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11:30 Buenos Aires: We had a last dinner at George bar last night. I packed all my bags and was able to put away an other small box of un-used stuff!
I had a French breakfast with Fernando. I will hit the road when leaving the internet cafe.
I feel ready!




I am ready to leave tomorrow morning
My electrical problem was the head light relay/fuse. I switch it with the klaxon wich is the same. It already happens in Costa Rica. I put a switch between the left and right blinker so when i want an emergency lights, i put a blinker on and my switch and they all blink! that resolve the problem that i carry for a long time, not knowing how to fix my emercy lights!
I have to go get my alluminium spacer to fix a second rear wheel on the sidecar wheel. I did most of my packing and i am leaving an other box of un-needed stuff that i did not use for a year!
I feel really great to go back on the road tomorrow!




I change the bearing of the front wheel, change the oil of the gearbox because it was (again) contaminated with water. I have to trouble shot a new intermintent lighting problem tomorrow morning. Tuesday pm, i will get a alluminium part done to fix my spare rear wheel to the sidecar wheel - for the sand.
2 months ago, i checked my cholesterol and thyroide when i switch my pills to an Argentinian pills because i was running out of them (the monthly coast is $14 for both here); So i did an other blood test and all is good, I am perfect. I am buying for 1 year of amunitions... it's cheaper than shipping them from France...
Wednesday is my departure day




Finally, I put a donation page on my web site. The easiest way was to use Paypal, which allow people to donate from their credit card (secure transaction) without having to subscribe to Paypal.
Again, last night, by midnight, 6 friends of Fernando show-up and we ordered pizza. This is really cool (because I don't go to work in the morning) they left at 5:00 am!




I change my tires so I have a new set of Metzeller Marathon for the road and a spare set of Metzeller Tourance for la Ruta 40. I saw this morning that I have to change a bearing on the front wheel. Saturday they are closed, I will do it monday. I feel so excited to go back on the road. My idear is to go to Puerto Mont in Chile and take the ferry to Puerto Natales, then ride to Ushuaia and ride the ruta 40 on my way up!
it's hard to get up early when everynight, by 10 or 11 pm, you found out that the evening is just starting and we all go to have dinner somewhere. It has a nice side to it but i still don't understand how they go to work in the morning.




I gave up on the car wheel for now. I did most of my mecanic. Change one of the screw adjusting the valve that I damage last month. After only 100km, it need a big adjustment. I will keep an eye on that one. All the studs were good. I get my French passeport this afternoon as well as the temporary importation documents for the sidecar. I am looking to leave this weekend for Ushuaia




I have been working since yesterday to put a car wheel on my rear wheel and found out that it will not really work. In Europe, they adapt a wheel of a Smart car and it's pretty good, but here they don't have this type of tires and rim.




Saturday night, i wa ready to go to sleep early (again) but by 8 pm, a couple of friends of Fernando came to the house and we ordered pizza... then by 11 pm 4 more friends show up with more pizza, I went to sleep at 3 am!
Sunday was relaxing, I set up my iPod to backup my whole computer as a start up disk. Looks pretty advance but in fact it is very simple. I should have done it a long time ago. If i crash my hard disk, I can start the computer with the iPod and have everythings running immediatly with all the programs!
at 11 pm, Fernando went shopping for food and started a wooden fire in the garden to make an Asado (Argentinian BBQ) by 1 am we eat, it was delicious... and we went to sleep late again
Today, i went to the French consulate, to re-do my passeport, i should have it thursday or Friday!
Tomorrow is mecanic day




I slept 17 hours and feels like a hammer just hit my head. The temperature is close to 100ºF. I like it a lot. I just put a new story on my web site and I feel ready to go back to bed!
I am still pissed at myself for loosing the plastic bag with all my French papers and the temporary importation document for my sidecar in Argentina!!!




I am in Buenos Aires, the travel was pretty nice except that on my last leg we were 4 hours late and they were supposed to call Fernando from Lima to tell him not to come at the airport at 3;30 am but they did not call him and he waited for me the all night!!! I also lost my french passeport, it was in my little black bag when I left but not anymore when I arrived. I was able to enter Argentina on my USA passeport and I will have the french one replaced next week.
The sidecar started at the first try and I am preparing myself to go south




I am taking the plane tonight from New York to Buenos Aires...
4:00 am: I left Jean Louis's house at 2:00 am and took the subway train to JFK, the check-in with TACA was easy and fast. I realised that leaving at 5:30 am, I will stop at San José, Quito and Lima before landing at Buenos Aires at 3:30 am tomorrow!
As much as I am happy to go back to my sidecar, it's a weird feeling to leave New York where there is so many people that I love and care about! I lived there for 15 years before going on the road!




I made a resolution for 2007. It might not be for everyone to see, so if you dare CLICK HERE!




I never liked the happy new year thing because it is a social event with only spare sincerity! It does not mean that I don't wish a happy new year to all the people that I know (except the ass hole from HSBC who yesterday refused to open me a checking account because I was not stable enough with my travelling!!!). I don't care the festivity either, should I kiss my beloved one only at midnight that day? On top of that, I am rarely drunk, and as for over eating, I do that everyday so what is there for me? NOTHING! So for all the people that I know and that I love, I wish you a happy day and I will do the same for the next 365 days until 2008.
Jessica left yesterday to Milan (with my pack of bagels) Eve and Lucie are together with Peter, Pascal and Noah in Jersey UK, and I am in Rochester with Lorraine. It did snow very briefly a couple of times since I arrived here.




I have no more fever. I took the 7 hours amtrak train (relaxing) from Manhattan to Rochester (Niagara Falls) with Lorraine to be just on time to pick up Jessica at the airport coming from Milan, Italy for the Chistmas holiday. It's a nice feeling to be with (part of) my family. The bagels are very good and the weather superbe.




I am in New York since 2 days inspite of the beautiful weather, i get a 24 hour fluw. I stayed in bed for the last 36 hours eating vegetable soups. This moring, I went to Ceci Cela (very chic french bakery) the coffee was excellent, the almond croissant still the best of the world and the baguette with butter sublime! I guess I am doing better today!




The trip from Buenos Aires to Lima to El Salvador to New York was uneventful except the stincky feet in the airplane. Being in New York is really weird for me, I am happy to be here but only passing by!




I am going tonight to New York for a family Christmas with Lorraine and Jessica who is coming from Milan Italia where she lives with Fabio. Eve will be with Peter family in Jersey, UK and Lucie with Pascal and Noah in Paris. It is a nice feeling to go visit the city who never sleep. I checked the sidecar, the studs are good and the valves did not moved, so I am in good shape at my return to go to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego!




I am back in Buenos Aires at Fernando's house. It was a perfect ride, the weather was beautiful (it rains really only one night)




I am in Viedma Patagonia at the HorizonsUnlimited meeting. There are 12 couple travelling together (including 4 on a single motorcycle) and 12 solo bikers like me.
jI am meeting some amazing people and I enjoy every minutes of being here, it is a very positive feeling.




9:20 am: I am leaving with Fernando for patagonia to the viedma HorizonsUnlimited meeting




The screw to adjust the valves that I damanged yesterday is fixed, thank you for Fernando's ingeniosity. He works for 15 years with his dad in the garage in the past and he is pretty good!
We are leaving tomorrow to Viedma in Patagonia (600miles). We hope that Willy will be able to join us to go the HorizonsUnlimited meeting for the Tierra del Fuego affictionados!




I am still with Fernando. No more alluminium particules on the oil filter and I checked my studs and they were good, but one valve needed adjustment, but the thread on the screw to adjust it is damage!
we will see tomorrow if it can be repaired, it was not available a BMW in buenos aires. We were suppose to leave wednesday for Viedma!




Still at Fernando's house having a great time. Argentinian Tango is a myth!
Argentinian do not dance Tango, it's only in a small section of downtown Buenos Aires and maintain by the tourism! T onight I go with Shayenne to see a Tango party in a back door place... tomorrow, i will go see Roberto's family, Sunday night there is a party at Fernando's house... and so on!
I feel almost ready (for the sidecar) to go to Viedna next week.
Yesterday, i found a place for breakfast, il feels like paris... croissant, cafe au lait beurre... i just loved it and went back there this morning with Fernando.




11:30 AM: I am still at Fernando's house, working on details maintenance of my sidecar. The night life of Buenos Aires is amazing, the bars and club start really at 2 am and close at 7 or 8 am!
About the meat, I confirm that it is the best meat of the world, because it is at every corners of the street and extremely testy. They just put salt to cook it and eat it like that and it does not need anything else. The Tbone steak that you buy for $25/lb in manhattan is sold for $1 here, so we eat meat, meat and meat! and the lamb is as good!




11:30 pm: I went Friday evening to the Fernando's Asado (barbercue Argentinia) there were 8 of his friends there, I show them my travel photo and It was a great evening. I slept in his house. Saturday I went on a boat ride to Tigre where there are 100's of miles or river with secluded house and piers. Today we went with 11 motorcyclist of his friends to visit the Basilic of Lujan, then we went to eat Argentinian meet in a restaurant. I left them at 5 pm and went downtown Buenos Aires to have dinner with Vivianne (a friend top broker at Douglas in Manhattan, she was in BA for 4 days). I could have all the gossip from my 17th street office!
I am going back to sleep at Fernando's house.
I can already tell you that i love Argentinian, they have a sense of the family as well of friendship!




11:00 am: I am In Buenos Aires, I took the ferry early this morning. Custom was a charm. I Stopped at Dakarmoto, they are very busy, i will check my oil, and studs and valves when the motor will be cold. I have plenty of people that I want to see here before going to the HorizonsUnlimited meeting in Viedna (600 miles south of here) end of next week
- Chani (Roberto's brother that i met on his bicycle in Canoa Quebrada)
- Betty (Roberto's mother)
- Claudia ( best friend of Rosana - Roberto's wife)
- Vivianne (a top broker from Douglas Elliman 17th St - here for 4 days)
- Fernando (met on HorizonsUnlimited
- Karl (met on Horizonsunlimited
- Enzo (good friend of Roberto)
- Shayenne (my tango teacher who lived in my loft in NY for 1 month in 2004)

5:30 pm: The studs are good (ouf!) and there are more aluminium left over on the oil filter but only 10% of what i had last time. Tonight, I go to Fernando house that i met on HorizonsUnlimiter to a Argentinian barbecue!




11:00 am: I slept in a house in the city of Colonia Swissia. I wanted to come here to see this village (population 7000) founded by the Swiss in 1852. It was quite a desapointement to see that all the memories of the Swiss vanished. I asked almost a dozen people and nobody knows my good friend Giorgio from Geneva! I go now to Colonia Sacramento where I will take the ferry for Buenos Aires.




4:00 pm: I am in Montevideo and i ended at the mercado, it's like a big market with 30 or 40 Brasserie Style restaurant in the old City. They all grill big chunk of meat in front of you, it was delicious.




11:00 am: I just get up, I slept a lot and i loved it. I am staying one more day in that little resort, it feels like holiday!




3:00 pm: Uruguay is the Switzerland of South America and you feel it right away. even in the remote villages, you feel the European atmosphere.
What a relaxing ride on th is sunny day. I just stopped in a luxury beach restaurant and ate a big fish!
6:00 pm: I found a little resort city on the beach, i get a hotel and already ate 2 icecream. There are cafe everywhre, everything is clean, the food is good (meat, fish, cheese) and it is cheap too not to mention that people are very relax. Why are there not more tourism here, i don't know!




8:00 am: I am leaving Richard's house for Uruguay
6:00 pm: i am in the city of Chui, at the border of Uruguay, I already passed the brasilian border and will pass the Urugay border tomorrow.
I did 375 miles and the bike is running well and my motor is dry! will i keep it that way?




9:00 am: the motorcycle is running and i am putting the sidecar back on this morning
2:00 pm: It's all working, i get it clean also so any trace of oil will be new. It's pouring outside, i will go tomorrow morning to Uruguay




8:00 am: I am still debating in my mind if I should put the same insert to the 4 original studs still intact! I am on my way to the moto shop and I hope the get my motorcyle rolling today.
9:00 pm: What a long terrifying day for me. This morning, we decided to put the VW insert (10/14mm) to all the other studs so it does not have to be revisited in the futur. Drilling the case scared me a lot. We put 2 new Oring on the upper studs only on one side, the other the metal gasket i have to lower the compression stayed with the cylinder and the Oring was trapped inside. I get back the big nut for the gaz exaust, it is a piece of jewelry, perfect. By 3 pm, we start the motor to verify that the oil flow throught the upper studs to the valves. 1 out of 4 has oil @#!$%&*
I was devastated, why did we decided to change them all this morining. It's going to be a nifhtmare. But quite quickly, Paseto (the mecanic) said "the Oring were a little more fat and when compressed they must be closing the flow of oil!" I would have give him a kiss, at least there were hope that it was no big deal. And it was no big deal, we put back the original Oring and it works. I hate these kind of day when every five minutes, i think that i should have stayed in bed this morning!
I am back at Richard's house, and tomorrow morning, I put back the sidecar and i will go test riding for the day.




1:00 PM: As it turn-out, the boat ride around Porto Alegre last night was a costum party organised for a group of English teacher. They are middle (high) class and it was very interesting for me. The boat came back on the dock at 3:00 am, and i just wake up and we go for a bycilcle ride!




9:00 pm: I did 3 motorcycles places this morning before i found the right one to fix my studs. We opened it all and there are 2 studs down, left bottom rear and right bottom front. The big nut for the gaz exaust on the right side stripped the cylinder so wa are making a special hellicoil for that too. Wednesday is Brasil Republica Anniversary so all is closed, we will have this insert Wednesday morning and complete the job, Not a problem.
Tonight, we go on a boat ride around Porto Alegre.




10:00 am: I went to a village with harbor and it turn out to be perfect. I ate a big grilled fish and find a hotel with room/terrace on the Ocean for $12. I slept from 7:30 to 9:00am. This morning, everything is open, it is very charming and nice. I will go to Porto Allegre and meet Richard that I met on HorizonsUnlimitied.
7:30 pm: Right after i started this morning i noticed the noise from the valves on the right side. I stop after 20 miles, let it cool and open it, the front bottom stud is gone! I was able to get some tork out of it and i drove my 200 miles to Porto Alegre where i just arrive to Tania and Richard home. I do have an extra Hellicoil from luis in costa rica with the proper tap in my bags. I will put it on tomorrow!




2:00 pm: Last night, I stop in a little village to the Ocean and after a nice evening walking aroud, i went to lie down on the beach to see how it feels with the surrounding ( for the night). I did not like it, saturday night, people came to ask me what i was doing and so on, so i decided to go to the camping next to the beach that i spotted earlier. I lie down on my blue tarp and feel asleep. It was very windy and i was cold so I wrap-up myself in the tarp to cut the wind and feel asleep again. The rain pounding my tarp above me wake me up. time i open the sidecar to pull the other tarp (very big) to cover me up, I was soaking weit, so i put my rain gear and set it all up. Now i have a roof attached on the sidecar on one side and on the ground with my srew driver on the other side. It stop raining quickly but I was cold so i kept my rain gear so i stayed weit inside and did not dry. the wind was very strong and the top tarp was flapping with a lot of noise... well I did it all wrong! I am riding since early this morning from a fishing village to a beach resort... and it rained again on the road. I am riding south direction Porto Allegre.




2:00 pm:
What a difference a day can make!
So yesterdays after my oil spill problem and all my suppositions, I me Eduardo in his New Jersey suburb of Sao Paulo. We went to his house, he has a very nice family with 5 children, (3 of them were there, Beatriz 14, Camila 22 and Thiaio 23)) his wife Ligia was there and his mother shows up during the evening. His children amazed me the all evening for their sense of responsability and appreciation they have to their parents for what they gave them in life! Ruth his mother hesitated to come with me this morning in the sidecar to go to Oshuaia but decided not to come last minute... (;+>
Eduardo is an ingeneer in mechanic and has the same motorcycle as me, so after I explain him all the symptomes of my oil spill, he says calmly "the first thing to do is to change your oil pressure sensor, and it happens that i have one here that i am giving you!" and this morning, i change it and my oil problem is resolved... What do you think of that!!!! Thank you so much Edouardo.
I was on the road at 5:30 am this morning and i am back on the ocean in the warm weather, I just passed the Grasiosa lovely road.




Sao Paulo was great. I thought that i was in the street of new york. Yesterday, i walk from 9am to 5 pm all around the center. I get my computer fixed and last night, i had dinner with Patrick that i met through HorizonsUnlimited. He is from paris but was there in a business trip. He has the mentality of a joe bar so we get along very well. he is now riding a KTM Adventure 640 like Jean Louis and has plenty of information for him.
When leaving Sao Paulo this morning, i had a bad oil leak (i think from the rubber of the valves) but i stop as soon as the motor was hot! (unusual!) i spent time to clean it all to see where it was coming from and tonight i am 1/2 h away from Sao Paulo to visit Eduardo that i found also by HorizonsUnlimited and he gave me the contact of Rio Claro. The highway and the city where I am, I would think that i am in New Jersey. the shopping mall, McDonald, the houses! M'enfin!




I arrived yesterday at Rio Claro where MotoPoint is doing my service on the sidecar. The differential bearing were not that bad but they had 2 needles missing. The oil of the diffential is leaking in the swing arm so i have to monitor the oil level until I get it fixed. The bottom front right stud was really loose but it took the tork of 27 lb/ft, i may have to put inserts hellicoidal. I changed my front brake pad with only 6000 miles. I am leaving now to go to Sao Paulo to fix my Aplle PowerBook G4, the Airport card (WiFi) is disconected inside. I will try to meet with Patrick from France who is in a business trip and folllow me with his 2 daughters.




6:30 pm: I ride the all day, it was beautiful. I passed through Rio de Janero this morning and that is always difficult. Rio is a very big city and you don't want to be lost at the wrong place... but I did it perfectly.
I am sleeping in a nice little village on the sea right below Sao Paulo. I just ate a dozen superbe oyster. Tomorrow, I have the last 250 miles to be to the mecanic BMW who have the bearing for the differential.




10:00 am: I wake up at 5:30 and i realize when i was brushing my teeth that it was raining outside! Traditionally, it rains at the end of the night/early morning and it cleared by 10/11 am. I went back to bed immediatly thinking that Rio will wait. I am fixing a couple of bug on my web site and will ride to the outside of Rio today and i will enter it tomorrow morning.




It rained the all morning, I was misearable, I did not remember what to expect... there were such a long time I did not have rain purring on me!
I am 300miles from Rio, i spend the afternoon in a medium size city on the sea and i took an hotel there to do my web site... Tomorrow is Rio de Janero.
I put a new front tire that I was carrying under the sidecar and I saw that the front brake pad that I put in Maracaibo are 90% gone! only 5000 miles! It is true that I brake pretty hard, but it still surprise me, it's a 3 cyclinder brake pad.




Riding in Brazil is only pleasure, I love every minutes of it! i keep doing my 400/450 miles/day going south along the coast. I am now at 500 miles from Rio de Janero. (for the french speaking people look at the dernieres nouvelles aujourd'hui for a little story about Giorgio!)




12:00 pm: I am doing a lot of miles and it's amazingly good. I stay on the coast on little roads, i see the sea most of the time, I get lost quite often and the last 2 days, i took 5 ferry... only one was on the map! Last night was the worst ever... I took off from a big ferry at 7:30 pm 100km north of where i wanted to go. Riding at night is extremely dangerous, for the people on the side of the road that you don't see, the lights of the oncoming traffic, the potholes and they all want me to go faster so they pass me in curves and top of the hill ect... so I pick up the first "pousada" (B&B) i saw on the road... took a shower and went to bed at 9:00pm. the woman told me to use the mosquito net above the bed.. of course, I did not. 2 hours later, I had to put it down, but there were many inside the net beside me! all my skin was very sensitive from the driving in hot weather during the day (<100ºF) and I started scratchimg myself like a mad man! then I found out that there were no more electricity in the room so no more fan... I was very hot and at 2 am i get up to to take a shower to appease my skin... there were no water! I then decided to go sleep outside in the garden next to the sidecar, but the door of the house was locked! @$&*(%! It was a long night and at 5 am, I was up on the road feeling good to leave that place. (the ligth start coming at 4:30am and it's dark by 6 pm where i am)
after 50 miles of beautiful early driving, i stopped for breakfast, then change my oil and switch the rear tire of the motorcycle to the sidecar wheel tire... I did 6200 miles since Panama and this is a pretty good performance. The needle bearing between the differential and the swing arm did not move for the last 1500 miles.. I keep an eye on it but mostly, i drive extra smooth...
I go back on the road after this internet stop...
I had a good news, my texas bank reemboursed me the $7700 withdraw by mistake in Venezuela... 9 days since my first call to them! they are pretty good!




Since monday morning, that i am riding, i did a lot of miles (800) but did not go too far! I took a lot of little road and when i look on the map, I am not that far from my departure point, but it is true that Brazil is a big country. I slep in a gaz station mini hotel room last night and tonight I wll pick a spot outside after i leave this internet cafe. It is 6:30pm and dark outside... I enjoy the ride a lot on my littles roads! I have a bearing problem between the differential and the swing arm, it's a needle bearing that I changed in Maracaibo but one nut get loose and it is damaged... There is a guy that i talk to in Rio Claro close to Sao Paulo who has them available...




This is it. it is 9:30 local time, i packed my sidecar, left my paradise, had breakfast with a nice couple from Argentina who travel on bicycle for a year. they are going north to Mexico so we exchange contacts on our ways...
I am back on the road!




Yesterday, just after I posted my daily brief's, I realized that we were Saturday and not Friday! These vacations are working really good on me!




Friday is fish day! so I should keep enjoying it, and to do so, I found a guy selling oyster on the beach. A dozen for $2, he opens them in front of you... (how many dozen do you think I ate!).
The main difference is that here i am only enjoying myself... but at costa rica I was fixing my sidecar, at panama, i was looking for a boat, at maracaibo, i was waiting for the custom. here only pleasurable time, no agenda, just relaxing... it feels like vacation for me!




Is that really necessary that I told you?




After the shrimps on the beach, i discovered the massage on the beach!

On top of that, i straight up my finances since january 1, 2006 and I am right on my budget. so I decided to stay one more day in my paradise!




I was checking my bank this morning and I found out that this month, there are 48 ATM transactions in error (as they say) for a total of $7700.
I spend the all day filling up form and getting it straight with my receipts and so on. It will take 2 to 3 weeks before I get my money back. So I will stay again tomorrow to enjoy the beach and the shrimps that I missed today!




I decided to stay here for a couple of more days, i am just relaxing, i feel the luxury of having my stuff in my bedroom and knowing where i go to sleep after dinner... i don't really meet people here because they are here in vacations and we don't have the same agenda! but it's very nice, for me to stop like that!




I made it to the beach... but the return was not easy! I had to try 5 times and been help by 3 guys to get back to the road!




I try to go to the beach with my sidecar but i was sanded very quickly before I get to it! I tried in an other village 5 miles from here, I could go down to the beach but the return is not obvious and being alone, i did not took a chance. I finally find an access north of here at a couple of miles, but it was too late for today with the tide coming back up! I will do it tomorrow morning early. From here we can go like 50 miles south on low tide... beside that, i swim in the ocean 4/5 times a day, i eat shrimps garlic with lemonade on the beach, and walk at dusk on the beach for a couple of hours... it's vacation time!




This is exactly what I was looking for, I have a circular room directly on the ocean ($15/day)... I might stay there for a couple of days... or more!




I slept on the beach and watch the fisherman going out at 5 am... i loved it!




I arrived in Fortaleza where the beaches are like on the postcards.
This morning, i drove in the mountain in a village out of the road and it was like a provencal village... just amazing!
Fortaleza is a big town of 1.8 Million people, so i am leaving it as soon as possible to the south coast. The sidecar runs perfect, it's a real pleasure.
|The oil I had on the ground in Belem must have been from the verticale position in the boat... now i just haver the normal oil traces....
PS: I just looked at the races reports. Sebastien Loeb (WRC) broke his arm in VTT and did not race last weekend in Turkey. He has 4 more race until 1st week of december to finish one time 4th and be the worid champion this year, I am not worry about him. Valentino Rossi (moto GP) lead by 11 points for the first time this year after Hayden was through away by his partner... I am not worry about Valentino, he looks very strong for an other #1 this year.
But for Michael Schumaker, it's not going to be easy. he has to win the brasil GP this weekend and that's ok he has a fair chance but Alonso must not finish in the first 8 drivers and that's a problem!
Sebastien, Valentino and Michael are 3 pilots way above anyone in their field!




When leaving Belem to go south by th coast, I have to go inland up to Fortaleza before i get to the ocean in the Brazilian paradise with it's beaches... Its about 1000 miles but i wanted to go out to the main road and Iadded 300 miles includind 200 miles of road that was in such bad condition that I did at an average speed of 20mph... there were nothing difficult, but with all the potholes, it's hard on the motorcycle and hard on the men. i will reach the ocean tomorrow morning, I am only at 150 miles away...




I stayed in Belem in my hotel with internet in the bedroom. I was able to download all my high res photo since costa rica to my server about 2Gb.
I will hit the road tomorrow morning. Since yesterday, i have an oil spot on the ground everytime i stop, i will have to look at that tomorrow morning.




Belem is a huge provincial town of 3 millions people. It is very nice, the center and the market are really interesting. I just put online the Amazone stories, and I am downloading all my photos since Costa Rica on my server. I will stay here at least one or two more days.




I arrived in Bélem. This is on the Atlantic, the captain of the CIsne Branco finally accepted to take me on board. I love Amazonia, I will came back a day with a small backpack and go by boat from Lima Peru to Bélem, Brazil. I will stop in lost villages in the jungle and stay with some family as it goes!
Today, from Belem, I intend to go south along the Atlantic coast to Argentina




9:00 am: I went early to the harbor this morning and found a the Deux Provera going to Porto Velho. The capitain was happy to see me coming and I decided to go with him. The next boat to Belem is in 3 days and I may have the same problem as yesterday. I hope this one works, we are leaving at 6 pm tonight. This is the end of the dry season here, the temperature is 40C everyday and the water level of the Amazone is very low and boats are sanded once in a while...




Yesterday afternoon, I bought an other Guide of South America from Lonely Planet (the same)
4:30 pm: Bad news, the captain of the Cisne Branco wanted $300 for the motorcycle only plus $80 for me in hamac but his boat is leaving Friday pm. I went to an other harbor to have better prices. They will take only the motorcycle as a cargo and no passenger for $200. The security of the sidecar when arriving in Belem is pretty bad. So I went back to the Cisne Branco to negotiate with the Captain. As I arrive to him, he says I cannot take your sidecar, it's too big! he has too much merchandise to take with him and does not want to be bother with my sidecar. I did all the other boats of the harbor and there are no more going to belem right now! i don't like it at all. I don't want to stay in Manaus for an undetermine time!








6:00 pm: I left Boa VIsta this morning at 7 and i just stop at Presidente Figueroa. I am at 80 miles from Manaus. What a ride! The jungle road to Manaus is demistified. It's just a road, with gas station every 100 miles, a lot of farm all along, some villages and an indian reserve... for 80 miles, you only see jungle, no more farms. I was crossing 3 or 4 cars or trucks per hour. I stop several time to listen the animals in the jungle, but there were none! I just saw a few lezard crossing the road and a family of small monkey. I did cross the equator line and tomorrow I go to Manaus!




I pass the border with no problem. I am in Boa VIsta 150 south in Brazil.
I have a hard time to connect on the internet with my computer but I think that i get it. I will try to post my web update and you will have all the details of how i pass the baricades of the protest in Santa Elena.
Manaus is 500 miles south of here.




Today is my 60 birthday. I watch Shumaker win the GP of china and I worked on my web site just relaxing. Everything is closed. no internet! I will leave monday morning for Brazil




10:00 am: I wake up at 1 am last night to watch the qualification of the Grand Prix of F1 at Shanghai... but if it was raining there, it was snowing on my very little TV screen... i could not read the number on the screen and did not understand too much except that Alonso is doing very well with Fishicella and Ferrari is way down... tonight, I will watch the race it is from 2 to 4 am...
I have been riding south since 7:00 am, there are a lot of farming along the road... and the villages are very nice, some more run down than others but everywhere people are still very nice.... I am about 150 miles from Santa Elena the Brasilain border that i will probably pass on monday.




3:30 pm: I left my luxury hotel early this morning and alternate electrical maintenance and driving. I resolved my fool light relay/switch probleme and lmy rear right blinker (the big orange truck light) the wire was broken at the edge of the plastic thing but i found a new one with it's own wire... unfortunatly i did not find the problem for my emergency light... (all blinkers goes together) I will write to Joel in new jersey and see what he says..
I reach Cuidad Guyana and started to ride South. I am now on the axel Caracas/Manaus Brazil. It's a 2 lanes road brand new so far (I did 80 miles there). But the people on the side of the road are used to see cars just going by and the approach is not the same as on my little road East West.... the relationship is more commercial here.
I am 260 miles from the Brasilian border! I love it!!




12:00 pm I just arrvived at el Tigre.. I will ride a few hours more to go to la Cuidad Bolivar. The sky was cloudy most of the morning, and the temperature was perfect, not too hot and not too cold!
- 6:30 pm: I arrived at Cuidad Bolivar at 2:30 pm. The town is a little run down. It's along a big river and is engaging but when you look at it, everyting is cheap, the food, the stores, the peoples! and it's dirty also. I am in a luxury hotel ($35) a little before the center. The other hotel in the center did not have parking for the sidecar. After 3 months of fooling around, my back is a little soft and need some practice to get back in shape.




I was up with the sun having a coffee on the main plazza with the city waking up... then i ride for 5 hours to an other nice little town "Valle de Pascua". People are extremely nice all along the road. I will stay there for the day... resting walking around.. discovering. It feel like vacatioin! Yesterday I dismounted my sidecar brake and cleaned it again... it's better but not as well as before!
- 7 pm: I relax in my bedroom this aftrnoon doing my English Web update...
Valle Pascua is very different from other city I saw... it's clean and look almost rich and the climat is better (not as hot)




- 8:30 I went to the chinese fish market this morning... saw a line at the bank of 100 people 30 minutes before it opens and had breakfast at the terrasse of "La Damme de Paris". I go on the road.
2 pm: i stop for the day at San Carlos. It's a small town away from the main road. The Maracaibo > Caracas axel is the main road of Venezuela so this morning I went to the south to avoid it. The country is very green and i liked this little village, so I stop for the day... doing laundry and may be fixing the brake caliper of the sidecar wheel




- 6 am: There is a tropical storm breaking right now... I put the tarp on the sidecar and hurry up to go back to bed!
- 10:30 am: I'm gone
- 6 pm: I drove 200 miles of pure pleasure... i had a very bad storm during 10 miles very scary, it's so violent... i am in a big city named Barquicimeto... it's nice to walk en el centro... and see all these people. This is the most important for me, the venezuelien people are extremely nice... and where i go, there are no tourist so they really come to me when i stop... and clearly the people have a better life since Chuavez is here, it's almost unanimous!
I feel really great...



I left at 8 am and was extatic to have an open road in front of me. The first time it happens since 3 months. Suddently, I felt the tchong tchong on my rear wheel. I always react poorly thinking that I am stack an other time and I feel uncompetent! But when I open my tool box, I start rebuilding my selfconfidence and deal with my problem!
It took me 60 miles and 3 try to realize that the same roller we tight with jose yesterday is a fault. Now that I thight it 3 times more, the bolt is deeper inside the nut to hold it! obviously I am just going throught the roller! I turn back to Maracaibo where i am waiting for jose who is not at home. Needless to say that I secured my cheap hotel for tonight.
Jose arrived at 4 pm, we dismounted the differential and saw that the roller conic were cooked. I had a pair with me that Matt from Munich Garage, Long Beach, Los Angeles made me buy with a bunch of little other parts that he said "you might need it one day!"
By 6 pm, i was rolling... I am ready for tomorrow morning!!!


- 8 am while living the hotel the guy says that i did not pay for last night! I did but did not pay attention to who. To get out I had to pay an other time... I will see the owner at 10 am and hit the road... I am all packed, having a coffee at subway.
- 1 pm, I have a problem between the differential and the swing arm. I remember looking at the roller, they were good to me... but may be not! I came back at Maracaibo. Jose is not home. I am waiting for him and i already secure my bedroom at the same hotel, the owner was there and gave me back my $20 that i paid twice for last night.
- 4:30 pm. it's fixed! first i put the brake drum spring on the wrong side so it was touching the wheel slightly and second the roller are conic (in an angle) so I needed to srew it more so there is no gap ...
Tomorrow, i hit the road!


It's 10 am, I set up all my stuff in the sidecar, through away more things that I never use. I resolved a few loose hand like the electric starter problem that was caused by the the battery switch!!! who can you believe? I go see Jose for an oil problem that I don't understand and depending on him... I may be able to hit the road today!
8 pm: all is fixed on the bike, i spend the day fixing my oil probleme (we reversed the paper/metal gasket at the oil filter), i bought a new battery switch (it failure was causing the starter to be weak) and i rebuilt all my brake pads (as reserve). I will leave tomorrow morning in direction of Manaus in Amazonia. I feel great!


Il est 4 h, i just finished with Jose, the sidecar is rolling . I still have to pack all my gears... it will takes sometimes... i think that i still have a battery or power problem to start it... i will go back tomorrow am to see jose on my way out to check it out! I had to change my brake pads on the front and sidecar wheel, after only 4000 miles!!! i don't know why!


Que c'est agreable de travailler lentement avec le seul soucis de le faire parfaitement! I love working on my bike with Jose, he is quite low key, but like to do things good. So we get along well. I do a lot of the work but he is watching me and I ask him a lot. A perfect match. The bike is finished and run perfect so far but I did not put the sidecar back on. That's for tomorrow morning. My cold is gone and I feel great!
It's 5 pm, I go print my International Certificat of Vaccination that I finished desining last night. I realise that I may need one for Brazil!


At 12 pm, the magic tool was delivered. We opened the gearbox, as expected, one of the spring was broken. I am looking to finish the bike today, put back the sidecar wednesday am return at the hotel, reset all my gears and hit the road thursday am... it's a good feeling!
it's 7pm, the gearbox is mounted in the bike and i am on schedule.


En fait, avec l'air conditionne, j'ai un mal de george depuis 4 ou 5 jours.Yesterday i found a paquet of Fervex (french theraflue) it was a little hard to disolve in water but i took it. My stomac is really unhappy and has been bothering me all night. I went to see jose by 10 am and started making myself an International carnet of Vaccination. I photographed it from luna and just replace my name and so on. They ask for it here in Venezuela but with the mess in the boat when we arrived, i went through....
At 3 pm Jose accepted to call BMW to ask for the carrier and airbill number. He then learned that the tool was send this morning and not saturday... there is nothing i can do or say... just be patient and relax.. it is very hot and uncomfortable outside... i go print my carnet of vaccination and will return tuesday am see jose...
En fait je marche beaucoup en ville. Les gens sont souriant et ne demandent pas mieux qu'a aider. Par erreur j'avais donne 2000 + 20.000 au lieu de 2000 + 2000 a un chauffeur de taxi, il m'a rattrape pour me rendre l'argent donne par erreur.

I was able to switch to the cheaper hotel, it feels good. I went to Jose's house get my pills, we put back the drive shaft and check the studs from Luis in Costa Rica. They are perfect, and the valves were good too. Just a slight adjustment on the right side.
At 1 pm, I went to Tony's Roma and offer myself the Original Babby Back Ribbs!!! what a treat. I was humain and happy!

Today i decided to change hotel so nobody could find me from the agency.
So i left my hotel at 9 am... and start walking, dropped my laundry (1 short & 2 Tshirts) had a breakfast with egss (did not happens from a long time) and start walking. by 11:30 i found one for $15 unstead of $25 where i am so i told the lady who was not very hospitaliere that i will return in a couple of hours with my bags...
I took a taxi to go back to my hotel because by now almost 12 pm it is very hot and uncomfortable outside... i pick up my staff at the hotel (in fact shampoo and tooth brush) and then waited a little for my laundry. went to the Subway wifi store fool a little and took a cab back to the hotel... to be told it's full!!!! fucking dam stupid i am! she indicated me an other one... so from 2 to 4 the worst time of the day to walk the streets... i went from one hotel to an other (they are quite far one from the other) and all were full at the end one hotel told me if you go that way, you will find the Carilago hotel (the hotel that i left this morning!!!) he called they stil had a room... the walk back there was hard at the sun, i drink a lot of liquid all that time but i drink too much the feeling of being alone with no hotel possible with my computer on my shoulder and my plastic bag with my laundry , toothbrush and shamphoo... was not nice at all. i felt so out of place in a non friendly place, physically in bad shape by suetting a lot... i feared to be homeless! finally back to my hotel to my room, shower, and lye down.. my stomac was bad for hours.. i napped with out sleeping and went to internet and now i am back to the subway where i eat my favorite combo one foot seafood with coke and cookie... I tryed to call lucie and lorraine on skype but it did not kick on and sunday morning all the internet places are closed...
tomorrow morning, i will go to the cheaper hotel by 10 am and hope to get a room.. there


I am in Maracaibo waiting for Jose to receive the BMW tool to open my gearbox. When I arrive in his shop (witch is his house with 4 kids at the same time) he told me that he lean the tool to the BMW Bavaria of Caracas but the send it to him and he should have it by the end of the day. I started right away to dismount the sidecar and the subframe of the motorcycle. Then with Jose, I removed the old gearbox and now we are waiting. Next day, BMW Caracas told him that they did not locate the tool!. Finally friday night, the tool was found and supposed to be air mailed to jose to be received monday.
I used this time to work in detail on the bike and sidecar with WD40. I found also that the front brake pad that I changed in Costa Rica are already dead... may be 3000 miles only! it does not make sense. I have an other set of 3 pairs. It's the Harrisson Billet brake with 6 cylinders.
I am relaxing this weekend until monday morning when I will return to Jose. We will check the studs from Luis in Costa Rica and adjust the valves also.

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