Sebastian: After around 14 hours in a matchbox like airplane we finally reach Frankfurt where I need some time to feel my legs again. I leave the plane a bit after Martin and when I finally get out guess where I find him… in a smokers box, a glass cage for the poor addicted members of our society (some would call it the real freedom, wouldn’t they?). After an intensive intoxication Martin is ready for the next step, which is picking up the bikes from customs. With an airport bus we reach the cargo department where we have our first nice surprise. The lady at the entrance is a motorcycle fan and goes completely nuts when we tell her what we are just about to finish – our trip around the world. With a big, warm smile she hands us the entrance pass and we head to the customs office where we have to wait just a few moments before,… yes before we have to pay the transport .
Martin: We follow an unlit dirt road and pass by some army check points until we finally reach a bilboard stating that we are in Paraguay. It´s already after 10 pm and besides two lit huts of the customs department of Bolivia and Paraguay it´s completely dark. After we finish the Bolivian customs, the officer takes us back to the residence of the Paraguayan colleague, waking him up with „Manolo, get up, I´ve got here some Austrian bikers for you“. The situation is somewhat funny for us, everything is very informal, the Bolivian and Paraguayan Customs Officers live door by door, run around in Bermuda shorts and Flip Flops and one feels that they get along very well…and all this at a State Border :-) If all neighbours were getting along like this there would be no wars. As this border crossing has a customs office only, we have to go to immigration in the next town… 300km away. This is also the closest option of finding accommodation. After a short break and another very friendly military check point we head off on a pothole covered mix of tarmac, sand and gravel direction Mariscal Estigarribia, where we arrive completely exhausted after a 14 hour drive at 3 in the morning. Of course without a cent of Guanari, the local currency, and no cash machine in the city. …
Sebastian: So, we arrive at the border between Chile and Bolivia and our minds are overloaded – too nice was what we were allowed to see during the last 10 days. This time the border crossing takes some time: first we are waiting at the wrong place and then the guy who should give us the last stamp has to go to the toilet… either the toilet was really far away or the guy had a bad stomach – it takes around 20 minutes for him to return. But, no problems, the border opens its doors for us and we enter Bolivia! The road and the fascinating views do not change at first. We are driving on a wide sand/dirt road and the wind is almost blowing us off the bikes… Feeling a bit too save I almost loose control at one moment where I drive with around 80-90km/h into a slope of deep sand, wobbling around for around 50 meters waiting to crash any moment…
<!–:de–>27.07 – Welcome Back Party – save the date!<!–:–><!–:en–>27.07 – Welcome Back Party – save the date!<!–:–>
The world is eastbounded and after a bit more than a year we are back in good old Vienna! Reason enough for a biiiig party andcelebrate with you ! Everybody is welcome, so grab your friends and tag along! Looking forward to see you there!
Martin & Sebastian.
Martin: After a bit more than 3 months I´m finally about to see my better half again! The only tricky thing is that she´s arriving the next day… in 1100km far Santiago. So after we pick up the bikes I quickly head up north, Sebas acompanying me until he takes the exit to Argentina. My first stop is Temuco, where our friend Gerardo invited me to stay over at his place. The drive is not really enjoyable, I’m pretty hungover and tired from last evening’s binge and think I’m dreaming, as about 50 kilometers before Temuco Gerardo overtakes me with his Africa Twin. The crazy guy waited for me an hour at a gas station to pick me up and ride together to his place We spend a great evening together and I’m very happy I could meet him again.
<!–:de–>Argentinien/Chile: weiter nach Süden<!–:–><!–:en–>Argentina/Chile: going further south<!–:–>
Sebastian: So, from O”Higgins we drove back north to take a perfect road over the Roballo pass to reach Argentina, which is necessary to visit El Chaiten, Calafate (both in Argentina) and the world famous Torres del Paine national park in Chile. The weather is perfect as we float over the gravel road where fascination rises as we see yet again lamas but also for the first time in my life ostriches, flamingos and wild gooses (anybody remembers Niels Holgerson ?) running and flying around freely! It is just a fairy tale… After an uncomplicated boarder crossing we continue the ride on the argentinian side of the pass where a huge condor decides to fly in circles 15 meters over my head… I just can”t believe how “National Geographic” like our life is at the moment! The whole day warms our hearts with a breathtaking landscape wherever we look.
Martin: So after an incredible „bang“ I run to the road and see Sebas sitting next to his bike which he smashed into a rock face. Luckily, he’s fine and also no one else was hurt… but Escargot doesn’t look too well. What happened? Well, overexcited he tried a wheelie… as a dozen of times before it worked out fine, this time it didn’t, leading to Escargot throwing him off and her going straight into the rock face. Sebas apologizes, afraid he busted our trip, and maybe a bit paralyzed me, I just think what happened happened, there’s no crying over spilt milk, lets see how the story continues First step getting the bike away off the road turns out fairly easy. A very nice family from a town nearby has also stopped at the view point and the father with his two young sons are right away with us. Not only they help us get Escargot to the parking place, they also organize a pick up, that takes us to their place in Panguipulli where they also run cabanas for tourists, where we can stay in one of their bungalows for a fairly reasonable price…
Sebastian: Soooo, where were we? Ah yes, we just started our livelong trip on the bus from Lima to Valparaiso. The only time we gret of the bus is when we cross the border and later in Santiago to take a last bus to Valparaiso. I can tell you that 60 hours on a bus is not what I call fun… but whatever!!! We are about to get reunited with our babies, livepartners, best friends, pets or however you want to call them… ok, let’s just say with our bikes! When we arrive in Valparaiso we have to take a taxi (that you share with other people and that has a fix route, just like a bus) to get to the so called Villa Kunterbunt. It’s a hostel for bikers and travelers just 20 minutes walk from the center of Valpo (that’s how local people call the city ).
Martin: As usual we don’t face any problems at the border and take a bus to Quito, which we reach about 6 hours later. What strikes us right away is the city centre with it’s beautiful buildings that date back to the 16th to the 19th century, thus making it an outdoor museum for architecture lovers. To preserve this beauty it had been declared UNESCO Heritage already back in 1978. Situated in a valley at 3000m asl it’s also the highest legal capital of the world. Especially at night, when everything is beautifully lightened up, strolling through it takes you on a journey back in time. Unfortunately we won’t have much time, as we get the information that our bikes will arrive in Valparaiso one week sooner than expected, giving us a week and a half to travel 5000km down south…
<!–:de–>Kolumbien – Karneval, Kolonialstadt und Kaffee<!–:–><!–:en–>Colombia – Carneval, Colonial and Coffee<!–:–>
Sebastian: We leave Santa Marta after the spectacular trip to the Lost City to head to Barranquilla where the second biggest carnival of South-America takes place. As always we didn”t plan anything. At the bus station direction Barranquilla the queue is around 50 meters long and we expect the worst but in the end everything works out quite fast and after only around 30 minutes we sit in the bus. The ride is quite short and when we arrive we jump off the bus as Eugénie tells us “here is the place, here is the place!” In the end this is not at all “the place” but she seemed to have misunderstood the guy she sat next to on the bus. We dont mind and ask a taxi driver where the party does actually begin and learn that it is at the other side of town… of course . As we check out the closest hotel they tell us that they do not have any rooms left, as expected. But nevertheless they help us to find a place where we can leave our luggage for little money.