I travelled down the coast of Thailand with a short stay in Ao Nang to experience more tourists than I have ever seen, was not for me that's for sure, I was in the same place 5 years ago and boy has it changed since then, makes me miss the adventure of Mongolia, the unknown that Africa presented, the wild scenery of central Asia, its more of a holiday now. So that bought about a quick trip down here to Penang, Malaysia where I have been for a week. I sorted out the ferry to Sumatra for the bike, it leaves tomorrow and me the following day, Friday, the same day as the mother ship will dock, fingers crossed I can pick it up on Saturday, but I have been informed that the port is closed on the weekend so Monday is when I will be able to fetch it from Customs, which also is a questions, I was also informed that without a Carnet Indonesia is not possible and that the last guy that tried to take his bike in without a carnet was fined 600 dollars!! But I have heard all that before, remember Iran, Kenya I think was another place I was told I would never get in without the carnet, so again a little fun awaits me across the strait of Melacca, can't wait.
Its a small small world, I have bumped into my Greek friends, Akis and Vula who I first met in Mozambique then again in Ethiopia and recently Cambodia and now staying at the same Guest House on Penang island, they to are heading across the water to Indo so we may head across Sumatra together, at least some company for Xmas and the new year, which I did hope to make Bali for but alas the waiting for the boat has changed my plans.
Rickshaw in front of the Hong Kong Bar, Penang.
I am all ready for the last and final two countries to Oz, it's a long way across the length of Indo to East Timor, around 6000 k's and all of that is windy roads and of course I here millions of bikes, so I think it will takes around 4-6 weeks to cover, so around the start of February I will be on home soil.
For those of you who have asked, the mad Belgium, brother Dirk has arrived today in Dili, East Timor and will be in Darwin as soon as he gets his bike on Perkins Shipping. And I am sure he will be in need of a very cold beer once in Darwin. Merry Xmas everyone