. 26, 2013
Atlas vs. America, the Mexican soccer league's most heated rivalry between its two biggest cities. Greatly improved our Spanish jeering and cursing. "Duh duh duh-duh duh duhhhh, Puto!!"
Jan. 29, 2013
Round 2 of Lucha Libre + party bus. This time asked to sit in the upper deck with the 'poor people', who value jeering at the rich section much more than the wrestling itself. Learned to scream "I'm 1000% poor, but I brought your mom!"
Feb. 3, 2013
Took a lot to pry us away from the party, but our motorcycles were finally fixed [enough], so took the opportunity to get back on the road and up to Guanajuato, where we were bewildered by the old town's labyrinthine network of subterranean roads.
Feb. 4, 2013
A day wandering around Guanajuato's old town (UNESCO World Heritage Site); amazing vista near the statue of El Pipila, a war hero who crawled to a Spanish granary with torch, tar, and a stone on his back to protect from musket fire and set it ablaze.
Feb. 5, 2013
Crossed the 2000 mile mark in our adventure as we rode into Michoacn - a state whose tourism is hampered by travel warnings due to cartel violence, but which turned out to be one of the friendliest places we visited.
Feb. 6, 2013
Beautiful ride to the Sierra valley town of Angangueo, known for its Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, way in the hills on a steep road that made both of us blow rear brakes; was worth it to see and literally hear millions of butterflies flapping.
Feb. 7, 2013
From gorgeous ride through hidden villages and valleys, to nerve-wreckingly navigating the network of highways, deciphering poorly marked turnoffs, and evading the onslaught of cars seemingly playing 'smash the gringos' in the world's largest city.
Feb. 8, 2013
Brought the party to Mexico City, as we took over Fever nightclub in Condesa with Patty, Johnny, and a crew of CouchSurfers. Bottle service was had, private parties were crashed, and ramen noodles were slurped off of Sean's bald head.
Feb. 9, 2013
Smashed another night with bottle service and good friends at Fever, this time with the Puerto Escondido crew: Maddy, Romy, Curly, Wally, and Diego.
Feb. 10, 2013
What better way to kill a hangover than a Sunday at the horse racing track and dollar beers?
Feb. 11, 2013
Aidan waves goodbye to Sean and heads to the airport, returning home for six weeks. Sean will spend the next six weeks becoming a Spanish genius and surfing with Maddy and Romy in Puerto Escandito.
Travel blog image for March 27, 2013 in Mexico City, Mexico
March 27, 2013
Aidan returns to Mexico, Sean enjoys rubbing in the Spanish he learned from 4 weeks of study in Puerto Escondido. The journey resumes!
March 28, 2013
Visited Teohuatican. Onesie-clad chess battle ensues. Kids demand photos with Eeyore and Pedobear. Security guard decides fuzzy characters aren't welcome at the archaeological site.
March 29, 2013
Wandered through Mexico City's old town, sampling al pastor tacos, micro brews, and even the viscus 'pulque' (traditional fermented alcohol produced since over 1,000 years ago in Mex)... let's just say once is enough.
March 30, 2013
Sean takes cushy 1hr flight to Puerto Escondido and is greeted with Mexican Spring Break and raucous rave-style parties. Aidan braves Mex City traffic to ride to a quiet Oaxaca City; gets jealous.
April 1, 2013
Back on our bikes, Sean rode 4 hours from Puerto Escondido to meet Aidan before heading out for another 6 to San Cristobal. Became local celebrities outside a chicken shack in Chiapas.
Travel blog image for April 2, 2013 in San Cristobal
April 2, 2013
We explored the quaint backstreets of San Cristobal, making fun of white people and having a terrible sheisha experience.
April 3, 2013
Day 1 of a record-setting 10 day long gastro infection. "Trotted" a lot more than 250 characters per day.
April 4, 2013
Today we explored the coffee shops and toilets of San Cristobal.
April 5, 2013
Game of Thrones marathon in our onesies. While "winter is coming" in the 7 kingdoms, it had already arrived in our bowels.
April 7, 2013
Took a break from being sick long enough to jump on a boat through the 800m high walls of Sumidero Canyon, complete with crocs, vultures, and the local "Christmas Tree" (a moss-covered dry waterfall). Also passed 3000 miles. We're kinda a big deal.
April 8, 2013
And finally, it was time to move on. Both sufficiently recovered we packed our bags, said goodbye to the puppies, and rode into the distance. We had a quick dip with the local kids in the most amazingly blue river, just what was needed in the heat.
April 9, 2013
At the gates of Palenque when it opened at 8am to explore the ruins of a Mayan city that thrived 7th-8th century AD, before making the 8 hr ride to Merida.
Travel blog image for April 11, 2013 in Merida, Mexico
April 11, 2013
Still massively ill with gastro, Aidan Lister (apparently now M.D.) insists on eating 1kg of yogurt in one sitting to replace his stomach bacteria, proceeds to have worst shits of life.
April 12, 2013
Flamingos, oh flamingos. All 19 of them. How unimpressive, especially given the 2 hour ride in full motorbike gear in Merida's stifling heat.
Travel blog image for April 13, 2013 in Merida, Mexico
April 13, 2013
Dreading the feel of riding leathers in the scorching heat of central Yucatan, we fled to air-conditioned cafes for a day of working on web projects and getting the most out of our last real internet for the next week.
April 14, 2013
Leaving sweaty Merida for Havana, we were picked up from the airport a classic 1957 Thunderbird by our lovely "casa particular" host, Cuba's institutionalised home-stay system.
April 15, 2013
Rum at a local cantina, beers at a streetside bar, fresh roasted coffee in old Havana. The evening: clubbing with what turned out to be a room full of hookers and possibly Cuba's top boy band.
April 16, 2013
Paid 16 CUC for an hour of internet. Explored Vedado, witnessed the great cuban flag standoff directly across from the United States Interests Section while security guards blew their whistles at us. A pleasant evening stroll down the Malecon.
April 17, 2013
Cantering horses through valleys of limestone karsts, puffing Cuban stogies and drinking mojitos inside an organic tabacco farm's dry house, and lobster dinner for under 10 bucks. Not bad, Cuba.
April 18, 2013
Exhausted from our epic horse ride, decisions were difficult today. Eventually we settled on a 9km walking tour in the pursuit of the ultimate view, and a good mojito, and the internet.
April 19, 2013
Up at the crack of dawn to get the bus to Havana, only to find it was cancelled. 3 different classicos later, we eventually made it back and spent the day at Habana's lone brewpub, then chatting over rum and cigars with regulars at a local dive bar
April 20, 2013
In search of where Cubans spend their weekends, we decided to head to the beach. Our assumption proved correct, as the entire of Havana tried to pack into the bus. We caught the mythical Hershey train to Casablanca and the ferry back to Havana.
April 21, 2013
Flew back to Mexico on what we can only assume was the plane from Tail Spin. Enjoyed the finer comforts of a non-communist, non-embargoed against nation: reasonable internet, oreo moka frappes, and oven-baked pizza.
April 22, 2013
Arrived to Lake Bacalar, bought beers, climbed a fence to watch Game of Thrones by the lake; despite being military property, the officer smiled, pointed to the now mangled fence and said "no problem, finish watching and close up on your way out"
April 23, 2013
Breakfast and morning swim at the gorgeous turquoise Lake Bacalar, then crossed the Mexican border after four months to the picturesque Belizean seaside town of Corozal, despite a routine oil change turned near disaster by Aidan.
April 24, 2013
Covered in dirt and chalky sand after a day ride to the seaside Mayan ruins at Cerros. Rode further off road to Belieze's best ceviche and learned about the crazy pious Mennonite population. Oh, and hand cranked a ferry to ford a river like a boss.
April 25, 2013
2hr ferry at 7am to San Pedro - an island with more golf carts per capita than a Florida retirement community, then a water taxi to the cheaper, chiller, and far tinier (5 x 1 mile) island of Caye Caulker to book a Blue Hole scuba trip for tomorrow.
April 26, 2013
Scuba diving at the renowned Blue Hole!! Swam under old cave overhangs and in between gigantic stalactites at 42m (137ft) deep in the collapsed underwater cave, then a wall dive and reef dive to hang out with reef sharks and spotted eagle rays
April 27, 2013
We made our way back to Corozal from Caye Caulker, spending most of the day catching up on emails while we waited for the ferry connection. Couldn't ask for a more idyllic spot to get some work done.
April 28, 2013
Waking up at the crack of dawn, we did some early morning motorbike maintenance and headed to the border. We hit 4000 miles at "Slims"! After several hours of border shenanigans, we rode into a Guatemalan sunset that set a new bar for dusk hues.
April 29, 2013
Rode through the jungle, animal crossing signs for jaguars, turkeys, snakes, and praire dogs en route to the sprawling Mayan complex at Tikal. Had it all to ourselves at 4pm, knowing everyone goes in AM. "Those Mayans sure knew how to make ruins."
April 30, 2013
Remote Mayan mountain villages and the toughest trail riding we've had. Severely underestimated time, and rode thru pitch black conditions with massive drop offs, while locals laughed as we asked if there was a town close by. Made Lanquin at 10.
May 1, 2013
Hitched truck to truck to dive in the turquoise pools of Semuc Champey. After a long day's ride, became part of a motorcycle gang as more than a dozen teens on bikes escorted us through town in search of lodging. Beers and rap battles in the park.
May 2, 2013
Showed up 4 hours late to language school after struggling to navigate Guatemala City and waiting out construction on the steep and windy road through the lakeside villages of Lake Atitlan. Moved in with our lovely homestay family.
May 3, 2013
First day of Spanish classes at the open air, lakeside hut classrooms of San Pedro Spanish School. Intensive lessons, one-on-one, four hours a day, for a bit more than a week. Hoping to become Spanish geniuses.
May 4, 2013
Boat ride to an island on the lake for a trance party in the woods. Rocked it out in our onesies til sunrise... were shocked when our Spanish teachers laughed at us and informed us that there are no islands in Lake Atitlan...
May 7, 2013
A nighttime power outage forces the entire village into El Barrio - the one bar equipped with a generator - to wait it out over bourbon and rum.
May 8, 2013
What happens when nerds combine powers at Trivia Night? They beat the pants off of 19 other teams to win it all! ... and then spend more than the prize money by buying 30 shots for the whole bar. Our name? Number Onesies of course!
May 9, 2013
Basked in the glory of our trivia victory and nursed the hangovers of the campfire after party during final day of classes. Spanish teachers were in shock at our success; in 5 years of teaching, they never had students who won the coveted prize.
May 10, 2013
Ready to leave San Pedro, Aidan realizes he's lost his passport, calls all the hotels we've visited, and finds it in a town 5 hours back. Stopped halfway in Antigua to meet up with our Russian friends and smash out Friday night as usual, in onesies.
May 12, 2013
People who praise a place for its cobblestone streets clearly don't ride motorcycles.
May 13, 2013
Braved Guatemala City traffic once again to triumphantly reclaim Aidan's passport in Guastatoya, one of the most pleasant Central American towns that no traveler will ever hear of.
May 14, 2013
4 hour border crossing to El Salvador, in spite of being the only people there. Celebrated our 5,000mi milestone with a cuban cigar in the middle of nowhere in the Salvadorian volcano-scape.
May 15, 2013
Got to the Guatemalan border before realizing we'd passed El Impossible park, where local guys on a 4 hour walk home showed us a secluded dive spot. Spent the afternoon riding the highlands of the Route de Flores sampling food, coffee, and vistas.
May 16, 2013
Last minute decision to put off Honduras to spend the weekend exploring nightlife in the Salvadorian capital... and more importantly, to see Star Trek!
May 21, 2013
Another afternoon of pointless paperwork for our bikes, this time at the Honduran border. Played chicken in and out of the rain en route to the cool weather and indigenous-rooted towns of the Honduran highlands.
May 22, 2013
Some serious dirt and potholes. Snuck our way around a standoff of dozens of cars waiting for muddy road conditions to improve as locals cheered us on. Serious rain forced us to stop in Honduras' highest town, which provided amazing vistas and eats.
May 23, 2013
Note to selves: dirt trails + rainy season = muddy ass roads. Spent hours trudging through the mud and over the gaping holes of log bridges on what was marked as a 'main paved highway' on our map, to the capital of coffee, then the capital of cigars
May 24, 2013
Rolled out a webpage for a box of 50 cigars rolled right in front of us; found grits with breakfast; instigated a race between 'volunteers' to help us speed up immigration and bike registration at the border; small town salsa club for Friday night
May 25, 2013
First time on straight, paved roads in ages, we rode down to Leon for a bit of a wild one out on the town. After discovering dollar rums, Aidan gives breakdancing his best shot.
May 26, 2013
To say that anything excited us more than the release of new Arrested Development on this day would be a bold faced lie. COME ON!
Travel blog image for May 27, 2013 in Leon City, Nicaragua
May 27, 2013
Sweated up a storm in our first salsa classes, in a desperate attempt to be less awkward on Latino dance floors
May 30, 2013
Aidan navigates out of town, only to unwittingly loop back around towards Leon. Back on track, traverse dirt trails through tiny Nicaraguan ranches and villages on a surreal sunset decent to the surf for our reunion with the Puerto crew.
May 31, 2013
Hit the town with Maddy, Romy, and Aron. Things get more than a little out of hand when this crew assembles for a weekend of shenanigans. Splurge on a fancy hotel room, major fiesta ensues, onesies are the talk of the town.
Travel blog image for June 3, 2013 in La Cruz, Costa Rica
June 3, 2013
With Romy and her surfboard in tow, we said adios and rode into Costa Rica after another 4 hour border stint; navigated between and around the hundred some odd trucks, rolling logs away to avoid the half day line.
June 4, 2013
Coasted to our 6000 mile mark and hopped off to celebrate at what must have been the one untouristed beach in all of Costa Rica. Commandeered a vessel for the requisite photo opp with Nicaragua on the other side of the bay.
June 5, 2013
Growing weary of the sweaty rides and traffic of the main Pan American Highway, we shunted off to the highlands around Lake Arenal where bike-friendly winding roads through lush green woodlands led us to our first Central American microbrewery.
June 6, 2013
Having 'roughed' it for 11 weeks since resuming our adventure, we opted for opulence, posting up as the only guests in a gorgeous resort at the bottom of Arenal Volcano to catch up on work, rest, and... cigars in our hot tub.
June 7, 2013
Retreat Day 2 - took our bikes to get some work done in town. Aidan finally gets back brake working and Sean has a functioning speedometer for the first time in 4.5 months! Got absolutely drenched on the ride back, nothing the hot tub couldn't fix.
June 8, 2013
Retreat Day 3 - Still the only guests at the resort. Worked on web dev projects and had food, beers, and white russians delivered to us in the pool. You know you're in a swank place when they fold your towels into animal shapes on your bed.
June 10, 2013
Rejuvenated from the retreat, we made an 8 hour journey through the highlands and lowlands, rain and volcanoes to the black sand beaches of Playa Negra on the Caribbean coast.
June 11, 2013
After hunting for sloths (unsuccessfully), we made the short ride to the well known surf and travel hub of Puerto Viejo, then hiked through the forrest of Manzanillo's nature reserve.
June 12, 2013
Very rainy, time consuming border crossing into Panama over the Rio Sixola. Much more satisfying than arbitrary boundaries. In Panama, took the dirt road and 4 highly sketchy bridges of rotting wood to a mountain highway overlooking the Atlantic.
June 13, 2013
All day roadblock in protest of poor road conditions stopped miles of traffic. Went off-roading around the blockade while other stopped drivers cheered us on. When Panamanians are taking pictures of YOU, you know you're doing something right.
June 14, 2013
Lucked out with a private tour of Ruiz coffee. Fantastic explanations of the process and town's place in world coffee from a guide with a fistful of puns. Sampled a range of brews, including the up to $450/pound geisha. Dressed to impress.
June 16, 2013
Pulled over for speeding, only to realize someone had stolen Aidan's license plate. Sure that we would be taken for a massive bribe, the cops suddenly gave up and waved us on after joking in bad Spanish. Celebrated our win with a small town fiesta.
June 17, 2013
Rode triumphantly past a cop flagging us down for speeding and over the Panama Canal arriving to our huge milestone with an impressive record in tact: not a single bribe from Mexico to Panama City.
June 22, 2013
Rocked the pants off Panama City with our good friends Johnny and Patty. Danced up a storm with Panama City's elite, rolling out bottle service at its biggest club with beats provided by Tom Cruise's son. That's Tom as Les Grossman, Tropic Thunder
June 26, 2013
Marveled at the engineering wonder of the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal. 100 million liters of water displaced each time a ship is raised or lowered. Amazing stuff.
June 27, 2013
Set off at 5am, negotiating the wild winding hillside roads of the Kuna Yala. Celebrated our 7000 mile mark at the port, where we met the crew and fellow passengers of the Jacquline, and hoisted our bikes aboard for the 5 day voyage to Columbia.
June 28, 2013
After a first day filled with a desolate island immigration office experience, lobster dinner, and copious drinking games, we anchored in the Lemon quays for a day of relaxation in the middle of a group of islands in this tropical paradise.
June 29, 2013
Island hopping between the most isolated, postcard-esque Caribbean islands imaginable, swimming, snorkeling, and frisbee-ing before heading off into the open sea, where the partying halted for a night as everyone struggled to find their sea legs.
June 30, 2013
Woke up with sea legs for a full day and night on the open seas. Realized midday that the autopilot system was broken, so we volunteered to take the helm from 230 to 6am, navigating the catamaran through a storm in our onesies, puffing cigars.
July 1, 2013
Arrived in Cartagena's bay after the long nightwatch, without immigrating since it was a public holiday. Celebrated the successful (yet unofficial) landing with a night of salsa and rum in Caragena's gorgeous old town on our shaky sea legs.
July 3, 2013
Wednesday is a big party night in Cartagena thanks to the bar/club at Media Luna Hostel. After the disappointment of waiting on line for an hour to get to a decidedly average rooftop terrace, had a onesie party and things got a little... silly.
July 4, 2013
Finally finished getting our motorcycles legal, after a 3 day importation process that involved 5 trips to customs, 3 trips to insurance offices, and mistakenly trying to register a yacht in addition to our bikes. Celebrated with beers by the ocean.
July 9, 2013
Our first real day on our bikes in weeks, we rode from dawn until dusk through the hot plains of the northern Colombian countryside to a small riverside city halfway to Medellin, thankfully coming out of the tenuous FARC rebel-heavy region unscathed.
July 10, 2013
The final 280km ride to Medellin was one of the craziest and most beautiful rides to date, weaving around trucks on steep, windy roads, passing hours-long queues of cars through construction areas before summiting the breathtaking mountain vistas
July 15, 2013
After 117 days of scouring Central America and the bookends of Mexico and South America, leg 2 of our journey comes to an end, 7500 miles and 10 countries in. Leg 3 to begin Sept 10.
Nov. 5, 2013
The trip resumes! ...after almost 3 months, a week's worth of bike problems, and epic miscommunication that left Aidan stranded in a dangerous port town. Fortunately, there was a countryside resort... and chicken wrapped in bacon wrapped in cheese.
Nov. 6, 2013
First solid day of riding in ages, alongside rivers and through the winding valleys leading to what is apparently Colombia's capital of shoes. Celebrated with long overdue micheladas.
Nov. 8, 2013
Up up up to the rocky tundra and freezing temperatures of the Colombian Andes before diving to slightly less brisk Pamplona, a university-centered mountainside town resembling the famed San Cristobal, Mexico without all the tourists.
Nov. 9, 2013
Well, we've been to Venezuela, though briefly. Stamped out of Colombia and scoured the dodgy border town for the moto registration office only to find that it shut on the weekends. Fled to Colombia rather than roughing it in a DNT zone for 2 days.
Nov. 10, 2013
Surprised to enjoy our time in Cucuta, given the poor light in which guidebooks cast the city. Walked away bemused from the movies after hearing the audience react with laughter at Prisoners, a thriller about child abduction. Lost in translation?
Travel blog image for Nov. 11, 2013 in Cucuta, Colombia
Nov. 11, 2013
Spent 6.5 hours immigrating and getting motorcycle papers in order, but unable to buy gas on the border because of restrictions. Snuck back into Colombia to buy smuggled Venezuelan gasoline on the roadside and stay one last - unofficial - night.
Nov. 12, 2013
Finally across the border. Chose the "scenic" route; 10 hours riding switchback roads through the Andes, stopping through seldom traveled towns and basking in the power of the US dollar on the black market. Full tank of gas: 2 CENTS!
Nov. 13, 2013
Wandered the slopes of the cool mountain city of Merida, nestled in a river valley in the Venezuelan Andes. Amazing weather and super friendly people. Continued to savor the value of the dollar, sampling 20 cent beers at a jovial student hangout.
Nov. 14, 2013
Another 10 hour day: 4 hours winding through the mountains and 6 hours on the plains below. Caught in nightmarish rush hour traffic, had to chase an ambulance to get through, and struggled to navigate as our eyes filled with dirt from night ride.
Nov. 15, 2013
Refreshed after an early morning spa, we made a dash for the Venezuelan capital, overcoming the chaos of traffic and finding parking and lodging. Deserved a night out dancing salsa in an open air bar under the shadows of the skyscrapers.
Nov. 17, 2013
Aidan stuck in bed for 3 days as he suffers from his second bout with gastro. Sean waits it out in an Italian restaurant across the street, watching the NFL games and gorging on the cheap, quality eats that the exchange rate affords.
Nov. 19, 2013
Left Caracas for the abandoned beaches of a costal town that only sees traffic from city folk on weekends. Smell of the sea breeze was a big improvement from the Venezuelan capital.
Nov. 20, 2013
Passed our 9k milestone on the hot ride down to the Orinoco River, while our celebratory beers erupted in Aidan's metal side box dousing all of our supplies.
Nov. 21, 2013
Light aircraft flight, 4 hour canoe upstream through rapids from which we were lucky not to tip, and a hike to Angel Falls, world's tallest waterfall (1000m). Slept in hammocks with the sounds of the river... and of our snoring Russian group mates.
Nov. 22, 2013
Up at 6am to watch sunrise over Angel Falls, then 4 hour boat downstream back to Canaima. Afternoon hike had us walk behind a couple local falls, taking in the booming sounds and fierce winds from the water crashing down from overhead.
Nov. 23, 2013
Back from the falls, we had no idea how to describe to a taxi where we had left our bikes out in the sticks. Driver panicked, calling the area unsafe and taking down his taxi sign from the windshield as he begrudgingly took the bumpy dirt trails.
Nov. 24, 2013
Decidedly beyond all major Venezuelan cities, we struggled to find a suitable spot to catch up on work and happened upon an oasis of a hotel with Wifi and air con in the middle of nowhere. Who their normal patrons are, we will never know.
Nov. 25, 2013
Downpours turned the peaceful ride across the Gran Sabana into an exercise in concentration and tolerance of our sopping wet clothes. Took refuge at the only shelter we could find: an abandoned camp site of empty but locked huts.
Nov. 26, 2013
Aidan rides out to see Mt Roraima, the table top meeting point of Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil.
Nov. 27, 2013
The coveted double border crossing! Crossed into Brazil painlessly after emigrating at what appeared to be a mobile emigration van and made our way a couple hundred miles via Boa Vista to Guyana to an incredibly interesting, otherworldly border town.
Nov. 28, 2013
Rain all day, so not exactly an ideal departure to tackle one of the most infamous dirt/mud highways in South America. Took the day to poke around and sample "Trini Cuisine" (i.e., fried chicken) in the oddly multicultural, isolated border town.
Nov. 29, 2013
Morning ride navigating labyrinthine network of trails to the local waterfall, only directions being to 'follow the red road' (redder and slightly wider). Afternoon on the bumpy, dirt 'international highway' brought us to our big 10k mile mark!
Nov. 30, 2013
Torrential rain, shin high mud, and waist high floods as we made our way ever so slowly through the jungle. 11 hours of riding to barely go 150 miles. Were fortunate to have a minister offer us a room in his church, the next town hours away at dark.
Dec. 1, 2013
After the most trying ride of the entire trip, covered in mud and mosquito bites, we reached the glorious paved road at Linden. A couple hours later, beaten and exhausted, we finally arrived in Georgetown.
Dec. 4, 2013
Packed and minutes from embarking on the road to Suriname, discovered we needed a tourist card and visa, which could only be applied for at the embassy in Georgetown, closed for the next 2 days. Who knew? Back to the aircon of Oasis Cafe we went.
Dec. 6, 2013
After a week of work, motorcycle prep, and embassy-related bureaucracy, we traversed the mangrove-lined coast through the strange mix of Indian, Chinese, and African cultures, entertainment provided by the appellations of seemingly hundreds of towns.
Dec. 7, 2013
After spending most of the morning waiting around at the ferry terminal, we eventually disembarked about an hour south of Nieuw Nickerie. Paperwork was painless, the next 5 hours of riding through the rain to reach Parbo was not.
Dec. 8, 2013
Feels lightyears away from chaotic neighboring Georgetown with an amazingly well-preserved colonial downtown and distinctly European feel. Day spent sipping Parbo Bier on the river while taking in the Dutch/Indian/African/Chinese cultural mishmash.
Dec. 9, 2013
French bureaucracy rears its ugly head. Had our bikes impounded for not having costly, impossible to procure EU insurance. Thankfully, an amazing group of customs officials took us in, let us join a birthday celebration, and put us up for the night.
Dec. 10, 2013
Entire day boating back and forth across the border going to every insurance provider, but no one would sell us the mandatory insurance. Police were understanding and accepted the only thing we could find: insurance papers for a small Chinese truck.
Dec. 11, 2013
Rode all the way across French Guiana to the river border with Brazil. Despite the connecting bridge being fully constructed, politics have kept it closed, so we put our bikes on a couple speed boats, tied them on with twine, and hoped for the best.
Dec. 12, 2013
One of the longest rides of the trip, 380 miles through part-paved, part-dirt, and totally rainy highway to Macapa, where we immediately met a generous local who would accompany us to the port 15mi away and help to negotiate a ship across the Amazon.
Dec. 13, 2013
Narrowly avoided disaster loading bikes on a barge, tied up our newly purchased hammocks, and settled in amongst the fifty passengers headed to various places along the Amazon. The spider web lattice of hammocks was truly a sight to behold.
Dec. 14, 2013
A full day from dawn until dusk coasting along the Amazon in our hammocks, jumping off here and there to grab food and cold beverages at ports on Marajo Island, the largest river island in the world by leaps and bounds.
Dec. 15, 2013
Finally reached Belem at dawn only to find that we had to wait hours for the tide to rise enough to unload the vehicles. Disembarking after 38 hours and two nights of hammock sleep, we rewarded ourselves with microbrew Amazon Beer and air con.
Dec. 16, 2013
Another long day: 360 miles from the traffic and pollution of Belem, onto lesser traveled highways winding through groves of palm trees and past some of Brazil's poorest villages to a well-worn, yet stunningly charming and lived-in colonial town.
Dec. 17, 2013
Raced to our 6th boat in 3 weeks to save ourselves 8 hours of riding around the bay to Sao Luis and its UNESCO historic center. Separated after the port, Sean searched a dozen bike shops for a new tire, not knowing that Aidan had almost killed a guy.
Dec. 18, 2013
Reached 12k miles along the dune landscapes of Lencois Maranhenses. Became enamored with the nightscape of a town centered around its giant dune on the river with Christmas decorations, groups of kids hanging out, music drifting up from below.
Dec. 19, 2013
Morning tour bumping around - and occasionally stuck in - the dunes of Lencois Maranhenses: pretty epic landscapes. Followed by 6 hours battling across sand dunes on the only "road" out of town. Most exhausting and terrifying night ride of the trip.
Dec. 20, 2013
Broke up the long ride around the coast by checking out up-and-coming Icarai, the lesser known and lesser trafficked brother of the famed hippie/backpacker town of Jericoacoara.
Dec. 21, 2013
Not having stopped more than one night anywhere in weeks, we decided to spend a couple days surrounded by the colorful cliffs, beaches, quality eats, and parties of Canoa Quebrada.
Dec. 22, 2013
Happy Trip-iversary! Tough to believe it was a year ago today that we set off from San Diego thinking we'd be in Argentina in a matter of months. We were so young... relatively speaking.
Dec. 23, 2013
Smashed out the miles through the massive boulders, cacti, and desert landscapes on the way to northern Brazil's most famous beach destination... despite Sean adding on 50 miles by uncharacteristically navigating in the complete opposite direction.
Dec. 25, 2013
Christmas on the beaches of Praia da Pipa and lounging around at what might be the best value budget guesthouse in South America.
Dec. 26, 2013
Made it to the highway before noticing coolant dripping from Aidan's bike. A helpful drunk takes Aidan on a several hour walking adventure culminating at an abandoned-building chop shop. Cracked radiator filled with glue, we return to Pipa at dark.
Dec. 27, 2013
Hours in the morning heat trying to get Aidan's bike started with much assistance from locals, we made it halfway to the highway before it broke down. Sean towed Aidan with hammock rope into town, then we had the bike trucked 160mi to Recife.
Dec. 28, 2013
Aidan spends gruelling day fixing radiator. First shop accidentally blows an inch hole through it. Mechanic hops on back of bike and we drive around town looking for a specialist, finally finding a guy in in a rough neighborhood who had the skills.
Dec. 29, 2013
After a 320mi ride, we arrived in Sao Cristovao - one of Brazil's oldest towns - at dusk to find the only guesthouse was a love hotel. Rode to the next town still lit up with Christmas lights, and dined with everyone gathered at the one snack stand.
Dec. 30, 2013
Finally arrive to the city-side beaches of Salvador after a relatively short 180 miles and a quick stop by the super crowded resort town at Praia da Forte. 6000mi in less than 2 months to get here by New Years after only going 7500mi in 10 months.
Dec. 31, 2013
Had our own early New Year's celebration with a crew of Brits at Salvador's historical center in Cidade Alta before being nearly trampled at the massively crowded yet somewhat underwhelming spectacle of 'Brazil's largest 2014 New Years celebration'.
Jan. 3, 2014
Afternoon well-spent hunting down Bahia 'charutos' (cigars) in both of two river-divided valley towns. Found a small-production factory where the workers were shocked and elated at our stopping by, and scored an epic box of charutos.
Jan. 4, 2014
14k miles! Attempted to stay at a famous beach spot (Itacare), but no accomodation was found thanks to thousands of festival-goers. Ended up randomly happing upon an amazing hilltop town with some of the best pizza and sweeping costal vistas.
Jan. 5, 2014
Having followed the costal route from Guyana, we decided to take to the seldom-traveled roads of Brazil's hilly interior. A couple bikers gave us a tour of their town, which was bumping with revelry in the streets. Casual Sunday night apparently.
Jan. 6, 2014
Some of the most gorgeous riding of the trip through mountains and plateaus and alongside vast canyons en route to the steep hills and cool breezes of a historic mining town. Possibly/hopefully also the last day riding through sand and dirt.
Jan. 7, 2014
Took the day off to catch up on work and enjoy a cool climatic respite from the baking temperatures along the Brazilian coastline, hanging out at cafes in what might have been the most cozy town square of the trip.
Jan. 8, 2014
Morning riding through rugged rocky mountain landscapes on rural roads and afternoon battling with trucks on congested freeway to arrive to the cobbled hilly streets of Ouro Preto, once a colonial mining town, now a hub for students and artists.
Jan. 9, 2014
Continued through the rocky highlands of old mining towns before descending the mountainous highway of Rio's northern outskirts to its famous hill-dotted coastline.
Jan. 10, 2014
Explored the beaches of Copacabana before taking the cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf for an amazing sunset overlook. Hostel bar crawl at night through the drum circles and Bohemian vibes of Lapa, and Aidan gives his best to dance Samba in a show.
Jan. 13, 2014
Up to commune with Christ the Redeemer - one of the "7 New Wonders of the World" - atop Corcovado, though given the hours in line in the scorching sun, clearly we weren't the only ones with that idea...
Jan. 15, 2014
We took the beautiful winding coastal road to Paraty, the perfect location to stop to enjoy our bartered-for, foot-long cigar we had been safeguarding since Honduras in celebration of over 15,000 miles and 13 months on the road.
Jan. 16, 2014
Up at 6am for an interview on BBC Outlook, then off on Aidan's final ride. Clear costal skies quickly gave way to torrential downpours and tropical storm-level winds in the mountains. Arrived safely for all-you-can-eat sushi with our amazing host.
Jan. 18, 2014
After 15,526 miles, Aidan ends his trip in a frantic frenzy of last minute packing (i.e., throwing everything in a big garbage bag) before flying out. Sean consoles himself with bike maintenance. The Kawasaki shopfront stands out to say the least.
Jan. 19, 2014
First solo ride, I navigated out of the Sao Paulo chaos and headed alongside forests and lakes on the winding highway down to Curitiba, arriving just in time to find the one open sports bar for the football conference championships. GO BRONCOS!
Jan. 20, 2014
Worked and explored intermittently, hopping from cafe to cafe and taking in the super forward-thinking, ecologically-minded city. Cooler temperatures, pedestrian streets everywhere, tons of outdoor hang outs; definitely one of Brazil's nicest cities.
Jan. 21, 2014
Odd juxtaposition riding through rice paddies in rural Brazil, next to old Swiss and German rural farmhouses in the Vale Europeu. Evening spent with beer and bratwurst in a German valley town famous for its raucous Oktoberfest.
Jan. 22, 2014
Hit 16k miles during a long 370 mile day, a couple beaches before the famous surf spot at Guarda do Embau. Ran out of digits to count the miles on, so had to improvise with a foot. Celebrated with cigar and microbrew in Porto Alegre's central park.
Jan. 23, 2014
40 days and 5,500 miles from north to south, I finally exited Brazil into Uruguay. Obrigado for the memories, Brazil, and I'll see you next month for Carnival! Ended up in an absolute middle of nowhere town with nothing around for a hundred miles.
Jan. 25, 2014
After months of riding in what could be described as 'unpleasantly hot' conditions, the weather took a sudden dive and gave me my first 'unpleasantly chilly' ride in a year. Fortunate realization that I need to fix my jacket zipper before the Andes.
Jan. 29, 2014
Took advantage of the first non-rainy, non work-filled day to make the short ride to the cobbled streets, microbrews, and somewhat funky vibe of Colonia, directly across the channel from Argentina.
Jan. 31, 2014
Not liking 5am nor paying $130 for the ferry, I decided to head over the bridge 150 miles north. Celebrated 17k miles at a roadside grill, put diesel in my tank and promptly siphoned it dry, and broke a toll booth gate with my head. Eventful detour.
Feb. 1, 2014
Finally in Buenos Aires, it was time to enjoy a bit of fiesta, eats, and new friends. Little did I know that I would end up sticking around for a week more than planned thanks to a combination of work, bike repairs, and forgotten importation papers.
Feb. 19, 2014
Picked up my baby from the shop after 2 weeks of work and made the short ride to the hometown of Messi and apparently the 'world's biggest flag memorial.' Put back some microbrews with friends from Hawaii days at a Californian-owned pub.
Feb. 20, 2014
Long straight stretches of plaines and paddocks led the way to Cordoba, a 'rival' city of Buenos Aires in terms of sports and culture. Wonderful selection of pedestrian roads downtown. Spent my time toiling away at web work over a couple rainy days.
Feb. 22, 2014
Lunch at the lakeside town of Carlos Paz before heading up into the clouds and otherworldly rocky mountain landscapes. Got down into the 50s and felt blessed to have heated hand grips. Gazed out on the square's nightlife in mountainside Nono town.
Feb. 23, 2014
Savored one of the last coveted Brazilian cigars as I crossed the 18,000 mile-mark en route to Mendoza. Feasted on a mammoth pepper-corn Argentinian beef steak in the evening to celebrate the last big riding stop before the long push to the South.
Feb. 28, 2014
So begins Rio Carnaval! Spent Day 1 as we would spend most days during the 5 day fiesta: floating between 'blocos' (block parties that number from 500 to 500,000 people) and keeping the party alive at night with Caipirinhas in the streets of Lapa,
March 4, 2014
What better way to spend the final Day of Rio Carnaval than using home-made press passes to get onto the floor of the Sambadrome to get a close-up view of the floats and dancers of the famous samba school competitions?
March 7, 2014
After 9 days of Rio Carnaval, I arrive back to Mendoza just in time for its (wine) harvest festival. Everyone out in the streets for a night parade of 18 floats, one for the harvest queen nominee of each region of Mendoza. Best in show: a bbq float.
March 8, 2014
Met up with Taryn to catch the afternoon parade with empanadas and beers. Did a quick evening wine tasting and bought a couple bottles to hike with several miles out of town and up a hill to watch the main show of the festival for free from above.
March 9, 2014
Day 1 of the final push down to the southernmost point of the continent. Set off on the famed Ruta 40 where a 6 lane highway with normal gas stations quickly gave way to 2 lanes with horses and guachos (cowboys) hanging out at abandoned gas stations.
March 10, 2014
The road south quickly empties out as I am basically alone on an eerily quiet section of Ruta 40 surrounded by sprawling, otherworldly landscapes of colorful mountains, streams, and desert. Loose gravel roads made a case to be on my dislikes list.
March 11, 2014
Pretty but monotonous long stretch of desert riding with only a handful of passers by ended as I reached the lake towns of Junin and San Martin, snow resorts in the winter and fly fishing bastions in the summer. Fixed my heated handgrips. Clutch.
March 12, 2014
Simply spectacular ride through the 'seven lakes' district and the road to El Bolson, where turquoise waters and rugged mountain landscapes put the famous vacation town of Bariloche to shame. Reached 19k miles at a gorgeous lakeside campground.
March 13, 2014
Last minute decision to ditch the upcoming monotonous/windy stetch of Ruta 40 south to cross the Andes into Chile to ride the more interesting (and green) Carretera Austral. Stayed in a gorgeous valley town famous for whitewater sports.
March 14, 2014
All gravel day, first through the mountains past whitewater rapids and then merging onto the infamous Carretera Austral, Chile's great adventure roadtrip. Cows dictated traffic. Cold rain made the sketchy roads of Queulat National Park treacherous.
March 15, 2014
Bumped into a group of Argentinian bikers filming a motorcycle documentary of their trip and hiked together to view my first glacier at Queulat. Rain resumed and provided an eerie setting for riding through the spectacular park.
March 16, 2014
First day off from riding in a week, I charged both my bike's battery and my own in the 'big city' (population 60,000) of Chile's Carretera Austral. Hung my clothes by the fireplace for gloriously dry riding gear after 2 days of rain-riding.
March 17, 2014
Pavement returns to loose gravel as I leave the city on what would be one of the most gorgeous rides of the trip: snowcapped peaks loomed over of a landscape of fall foliage, deer crossings, canyons, and an endless network of rivers and lakes.
March 18, 2014
170km on a glorified cattle track from Carretera Austral back onto Ruta 40 via the most gorgeous border crossing in the world (a 11km Andean pass), sheep, alpacas, horses, and emus fleeing my path. 6 hours riding without passing a single soul.
March 19, 2014
Oscillated between gravel and pavement sections of Ruta 40, with construction zones all down the highway. Interesting to see the transformation to pavement firsthand. 30mph (50km) winds hit which certainly made the gravel even more... adventurous.
March 20, 2014
Full day of hiking, following the Rio Blanco through forests and past glaciers, then up the steep slopes to the turquoise glacial lakes right in front of Mt Fitz Roy. Celebratory cigar settings don't get much more epic (20k mile milestone).
March 21, 2014
Mt. Fitz Roy - which had been covered in clouds these 3 days - finally made an appearance on my ride out of town. Absolutely spectacular landscape. Fairly short (though cold!) ride on pavement, then took the day to catch up on internet-y things.
March 22, 2014
Ice hiking around the Perito Moreno Glacier, taking in the craggy peaks, deep blue hues of sink holes, and eerie calving sounds of the 250 square km glacier. Whiskey has never tasted as good as it does atop a glacier... with glacial ice of course.
March 23, 2014
411 miles, 2 border crossings, and a ferry across the Straits of Magellan to Tierra del Fuego. Longest distance covered in one day of riding to get within easy 200km range of Ushuaia. Road signs turn from 'Ruta 40' to the 'end of the world' moniker.
March 24, 2014
A short ride past a motocross event and through the unique landscapes and alpine scenery of Tierra del Fuego before I triumphantly arrived in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Met up with some friends and had a raucous celebration.
March 25, 2014
Rode to the 'end of the road' at Tierra del Fuego National Park and sparked up my footlong victory cigar. Having finally made it all the way south, I hiked around the lakes and hills in isolation with the massive stogie, contemplating the journey.
March 26, 2014
Tough final day of riding as the morning saw near freezing conditions with an unpleasant mixture of rain, sleet, and wind, which saturated my shoddy waterproof gear. Sun made a brief but glorious appearance as I passed a flamingo refuge. Reached 21k.
March 27, 2014
Sun finally came out as I rode to the ferry terminal, strapped my bike down for the hairy sea crossing (so as not to jeopardize my sale), and left Tierra del Fuego. Had my last ride on the bike and showed her off to Leo, her new owner.
March 28, 2014
Completed the title transfer and visited a notaria to make some documents to get us and the bike out. After 21,219 miles through 18 countries, I handed over the keys - and metaphorical reigns - as one man's journey came to an end and another's began.

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