Click on the picture, below the waving flags on the left and right, to see relevant photo's of the individual countries and trips throughout the years!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Amazon cruise to Belem

Day 34  ( 10 km)

      After a pretty good night rest in the bunk beds, I woke up around 5 and watch sitting outside the Amazon River flow by with all the little huts on both side of the river and eventually passed by bigger cities and finally Belem , where we reached around noon.

    We got the bikes off quick, hit an ATM machine and looked for the Hostal Amazonia, which was recommended, but pricey. They start washing our clothes the same day, found right across a parking place for the moto's longtime, bought my ticket to Honduras on line with  there fast internet, so all worked out within an hour of arrival in the city of Belem. Got ripped off by a taxi driver to get to a restaurant and had a good dinner on the side off the street. 

     Tomorrow repacking the bags, clean the bikes, and a little off maintenance for the next trip in February. It looks like our ticket back  to Honduras leaves Monday 1:37 am from Belem to Brasilia, Bogota, San Jose, San Pedro Sula, where we get 9 pm the same day.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Crossing the Amazone River with a bike takes 24 hours!


Day 33 (125 km)

       We woke up in the smallest a/c room so far this trip, no more as 6 x 10 ft and had 2 beds, toilet and shower in it, but was only $ 20.00 for the night and this includes “caffee” what means in Brazil, breakfast included and sometimes, they are very good with fresh baked bread! The bikes were still packed of the day before (No space inside the room) and left for Santana, which is the port city of Macapa and reached  the dock 9 am, where we had a first glimpse of the Amazon River. Saw some cargo boats and a few minutes later we found out, one was leaving within the hour for Belem. After arguing the price for half an hour, we agreed for $ 375.00 for 2 bikes, 2 people and one A/C cabin with bunk beds.
      Bikes were rolled on the boat quick and surprisingly, the boat almost left on time 10:30 am for the 24 hour trip. The boat was already packed with people laying like sardines in hammocks down stairs in the heat. Upstairs is where the cabins are and there was even a hammock VIP room with A/C next to us.
     Third floor was where the covered deck was with the restaurant /bar and already a lot of people were sitting on tables with beer in front of them, loud music, so we decided, we might well join them and celebrate our luck again, that we just came in time to catch this boat!
Tomorrow Belem, the end of our trip and there we have to search for a secure place to park our bikes for 10 weeks, then by our ticket back to Honduras, wash our wet clothes. So hopefully within 3 days all is arranged! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Getting near the Equator

Day 32 (481 km)

     Had to do my immigration and bike papers, so 8 am I was standing in front of the Federales to get our entry stamp for 90 days for Brazil. Then went to the custom office and after running around for 2 hours, we had all the necessary documents and took off for the Amazon river and according different people between 6 and 12 hours away. The first 50 km went on a good highway, then the red dust dirt road showed up for another 100 km, so we were covered again in red mole dust and it was 35 degree in the shade, almost ready to die from the heat.  After several stops to get cold water, we reached a brand new road to Macapa what was 400 km away and were finally testing the speed of our bikes and just before dark rolled into Porto Grande about hundred km away from Macapa,  

          where we should catch a barge or boat to Belem, hopefully tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Getting out of French Guyane with no Euro’s left!


Day 31 (300 km)

       Woke up around 6 am and this day could change the whole trip if we cannot fix Scotty’s radiator/pump problems, so we went to the industrial area, where a motorcycle repair shop supposed to be and there wasn’t, so we decided to shoot for the capitol Cayenne and try to keep the engine of running hot, so an hour later we hit the capitol. Some fellows showed us the mechanic shop ad it was actually a Kawasaki dealer. The service department says 49 euro an hour and told us they got time next week Wednesday! So we left and decided to get the hell out of French Guyane and try to reach the Brazil border.
Bridge to nowhere
      Then finally luck start getting in our favor and ran into a Frenchman in a gas station, who was interested in our bikes and start asking about our trip. After mentioning him our problem, he said follow me and 2 minutes later we were at a professional repair centre, just for radiators  and introduced us to the owner, who was a bike rider as well and he said, he would fix  it. I took the radiator off quick , he cleaned the inside, which was clogged up from the “Stopleak”, I put in 2 days ago, put it on the test bank, found the hair crack caused by vibration, welded it and 2 hours later we left for the 4 hour ride to the border, everything running perfect again. He didn’t charge a cent!  Nice fellow he was.

    The trip to the border was through a very nice rain forest on a new curvy road with no traffic and did not pass a single house alongside the road and just before 6 pm reached St George the border town on the French side of the river, got our exit stamp from the Gendarmerie and looked at the brand new built bridge over the river to Brazil, but were not allowed to use it, because it was a bridge to nowhere! There was not a road yet on the Brazil side, so had to go to the waterfront a few km back and try to get a small boat across.  They carried us for 35 euro each in 2 trips across and around 7pm we both were on the other side and went to the nearest town to look for an hotel, so that we could process our immigration and bike papers the next day.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Papillion Day

 Day 30 (0 km) 

      Today, we played the tourist and decided to do the trip to Ile Royal, which was a penal colony where the French locked up his unwanted prisoners and political adversaries in the 18 hundreds, up till the last one left in 1953 and the institution was closed, It became famous through a convict Henri Charrierre (Papillion), who wrote a book and actually escaped from the island, he was locked up on. Later the book got filmed with the main character played by Steve McQueen. 

     To get to the islands we had to take a $ 60.00 one hour boat ride to the 3 small islands, walked around the old buildings with their interested stories displayed in and 4 pm the boat returned to Kourou again from where we had to walk to our $ 200.00 room, because there are no taxis in this place! We reached 9 pm after making a few stops to get a beer.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

French Guiana, just like France, but double the price!

Day 29 ( 213 km)

     Day started out bad, we had 2 dead batteries, the good part was we discovered it around 8 am, so we still had 6 hours to fix it before the ferry left for French Guiana.
Scotties was short of acid so after buying a bottle, we got his started, I decided to buy a new one, but they only had 12 amps instead of 14 what I used to have and it said me back $ 100.00 US, but on the end I could get one in this border place, what was not more as an hole, completely run by Chinese as mostly anything is done in Suriname and the Guyana's! just around we had the bikes running again, but Scotty had some problems with losing cooling water, so he bought some Stopleak to stop the leak.

    Got on the ferry for 15 euro each and an half an hour we where in France, they stamped our passport and I guess we could stay for ever now as an European citizen, asked the guy from customs about the bikes and all he asked for if our papers are in order and after we said yeah, he told us good luck on your trip to Brazil. 
No paperwork was necessary, so theoretically the bike could stay as long as we want! 
   We took off, but the bad luck started again and Scotty's engine was overheating, I believe the water is not circulating and the fan is not kicking in, but as long as we were driving under 80 km an hour, the temperature stays just under the red and that is after dark when it is cool. The moment we idling the temperature shoots up, so we have to take care of this tomorrow.

We ended up in Kordou around 9 pm, this is where the European space shuttle program takes place and our first shock was the gas price $ 10.00 a gallon or 1.76 Euro a liter, then the hotel was $200.00 a night, so we have to get the hell out of this country fast, even McDonald hamburger combo was $ 15.00

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Driving the Coastline of Suriname

Day 28 (391 km)

     Having for the first time a decent breakfast, which was as a compliment to the hotel, we had bread (punt broodjes), cheese, salami, bakkeljauw, fruit and a variety of morning drinks, so the day started good and we left around 9 am for the capitol “Paramaribo”. 4 hours later, we arrived and the chaos in traffic was enormously and it started to drizzle. To get to the other side we had to cross the big narrow bridge over the Suriname River, which was quite impressive and very high, then the road to Albina started, which is the border village on the river with French Guiana. 

This road was under construction and some parts, they just laid the tarmac and some parts there was red mole again and thick gravel, what took all our attention again, so we wouldn’t drop the bikes. Thick gravel is hard to drive on, the front wheel start to search and sliding from one side to the other and it feels like you lose control all the time! Around five, we reached the ferry terminal; to find out that there is no ferry till Sunday 3 pm and all is in the hands by a French company and all the want to get paid in Euro’s. Disappointed we checked in the only local hotel, what was not much but cheap, looked for the only Chinese restaurant to get some food and Pardo beer by the liter and decided tomorrow is maintenance day for the bikes, to kill some time till 3 pm

Friday, November 23, 2012

I always wanted to go to Suriname!

Day 27 (232 km)

      Heard the rain coming down in buckets around 4 am and was wondering if we were going to leave, but we tried around 8 am but it was still drizzling. we got out of George town in about 20 minutes and were heading East towards the Suriname border on a paved but slow road following the coast and it started to rain heavy non stop, so soon everything was wet again, but had to continue to get the ferry at noon.

     Arrived @ the port we had to go through some unnecessary paperwork to check out of Guyana and had to show insurance, before we could board, so showed him some bogus insurance they accepted and the ferry left around 1 pm with a couple of people and cars and an half hour later, we were in Suriname, saw the immigration guy and he was no trouble and then the customs gay, who asked for insurance as well, so showed him the same papers and he was satisfied, they were all nice to me after they found out I spoke Dutch and it looked like  a hero's welcome, they even wanted to take a ride on the moto's and this was the shortest border crossing sofar, I think less as 15 minutes. Then of course my bad luck started again wit a dead battery and had to use Scotty's to start mine, but it still took more as 2 hours to get it running and almost getting dark and the next town would be an half an hour away, New Nickery.

So we reached just before dark. found a nice hotel and got rid of the wet clothes and 7 pm we were @ restaurant and ordered "Dutch food" Bami, Kroket, Bitter ballen, and Loempia and felt good to eat this stuff in this part of the world.

     All the road signs are in Dutch, as well the menu  and everyone spoke Dutch to my surprise, the only thing weird was that the drive on the left , as in Britain. I do not not know, where that is coming from!  Suriname sofar surprises me a lot and what I always thought might have been truth, that the no good ones went to Holland in the seventies and the good ones stayed behind!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Day 26 (215 km)

     Left before sunrise to see if we could get a visa for Suriname in Georgetown and had to be there before 11 am. the first 100 km to Linden took almost 3  hours and had  red mole dust again up to in our nostrils, but we made it to their embassy. the security officer said no visas are issued on Thursday, but then she said some countries only need a tourist card and we lucky belonged to the very view exempt. Actually I thought Dutch people would have had it more difficult, because we have an arrest warrant against their president for dealing in drugs, but they were all nice, helpful, spoke in Dutch to me and after we paid $ 25.00 each for their tourist card, we checked already at 11 am into our guesthouse downtown. Had Chinese lunch, washed the much needed bikes, all our clothes and even all the saddle bags.


         Tomorrow we should enter Suriname around 1 pm on the ferry between Guyana and Suriname and then we will see where we end up!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Red mole road-trip towards Georgetown

Day 25 (350 km)

Not too bad,washboard
Hotel Lethem
     Woke up good and we were looking forward to make the trip to Georgetown, the capital. It is one of these roads where lot of stories is written about. One saying impassible to do in the raining season to halfway decent in the dry season,

Good bridge, the first one out of 100!

getting worse
      We didn't know in which season we are and didn't bother asking, so we took off in a red mole dust from Lethem to get to a river crossing at 7 am, where a ferry only makes 3 crossings a day , 6 am. noon and 6 pm, so I guess we are shooting for the noon one, I hope!  

Ferry Crossing
    The road started out as a washboard and an hour later I already had an headache and loose teeth, so after the first 4 hours making only 100km, 
I realized that we were never going to make the noon ferry, so we stopped  by the only little shop we came accross to drink some cold drinks. The owner said, there is a crossing every hour, so we left in a good mood and the road venn started to get a little better, we could make now 35 km an hour. Reached the ferry around 1 pm and had the luck, she was waiting for us and took us in 10 minutes to the other side, where we had some chicken and rice lunch and more water. By now the motorcycle, us and our luggage was covered by red mole dust and the sun was boiling and nobody you could depend on in asking how many hours more! 

So 2 pm we left and this is where the road became terrible, with everything  you could image, was there, but  the loose sand was the worst and we were so intense busy with steering and not dropping the bike, we still didn't believe afterwards we made it, but not to Georgetown but a place what is called "58" and this was a 24 hour truck stop with no trucks but had all the amenities, gas, food, shower and beer and they were renting out hammocks for people who got stuck , like us and ended spending the night laying in an hammock waiting till day break and as we found out we still had to go then another 4 or 5 hours!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

British Guyana or Guiana?

Day 24 (350 km)

     8 am, we were on the road again, this time to the first town in Brazil, Boa Vista and on a decent 2 lane highway, we made the 240 km in two and a half hours. Filled up with gas , but this time $ 5.25 a gallon and our free gas party came to an end. From there to Bonfim, what is a border place on a beautiful paved highway, without cars and we reached there around noon, turned in the moto papers, but to get the immigration exit stamp, we had to wait till 2 pm. 2:15 pm we were on the Guyana side and after health inspection! (Yellow fever vax), I was allowed to see the immigration, who gave me 3 days and I told him, probably I will be out in 2.  Scotty of course forgot his Yellow fever and after talking to him, he got pardoned and was let in the country as well, then we had to start the process to get the bikes in and for that we had to go in town to buy a $ 17.00 policy, return to the helpful girl with a ton of photo copies and 5 pm I left their office with all their paperwork, so I can go tomorrow to the capitol “Georgetown”
     Had local Chinese food and just like in Utila in the early days, they had to start the generator first. They speak the same slang as Utilians, so they were surprised, I could understand them and even talk to them back in the same fashion.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Brazil it took 6650 km to get there!

 Day 23 (328 km)

     El Dorado had his charm, but it would not appeal to the average vacationer, but then we are not average!  There was no gas in town, they were waiting on the gas tanker truck, so we decided to try our luck further down the road by a rowdy village called “Km 88” what was 88 km away from El Dorado. Once arrived, there were big line up of cars to get gas, but moto’s do not have to wait in line, just go to the front and they fill you up. The guy didn’t even bother to collect for the gas and waved us away!
     After leaving El Dorado, immediately we ascended to 1500 meters in a curvy, fantastic paved road and on top of the plateau is what you call the Gran Sabana, which stretches foe another 200 km in a beautiful scenery with lots of water falls, no people living there except a few indigenous Indians and soon after we reached the border Santa Elena, where we filled up for the last time for FREE.
     Checked out of Venezuela in a few seconds and then crossed into Brazil, what took more as 2 hours and 54 photo copies to get the right permits, which they gave us at almost five, so we had to spend the night on the border , Boa Vista, the next town was too far away.
Checked in a Posada for $30.00 and had an fantastic meat  dinner “All you can eat for $ 8.00  and the serve beer by the liters, so the evening could not go wrong, bought some hose clamps and wire to fix my exhaust, which is falling apart, but will look at that tomorrow.