Can't believe it's 5 weeks since I arrived in Singapore. Spent a week there, waiting for bike, watching football, and trying not to spend any money (it's expensive). Met up with my aunt Judy and cousin Tarryn, in town for a wedding, and trying to do their best to boost Singapore foreign currency reserves.
Bit of stress extricating bike from the port (6 hours) taxiing all over town with my fake paperwork to get the right stamps and papers. Everytime I get in this 'beyond my control/out of control' situation my stomach ties itself in knots and I feel like jumping under a bus. As usual everything was alright in the end. I'm never sure how close a call these situations really are. How long do you have to be on the road before you get the necessary serenity to cope with it all?
It was, as always, good to be back on the road. Left Singas in really heavy rain which naughtily stuck around for a few days. Everything got wet and smelly. Tried a few ports up the coast to see if there was an easy way in to Sumatra, meeting up with Swiss overlander, John, who had (and has) the same idea. The sun came out, and as I easily tire of practical hassles I decided to have a bit of a look round 'peninsular' Malaysia (for those of you who's geography is as bad as mine, Malaysia also has a couple of states at the top of Borneo too).
First up was a bit of a stroll in the Cameron Highlands, a big hilly area of jungle, tea plantations, strawberry fields, and cream teas. Watched the world cup disaster, a few of the 600(!) DVD movies on offer at the hostel (camcorder in the cinema jobbies) and got ill on Thai 'whisky'. Met up with John again, and a Dutch couple on BM's (Martin and Jan), and a Canadian (Doris) on a chopper. The Dutchies, John and I hatched a plan to meet up later and hire a banana boat to get the bikes over to Indo. All this will come to pass in a few days (fingers and toes crossed).
Had a great days riding out of the Highlands over to the East coast on a road under construction through the rain forest. The road is a year or so away from being opened, with most of the enormous bridges still under construction. A good mix of fast dirt (watching ahead for the missing bridges) and then steep twisty descents/assents (downs and ups). Got completely covered in red mud (looked 'the buisness', ahem)....
Parked the bike in someone's yard and spent a disappointing few days on the 'very beautiful' Perhintian islands (well, the one island that everyone goes to). Exclusively backpackers, very expensive cans of lager, and strangely no atmosphere. Maybe I was in a mood?
More beach time further south and back on the mainland - much more like it, with a few outings on the bike (with new, ahem, friend) to see caves and waterfalls.
Good twisty roads back inland to Taman Negara national park (allegedly the oldest jungle in the world). Really beautiful. Trekked for 4 days and spent a couple of nights in the woods. Hard going. Bought a machete with a nice leather holder (holster?) for 3 pounds 50p. Lost count of the number of leeches I picked up (trousers and socks were covered in blood), didn't get sick from drinking 5 liters of river water a day, but also didn't see any tigers or elephants. Saw some elephant footprints and droppings, but not quite the same.
I am now in Malacca on the West coast (Dutch/Portuguese/English colonial town, along with the Malay mix of Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and Pizza Hut makes it a colourful place) for the rendezvous with the others. It's been a nice easy introduction (apart from the walking bits) to Asia, but definitely time for something more adventurous.
.... but not missing banana boats!
See you, Jason.
Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.
"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."
"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.
Next HU Events
- Canada West: Aug 21-24
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- France Mini: Sep 5-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!