I took 6 days to get to Brisbane, nursing Doris all the way, total distance, 3437k, max speed 130k/h, moving average 100k/h. The tyres I replaced in Chaing Mai, 12,000k have seen better days as have the brake pads. Interestingly the chain and sprocket set I purchased from the Aussy company “Chain Gang”, and had installed at the same time, come through with flying colours, not needing any adjustment, despite the hammering Indonesia gave the bike.
March 28, 2005 GMT - 4-03-05 - JAVA to EAST TIMOR
Another rider then come out on my left, braked and run into my left Pannier, then pissed off, I caught up with him, pulled along side and give him a thick ear for his trouble, the last incident occurred when I was in such a shit fight of a traffic jam, that I seen a gap and gunned it, some guy coming from the opposite direction, tried to cut across me, he braked, and my right pannier ripped off his front mud guard. I just kept going. Then as I was negotiating the same traffic jam, I miss judged the gap size that I could fit through, and took out a green minibus’s left taillight with my pannier, revenge is sweet!
March 07, 2005 GMT - 22-02-05 -INDONESIA - SUMATRA
The immigration is as chaotic as any Asian port, with all the Europeans singled out and made to pay the $25US for a 4 week visa. Total confusion arose, when 3 young American backpackers, 3 hippy Germans complete with a 5 year old daughter and myself were herded off to a little kiosk to be processed and given our clearances, the trouble was the yanks only had travelers cheques and the Germans only had loose change in a number of currencies and also refused to pay for their daughter, being the only seemingly normal person amongst this motley lot, I promptly paid the visa cost and was on my way.
December 21, 2004 GMT - 22-12-04 THE BORING CHRISTMAS BREAK (OR SO I THOUGHT)
For all you bikers that are old enough to remember a Clint Eastwood movie, called “ANY WHICH WAY, BUT LOOSE”. The totally bizarre happened.
Imagine 30 odd HARLEY’S lined up, with their back tyres to the gutter, the riders, having a beer in the local inn. When all of a sudden, a Toyota pickup truck, rams into the first bike, setting off a domino affect on all the bikes! Luckily Doris and the KTM where parked a little distance away and didn’t sustain any damage.
November 04, 2004 GMT - 16-10-04 STAGE 6 - THROUGH CAMBODIA
I come to grief twice on these lousy roads, the first, I had to totally strip DORIS and walk her over a creek, 2m above the rice paddies, then pay the resident local elder 100b as a donation.
The second was more serious, as I was navigating this road from hell, when I was confronted with a washed out bridge, over a rice canal, with about a 2m drop to the water, I gave DORIS a gut full of juice, the front wheel followed a 12’ Diameter log, but the back end lost traction, and ended up between 2 logs, with the immediate result of an instant brake.
I ended up under DORIS on my left side, about 2m above the water, I managed to physically push DORIS upright and kick her over, as she had stalled when I dropped her.
I was lucky to be wearing my riding gear, as all I sustained was 2 bruises to my hip and elbow. You don’t want to seriously injure yourself in CAMBODIA, if you do, make sure you have enough money to medivac yourself to BANGKOK for treatment.
October 17, 2004 GMT - 07-10-04 STAGE 5 CONTINUED - BACK INTO LAO
Can you image 2 dugout canoes tied together with timber floor boards, about 6ft by 8ft wide? That is what was offered to us to transport our motorcycles to this remote island in the middle of the Mekong.
At first I refused to put my bike in unnecessary danger, but after watching D1successfully ride up a 6”x2” plank from the rivers edge I decided, what the hell, I’m getting too soft, and I don’t want to let the Aussy side down do I!
October 07, 2004 GMT - 10-09-04 STAGE 5 - BACK INTO THAILAND
I once again have to tend to Doris and my equipment, as the constant rain and bad LAO roads have taken their toll. I am glad I am riding a duel purpose bike; a big roadie would not have survived it.
First of all the standard battery in the Dakar is up the shit, it is a standard type, which in the tropics, just looses water through evaporation, VERY RAPIDLY! At least every 2 weeks in these conditions.
Secondly, I carry a co2 cylinder type pump, waste of time in these parts, carry a cheap foot pump, found in the markets for a couple of $, and some puncture patches, with a good sturdy pair of tyre levers.
September 14, 2004 GMT - 1-09-O4 - STAGE 4 - THROUGH LAOS
QUOTE FROM A LAO SAFETY PAMPHLET
"Driving in Laos is risky, mainly in urban areas. Lao people are driving by inspiration and with the assistance of Bouddha…. The road code is existing, but not really respected by the Lao people. So be careful and especially with motorbikes. The insurance civil responsibility is a necessity in Laos.”
September 01, 2004 GMT - 26-08-04 COMPLETION OF STAGE 3 THE LAOS BORDER
On arrival at the ferry landing, we were promptly told by the head ferry person, a big Thai woman, commanding a lot of respect, that there was no vehicular ferry at 3 o’clock, so I had only one choice, wait till tomorrow, or take an open boat, the size of an Aussy surf boat across the swollen Mekong River, with Doris, my bike on board, for 500b.
By now D1 and D2 were in fits of laughter as they watched me and 4 Thai men lift Doris sideways into this tiny boat, we were up to our knees in water, but we finally got Doris on board, lashed down and safely with a young Thai guy sitting on Doris for stability.
It was a surprisingly safe trip and Doris and I made it to LAOS in one peace
August 12, 2004 GMT - THE MAE HON SON LOOP - 6-8-04
you may encounter the odd elephant and as you idle up to this great king of beasts and pat him on the trunk and say “hello”, look into his eyes and wonder what he is thinking, maybe “piss off and leave me alone or I will throw you and your noisy motorbike into the bush,” or “what a nice bloke, where’s the banana?”. I prefer the latter.
August 05, 2004 GMT - NORTH THAILAND AND THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE
Dave 2 seemed to have a sign on his bike, saying “HIT ME!” as he not only disappeared into the biggest pot hole on the trip, trucks, bikes and the occasional animal, including a dog and a cow were all near misses, I got off relatively lightly with the chook, decapitated by my spokes.
July 24, 2004 GMT - COMPLETION OF STAGE 2 SINGAPORE TO KOH SAMUI
I am riding along CHAWANG Beach in shorts and sandles, when a German guy rides past shouting out "were is your helmet", I thought "bloody cheeky bastard" and give him the finger.....
July 04, 2004 GMT - THE SOUTHWEST COAST OF THAILAND
ON THE ROAD TO TRANG 21/06/04
July 04, 2004 GMT - THE THAI - MALAYSIAN BORDER
ON TO HATYAI - THAILAND - 19/06/2004
June 20, 2004 GMT - NORTH THROUGH MALAYSIA
ON TO K.L. (WELL ALMOST) - 14/06/04 I had all the intensions of leaving for K.L. from Malacca on sunday, but unexpectantly the German Bikers I met in Darwin turned up on Saturday afternoon. So to catch up on our...
June 10, 2004 GMT - ON FROM DARWIN
DARWIN TO BRUNEI - 1/6/04 Well after 5099k's, 54 hrs & 16 mins. in the saddle and a max. speed of 140km/hr, with a moving average of 94km/hr. (Isn't technology wonderful!). I can finally put the GARMIN 60C GPS away...
May 30, 2004 GMT - HERCULES, KOORIS AND THE OASIS HOTEL
12/5/04 TOTAL 690 k’s I left Newcastle on a crisp Autumn morning, the southerly wind was building up the ocean and the sea breeze was blowing in storm clouds. Saying farewell to my parents and kids, I headed off West...
May 11, 2004 GMT - beginning the first leg
1st May 2004 Just a progress story on my trip to Asia. One the first fateful Saturday of May 2004, Doris (that’s my bike’s nickname) left Brisbane on a Ulyssian epic that would take us up to 12 months to...
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