As I came over the crest of the hill, a mist of fine red dust was settling slowly in the baking outback sun. Bits of shattered plastic fairing and the eviscerated contents of Mark's panniers made a chaotic trail through...
March 15, 2002 GMT - Vicious wombats
After leaving Brisbane, I rode South in the company of fellow British overlanders Mark and Clare (Also on XT600's), who were heading for Sydney to catch a slow boat to NZ. I had recently spent a month in NZ myself,...
February 21, 2002 GMT - Connor's Rebuild in Queensland
An over-budget spectacular, set in Brisbane, Queensland, and featuring an international cast: THE STORY - Connor's Tenere is badly in need of new 4th and 5th gears, to replace the disintegrating and crappily case hardened items installed by the evil...
September 30, 2001 GMT - Into subarctic Australia
The flight to Sydney dumped me into temperatures which felt subarctic in comparison with the balmy Indonesian climate. After a week of sitting on my ass in Sydney, and a couple of visits to the cargo agent in Port Botany,...
September 15, 2001 GMT - To Yogyakarta and back
The first day's travel from Jakarta to Bandung was agonisingly slow and in desperation I tried to detour round the congestion of the major highways by using the secondary roads marked on my map. This worked well initially, but the...
August 22, 2001 GMT - Jakarta - big, hot, smoggy ...
Finally...Jakarta Big. Hot. Smoggy. Standard issue loony traffic. All these things I've seen before, but how quickly you forget.... After half a day of stop/start driving with heavy emphasis on the stop, my clutch hand was cramping painfully and I...
August 20, 2001 GMT - Minivan hell in Java
Continuing my tour of Indonesian volcano lakes, I travelled the short distance from Bukittingi to Lake Maninjau, a smaller version of Lake Toba. I tumbled down the 44 spectacular hairpin bends, running so badly out of control that I ended...
August 15, 2001 GMT - The legendary horizontal Irish biker
The audience turned expectantly towards me, and I didn't feel I could let them down. Up on the pegs, I launched myself at the thing gamely, with predictable results. Something solid in the glutinous muck grabbed pulled and twisted, and...
August 10, 2001 GMT - Lake Toba and beach paradise
Lake Toba was my next stop - to quote from the guidebook: "Damau Toba is, like, this big huge lake yeah, in the middle of a ginormous collapsed volcano thing". (I really must get a better guidebook)....
July 31, 2001 GMT - Indonesia and the 'Friendly Customs Men'
I myself was propelled across the Melacca straits by an ageing high speed ferry, and arrived in the early evening a good few hours before the bike would come chugging slowly across. At this point, consulting the email notes that...
July 15, 2001 GMT - Restarting Starship Enterprise
I had grown used to thinking of it in the same way as it was viewed by most of the people I met along the way: A technological marvel, impossibly big and shiny with undreamed of capabilities, no doubt able...
May 18, 2001 GMT - Home sweet home?
The 747 sank heavily into the leaden clouds below, and my spirits sank with it. Rain skittered against the perspex of the window, obscuring my view of the grey anonymous clutter below - London on a wet weekday morning. If...
March 14, 2001 GMT - Singin' the Chiang Mai blues
Thailand: Chiang Mai: It's cold. I stare slack-jawed into my Ovaltine and listen to the rain dripping listlessly from my cheap plastic rain cape. Nearby stands a lifeless XT600. Her motor is cold, and her once-jaunty mirrors droop pathetically in...
January 20, 2001 GMT - Stuck in salt flats - the Rann of Katch
Subtly at first, and then with more force, I felt the bike starting to labour and inexorably lose forward momentum. I shifted down a cog and continued, but the drag worsened. Nightmare scenarios of mechanical failure ran through my mind,...
December 31, 2000 GMT - Thar Desert
The journey was largely without incident, except for a brief involuntary tour of Delhi international airport, during which I was dangerously close to receiving clearance to take off for Switzerland. In Jaipur I met up with a party of four...
December 01, 2000 GMT - Amritsar, the Golden Temple, Delhi
The border crossing the following day was about what I'd expected only in reverse -the officials on the Pakistani side were moneygrabbing and officious, whilst the Indian officers did not even attempt to ask for bribery or baksheesh, and even...
November 15, 2000 GMT - Things to do in Chitral when you're stuffed...
I am reporting from the bustling metropolis of Peshawar where I have been thawing out after the last few days of subzero shenanigans. Here, for your edification and information , is how you land yourself squarely in the shit in...
October 31, 2000 GMT - Ice choreography on the Karakoram Highway
31 October 2000 - Gilgit, Pakistan Here I am in Gilgit in Northern Pakistan, where the weather continues marvellously sunny (sorry...), and the frisbee bread is hot. We travelled up the famous Karakoram Highway to arrive here, then headed further...
October 03, 2000 GMT - Turkey
3 October 2000 - Turkey I am in Erzerum in Turkey attempting as I write to screw up sufficient courage to cross into Iran! Things have gone pretty well so far with only minor mechanical hassles from the Tenere. Border...
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