Preparing, planning, purchasing, equipping, experiencing, or stories about travel to anyplace on the planet.

All the bikes at the Voortrekker monument near Pretoria

We completed our 2023 summer ride through Europe (read about that trip Europe for Four Months in 2023) by flying directly to South Africa for a 20-day tour. This was a "bucket list" destination for us. The motorcycle tour company that we had chosen for the trip some years before was offering a discount for trips booked early in 2023, so we took advantage.

At the end of the Europe trip In mid-September, we put our Kawasaki Versys back into storage in Heidelberg Germany then flew from Frankfurt to Johannesburg South Africa. This was such an odd flight for me as it is more than 10 hours with no time zone change. I've never flown so far without changing time zones. It makes the flight feel even longer once you get back on the ground and so much clock time has elapsed.

South African Motorcycle Adventure (SAMA) Tours met us at the airport to transport us and our riding gear to the first day hotel in Pretoria. We stayed two nights getting a chance to both explore the area and rest a bit before starting the ride.

Our tour included a rental motorcycle, which we were assigned in Pretoria, a BMW F750GS. The same model as we rented in Colombia during 2021 (Colombia, that's in South America) so it felt very familiar. Somewhat under powered but adequate especially given that our tour included a chase van containing all our luggage. So all that went on the bike was the two of us and a few things for the day. In total there were 9 bikes (3 with two passengers) along with a lead and chase tour guide on bikes and one more in the van. 11 Bikes and 15 people in the group.

And now all loaded up, off we went to some interesting stops around the Pretoria area before arriving at the Zebra Lodge. This was the first of our three safari experiences. From the Lodge, our truck tour brought us up close to many game animals including zebra, springbok, giraffe, ostrich, and so many more. We were also treated to a drum concert ending the day.

Knopf (Motorcycle) BnB

The Summer of 2023 will forever be remembered as our first extensive European motorcycle trip. Maybe the most extensive motorcycle trip of any kind so far in our riding history.

In May we flew to Germany to meet up with our Kawasaki Versys 1000 motorcycle, which we shipped from California in Feb 2023. We used it to ride 10,000 miles through 12 countries on roads ranging from 1,960 feet below to 9,092 feet above sea level over the next four months. See our route on a map.

Such a fantastic experience. We visited historic sites, museums and major cities like London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, York, Oslo, Berlin, Stuttgart, and Munich. Such a trip includes so many places, people and experiences that I could not possibly write about it all so I'll keep this as short as possible with a summary of a few stops described in the order we visited each.

Germany Arrival

First we met up with our motorcycle in Heidelberg where it was stored after shipment. We spent a few days there adjusting to a new time zone, getting the motorcycle prepared and packed. During these initial days we did some short rides around the Heidelberg area to see motorcycle shops and castles. Now as ready as we could be, off we went to our first stop on the Rhine River in Germany.

Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model (ELM) is composed of four stages which he says are the essence of learning. They can begin with any of the following elements, but usually starts with the first and proceed in order. These elements are:

1. concrete experience - learners must involve themselves fully, openly and without bias in new experiences.

2. reflective observation of the experience from many perspectives.

3. create abstract concepts based upon the reflection into logical sound theories.

4. active testing and experimentation of the new concepts in making decisions and solving problems.

Since my retirement from regular employment began at the start of 2021, I have been traveling (mostly via motorcycle) almost continuously. Specific trips include:

Apparently CEO World Magazine annually ranks 100+ country's health care systems. The Health Care Index is a statistical analysis of the overall quality of the healthcare system, driving a ranking based on three numbers; (1) healthcare infrastructure and healthcare professionals (doctors, nursing staff, and other health workers) competencies, (2) availability and cost (USD per capita), and finally (3) government readiness, which are all combined into an overall index.

This information is very useful if you are considering a relocation or an extended stay in another country.

Ranking number one is Taiwan at 78.72. The USA comes in fifteenth (15th) at 56.71. Our neighbors Canada rank fourth (4th) at 71.32 and Mexico ranks 45th at 41.63.

Read all the details in the Aug 2023 CEO World Magazine.

Listed below are GPS map pages for previous motorcycle rides and trips. Clicking the "Name" link will open the map on this page. Right click and choose either "New Window" or "New Tab" to get the map in a page without the remainder of this page. Enjoy these motorcycle routes as I certainly have while riding them!