In the fall of 2013 we left our home in California on what would be a nearly 8 month +15,000 mile motorcycle ride to the southern tip of Argentina. True novices, we had barely gotten our motorcycle licenses and had never ridden bikes with panniers till the week we left.
Now that we’ve returned we are still riding and writing.
Alex Washburn is a professional photo editor in San Francisco and Nathaniel Chaney does things with numbers.
Drive safe today you all. Enjoy your final days in America as you head south!
Have a beautiful and safe journey, take tons of photos….love you Alex
from your favorite CSI Michele
Hope you have a great trip, and be safe.
good luck ! hope you pass trough ecuador
Our plan is to be in Ecuador sometime in February 2014. Alex has already been there once and I hear it is beautiful!
I’m living vicariously through you guys!
What an adventure this will be!
Son lo mejor, en verdad que disfruten esta aventura al máximo. lo queremos ver de nuevo en huamantla. suerte viajeros de autopsia end.
Really enjoying your adventure so far! Your pictures look great.
I saw you in small restaurant in Salvador on Nov 30th. I was with my wife. where is your picture of that day?
This is a terrific blog, I Chuck S. told me about it. I was good friends with Chuck’s Dad Carmine and was with him in South Carolina when he bought your red KLR. He would be thrilled with this adventure. Good luck, Jerome.
Hey Jerome! That’s awesome you were with him when he bought the bike! She has been a trooper on this trip and some of the BMW guys we’ve met on the road admitted they wish they had gone with the KLR. Are you still in South Carolina? Stay in touch – maybe someday our paths will cross!
Alex, I’m home in Baton Rouge now. I have a couple of BMW’s but if I was doing what you’re doing it would be on a KLR or a DR 650 also, much friendlier to local mechanics.
KLR650’s have been wonderful but we have surprisingly seen more places to get a Suzuki serviced than a Kawasaki… That doesn’t mean they will have exactly what you need in stock when you need it but it is food for thought. We met a Canadian couple in their mid 50’s doing it and they don’t speak Spanish. You might like to check out their blog too!: http://www.chasingdreamson2wheels.com
We spent a year in Ushuaia living on our boat. Try to persuade a boater to take you on the ‘Glacier Loop’. Go the the AFYSIN Yacht Club and meet them on the dock. Offer to buy food, fuel, whatever it takes, it will be the highlight of your young lives.
Thanks for the tip Scott! We are going to have to try that! When does it start to get REALLy cold again down there? -alex
Just took a few minutes to catch up with your blog, you guys are doing a terrific job of keeping us less adventurous folks informed, thanks
Glad your enjoying the blog, it makes all the long hours worth it!
nothing like getting caught up in a rock throwing protest to put the Adventure in Adventure Touring.
Shame works miracles. I have and continue to enjoy your adventure through the Blog, so Blog on!!!!! The pictures and dialog are superb! Keep riding & writing….. Love Dad
How we enjoy reading your blog! What an adventure! Please eat some Argentine empanadas for us! Buen provecho! Tengan cuidado! Memories! Con cariño y un gran abrazo, Uncle Dave and Aunt Diane
Hey Dave and Diane! I did not know for sure that you were following the blog although I suspected Mom had passed on the link. I hope you are both enjoying the adventure! We have about one week till we reach Ushuaia and I expect we should be home some time during that last week of April… Maybe at that point I will be brave enough to take Dad’s motorcycle out of the garage. Hopefully you are both doing well and I promise to eat PLENTY of empanadas! See You Soon – Alex
Just a note from another distant acquaintance/friend of Carmine. I had the satisfaction of riding with Carmine on a few trips and thoroughly enjoyed his company and most of all his free spirit that he rode with. I met Chuck and Carmine thru a mutual friend Jerome Ducote once, many years ago on a short trip into the Mena, Arkansas back roads. My wife and I have riden the “more traveled” roads since 97 on a Goldwing. Anyway, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog w/your accompanied pictures, they are absolutely stunning! It is refreshing to read your blogs and I admire your tenacity. Please keep us posted with your continued journey and may your journey be safe and continue to be exciting. Some of us “more seasoned” riders are jealously observing in the background your trip! Please keep blogging!
Rick Barnett- Lake Charles, LA.
It’s great to hear from you! We always appreciate when Jerome drops us a line too! I told Chuck the other day that I feel like I’ve gotten to know Carmine a little bit during this trip. Whenever we look through the clymer for the bike I see his notes in it and I always appreciate that he was the type of guy to take such good care of his bikes. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the blog! Having it makes it easier to keep all of our friends and family informed of whats going on but it’s also a way to distribute information to other people considering a similar trip! I think we are going to keep the web-site live after we return home so that we can occasionally write about adventures in the US, but mostly keep it updated so that people will realize we are still available to answer strategic questions! Keep in touch! -Alex
Can not wait till you reach Ushuaia and the last of April gets here. Love to you both Nano
I see they caught you…do those people not know how to have fun?
Still having fun at 88yrs. Hope the Grandkids will do
the same. Must be because I was a Smith by birth
yOUR POST CARD FROM Nicaragua CAME TODAY,4/2/14
THANK YOU HOPE THE RADIATOR IS FIXED BY NOW
Did you guys feel the earth quake? Hope all is well.
No, we were farther south and in Argentina so we missed the quake and the aftershock thankfully. Hope all is well with you!
LET THERE BE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL USHUAIA
As you know, I am not an avid reader. However, this journey has been a gift to share with you guys….thank you! Safe traveling!
Thanks Bill, looking forward to catching up soon as we are homeward bound!
Congratulations on making it all the way down, great adventure, wonderful writing, Carmine would be proud of you and his plucky little KLR for making it all the way down.
YESTERDAY WAS THE DAY WE HAD WAIED FOR. TO HEAR FIRST HAND MORE
DETAILS OF YOUR ADVENTURE AND IT WAS WONDERFUL. ALSO TO CELEBRATE
A BELATED BIRTHDAY.and give the BEST HUG EVER. LOVED EVERY MOMENT
WE WILL NEVER TIRE OF HEARING MORE..THANK YOU SO MUCH
THANK YOU FOR THE SANDWICHES,TOO. was surprised to see our SMILING FACES
ON YOU INSTAGRAM.
LOVE YOU LOTS,
GRAM AND GRAMPS CHANEY
I just found your blog and am trying to get to the beginning of your trip so I can see / follow / learn from the beginning. I have considered a similar adventure and am researching the necessary steps prior to beginning such a trip. Have you compiled lists of what you packed / brought with you, what bikes did you ride, how you managed country crossings (documents, papers, passports, registration for bikes, etc). Did you camp or stay in hostels, hotels, friends enroute? Any and all information would be appreciated. Thank you.
We never really did a formal blog on what we brought like many others have done. I can tell you we both rode KLR 650s. Mine was a 2001 and Alex’s was a 2004. Other than the normal bike maintenance and a couple of expected hiccups the bikes functioned great. Because Alex is a photographer, most of her top box was taken up with camera gear, so we didn’t really have room for camping equipment, and to be honest we weren’t weren’t really versed in camping enough to want to do it for 7 months. We stayed mostly in hostels or hotels (in my places you can get a hotel for pretty cheap and with two of us it was always half the cost).
For boarder crossings I highly suggest just goggling the boarder crossing and using something like “Guatemala Honduras border crossing with motorcycle” most of the time we were able to find some blog, usually with pictures, that told us everything we had to do. On top of that, Alex speaks spanish, so that helped us a lot. But don’t worry, we met lots of bikers doing the same trip and many of them didn’t speak any spanish and were able to get through just fine. All you have to do is set aside enough time as they take a while.
As far as gear. Make sure you have the basic tool kit for your bike and a tube repair kit for your tires. But other then that just the basics are more then enough. As you travel you find out what you need and what you don’t. I took an extra set of tubes, a chain and sprocket set. The tubes came in handy because i needed one out in the middle of Honduras and it was great to know it would fit perfectly. The chain and sprocket I could have just ended up getting from a dealer along the way.
That’s the basics, read the blog and let me know if you have any more questions. You can shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk further.
Cheers and happy travels-
Hi! I saw your journey on instagram, as i mentioned me and my boyfriend have started planning our world trip, it would be amazing to find out more about your route! We’ll be starting in the UK, through Europe, Russia and then heading the South American and working our way up. We have started sorting through the finances but if you could give an idea of what you were spending per month that be really help! Thanks 🙂
We averaged $20 per day for accommodation (sometimes cheaper sometimes more expensive), 15-20 on food and then 10-15 for gas depending on the country. So on average it was probably between 60-75 dollars a day. But that is by no means the benchmark, it could have been done for cheaper. We probably spent about $700 on motorcycle maintenance for the entire trip, and that is probably a high number. Then you have to calculate in any shipping costs (we had to ship the bikes from panama to Colombia). We didn’t do any camping because Alex is a photographer and her entire top box was full of phtography equipment. Even with that said, when you add camping into the picture you have to have enough equipment to cook food and have enough water on hand. I’m not saying people can’t do it, it just wasn’t something we wanted to take on on this particular trip.
I can try to provide more details if you want them but that is just kind of off the top of my head. Sorry for the late response to this, but I didn’t get the notice in my e-mail that there was a comment on the site.