Ok. So you know I traveled around the world for three years alone—on a motorcycle. And I really didn't see everything. There are still plenty of places waiting for my visit. Or at least I'd like to think so. Truth is, there are a lot of places I'm waiting to visit. But that's besides the point.
I was in Ethiopia on my motorcycle sometimes in the Spring of 2008. On a desolate stretch of a dusty dirt road between Gondar, Ethiopia and the Sudan border, I ran into to bicyclists from Finland. Though our meeting was short, our time was rich. Sometimes connections are made in seconds, sometimes connections take years to be real. Jukka, then a 30 year old bicyclist with nearly 2 years traveling experience around the world, and I connected. Three years later he finally makes it to the United States and takes me up on my lifelong offer to put him up and share time here in Southern California. In August he and another world-riding Finnish bicyclist planeed to rendezvous in Southern California: here in Encinitas at my cottage by the ocean. Our time was rich again. And we shared stories, photos and great food and conversation. Before these two legends returned to their bicycling journey, I pulled them asisde in my studio for a one-of-a-kind podcast. In this hour-plus long interview I ask the hard questions. And I'm surprised, yet comforted by their answers.
Take the time to listen to Jukka and Lukas discuss traveling, motivation, being away from home and loneliness. I think the insight is inspirational.
Solo world traveler motorcycle adventurer Allan Karl returns with a new edition of the WorldRider Podcasts. Though back in the states for nearly a year, Karl discusses his upcoming speaking engagements and multimedia presentations and plans for publishing.
Motorcycle travelers all over the world meet and swap stories at the legendary adventure traveler hangout Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Through a series of amazing coincidences Allan connects for the third time during his journey with fellow Californian motorcyclists Adam Pate. Listen to Adam relate his tale to WorldRider, Allan Karl, of getting stuck on the Salar de Uyuni. Sitting at Dakar Motos Allan and Adam relish in the funny outcome that ultimately could've prevented days of heartache and painstaking work for Adam Pate and his 2002 KLR 650. (Total Time: 22:51)
Finally after enduring a broken leg, badly sprained ankle and ligament strained and twisted knee, WorldRider, Allan Karl, finally takes the road out of Bolivia. From the largest and highest in altitude salt lake in the world, Allan takes a dirt road out of Bolivia. In search of better roads, Allan is quite suprised to learn that in this part of Chile the roads are more challenging yet the vistas and the isolate desolation taxes his riding skills and mental acuity. (Total Time: 26:28)
With lightning storms blazing the evening sky and the most impressive array of starts they've ever seen, WorldRider, Allan Karl and fellow motorcyclist Andy Tiegs, sit on the largest and highest in altitude salt flat in the world on the Bolivian Altiplano and discuss their respective journeys to this magical place by motorcycle. After traveling more than 15,000 miles and visiting twelve countries along the way, these two motorcyclists achieve part one of a lifelong dream.
What implores someone to quit their job and take time to see the world? Allan Karl while on his solo motorcycle journey meets and discusses the passions of travel with new friends he meets on the road. Meet a new cast of characters as this WorldRider journey of adventure and discovery continues..
With his bike running again, Allan boards the night train for Uyuni, Bolivia. Wandering the streets of this dusty outpost on the fringe of the largest and highest salt flat in the world, he runs into three other motorcyclists -- including his past riding partner, Jeremiah. At the famed Minuteman Pizza restaurant in the Totoni Hotel these motorcyclists share the stories and dreams as they plan to tackle the Salar de Uyuni.
Traveling to Oruro, Bolivia by truck, Allan Karl along with his BMW Motorcycle (Doc) try to make time while his ankle and knee mend. His driver Miguel and the owner of the truck confront difficulties in Cochabamba where protesters of have blocked the main highway. Listen to the commotion as Allan tries to get to the bottom of the reason behind the blockage. This is bi-lingual as the interviews are again in Spanish.
Hobbling around Santa Cruz, Bolivia with a bum knee and sprained ankle, Allan makes friends with an ex-Auto Rally champion of Bolivia who helps him get his bike fixed and a agent and specialist in customs and immigration who works hard to legalize Allan's motorcycle so he can safely continue his journey through Bolivia without fear of penalty or worse. He only has a few more days in Santa Cruz until he loads Doc on a truck and makes his trek to the Salar de Uyuni. This PodCast is bi-lingual as the interviews are in Spanish.
Time is running out. The weather is changing. Allan must remain in Santa Cruz to allow is ankle and knee to heal. Jeremiah must move on and visit the Jesuit Missions where just a few days ago Allan had his second accident while touring Bolivia. Jeremiah goes, returns and goes again while they discuss the prospects of seeing perhaps the #1 site in South America: The Salar de Uyuni.
It's hot in Santa Cruz. Jeremiah recovers from his asado food poisoning and recalls the shady digs we stayed in Vallegrande. Allan recalls events of the first week that once again change the course of his journey. In the 12th episode of the WorldRider podcasts they sit in Santa Cruz over unlikely Italian food lamenting Allan's latest fateful day.
It's the middle of Dias de las Muertas and Allan is in Vallegrande, Bolivia — the final resting spot for Che Guevara's body after he was executed by Bolivian troops under orders from the C.I.A. The streets are noisy with music, people hustling about and a groups of motorcyclists eager to join a caravan of like minds to follow in the footsteps of Ché's last days. While Jeremiah recovers from his stomach ailment Allan wanders the streets and contemplates what's next on his adventurous journey.
Join Allan and Jeremiah
Watch the latest WorldRider Video PodCast as Allan & Jeremiah tackle a few water crossings, cruise the wild route from Sucre to Santa Cruz in this exciting and moving two minute motorcycle music video. Featuring new music from Eric Clapton & J.J. Cale, these two motorcyclists Ride The River - to the other side. The footage includes hand hold moving shots and stationary shots from water, mud and rock crossings in the Bolivian Andes. Enjoy this one!
For those of you subscribed to the iTunes WorldRider page, you should see the movie there now. Otherwise, you can simply watch it here inside this blog post. This has also been posted to my YouTube page along with a few other videos.
Click or double click above to start the movie. File is of high quality and may take a few moments to download. Please be patient.
This special PodCast comes live from our campsite out on the campasino in rural Central Bolivia. The day started out smooth and on pavement. But how we ended up camping off the main road can only be told through the words, pictures and sounds on this website. Tune in and join the wild ride of our woes on my first day back on this WorldRider journey.
Listen to the PodCast by clicking the PodCast icon below. If you use iTunes, subscribe to my PodCasts. Simply go to the iTunes Music Store, search for WorldRider and when my iTunes page pops up click the subscribe button.
Here are some photos that didn't make the narrative post. I've kept them small so they'll load quicker. Click to see the real action.
Photos of me and the mud courtesy of Jeremiah St. Ours.
Just off the main Plaza and across from the Catedral in downtown Sucre a street is lined with cafés and bars. Whether mototravelers, backpackers or tourists on guided jaunts, if you stop in Sucre you will find yourself here. Perhaps the most popular among all groups - including locals - is Joy Ride Cafe. Founded in 2001 by Dutch-born Gert van der Meijden, Joy Ride is Sucre's central meeting point for travelers. They offer mountain bike tours, paragliding, guide tours and more. Gert has been in Bolivia for more than seven years and as such is extremely familiar with Sucre and the entire country. I met with Gert several times over the two weeks I spent in Sucre and had the opportunity to interview him for a WorldRider PodCast edition. You can download the PodCast here or by click the icon. For those of you subscribing to my PodCasts in iTunes, it should be available for download.
Listen to the PodCast by clicking the PodCast logo below.
Every night I stopped by Joy Ride Cafe the place was packed. A fine tuned bar and restaurant offering local recipes as well as those traditional "gringo" meals for the less adventurerous world diner. A very successful business with three levels, the first a traditional bar with a unique loft, the second a courtyard patio with natual lighting, and the top floor is a tony lounge where on certain days of the week travelers lounge in giant bean bag cheers sipping beer or exotic drinks to large screen feature films.
You'd think Gert had it all here. But I learnd is ready to take on a new challenge. Not that Bolivia doesn't interest him anymore, but he's ready to move on. That's why he's looking to sell Joy Ride Cafe. Though not officially on the market, he revealed his desires during our meetings. I'm sure some ambitious world traveler would find the prime real estate and very successful business an interesting proposition.
The upstairs lounge at Joy Ride Cafe in Sucre, Bolivia.
Going over GPS waypoints with Gert at Joy Ride Cafe.