Route from Germany to Jordan (click on the map to go to the Schwaig to Istanbul chapter)

Route from Jordan to Ethiopia (click on the map to go to the Jordan chapter)

Route from Ethiopia to Malawi (click on the map to go to the Ethiopia chapter)

Route from Malawi through Southern Africa (click on the map to go to the Malawi chapter)

Big changes as of January 2008!

As you can see from the title of this chapter our trip has changed a bit.  As we travelled south through Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Sudan we felt that we were always under pressure to keep going.  If we stopped we would be getting further and further behind and eventually it would not be possible to make it to the southern tip of South America before the snow started to fall.  In Ethiopia we really did slow down; long enough to take a good hard look at what we wanted out of this trip.  Since the accident in Germany our dream of riding around the world from North to South via Nordkapp was dashed so we really didn't "need" to go to Ushuaia anymore.  We decided to focus on Africa this time and do South America another time.  

The current plan is to fly from South Africa to the east coast of North America in June and then spend a month or two riding across Canada back home.  Those of you from Western Canada know how difficult it is to try and visit Atlantic Canada on a summer vacation.  (Those in Europe imagine riding from Munich to Aqaba in Jordan for a little diving in the Red Sea and back)  The driving distances involved mean that the entire vacation is spent driving thousands of kilometres with almost no time left over for visiting.  Flying from South Africa finally gives us the opportunity to visit a part of our own country; a part where we've never been.

How did we get the idea to do this trip?

After our last adventure, spending a year in Europe and North Africa, we decided that not only could we ride and camp for a year, we actually enjoyed it tremendously. We knew that we would have to take another year-long trip. This time we would take off in the summer of 2007 and return in 2008. But where to? The world is a big place and there are plenty of things to see and do. We decided to ride around the world, north to south, following the longitudes rather than the more common west to east latitudes. Hence the Longitudinal Way Round.  See the map at the bottom of the page to get an idea of the planned route.

June 2007 UPDATE:  In researching the trip we found that if we went south from Calgary to Ushuaia and then up Africa we would hit hurricane season in Central America and the Big Rains in Eastern Africa.  So we decided to turn the trip around by continuing from Inuvik to Nordkapp (at least philosophically) then riding south through Eastern Europe through to South Africa and riding up South America through Central America back home to Calgary.   We will fly from Calgary to Munich on July 5 and then ride north to Norway to pick up our Longitudinal Way Round at Nordkapp.

July 2007 UPDATE: See the Germany chapter for information on our arrival in Europe to kick off the round the world trip.

1989 BMW R100GS preparation for the Longitudinal Way Round
The 2003 BMW R1150GS Adventure was sold in the Fall of 2006 and the money used to buy a share of a 1998 BMW K1200RS and to rebuild the 1989 R100GS from the ground up.  Here are a few of the things done to prepare the old bike for a trip around the world:
Rebuild engine as done by Anderwerks in Calgary:
   Renew heads with new valves and guides and a bead blasting
   New clutch
   New camshaft and lifters
   New timing chain and sprockets
   New piston rings
   Rebuilt carburettors (with new seals, needle jets, jet needles and floats)
   New oil pump impeller
   Rebuit Öhlins rear shock absorber
   New exhaust nuts made by Walter Price in Germany
   New Nippondenso starter (from Motorrad Elektrik)
   New Omega 400 Watt charging system (also from Motorrad Elektrik)
   Rebuilt transmission with addition of kickstart (from Siebenrock in Germany)
   Deep oil sump (also from Siebenrock)
   Spiegler cast iron front brake rotor and braided steel line, used 4 piston brake caliper from a 1993 K1100LT (machined to fit by Fusion Weldworks) and new master cylinder from Siebenrock
   Rebuilt driveshaft with greasable U-joints from Brunos in Ontario
   New rear brake shoes
   35 litre gas tank from an R100GS Paris/Dakar model repainted by Cycle Mania in Okotoks (with new yellow stripes provided by Mr. Detail in Calgary)
   Corbin seat recovered by De Greeve's Upholstery in Calgary (see Europe's Gibraltar chapter to understand why!)
   New throttle cables
   New steering head bearings
   Service front forks
   Installed Centech fuse panel to power the GPS and a charge point in the right saddle bag.
   Installed silicone gaskets for valve covers and oil pan
   Installed Touratech handlebar risers (to make standing on the previously installed Q-Tech pegs easier)

And for Audrey's F650GS?  Just a 40,000 km service (even though the bike only has 36,000 km on it) and it's ready to ride!

Approximate route for Longitudinal Way Round