• Northern Peru – Chachapoyas to Carjamarca

    Posted by Murray on March 19, 2011

    After a few days of ripping up the gravel roads, creek crossings, muddy rutted uphill jungle tracks, ABS off to maintain to feel of the bike beneath you and a few tailout back brake locked moments as the rear of the bike slides sideways to avoid an errant vehicle in the other direction, it was great to roll into Chachapoyas early afternoon.

  • South Colombia to Ecuador Border

    Posted by Murray on March 6, 2011

  • Ecuador – Day 59, 14371km, 3rd March 2011 – The Centre of the World

    Posted by Murray on March 6, 2011

    Today Loren and I parted company and went to separate hemispheres. It was great to have some time apart after travelling together for 2 months, a good chance to clear the air, work through any pent up issues alone and take a fresh view of the trip.

    We were 2m apart – he stood on one of the equator and I on the other. We were keen to set up a toilet and flush it to see which way the flush would rotate on the north and then on the south. This little exciting experiment was not to be as the gasoline station attendant objected to us hocking his dunny for an hour due to excessive demand at the time. We thought about riding back to EL Cafe de la Vaca (Cow Cafe) to ask them for theirs (see pic).

  • Colombia – Love It

    Posted by Murray on March 4, 2011

    Colombian people are great! We love them! In fact, we have encountered some of the friendliest people in this country that we have come across in our travels. Colombia’s sordid and at times very violent past was not evident at all whilst motoring through and mixing with the people in cities and villages; with the exception of a heavy presence of police and military. In more than one instance in the northern part of the country we passed a lone armored tank reversed up into the bushes with it’s fearsome turret glaringly at us like a ravenous long beaked monster, just longing to unleash its fury onto some cowering drug runner. The soldier poking out the top gives us the thumbs up as we ride by which we take as a good sign that he won’t open up on us.

  • Stats on Day 50……

    Posted by Murray on February 23, 2011

    An update on the statistics…… don’t you just love numbers!!

    • Days on the road – 50
    • No. of countries entered – 10
    • Longest border crossing – 4.5hrs but fast being overtaken by a 3 day wait at customs in Colombia
    • Most police blocks in one day – 13
    • Kilometres travelled by road – 11,602
    • Kilometres travelled by sea – 480
    • Most kilometres travelled in one day – 693
    • Number of campsites – 6
    • Average fuel usage – 4.9lt/100kms (Murray), 4.7lt/100kms (Loren)
    • Number of punctures – 1
  • Panama – Caribbean to the Pacific in a day

    Posted by Murray on February 23, 2011

    Having thoroughly enjoyed Costa Rica, we were looking forward to cruising through Panama – and it didn’t disappoint! We exited Costa Rica via a small border crossing at Sixaola, close to the Caribbean Sea and it was a barrel of laughs. At this point, the countries are separated by Rio Sixaola, joined only by a sturdy old railway bridge, no longer used by trains. After being stamped out (both ourselves and the bikes – many of these countries have stamped our passports for the bikes), we topped our sordid breakfast up with a $0.10 banana and a $0.40 fresh OJ and pointed the steeds towards the bridge. The bridge crossing was a classic with the numerous loose or missing planks making the flowing river far below seem even further away. It was unfortunate to see several elderly pedestrians plummet through the gaps as the bikes roared passed.

  • Costa Rica

    Posted by Murray on February 23, 2011

    Arriving into Costa Rica was a breath of fresh air. Literally! Oh, hang on, maybe because we had our first clothes wash for many many days. The country is beautiful! But first, one can’t help but share some more border crossing experiences….

  • Nicaragua

    Posted by Murray on February 23, 2011

    As the border crossings were eating into our schedule more than bargained for, our time in Nicaragua was unfortunately limited. 3 nights in fact. We had planned to meet with some friends in the city Managua, however the timing didn’t work out so we stayed a few nights in the lovely historic city of Granada, known as the jewel of Nicaragua. Granada nests beside a massive lake Laguna de Nicaragua and is constantly under surveillance by the magnificent nearby volcanoes protruding above the clouds. Our residence was an excellent hostel not far from the main plaza – the selling point being the fact that the girl on reception giving us the nod to bring our bikes inside the hostel so they were secure. With cm’s to spare, the steel horses maneuvered past reception, past the standard 15 nationalities of backpackers sprawled in hammocks reading Lonely Planets and others nested on sofas tapping away on their mini laptops. Amongst turned heads and mutterings such as “Well, I have NEVER seen THAT before”, we safely stored our bikes inside the hostel for a few nights.

  • Honduras and Murray

    Posted by Murray on February 10, 2011

    “……. it was the lowest ebb of the trip thus far……”

    Some things in life have to be experienced first hand.

    Crossing a border, continuing through Honduras and crossing another border in one day on a motorbike is one of those experiences. During trip planning, I had read about Honduras, researched the do’s and the don’ts, pored over other people’s blogs and vivid experiences, memorised checklists….. and yet, still there was the shock and frustration factor that is difficult to prepare for or describe on a day in and out of Honduras.

  • Playa Ventura to Oaxaca – Mexico

    Posted by Murray on January 28, 2011

    The Night That Was….

    Disclaimer: A combination of fear and inbuilt body defense mechanism may have clouded the recollection of the authors. Steel Horse Tour accepts no responsibility for information that may appear incorrect or misaligned with the individual encounters.


    Murray’s Encounter

    “….As I peered through gritty eyes out my hurriedly unzipped tent flap, the moonlight glinted hauntingly off the long curved machette blade as it rested loosely across the chest of the semi naked unsmiling Mexican hombre…..”

  • Rest day in Mazatlan, Mexico

    Posted by Murray on January 24, 2011

    After 16 days on the road averaging 352kms per day, it is time for a day off for some rest, bike maintenance and route planning. The selected location is on the beach north of the lively city of Mazatlan, east coast of Mexico.

  • The Road Less Travelled…

    Posted by Murray on January 18, 2011

    Motorbikes trips are generally about planning and organisation in order to achieve set goals in a safe and enjoyable manner. However, there are a number of things not to do, which we knew but just didn’t do for numerous reasons:

    1.Don’t leave late if you have a long unpredictable day ahead

    2.Carry detailed paper maps

  • South of the Border

    Posted by Murray on January 18, 2011

    Comment of the day – (to Loren by a small boy at a gas station)

    Small boy – You look like a Ghostbuster
    Loren – Maybe I am one…

  • Stats on Day 8….

    Posted by Murray on January 13, 2011

    Ok, this one is for the statistic nerds (ie. us):

    • Days on the road – 8
    • Kilometres travelled – 3391
    • Most kilometres travelled in one day – 693
    • Average speed – 86.4km/hr
    • Max speed – 1**km/hr :)
    • Average fuel usage – 5.4lt/100kms (Muz), 5.3lt/100kms (Loz)
    • Average fuel cost – $0.91/lt
    • Minimum temp – minus 4deg C
    • Maximum temp – 21deg C
    • Highest altitude – 1968m
    • Best coffee – Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco, double mac

  • Wet wet wet….

    Posted by Murray on January 6, 2011

    Quote of the Day – Murray – “This is the second time I need cup holders on my bike”

    Picture 4 deg C, rain and boring down the I5 Interstate at 70mph in driving rain for 6hours. Actually, Loren and I had a interesting revelation over some hot beef stew at the Country Cafe today. The gear we have has 2 layers, an outer wearing layer and an inner waterproof liner. So the freezing rain drives in through the first layer and then stops – hence keeping us dry. For starters, 4 deg C is the same temp as a fridge. Secondly the wind….. the revelation was that we are sitting in a fan forced fridge on wheels, dry but a tad chilly.

  • Steel Horse Tour is on the Road

    Posted by Murray on January 6, 2011

    The bikes fired up, comms plugged in, Argentina punched into the GPS, helmets jammed on, gloves up, a nod to each other…… the Steel Horse Tour has begun!!!

    The 4th morning of 2011 started early and with building excitement and anticipation we strapped on the waterproof bags, closed the panniers and wheeled the bikes out, ready to commence a journey of a lifetime. As we pulled out onto the street and accelerated south thousands of screaming fans and sponsors lined the streets throwing wads of cash and confetti…….. oh, no thats right, actually the streets were empty because it was below zero degrees Celsius with crusted snow on the ground and most sane people were inside asleep.