Friday, August 14, 2015

2+ years on the road - a time-out to look at what worked well and what did not... (teilweise in Deutsch!)

Over two years on the road - time-out to look at what worked well and what did not...


Suzi worked very well. Besides regular maintenance and normal wear of bearings, chain, brake discs and pads the only issue was the rear shock which we got repaired within warranty and then once more the seals were renewed after 46.000km. Ok... there also were a few loose screws but I don't really count those.
Skippy's V-Strom
Detailed list of repairs and major maintenance for the Suzi.

km Date Description (anything beside oil change, sparkplug change)
68000 Aug 2012 new chain + wheels (15/47)
66600 Mar 2013 cyl2 valves adjusted, scotts oil filter and Hyperpro rear suspension installed, Frontforkoil changed, some protectors installed, Rear wheel bearings changed
69000 May 2013 H4 bulb changed
72000 Jun 2013 Other H4 bulb changed
73000 Jul 2013 Hyperpro read shock leaked oil – repaired
76600 Aug2013 Brakelines changed, Scottoiler installed
79000 Sep2013 Hyperpro front fork installed, fork oil changed
88464 Dec-2013 new brake pads rear disc

Jan2014 Lost rear axle screw, Lost screw at chain guard, Bottom protector two loose screws
97350 May-2014 New chain and sprokets
103000 Jul2014 Exhaust pipe clamp broken

Aug-2014 Major crash on loose gravel road. Check our blog for more details.
108000 Sep-2014 New rear brake disc (EBC) and pads.
118000 Dec-2014 New front brakes disc (TRW) + pads, new wheel bearings front, cable to blinker broken.
119000 Jan-2015 Valves clearance checked and all are within tolerance. Rear shock new seals and upper bushing. Anti-freeze changed. Fork oil new 15W. Brake fluid changed (front and back).


SilberWolf worked also great. Such a sidecar is unique and I was prepared to face a certain degree of prototyping in other words I expected some experimenting. This experiment was continues mostly around the rear shock (see own report on that topic; and my thoughts as of today are that the Hyperpro shock feels much softer compared to the YSS which results in a less optimal riding performance).

Besides the regular maintenance and some usual wear (i.e. bearings, brake stuff) the hack had trouble to cope with the rough road in Death Valley where the trailing arm went broken. The YSS rear shock got totally busted in Mexico after hitting a speed bump too fast (In my mind the YSS rear shock had a major design flaw). Somewhere at or after that point the pivot ball bearing of the Telelever was broken. The cause of this might have been the destruction of the rear shock in Mexico but I cannot say for sure (it had nothing to do with the Death Valley incident!).

The sidecar design was and is great. The ramp has been useful as the dogs can climb in and out by themselves (Ok, Ulpu needs some help since she is so tiny). The exchangeable windows were really practical. The plastic windows provided shelter in bad weather whereas the mesh ones allowed a fresh breeze in hot weather. Additionally they provided safety that the girls could not jump out and neither could anybody directly touch them (and maybe steal them). 
The ramp - I got that idea from Ryanair :D and Müller-Gespanne realized it well.
Mesh windows allow some airflow and the roof provides some shade.
Plastic windows in rainy, snowy and cold conditions.

... and it protects from light hail as well.

The room between bike and sidecar was also in use with a small (bicycle) bag where I stored cooking stuff while using gasoline. The place outside under the sidecar was used to house the car battery, spare oils and such stuff that makes a mess when it leaks.
The Mobec Enduro boat allows to store stuff outside the boat under the seat. Ideal place for a car battery and hazardous stuff.
The place under girls was perfect for tools, heavy food items and spare parts. Besides that it was the coolest place at the bike, so we also stored there occasionally "heat sensitive" items.

The BMW's brake system has been seriously modified. The handbrake is connected to one disc at the front wheel and also to the sidecar wheel. The footbrake is connected to all three wheels. Where this system might be very well on paved roads in a forward movement I realized a few situations where it seems to fail. The first time it happened in Finland on a slippery snowy road in slow traffic. While braking the front wheel blocked and the hack slided leftwards into the opposite traffic. The second scary incident was when the fully loaded bike stalled at a really steep hill. I applied the brakes and instead of coming to a still stand, the bike started to slide downhill leaving nice rubber line on the pavement. Since the front wheel blocked there was no steering and I missed the ditch only by a few centimeters. Those were the only two bad situations out of a few emergency-kind-of ones.

We use two Zarges Aluminum boxes for storage. The lower is fixed to the bike and the upper one - hosting the kitchen stuff and light food items - is fixed with three straps. It is easy to reach to the top box and also easy to lift it down. One needs to pay attention that there are not too many heavy items stored in the kitchen box because it will have a negative influence on the handling. After two years of usage and when riding through really heavy rain, the upper box seems to let a very tiny amount of water in just enough to cause moistness inside the box. Besides that it seems that the tiny ants have no problem to sneak into the box and get some satisfaction out of our food or clean-up some leftovers :)

Detailed list of repairs and major maintenance on the hack:

km Date Description (not listed: any regular liquid changes, spark plugs, fuel line filter)
30000 May-2012 Bought the bike
34000 Aug-Oct 2012 Sidecar added
36000 Oct 2012 Rear wheel drive bearing went broken. I changed the rear wheel drive to the one from the 850GS. Note: hold 12mm Allen key screw tight when tying the locknut!
38000 Mar-2013 clutch Siebenrock; rear cross joint changed (overhauled used); new (longer) speedometer shaft; (abt 38000km: I lost some 2000km due to a broken shaft); gearbox overhauled and changed to long sixth gear; new rear wheel bearing and sealings; subframe new painted; installed add-ons: top case; day driving lights; HID50 Xenon lights; TT reusable air filter;
45000 Jul-2013 Polybelt broken, fuel quick-coupling connector leaking
47500 Aug-2013 K&N airfilter installed
59400 Nov-2013 new YSS rear shock installed
59700 Dec-2013 YSS rear shock broken
60500 Dec-2013 YSS basic rear shock installed
68000 Feb-2014 Rear swing bearing and rear axle drive bearings adjusted.
71000 Apr-2014 Left camshaft tensioner changed
73000 May-2014 Taillight replaced (melted)
79200 Jul-2014 Oil inlet cork leaking, 90degree fuel line quick-coupling connector leaking, front break (foot) squeeking (new pads and copper paste and it was gone)
82100 Aug-2014 Oil inlet rubber rings new (both), Fuel line replaced (return line from injection system)
93000 Nov-2014 Polybelt, re-used one brake pad for the other front brake (hand)
96500 Dec-2014 Disaster after riding on Racetrack Road in Death Valley: Trailing A arm broken, Rear shock starts leaking, Front sub frame bent, Exhaust muffler broken
98250 Jan-2015 Trailing A arm strengthened, Rear shock new seals, Exhaust muffler pipe replaced with used stock silencer, new clutch plate (Siebenrock), diaphragm spring new, new brake discs (both) and pads (front)
101700 Mar-2015 Rear shock lower bolt snapped. Replaced with a hand-made one out of wood. The fixed bolt snapped again after 200m. Entirely new bolt made out of steel.
102170 Mar-2015 Rear wheel bearing broken.
102373 Mar-2015 Hyperpro rear shock installed
102980 Apr-2015 Ball joint at telelever sheared off, one thread at the fork-bridge is gone. One fuel line clamps was broken, another one loose. Also changed gear box oil and rear axle drive oil.
109000 Jul-2015 Right cam shaft chain tensioner replaced. Fast coupling for fuel line (the one which goes under the tank) was broken. Left rear blinker holder welted back (Jesse luggage mounting frame).

We had no problems to get tires so far. The tire consumption in detail:


km Date Description
66600 Mar-2013 Front and back: Heidenau K60 Scout
88500 Dec-2013 Back: Heidenau K60 Scout
110000 Sep-2014 Front and back: Heidenau K60 Scout

km Date Description
34000 Oct-2012 Front: Heidenau K60 Scout 150/70 B17
Rear: 175/65 R15 Vredestein Quatrac 3
Sidecar: 175/65 R15 Conti Eco Contact
50150 Sep-2013 Rear: 175/65 R15 Uniroyal Rainexpert
60800 Dec-2013 Front: Heidenau K60 Scout 150/70 B17
Rear: 175/65 R15 Bridgestone BT250 (died 1500km too early due to puncture)
73600 May-2014 Sidecar: 175/65 R15 Toyo Versado ECO BSW M+S
76000 Jun-2014 Rear: 175/65 R15 Continental Contact Pro
85850 Sep-2014 Front: Heidenau K60 Scout 150/70 B17
Rear: Pirelli Snowcontrol 190, 175/65-15 (for better grip on gravel, the old one would have been good for some more)
90000 Oct-2014 Sidecar: 175/65 R15 Bridgestone Ecopia EP422
93590 Nov-2014 Rear: 175/65 R15 Aeolus SnowAce AW02
103000 Apr-2015 Rear: 175/65 R15 Goodyear GPS3

Spare parts
We had far too many spare parts with. Even though our plan was to go first through Africa and then to South America it would have been too much... mostly too much weight. The extra weight will kill you and/or your bike.

Useful spare parts (general): spark plugs, brake pads, wheel bearings and related gaskets (especially the rear wheel bearing on the BMW!). The rest I could have bought from a local dealer and changed e.g. before entering Africa or in South Africa.
BMW: 200ml 80W90 if you need to change the rear wheel bearing in the middle of nowhere; Poly V-belt; rear-shock for heavy terrain (Africa, 4WD-roads)
Suzi: Oil for the drive chain oiler (Scottoiler).

Note: We both use K&N air filters as well as stainless steel oil filters, all which can be cleaned and reused (for some strange reason The GS oil filter seal needs replacement with each change, no such issue at the Suzuki).

Engine and gear box oil is easy to find. In Central America there are very many BMW dealers (it might take 8 weeks to get your stuff, so the friend solution might be much cheaper). As we had no problems with the Suzi we cannot tell how long it would take to get parts for this bike.

In general I recommend to have a friend in either Germany (buy stuff from Louis, Hein Gericke, Polo, BMW, Suzuki) and in the US. Shipping from a company to a friend is typically cheap and often even free of charge. Shipping from a private person in Germany/USA worldwide is relatively cheap and by doing so one can avoid some of the custom issues in the receiving end (private to private seems different then business-private). Also the friend can collect items from various suppliers and repackage all items into one bigger one (I used two times from Germanyand was very happy with their services).

I do not want to list all what we had with because it is really embarrassing like: 6 brake discs as they were in special offer at Louis - stupid mistake, two drive chains for the Suzi, a broken rear shock...

I used quite a few of M5, M6 and M8 screws and some nuts as they got lost on the way. Have a few of those with you.

I had very many tools with and I was happy to have all of them in the various repairs of the bike and the gear. An ADVrider inmate borrowed me the big tools for the installation of the broken Telelever in the US. For the repair of the pivot ball bearing in Mexico I needed a heat gun which I borrowed from a nearby bike shop and a 46mm key which I could not find but I bought an adjustable wrench for about 20EUR and donated it later to a dog shelter.

The repair of the final drive bearing in Mexico required heating. I used our cooker for heating and I bought a bag of ice cubes for the cooling. That worked pretty ok.
Toolset for both bikes. From the picture missing is the tool to change the drive chain on the Suzi, the TS-101 to synchronize the cylinders on the BMW as well as the tiny original on-board toolset by Suzuki.
General about household
We downsized four times heavily and got rid of many kilos and many liters of luggage. Wolfi bought some heavy tools as we went along. All of those were used several times! In Germany we bought camping chairs which were too heavy and bulky. We donated those finally during our last down-sizing action in Mexico.

Our Hilleberg Kerron4 is a good tent and has served us well. We faced really stormy weather in Scotland where I even moved the sidecar to give more wind cover - it was that stormy! We survived heavy rain showers in Michigan, the sand in the Sahara and the heat in Nicaragua. However, by now we did not do as much camping as I thought so maybe a cheaper tent would have been good enough. Besides that it would have been nicer to have a tent which can stand alone so that it can be easier built on concrete or loose sand (Sahara). The Kerron4 is nice and spacious but considering space and weight a bit smaller tent would also do.

Our sleeping bags were far too thin in a few occasions with the result that we were badly freezing during the night (maybe that was the reason we did not go camping as much as I thought). In Portland we finally had enough and invested into better and warmer sleeping bags. We gave the old ones to friends for donation.

Our air mattresses were too small. I got a new one when we were in Germany and we used the smallest one for girls whereas Skippy got mine. From beginning on girls had their own sleeping bag and we donated both the mattress and the sleeping bag during the trip as we found other ways with existing stuff to keep girls warm enough. After a few nights blowing all of the three air mattresses and almost fainting afterwards I invested into a small and cheap 12V pump. That investment was worth it (actually I had such one in Finland but it went for donation as many other things as well).

We also have two hammocks with mosquito nets which we needed once in Mauritania for emergency (the ground was full of spiky things and the tent bottom would have been instantly trashed). Otherwise Skippy used her hammocks many times either to sleep in or just hang and relax.

Our foam travel pillows work well and we would not like to miss those!
Sleeping gear. The hammer is typically here as it is needed for pitching the tent.

Other stuff

We bought a 230V AC extension cable with 4 sockets (European version) to be able to charge PC, cameras, phone etc. at the same time (needed for one night stands). We also have a generic one-fits-all-adapter which is ok for emergency but most of the time useless because it is so big that it does not fit (especially in the US!). It is much better to buy a proper country-specific adapter. They will fit in combination with the extension cable.

Hair cutter and mixer
Those are depending on voltage and frequency. We have a 230V AC handmixer, haircutter and blender with. The blender had done its job well and we left it in Ghana. The other two we carry with as I can generate 230V AC from our bikes with an 600W inverter (we are fully self-sufficient in case of wild-camping). In the US we bought another 110V AC trimmer for girls (poodles need regular trimming!) which we also use for our hair. We also got a new blender same as before but for 110V AC/60Hz. This standard works in whole North and Central America and we will donate those before leaving Central America.

We have a Primus ET Multi Fuel stove. It works very well with Primus gas and moderate with e.g. cheaper gas from Walmart. I had some trouble to use gasoline with the cooker because it got so dirty after the first time usage that after this first time the flame was only orange which caused everything to be horribly black. The trick is to clean the mesh filter element where the stove sucks in the air. I use now a toothbrush and after 15 seconds of cleaning it works like a charm. We used the stove many times also inside (with an open window) while we had gas. With gasoline this is very dangerous and might cause serious trouble because of the big orange flames during warm-up. We did use the stove that way in Central America when we had a garage (e.g. Auto Hotel) or just outside the hotel room on the parking lot.

Since I did not get the cooker working in Africa any longer and in the end we were only in hotels we bought for a few euros one-plate electric stove. Worked very well and we could use it inside without causing any harm.

The original Primus pots and lid got damaged in the accident in Finland and we bought the Primus stainless steel 3-pieces set instead. Very useful multi-purpose pots! An additional 2l plastic pot (some old candy container) fitted perfectly and replaced the original plastic one.
Primus Eta Power MF - works with gas, fuel, diesel
That is the crucial spot which requires daily cleaning when using with fuel

Skippy broke two Sporks after which she stopped using them. Now she only uses my childhood silverware (for some strange sentimental reason I want to keep those). I still have my first Spork and use my silverware from my time in the German army (officially lost and paid for!).

Kitchen stuff
Skippy has two proper cutting knives (down from 4), long spoons, grapefruit spoons, a cutting board, plastic boxes for spices, Kuksa and Muumi cup, two metal Muumi plates and a small spiralizer.
For water cleaning we use the Katadyn Vario Filter. The coal filter is good for only 200l so you might want to take a few spares. The ceramic filter can be cleaned with the green rag and then it is as good as new.
The entire kitchen (The blender on the right side is typically used several times a day)
Photo and Video
The main camera is a Canon EOS 550D with a Canon 18-135mm lens. I really like the Sigma 8mm(*) fish lens. I got me a Sigma 200mm(*)/f2.8 lens from Germany while I was in Ghana to take pictures of wildlife. I used it a few times but could also do without. This equipment is in the end really heavy and I think that 80% of the pictures could be done with a good smaller camera. I would think twice about this next time. Besides the big Canon Skippy has a Fuji FinepixF11 and I use my Nokia N8 a lot for snapshots.
(*)8mm*1.6≈13mm; 200mm*1.6≈300mm

Our POVHD had a bad connection (Wackelkontakt) in the end and I gave it to the friendly mechanic in Mexico for his kids. I got us a Hero3+ GoPro already on our last days in the US and we use it really a lot because it is so small and thus handy. Already in Germany I changed my tripod to a smaller (not so stable) one but at least it fits into my topcase. Our Canon video camera HFG10 is small and light and it makes excellent clips, so for those who want to do a lot of video this might be handy. I miss though the night-vision option of my old Sony camera, that feature was useful for some great diary and adventure shots.

We had far too many clothes with. I have two bike gears (both Rukka) with because I knew that we will face hot and cold weather. Obviously I still remembered when I was freezing in New Zealand with my lighter outfit (Kalahari jacket,
and did not want to experience that again. However looking back, I suggest to get gear which is very airy with water/wind proof insulating inner jacket/pants. Since my both outfits are from Rukka, I carry only one set of protectors with which I swap based on what I wear. That reduces the weight and makes it smaller to pack thus easier to store. If it's hot it's hot if there is nothing to strip down anymore, the pain will start and it is not fun (see what happened to Skippy). Rain stuff (overall) is essential and can also protect from the wind in cold weather, heating vest was really useful. In the hot weather we were running short on T-shirts, otherwise 3-sets of everything (underwear, socks, T-shirts) is fine, 4 is luxury :)

I still have a hoodie, my jeans vest and a long pair of jogging trousers which are very handy on cold days, however the inner gear from the bike stuff would also be fine for the same purpose. I also have some lighter summer biking shoes which are very comfortable, but then the other pair takes a lot of space. Since I am size 60 all additional clothes have a big impact on space.

What else...
We had far too much medicines with (e.g. painkillers)! Robes, strings, extra strapping bands and net were useful.

We left with two 10l fuel canisters and gave away one in the US. In Germany we bought a 10l water canister which happened to fit into the same holding slot as the fuel canister which is very convenient. I did not use the winch a single time for pulling the bike - only once to keep Skippy's hammock up in the air. We used the axe, wood cutting saw and shovel a few times.

Plastic money
I got my credit card closed two times due to potential fraud. On another occasion the bank asked before they wanted to close it. This is really annoying. In general, getting a new card for whatsoever reason is a pain in the butt. If possible combine a credit card delivery with another shipment (e.g. spareparts) and use a courier. At least it is safe. Also helps to tell your bank in advance where you are traveling, so they won't instantly close your card! Besides that it is always good to have several cards with you.

Shipping stuff
It requires weeks ahead to have an address which receives shipments or being stationary for quite a while. Anything should be send with priority and without signature. Our experience was that a letter from Finland to Morocco took about  five weeks since it required a signature. Also the receiving was difficult since I need to sign the receipt (I guess the more third-world country, the more bureaucratic it is with mail). DHL works reliably and fast. Those guys know how to get stuff through customs and it is through within a few days to one week. Tracking your package actively and making phone calls ahead of time will help in the process. See also section spareparts.

A few words about money. Some people can live with 10EUR/day and for some 100EUR/day is not enough. Most significant factors for us are: Food (25%), Accommodation (24%), Others (14% such as border and visa fees, Carnet de Passage, vet bills, currency exchange and ATM fees, laundry, communication, household stuff, cameras, souvenirs, sightseeing, movies etc.). Most significant single cost (section transport 9% of the total spending) was the move from Ghana, Africa to New York, USA which was about 9000EUR (incl. tickets for us, bikes, dogs, related paperwork and fees). Second most significant item was our health insurance. Thirdly, we paid hell of bills when Hertta got sick in the USA as we have not found an insurance for world-traveling dogs. The bike costs of 9% consisted mostly of spare parts because up to now, I did all the maintenance by myself. Petrol also contributed with 9% to the overall spending.
How we spend our money in the past 2+ years (this chart does not contain any costs from existing other obligations in Europe)
Hints and Tips:
A few thoughts if you plan to travel around the world. If you want to eat healthy you will need to pay more compared to eating junk food. Traveling with pets is more expensive because the cheapest hotels do not allow dogs (I am only talking about the money here). Couchsurfing with two adults and three dogs is difficult. We chose often a motel because we had a choice. Why to torture ourselves in case of bad or too hot weather (it's hard to please a biker). Especially in the USA, camping for two adults, two vehicles and three dogs was near the amount of the cheapest motel. We go out to eat very very seldom resulting in 2% overall spending for lunch/dining.

When planning a trip there is no need for heavy budget planning (unless you like it but then there still is no need). Things happen and change, so to predict "all" is pretty much in vain work. Use this easy formula (those figures are for calculation purposes): 

Money in hand / Days traveling around the world = Daily spending

Money you have in hand: 20.000EUR
Days for around the world: 1000days (that's about three years and a minimum time, otherwise you will not see anything)
Money you can spend each day incl. everything: 20EUR.

Planning done!

Keeping track
Much more important is monitoring your spending and adjusting accordingly. Keep good track of all the money you spend and stay on the 20EUR/day line (or whatever you have decided on). If you go above this line, reduce spending or travel less days (e.g. travel less in expensive areas and more in cheaper ones)! Cut costs where ever you can. Have a simple bike where you can do (hopefully) all maintenance by yourself. Can you do import/export-customs work yourself (saved me about 2000-3000USD in New York and generated another story to tell).
Cost of living
Africa, Latin America are cheap (with the exception of Costa Rica which seems really expensive). Europe, USA and Canada are expensive. Some reasons why those countries are expensive are: the cost of accommodation, opportunity to buy all sorts of ready food (e.g. vegan icecream) and organic food

Since we follow a highcarb lowfat plant-based diet (the term vegan diet is simply too vague), there is no worries in finding food. In every village we can find fruits, veggies and grains in order to make a meal. End of difficulty in being vegan on the road! 

All the vegan junk food like vegan ice cream, muffins, cakes, sausages, cheese, etc etc are nice to have once in a while. We consider them as a treat, delicates, but those do not have any place in a healthy way of eating. No, nada, nothing! If you grave for those there are other forces behind that graving.

I eat also for other reasons and that is not healthy, I know that and that is a different story which has not much to do with this one here. 

I can peel bananas, slice a melon or make a smoothie. That covers pretty much the typical breakfast and lunch. I am also able to boil a pot of potatoes. The tricky part is making the sauce and bringing variety into the menu. All the honor for this goes to Skippy and her great cooking abilities. In this sense, a man like me lives more comfortable with a cook like Skippy. Lessons learned on that topic. 

Menschliches und Zwischenmenschliches

Auch hierzu gibt es einiges zu erzählen. Ich schreib das erst mal in Deutsch denn ich kann mich schon, laut meiner ehemaligen Deutschlehrerin in meiner Muttersprache schon nicht richtig ausdrücken, geschweige denn in einer fremden Sprache. 

Mir geht es gut und ich bin gut gelaunt. Ich bin froh daß ich diese Reise angetreten habe und je mehr ich zurückblicke umso besser geht es mir. Ab und zu werde ich mir bewusst daß ich mein meinem eigenem Moped auf Weltreise bin, eine Tatsache die in dem normal Alltag schon mal verloren geht und dann geht es mir auch wieder gut. Ich wollte das klarstellen denn jetzt kommen die Worte meiner alltäglichen Realität.

So eine Weltreise bedeutet Abenteuer, eine Weltreise ist ein Erlebnis und gleichzeitig kein Zuckerlecken. Weltreise ist nicht gleich Weltreise und Abenteuer ist nicht gleich Abenteuer so wird es zwischen Reportagen von Weltreisenden auch große Unterschiede geben.

Jeder sollte sich selbst klar machen was man eigentlich will, erwartet und erhofft. Selbst wenn man sagt man hätte keine Erwartungen hat man vermutlich doch irgendwas was begeistert und motiviert. 

Dann tut man gut dran sich vorher mit seinem Partner/Freund/Mitreisendem auszutauschen um rauszufinden, wo passt es und wo halt nicht. Die Beziehung sollte auch auf soliden Füßen stehen, denn es werden Probleme kommen die eine Beziehung auf die Probe stellen. Es wird nicht doppelt so anstrengend sondern quadriert. Ich denke mir daß vielleicht deswegen viele Weltenbummler alleine reisen.

Fange ich doch erst mal bei mir an. Obwohl ich keine konkreten Erwartungen gesetzt habe, hatte ich doch Hoffnungen, wollte tolle Erinnerungen haben, Bilder machen von mir und meinem Moped in ausgewöhnlichen Situationen und Plätzen. Ich wollte Leute und ihre Gewohnheiten kennenlernen, sehen wie andere wirklich leben und die Schönheit der Natur bewundern.

Allein diese Erwartungen zu erfüllen braucht einen starken Willen, viel Geduld, Kozentration und eine gute Portion Galgenhumor. Hier ist warum: in den gefährlichsten Momenten, den abenteuerlichsten Szenen, dann wenn die Bilder und video clips am Spektakulärsten sind, hatte ich meistens keine Zeit, Geduld, Nerven oder dachte einfach nicht dran ein Bild zu machen. Dazu braucht es einen Partner, der dann schreit "Moment, erst noch ein Bild".

Es ist natürlich nicht so als ob Bilder das Wichtigste wären, aber ehrlich gesagt die Eindrücke verschwinden und manchmal brauche ich halt diesen "Aufhänger" um mich wieder daran zu erinnern. Bilder kann ich auch mit anderen einfach teilen, eine spannende Reportage zu schreiben ist schwieriger. 

Ein anderes Phänomen ist daß sich Landschaften, Orte, Leute und ihre Lebensweisen wiederholen. Da ich diesen Artikel in Costa Rica schreibe nehme ich mal Vulkane als Beispiel. Vulkane sind hier eine Attraktion. Auf der anderen Seite waren sie das auch in Guatemala, El Salvador und Nicaragua. Da war der Vulkan auf den ich bis ganz oben hin fahren konnte. Der war aktiv, heiß, es stank und ausser ein paar Büschen gab es keine Vegatation. Dann war der andere Vulkan. Dort bin ich selber hinaufmaschiert. Der Vulkan war nicht aktiv, es gab viel Vegetation und wilde Tiere. Es werden in Südamerika ja auch noch ein paar Vulkane kommen, also lasse ich es mit den Vulkanen erst mal ruhen. 

Viel der Landschaft in Zentralamerika erinnerte mich an Südfrankreich, die Felder in den USA gleichen denen in Osteuropa, die dreckigen Strände Zentralamerikas sind immerhin doch etwas sauberer als die Strände in West-Afrika. Es gibt in Zentralamerika mehr streunende Hunde als in West-Afrika und auch damit muss man als Hundeliebhaber erst mal zurechtkommen.

Es gibt also viel zu tun für alle meine Sinne und das Ganze  muss ja auch irgendwie verarbeitet werden. Dem Mitreisenden wird es ähnlich ergehen und wie soll es dann bitte schön in einer Beziehung funktionieren, eine Beziehung in der man jede Stunde am Tag, ein Tag nach dem anderen zusammen ist?

Ich habe von Paaren gelesen die hat eine solche Reise zusammengebracht, andere die jetzt eine Beziehung auf Distanz versuchen. Bei uns sieht es leider auch nicht gerade rosig aus. Vor allem ist Skippy von meiner Person genervt. Es sah vermutlich schon nicht rosig aus als wir wegfuhren. Wie es weiter geht, steht (immer noch) in den Sternen.

Wir haben natürlich auch die Verantwortung für unsere Hunde. Denen geht es in diesem Moment gut solange sie nicht im Seitenwagen sind. Am Anfang war das anders. Hertta war ein Ruhepol im Gespann und seit sie nicht mehr mit uns reist, herrscht halt etwas Panik im Seitenwagen. Die Straßenzustände, der andauerende Lärm irgendwo, freilaufende und bellende Hunde, Hitze und die Tatsache daß wir Streß haben macht es unseren Vierbeinern auch nicht leichter. Zudem sind beide ja auch nicht mehr die Jüngsten.

Bilder machen, Texte schreiben und Videos machen, das alles hat schon einen Hauch von Arbeit an sich. Ich mache es gerne, eine ätzend-langsame Internet Verbindung dagegen regt mich wieder auf (vor allem wenn es extra kostet). 

Ich habe öfters das Gefühl daß ich an manchen Stellen viel zu schnell vorbei fahre, an anderen wiederum langweile ich mich (siehe Punkt Alleinreisen). Ich beschreibe einen der typischen Momente mal so: "Wie schon wieder ein Bild machen?".

Es gibt auch öfter mal Moment da fühle ich mich überfordert, genervt - gestresst. Das gehört einfach zu einem Abenteuer dazu. Am Moped schrauben macht mir dagegen immer Spass und Freude.

Zusammenfassen kann ich das Ganze im Moment nicht. Jeder Tag bringt Neues, jeder Tag bringt Vertrautes und morgen ist ein neuer Tag.
Now in English: The human and interhuman stuff
Here, too, there is a lot to tell. I write the first time in German because I can already, according to my former German teacher in my native language has not expressed properly, let alone in a foreign language. I used now Google translator (to do the 80% of the job) and starting from the heading I had to change already some words. Feel free to experiment with Google translator and see what comes out. I will mark all text italic where I have no idea how to translate it whether google made a mistake or whether it is correct.

I'm fine and I'm in a good mood. I am glad that I have begun this journey and the more I look back, the better I feel. Every now and then I become aware that I am traveling around the world on my own motorbike, a fact that goes lost in the normal everyday life, and then I feel good again. I wanted to make that clear because now come the words of my everyday reality. 

So a trip around the world means adventure, a trip around the world is an experience and at the same time not a bed of roses. World travel is not equal to world travel and adventure is not the same adventure as there will also be major differences between reports of globetrotters.

Everyone should make it clear to yourself what you really want, expect and hope for. Even if you say you have no expectations one has probably something what excites and motivates you. 

Then one does well off beforehand with his partner / friend / fellow-traveller to exchange those to find out where it fits and where not. The relationship should be on solid ground, because there are problems to come that bring a relationship to the test. It is not twice as arduous but squared. I think that is perhaps because many globetrotters travel alone. 

First I start with me. Although I have not set any specific expectations, I still had hopes, wanted to have great memories, take pictures of me and my bike in extraordinary situations and places. I wanted to get to know local people, their habits, see how they really live and admire the beauty of nature.Alone to meet these expectations one needs a strong will, a lot of patience and a good dose of gallows humor. Here's why: in the most dangerous moments, the most adventurous scenes, then when the images and video clips are the most spectacular, I had mostly no time, patience, nerves, or simply did not turn to take a picture. This requires a partner who then shouts "Hold on, first a picture". 

Of course it's not as if images would be the most important thing, but frankly the impressions disappear and sometimes I need to stop this "hook" to get back to remind me. I can also easily share pictures with others, writing an exciting report is difficult. 

Another phenomenon is the recurrence of landscapes, places, people and their lifestyles. As I write this article in Costa Rica I take volcanoes as an example. Volcanoes are an attraction here. On the other hand they were also an attraction in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. I was on one where I could drive to the very top. It was active, hot, smelly and other than a few bushes there was no vegetation. Then there was the other volcano where I climbed up myself with some agony. The volcano has been inactive, there was a lot of vegetation and wild animals. There are more volcanoes in South America, so I let it rest with the volcanoes for now. 

Much of the landscape in Central America reminded me of southern France, the fields in the United States are similar to those in Eastern Europe, the filthy beaches in Central America are, after all, but a little cleaner than the beaches in West Africa. Central America has more stray dogs than in West Africa and if you are a dog lover you will need to cope with that. 

So there is plenty to do for all my senses and the whole show must be somehow processed, too. The fellow-travelers will undergo a similar experience and how should it then please work nicely in a relationship, a relationship in which one is every hour a day, one day after the other together? 

I have read of stories of couples where such a journey brought them together whereas others now try a remote relationship. Our life is unfortunately not exactly rosy. Especially Skippy is annoyed by my person. Maybe it looked already from the start not so rosy. What happens next, is (still) in the stars. 

Of course we also have the responsibility for our dogs. Which are doing well at this moment as long as they are not in the sidecar. In the beginning it was different. Hertta was a calming influence in the pack and since she no longer travels with us, some levels of panic occures in the sidecar. The road conditions, the constant loud noises everywhere, free-running and barking dogs, heat and the fact that Skippy and me have stress does not make it any easier for our girls. In addition, both of the girls are indeed not that young anymore. 

Taking pictures, writing texts and making videos, that has all a touch of work per se. I do it gladly, a horrible-slow internet connection on the other hand pisses me off (especially if it costs extra).

I often feel that I'm going too fast in some places whereas on others I think we stay too long (see traveling alone). I describe a typical moment this way: "Why on earth do we stop now?".

There are also often times moments where I feel overwhelmed, annoyed - stressed. It is simply an adventure and a price must be paid for it. Screwing on the bikes gives me, however always fun and joy.

I cannot summarize this whole thing at the moment. Every day brings new impressions and experiences, in every day is something familiar and tomorrow is a new day.

~ Wolfi


  1. Ein bewundernswerter Versuch unseren Erdball zu umrunden. Alles Gute für Eurer Abenteuer!!

  2. ... Euer Abenteuer ... (es ist schwer mit google zu übersetzen, wenn das Original nicht stimmt. Sorry!)

    1. Ja wie denn bitte - welches Original stimmt da nicht. Bei uns stimmen immer alle Original, sonst wären es ja keine Originale sondern Kopien! :) :)
      Für den/diejenigen die es genau wissen wollten habe ich ja meinen Disclaimer (was auch immer das in Deutsch ist) reingeschrieben ... "ich kann mich schon, laut meiner ehemaligen Deutschlehrerin in meiner Muttersprache schon nicht richtig ausdrücken, geschweige denn in einer fremden Sprache"

      Saarländisch kann ich auch nicht mehr - alles den Bach runtergegangen... :D

      Also frohes Lesen :D

    2. hehehe ... I read this again and on the third time - together with half a bottle of excellent rose wine - I got it. I think so :D
      Anyway, thanks for the comment. It made me smile!

  3. Your personal words are very interesting and honest. It would be interesting to read such a summary from Ilta's view.

    1. Well I don't think I would have much anything else to say, I agree with all what Wolfi wrote! :)

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