"Home" updated on March 30th                  "Location" updated on March 30th
"Photos" updated on March 30th                    "Protagonists" updated on February 28th

"Mission" almost accomplished ... :-)

Posted on March 30th, 2011

Heavy rain in Bolivia made the "Salar de Uyuni" (the world's biggest salt lake) almost impassible. Therefore, we had to unfortunately skip our plan to enter Chile by crossing the Salar de Uyuni and the Atacama Desert. This was a quite disappointing setback, since this was supposed to be one of highlights of our little journey. We picked an alternative route through northern Argentina and enjoyed some very pleasant surprises as regards as landscape and fun roads, so we were - at least partially - solaced.

Due to less than great weather, Bolivia eventually offered only one very remarkable day: A visit in the Aldeas Infantiles (SOS Kinderdorf) in Tiquipaya. I was quite impressed and had great fun (and so had the kids, I guess). Of course, this was also another moment to reflect how fortunate we are just because we were born in a more developed country...

I am typing these lines in Buenos Aires, which is eventually the last stop of Fiona's and mine motorcycle adventure in the Americas. Even if I wasn't able to visit all the tempting places I wanted to see (e.g. Patagonia) I had a truly amazing time. I've met so many great people, enjoyed diverse, beautiful sceneries and experienced both utterly pleasant and challenging days. In short, it was a fantastic little adventure, which I will never forget :-)!!!!

In a couple of days, Fiona will fly home (Lufthansa Cargo surprisingly offered the best option). According to the price, she will be served champagne, lobster and fresh strawberries during the flight while I can be happy to grab a vintage ham-and-cheese sandwich, when I follow her with some delay... but that's alright... :-)

A ride to the world's highest* mountain

Posted on January  31st, 2011

Together with my Canadian friend Simon (thanks for the moving pictures, which I used for my very first youtube video :)), Fiona and I climbed the Volcano Chimborazo (6.300m) up to the "basecamp" on 4.800m, where we spent a cold night above the clouds having some amazing views. Leaving the motorcycles behind, Simon and I ascended a couple of hundreds meters more without the slightest chance to reach the summit in the thin air.

*Chimborazo - despite lacking 2.500m compared to Mount Everest as regards as sea level - represents the world's highest mountain if measured from the middle of earth ;-)

"A thin line" ...  or "persistent (scientific) rumours"

Posted on January  23rd, 2011


In contrast to my belief that Munich is the world's center of attention, Ecuadorians actually claim the middle of the world ("Mitad del Mundo"). They argue that the zero degree of latitude (equator) was named after their country (or vice versa?). I eventually crossed this thin line today and ... felt nothing. Even the tiniest speed bump had a bigger effect on Fiona. So, I might still be right as regards as Munich ;-) !!

I also empirically confuted the scientific legend that the water rotates differently going down the drain in the Northern or respectively in the Southern Hemisphere. The Coriolis effect is simply not strong enough. Sorry, Simpsons (Bart vs. Australia)!!

Fact in contrast is that it is difficult to fall in love with Ecuador after my very pleasant time in Colombia. So far, the country (Northern Highlands) and its people are more brusque and it's sometimes hard to get a smile ... but we'll see ...


We've made it to South America :-)

Posted on January  7th, 2011

Fiona and I sucessfully outdared wind, waves, salt water as well as rust and sailed onboard of Fritz the Cat to Colombia.

For six days, we enjoyed the terrific company of twelve international passengers, four other motorcycles and two seasickness pills ;-)


The Darien Gap

Posted on December  29th, 2010

Actually, the PanAmericana (Highway No. 1) doesn't really exists. They forgot a piece. There's a gap between Panama and Colombia of about 160km where one can find trees, more trees, spiders, snakes and FARC rebels. The Darien Gap is dense jungle without any roads or paths. Some dare to cross it on foot (not recommended), but it is impossible on a motorcycle (even if there is some rumours that a few Australians tried it 30 years ago).
So, Fiona and I have to find alternative ways to reach South America: e.g. Boat or Plane. Of course, there's no ferry. So, the "usual" option is to put the motorcycle on a sailing boat and ship in five days to Colombia, but due to the windy season and Fiona's size and weight most captains are reluctant to transport my motorcycle. Therefore, I need to find a decent cargo plane from Panama City to Bogota... to be continued...


Check points - regional flavours

Posted on December  19th, 2010

In all Central America, one passes constantly check points of the police or the army (their frequency is only topped by the topes - speed bumps). And of course every serious cop needs serious weapons and a grim facial expression.
Despite the scary appearance the treatment is always polite and often nice. While in Mexico you only get a friendly waving, it happens once in while that a bored Guatemalan, Salvadorian or Bilizian policeman stops you and patiently checks your documents. However, the story is different in Honduras: "Collecting" money from travellers apparently represents a major part of the salary of a regular policeman. So make sure that your documents, motorcycle and the rest of the equipment is spotless ... it also helps a lot if you put some dollars in your passport. It's guaranteed that they magically dissapear at each and every of the frequent check points (free refill is of course expected)...

Hey-Ho! Let's go!

Posted on December  10th, 2010


Final preparations in Yucatan (Mexico)

Posted on December 2nd, 2010  

Before the real journey starts on the 10th of December, Uli and I are using  the relaxed atmosphere at Caribbean coast of Mexico to prepare the motorcycles, discuss the route and set up a website.

"Fiona" & Uli's BMW 1200GS Adventure

Uli & his
partner Tina, who took the impressive long way down from Anchorage (Alaska)

Why not?

Posted on December 1st, 2010  

Adventure motorcycling: This enduring dream became more and more mighty last year. So,  I eventually became more serious about it and concluded "Why not?"

This decision in mind, I had to care about the main questions:
 - Where to go (Asia or Americas)
 - What kind of motorcycle (KTM 990, BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GS)
I started with the planning and elaborated on the details for weeks. But eventually, I was the lucky victim of circumstances and all major questions more or less resolved themselves:

I basically fell over a two-year-old BMW 1200GS, which I baptized "Fiona". This special edition (500,000 GS produced) already offered quite some useful additions (e.g. spoke tyres, enduro seat). Nevertheless, I had to spen
d another small fortune in the Touratech Shop to ensure full travel capability.

Bad news from northern Mexico scared us away from the original starting point Los Angeles. Furthermore, Thai customs prohibit the import of our container just before we loaded it with our motorcycles in Bremerhaven. So, the only option left was to put Fiona on a plane to Mexico and to start the ride in Cancun. This proofed itself as a terrific, not too expensive alternative :-)