Monday, 27 May 2013

Quetzalnetango Fin De Semama

Xela to Antigua, The Weekend No Four

Sabado (Saturday)....a cruzy start and pack up Maya for a trip to Antigua.

Juan took us out of town to make sure we didn’t nic anything on the way out, we rode together until his turning point that waved goodbyes from there.

Stopping along the way we took in the sights, this was one stop on a tall bridge, looking straight down at the river.

We continued on our merry way and turned off to the road that Julio (Guaterider) had recommended, it started off loaded with potholes and washouts, the road then improved very quickly into world class motogp circuit roading then just as quick dropped off onto shingle with rolly rocks.

Road race quality road

Then straight onto rocky stuff

We continued along the road through a few villages getting up to great heights within fog, it was a beautiful road and so much better than the main road fitting chicken buses and trucks for space.

A few wee interesting features carved into the lime walls

Banos (toilet) stop and drink of water at the top

We eventually made our way down a small rutted shingle road/track toward Antigua making good time, so good we arrived nearly two hours earlier in fact.

We waited for Julio and Luisa to arrive back from Guatemala City and we had made plans to meet outside the cathedral ..... well with celebrations on we could not get near it so plan B was hatched.

Maya was creating a bit of interest with some locals

After some toing and froing (and Julio having a comfort stop) we all met up and followed Julio and Luisa back to Guatecasa where Maya was allowed to sleep under cover with a BMW R1200GSA.

Julio is a cook and a half so treated us to some home cooking, this was very very nice indeed.

The is Julios "I hate frijoles" (black beans) look 

The following morning Julio and I went for a local hoon taking in views around Antigua before meeting the girls for breakfast. (no frijoles )

The two other girls playing well together.

On returning from breakfast we stripped down Maya and started replacing all the bits and pieces that had failed, Julio had kindly taken delivery of a large box of stuff for us which was simply outstanding and a huge help.

On completion of the repairs we had another Julio home-cooked tea, this time we were armed with two bottles of Chilean red wine we bought earlier in the day to complement the chefs cooking. 


Larfs and chats were had .... good times.

Next morning Julio took us to the Macadamia farm for breakfast for panqueque (pancakes), this was also outstanding and extremely nice.

The macadamia desheller

Macadamias in shell

The result 

Ellen and I then spent the afternoon in town getting stuff sorted and enjoyed a superb Antiguan sunny day with the Volcano not only peeking from behind the cloud but preforming a full frontal !!!!

Next day was organised with Richard Chang picking us up from Julios and leading us astray to Guatemala City, I really wanted to see the Guatemalan sinkhole but they had filled it in.

With our final night we yet again had red wine, chats and Julios famous home cooking, A very nice way to finish.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Xela week four

There was lots happening in our last week in Xela.

First was my birthday on the 7th May, we went out for tea with Juan and you all saw the pictures.

Second was the “Mother’s day.” Although it is 10th May, people celebrate all week long here. On my birthday morning I went to the gym, they are giving out roses to the mothers, they didn’t give it to me because I’m not a mother, but it was my birthday too. Never mind, I won’t compete with mothers on their day.

My teacher Dayma has two young children at school and they have school performance for the mothers. To attend the celebration, she has to change my morning class to the afternoon. It allowed Andi and I have free time together so we decided to go to Laguna Chicabel for a quick visit.

Laguna Chicabel is a crater lake which is about 20ks from Xela. We locked it into our GPS as close as we could and off we went on a beautiful Thursday Morning. We turned off the main road as the GPS pointed but we couldn’t find the sign as Juan told us to follow.

We stopped and asked three local woman, they pointed a road ahead to us and said it for “carminar” means walk, we asked if we can take our “moto” up, they smiled, laughed and then said “si”. So we went.

It was REALLY soft from the previous nights heavy rains 

Andi wouldn’t want the hill any more steeper or longer as we were two up and I had to hop off the bike, not that I don’t trust him, I just don’t feel being on the bike was helping. Lucky we only stuck once near the top of the hill, and it took us both to push Maya out off the ditch. 

I tired backing off to stop digging but the Mayan earth mover dug very quickly and within half a second was on her belly 

We carried on that road not very long and it took us back to the main road into the park.That was a little adventure detour for this trip.

The first week of May is very significant for the local Mayans. They all went to Laguna Chicabel to have their ceremony before the winter. When we got there, there were people everywhere, they were letting off fire crackers, having BBQs, drinking and putting flowers and crosses in the water. It wasn’t as quiet as we thought, but we were very pleased to see all the ceremonies.


On the way back we tried to find the “Mirador” - the look out, we had to walk around the hill and finally found it. The view from the top was very nice, definitely worth the mucking around. It turned out if we came back from the lake took the steps it would lead us there straight there. 

On the way up there was some mountain bikers making the most of it 


We could not have had a better day so someone above was on our side

Back at the normally quiet carpark it was like a toyota hilux convention

Then is the real celebration for Mothers day. The church started 3am in the morning, we heard the music, the singing then the fireworks.... BOOM and they went up, then it woke up the dogs, the chickens and everything else that was breathing including us.

I’m sure real mothers would like to get on with their sleep-ins but not in Guatemala. Anyway, the celebration carried on the whole day. We should really get into selling fire works business here, Guatemalans seems to love to blow up shit all the time... and they are BIG bangs .

It’s also our last day in Xela, we had our last tea in Utatlan. They bought a cake for me and another student who has his birthday on Saturday, so I have a birthday cake in Xela. That was very nice. Thank you Utatlan, you make our time in Xela very memorable, we had six students in our home that day, time to leave.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Our Trip is On Hold Again

Good afteernoon all

Sorry for not much happening on here of recent.

In the next few days things will be updated, I will (we) will have plenty of time as I binned Maya two days ago, I have two broken ribs and unable to ride for at least 4 weeks up to 6 weeks.

Ellen is OK, the bike is ok so we just have to get me fixed up.

Anyway, luv to all and we will update stuff soon.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

One Year On The Road - And The Heart Speaks.

Friday May 3rd 2013, one year ago we left home amidst excitement and tears, a very special thank you to our great mates Richard and Margaret in Wanaka for kicking us outa the country. 

First the recognition needed to those who have made our trip possible .... that is YOU our readers, supporters and sponsors!

Our Sponsors helped get Two Moto Kiwis off the ground proving Kiwis can fly thus deserve a good mention as they play a huge part in our everyday life, 
Klim Adventure Riding gear 
Scala Rider communications 
Arai Helmets
Kevin and Keiko from Te Anau NZ for making our logo
Bro Paul from Delis Tools
Alaska Leather
Sargent Seats
Mike and Mei from Linguis International and Stay at NZ Immigration Service
Screens For Bikes Australia
Sidewinder chains and sprockets.
Sara and Roger from New Zealand. 

These guys have given us tremendous support and enabled our trip to be better by providing outstanding gear and equipment so please if you are considering buying products give them the support they gave us and many other RTW (and normal) bikers. 

The people, gezz hundreds, if your name is not on here it is because my head forgot so nothing personal (at least don’t look into it too deep 8-) 

Barb and Victor Smart, owners of Alaska Leather gave us access to their (heated floor) home workshop to assemble the bikes and start our trip.

All you mad Alaskans that made us feel so welcome.

Canadians .... well.
Grif and Lisa,.Micheal and Jing you guys rock
Pierre, unreal dude.
Mel in Fort St James
Richard in Dunster
David Barrett unwittingly climbed in to help without hesitation when Chiwi blew her seal.
David & Kandi for Vancouver Island, took us out and led us astray ... WOH HOH. 

Americans .... hmmmm
Shann Florer long time mate in Fresno, had my 46th birthday with him which was great
Doug Holck from Lodi (Holckster on ADV)
Edward Wilkinson (Questor on ADV) you have my drinking problem.
Bevan and Clare Walsh ex ozzies from Phoenix AZ, helped pick up the pieces, gave us support and a place to gather and recoup after Ellens crash and a sale for the two bikes. 
Spencer from Phoenix in AZ, took the time to help us sort Maya after being ripped off by Alfred Lamarre the previous owner.
The rest of the AZ contingent who also helped us out and Dillon from Zen Motorcycle who got Maya back in shape.
Craig and Sharon (although Ozzies ) who we met under a wet tree, good buggas and currently RTWing too.

Norbert, life saver supreme, mate your blood is worth bottling.
Our non petrolhead Canadian family that supported us after Ellens big biff.
Spencer Harris ... great info and had us stay for a few days in La Manzanillo.
Gary and Ivonne Dymond in Mexico city and their daughter Leslie in Playa Del Carmen, the model family and very welcoming, we look forward to having you guys in New Zealand.

Julio otherwise known as Guaterider taking delivery of parts for us after Maya did more poos in her pants, hopefully these new nappies will stop more 8-) 
Taz from Motomundo saving a front tire for us and giving us workshop space 

Finally, everyone from ADV rider, Kiwibiker, The Hubb who have all contributed to our trip with advice, support, giving us shit, giving us props and even being nice. 

Also a special thanks to ADV Grifter a for being a dick on our Ride Report and Alfred Lamare for ripping us off blind plus Lawnman who happens to be ADV Grifter and a couple of other lowlifes who tried to bring us down, all you guys have made us much stronger in life and we realize that your pathetic attempts to bring us down are feeble , just because you are miserable you don’t have to try and make ours that low, the great thing is we have learnt from this to step up and carry on ... you lose.

The Heart Speaks One Year Anniversary

This year has undoubtedly been the hardest year yet the best year of my life (from what I can remember) 

Fulfilling a dream of travel by motorcycle has bought freedom, tears, extreme anger, extreme love, outstanding friendships new and old, total devastation and unreal accomplishments.

To say it has all been fun would be a complete lie, some RTWers seem to want to paint perfect pictures so as the readers don’t feel bad but envious. 

Being Kiwi our heritage is tell it how it is, no sugar coatings just reality, this has its good and bads and to be fair across the board our trip thus far comes us with a huge tick.

The People and Places

Starting in Alaska was seriously cool as Alaskans are just like Kiwis but on the top side, we were welcomed in and helped tremendously with the likes of Bezzer cutting our side stand and welding a decent footprint on them.
Charlie in Homer took delivery of us in Homer and took us around, the place is simply stunning and you Charlie are great company.

Dicon and Leslie also helped us out and Gary and Debs were great company and continue to be (noting new friendships). 

Memories of our first ride out

Coming down through Canada from Inuvik down .... gezzz, we must have been the luckiest travelers alive with mostly great weather and surviving a coupla bears outside our tent Lake Kitwanga.

The Columbia Icefields ...... u n r e a l, we believe that coming from New Zealand and specifically Wanaka we are qualified in what is beautiful thus when we say it is stunning it comes from heartfelt views, grandeur and beauty that can only be had from being there and photos don’t really cut it, many locations have bought a tear of appreciation to my eyes realizing how lucky we are.

Then the USA, again some of the most stunning scenery and beauty, we have not seen enough of the mid and east so we will be back to torment you lot on that side.

We were wowed many times and to be honest it is hard to pick one place that we would say that is it!! 

One of my favs

Mexico, is it safe?, the straight answer is NO as you will love it and NOT want to leave thus causing concern and grave fears from anyone who has not been there, unfortunately a lot of US Americans will never experience Mexico due to their govt machine and homeland security handbrake leading them astray.

Cuba, cool place but that box is ticked, we enjoyed it having spent 3 weeks looking around and taking it in, there are aspects that smack you in the head as insane tho, these being two currencies - one for the whiteyfoos and one at 1/24th of the cost to locals, also the Revolucion ..... next time they have a "great idea" the people should become better off, this coupled with the US embargo leaves Cuba in a huge whole to which they will never recover, these two combined see the locals line up daily for bread, banks and basics while the wealthy few run (ruin) the country so a crime in my eyes. 

Bonus, we did buy a painting that did make it home so we do have a wee slice of Cuba

Belize, the people there were really cool, a huge influence of african american black people, some of the most beautiful woman I have seen (apart from Ellen ), we were told the place was mighty expensive, this is quite the opposite and not much more if any than other CA countries give or take one or two exceptions.

We will go back there for a better look down the track. 

Guatemala .... bloody awful, couldn’t see myself living here for more than 50 years.

What a cool place (except havin ta go ta skool agin), to be fair the place has incredible scenery and diverse areas from chilly mountain tops to extreme hot and humid beaches.

The Motorcycles

Ok, we didn’t really have an ideal run with Chiwi and Hobbit with engine casing replacements etc so losing 6 weeks out of 6 months was a huge pissoff as we missed Colorado etc because of this, Suzuki said the would compensate us but we have seen nothing from them and to be honest I don’t think we will, shame on you for bad production and promising to make good then not coming forth.

Maya, the story of my life, trusting a “stand up” guy on ADV rider, maybe we should have gone to look at it but it is all money and again we were completely misrepresented from the pictures we (and everyone on ADV Rider) were shown.

The PO has been permabanned from ADV but we are still out of pocket big time to the tune of an extra $2500 USD to fix all the fuck ups, we will never see anything from the lying arsehole but we will go back to the US and will visit him, the game will be evened out make no mistake.

We have a pile of parts to put on when we get to Antigua and we are hopeful this is the last of the major fails.

Andi & Ellen 

The interesting part, Ellen starting with little “technical” riding experience made very hard work for me, her riding is smooth and good but her U turns etc tormented me on a daily basis.

As you know this came to a head on the Denali highway with serious words being said, serious enough to have everlasting consequences.

We continued our trip and made the best of it, in Moab Ellen wanted to do the white rim trail as a learning platform and I was dead against it but we did it and she had her big off.

Fast forward to Mexico and her final unexplained off on a straight road was the finish as I said I was not prepared to ride any further having to ride my mirrors all day.

On the way back to the USA stress levels exceeded safe levels and we had an epic scrap and I wanted to go my own way.

Things were going very wrong, Ellen was injured, her bike was damaged, the tow truck drivers tried stealing from us, the bank gave us the run around with Mayas payment and it was all too much, my reaction was “fuck it” and walk away.

With Ellen going to her sisters in Montreal it gave us time apart which was essential.

We held it together, got Maya fixed and fixed Ellens bike and sold the two of them and continued two up, this has its own set of quirks too as I had NOT planned to ride two up whatsoever.

Good advice I will give to anyone contemplating riding around the world with your partner, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, alien or whatever is make sure you have you own time and plenty of it as you will be together 24/7.

Also make sure your riding partner is within a bulls roar of your own ability as this caused grief even in traffic let alone back country roads or off road.

Although I would prefer to be riding one up I would prefer more that Ellen is alive and well, that is not to say we won't get injured or even killed two up but with my riding experience I would like to think that will pay dividends for our safety.


You have to be overly and very accepting of different cultures and ways or you will fail so when in Mexico drive like a Mexican, don’t get pissed off!!! ... join in.

When an oil pipe blows off as you enter a town think how lucky you were that it shat itself there and not in the middle of nowhere, there is ALWAYS an upside.

When it is raining extremely heavily and you are freezing your balls off think what it would be like at work on a bad day ... rain isn’t that bad ... see how fast you can corner without binning it .

Go play in the rain to fend it off 

When you drop your bike cos you are so tired, dehydrated and stuffed and you look straight down a 10 metre drop less that 300 mm away and the dirt is crumbling away under your feet think how lucky you were not to go down the drop.

Little things mean a lot on the road and simple seems to go out of the equation some times. 

Logistically you have to be a better manager, we pretty much wing it each day but my engineering head is thinking tires, chains, sprockets, oil changes not to mention “what happens if Maya shits herself right here” 

Some days quite simply you will have to be superman and wonderwoman and other days you just say hell yeah with a grin so wide you could not measure it with a speedo!!!

With triumphs of having Ellens writing published in China this has been a huge thing for us knowing that others are living vicariously through us, hopefully others will find inspiration in this too 


So one year on the road, stresses greater than work at times, 40 deg plus days, -2 snowing days, rain and sun, arseholes cutting you off, great food from side of the road vendors, listening to bears outside your tent, side of the road repairs, barking dogs everywhere 24/7, meeting new people, going new places, mosquitos, beautiful beaches, mountain vistas not to mention riding ... my passion in life ..... I would not swap it for the world.

We are still in love hardships and all, we have been tested to within an inch of insanity or maybe 1/4 inch at times, just stand up to it and say "fuck it" this IS all about us and we WILL make it happen.... which we are doing and looking forward to carrying on doing .... besides you guys need our reports on your desk as promised 

Luv to all

Andi & Ellen
Two Moto kiwis