Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All over but the crying!

Well, Christmas is now over and it's on to other things.
We had a wonderful Christmas, with lots of great food and good times. Brad flew in from Victoria and Pam and the kids and Anne joined us for Christmas eve and Christmas dinner.
Here's wishing all our friends and family a healthy and prosperous 2010!

But.............NOW, we can turn our minds to more important things, motorcycling!!

We leave for Veracruz in just over six weeks and things are starting to fall into place. Through the marvel of modern technology and the magic of the Internet I was able to buy my Mexican motorcycle insurance and out-of-country medical insurance all online, all from the comfort of home. Likewise, even the Mexican Govt has jumped on the Internet bandwagon. You have to understand; crossing personally into Mexico is easy, whether by plane or bus. All you need is a quick stamp in your passport and a simple tourist visa and you're on your way. But.......taking a vehicle into Mexico is another matter. Now it's not immigration you're dealing with, it's Customs. It's still relatively easy but certainly not painless. There's LOT's of paperwork, stamps, fees and a LONG lineup at the border if it's a busy time. can just log onto the new Mexican Govt website and fill out everything online, pay with your visa and wham, bam, thank you ma'am, you're on your way! FedEx delivers all your import documents directly to your door ten days later - you scan your drivers license, passport and vehicle registration along with a letter promising to ensure your vehicle leaves the country within a specified time period and you're done. When you show up at the border you still have to get your visa and passport stamped but it's in a separate (MUCH faster) line and you just drive on through. Gotta love it!

And of course, no Mexico motorcycle trip would be complete without some new kit. I was well behaved at the Seattle motorcycle show so I don't feel too guilty;

And of course my poor Dad in Apache Junction now has to play the part of shipping receiver and accept delivery of all my spur of the moment purchases. Every time I order something I promise him it's the last time......and then inevitably I follow up with something else....thanks Dad!

Well that's it for now - lots of planning still to do. It'll be close to 6,000 klm return and this time we're determined that Rosi will have a better time than last year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Seattle Motorcycle Show

We drove down to Seattle on the weekend to attend the motorcycle show. Some great bikes to try on for size and some good deals on accessories!

And Priceline came through once again! We received a screaming good deal on our hotel in Seattle, and an even better deal at the Marriot in Vancouver the next night. I highly recommend Priceline the next time you're trying to book a hotel.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Find Me Spot!

Hi All
Not much new to report - pretty much same ol, same ol.
I completed my assignment in Lillooet and did a quick turnaround and headed right back out to Ashcroft. I was there for a week conducting another audit and then back home to catch up on paperwork, complete a project and present a webinar on-line to approx 20 participants.

Tomorrow Rosi and I are heading down to Seattle to go to their big motorcycle show. Brad is joining us and from there we'll head up to David's and Terry's for their annual Christmas party. A good time is sure to be had by all - and my credit card will undoubtedly get a good work out at the show. Rosi and I both need new helmets ( OK she needs one and I just want one - but hey, a want is pretty close to a need, right?) and I'm always looking for new gadgets for the bike. It should be fun.

One interesting thing I just bought though, is the SPOT GPS tracker. It's VERY cool!
We originally saw one of these at the Horizon's rally in Nakusp and I've wanted one ever since. It's basically a one-way GPS communications device. You sign up for their annual service and then you can pre-program up to ten separate e-mail addresses into your account. Every time you press the button it sends a pre-formatted e-mail to your contact list letting them know you're alive and well, plus it gives your GPS co-ordinates and links them to an embedded Google map that plots your course as you travel. Rosi and I will be on the Road in Mexico pretty soon when we go to Veracruz and this will allow friends to follow along. It also has another cool feature - if you press the SOS button it sends a signal to a monitoring centre in Houston. They then can get in touch with the authorities in over 200 countries and dispatch help directly to your GPS co-ordinates. And if they don't have access to the authorities in the particular country you're in they'll immediately get in touch with your Consulate or Embassy to solicit their assistance. If Search and Rescue is necessary they'll pay up to $100,000 to cover this expense as part of their insurance program.
It's probably overkill for just Mexico but I'll be on some pretty remote roads this summer because I'm riding to Colorado and I'm still planning on a South American trip in the near future and this will give Rosi a degree of comfort while I'm away on the road.

Well that's it for now