The Journal  

Latest Journal Entry

3/20/2006 Sweet Home Virginia
At 1 p.m. we turned into our driveway, with our families waiting for us on the lawn, over four months after we had left on a Sunday morning. Despite blue skies, we were hit by a shower of birdseed as we headed inside for a home cooked meal. Read More...
Journal 68
3/16/2006 Daytona Beach, Florida
After our trip down the beach we headed for the “real” Bike Week, Main Street Daytona. The street was packed, a Mardi Gras like party, lined on both sides with motorcycles, the patrons of bars and barbeques spilling into the street. Read More...
Journal 67
3/12/2006 Key West, Florida
The concrete bridges that link the islands into a chain were filled with motorcycles, refugees from the Daytona Bike Week. A week ago, we had been in the southernmost city in the world.
Journal 66
3/11/2006 Flying to the U.S.
From there we planned to ship the bike and ourselves back to Miami , Florida , where we would visit relatives and take in some Bike Week festivities before riding back to Virginia.
Journal 65
3/10/2006 Buenos Aires, Argentina
We entered Buenos Aires in the fading light of late evening, the sprawling cosmopolitan capital revealing itself to us through the windows of a microbus taxi.
Journal 64
3/9/2006 Eastern Coast of Argentina
Despite the previous day's long ride, we left Rio Gallegos early, planning to ride until dark and find a place to stay along the road. We cruised along a highway where we were backtracking from our trip south.
Journal 63
3/9/2006 Ride III, Argentina
It was a cold, but beautiful morning and we stopped twice for gas and coffee before reaching the first Argentina-Chile border. Formalities took minutes at both stations and we were on our way for three hours of dirt and gravel. Read More...
Journal 62
3/8/2006 Ushuaia, Argentina
We were served breakfast before leaving the refinery, but we still had an hour and a half of gravel road riding ahead of us before we reached the Argentinean border.
Journal 61
3/8/2006 Back in Chile
It was still raining the next morning as we got a late start leaving Gobernador Costa, sleeping in to complete the recovery process. Besides a little soreness we were ready to go.
Journal 60
3/7/2006 Flat Tires
With no apparent damage to the tire, I pulled the wheel off the bike and removed the tube. It was pinched on the inside, a victim, perhaps of our curb hopping with a fully-loaded bike that morning as we left our hostel.
Journal 59
3/5/2006 Gobernador Costa, Argentina
For the third time we passed through the last part of Chile 's desert, the arid landscape punctuated by the occasional vineyard or orchard on a superhighway filled with toll booths and mini-vans full of vacationing Chilean families. Read More...
Journal 58
3/2/2006 Santiago, Chile Part II
During our second visit to Santiago we stayed in the Barrio Brasil, a university neighborhood just east of downtown, where the streets were lined with student bars and grocery stores. Read More...
Journal 57
2/27/2006 The Cracked Rim
From Santiago we planned a one-day, 600 mile ride through Chile 's southern Lake District on our way to Argentina. About half-way through our day, the ride ended.
Journal 56
2/19/2006 Santiago, Chile Part I
On the Saturday afternoon before we left Santiago the first time, we visited Cerro San Lucia, the downtown hill that served as a fort and then a monastery before becoming a park. Read More...
Journal 55
2/6/2006 Chilean Roads
The distance from Arica to the Chilean capital along the Pan-American Highway is nearly 1,300 miles, the majority of which passes through the country's Atacama Desert.
Journal 54
2/5/2006 Arica, Chile
We left La Paz early on a Sunday morning not sure of how far we would get. The Guzzi started reluctantly and I kept on the gas as we maneuvered out of the city streets to the highway. Read More...
Journal 53
2/4/2006 Paz, Bolivia
From Puno to La Paz , Bolivia there are two routes, a shorter, faster one and a slower, more scenic route. Since it was Holly's birthday, I let her choose. She went with scenic.
Journal 52
2/2/2006 Puno, Peru
The road that leads to Bolivia passes by Lake Titicaca, a body of water that is credited as being the largest lake in South America and the highest lake in the world at nearly 13,000 feet. Read More...
Journal 51
2/1/2006 Machu Picchu, Peru
The city of Machu Picchu was unknown and consequently undestroyed by the Spanish conquistadors. It was completely unheard of until American Hiram Bingham happened upon the overgrown ruins in 1911. Read More...
Journal 50
1/30/2006 Cuzco, Peru
But the crowds mean competition is strong competition and prices are good. We found the best hostel prices we had encountered in Peru in Cuzco and pre-fixe dinner meals could be had for less than a U.S. dollar. Read More...
Journal 49
1/30/2006 The Ride II, Peru
Riding through the dark at 12,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes, a combination of fog and driving rain reducing visibility to a few feet in front of your motorcycle, is a horrible place to be when you realize that you've made a mistake in judgment. Read More...
Journal 48
1/28/2006 Nazca, Peru
The town of Nazca is a tourist center. Unlike Ecuador, where the northern part of the country draws the most visitors, it is the southern part of Peru where the gringos flock. Nazca is full of hostels and hotels.
Journal 47
1/24/2006 New Tires
Although the Avon Distanzia tires that I mounted on the Guzzi before we left were renowned for their longevity, I knew that they wouldn't last the entire trip. Tires take up too much space for me to consider carrying along an extra set. Read More...
Journal 46
1/22/2006 Lima, Peru
An oasis in the middle of the country's coastal desert, Lima appeared as mud hut suburbs that got thicker until they became a modern city as we approached on the Pan American from Trujillo. Read More...
Journal 45
1/16/2006 Trujillo, Peru
An hour south of Mancora, the road bypassed Piura, the first major Peruvian town along the Pan-American, and heads into the Sechura Desert , the scrub trees and sandy soil quickly turning into rolling dunes devoid of any life. Read More...
Journal 44
1/16/2006 Mancora, Peru
Nearing the border, the Ecuadorian landscape had turned into a scrub-brush filled savannah, which continued into Peru . As we continued south the desolate fields turned into a full-blown desert, as the Pan-American took us within yards of the Pacific Ocean. Read More...
Journal 43
1/14/2006 Baños, Ecuador
The road departing Quito climbs quickly from the city's plateau, the Pan-American following a high Andean ridge line that passes within sight of some of the country's highest mountain peaks. Read More...
Journal 42
1/14/2006 Quito, Ecuador
The Colombia/Ecuador border crossing was the simplest and most frustrating of our trip so far. We left Pasto at 5:45 a.m., our path lit by streetlights as the sky was slowly turning red with the sunrise. Read More...
Journal 41
1/12/2006 Pasto, Colombia
The mountain landscape of southwest Colombia looks as if it has been eroded from the earth's surface, with vast valleys dropping away precipitously from a road that snakes its way along high ridge lines. Read More...
Journal 40
1/12/2006 Cali, Colombia
Leaving Bogotá, we chose again to travel on a holiday, packing the Guzzi on the street in front of our hostel as the sun rose on a New Year's Eve morning for the 300 mile trip to Cali.
Journal 39
1/11/2006 Bogotá, Colombia
We spent a week in Bogotá, almost all of that time in the town's colonial La Candelaria section, a neighborhood of narrow, cobblestone streets and fading, low red tile-roofed buildings. Read More...
Journal 38
1/11/2006 The Guzzi Gets Shipped
Our journey on the Pan-American ended just east of Panama City at the Tocumen International Airport , where we took the Guzzi to be shipped by plane to Bogotá.
Journal 37
1/10/2006 Christmas
Bogotá's Christmas streets were nearly deserted in the afternoon, as we walked them in search of groceries. We found a supermarket open, where we purchased the ingredients for a Christmas dinner of chili and rice. Read More...
Journal 36
1/10/2006 Panama City, Panama
We spent our time in Panama City making plans to get both ourselves and our motorcycle shipped to South America and catching up on our journals. Since we had traveled over 6,000 miles from home, the Guzzi was scheduled for maintenance. Read More...
Journal 35
1/9/2006 Santiago, Panama
Crossing the border at the Paso Canoas station, an area clogged with Costa Rican holiday shoppers buying Christmas gifts duty-free, was painless, but time consuming.
Journal 34
1/9/2006 Rincón, Costa Rica
The town of Rincón sits on the edge of the gulf, where the peninsula breaks away from the mainland. The morning following the break, we decided to stay in Rincón and ride to Corcovado for the day. Read More...
Journal 33
1/2/2006 Losing the Rack
Heading out from Ojochal the coastal road was a well-paved two lane byway, until it terminated into the Pan-American Highway . There we were once again greeted by Costa Rican potholes that slowed our pace to twenty miles an hour. Read More...
Journal 32
1/2/2006 Ojochal, Costa Rica
The road that leaves San José quickly climbs out of the central valley and into the Talamanca Mountains , known as the Cerros de Muertos or Hills of Death for their steep peaks and the twisty roads that cross them. Read More...
Journal 31
12/30/2005 San José, Costa Rica
We continued to wander downtown after dark, the streets lighted with Christmas lights and lined with shopping malls and sports bars, where pre-adolescent holiday revelers showered us with confetti as we walked the streets. Read More...
Journal 30
12/30/2005 Granada, Nicaragua
Over the next hour and a half we cruised the canals around the islands, some topped with mansion vacation homes, others with wooden shacks. Some of the isletas were uninhabited, except for birds or monkeys. Read More...
Journal 29
12/29/2005 León, Nicaragua
The only consistency in budget hotels is the friendliness of your host and their genuine enthusiasm for your visit. Little children playing by the reception desk remind you that the place you're staying is not only a business, it's also your host's home. Read More...
Journal 28
12/29/2005 Border Lessons
We were happy to be leaving San Miguel early the next morning, heading to Honduras . Despite the stories about problems at the border, we hadn't had any at the four we had crossed. That all changed at the Honduran border. Read More...
Journal 27
12/28/2005 San Miguel, El Salvador
The next few days would hold a series of border crossings, the first of which would take us into El Salvador . On the way to the border, we passed three riders with Colorado plates, mounted on KLRs and a V-Strom, heading south. Read More...
Journal 26
12/27/2005 Guatemala City, Guatemala
The environment in Guatemala City , the largest city in Central America with a population of over two million, is what I had expected to find in Mexico City , with packed and busy streets that stay vibrant late into the night. Read More...
Journal 25
12/23/2005 Panajáchel, Guatemala
Despite being a hot spot for tourists, Santiago retains much of its indigenous charm, with its dirt and cobblestone streets and small houses with open windows and doors and farm animals in the back yard. Read More...
Journal 24
12/22/2005 The Ride, Guatemala
After three hours on the road, it started to rain, our hardest shower of the trip that lasted nearly an hour. But the road continued to be perfect and paved. Our only snag was in Cobán, where the hurricane-swollen Cahabón River had washed out the bridge. Read More...
Journal 23
12/21/2005 Tikal, Guatemala
On pavement we quickly reached our destination of Tikal , Guatemala 's most famous Mayan ruins, which housed a population of 100,000 in the 6th century A.D. The ruins are nestled in a thick and swampy jungle, filled with monkeys, birds and lizards. Read More...
Journal 22
12/15/2005 Belize City, Belize
The coast of Belize is lined by the second largest barrier reef in the world. Small islands, or cayes, also line the coast, most a few hundred yards from the reef. The water is shallow, and perfect for snorkeling.
Journal 21
12/13/2005 Tulum, Mexico
We cruised down beach roads through wet sand to check out the little ocean side cabañas, built with stick walls and thatched roofs, before deciding to get a hotel. As soon as we got the bike parked and unloaded we headed back to the beach. Read More...
Journal 20
12/12/2005 Chichén Itzá, Mexico
The ruins were the most touristy of the archeological sites we visited in Mexico , with expensive restaurants and snacks shops inside the museum, a light show at night and walkways lined with locals, hawking their souvenirs. Read More...
Journal 19
12/11/2005 Mérida, Mexico
It's the place to walk among neon Santa Clauses, with street lights that blink in a pattern made to resemble fireworks. A building blocks the end of the Paseo, so you don't have to worry about accidentally wondering into downtown Mérida. Read More...
Journal 18
12/11/2005 Campeche, Mexico
Campeche was a colonial town and seaport. The central old section of town, where we spent the night, is a walled fortress, built as protection against 18th century pirates. At night, we sat on the sea wall and watched the gulf water. Read More...
Journal 17
12/10/2005 Palenque, Mexico
You're given access to most of the buildings and you can climb on them and crawl into the dark passages and find yourself in the company of bats. From the tops of the temples, you can see for miles of nothing but jungle. Read More...
Journal 16
12/8/2005 San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
Throughout the Chiapas state we felt the presence of Mexico 's indigenous population strongest. They walked the roads and worked the fields along our route of entrance and exit. They sold their handicrafts or begged for money in San Cristobal 's streets. Read More...
Journal 15
12/7/2005 Tehuantepec, Mexico
The residents of the town were some of the friendliest that we had encountered, seeming to lack the jaded-towards-tourists attitude of many of the other areas we had been.
Journal 14
12/6/2005 Mexico City Faces
Las Caras de Mexico City (The Faces of Mexico City) photo slideshow, featuring a variety of photos taken in Mexico City. View Here...
Faces of Mexico
12/4/2005 Oaxaca, Mexico
The capital of the Zapotec nation, Monte Alban sits on a hill that strategically sits where the three Oaxacan valleys converge, controlling agriculture and commerce in the surrounding land. About 1,000 years ago, its inhabitants abandoned it. Read More...
Journal 13
12/2/2005 Puebla, Mexico
After nearly a week in Mexico City , we were ready to be moving again as we left on a Wednesday morning. Getting an early start and without far to travel, I decided to take the free road instead of the toll road, to see more of the countryside. Read More...
Journal 12
12/1/2005 Mexico City, Mexico
We spent the next several days visiting the sites and exploring the city. It is impossible to describe Mexico City because it is a city without description. It lacks the well defined and distinctive boroughs of most large cities in its 350 colonias, or neighborhoods. Read More...


Journals 1 - 10

All photographs © Holly Marcus / Page design by Robin Marcus
Journal 11