Travel broadens the mind. Nothing raises awareness and objectivity like a trip through distant lands. Alexander von Humboldt, a well-known German natural scientist, told the world two hundred years ago that the most dangerous thing are the world views of a man who hasn’t viewed the world at all.
So what could be more obvious than bringing together what initially belongs together? Namely: travelling and motorcycling. Basically, it makes no difference if you plan a weekend-trip to the closest lake or a raid trough smoldering deserts. In the end, most of the rides turn into some kind of an adventure.
But after taking a look at these pictures, you have to admit that the Argentinian Abra del Acay-pass or the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest might provide bigger sensations than the average weekend-ride out. Secretly, you catch yourself thinking about Che Guevara crossing Chile on his old, knackered Norton.
Most of us probably don’t plan on starting a revolution but none of us is averse to a little adventure, aren’t we? We want to eat dust! We want to brave the elements and tame the machine under adverse conditions! We’re tough and we’re going to prove it to ourselves and everyone out there! On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with a warm shower, a grilled steak, some wine and a snug bed in the evening. Tough guy or not, our bones tend to be more frail these days, right?
That’s exactly what Mono 500 offers to globetrotters with a penchant for the sunny side of life. The company, based in France and Ecuador, specializes in motorcycle travelling for more than 10 years, with a focus on South America since 2011. More precisely with a focus on Argentina and Ecuador.
Adventure seekers can choose between trips on the tracks of the Dakar Rally in northwestern Argentina, the Altiplano Trails through the Argentinian Andes or a route from the Ecuadorian coast to the Amazon rainforest.
Your ride for this journey is no modern high-tech bike but a well-maintained, venerable Royal Enfield Classic 500. This simple-to-master and indestructible single cylinder bike gives you a genuine experience none of the modern battleships can provide.
Groups of 3 to 10 people are accompanied by English and French speaking tour guides. If you happen to beat your Anglo-Indian eminence a bit too much on the dirt trails, a mechanic provides support on the whole trip. So you’re free to marvel at the landscapes while this guy patches up your ride.
And since a big bulk of luggage on the Royal Enfield’s rack would affect the bike’s handling and thereof your experience, your stuff is driven to the next hotel by van every day. Mono 500 hand-picks only premium hotels so you don’t need to worry about your comfort and the catering.
You can book the trip as a solo-rider or with a passenger. Mono 500 also offers individual packages for groups, feel free to ask. The pace is quite smooth in order to leave plenty of time for breaks and to get acquainted with the country and its culture. Bank on 6 to 7 hours of riding per day.
The package includes tour guides, mechanics, lodging in premium hotels with full board, the bike rental including gasoline, an insurance, luggage transport, airport transfers as well as all the entry fees for parks and museums. So you just have to pay for the journey to and from the destination as well as the booze you can’t keep your fingers off.
Prices start at 3400 USD depending on the route you choose and the number of participants. Lasting impressions and priceless memories come for free. You’ll definitely get enough material for twelve months of bragging in your favorite bar.
Even the Dalai Lama once said that everyone should, at least once a year, visit a place he’d never been before. The last floor of the car park or the neighboring village’s post office is probably not what he had in mind saying this. Why not the Ecuadorian rain forest, in the saddle of a classic thumper?
Pictures by David Marvier, Julian Izquierdo and Mono 500.