6 months

27 Apr

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Shoe shine

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26/4/2015 – six months ago today we left the UK to start this trip. We are currently in Mexico and today we travelled from Zihuatanejo a pretty seaside town to Zamora, further inland, where the 2nd largest church in Latin America is located. So, a few photos and a couple of videos from our 6 month anniversary seem appropriate.

Video here: The road to Zamora

Video here: Dancing in the Plaza

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The toll road heading north

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With a gorgeous wife like Jenny no wonder I look like the cat that got the cream

With a gorgeous wife like Jenny no wonder I look so happy

10 Replies to “6 months

  1. Hi J & J, 6 months! Well that time flew past (well it has for us)! Hope you have a good time in Mexico, your half way point!
    We will begin our trip in November! We have opted for starting in BA (due to timing of weather etc) – but we will meander and our trip will probably end somewhere in southern US.
    Hope you don’t mind – we have a couple of Qs –
    * Did you get asked for proof of onward travel either by the airline or Arg immigration – and if so, how did you get on?
    * Will you be applying for a US visa in Mex or did you get it in advance?
    Well, enjoy part 2 of your journey – a shame we won’t see you on the road.
    Dee & Phil

  2. Sorry if this is a duplicate – something funny happened on my original attempt!

    Hi J & J, 6 months! Well that time flew past (well it has for us)! Hope you have a good time in Mexico, your half way point!
    We will begin our trip in November! We have opted for starting in BA (due to timing of weather etc) – but we will meander and our trip will probably end somewhere in southern US.
    Hope you don’t mind – we have a couple of Qs –
    * Did you get asked for proof of onward travel either by the airline or Arg immigration – and if so, how did you get on?
    * Will you be applying for a US visa in Mex or did you get it in advance?
    Well, enjoy part 2 of your journey – a shame we won’t see you on the road.
    Dee & Phil

    • Hi both
      congrats on the Nov start date. Plenty of planning and excitement now!! To answer your questions:
      1. We did not get asked for proof of onward travel but our research indicated we may need it so we asked our bike carrier (James Cargo) to provide us a dummy invoice (Proforma Invoice) for onward travel that we could show. They did us one for Houston TX to UK but we never had to show it.
      2. We did no apply for a visa for US. We will enter on the Visa Waiver Program which gives us 3 months. All info is on the US Govt website. We went through the FCO site and looked up USA.
      Are you taking the AT and if so what mods have you done if any?
      All the best J & J

  3. Hi J&J,
    This is Phil and thanks for your visa info. Also interesting reading about the borders.
    Yes we are taking the AT. So far I have replaced the steering head bearings, added heated grips, a scottoiler, compass, a remote charging point on the handlebars, another one for Dee’s heated vest at the back and new brake fluid – new pads to follow.
    I fitted the K60 Scout tyres ages ago using the short tyre levers we are taking – not so bad for the front but very hard work on the back! And also on my back!
    We have spent ages discussing luggage and have now bought some soft luggage from Mosko Moto in the US that clamps to the pannier frames so no strap over the seat. However, on one side it won’t lock in place because the plastic handle on the side is in the way so I will have to extend the frame away from the bike. This will also allow us to fit the key to unlock the seat with panniers fitted and add a tool tube in the gap so not all bad.
    We have a GIVI tank bag and modified the base so we can access the tank petrol cap.
    The seat, well we had some additional foam put in the back but this was no better – still like a piece of 4 x 2 on a trip to Brighton last year! So I have taken the cover off and I am making up a steel plate to extend it by about 80 mm then getting it re-foamed and re-covered by P&P Seats. We will probably add a sheepskin – do these make much difference?
    Once the seat is done we will sort out a top box. I have added 2 x steel plates to push the Givi rack back a bit and we might use the Givi top box but if this is annoying to Dee then we will look at an alternative. After all thats done I can weigh the luggage and get the suspension set up!
    Also, on the list is a Mosfet R&R and I am researching where to get one from. So still a bit to do…

    • Wow, sounds like a good set up. Yes the RR was the next on the list if I’d kept ‘Lizzie’ I found some on ebay. We had a Bandit seat done by P&P about 4 years ago. They did a great job, put gel pads in and remodelled it and reshaped it entirely, really comfy. Re sheepskins, yes they do help to keep you comfy. No idea why but it works! Great to hear you have a date etc. How are you transporting the bike to BA and how do you intend to clear it out of customs? We used Sandra from Dakar Motos. Pricey at US$250 but it even took her 7.5 hours to get it clear of Ezeiza Airport Customs – that said, you could definitely do it yourself, just be patient and speak a bit of Spanish 🙂

  4. Hi J&J,
    Thanks for the info on P&P, good to know they are ok. How did you decide on the gel pads and what were they like? We hear some people like them and some don’t so we are not sure whether to have them or not. Apparently, they can make the seat hotter! What did you both think?
    We are flying the AT out with Moto Freight and probably using Dakar Motors as our Spanish may now be up to the job, although we are learning! I thought 250 US$ was a bit steep but maybe worth it? Do you think it worth a try as if it takes too long I suppose we would get charged further storage etc?
    Phil & Dee

    • Hi Phil & Dee, sorry for the tardy response; been a tad busy and only have internet at the hotels each night as we don’t have a phone with mobile data on this trip. We felt it was worth using Sandra but even with dodgy Spanish you could definitely do it yourself. Different people in different departments would point you in the right direction. Note, we also had to pay the carrier (Air Canada in our case) US$250 at their office in Ezeiza airport. Can’t remember what it was for now I think it was some kind of import release tax but it was mandatory. Also Dee won’t be allowed into the area that is customs controlled. Jenny had to wait at the garage across the road (for the whole day) so if Dee is coming with you to the airport make sure she has a book and some money for the café, it could be a long wait for her.
      Gel pads – I’d heard that aswell about hot bots! We never suffered from it but then we never road the Bandit with that seat in really hot climates so difficult to say. What I can say is it was the comfiest seat I’ve ever sat on!
      Have you christened the AT with a name or did you leave her as ‘Lizzie’?

  5. Hi J&J
    Thanks for the info, we will see what our spanish is like before we go! I remember you saying Jenny wasn’t allowed in so perhaps Dee will stay in our lodgings for the day. Not sure about gel pads but might be worth giving them a go.
    As for ‘Lizzie’, well I have to say I’m (Phil) not one for names. My bikes are the 916, ST (4) and now the AT – not very inventive I know. I did wonder about The Cat, as in HAT (Honda AT) and Cat in the Hat but I think she will probably be the AT to us. You will have to meet her again sometime…
    Anyway, have fun in the US and we look forward to reading about the rest of your trip.

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