2017-09-10T11:50:51+00:00April 10th, 2016|2015-16 Ride|

We are in Santiago and have to organise our bikes for their long flight across the Pacific Ocean.  Biosecurity in Australia is very strict – so we make a start at the local car wash to remove the first layer of dirt!

The next stop is at the house of our shipping agent, Julio, who is just like meeting an old friend – he cleans and details our bikes like they’ve never been done before!!



Never found a shipping agent before who actually cleans your bike!!



Julio, our shipping agent, and his pride and joy – a BMW F800GS!


The next morning we are to meet our agent, Julio, at the cargo terminal – and it’s a very emotional 26 kilometre ride to the “aeropuerto”! This is finally it – no more riding in an overseas country! The images and feelings of riding out of the airport at Kuala Lumpur on the first day of our journey back in March last year are still right there!



A pallet is constructed and after the bikes are strapped down you can pack your luggage around it.



Even your motorcycle gear can go with the bike!



No Paul – going with the bike won’t save an airfare!!


It takes two to three hours to pack the bikes – with plastic wrap sealing them up as a final touch.


It’s like they’re being wrapped in a “cocoon”!

It’s time for a look around Santiago – a city of seven million people and Chile’s capital – where the mountains surround much of the city – trapping in the smog and limiting visibility.


The La Moneda Palace in downtown Santiago.


We take the subway to Los Dominicos – a craft market in the heritage zone of the city – and are “serenaded” all the way in our carriage by a busker with a sax! The artisan shops are in a quaint village setting so it’s lovely for a wander – and our last taste of “empanadas frita”!



The Parish San Vicente Ferrer monument at the Los Dominicos artisan village in Santiago.



Carne y queso empanadas fritas!



Beautiful music while we eat our lunch!


Our last day in Chile arrives and we are ready – “home” is constantly in our thoughts and it’s time to do the final leg of our journey! We have managed to time the arrival of our bikes in Brisbane with a three day stopover in Auckland – a chance to catch up with Paul’s parents – and wish his Dad a Happy 93rd Birthday!



Kevin O’Connor – going strong at 93!



Just in time for Speakers Night at the retirement village!!



Always lots of good belly laughs with the O’Connors!




Lunch on the way “in” with a very staunch Warriors supporter – my special Aunty Ann!



Lunch on the way “out” with Auckland “besties” Gay and Rob!


Our daughters, Sarah and Chelsea, welcome us home – Chelsea has flown 2000 kilometres from Melbourne to surprise us at the Brisbane Airport!


Good training has our girls come armed with cold Boags “roadies” at Brisbane Airport!!



Story of the Week

We hand over our boarding passes in Santiago to board our LAN Chile flight across the Pacific – but the scanner goes red instead of green and we are waved over to a woman standing at a computer. She taps away, scribbles on our passes and we head off to the plane. The hostess greets us and points to the left – what the – we have been upgraded to First Class/Business – holy guacamole!!


This is a “first” for me on a long haul flight – LAN Chile from Santiago to Auckland!!


The cold beers before we even take off are just the ticket and we are grinning from ear to ear!! We are given a Menu and dinner is four courses – with a white, linen tablecloth, real cutlery and real glasses! The service is like a high-class restaurant and as we settle for the “night” our chairs become flat beds and we are given a soft, white quilt and a perfect soft pillow. On the Trans-Tasman leg, Emirates are the “carrier” for Qantas and we are on the top floor of an A380 – another first for us! What an absolutely perfect way to end our Round the World journey!!



Little ol’ Lee from Waipu enjoying the perfect end to our epic journey – Auckland to Brisbane leg on an Emirates A380!



A bar at the back of the plane – are you kidding me!!



Tip of the Day

We have had several beers in the Qantas Lounge at Auckland Airport, boarded the plane and had several more before some wine with our dinner. With less than an hour to go to Brisbane we decide to lie back in our “pods” with a full glass of wine, put on the headphones and listen to some music. I’ve found a Live Acoustic Covers playlist and The Corrs are doing Everybody Hurts – just awesome! All is going swimmingly until the man in the pod across the aisle “looms” right over me – points his finger accusingly – and tells me my singing is way too loud!! As we stand to leave the plane, a guy two pods in front turns round with his thumb up and says “Good Singing!” So what some people find “intolerable” – others find amusing – it all depends on your view of life!!


On Two Wheels

We are staying in a hostel recommended by our shipper, Julio – and it’s full of “overlanders” like ourselves – all finishing their journey in Santiago. Ira is German and lives in Switzerland – she has been eight months on the road – shipping her bike to Bogota in Colombia and heading south – sometimes with others and sometimes on her own. It is so good to share stories with another female biker!



Hostal Casa Matte in Santiago – a refuge for overland bikers!



Ira and her BMW F800 GS.


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So there it is – BikesnBeers have been around the world – 80,000 kilometres, 40 countries – all in one year!! Thanks to all the people who have “followed” our journey and to all the new friends we made – our bar is always open in Brisbane and we love having people to stay – so many stories to tell!!



  1. Mark April 11, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Thanks Paul and Lee, sounds like you had a fantastic time and I also had a fantastic time following your adventures from my computer. Thank you again

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Cheers Mark – thanks for coming for the ride! Will keep you posted if we do a book!!

  2. Cuz Sandy April 11, 2016 at 7:15 am

    WOW! You did it. Epic journey. Congratulations. Thank you so much for letting us be armchair travelers with you. LOL X X

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      It was a pleasure to have you on board! Thinking of doing N.Z. from November, 2017, with a lot of “cuzzie catchups”!! See you then..xxx

  3. alison morgan April 11, 2016 at 3:48 am

    What a great last blog Lee loved your singing story especially when it was the corrs. Will catch up Jude and I are heading to Canada for 3 weeks on the 7th May very exciting. Love Alison xx

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Wow – Canada! We’ll have to swap stories when you get back…will be in touch xxxx

  4. Paddy O'Connor April 11, 2016 at 3:47 am

    Awesome. You made it hey. The family photos are cool. Pa hasn’t changed much. Wish everyone the best for me in Brisbane. Especially Sarah & Chelt. Peace XOXO!!!

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Hey Paddy! We’re home!! Feeling a bit “dazed and confused” but we’ll get there!! Pa is just the same and we had some great laughs with him. Everyone in Brisbane misses you xxxxx

  5. Colleen McFadzien April 11, 2016 at 3:40 am

    WELCOME HOME You have had such an amazing trip and to cap it off with a 1st Class Seat Home would have been so amazing & relaxing. Even though I have not made any comments on your journey, I have been checking to see what you have been up to. Looking forward to catching up. Colleen & John

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks heaps and a few cold “sherbets” with you guys will be just the ticket!!

  6. Toni Butler April 11, 2016 at 2:45 am

    It feels like yesterday that you left Melbourne. And now we find ourselves where you started – KL. You’ll have to come back for a visit. Or, we’ll see you in BrisVegas.

    I’m sure it won’t be the last of your adventures…

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      I think you’re right Toni, but not for a while!! Most definitely we will catch up and we’ll look forward to it xx

  7. Wendy and Paul Buckingham April 10, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Well done. It was such a joy meeting you in Chiang Mai at the beginning of your journey and following you around the world. All the best.

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:40 am

      Thanks Wendy! Who knows, maybe our paths will cross again. It’s been a pleasure to have you on board!!

  8. Peter Olivier April 10, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Welcome home, can’t wait to see you guys and listen to your great adventure. Admiration and respect for your adventure spirit.

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:39 am

      Will be awesome to catch up guys and we’ll have to come see this “ranch”!! xxxx

  9. scott April 10, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    I mean you’re home ☺

  10. scott April 10, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    yay your home!!! cant wait to catch up!!

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:38 am

      I need a “Scotty hug”!!

  11. Sharon Newey April 10, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Hey, cousie I’ve so enjoyed your posts and especially the photos. They’re amazing. Congrats on the achievement. When’s the next one?!

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:38 am

      Hey Sharon – awesome to hear from you and thanks for the feedback! We were meant to do N.Z. first but this opportunity came up so we are seriously looking at coming over November 2017 – will keep you posted!! Loads of room in Brissie if you need a Queensland holiday…xxxxx

  12. Lynne and Craig April 10, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Welcome home,we shall have to catch up.What an adventure now
    family will treasure time with Mum and Dad.We leave for Norway and
    France today back in a month ❤️ Lynne and Craigxx

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 1:20 am

      Have a great holiday and catch you when you’re back xxxx

  13. Marlene and Les Buckton April 10, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    A wonderful journey Lee and Paul. Aunty Ann encouraged us to follow your adventures and
    they have been a great read. Our daughter Pip who works with Qantas will be most impressed
    with your upgrade journey to Auckland. Well deserved and many happy times to be shared with
    loved ones at home.
    Marlene and Les

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:35 am

      Thanks Marlene, lovely to hear from you! It feels right to be home and there’s lots to look forward to. Does Pip live in Australia?

      • Marlene and Les Buckton April 11, 2016 at 7:54 pm

        Pip Is based in Auckland

  14. John Billingham April 10, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Well done both of you -what an amazing addventure!
    So pleased to see you arriving home safely and all in one piece..
    We are so envious, good on ya!
    John, Les, Malc and Chris.

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 1:23 am

      Thanks you guys! Who knows – we may come your way again or you might decide to wander Down Under and our paths will cross again!

  15. Raewyn April 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Such a perfect ending to a great adventure. It must have been a joy to see Sarah and Chelsea. And I guess it’s our turn to visit you next! See you in Brisbane sometime!

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 1:24 am

      Love to see you guys in Brissie Rae! Now we’re home we can ring more often xxxxx

  16. Gerry Sokolik April 10, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Lee & Paul, A fitting ride home from a very thrilling year! Glad your both safe & sound back where your adventure started. Sorry we weren’t able to meet up at one of the points our paths converged but Lone Pine is one of my wife’s must visit each visit to Brisbane so hopefully we’ll get a chance to “bend an elbow” in the not to distant future.

    Gerry & Sandy Sokolik
    Spokane WA USA

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 1:26 am

      That would be awesome Gerry – we’ll look forward to it! Our house overlooks the river nearly opposite Lone Pine!! Plenty of spare beds so see you then!

  17. Aynsley April 10, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Awwww, I think a big tear just dropped out of my eye! Thx for sharing, so very cool!

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 1:27 am

      Cheers Cuz! Keep in touch xxxx

  18. Wayne Draper April 10, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Well done to the both of you. Fantastic and thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Yes we would love to have a beer with you in Brisbane the next time we are there.

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 1:28 am

      And if it’s not in Brisbane we will see you in Victoria!! xxxx

  19. Bev April 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Welcome home Lee and Paul… I am sure you will need to adjust for a while.

    I have loved ‘travelling’ with you. Thank you for sharing your trip with us.


    Bev R

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 1:28 am

      Cheers Bev! Will be in touch – wanna help with the “book”?!

  20. Nicola Cotterill April 10, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Great to see you both home safe and well!
    Thanks for sharing your amazing journey.

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:34 am

      Thanks Nic, I think the first “date” will have to be at the “ranch”!! Looking forward to catching up xxx

  21. Terry O'Hanlon April 10, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Congratulations and welcome home!

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:33 am

      Cheeers Terry – would love to catch up sometime!

  22. Rita Logan April 10, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Welcome home, Lee and Paul … such a great journey! Well done!! I won’t be back in Brisbane till mid-May, but will call and catch up with you then. Hugs and kisses (in the Spanish way), Rita

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:32 am

      Hey Rita, give us a ring when you’re back – really looking forward to connecting – and filling in the gaps!! xxxx

  23. Maryanne April 10, 2016 at 10:54 am

    You are both truly amazing people and I’m so happy for you to be back home. I have been in awe of your life for the past year! Xo

  24. Barb April 10, 2016 at 10:11 am

    So proud for you . Well done . Will miss your travel emails . Hope to see you soon xx

  25. Robyn Kearney April 10, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Glad to see you home safe and sound . What a ride ! And to top it off with an upgraded flight on the last leg. Livin the dream !

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:30 am

      Thanks Robyn! Man – I could get used to that kind of flying – that’s for sure!! See you guys soon xxx

  26. Sue youens April 10, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Wow – fabulous way to end the trip and I love the onboard photos. Well done to you both – inspirational x

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:29 am

      Thanks Sue – it’s going to be nice to go home to our own bed now and family and friends. We must get you up to stay before too long xxx

  27. Ros Keay April 10, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Welcome home Lee and Paul! An amazing 12 months for you both and like many others I will miss reading your blogs and seeing your wonderful photos. A fantastic achievement!

    Ros x

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Thanks Ros – looking forward to catching up with you guys xxx

  28. Kay Cotterill April 10, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Welcome home!!! What an amazing journey you have been on.
    Will have to catch up when you have settled in and back to normal.
    Cheers from the Cotterill Clan 💥🍺⚡️🍾

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Love to catch up Kay – I think we need to come over and check out the “ranch”!! See you soon xxx

  29. Aunty April 10, 2016 at 8:19 am

    What a wonderful experience and it was so special to be able to spend time in Auckland with you. Your Dad would have hated the motorbikes Lee but he would have loved the adventure and the blogs and the safe arrival back in Brisbane!!!
    Love you xxxx

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:21 am

      Awesome memories of our “lunch” Anne!! Always so special to spend time with you – will be in touch xxxx

  30. Annie April 10, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Welcome home my dearest friends xxxx

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:19 am

      Thankyou my BFITWWW! Can’t wait to see you xxxx

  31. Sue Hird April 10, 2016 at 8:10 am

    I’m thrilled that you’re home safe but I’m also a bit sad that it’s all over! Have just loved your blogs.
    Enjoy being home.

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:18 am

      Thanks Cuz! We get the keys to the house today – OMG, I will have to think about “what’s for dinner”!! Maybe we just get the cold beers in the fridge and take it from there….xxxx

  32. Chris Murphy April 10, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Welcome Home Lee
    Wow. What. A. Trip. You are so amazing and inspirational. I’ve absolutely loved travelling around the world with you from my comfy lounge chair….and you on your maybe not so comfy bike seat 😊. I hope little ol Brissie isn’t toooooo dull for you now and I can’t wait to catch up with you and hear some stories in person. Chris xx

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:17 am

      Me too Chris – and a big hug xxxxx

  33. Vera Zappala April 10, 2016 at 7:50 am

    What am I going to do now? My adventure has finished with you.
    Thanks for the great ride!! I have enjoyed myself. So glad you have made it home!


    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:16 am

      Thanks Vera – give us a few weeks and we’ll arrange a catch-up xxx

  34. Phil and Evol Prince April 10, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Definately a wonderful way to end your intrepid adventure- the A380.
    Congratulations guys. Look forward to having a beer with you some time in the future.
    Phil and Evol xx

    • Lee April 11, 2016 at 12:16 am

      Thanks you two! Most definitely catch up soon xxx

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