Paul Griffiths'  Motorcycle Trip - UK to NZ 

November 2011- July 2012

Rubbish Map, will try to find a better one but it does give an overview of Paul's route

Paul Griffiths has been a member of the Bristol Section of the MZRC since he returned to the UK from New Zealand a few years ago for family reasons. Paul made the trip back overland riding his BMW 650 single which already had an impressive mileage on the clock. It has now done 105k miles and Paul is about to ride the same bike back to NZ starting early November 2011. As he came over via the Americas he is returning through Europe, the Middle East and Asia. His route is flexible and will be revealed as the journey progresses. The web page will be updated as and when Paul is able to find the time and an internet cafe to send in a report.

 

Some Stats about theTrip compiled 3rd August 2012

Sorry about the Stat's not being sorted as I have been very busy with my house. I'm so happy with it, I would have done more damage over eight years than the tenants did; all I needed to do was just move in. Yes the small shrubs I had in the garden are now small trees and I've just cut them back yesterday. I've been extremely ill over the past ten days with some sort of Flu, never felt so low for a long time until last Monday when it literally poured out of me, My new bed was soaking wet, (thought I'd had an accident) but not that old yet. So feeling a lot better, I've done one article for the Waikato Times motoring section, which came out OK, and now the Bike Rider Magazine want me to put a 2500 word account of both my trips together, so that is the next thing.


The stats so far for my trip are from UK to NZ, 23000 miles approx,( worked out because of broken cable) Average fuel consumption was (24.34 Km/ltr - approx 68mpg) passing 19 countries, Two sets of tyres, Continental Escapes, (18000 Miles) and Avon Distanzia's (5000 Miles) Avon's had to suffer the rough Aussie and NZ roads, just torn to bit's and worn flat because of few corners. Lists of problems with the bike, Front left fork seal started to leak in Slovenia, Heated bars switch broke in Slovenia,  Radiator fan stopped working, (poor connectors) in Turkey, Speedo cable broke in Turkey, Ignition switch broke in Turkey, Rear Shock became useless in Pakistan, Fit new brake pad's in Bangkok, (cant find a cheap rear shock) Changed sprocket's and chain in the Cameron highlands, Malaysia. the old set (10000 miles) was new chain on old sprockets, the new was all new. Tried to fix rear shock in Indonesia, stuffing the inside full of footrest rubber, OK for 1000 kilometres then back to being a pogo stick again. Lot's of electrical connectors overheating, (Too much resistance) so cut them off and fit accessory connectors. Fitted new left fork seal in Indonesia and changed tyres in Timor. Fitted new Hagon rear shock, new speedo cable, and new front brake pad's, also front left wheel bearing in Darwin. Due to damage fitting the Fork seal another one was fitted in outback Aussie, with new fork boot's. Bike finally stops in Brisbane, caused by a broken carburettor diaphragm, I had a spare and got it going. Managed to get home using a screw driver for the ignition, didn't have one puncture, amazing.

So to add this to the South American stats, altogether, total miles was, 17000 miles to the UK giving a total of 40000 mile round trip through 33 countries altogether including 15 states in North America. Oh, and two punctures in total. Not bad for a 1999 BMW Funduro, now with 203,000 Kilometres on the clock. 

Picture is back with some old friends.Hope that is OK Peter,


 

Final Stage map: Thursday 5th July 2012 - Home at Last

Today was the last day, and a very nice ride up the west coast it was, until just before Hamilton where it was foggy. So with the trip done, apart from the stats, I would like to thank in particular Peter Fielding of the Bristol MZ riders club, for doing the web site of this trip. If You enjoyed redaing about the trip perhaps you would like to make a donation to my designated charity - www.motorcycleoutreach.org

   

Wednesday 4th July

Hi Peter, Sorry about the small pic's Signal is weak where I am so I hope you get this update. Well the sun is shining and this looks like the last day of my trip that started early Nov 2011. A bit sad to tell the truth, but so happy I've done what I'd set out to do. The last couple of days have been interesting with the Earthquake on Tuesday evening making everything rock about. Even though the centre of the quake was 60 kilometres out to sea and 230 kilometres deep it made the ground feel like jelly, and someone had given it a huge kick, very frightening, and it gives you an idea what the people in Christchurch went through. The thing is you don't know when the next one will be. I'm in New Plymouth, and just have a 250 kilometre ride to Hamilton, where some kind people have offered to put me up, (Or put up with me) until I can move back in my house later this month. Been a great trip, and has changed my opinion of many things. In the West, we have too much, when many places I've been have nothing, but a smile on their faces. Some people don't even have the freedom that we enjoy and take for granted, and some people don't even  have their health, but are stronger than I would be. So on that note I'd like to thank all those who have given to my chosen charity. motorcycleoutreach.org and ask others if they would like to support the charity by contacting there web site directly. Hope those that followed this trip enjoyed the ride. I'll work out the stat's when I'm settled. All the best, Paul.

 

   

Monday 2nd July

It's great to be in NZ, but it's freezing at the moment. I've come across from Christchurch, to the West coast via the Arthur's pass, Lot's to look at and sights to see, (Bea & Helle) you will love it, but will spend most of your time taking pictures I Think, I've moved further north to the Lewis pass and stayed at the Murchison Pub, (As you do) still below zero, and today I have come up through Nelson to Picton where I'm in a cabin, waiting to catch a ferry to Wellington tomorrow morning. $128 one way seems a little expensive, for a man and his bike. Oh Well, guess I've been away a while. Tomorrow I hope to visit my friend Alan's son Kris if it's possible, then see if the desert road is open, but I expect I will go over to the west coast and visit Mt Egmont in Taranaki, and stay there if the weather is kind. Had a very big slide on some frost this morning hidden under the shadow of some tree's. The last thing would be to drop the bike at this late stage, They say most accidents are when you close to home, so extra care from now on I think.

 

Just want to say a special thankyou to Marcos, from Brazil living in Brisbane, who helped me out when the beemer broke down. He picked me up with his trailer, and gave me a roof over my head while I fixed the bike and got it ready to come to New Zealand, a fellow HU member. Good luck on your trip to Brazil, and many thanks once again.

Found the size of my pictures are taking too much money and too much time, So I'm sending these pic's in a small form. This is another camera but with more pixels than the last. So hope you get them and hope you've not seen then before. Take care, Paul.

 

       

 

Friday 29th June 2012

Hi Peter, I'm sending emails just the same as before, I've no Idea why they were not getting through. Anyway,  I'm in Greymouth NZ, after flying over from Brisbane, re-registering my bike in Christchurch and now on the final leg. The bike actually broke down in Brisbane, but a fellow Horizons member helped me out with his trailer. Problem was a carb Diophrame, I had a spare and all is well again, I'll send a couple of pic's to bring you up to date. I'm on my way to Picton where I'll catch a ferry to Wellington. PS. Thanks for letting me know, Paul.

Sunday 10th June 2012

Well I'm still in sunny Queensland, where it's hissing down with rain, I've been to Toowoomba, where I used to live and work, Stayed at Esk, Visited the Lava tubes near Mt Garnet, been to see some old friends, who were kind enough to put me up for a few nights, and now have just been to the Horizons Unlimited camping weekend at Dayboro about 40 kilometers north of Brisbane. We had a very good weekend where you meet up with other people doing far more than I have done, One guy Peter Forward has been to almost every country on his Harley and with his wife throughout the world, just amazing to listen to them, Makes my trip look like a walk to the shop's. It was very sad to say goodbye to Helmut and Bea, they were great to travel with, and to say goodbye to the new friends I had met on the long weekend, It's something you can never forget. So now it's time to sort a trip back to Christchurch, New Zealand, where I will start the last part of my trip back to Hamilton, And once there I will ask for donations towards info@motorcycleoutreach.org where we may just be able to make other peoples lives a little easier. Regards, Paul.

 

 

 

 

Friday 25th May 2012

So who said it doesn't rain in Queensland? Been up to the north to visit some friends, and very nice to see old friends it was, and also to look around what Queensland has to offer, I used to live here back in 75/76 in Towoomba near Brisbane but never travelled to the sunny north, and did we get wet, I've not been this wet since India, Was up at Mossman when the skies opened up, Had to leave my tent at 1.30am as it was running through the tent. Everything that was not in a plastic bag got soaked, (see pictures). I did find a nice little camp site near Mareeba, where there was a lot of Granite to be looked at, I also had some maintenance to do on the bike, as the front fork seal was leaking due to some damage on the slider. Fitted my last seal and gave the bike a bit of a clean, which found a few missing and loose nuts and bolts, Now I'm off south to see another friend, (If he can put up with me) and then the travellers rally the next weekend, after that I find my way back to NZ. Have another camera now and hope the pictures will be a little better. Regards to you all, and look after yourselves.

Saturday 19th May 2012

Hi All, Just thought you might like to see the real outback, but this time it came at an embarrassing price, I did a 285 kilometre ride, off road to see the real outback from Hughenden towards Mareeba, Got caught out in a submerged road covered in slime, lost my wheels before you could blink, with foot jammed under handlebars, and I just couldn't lift 315 KG's from where I was pinned, but after 35 minutes some young people lifted it off an now all is well and back on the road, just a sore foot but I'm fine.



 

Thursday 17th May 2012

Hi All. Sorry I have been out of touch, but there is no WiFi or internet in the outback. Bike is great with new shock, but it's so hard to get used to the distances in Australia, just massive. Done 4500 Kilometers so far in Aussie, Sending this via Turbo stick, expensive but has to be done, Been to Ayers Rock and Alice springs, now on my way towards Townsville. Paul.

 

Wednesday 2nd May 2012

Sorry but not much to report, Still trying to get my bike and find insurance, Wanted to spend my birthday at Alice springs, So expensive here, will cost over $1000 to get the bike on the road, and it's only worth about $800. Oh well, that's how it goes.

Thursday 19th April 2012

Just thought I can give you an idea of the mileage done on this trip so far, I've met a couple on DR400 Suzuki's who have almost travelled the same route as myself, In fact I have done a little more as they came through Italy mostly using the ferry to Greece. They have done just over 16000 miles since London. I would estimate, with the back track in Malaysia, that the F650 has done 17500 Miles to date. This gives a total mileage for the bike of 122,500 Miles, Not bad for an old Single.

My German friends (Helmut and Bea) and myself have finally got the bikes ready for shipment to Darwin, Australia. It has been a major job to strip the bikes down and clean everything as best as you can so that Australian customs allow us into the country. We removed the wheels, cleaned underneath mudguards, removed petrol tank and seat, all side panels, for washing, removed air cleaner and washed inside the air box, washed everything we could and with only sunlight washing up liquid and Cilit Bang to use as de-greaser, with some help using, diesel. Still we were pleased with the end result, even if it did take two days. The riding gear then had to be cleaned along with the tent and all camping equipment. So now I will make some lady a wonderful, Reginald Molehusband. Been a nice stay at the hostel, sometimes busy and sometimes lazy, but always very hot. So now we wait to fly to Darwin at 6'30am Saturday morning. Then my friends stay with some people they have made contact with and I have found a Hostel to stay at. The bikes will sail on Sunday, (we Hope) nothing certain here and maybe see our bike by the end of next week. I hope to fit the new shock absorber,new brake pads, Speedo cable, and look at a few electricks to tidy up. Then off to Ayres Rock, and across to the sunshine coast to see an old friend who I've not seen for a long time, in fact a few good friends I've not seen for a long time, I also hope to see Helmut and Bea at a rally in June, but we will see what happens for that. A couple of Pic's of Dili and preparing for Australia, Including electioneering in Dili.

Pictures: 1 Election 2, Italian couples Honda. Thought I was loaded, 3 Guesthouse Bar, (I believe). 4 Bike ready to go. 5 Final clean before container is sealed.


Tuesday 17th April 2012

Well not much to do in Dili right now except clean the bike and get it ready  to load in the container on Wednesday, then we fly out next Saturday. I cant ride it as it's been signed out of the country and the carnet stamped, so officially it's been exported. There is an election tomorrow, which was a bit of a wild affair last time, causing the UN to send troops, There are a lot of them still here, so hope it works out OK this time, Just hope there is no trouble when loading the bikes. So here is a couple of pictures not of a BMW but of a trip around Normandy, done on a TS150. Wonder if it would do this trip, I must admit I did consider it. My TS150 had a tank range of 240miles, ran at 55MPH all day and was a pleasure to ride, but being a woose I had to take my F650 on this trip. So here are a few more pictures of two trips, present and past. The recent pictures are on the roads in Timor to East Timor ( Kupang to Dili) and taken by a German couple I have teamed up with to share a container to Darwin. Kopie is German for copy, which he had to do to allow his pictures to be downloaded onto my lap top, (or something) Don't understand these things much myself, but that's about it.

Just been looking at the guy's trip from Japan to Carrog in Wales, Looks really interesting, Now I wish I tried this trip on my TS150, would have been very interesting, and a bit of a gamble. I take my hat off to the guy riding his TS250 from but I think he will make it OK. MZ 2-strokes can be very reliable.  Yes I can use a bus or cab to get around East Timor, but it's nice to rest and gather one's thought's ready for Australia, lot's going through my head at the moment.



Tuesday 10th April 2012

We had a nice time in Kupang, although a lot of work to change the tyres and sort the new saddle bags, The road through to the East Timor was just a complete pleasure to ride on, amazing scenary along a beautiful coast road through small villages made of bamboo and straw with the odd tin roof. The border crossing at Motoain after the first hotel stop was 380 kilometers east of Kupang but the next stage to Dili was going to be much different as far as the roads are concerned. Only 130 kilometers but it was the road from hell. With no damping at all on the rear of the bike it was like riding on a POGO stick, then there was the pot holes (as per picture) and the road works. Mostly I was stood on the footpegs to take the weight off the rear and to minimise the possibility of snapping the wheel spindle or even the spring on the shock absorber. There was one section of road works where everything got out of control and I ended up in a ditch which I could not get out of. So waited for someone to come along and give me a push. That was OK so I just had to be a little more careful. The problem with an out of control back end, is that it often influences where the front of the bike is going, hence the visit to the ditch. It was a long days riding with a stop for coffee in a tiny village that caused a bit of a stir, just about the whole village came out to see us. By this time I had caught up with my German friends who are making a movie of their three year adventure on the road. The locals don't see people with white skin, and funny colour hair very often, still they were very friendly, and we had some fun with them, Then it was on to Dili, I left the Germans to their filming. I was slow but they kept stopping to take pictures and films, at least I could ride at my own bouncy pace and stop when I felt like it. I arrived in Dili at about 3.30 in the afternoon, very hot and very tired, but had no trouble finding the guest house, (East Timor Guest house) where a guy from Yorkshire runs it, Very nice but only a dorm for me, Still I can save a bit of money, and so far I'm the only one in the dorm. Tomorrow we see the shipping agent, then we start the process of cleaning every bit of dirt off the bike for the Australian Bio check at the customs, then we have to pay for fumigation, registration, insurance and anything else they can think of, Oh yes, an Aussie WOF/MOT, should get us back on the road. So a few days of cleaning and waiting, washed down with a beer or two I think.

Tuesday 3rd April 2012

I'm in West Timor, Kupang. I've a lot of work to do here before heading off to East Timor, where they use the US Dollar and things are much more expensive. The ferry trip was a long 18 hour ordeal with the rest of the chickens ducks and pig's on board and by my gps showing a miserable 12-15 Kilometers an hour. However, at least it only cost a fraction of what the IOM Steam Racket company charge to get to the Island at £23. I'll send you another update soon with a picture or two, but now I have to change both tyres throw away the old Continental Escapes, which have been extremely good and fit the Avon's for the trip through Australia, Can't use the old tires as panniers because of the wooden side panels, not allowed to send in any wood from overseas to Aussie, so will buy a couple of bags and fit to the side of the bike. My rear shock has half collapsed and will only just get me to Dilli I think, (I Hope) then I also hope that my new Hagon shock will be on it's way to Aussie for fitting, I cant wait, because 6000 Kilometers of bouncing up and down has been no fun at all. So If you are at the club on Sunday, send my greetings and I hope everyone is well and enjoying their riding. Paul

Wednesday 28th March 2012

30th March map revised after getting the following additional route information from Paul:  "Well I did catch a ferry to Lombok crossed through on the only er (Main) road through, more like a country lane. then the ferry to Sumbawa through Moyo, Empang  Bima where we stayed. Then the boat at Sape to Labuhanbajo in Flores, then the 400 kimometers via Ruteng, Bajawa and now in Ende, where we wait to catch the ferry to Timor. Still at least I will be able to keep up with things at Imola for the world superbikes this weekend on the internet.  So hope that has helped, I know I had trouble finding map's for this part of the World, in Bristol, and when I did find one it was not much good, So hope it brings you up to date a little better"

Just a quick update. Had a good ride through Flores Island and now in Ende from Lapuhan Bajo another 400 Kilometers closer to getting a new shock for the bike. (I hope). The roads were not too bad but all up and down and twist and turns, never straight. People gather around when you stop but only a few ask for money. Life is very laid back and I don't think people have too much to do, so when a foreigner arrives it causes a lot of interest, the trouble is I don't think they have seen anyone with red hair before and many like to laugh, but I guess you have to laugh with them. We will be five bikes for Timor and this will work out cheaper on the boat, Houses are made from all sorts of things, Bamboo, planks, woven straw, bricks and tiles, not what you would see in the western world. Indonesia has it's own problems as the price of everything goes up 30% on 1st April, because of the price of oil, but I have no new's of Political things, and am grateful for that, Could be a war I wouldn't know and not looking to find out; got enough on my plate just keeping going. But the trip is not expensive, hotel's between £3 and £12, a good meal for £1, Petrol is 30p a litre, Oh and a 750ml bottle of beer, is about £2 ($4nz), So I'm told, Cheaper than at home. Now we wait here until Saturday for an 18 hour crossing to Timor, If the weather permits, and then Australia, which I find hard to take in, but it's not that far now. I don't know what to do in Aussie, but it will give me a chance to sort the bike out, for probably a 6000 Kilometer trip through the centre of the Island, maybe longer, so no date yet to return to NZ and back to my old house.




Wednesday 14th March 2012

Well Indonesia was hard going and Java was a 3000 kilometer traffic jam, with the standard of driving similar to India, It was overtake or be overtaken, no steady pace at all, My riding had to be aggressive to cope with the madness around me, then there were the pot holes, Still that's the negative bit the positive thing is that the people are so frendly and helpfull it made up for everything, even the rain, they laugh and smile about everything, a great attitude to what we would see as a difficult life. I've been riding 10 to 12 hours a day to get through Java, as unless you like traffic, there was not much to see, Even then I could only do a maximum of 300 Kilometers on such bad roads, and now my rear shock is just an out of control spring, but it has now got me to Bali and for a change, a nice holiday resort for £14 a night, instead of the usual £3 a night, fighting off the mosquitos and other disturbancies. So from the west coast of Sumatra, Padang, Bengkulu, Where I got a visa extension, to Bandar Lampung Then Java Island, to Bogor, Bandung, (Where I became totally lost) Tasikmalaya, Purworjo, Lombang, Probolinggo, then across on the ferry, (Me and bike £3/$6nz) for a nice slow 1 hour trip, then onto Bali and now, I've met up with my German friends once again and are here in Kuta. but it's been a hell of a wet ride. We went to see the Volcano creater lake, but was raining so hard se saw nothing, pity really, but now the sun is out, rain will arrive this afternoon, bang on time between 4/5pm. Now I have to find a way to get to Australia, (No more bloody rice) I hope, when I get there, thats for sure. So Hope you are all well and life is going well. Pic's T to B  dodgy Hotel in Bengkulu, West coast Sumatra, Hotel parking, Bali Ferry.

 

Monday 5th March 2012

Just before my camera packed up altogether it downloaded some pictures for me, so I hope you find them interesting. Today has been one of the most frustrating. First thing this morning I was  at the customs house with the sponsored form to extend my visa, that my landlady kindly did for me. A nice lady of 80 years who could speak English and Dutch, unfortunately she had to go to Jakarta and I needed her ID card, which I didnt have but her son did, so back to the guesthouse for a photo copy, then back to the customs house. Then I had a long wait, When it was my turn, the computer system went down, so I went into town for something to eat, More Bloody rice and something, not even a KFC for anything different, Will be happy to get some western food in me, forgotten what greens taste like without them burning your ass off. Anyway, it took almost the whole wasted day, and I eventually got going mid afternoon, and only got as far as Tais, on the coast. Tomorrow, I hope to get as far as I can, but at least I have a further month I can stay If I need it. My German friends are a long way ahead now, and don't think I will see them for quite a while, but we will see what happens. At least I'm in a hotel with WiFi and can do some work and catch up with people, I think this is the first with WiFi i've had in Indonesia, Anyway, the people are just great, they have nothing but they have everything, if you know what I mean. Anyway I'd better get this to you before the power goes off again. Sorry about the pose at equator, but it took a bloody huge effort to get here, And I wanted a record of it.

 

 

 

Saturday 3rd March 2012

Just a quick update, to say that every kilometer is hard fought here in Sumartra Indonesia, So slow that I have to get an extension on my visa to allow time to get to Bali and maybe East Timor. Had a good time at Toba lake, then down the Sumatra Highway (Don't take that literally) more like a farm track in places. I have traveled with three German overlanders up to now but have turned off the Highway and now on the west coast track, (Not a road really) now in Bengkulu waiting for the customs house to open Monday to renew visa. I cant get over how friendly the people are, They obviously see very few people from other places and gather around every time you stop. Petrol is getting hard to find, many stations are empty! I don't know why, and the distances are enormous, at an average speed on only 40 / 50 Kilometers per hour. It's also the wet season, and when it rains (It Rains). The hotels on the road have no running water, no shower,just a bowl, No toilet, to speak of, no air/con and no TV, just a bed that I would rather not describe. Still what do you expect for $6 nz or 3 pounds. Many roads have been washed away and the pot holes can be 1/2 metre deep, On the coast half the road was washed away into the sea, but we press on and hope I don't break the frame. Hope to get my new shock at Cyclone motorcycles, Winnellie NT in Aussie, where ever that is. so hope it all hangs together until then, Regards to everyone, and a special Hi to an old friend from the 76 days in the IOM. Sorry no pictures but my camera has packed up and I need to get another one soon. Regards, Paul.

Saturday 25th February 2012

Well I got into Indonesia eventually but not without a little hassle, It's hard going on these roads and to cover 200 Kilometers a day is hard to do. From what I've seen the roads can only be described as secondary with big pot holes. I've now met up with some German riders heading towards Bali, and they would like me to travel with them, but we will see how things go. I like my own schedule, but they seem a good bunch, Stayed at old Russian embassy in Medan, then saw orang-utans in the wild at Binjai, amazing. I'm now on an Island on lake Toba and need to stop and replace a front fork seal, I've got a dealer in Darwin looking for a rear shock and apart from a couple of small electrical problems with old wires, all is going well. The gearbox is hardly making any noise at all now, so I've no Idea what that was all about. Anyway Here's a few pic's to carry on with, Hope you like them and hope you can help my charity I'm hoping to raise a little cash for, because the guy who started it all off deserves to be remembered for his efforts, Please contact direct. www.motorcycleoutreach.org  Many Thanks, Paul.

 

Thursday 16th February

 

Just to let you know that I'm in Butterworth arranging to put the bike on a vegetable boat that goes to Indonesia on weekends. I also just missed out on having to go back to the Thai /Malay border because of a wrong stamp, but fortunately the shipping agent took me to the Penang customs office and he stamped it with a Penang stamp, so I hope it will allow me out of the country on Saturday. I've got to fly to Medan as there are no ferrys, Hard to believe, but there you go. Apparently there are three Germans also booked on the Vege boat, and the Dutch couple as well, So as long as nobody wants to start a war, we should all get to Indonesia by Saturday. Had a great ride from the Cameron Highlands, great weather good roads and the bike going much better with the 20/50 oil. The rear shock however has had it. I have got in touch with a dealer in Darwin and hope to get a new rear shock there, we will see. So everything slowed down a little now but will look forward to the sights of Indonesia.

 

 

 

Friday 10th February

 

Well I am still continuing with the research and R&R here in Malaka. Been here a week now, and would recommend it for any holiday. Never below 30 degrees C, People very friendly, My hotel is £12 ($24nz) a night, Petrol is £7 ($14nz) to fill 18 litre tank, bought a cell phone for £12 and used it to call my bank in the UK, it cost 4 Ringgets  (£1) for 8 minutes, so life is good here. Sat at a bar on my own one night and some guys invited me to join them, a nice crowd, Boat trip was nice and relaxing, but will soon have to leave and go back up to Butterworth, when we can find the cargo boat sailing times. I can't believe there is no vehicle ferry between, Malaysia and Indonesia. Changed the oil on the bike yesterday, (£7) for two litres 20/50. Think my bike is jumping out of gear, simply because the old oil get's too thin and needs a heavier grade, so let's hope that's all it is. Otherwise everything is going well.

 



 

 

 

 

Monday 6th February 2012

 

Well I guess it had to happen one day. There is no vehicle ferry in Malaka, only for passengers, so I have found that the only place I can get my bike to Indonesia, Legally, Is from Butterworth near Penang. Singapore is a nightmare as you have to leave your vehicle in Malaysia, get all the paperwork sorted and then fetch your bike later. One guy tried it and they wanted $US156 for five days Insurance. I also understand that there is no ferry for vehicles from Singapore, so it looks like a backtrack north. Never mind, I've had a great time in the Cameron Highlands and the town of Malaka or (Malacca) met some real nice people and had a bit of R&R, So in two days I should be back in Butterworth. I've some Dutch friends on a Triumph in the same position so if they are not far from me will wait an extra day to see if they want to ride north with me and do all the paperwork together.

 

 

Friday 3rd February 2012

 

Had a great day in Kuala Lumpur, around the Petronas towers, and bought some new jeans after ripping mine falling off  at the border, from Mark's and Spencer's of all people in the towers complex. The hour train ride from Klang was easy and the connection was no problem, It saves taking the bike into a town that you have no idea where you are. I like KL very much, Not so much a town but an urban spread, with lot's of green. Thought I may have had a chance to see the Moto GP boys practicing at Sepang but just a little late for that. Never mind, It's been a good day, and tomorrow I'm off to Malaka, an old Dutch/British Colony with a lot of history and a port that has ferries to Indonesia, so I will see what I can find out, But now it's Friday night, and feel like a beer after a long day in the heat.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 1st February 2012

 

Hope all is well with you whatever you are doing. Met a couple of Dutch couples, (does that make sense) one pair on a Triumph motorcycle and the others riding pushbikes. I take my hat off to them in this heat, but the temperature is much cooler here in the highlands. To the mechanical types I've just fitted a new chain and sprockets and the bike runs much smoother. Petrol is cheap and is only £6 or ($12nz) to fill the tank, and I'm told even cheaper in Indonesia, How can that be? (lower fuel taxes probably). We visited the tea plantations today, It was something not to forget, here in the cool Cameron Highlands, but tomorrow I head south to Kuala Lumpur, or close by. Have to find out about shipping the bike to Indonesia, and all that. Tonight the two Dutch couples and myself will have a nice meal together for about £4 ($8nz) each, and will make our own ways in the morning. Could even bump into them at a future date, you never know, and thats the good thing about travelling. So hope you get these pictures, and maybe see a little of what I am seeing,

 

 

 

 

Sunday 29th January 2012

 

Just to let you know that I left Damon in Phuket chasing the ladies, while I wanted to make tracks, so here we are in Penang Island after a very hot day, The closer to the equator the hotter it gets, can only use battery power because I can only send message in the entrance hall, Had a little spill today filtering, but only ripped my jeans and got angery, guess it;s just too hot. The last two days I was resting in Southern Thailand, think the heat was getting to me and have been making the odd mistake, concentration is everything, and I did feel better today, Sorry it's short but will send more pic's and info soon.

This was taken by fellow traveller, on the way to Phuket with out me knowing, Gives you an idea of the things we are seeing. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bRyr6MhbwM&feature=plcp&context=C3260c32UDOEgsToPDskJ_mjoFYgG0cL1X1PYMY-ej

 

Sunday 22nd January 2012

 

Now enjoying the oven of Thailand, and it's also nice to have a travel companion for a while Damon  (nomadonwheels . com) check out his website, we are now in Chumphon and it's so good to be out of Bangkok and seeing the real Thailand so here are a couple of pic's with a rather short Update,

 

Wednesday 18th January 2012

 

 

Just a short update to say that I hope to leave Bangkok on Friday morning. No luck with a new rear shock unless I wait for 10 days and it's very expensive here, so maybe try Singapore, I did notice that I had no brake pads on the front wheel so went to BMW in Bangkok for some, this was 30 kilometres away in the centre of town, I would never have found it on my own so used a cab, They never had any but could get them for £86 ($172 NZ) in ten days, Then a nice lady suggested, I use accessory EBC pads that I could get for another Taxi ride to a parts shop 10 kilometres away, She phoned them up for me first, and they had some for £26 ($55NZ), so I was a happy fella. Then the same cab driver took me all the way back to my hotel (£17 per night) 68 kilometers all up  and his total bill into town and out was only £14 ($28 nz), so I guess I did OK. Cabs being cheap and the accessory pads, very happy. The guy I met in Kathmandu, Damon Good, suggested we head south together, which makes sense I guess. This is the first overlander I've met and he has been on the road for 558 days on his Yamaha Tenere, a Kiwi who lives in Aussie. We went out last night to meet a mate of his who lives here, Unfortunately Jack (His friend) was not a happy guy as he had just split with his long time Thai girlfriend, when her Mother said he would have to cough up £11000 if he wanted to marry her. So he did the honourable thing and dumped her, (Ah, nothing like true love at a price). To Thai people we are just walking ATM machines, Anyway can't wait to get going again, and next time try to send some pic's,

 

Saturday 14th January 2012

 

Good flight to Bangkok, with a great view of Mt Everest, Clear as anything. Very warm here, Met my first overlanders, been behind me all the way, so could meet up with one guy here and travel a little way with him, young guy living in Aussie from NZ riding a 650 Yamaha Tennere. I've spent most of today looking for a replacement shock, as I cant get the bike until Monday, That will be interesting. Very impressed with Bangkok, clean wide streets nice people with a liking to your wallet, but I just humour them. A couple of pic's at Kathmandu and terminal.

 

Just to fill you in on the missing bits, From Pakistan, across the border from Lahore to Amritsar, New Delhi, Lucknow, (The worst pit I've ever seen in my life) Then a rush to the border, and the peace of Nepal. A short trip through India, I much preferred Pakistan, even though it was much more dangerous. I just picked up my bike from the cargo warehouse, It's so hot and I've had the flu for about 10 days now, so was a bit of a hassle putting it all back together, (must be mid 30's). noticed indicator wires broken, and just about no front disc pads, I hope to meet somebody who can help with a few bits tomorrow, and maybe a shock, but I want to get back on the road soon. There may be a slim chance of going to the World superbikes in Phillip Island at the end of February, if only a slim one. Yes, I will be back one day, I think I will miss the bike scene in Europe, and I only have one brother now, so who knows, First I must get this remarkable old bike back down under.
 

 

Somewhere in Nepal

 

Crating the BMW for transit From Kathmandu  to Bangkok

 

 

Saturday 7th January 2012

 

I don't like to be negative, but I'm quite happy to be out of India, and now in Nepal, People are nice and there are a lot less of them. Stunning scenery. I'm in Pokhara, bit of a tourist trap but when you pay only 4 pounds or $NZ8 a night in a really nice hotel then it's all the better. I've a bit of a head cold at the moment, complete with sore throat and headache but when it's cleared up I may get on my way so I can send the bike on to Bangkok from Kathmandu. For me the cost is about $270 US, the bike could be quite a bit more, and when I'm there I will try the local BMW dealer to get a new rear shock if I can, mines totally rooted, could get a speedo cable as well, I just hope the gearbox holds together. This time I'll try some pictures,

 

Annapurna, Pokhara, Nepal

Road to Pokhara, Nepal. 

 

Thursday 29th December 2011

Agra Fort, India 


     

 

Quetta to Agra    

 

Latest so far is that I have come through from Quetta to Sibi, Sukkur Multan, LaHore, Amritsar India, Karnel; through Delhi and now in Agra. I must admit that so far I much prefer Pakistan, the driving is even worse the poverty just as bad but the pollution cannot be described, only compared to London in the 1950's. I've had no fresh air since  getting here and my nose is black after a days ride. It was cleaner when I worked in a foundry in Australia. Life expectancy cant be too long for these people, think I've taken a few off of mine. Bike still going but with no speedo cable now. Will change the oil again while here and hope it will just keep going. Tyres are 2/3rds worn out, but still the miles roll by, and that's all I ask for. Not much has come through the charity I'm hoping to raise money for above, so if you can help I will be very grateful. My wi fi does not seem to work here so this update is from another internet cafe. Looking forward to Nepal. I hope it's not too much trouble flying to Bangkok and that not all the roads have been washed away in the floods, So that's it for now, I'll send more pic's soon. Happy New Year.

 

Monday 19th December 2011

 

This is my protection, but think I should be protecting them, Still, we'll sort those Taliban types out, Should they have a go at us. Got my AK with me, Think I'll need a new bike when I get to NZ.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday 18th December 2011

Well just got through Iran, Great people, so from the frying pan into the fire, Pakistan where the Taliban are causing problems, like kidnapping for one thing to exchange for prisoners. I've had a police escort since I got to the border, though why anybody would be interested in me, I don't know. Man what roads, why my bike has not broken in half I dont know, sometimes OK then it catches you out and Bang, everything bottoms out. 632 kilometers of this and possibly getting shot at is so much fun. I'm more worried about some gearbox noises that I've had for about 6000 kilometers, but it still goes OK. Think I will head more into the middle of the country where I don't need an armed escort. When I entered Pakistan I was not allowed to go to the hotel in Taftan as it was too dangerous. I had to sleep in the customs building with guards outside all night. But I must say there is never a dull moment. Think I've done about 7000 miles so far.


 

10th December 2011

A few problems getting to you, but the longer I'm in  Iran the better I feel, I'm getting more attention than if I rode a camel down the M4 Motorway, People wind down their windows in traffic, ask you where your from, (Hard one's first) invite you to dinner, and yes I've even given a speech to English students in Bokan University They have never heard  a native speaking person before, but they really wanted to know what the outside world thought of them, Er, had to be a little careful there. but these people have nothing and bombing them will do no good at all. I am now in Isfahan, with a couple of bike problems to sort, Still going well but overheats in towns, Came over a thousand kilometers today so this is short and sweet. My credit card is useless here and I'm short of cash, but should just make it to Pakistan, It's far too cold to camp out,but I never knew Iran had so many mountain ranges, I've been over two of them today and the wind could have blown my wheels from under me it was so strong. Oh and it rained, for 10 minutes, first rain since England. Well I must get my head down, I'm Knackerd. All the best.
 

4th December 2011 - Hakkari, Turkey

Well I think I have made a big mistake, Now in Hakkari, but was hoping to get the bike serviced, not a chance, no bike shops, not even any bike oil to buy. And by all accounts this place should be under snow by now, I need to look at the clutch, makes the odd noise now and again. My biggest worry is not being allowed in Iran. It has Come to me that I could be easily trapped here if it did snow and believe me there is no way out. People act friendly but I'm not so sure. The ride from Siirt has been both wonderful and frightening. Lots of soldiers, and have been stopped 7 times, each delay losing me daylight, Lots of small villages, Horrendous holes in the road, I've bottomed the suspension so many times, I'm surprised nothing has broken, I must have a look tomorrow, but somebody has parked their car so close I cant get to it, I will have a look in the morning. I think the clutch nut may have come loose, it's held on by a tab washer, but I don't want the shaft to get damaged. I feel so out of place that I may as well be on the moon, People are so different and so religious, we have no way to compare ourselves with them, pity really. On the other hand I've been through some incredible mountains, 2000 metres plus and into the snow, Sun shinning but very cold. In the villages kids either wave or throw rocks, O'h and the dogs love to bite at your feet, all very entertaining, But I wish I didn't find so many vehicles on my side of the road on corners. I reckon I only averaged about 50 Kl/m an hour today, quite hard going. I will look for a bank for Irainian money tomorrow, but may not be easy then see the day after If I can get into Iran. I have 1 litre of oil which is about half what i need, so maybe find a place to dump old oil and top up with new oil, It's got to be better than nothing. I need to get to warmer climates ASAP, or this trip will finish early. Should anything happen, like I blow my lap top or something,  don't worry, I'll look for cafe's. anything can happen, I don't know if they have Wi Fi in Iran, I just want to get through safely ASAP. Must admit I'm a little nervous, but it will work out in the end.

1st December 2011 - Malatya, Turkey 

Had a great ride around the South coast of Turkey, until Silifke when the road became from one town to the next and the next, with stop and start battling your way through the traffic, very heavy going, Especially when nobody takes any notice of road rules like pedestrian crossings, intersections, Traffic lanes lights, in fact the lot. It's a lottery but somehow it seems to work, If I didn't go through red lights I'd be dead by now because some truck would have hit me from behind, So you got that plus those in front also trying to kill you. They are all inches away, so you keep your eyes in all directions at the same time, very tiring because I filled up and set my trip metre at the same time just before Silifke and didn't get out of the traffic until way passed Adana, 116 kilometres later, totally knackered, It's a wonder the clutch still works. But managed to keep going until I found an expensive Hotel for £30 for the night. Just nice to spoil myself now and then. Great sleep and breakfast, Very healthy eaters the Turks, Anyway, loaded the bike put the key in the ignition switch, and it would not turn, Snapped off my key, Bugger. So took out the switch, tapped it about a bit, broken bit fell out but spare key still didn't work. The switch can come apart, Electric from the mechanical bit with the steering lock. The Mechanical bit removed I could start the engine with a screwdriver, and that is what I did, and got to this place at Malatya, where I shall try and find another switch to do the job, It will be like finding a needle in a haystack. No big bikes in this part of the world, but will rig up something. The good news is the bike has not used any oil from what I can tell, and still going strong. so a couple of days here before I tackle Iran, If I can get passed Van.



26th November - Near Fethiye, Turkey

I have been advised that sending this format may attract spam to your computer, Let me know if this is the case.
Apart from that, all is going well, apart from a slight clucking from the clutch, this has been the case for over 600 Kilometres. Clutch works perfectly and only happens under load or on bumpy surfaces, I fitted an accessory clutch before this trip, so maybe a cush spring has broken or even a plate, as it is all held together in a clutch basket everything should be safe. I have spare clutch springs and a couple of plates so I may look at it when I do the first oil change. Been a great ride today, weather is sunny and about 13 deg's. Had a look at Gallipoli, where the British Aussie and Kiwi soldiers fell. Anzac Cove is very erie and when you look up at the cliff face you can tell they had little chance of beating the Turks. I was very impressed that every village has flags and large blown up photos of their soldiers on the walls of their villages. Bones are still found today, The white ones are British Aussies Kiwi's and French, and the more yellow one's are Turkish. Sometimes farmers still run over bombs and the odd one has exploded. So from Eceabat, across on the ferry to Canakkale and down the coast to Izmir. What a place to get lost, but my trusty compass kept pointing south east so eventually I found the road out. Got as far as Torbali, where I found a cheap and cold hotel for £15, just to sleep and go. Set the alarms off twice now at the pat stops for the motorways, They read your number but no idea how you pay for it? I have been told not to worry about it, as I don't much happens. I now remember how helpful Turkish people are, every time I stop someone inquires as to where I am going and am I lost. So left Torbali this morning and stopped at a motorway rest area, where I met the local biker club. We had a sort of chat and as we were going to the same place offered if I would like to ride with them, Unfortunately I needed something to eat so we parted company. Had a quick look at Ephesos, but had been before with Dianne. Then from Soke to Mugla, I thought the roads were picturesque, But from Mugla to Fethiye, it was just fantastic, I could'nt ask for more. I'm trying to send some pic's but cant for some reason, Some of the wi fi is very poor. Anyway now in ulodenise, just east of Fethiye, right on the beach. Things seem to be hotting up in Iran, Think I will need to keep my head down.

23rd November 2011 Ė Kilitbahir, Turkey 3180kms

Moved from Xanthi Greece and now in Turkey at Kilitbahir near to Galipoli where many Anzacs, Aussies anf kiwi's were killed in the first world war. Will stay a day or so and then on to Iran. Bike going well, had a bit of a misfire, think it's dirty fuel, and a little noise from the transmisson, I'll check the gearbox sprocket nut tomorrow, it has come loose before.

21st November 2011 - Xanthi, Greece 2900kms

I was very concerned about the weather in Slovenia, It was so cold, Not a damp bone chilling cold but freezing all the same, White trees and all that stuff. I just had to keep going as I didn't want the trip to end in Europe. Eastern Europe is a very depressing place I don't know how they manage, They just look so miserable, with houses that look like they have been bombed. I guess It makes us feel lucky to be where we live, Even in England. Had a bit of trouble at the Macedonian border, I thought They were in the EU, there not so I had to cough up 50 Euro,s for bike insurance, But found a nice hotel for 25 Euro's. It was still freezing but with a little sunshine which makes you feel so much better. Roads in Serbia are bad an this is the motorways. My rear shock has had a hammering so I only travel at 60 mph and keep my eyes peeled. Chicken's are not an everyday sight on motorways, and goats are often seen grazing on the side of the road, but they must be used to traffic noise as they don't seem to care. So Today I've come from the north of Macedonia through Thessaloniki East past Kavala to this town of Xanthi (SANTHI) in English. It was dark when I arrived, not a good idea to ride in the dark with stray dogs everywhere. I am pleased to report that it is 13 degs c. The warmest I've been since France, and for the time being a successful start to the trip. I wonít talk too much about the bike, but it's OK. The temperature of the oil has gone from 60deg's to  a more normal 80deg's so all is well there. I just hope the rear shock is OK. Next I'm off to Turkey, Turning south at Malkara to Troy and Izmir, to catch some more warm weather, Then it's off to Iran.

18th November 2011 5pm   Blejski, Slovenia

I have sent one e-mail but i donít think you got it, Had a little accident when the side stand sank into the concrete at my hotel in Salěbourg I fell over and cut a large flap out in my finger, Went to the hospital and am all stitched up. Now in Slovenia at Blejski, I think. Things are going well and I cant believe that so many different people can all speak English, Make you feel a bit second rate. Not seen another bike on the highways and getting a lot of strange looks, Maybe they are right and I am mad. I just hope I donít wake up in the morning to find Iím up to my neck in snow, Just got away in time I reckon,
Anyway I wonít write much now as Iím not sure you will get it, Slovenia is a very nice place, and people are helpful. Bike is going very well, but I have my fingers crossed.

17th November - Salzburgh

At last I'm on my way, What a load of work, just to get going. Left on the Monday night from Ports Mouth,  had a cabin for a good nights sleep. Freezing in Le Havre 2/4 degs C and pretty much the same all through France. First stop near Rheims, A bit slow as I kept stopping to adjust my load, but all going well. The first Hotel was a rough, but after the Landlord had nailed the curtains to the wall, all was well. Second night was just outside Strazbourg after a 300 kilometre freezing cold day, only to be warmed up at a truckers pad for lunch to a good old fashioned set nosh, it was just what i needed, A good day until i ended up In a French hospital after putting the bike on the side stand at the hotel only to find that the ground gave way with me under the heavy loaded bike. My hands were so cold and at first didn't notice the blood pouring out the end of my finger. Did not feel a thing, but it didn't look very good. The guy at the Hotel recommended to visit the hospital, which is what Ii did. 2 hours later I was back at the hotel all wrapped up. There is a 10 mm slice of skin that was hanging off the end of my middle finger, so now I've got it all bound up, so I hope it will stay in place, all being well. The next day I was very carefull packing up the bike to go into Germany, The good news is that the sun is shining and i want to get as far as i can. , and am very tired here in Salzbourg. Finger seems OK , but I don't want to knock it right now.  Well that's all for now and please help www.Motorcycleoutreach.org. Paul.

17th November 2011 9pm Salzburg


14th November 2011 - Departure Date

The pictures below were taken in  October 2011 just prior to Paul's departure:

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Paul at the Salutation Inn, Ham with his lovely MZ TS150

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Paul on a test ride to try out his luggage arrangements. The tyres are packed with spares

 

These  are a few pictures taken during the first half of Paul's round the world trip:

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Pan Americano Highway - somewhere in South America

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Andes - Cisco Nasca

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Entrance to the Atacama National Park, Chile

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New Rear Tyre - Vera Cruz, Mexico

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National Park Colorado River - USA