• So, we're off to South America! Just booked the outbound flights this morning Inverness to Santiago for November 1st next year, hoping for a smoother time than the last two trips with no countrywide riots or new Covid variants popping up to spoil the fun. Now I just have to figure out how to pay for this, and hope that my ageing steed (and body) can cope once we're there. ^^

    I mean, what could possibly go wrong..?



  • Yeah, it will be the longest we've done - maybe 4 or 4 1/2 months. Lots of info to gather, first thing will be roughing out a route (we tend not to wander) although no booking ahead this time. First time in Central America and Mexico, a part of the world I know little about, but it looks amazing - desert to jungle and back again with added volcanoes! Hope I can get my Spanish up to scratch in time. :rolleyes:

  • Etched into my brain from the last time, although quisiera una cerveza is perhaps more friendly! ^^

    Lleno por favor is useful at petrol stations, as is getting your head around the ¿Sin factura? (no receipt) business in Bolivia - helpful if you don't want to pay gringo prices for fuel. Just don't get caught...

    Having a trip planned is a great motivator for learning a language, I did about 6 months on line last time, and am now 3 1/2 months back into it. Hoping to be able to do a short course with a tutor early next year before we have to open again.

  • Apparently quite a few overlanders stop in Sucre, Bolivia and sign up for language school, because the Spanish there is easier to understand than elsewhere. I found everybody very patient as I mangled my words and phrases and Rob just spoke in English (and got away with it!)

    Some wierd shit stays in your head though - I still know the phrase for "I'd like to cash a traveller's cheque please" in French.

  • Well not much movement on airfreight prices: still £3K as opposed do £1650 in 2019. But if I am prepared to seafreight (always the risk it might be delayed) and not having the bike for up to six weeks then it's £1200. Good job I got the flights for me and Mrs 3D cheap cheap...

  • Yeah, I would say that seafreight is more or less back to normal, but the airfreight cost is silly. Dunno if that is a function of the (lack of) value of the pound or expensive fuel or under capacity. Anyway, will have another look in six months. I was hoping for maybe £2K...

    Pirates are bad, so they want to ride KTMs. :P

  • Finally managed to find out why flying the bike back from the USA is so feckin' expensive (circa £4200!!!): apparently they only are able to use dedicated cargo flights for 'dangerous' goods like motorcycles, rather than any plane as most of the rest of the world does. This cuts the amount of available space down dramatically and therefore the price rises accordingly. Best thing to do if you fancy a trip over there on your own bike would be to use Air Canada to Canukistan - way cheaper and they welcome bikes as cargo.

    Still waiting for more prices, but seafreight each way is looking like it's gonna be around the £1200 mark + port fees (circa £400) each way, so let's say a maximum of £3.5K. Over our trip of say 130 days that works out at a tad under £27 per day, so about £100 per day better than renting a big GS, which you couldn't take all the way anyway. Obviously if you want to go through all the faff of buying a bike and then selling it when the journey is over you might save a little more money, but I wouldn't be doing that.

    Aparently Motofreight have a good contact in Bogota to fly the bike over the Darien Gap. Can't imagine putting my bike in a wee boat like Itchy Boots did. =O

  • Well I'm stoked, have just managed to bag a couple of seats for the return leg of our trip for mid March '24. San(tiago) to San (Diego) on a 26 year old bike... Madness, but hey, yer a long time dead. =O

    Unfortunately shipping the bike is still on the expensive side, but there's time for the prices to drop a little before the bike has to go. There is a possibility that Westjet (who?) will be flying bikes out of Los Angeles to Europe in the not too distant future for sensible money - hope that happens, but you do wonder why if they could, why not anyone else?

  • Yeah, bookending the trip definitely a step forward. Bit of a worry that we would fall foul of the distance rules for an open jaw ticket - the distance home has to be more than the distance between the jaws, San Diego is just inside, if we carried on up to LA or San Francisco we would have had to book a separate journey and incur more expense.

    Mrs 3D has been busy doing her research, so at least one of us should know where we are going, but there is much to figure out still.

  • Well, a big van arrived today and took the GS away. Next stop Motofreight in West London, then in about 20 days, Santiago, Chile. VAMOS!




    Total trip length should be 139 days IIRC, so the biggest we've done yet. Good news is flying the bike has come down about a grand since this project started, let's just hope it arrives when it should....

    Farkin' stoked I am! :P

  • Oh yes! Mind you, the planning bit is a bit ropey - we will be doing most of it on the fly, and have booked very little accommodation apart from the Christmas and New Year period. We do, however, have a good idea of what we want to see up until Christmas, so will use the 'holiday' period to figure out what we want to see after that. Probably.

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