Trans Amazonian Challenger fellow riders:

The guides
Riding KLRs:
Mike – Our illustrious leader, what can I say this man was made for this job, he has an endless supply of patience and a great sense of humour. With all the truck issues he must have been stressing big time but never showed it to the group always keeping his cool and with a smile on his face. I think he is a great tour guide. Mike is from Denmark but lives in Colombia with his wife and two daughters.

11898822_794078750660142_1700635281315564469_nThe guides (left to right) Rick, Roberto, Peter and Mike

Roberto – Mike’s right hand man is from Argentina and works for Motodiscovery. He is a great rider and a fun guide

Peter – Peter is also from Denmark and came to S America to support Mike on this trip. Peter was the primary driver of the support truck and as a rally driver was extremely qualified but also rode the sweeper bike a few times. Peter is a quiet guy but also has an endless supply of patience, a great sense of humour and was a great support to Mike during all the truck issues. He is also one of the best photographers I have ever met, his pictures are just awesome

Rick – Rick the youngest of the guides is from the states and a good laugh, always positive and I enjoyed having him on the trip.
The riders:
Riding BMW 1200 GSs

Rob and Alison – Rob and Alison are from Canada and just great people like every Canadian I have ever met. Alison rode pillion with Rob and wow what a strong lady, I could not have put up with this kind of endurance riding as a pillion I take my hat off to her. I really enjoyed meeting and travelling with this couple.

 (from left to right) Rob, Alison, Cathy and Leigh

Leigh and Cathy – Leigh and Cathy, who also rides but is riding pillion on this trip, have been married for 51 years and ridden all over the world. They are the most awesome couple I have ever met, they are clearly still in love but also just seem to get on flawlessly and are great friends. I hope Joern and I are the same when we are in our 70s (I suspect we will be) I cannot express just how fantastic it was to travel with this inspiring couple, not only that but we hit it off instantly and became good friends. I will miss the great intellectual conversations we had as well as the light hearted ones. I am very determined to meet up with Leigh and Cathy again.

Rand – We celebrated Rands 58th Birthday on the trip and I almost made him show me his passport to prove his age as he does not look a day over 50. I had a fair few great conversations with Rand about life the universe and everything and just downright enjoyed his company. He is a serious and very intellectual person, however has a wicked sense of humour that pops out every now and again. Rand lives in Wisconsin and I’m hoping to meet up with him again one day when I go to see my nephews who now live there, I don’t know when it will be but I hope it’s not too many years away.

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Riding BMW F800 GSs

Brian – Brian lives in the states but is from Zimbabwe and spent many years living in South Africa. We clearly got on well as we come from the same cultural background and it was great to hear the saffa coming out when he spoke. Brian was one of the best riders on the trip and just downright easy to get on with.

12049422_809284452472905_8370259990585125308_n Henry and Brian

Pete – What can I say, Pete was one of my favourite people on the trip, he is also from Canada which is clearly why. Pete is a vet and just awesome, a really good rider, an easy easy person to get on with and always positive. Pete and I had some great conversations about bees and pigs and abattoirs and religion it was a please to spend time with him. I also genuinely hope I get to see him again one day.

 Pete (on the left) with Brian, Roberto and Rob

Steve – Steve is from Australia and only stayed on the trip until Cusco Peru. Steve had some issues with the trip which is why he left early. Once I found out about them (near the end of the trip) I understood his perspective but it’s not my place to discuss it here. I can’t say I hit it off with Steve very much but only because we didn’t really spend time together or get to know each other he seemed like a very nice but quite quiet person.

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Riding KLR 650s

Jules, my roommate – Jules is from California and a few years older than me. I think Jules and I would have got on far far better if we didn’t’ share a room. I’m sorry to say but I found sharing with her hell to be honest. I started sharing rooms when I was a student 30 years ago and have had many different roommates over those years. I’ve shared on all my backpacking trips, I lived with people and had different flatmates, and I have never in all my years of sharing had any issues until now. I could probably write many chapters on my experience with Jules from the chain saw snoring (I had to wear 2 pairs of wax earplugs) to the hissy fit she threw because I used the plug socked she wanted to use (even though there were 6 in the room and I was only using 2) However I’d rather say that we are both good and nice people but just couldn’t live together, it happens.

 Jules and Roberto

Ken – Ken is from the states and is a journalist who writes for a few bike and car magazines. Ken could be very negative but is extremely knowledgeable about everything mechanical. He is a nice guy and I didn’t have a problem with him but I have to say we didn’t become best buds. The biggest problem with him is that he just always talked about himself and all the stuff he has done and the minute someone mentioned doing something he’s better it, not a great trait to have. Every now and again however he would show this great sense of humour and it’s just a pity we didn’t get to see it more often.

Rob – Rob was the funnies guy, I liked Rob instantly and he was what I would call a harmless dirty old man and very charming. We had a few god laughs together and I’ll never forget one night when we literally ended up giggling like kids all night it was the funniest night I had on the trip. Oh yes Rob is another Canadian.

IMG_2172 Rob and I doing the Motolombia hug

Henry – Wow what can I say about Henry this man is an enigma and reminded me of my father. Henry is in his late 70s and has 9 lives (but I think they are running out) Henry had 3 bad accidents on the trip including scraping his skin up his arm down to the bone, you could literally see the bones in his arm. We thought that was it, he’d need to be flown home but he got it stitched up sat in the truck for a week and was then back on the bike. I spent a lot of time talking to Henry when I was truck bound for a few days and he is seriously knowledgeable about so many things. We spent many hours talking about war and I think my dad and Henry would get on like a house on fire.

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