Summary of the Americas and 18 countries in almost 24 month and over 100,000 km
Part 1 June 22, 2012- May 1 2013
1. Canada (BC, Yukon, NWT, Alberta)- This is our home and our favorite country. The beauty of the wilderness is incredible. The forests are full of wildlife and we were thrilled to be treated to a rare sighting of the Porcupine caribou herd on our return trip from Inuvik.
2. USA (Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana) There is just so much to see here in the USA you could spend years. Highlights for us included the Gravelly range road in Idaho and Montana, riding the dragon in Tennessee, and the incredible landscapes of Utah.
3. Mexico (20 states)- Our three months here were not enough. Stay away from the coasts and visit the Colonial cites and pueblos magico of central Mexico. The drive to Calakmul is certainly worth it. You will not be hassled, robbed, or killed here despite what you will be told by everyone you tell that you plan to cross Mexico. Highlighs include the amazing people and the food, which is the best in Latin America.
4. Belize- After so much hype it just did not live up to expectations. If we were to do it again we would skip it and spend more time in Mexico or Guatemala.
5. Guatemala- This is the place you should allot most of your CA time. There is stunning scenery, a vibrant culture, and amazing food. Be sure to visit Sumec Champey, Nebaj, and Tikal.
6. El Salvador- There are so many cool places to explore in this small, but awesome country. DO NOT BYPASS! It is well worth the visit.
7. Honduras- We opted for the double border crossing in a day and only rode the 200 km between El Salvador and Nicaragua. The only unsavory event of the entire trip was here at the Northern border, where we were forced to pay 10$ per bike for decontamination that costs 2$. The decontamination office was closed, but a large group of men surrounded us and demanded the payment. We figured pay and get out of there.
8. Nicaragua-The north of the country has some great mountain riding. Driving up to the edge of an active volcano, a trip to Ometepe and a few days kicking back in San Juan del Sur make the country well worth the visit.
9. Costa Rica- HMMM well we have been here before and seen most of the eco sites and so I think this visit was a disappointment since the riding here is not that interesting and there is little in the way of cultural experiences. Our visit this time to Costa Rica was about relaxing beach time.
10. Panama- There are some great mountain roads here, but there is little culture outside of the expat life. I would visit Bouquete and El Alton de Valee. Both sides of the canal are certainly worth a visit. It was a highlight country for us since we finally met up with our Scottish friends Gino and Fiona and made new friends with Pia and Ramiro from Argentina.
Part 2 Oct 25, 2013- June 25 2014
11. Colombia- Perhaps our favorite country in the Americas after home. The people here are supper friendly; the riding is great and the scenery stunning. After enduring the prices of Costa Rica and Panama we found Columbia a really good value.
12. Ecuador- in a word EPIC. This is a riding Mecca and a do not miss! Venturing into the Andes Mountains you can experience both the incredible scenery and the vibrant culture. The .55$ a liter gas makes it all that much sweeter.
13. Peru – A love – hate story. The coast of Peru on the Pan Americana is thousands of km of sand, wind, garbage, and chicken farms. Many places look like sets from a Mad Max movie. South of Nazca it is better, and Cusco is stunning. The riding in the mountains on the 3S and 3N is incredible.
14. Chile- For us the north of the country is take it or leave it. The real jewel here is Southern Chile and the Carretera Austral. There are unforgettable days of riding on gravel roads past snow capped peaks and emerald glacial lakes. A highlight for us was the 9 hour treck up and down at Torres del Paines.
15. Argentina- Patagonia is very beautiful, but this country is much more beautiful in the north around Salta and the Alto Plana of Antofagasta de la Sierra. The WIND is unreal. There are several cultural things that make this country a challenge including the siesta, the currency, and the Argentinean way.
16. Bolivia -The cities of Sucre and Potosi are very picturesque and the Salar de Uyuni is mind blowingly awesome, but the rest of this country is much less appealing for a lot of reasons including the altitude, the very reserved people, and the volume of garbage everywhere. Several of the top ten highlights of our trip are from this tiny country.
17. Brazil – This is a massive and very diverse country. The people are incredibly friendly and outgoing. Our favorite states were Santa Catarina, Minas Gervais, and Bahia. We were helped and hosted by fellow riders here on a regular basis. The 3 months we spent was just not nearly enough time.
18. Uruguay in a word tranquillo.