Sunday, 15 November 2015

6 Months Home Today

So greetings all, today November 16th 2015 means we have been home 6 months today from some of the coolest and hardest times of our lives, introducing ourselves back to the human species has been interesting, rewarding, challenging, fun, sad and awesome.

The loss of big Kev while not unexpected knowing he was ill was a huge punch in the head and still remains hard to take.

We personally are great, Ellens work is coming together as is mine, one busy week, one not so busy so no stress and all good, our house took a beating from our tenants who thought rent meant wreck, fuckin oxygen thieves but in the big scheme of things it is nothing.

Maya is home and being the graceful old retired granny in the corner watching the young punk M go out and play, M is the new 690 M is short for Maya Mini Me, 138 kg of entertainment and neat to ride.

[​IMG]IMG_9218 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

In progress of life we sold our house and plan to build another, will have our feet on the ground here for another 3 years with only shorter trips away then we will hit it again ... that my friends can't come quick enough...but I suspect it will.

I have been over the reigns for our Wanaka Motorcycle Club doing the club captain thing and helping with the lads running trips and monthly gatherings at pubs etc so back into life full on, anything less means wasting time and ending up watching bullshit on TV. 

Other than that life is as normal as life is within in the TMK household and life is good, best to all you guys and your families, make the most of what you have available and most of all wear that fuckin moto grin wide with pride!! 

To finish off, "You Can't 'Google' Experience" ... grab those bars and go offline!!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Big Kev 1956 - 2015

Big Kev 1956 - 2015

As life progresses the bad things come with the good things.

I wish just to write about Big Kev, a great member of our Wanaka Motorcycle Club, good bastid through and through.

Big Kev rode a Triumph Rocket 3 which he supercharged as well, the man could ride it like a small trail bike keeping pace on the race track and road with no problem whatsoever.

A dedicated dude, warm and passionate moto head Big Kev finally gave in to the relentless cancer he had been fighting.

His funeral was for me was the most heartfelt funeral I have ever been to, not afraid to say I cried a lot struggling to even mutter the words to the songs we were trying to sing.

Not to dwell on the sadness of a great man taken early we wish to remember him for the total dude, beer drinking moto loving petrolhead that Kev was that always bought a big smile to everyones face.

I know I say this for me and from the WMC members, Gayle your loss is hard and is felt by fello members and riders, Ride in Peace brother you will be missed.


Cheers Andi

A video made by Doon, a well respected member and riding buddy, onya Doon, great job for the vid.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

New Zealand - Back Home

Back home in Wanaka now after 3 years and 2 weeks or 1109 days away, been unpacking crazy time.

Our house looked like some cardboard boxes had exploded ....which they had.

IMG_8616 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

We were suprised how much stuff we had and how many clothes we have, Ellen went mountain biking and it took her ten minutes just to decide which gear to use.

May the 20th came around, our 9th wedding anniversary, Ellen got a nespresso coffee machine

IMG_8805 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

....and I got a Sherco 4.5i, seemed fair.

Her name is Novia (Girlfriend in Spanish) FFS DON'T tell Maya

356909783 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

356909196 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

Bro was coming down from Christchurch so he brought it with him …well done that man, when he arrived it was like Christmas, his Beta 498 and my Sherco 450 on the trailer looking ready for action and the fact of seeing Paul and Debbie again was wicked cool being he is my identical twin bro.

I have work coming in but not for a another week or so, Ellen started on the Monday after we got back (full time if she wants it) so small adjustments to be made.

All in all Wanaka is beautiful, not perfect but pretty fuckin good and compared to anywhere we have been in the last three years it still rate No 1.

So we have been busy as doing domestic stuff, a nice change from travelling …but not as cool.

Our base of friends here in Wanaka are still an awesome bunch of OAH’s (Old Age Hooligans) and still in fine form, the Wanaka Motorcycle Club going well.

Interesting the changes that have gone on since we have been away, way more houses and the place has grown big time, luckily still no Mc Dees, KFC or traffic lights WOH HOH.

My groan at cellphones is still rife but it would seem that smarts phones have invaded and imbedded themselves.

I have a great Sonim waterproof phone with a 3 month standby time battery but the numbers and letters are small and although I can see through a bra at 200 meters the shit right in front of me is fury … or my arms have gotten shorter so the big old folk numbers on an iphone etc are welcomed and beat bifocool glasses …. thus I might have to eat some of my own words however I still refuse to have an answerphonesecretarykinda thingy.

Yeah that’s right if you ring and I don’t answer I am not there ….and my smart phone will tell me I missed a call from you so I am not sure why I need a message as well, starting to sound old now but some things are still worth more than gold and that is your own time and space...make the most of it

Now, back to moto stuff (sorry Graham and Andi) ((our cool neighbours in front of us who stalked us all the way)), the new (ish) Sherco is a 2008, only has 65 hours and is quite simply a weapon, I will keep her under the covers so the Russians don't see her , her name is Novia which means girlfriend in Spanish, she is a feisty young thing.

Novia has more grunt than a paddock full of pigs and only weighing in at 109 kg (some 90 kg lighter than Maya before adding house and contents) when you crack it open you have to be seriously pointed in the right direction cos you ARE going there and at pace, while she can get off her arse in style she is not as angry as a KTM 450 etc so kinda nice, she is fuel injected too and the mapping is surprisingly good.

In my quest to go lighter I have found my direction, so Novia will be kitted out with more gas capacity etc, being as light as she is will make her a dream to take a good look around the next corner which in New Zealand we have a lot of.

Like I always say you have to love what you ride and when I push the start button on Novia that little hooligan kid feeling comes over me and the devil shoots the angel clean off my shoulders and the all important part is she turns man parts from kindling to wood.

Life wise, having read a lot about post trip depression etc I am very aware of what can go wrong after the big one.

A pattern that seems to follow through is returning to no home or a small flat, no work etc so we have been keeping busy enough, we both still are alive with travel fever and know this is the interim to the future, why could you not be positive about this.

I guess we are very lucky to live where we do too, this is our view normally

IMG_8622 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

This was our view after mum nature bought us a polar blast off the Antarctic, beautiful.

IMG_8641 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

IMG_8640 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

I have to say both of us are in great spirits and now we are back into mountain biking etc which is well cool.

I think the key is to keep busy and yes get to work (sorry for swearing) if you need money and get back into life, it may not be as free and easy as travelling but when you are standing, alive and well and dreaming of you next big adventure …well shit what more can I say.

A Special Part To Think Positively About Life - For Big Kev a WMC member.

It would be about 12 years ago I started what we call the WMC, The Wanaka Motorcycle Club.

It has bought about 50 - 60 riders in a town of 6000 together and formed a great based of moto head friends and off moto friendships.

I want to write a small blurb for a great member of ours Big Kev.

While it is easy to get consumed with a great trip away time has to be taken to stop, take a look around and appreciate your family and friends.

Big Kev has always been an active member in our club, on our "Round The Blockers" weekend ride he was always there, track days for a blast on his 2.3 liter supercharged Triumph, general rides and social gatherings.

Big Kev is fighting relentless cancer which has seen him sidelined recently, I want to wish Big Kev all the strength to fight and I know I say this from me, the WMC and every moto head I know as well as family and friends that feel the same.

Stand tall my friend.

Thanks for reading and take the time to consider your time.

Cheers Andi

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Viña del Mar to Santiago To New Zealand.

Having got Maya sorted, done and knowing she was loaded was a huge thing off my mind.

We had a lot of help from locals and all of these dudes are worth a great mention as is their shop as they made life for us a lot easier.

The guys involved in our last days of the trip were:

Piero, Mercedes driver, BMW crasher and great riding buddy of Jaime, unfortunately Piero was hit head on by a taxi which crossed the centerline and he was very badly broken up, fortunately he is on the road to recovery although very slow, best for getting sorted mate, we wish you well and thank you for your help. Pallet deliverer supreme!!

- Vicente, BMW shop manager of BMW in Viña del Mar
Williamson Balfour Motors S.A.
Avda. Libertad 841, 2520072 Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Chile

Now Vicente allowed us to use their shop as a communication base (via Jaime) which was bloody cool ….and we had a coffee(s) , a huge thanks for letting us borrow Jaime to assist with not so nice customs people….you know the sort and thank you for the lunch, remember if you need any help or advice that we can you with let us know.

The lads lunch

P1240944 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

The FINAL adv salute from South America .....just for you guys

P1240946 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

-Alexis Vega. He's at BMW Logistics and kindly sent the pallets, he gave us more than enough to get us sorted and more to the point and extremely important it has the safe timber markings acceptable to New Zealand Customs which should stop any grief on the timber.

And finally - Domingo, he is one of their car salesman and was heading back to Santiago the day we were needing to go back, it was organised for us to get a ride so we took in Viña del Mar for the day and waited till he finished work early in the evening and he drove us from Viña del Mar to Santiago in a the nice BMW 420 with all our shit door to door.

Thank you team, any and all of you are welcome in New Zealand … only 13 hours away on a tin bird.

Our last night in South America, kinda weird, kinda cool, kinda sad, mixed emotions and Ellen has butterflies in her tummy.

The following morning was clean up, pack down and box it all in, Jaimes apartment looking like a motorcyclist had exploded.

With a tonne of time to spare we cruzed to the finish line and and got a taxi to the airport.

Our last moments in Chile extended by LAN airlines with our plane taking another hour and ten minutes to show up, for us it shortened our waiting time back in New Zealand by an hour so no issue for us at all.

Our flight was ok but it was a “bring your screaming baby” flight so not much sleep was had….I did have a bloody good catch upon movies though.

Into New Zealand was painless, easy and welcoming, an hour and a half wait and were got our final flight to Queenstown.

Gorking out the window we were looking down on our country that we had not seen for 3 years and 2 weeks, the snow increasing as we got further south.

Arriving at Queenstown Airport we were welcomed home by Wanaka Motorcycle Club members Peter and Richard, Richard and Margaret as well as Dick and Diana Hubbard who did Alaska to Ushuaia on a 1200 GSA, thank you guys for the red carpet welcome home.

Photos by Diana Hubbard, Dicks better half!!

IMG_0892 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

IMG_0905 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

More to come of back in New Zealand

Massive thanks to everyone on our trip, love to all.

Andi & Ellen

Monday, 18 May 2015

Santiago To Viña Del Mar

The next step was Santiago, a 500 km day … was not looking forward to TMK on KTM doing lots of KM.

Was easy enough and felt like going home, our mission was to get sorted, get our pallet, pack down Maya and complete all the formalities.

Also in between on the 7th of May was Ellen’s birthday. She was lucky to have 4 birthdays during the trip. We headed out to town and find a nice cevechi for lunch. In the evening Ellen made nice Sashimi for tea, we had our seafood fix that day.

The plan was to then head over to Viña del Mar and meet up with Jaime again.

In Viña we made our washing trip to the Copec which is the Chilean gas station that has washing facilities, NZ customs being strict she had to be done properly.

At the station there was 5 cars in front of us, perfect, gave me time to tear Maya down to her undies and give her the royal clean for NZ customs.

We moved up in the queue, slowly stripping Maya down, the car in front of us got in and started, only one minute in it all came to a halt, by this time I had the panniers, seat, tools out, tank was off so she was sitting there like a naked 450.

Turns out the machine shit itself leaving the car in front covered in soap and Maya completely stripped, 5 or so cars behind us as well… ya fuckin shitting me.

The Copec guys walked over with cones, placed them down and said “No Funcional” …. yeah no shit.

We had to put everything back on Maya then ride 3 km up the road, find another car wash and strip her all down again FFS, what a disaster of a session.

Finally we got to our turn, banged our coins in switched it on and started with the “hot and soap wash” ….well we got the soap and some cold water ….couldn't bloody believe it.

We asked the guys and they said hot water is not working ….we said but you still charge for it ….. yeah, and that was it.

I was NOT putting her back together then doing it all again so we persisted with our kerosine/detergent cleaner soap and cold water, it took a lot longer with others waiting behind us, if anyone had got grumpy at me they would have had a nice soapy wash.

We finally got it complete in the end which was the main thing but it was annoying to have to do it all twice with the bike then have to pay for shit you don't get.

On a better note we got our pallet,  bought a hand saw and a crow bar and proceeded to make our BMW sponsored pallet fit Maya, with much toing and frowing about size (yes size does matter) we decided to chop her down to size knowing the cost of shipping was on the m3.

Jaime and I trying to look intelligent

IMG_8502 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

Front wheel off, yeap better but not good enough, back wheel out as well so she was sitting on her bashplate, that bought the big girl down to size.

IMG_8512 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

We placed the back wheel up under the wheel arch and everything fitted nicely so that is what we configured the pallet to do, cut it to width and length and dropped half the weight off it …things were working well.

Jaime and I now looking intelligent

IMG_8516 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

Getting the addy for the trucking company Jaimes friend Piero offered to drop the pallet at the yard, this was bloody awesome to say the least and made life easy for us.

Delivery by none other than an AMG Mercedes (and quite nice I have to say)

IMG_8520 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

We rode behind them on Maya to the yard, unloaded the pallet and proceeded to strip Maya down per plan.

IMG_8526 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

Much to the amusement and amazement of the forklift dudes we reduced her from Arnieschwarzenmaya overgrown trail bike to a little short pile on a pallet.

IMG_8556 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

All done and dusted (we thought) we left the yard after completing our mission.

We were supposed to have given all the docs to the trucking company and they take care of it, we did this, provided scanned notarised/legalised copies (which they requested) then sent the original to Santiago where they had requested them to be sent.

The guy we were dealing with turned out to be an extremely unhelpful wanker not knowing his job and it turned into a hell mission.

First he said we were all good and done, then he rings later says we are not done, then he asked for the originals which we said we sent them to Santiago (at his request), I will add at this point we had EVERYTHING complete and in hand while at his yard, we started the bike pack down at about 9.45 am and finished at 1.00 pm, the dickhead sends us an email asking the colour of our bike and wanting the original papers, we were in his yard, no computer, no wifi and 100 meters from his office.

Anyway, long story short Jaime our savvier took control, he was calmer than me cos I wanted to kill the incompetent dick, seems that he and custom were having issues and we got caught in the middle, finally the afternoon we are leaving we got an email stating Maya was cleared and loaded, we still struggle with what the issue was as the had EVERYTHING given to them 4 times.

Whoa …had grey hairs … gonna save me a haircut next time cos most will fall out I reckon.

All done and dusted we have everything crammed into two cardboard boxes including 2 bottles of Flore de Caña rum to take home. Total weight of everything including all our shit and tool was 40kg.

Our last night in Viña del Mar with Jaime, good times marred knowing we won't see him for a while

An insurmountable amount of thanks to you Jaime, heart of gold, good bastid supreme, motohead meca and moto mate for life

Cheers Andi

Lonquimay To Tome, 3 Years On The Road Today - 1095 Days

Ok, finally, with a small backtrack to finishing Chile.

I little out of sequence now but you get the picture, for me stripping Maya down to her undies and and putting a see-through dress back on was a very final thing and to be fair, without sounding funny I wanted to "get it off my chest" if you like.

The previous few pages of replies have left me gobsmacked and is far more than I ever anticipated thanks all, you are all good bastids!!!

Now, Future To The Back

Loquimay was fookin cold, our next chosen road also blocked by snow... there was a pattern forming here

Confined to the highway with tarseal wasn’t too bad, scatterings of hailstones and ice along the road making us realize it was the main drag or nothing, just above our heads the snow making it presence felt and confirming the tarseal was our buddy today at least.

We headed through the tunnel and down to Victoria, rather than having the shit bored out of us on the Ruta 5, 4 laner we headed straight over to the coast to cruze the quieter roads.

This turned out to be the right choice with sunshine (yes sunshine), very little traffic and scenery to go.

In plenty of time we made it to Concepcion which is a big city, gazing at the map we saw a small seaside town called Tome so we aimed for that.

An easy ride saw us get there with ease and it wasn’t long we had a hostal sorted out.

Given the afternoon was very nice we had a quick shower to warm up then head out to enjoy the sunshine and take in the waterfront.

IMG_8462 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

The waterfront was like an aquatic zoo with Sea Lions, big sea birds and all sorts creating a lot of interest.

IMG_8463 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

IMG_8485 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

We opted to have dinner out, we lashed out on a cheap dinner that was actually very nice in the end and we sat at the window with the prime view like sir and madam.

Sorry I looked so hagged, its because I am, still off shade and feelin it

IMG_8482 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

Back to the hostal we wondered through town taking in the nice cruzey atmosphere.

Although we had planned about 550 days then we took it out too 700 days and now we are at 1095 days it was time to look back on what we had done which was cool.

Closing off the night we watched a vid ….and did other stuff.