Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 24, 2012. 

  What is the best time-out activity you chose from your adventure ride? Mine is definitely stay and watch nature at works in the farm. No stress, no noise, no nothing just the green and nature surround you.


Past Time Favourite in the Kebun
No stress, just the kebun by the lake 
             Life like that.....                            

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summary of My South America Adventure Ride 2012

14 June 2012 

  This summary of my South America ride covers:

1.   Preparation             -    I put forth total duration, budget, places of interests and route selection.

2.   The Route               -    Basically I intend to ride in a round trip of  selected countries in South America.

3.   Budget                    -    All inclusive of flight, tours, bike purchase, daily budget, fuel and contingency

4.   Day to day report     -   From 10 Jan till 21 May 2012

5.   Conclusion               -   Observations and recommendations.


Basic maps and diary to start preparation 

I bought the South America maps from a local store in Kuala Lumpur to give me a general view of the places to go. Of course my dairy, a must, to scribble and document every small details I find necessary. My first entry of the preparation stage was on 22 Aug 2011, about 5 months plus before my start date 10 Jan 2012. Meanwhile, I started to read about ride reports of other travellers in the internet and some adventure ride books. The list is long so I wont bother to include them here. Oh! One more thing, I started to dream of the would be adventure that I am going to have. Also, I keep broadcasting this trip to families, friends and  my 'working' partners.
  Since I have decided to buy a KLR 650 somewhere in Colombia, I might as well get to know more about this bike while I am in Malaysia. Yes, I have a 2008 KLR 650 in Malaysia and with it I mount for drill bags in front and bag on the top rack. I also, went for ride few days to get the feel of weight and handling. Technically, I think I have a basic knowledge how this machine works so would not be a big problem if minor repair occurs during the ride. I think I am OK that.
 Physically I think I am fit to ride this trip. I often did long rides on my KLR 650 or my Honda Fireblade 929 sportbike. Riding is mostly sit down effort and do not need physical, however one must remain focus on the road for hours. This required full attention and alertness which directly proportionate to your mental fitness. Mentally, I leave behind my other administrative things to my family especially to my beloved wife. Thank you dear for keeping an eye on things while I am away. Fear is always there in mind but common sense prevails. Make sure my common sense is common all the time.
 Money. What is enough for me may not be enough for someone else. So, how much is enough is very subjective. Please read the Budget section later. But I will go shoe-string budget. Camping where possible but would be happy to have a decent private toilet with toilet papers. If I have warm water, it is a bonus otherwise I can live with cold water for washing.
 The route basically is covering the Pacific coast from Colombia down to Ushuaia, Argentina and the Atlantic coast upward return to Colombia. In between I will cross the Andes range, Atacama desert, the Patagonian plain and lake districts of Chile and Argentina.
 Simple and keep it that way. The more details you add for any riding plan the more you get confuse. So, keep it simple stupid (KISS).  Thats the preparation.

Friday, June 1, 2012

KLR 650

1 June 2012  
                       Two of its kind - KLR 650. Not fast but can do all bike and will take you anywhere in this world! These bikes never fail me. This is not a KLR promote but from my own experience and observations.

The Blue Camel
Always ready for the next adventure ride
Somewhere in South East Asia
The Red Rojos
Getting ready for the ride
In full action rig somewhere in South America
  More KLR rides to follows...
Day 105 to 115

 After sorting out all administrative stuffs, its time to bid farewell to Cali, Colombia. My next destination - Europe, visit my family members there. But there are some familiar faces and places in Cali where I have used as my base camp for the entire trip. To all of them, big Thank You and see you again.

Casa Blanca Hostel, Cali, Colombia as Base Camp 

Bike's parking under watchful guard of a pitbull 'Bruce' 
Casa Blanca front desk girl who helps me all administrative 
My favourite breakfast stall behind Casa Blanca hostel
Single man band at Cali Square, who will be there every Sunday
Avianca flight to Europe
In Netherland, the too familiar sight welcome me - My family members there.
My family in Harderwijk, the Netherland
And my adventure ride continues thereafter...
Day 97 to 104 

 The Route 25N towards Medellin is actually fast but beware of speed traps! The Aremenia - Medellin road is very winding and heavy traffic.
Armenia Square

  Two things I observed most, very chaotic traffic and noisy. Yes, Medellin is noisy. Best keep out of town. Go somewhere say the nearest town of Evingado. I recommend this place.
Coffee plantation, Armenia

Beware animals crossing 

Straight to Medellin
Manizales Square 
Medellin market
With fellow bikers in Evingado

   Armenia and Manizales are both important towns between Medellin and Bogota. These coffee rich towns I considered best place for retreat.
Colombian Coffee plantation


Arriving Cali again! 

After 104 days, I return back to Cali!

Me and my trusted bike (Rojos)
   I make a final round about from Medellin to Cali and this point I know my bike service in this adventure ride in South America is nearing end. Finally as the last lashing was undone, I sent the bike for final wash and bid farewell to my trusted Rojos whom I have full confident from the very beginning that this bike will take me home to Cali safely. Thank you Rojos, you are relinquish from your adventure duties with me. I am going to miss this faithful bike always. For me, my adventure continues.
Day 86 to 96

Once I left behind Nasca towards Ecuador along the PanAm Highway, I am entering desert regions (the Atacama and the Sechura). Atacama desert is the driest desert in the world. Sechura desert named after a town swallowed by a huge tsunami in the early 18th Century.

Quick stop at Nasca Lines, Peru

  These deserts except for some areas, are just empty, hot, dry, hazy visibility, fine sand and closer to the Pacific the hazy visibility gets worse as the ocean spray enveloped great distance inland.This stretch takes longer than I expected.
Lonely Atacama desert 

Fine sand and hazy visibility of the Atacama Desert

 After border cross into Ecuador at La Tina, Peru and Macara, Ecuador check points, I headed towards Quito passing through Machala (the popular South American banana plantation town), Guayaquil (Ecuador important port), and Quevedo. Quito is thought to be very rich city where the Inca treasure still hidden somewhere. No wonder the Spanish made their last stand here.
Port of Guayaquil, Ecuador

Quito, Ecuador

The Angel at the Rounded Mountain, Quito
Quito, a street view
Ipiales check point, Colombia
Welcome to Colombia
Otavalo market town, Ecuador
Road side repair clutch cable
Pit-stop at Cali, Colombia

  Leaving Quito, I rode into Colombia at the Rumichacha, Ecuador/Ipiales, Colombia. At this border cross I was almost refused entry into Colombia because my passport only allowed me to enter Colombia through airport! Funny policy that is but the friendly official there help me out reenter Colombia at this land border. Thank you very much Amigos!
     I made a quick pit stop at Cali, discharging some of my loads before continue towards Medellin (pronounced as Medejin).