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Richie and Lisa at HU UK Meeting 2003
After 7 long enjoyable years living in London we finally decided to forego the grey dreary winters and variable summers and head home to New Zealand. Slowly. The plan was to ride back to New Zealand over a year and a half on a very well used TDM850.
Our route was UK - France - Italy - Slovenia - Hungary - Romania - Bulgaria - Greece - Turkey - Iran - Pakistan - India - Nepal - Thailand - Cambodia - Laos - Thailand - Malaysia - Indonesia - East Timor - Australia - New Zealand. We left England on 30/07/03 and had a ball - 18 months of sunshine, open roads and adventure.
With itís steaming jungles, smoking volcanoes and pounding surf Indonesia is a land for adventure. Our first adventure was getting the bike over here.
click here and see the bustling port we shipped from
We had left B.O.B. (Brutish.Obsolete.Behemoth) in Malaysia with a shipping agent north of Melaka and had caught a passenger ferry across from Melaka to Dumai in Sumatra. The shipping agents operated out of a ramshackle port-a-cabin sitting beside a brown river from where small wooden boats ship onions to Sumatra. They assured us they had shipped several other bikes a few years ago but the whole setup had a third world casualness which was less than confidence inspiring especially knowing it had to be craned on and off as there was no ramp. I was relieved to pick the bike up off the dock the following morning none the worse for itís sea voyage. After a couple of hours clearing customs, declining a customs officerís request for a gift and getting a travel permit from the police we were back on the road.
After our luxurious break in Bali we reluctantly packed the bike again and left for the island of Lombok in search of more adventure.
Click here to see Lisa and friend
The four hour ferry crossing became a seven hour one as, when the boat arrived in Lombokís little port there were still two ferries unloading. Our boat waited in the bay for three hours while all the trucks on board revved their engines and honked their horns, ready to go, even though the boat wasnít docked.
Q: What is bloody huge, red in the middle and covered in flies?
Itís also stinking hot.
click here to see a quality Aussie road
Southern Australia - almost the last leg of our odessy.
Click here to see the first vehicle to drive overland from UK - Aus in 1927
Our journey is not all that is nearing itís end, Lisa is pinning for a home and B.O.B. (our Buggered Old Bike) is showing the hard miles itís done.MORE...
What an amazing feeling arriving in New Zealand after such a long absence Ė eight years away and only 3 trips back between us. We had been on the road for 18 months since leaving England and visited 22 countries but our trip wasnít finished Ė it couldnít be finished without a lap of the country, catching up with relatives, old friends and favorite spots.
We were welcomed home by a rousing welcoming party of close family at Auckland airport. It felt amazing to be finally back and to start catching up with family and friends.
We still had a couple of weeks to wait until the bike arrived from Aus so we did what half of New Zealand appeared to be doing over the summer vacation and spent some quality time relaxing at the beach.
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