Catch up

Catch up

April 26, 2014

Three sore bottoms pulled in to a tropical Cancun at 4:30pm. The Pack Track left the bustling city of Oaxaca on Wednesday, 23 April, with the goal of checking in to our accommodation in Cancun by 5pm on Friday 25 April. Thats approximately 1400km in three days. Why the hurry? Glad you asked! Stu's little brother (Greg) who moved to Canada about 18 months ago is flying down to spend 4 nights us :o) Its been a very eventful, exhausting and at times stressful three days but definitely worth it to see two brothers reunited!! As with every place we've been in Mexico, we were sad to leave Oaxaca. Within the city itself there are beautiful churches to visit, arts, culture, interesting foods to try and you can lose yourself just walking the streets watching the locals go about their daily lives. Outside the city and within a 20km radius are ancient ruins dating back to 500 BC. We visited Monte Alban, Dainzu and Lambityeco. The entry...

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Fall at 3000 m

Fall at 3000 m

April 21, 2014

Janell lay there upside-down screaming for help, head resting on a concrete beam which ran along the bottom of the deep gutter, her legs sticking up the steep incline holding up 250kg of bike.  The bike was also upside-down with fuel pouring out of the breathing tube. Stuart quickly pulled his bike up and ran to her assistance.  He took the weight, enough for Janell to slip out from under the bike and then allow it to fall about 1.5m to the bottom of the gutter. Luckily there was no signs of injury, although Janell was in a bit of shock, holding her broken rear-view mirror and cursing Skyla who was the reason for the emergency stop. The road was through the mountain pass to the north of Oaxaca, a lovely city we had spent the Easter weekend at getting involved in the festivities and visiting local ruins and craft towns. We had been expecting some paperwork to arrive and so waited 2 days longer then anticipated; this time of course is never wasted as there is...

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Real de Catorce

Real de Catorce

April 17, 2014

Janell was nervous from the moment she woke up. We had been told all about the road leading to Real de Catorce (Real) and riding within the town and with every personal recount we heard and every mile we got closer to the infamous town, the more anxious she became. Its hard to describe to people who haven't experienced the polished cobblestone roads but even on an adventure bike, stopping or stalling a bike can so easily result in a fall. This is exaggerating a bit but for a novice rider, its kind of like riding on rounded ice cubes the size of base balls and as Janell can only touch the ground on tippy toes, the advice provided was don't stop! Mountain The four of us had a good start to the day, leaving Santiago around 9am with a beautiful sunny blue sky. We headed through the mountain range and found a little town for us to stop at for breakfast. We were invited into the home of a local family where they cooked us a typical breakfast of beans and veggies...

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Crossing the border

Crossing the border

April 15, 2014

Last we wrote to you The Pack Track was headed for a quick stop in Dilley, Texas, before crossing the Mexican border. The 'quick stop' turned in to two weeks!! We pulled in to Dilley to have a chat with the owner (Hank) of Motohanks BMW motorcycle service and repair centre about our proposed route through the America's. Hank has over 20 years experience working on BMW motorcycles and has travelled the roads of Mexico, Central America and South America on his own as well as taking motorcycle tours. Hank had a good look over our bikes and recommended replacing the shocks with the heavy duty Tourtech shocks to handle the bumpy roads ahead of us. One of the main advantages of the Tourtech shock is that it can be repaired (again we are not being sponsored by Touratech). Its important that we are able to patch up our bikes on the go and avoid situations where we are stuck waiting for new parts to be posted to us. Motohank Our time in Dilley was not wasted. We sp...

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Geared up & riding

Geared up & riding

April 07, 2014

The Pack Track slowly packed up the tent in torrential rain in San Antonio, the next destination only an hour away in a little town called Dilley. Our intention was to stay a few days with Hank of Motohank, a friend of a friend from Dallas. We were advised that Hank had extensive experience with adventure motorbike travel through South America and as a bonus for us, is also a BMW Motorcycle Tech with over 20 years experience. Our short extended to a very worthwhile two weeks as Hank shared his travel experiences with us and made some improvements to our bikes, most importantly, replacing the factory shocks with the 'over engineered' Touratech shocks, which are well suited to a trip such as ours. Waiting for the parts and installation also gave us time to visit the old Missions in San Antonio, ride the much talked about Hill Country and pick Hank's brains about what to expect, what tools and spares to bring and how to reduce our l...

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Still in Texas

Still in Texas

April 01, 2014

The Universe is taking no time testing our fortitude. We three are sitting lined up in our tent, our first real day of camping with the rain pouring out of the heavens above us. While we have spent many a holiday back home camping and enduring such conditions, it has always been with a trusty car to pile into and drive to the nearest shopping centre or pub. The only (sometimes) unfortunate aspect of motorbikes is that you cannot escape the elements so we have decided to sit and wait it out and take the opportunity to up date our followers. Wet Camping We said a fond farewell to Dallas on Monday, 24 March 2014, our home for the last three weeks. The departure was not quite as we planned and are thankful for no great send off. Checkout from the hotel was midday and true to form, we handed over our room keys at 12:01pm. The plan for the day was to take the scenic four hour ride to Austin, the capital of Texas, set up camp and explore the city the next day. Wh...

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Bye Bye Dallas

Bye Bye Dallas

March 25, 2014

To all those following our journey, thank you for your patience. Today, Monday 24 March 2014 we finally hit the road. Three weeks in Dallas has been lovely and we probably could have used another week preparing but it was time to crack the whip! Don't get too excited though, we only made it around 100 miles from Dallas. Checkout at the Residence Inn - Richardson (our home for the last three weeks) was noon today. Technically we checked out on time, 12pm on the dot, however we spent the next three hours in the car park loading up the bikes, throwing out excess stuff that didn't fit, repacking, throwing out more stuff and then repacking again. A slightly frustrating and yet comical process; comical when it was Stu's stuff being consolidated and frustrating when it was Janells and the inevitable debate on the necessity of 'luxury' items. The anticipation is building by this time as the sun starts falling to the west. Our plan was to ride to Austin, the Capital of Texas and a good four ...

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Our First Blog

Our First Blog

March 16, 2014

The clocks ticking and we've been in Dallas for two weeks now, relaxing a little more than we intended. We are both really happy with our bikes; Janell's 2006 F650GS and Stu's 2012 G650GS. They are kitted out with Touratech seats, panniers and extended range fuel tanks. In addition we have fitted a 240V inverter on Janells bike with the primary purpose of inflating a queen size mattress when we're camping. This is definitely the most expensive part of our trip but its important to get the right product for the purpose as well as quality products that will be resilient and durable for two years of adventure riding. The Texas hospitality and generosity has been out of this world! A number of local riders have taken time out of their days/nights to share their riding experiences, pass on helpful hints and gear and show us some great places to eat and drink in Dallas. We've been fortunate to join part of a ride with around 15 local guys heading North of Dallas. We only went part of the ...

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Leaving Australia

Leaving Australia

March 06, 2014

Once this article hits the street the Pack Track will be in Dallas and gearing up for the journey ahead. The last couple of weeks have been hectic to say the least; finishing up our jobs, packing up our home, getting the all clear for Skyla to fly, purchasing our bikes from the other side of the world (2006 F650GS and 2012 G650GS see photos) and figuring out vehicle registration overseas. But now as we look back at our extensive to do list with ticks, crosses, double ticks and strikethroughs everything seems to be coming together. On the flip side we are only just realising the mamoth task we are about to undertake, and knowing the amount of preparation and work that has been done to date and that we haven't even started yet, we wonder what have we go ourselves in for jumping in to the deep end has not failed us in the past so hopefully our good fortune continues. So this month we promised a little more about us, having covered Skyla quite well in the last issue. There isn't too muc...

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Delayed Start

Delayed Start

January 30, 2014

Had everything gone to plan, us (Janell and Stu) and our 7 year old Bull Terrier mix Skyla would be riding through Central America right about now. So what went wrong? Skyla was diagnosed with cancer (Lymphoma) in October 2013 only weeks after booking our flights to Dallas. We were rapidly packing up our life in Sydney in preparation for a two year motorbike adventure across four and half continents. Skyla sitting on her bike Without treatment Skyla had only months to live. The news of lymphona was devastating and placed a major obstacle in our plans to travel around the world as a family. The tears and disheartened feelings were short lived as we turned to the internet for options to extend her quality and length of life. A Google search resulted in an article about a border collie called Muffin that had undergone a Bone Marrow Transplant as a potential cure in recent years. We approached the lovely team at Dee Why Veterinary Hospital AMS who were more than happy to help us pursu...

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