While i'm getting my life back together, please look at a fine selection of my photos:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

short update - El Fuerte to Creel

Short update, internet is expesive here.
It took us 2 days to get from El Fuerte to Creel, of which 200 kms dirtroad. These roads weren´t even on the map! ;) But made it in one piece. We had to camp somewhere on roadside though, don´t see bumps, holes etc. in dark.
Luckily i brought Ramen Noodles and Nescafe :)
The Guzzi of my travelbuddy Claudio behaves remarkebly well in offroad. TTR run fine all day in 1st and 2nd gear, running at high temperatures and bounching all over. I love the bike and despite the awkward starting habbits, i wouldn´t change it for the world. Although.... a button would be nice ;)
Detail: the trainride from El Fuerte to Creel takes about 6 hours. But that wouldn´t be any fun, right?
Chilling out in Creel for a day now.

Monday, October 27, 2008

El Fuerte - daily bikecheck works!!

We made it to the Mexican mainland yesterday. The ferry (1500 pesos) left from La Paz to Topolobampo at 15:30(ish..) We arrived there at about 22:00. Plesant ride. Which was good. The evening before we had a big party with several hostel guests till 3:00 am. Nice.

Instead of spending the night in Los Mochis we drove to El Fuerte. In dark. Not smart, but the road is very good. Despide that we still arrived a bit late, 1 a.m., in El Fuerte and found a cheap hostel. In general it is safe here, at least that's what my 6th sence tells me. Like Baja by the way. So far only friendly and helpful people.

The planning for today was to leave for Creel. But no. When i took a casual look at my bike yesterday, as i do every riding day, I noticed something wasn't quite right. The bold and washer on my rear axle was missing hmm, forgot to tighten it in the workshop in La Paz apparantly. Must be the high temperatures messing with my brain. Still not used to it, I'm affraid.

The axle almost came out of the link/bridge/whatever. Luckily the spacer for te chaintensioner was still there.

I looked up to the stars, made a cross and said a small thank you to whoever runs this place. Could be much worse, like loosing my rear tire with all unpleasant sideeffects. I Lucked out bigtime....

So anyway, today's entertainment program contains the game 'find a nut in El Fuerte'...

hasta luego!

La Paz

La Paz... it's friendly, relatively big, has a long malecon. Has great nightlife.
A shopping paradise voor Baja Sur. (Baja california is split in two major districs, Baja (northern part) and Baja Sur (southern part).

I found the cheapest hostel possible: 180 pesos for a room (which i shared with countless ants. Which wasn't really bad, other has cocroaches.

I stayed a bit longer than planned. In the process of trying to loosen up one of the chainadjuster bolts (spray dw-40, smoke cigarette/drink beer, turn bolt a bit - repeat) it broke off.

La Paz is as said a good place with all services, motorcycle repairshops included. A French mechanic (thank god, Mexicans try to solve everything with a hammer) was pretty gentle on my TTR. After quite a few attempts to remove the broken bolt we figured that the only way to solve the issue was to drill it out. We solved the problem with a slightly different system, but it works.

I met an Italian guy Claudio (what else ;-)) at the hostel. He flew his Moto Guzzi calfornia Evolutione (!) to New York and drove through Canada and US to Mexico. We decided travel together for a while. First Stop: Copper Canyon.

Viva La Paz , Viva Mexico!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I''m in Loreto now. A guy i met at The Old Mill, near San Quintin (nice, expensive) a couple of days back invited me to his Hacienda in Loreto. It's under construction but it's free. Hotels are quite expensive around here and a free stay for a couple of days is more than welcome.

Loreto is (finaly) a nice place to hang out for a few days. Something i missed since i left Ensenada. There are a lot of retired americans and canadians here and the local economy is (therefore) good, which is reflected by the nice admosphere (my perception). A nice Malecon, beach and friendly people and good food. And coffeshops with internet. A requirement these days.

So far Baja is not the place for colonial archtecture. It has lots of desert though. So if that's your thing, your right on the spot.

As you progress from north to south Baja, the climate and scenery chances slowly from dry desert to a bit more subtropical.

The past 2 weeks or so i was mainly fighting a cold and not in the mood to take lots of pictures. There's not much diversity here anyway. Long days on the bike on straight roads are boring. To my supprise the last 30 miles to Loreto is a beautiful twisty road following the rock coastline with some beautiful beaches with campsites.I really enjoyed riding again. A bit like Big Sur, less breathtaking though.

will add pictures later.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I crossed the border in Tijuana. Not the most relaxed place to enter
but i thought, lets see if it is a chaotic as people say. Well, it is

The funny thing is that you are not stopped. US citizens are
allowed to cross the border and don't need anything aslong as the stay
within a certain limit from the border.

For me, European, and
administrative stuff to take care of, i  have to stop, of course. The
weird thing is though, it's not very clear where. Or, at least to

As soon i noticed that all went all too easy i pulled
over and started thinking. Hmm..I should have done a bit more research
actually instead of going for it totally unprepared. Fun though, albeit
a bit stressful.

So, this is what i've elarned:
* You need a
tourist visa, which can be obtained at the Mexican immigration office
for US$22,75. You cannot pay by creditcard, cash only.(took me an extra
walk back to the ATM....

I parked the bike with an insurance company. a guy watched it for a few peso, he gave me good info though).

When in Baja, you don't need a temporary import permit for your
vehicle. You need it when entering the Mexican mainland. You can buy it
when leaving the ferry there, unless you want to enjoy the very
efficient (not) mexican administrative system, then get it at Tijuna ;-)

A stamp in your passport is not required. I noticed the following day
that there was no stamp in mine and i went to the immigration office at
the Ensenada Harbor. The official there said it was not neccessary,
there is a stamp on my tourist visa. I hope he's right.  (you can buy a
tourist visa here, but they charge you $5.50 extra for it)

* You
need to hand over your US I-94 visa slip to a US official, accoording
to the procedure on the back. The slip was till this morning still in
my passport. I should have handed it over to an American official.
Funny thing is that there are none at the mexican border when leaving
the US. Perhaps i should have taken the exit with "Last exit before
leaving US" on it, i donno...
Not handing this thing over has the
consequence that you are listed in the US immigration system as being
in the US with an outdated visa. This causes problems if you want to go
back in the future.

* Luckily US customs have an office in
Kentuky you can send the I-94 thingy to together with evidence of you
leaving the states. For me this is the Mexican tourist visa, with
datestamp, and a permit for temporary import of my motorcycle. Which i
did this morning.

All should be well now. I think....

is a nice harborcity with a lively fishmarket, A tourist strip for the
cruiseship people, and lots of nice bars and hangouts. I stay in a very
hospitable and relatively cheap backpackershostel ($18,-
night) and room to park your (motor)bike safely behind a fence in the
patio at the back. The hostel is close to the center and has a very
good internet connection. Carlos, the owner is a young guy with lots of
travel experience and he tries to make it a nice place.

I cought a flew or something and sit it out here. Nice to be surrounded
by a variaty of different people, all traveling to and from Mexico.

Mexican flag in Ensenada. You can't miss it, its Big!

New friends. Portugal, Brazil and US.

Ensenada Malecon.

Hasta Luego!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Entering Mexico

Just a short update. After two weeks traveling with my good friend Arend (Zion to Newbury park, LA) i'm back on my own. This post is made with Scribefire, a Mozilla pluging for Bloggin. I'm not a big fan of the blogger editor, it doesn't insert pictures on the cursor position, which is very, VERY annoying.
Hope this one works better. Anyways....

I'm a bad planner so right now I'm figuring out the insurance thing for Mexico in the public library in San Ysidro right at the border.

Yesterday was an interesting day. I departed late from a cheap hotel. There's no campsites around here, and RV parks would charge me the full hookup price ($71) do the obvious choice is a hotel for the same price. My trustworthy TTR (baptised 'old faithful', will come to that later) doesn't like cold starts in this hot and humid environment (so as me, btw...) So i left at 11:00 am. I enjoyed the LA coast and at 4pm had my first flat tire! Not an ordinary nail or something, nope, not me, i had something special: the valve got ripped out of the inner tube. Below, me fixing tire in beautiful sunset ;-)

Luckily i was at this nice beachpark area, surrounded my the young, rich and beautiful people of San Diege (no pics, sorry...). Good eye candy. None of them helped actually. :( Too busy being cool or something. A guy and his family offered help. It was a russian guy, working for the US Navy (huh?) who offered me help and even better, a bed and a good meal. I like russians. I got my spare 19" in and, ofcourse, puctured it when mounting the thing. The lack of practice i assume. In four months this was the first flat. Not a bad average though. (i don't count the time a bikeshop changed my front tire and punctured the inner tube). I had trouble breaking the bead, after jumping on the tire for a while i used WD-40, smoked a few cigarets and presto! Tire came of from the rim perfectly. Below a picture of Dimitri, his DR350 and Dog:

The following morning i departed on a queste for a new heavy duty inner tire. The 3th bikeshop i tried had one. Quite bizar: when i stopped a guy approached me. Turned out to be a marrocan guy, studied in Maastricht years ago. Nice guy. First human being on this continent who recognised the type of bike actually. He paid for my new heavy duty tube. Funny how things go.

Aad, buddy, thanks for the past weeks. It was good to have a friend near for a while. So far you have been my biggest sponsor of all (two...).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Zion to Newbury Park - traveling with buddy Aad.

My good friend Aad came over to ride with me for two weeks. He flew to Vegas and drove to Zion where i stayed on a campsite.

Aad arriving in Zion. Getting from Holland to Vegas to Zion wasn't exactly a breeze. Due to hurricane Ike a cancelled flight and unplanned stopover took one extra day all together. But eventually, he here was, on his beaufiful white Harley D.

The plan was to go from Grand Canyon to San Francisco to San Diego where he would drop off the bike and fly home.

Below: Aad is never too shy to show of he's not affraid of heights. Me, on the other hand, i'm a wuss on that matter. As my not really relaxed smile shows..

Nice portrait.

All pictures of our trip from Zion to Newbury Park can be found here.



Near campsite in Lees Ferry, between north and south RIM of grand canyon. Very beautiful red rock area. Campsite is situated in a Valley, so your surrounded by red rock formations.

Seligman, vollage on old Route 66

Deathvalley entrance

Camping at June Lake - COLD!!! at 2400m. altitude.

San Fransisco. 
Timetable didn't allow for multiple day visit. I guess i have to go back. So all we'd seen is the good old Golden Gate.
It's Long.
It's High

It's Deep.

We entered the famous Hwy. #1 in SF. From there we followed the coastline all the way to Newbury Park. We stayed at my friend Thad Wolffe (yes, the guy who wins bikeraces - see earlier post). Aad for a day, he had to catch a plane in San Diego - me for a couple of days. Service the bike for the Real Adventure: Mexico.

The Hwy. #1 is really breathtaking. The tourist information told us about a hostel at a lighthouse in Monterey. Nice.

Big Sur. 70 miles of breathtaking scenic road with plenty twisties in all sorts to make the ride interesting if the view bores you not likely you might think. Indeed. We saw the views three (3) times and nope, it doesn't get boring ;-)

In San Simeon i noticed that i forgot my creditcard in a restaurant in Big Sur. So we had to backtrack all the way, all the 70 miles.

And the next day, we had to do it all over again...

I'll tell ya, Hwy #1 at Big sur is by far the best place (to date) to forget something. 

San Diego Beach. Campsite nearly at the beach. Nice.

Another place for bikers to go to: Rock Store.
A (The) famous biker hangout in an mountainous/hilly area near LA. Every saturday/sunday vast amounts of bikers come over to show of and ride the scary twisty roads. One of them (forgot his name) guided us to Thad's house. To bad he didn't see the gravel whil passing a car with a crashed Duc as result. Oilcooler crashed and he bypassed it. His bike was not the only one with loose nuts and bolts.

Above: bad impression of the roads, but i have no other.

Aad had to go. Just before he left for San Diego. Our last picture in two fantastic weeks.

From now on, i was back on my own.  Mexico is calling.