Archives


May 09, 2006 GMT - Malaysia
It's a short ferry rideacross the river from Thailand into Malaysia. Since it is Friday afternoon, most everyone in this Muslim country is praying. If they're not praying, they're certainly not hanging out at the customs office. We're anticipating a...

April 07, 2006 GMT - Laos and Thailand Yet Again
We're making one last foray into Laos to pick up the bike after Dave's collarbone's three week recovery in Thailand. Back on the plane to Ubon Ratchathani, back on the bus through customs into Laos, back on the bus some...

April 05, 2006 GMT - Thailand, Round 2
The Lao doctor told Dave to stay off the bike for a month so his fractured collarbone (incurred during The Pakse Bovine Encounter) can heal properly. Dave's been bearing up like a trooper; but unable to do much of anything...

March 17, 2006 GMT - Laos
Right side, left side, right side again. Side of the road one drives on, that is. Cruising over the Mekong River via the Thailand-Laos Friendship Bridge, you're on the left. But as soon as you touch Lao soil, it's over...

February 19, 2006 GMT - Thailand, Round 1
The advantage of an airplane is that it saves you a bunch of time and gets you across Nepal to Thailand when you are not allowed to take your big bike into Myanmar. The advantage of a motorcycle is that...

February 11, 2006 GMT - Nepal
You notice three interesting things about Nepal shortly after crossing the border from India. 1) The road is good. 2) Fog shrouded tree-cloaked hillsides curving round terraced triangles of dormant and sprouting fields o' something make it suddenly all quite...

January 15, 2006 GMT - Northern India
The Golden Temple is a pretty mind-blowing introduction to India. This holy Sikh sanctuary in Amritsar is our first stop over the border from Pakistan. Visitors can stay in cavernous lodges on a donation basis and dine for free on...

December 12, 2005 GMT - Pakistan, Part 2
Uncertainty about road conditions after the massive October earthquake has sent us detouring outside the Karakoram Highway to the Swat Valley. This is said to be one of the prettiest areas in Pakistan, a popular retreat for tourists and Pakistanis...

November 13, 2005 GMT - Pakistan, Karakoram Highway
It's all downhill from the top of the 4733 meter Khunjerab Pass. We're happy to stop for a breath of rarified air near the post confirming our arrival in Pakistan. For just another snowy ridge looking down onto yet more...

October 26, 2005 GMT - China, Xinjiang Province
Two failed Torugart Pass-crossing attempts later and two expiring-today visas in hand, we have resignedly bitten the pricey bullet. This means hiring a vehicle both to carry us and the bike over the icy snow to the China border as...

October 18, 2005 GMT - Kyrgyzstan
Between exiting Tajikistan and entering Kyrgyzstan one encounters a barren sweeping mystical no-man's-land where trucks crouch sadly in abandoned resignation and nature snickers mockingly over the generally accepted definition of the word "road". It appears that a huge landslide has...

September 20, 2005 GMT - Tajikistan
Border crossing? WHAT border crossing? According to our map, three purport to cross from Uzbekistan into Tajikistan. However not a soul, from travel agents to police, seems to have the slightest knowledge as to whether any are in fact open....

September 05, 2005 GMT - Uzbekistan
You don't want to sneeze funny in Turkmenistan because you'll probably be fined $582 and prohibited from returning to the country for thirty-five years. With this mindset hovering over the day, 5 year ban stamps blazing in passports, we tiptoe...

August 13, 2005 GMT - Turkmenistan
We've had a long-standing impression that the ferry crossing from Baku to Turkmenbashi would necessitate shadowy dealings and bribes to everyone from cargo boys to captains in order to get the motorcycle illicitly tucked away on board. Scenario part 2...

August 07, 2005 GMT - Azerbaijan
No surprise that rain in Georgia before the Azerbaijan border would mean rain in Azerbaijan across the Azerbaijan border. Inhabitants of dozens of cars stalled in a long line are draped in various stages of soggy boredom over their cars'...

July 31, 2005 GMT - Georgia
Road Poems for Georgia 1. Tblisi when going to the capital you don't need a map-at-all simply take the asphalt road the only paved one, so we're told 2. Telavi "secondary road" the map says quite a scenic 40 miles...

July 20, 2005 GMT - Turkey: The Next Three Weeks
Ack! Someone lost track of the last three weeks we spent in Turkey. We'll get to it some day. Meanwhile, on to Georgia......

July 02, 2005 GMT - Istanbul, Turkey
Erika must have her coffee. Luckily there's a restaurant just before the border crossing into Turkey. And fortuitously a pair of bikers show up to keep Dave entertained while E gets her caffeine fix. Though their English is limited, this...

June 25, 2005 GMT - Bulgaria
At the beginning of June, the motorcycle registration expired. Dave's dad will get the new one in the mail, which he'll forward to a contact in Istanbul. But there are two borders to be crossed before we get to Istanbul....

June 12, 2005 GMT - Romania
The sky is getting a strange translucent cover, like a sheet of gray pearlescent silk lit up from behind. It makes the heat thicker, and moist. The friendly border guard tells us names we can't remember of places to see...

May 30, 2005 GMT - Serbia
It is HOT. Boring countryside. Flat. Hot. Homes are newer-looking -- as if built by someone who had some money to build a nice new home, not as if re-built by someone whose home had been trashed in some war....

May 27, 2005 GMT - Bosnia & Herzegovina
Border crossings have been simple. Typically, documents are shown to personnel at the semi-official looking station of the country you are leaving, whereupon you sit around for a few minutes while they retreat into some small dark cubicle to perform...

May 20, 2005 GMT - Montenegro
There is something about border towns. Perhaps if you ran into them in the middle of the country they would seem less disquieting, more common. Perhaps it is only one's heightened anticipation of change, one's alertness to potential of the...

May 12, 2005 GMT - Croatia
We'd heard of the beauty of the Croatian coast as well as the trauma of the war. Not sure what to expect, we cross the border. Opatija is our first stop. Set, as are so many coastal towns, on a...

May 05, 2005 GMT - Slovenia
Our first impression of Slovenia is kind of dreary. The high mountain pass we've chosen in order to see something a little more unusual (as well as to avoid the high cost of the toll road) deposits us in a...

April 30, 2005 GMT - Innsbruck, Austria
Hi, I am a map of Austria. This is what I look like: /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ / \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \.................

April 24, 2005 GMT - Treisen, Liechtenstein
When you read your campground guidebook and get all excited because the football field-sized country of Liechtenstein has about 20 campgrounds, you are ultimately disappointed to realize that the country with 20 campgrounds was actually LUXEMBOURG and that your campground...

April 22, 2005 GMT - Appenzell, Switzerland
For our last hurrah in Switzerland, Erika`s parents took us up to the Appenzell, a region in the northeast part of the country (they offered us the use of their rental car if we'd agree to let my mom drive...

April 21, 2005 GMT - Cormoret, Switzerland
Leaving Le Val D`Ajol, we ascended smooth twisty roads through the French countryside into the rolling hills of the Swiss Jura region. This area is not known on the typical tourist route but is filled with beautiful scenery; old farmhouses;...

April 15, 2005 GMT - Le Val d'Ajol, France
Thursday morning we went to Charles De Gaulle Airport just north of Paris to pick up the Transalp. Getting there was easy, the metro took us very close to the airport and we boarded a bus which dropped us directly...

April 13, 2005 GMT - Paris, France
We couldn't have had a nicer start to our time in France than being able to stay with Dave's friends Tony and Caroline in their cute little Parisian flat, conveniently located just steps away from the kebab house and the...

April 08, 2005 GMT - Vancouver, BC - Ready to cross the pond
The ride from San Francisco to Vancouver went smoothly, amazingly enough no rain until the last leg from Seattle to Vancouver. Not what I expected in an area sometimes referred to as the "Pacific Northwet". Not surprisingly, the Transalp has...

March 17, 2005 GMT - San Francisco, CA - Less than 3 weeks to departure...
Finally, we are just about ready to hit the road, we will be leaving in just under 3 weeks. I will be riding up to Vancouver, BC from San Francisco on April 4, with the bike scheduled to ship by...

 
 

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