Friday, July 10, 2009

THE END

I did almost 10.000 miles in 3 months, it added up to a more than 200 hours ride. It was the dream I had since almost 10 years! I had the greatest time. It changed me and the experience was not just great but also important to me.

I've seen the best (hot!) waterfalls, surfed warm Pacific waves, did Caribbean reef Scuba diving, been to the most gorgeous lake in the world, met awesome locals, went to ruins and soaked up history, stood next to floating hot lava at a volcano, went to huge local biker parties, stayed in remote cabanas, did boating, hiked in the rain forest and much, much more...Highlights in this blog.


That's it! THE END!

Finished the bike trip off with watching the Moto Grand Prix race in Laguna Seca, California. Rossi almost won it again, I will see the GP again next week at Sachsenring, Germany. Had a great time camping with Jason and his friends and watching the action also with Kelley, Alex, Bridget, Scott, Jorge, Deb and Ed. Thanks for sharing the experience with me!


Now back in San Francisco, selling the bike and flying back to Germany on Sunday. Thanks to everybody virtually traveling with me! Was fun to do the blog and stay in touch with so many!!!

San Francisco, CA: 9600 miles, riding time: 205 hours
Laguna Seca, CA: 9450 miles, riding time: 202 hours

Back to real life. Check out my latest internet project filiyou

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bye bye Mexico, Kicks on Route 66

I rode more than 3000 miles in a little over a week! My butt is still the same small size, can't believe it! Back in the US since yesterday and back in California today. I got roasted today at 41 degrees C (106 F) in the Mojave desert.


Bye Bye, Mexico! Besides all the glory I had a really super "shitty" day a few days ago:
The low light: I got food poisoning, full 9 yards: High fever, throwing up, I couldn't digest even water, dehydrated, evil intestine cramps, no processing of food for a week. Plus I struggle with a at least bruised if not broken rib from a surfing accident in El Salvador,I can only sleep on one side.

The day after a rock got thrown up and hit my foot during the ride. Wait, there is more, same day!

Then I got in the heaviest monsum rainstorm and my rainsuit zipper broke.

What a shitty day!


Right now I'm "getting my kicks on Route 66". (Tribute at this point to Lux Interior who did a great cover of this song). I'm staying in the traditional Wigwam Motel (GPS location), one of the last remaining landmarks at the classic Route 66 in the San Bernardino area.

Tepic: 7620 miles, riding time: 175 hours
US Border crossing: 8566 miles, riding time: 187 hours
San Bernardino, CA: 9090 miles, riding time: 195 hours

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Returning home, crazy drivers, more...

I think I've seen it all! Central America in 3 months! ... after a week surfstop in El Salvador I think it's time to return back home for the summer in Germany!

Latest highlights:

Insane crazy Central American drivers. In the last weeks I got passed by huge flatbed trucks or full buses as I was traveling already at 130 km/h. No, not on freeways, on country roads(!). Drivers passing everywhere, so I don't get a higher pulse anymore coming out of a turn and seeing a bus overtaking a car just a few meters in front of me in my entire lane. I think riding the "chicken bus" is more dangerous than on your own bike. I've seen 2 (scratch that: 3!) different accidents of huge semi trucks. This truck driver had just to much luck, just a scratch on his arm. He blamed it on his total failing brakes. Yeah, right!


A local in front of the court room at Palacio Municipal built in 1536 as Gracias in Honduras was the Central American capital for a short time before it moved later to Antigua, Guatemala.










San Salvador: I found a new way exploring a Central American capital: Just try to find a spare part for your bike! Probably a dozen dealers in the Bay Area carry standard items such as a KLR sprocket. In Salvador I chased from 2 official Kawasaki dealers to another 10 different stores across town until in a hidden corner an old lady got one out of a dusty drawer. yay!

El Salvador border: Odometer: 5610 miles, riding time: 119 hours
La Libertad: Odometer: 5750 miles, riding time: 124 hours
Mexican border returning: 6200 miles, riding time: 140 hours

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Honduras: Scuba diving in the Caribbean, strange signs

Spent 4 days on an Caribbean island, I now have a PADI open water diving certification. Today dolphins swam and jumped less than 10 feet next to the boat on the way to the dive site. Water here has more than 30 degrees celsius, you dive in a gigantic bathtub. Did 6 dives in colorful and crystal clear water, one dive sites had a view up to 30 to 50 meters.

You can rent a "Motorcicle" here! I also drove by a Kawosaky shop in Mexico a few weeks ago, unfortunately I didn't take a shot of the big sign.










I just love this street sign! What do you think it's for? Park and drink? Attention, drunk drivers? Drink and drive zone, minimum booze level required? ;)

Honduras Border: Odometer: 5020 miles, riding time: 108 hours
La Ceiba: Odometer: 5264 miles, riding time: 113 hours

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pirates, hot waterfall, landslide, end of the world

Now I know where Hollywood got the idea of pirate castles from. This was built around 1640 to keep the pirates out, but they took over at some point. It's well kept, looks definitely like made for a pirate movie.

Went to a hot spring: A gorgeous waterfall, seriously hotter as my shower back home. A cool river merges at exactly at
that spot, so you are sitting in cool water, whilst your upper body gets boiled. Little mini Piranha like fish are nagging on your skin when you don't move. Also I went for a nice 1 hour boat ride towards the Caribbean coast on Rio Dulce.

I found the end of the world: Semuc Champey. Only a real bad deadend dirt road leads to here. Fantastic views, a natural limestone bridge above a cool river, multicolored pools to swim and a hike up the hill with an amazing sunset view. Here is the best cave I've ever seen in my life, walked and swam about 1 1/2 hour into it with a candle in one hand. Bats, natural slides, rocks to jump off and it's allowed to touch everything.


Check this little landslide: The entire mountain came down, buried the road and a temporary path was built. Crazy dangerous ride. I'm glad I did some dirt bike training back home, this ride was a challenge with all the weight on the bike. Today I did a 4 hour dirt only ride.

Off to Honduras.

Semuc Champey: Odometer: 4750 miles, riding time: 99 hours
El Estor, hot springs: Odometer: 4830 miles, riding time: 103 hours
Rio Dulce/Livingston: Odometer: 4870 miles, riding time: 104 hours

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Active volcano, new friends at most beautiful lake

Standing 1 meter away from liquid lava erupting from an active volcano! This is an hour away from Antigua which used to be the first capital of Central America and the entire city is now an UNESCO world heritage site.

I'm fascinated since forever by Indian, native American people. Many tribes of Mayas are living in the highlands here and I now have a new 10 year young Indigenous friend who gave me friendship presents and also painted nice pictures for me. This was at amazing Alicias place, she is going to establish a birth hospital here. Her house seems to be turned into the local village Kindergarten.

Lago Atitlan in the highlands is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Kayaking on crystal clear water, surrounded by 3 volcanoes was awesome!

Lago Atitlan: Odometer: 4300 miles, riding time: 88 hours
Antigua: Odometer: 4480 miles, riding time: 91 hours

Monday, May 18, 2009

Border crossing, awesome (!) rides, Chapolines and Mezcal

The border is a tiny little different compared to the US one! ;) A single tiny barrier which doesn't even fully close in the road, you can probably just duck and ride through it! A customs guy walks up to it and manually lifts it.


This is not a circuit racetrack. No, it's a Guatemala road, 2 lanes each way no marker, new done, which is like this for about 20 miles. Only one hour between roads like this ...



... and this: I now have a new under- standing of the term "roadblock" !!!





Met Raol, a local from a mountain city Oaxaca on his BMW F650. We were flying through my newest top no.1 highway for riding: 175!!! Turn after turn from the coast through the mountains for 3 hours. He introduced me to a local dish later, "Chapolines". Grasshoppers! I tried it! How it tastes?

Disgusting!

After a ruin stop I made my way to Guatemala, I randomly stopped at a tiny Mezcal farm. Mezcal is a local version of Tequila. In the middle of farmland, this is a small building where traditional 4th generation family runs a fully organic production. I had super fresh Mezcal coming straight out of the distillery. Tequila today is mostly industrial produced, so this was a nice experience. Now I know how to make it! :)

Oaxaca: Odometer: 3600 miles, riding time: 71 hours
San Cristobal: Odometer: 4050 miles, riding time: 81 hours
Guatemala border: Odometer: 4150 miles, riding time: 84 hours

Saturday, May 9, 2009

More surfing, Newborn turtles, Acapulco & company



Yet another surfstop. Water keeps on getting warmer, love it!
















Locals released hundreds of 2 hour young turtles to do their first ocean swim.




My bike and I got company, met an Australian couple and a Canadian kid with a surfboard rack attached to his bike. All on KLR's, too.



Acapulco is a dirty hole. It's like Waikiki, Hawaii: The city name sounds awesome, but 1 day is enough to understand why you should avoid this city. Touristy, dirty, too many people. But since I watched the Elvis movie as a kid I wanted to see the famous cliff diving live. I've been to the bling restaurant "La Perla" where you can watch the action from your table. All kinds of movie stars and royalty have eaten here before.

So far the only problems with bandits is the corrupt police: Got a second shakedown, but getting pretty pro to deal with this.

Red tide: I've seen the first time in my life an ocean glowing green at night. It's quite amazing. I've stopped in a little surfing village, but the water was bad as I arrived. Algies die off and at night you see phosphor glowing in the waves.

Acapulco: Odometer: 2900 miles, riding time: 56 hours
Puerto Escondido: Odometer: 3400 miles, riding time: 64 hours

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine flu and other bugga's




No, haven't had an encounter with the swine flu here. Thanks for so many emails for worrying! I believe it's a big media sensation again, however we are all following up the progress in the news. I'm in a remote surfing village with less than 20 souls. Hard for a virus to spread. I have other little issues: Eaten alive by an army of sandflies, I stopped counting at 150 bites just on my right hand and right underarm. I have a little allergic reaction to it. Also my underarm got hit by a jellyfish today. Oh wait, I forgot the bruised rib. And my skin doesn't stop peeling in the intense sun, despite of lots of factor 60 sun block.

Beautiful road to the coast, I tried a video sample. I know it's shaky and hard to watch, before you bitch try to ride with one hand in twisty roads with all your luggage on your bike ;) However, I wanted to share an impression of some of the awesome roads I'm riding. Inland in April is already pretty hot, towards the coast it's nice! I'm south of the tropic of cancer line now, nature is getting a lot more green.

All kinds of animals on the roadside, wild horses, donkeys, pigs, goats, everything. Beautiful isolated beaches down the coast.

Barra de Navidad: Odometer: 2400 miles , riding time: 46 hours
Barra de Ticla: Odometer: 2500 miles, riding time: 48 hours
Barra de Nexpa: Odometer: 2650 miles, riding time: 51 hours

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What a blast! The Cuellar bike racer family


Got stuck in the 2nd biggest city in Mexico looking for bike parts. Ran into the nicest man, Antonio, who put in a huge effort helping me to find them. I stayed at his home 2 nights and his wife made me dinner and breakfast. Unreal!!! He is also the dad of a 17 year old superfast Mexican pro racer Richard. Check his site! He won everything in minibike and did well at rookie races. He recently stepped up into 600s national pro racing. This kid deserves sponsors!!!

Guadalajara: Odometer: 2200 miles, riding time 41 hours

Massive biker meeting in Mexico "Semana de Moto"





Huge event at the weekend, a few 1000 bikers gather. Safety last! Kids in flip flops, no helmet, pulling stand up wheelies during a bike parade between thousands of people. Nobody wears helmets in town in that week, I adjusted! ;) Cruising along the beach promenade. Perfect temperature. Cops don't bother you. Awesome!

At night there was a huge stage with a live rock show. The oddest thing was a seeing a band playing the Scorpions with a Spanish accent.


Also had a Acapulco cliff diving sneak preview. Going to see the real thing in Acapulco soon.




Mazatlan: Odometer: 1840 miles, riding time: 33 hours

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gone surfing



Gone surfing...

Tried to drown myself in some superstrong monster Pacific waves for the past 3 days. Waves are so powerful, the leash ripped and my board took off. I'm getting better, rode a few waves, still a long way to go. Soooo much fun!!!

On the way down here I ran into a local biker with his nephew (Bahas current no.1 junior swimmer) and we rode and hung out 2 days. They were very patient with me since conversation was only in spanish. Got my second flat tire yesterday, this time much easier, because a mechanic next door is fixing it with his machine while I'm typing this here... :)

Odometer: 1756, Riding time: 32h

Friday, April 10, 2009

Who has put that spell on me?


I think I've been through everything bad by now: Yesterday coming into a blind corner in twisty mountain roads, somebody spilled BUCKETS (!!!) of greasy, slimy fluids on the ENTIRE road! Ice has strong grip compared to that stuff! I was leaned over, almost made it through the entire 20 meters of slime, both tires entirely greased up, bike going left and right, but no... ...met the ground. Pretty much on top of a mountain and no rail guards! I couldn't even walk on this stuff without sliding. Good news: Only a few levers bend (have all the spares and tools), a minor bruise, that's it.

Good news: I had an entire nice remote beach by a lighthouse for myself, one Mexican family (far away) and a really nice couple to hang out with. She is from Australia and the guy from England happens to be one of the worlds most famous shark photographers.

Last stop was a sweet campground with pool, WiFi and an outlet next to the tent for the cost of a beer in a bar in SF. Breaks a little the adventure concept, but hey.. ..it's the 21st century!!!

Odometer: 1470 miles, Riding: 27h

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is paradise!



Monday, Odometer: 980 Miles, 16h total riding time

Tuesday, Odometer: 1250 Miles, 22h total riding time

All I need warm air and sun and I instantly feel good. On top of that I got nice twisty roads, good pavement, almost no cars on the road and I was crossing a desert. Amazing landscapes. Highlight (besides the ride) of the past 3 days was sleeping right on the beach open air in an open cabana. Bonfire upfront, bike right next to me. I woke up before sunrise (how could that happen?) and watched the crack of dawn as I opened my eyes…. PERFECT!!!