click for larger image
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.
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!