Born (1966) in Sydney, Australia to English parents I have a strong connection with both England and Australia.
Having been given a mini bike for my 4th birthday and experiencing the fun and excitement riding motor bikes brings I am now about to embark on the journey of my life.
I arrived back in Sydney at 07:30am to be greeted by my lovely wife Kathy and my two dogs (Oscar & Georgie) who went ballistic when I climbed into the back seat of the car where they were sitting.
That’s it, all done, finished. I was now sitting in the passenger’s seat of our “other BMW” in Sydney’s peak hour traffic making our way back to Rushcutters Bay with the wife beside me and the dogs in the back seat.
I was feeling proud that the dream I have had since a boy, I had made come to life and completed the epic journey riding from London to Kuala Lumpur. Two years of planning to ride 22,500km’s, through 20 countries in 15 weeks.
One thing I have taken from the ride…………. People are awesome!
Whatever country we were in, whatever we needed, there were always kind and friendly people waiting to help. Whether in the deserts of Pakistan or the hills of Nepal. The world really is a great place.
In memory of my great friend Ken Bacon who passed away after losing his battle with cancer on 30 June 2015.
My flight today was at 3:50pm so the morning was taken up trying to work out how I would pack all my luggage from the trip, including my bulky motorcycle boots, armoured riding outfit, helmet and camping equipment.
I popped back into the airport shops and begged a suit shop for a large suit hanger and bag (the type they give away with new suit purchases) which sorted the issue of how to carry the riding outfit. For the helmet I popped into Toys R Us (at the airport) and grabbed a large plastic shopping bag which only meant I now needed to pack the boots in my suite case with all the other bits.
I managed to get my checked in luggage case down to 22.5kg and the carry on bag was around 15kg. All I had to do was make sure no one weighed my carry on luggage. I had inner tubes, spark plugs, oil filter and may other random pieces of camping equipment inside my carry on bag which would surely create interest should any security check occur.
The morning quickly went and it was soon time to check in for my flight home. I was feeling sad that I was finishing up this amazing adventure but pleased that the next day I would be reunited with my loved ones back in Sydney.
The view from the front of the hotel I stayed at. KL Terminal 2
The freighting of the bike was the order of the day.
Kathy had been busy back in Sydney chasing up the freight forwarders and I now had things agreed with a company (ANC Global Malaysia- Mr Haji Hisham Hashim) to air freight the bike back to Sydney. I managed to speak with Haji first thing and agreed to drop the bike off at the Cargo Terminal at 3:00pm today which meant the bike had to be cleaned and prepared before then.
As I was staying at the airport I figured it would mean a trip to the local town centre to buy the cleaning equipment to sort the bike, but would you believe their was a supermarket in the airport where I could even buy a toilet brush! Try and do that at Heathrow or Sydney airports. Ha
As the bike needed to pass through Australian customs it was vital that all the dirt and muck was removed so as not to cause any possibility of importing anything that may be adverse to the Australian forma or flora.
The staff at the hotel found it quite funny watching this tourist spending so much time cleaning his bike, especially when I was using the toilet brush. 2 hours later and the bike was ready to be shipped.
After lunch I jumped on the bike and took the short ride around to the Cargo Village where I met Haji from the freight Co to hand the bike over. It had been an amazing ride but this is where I said goodby to the bike till I collect it back in Sydney. It was such a pity the bike could not be air freighted to Darwin, enabling the final ride back to Sydney from the top of Australia.
Once the bike was handed over it was a quick shop at the local seconds shop to buy a couple of luggage cases to pack my belongings for my flight home.
As the bike was now sorted I was able to purchase a ticket for my trip home online. I would now be flying back to Sydney tomorrow!
I was on the road, leaving Hat Yai by 07.30am and stopping nearby for breakfast. The next stop was the Thailand/Malaysian boarder post which was only 65km away.
I arrived at the post by 09:30am and had made the crossing into Malaysia in under 1hr which was amazing as previously we had to allow 3hrs on average to pass through the borders. Both the Thai and Malaysian officials had the act together.
As I had a bit of time up my sleeve I took the opportunity to sit on the grass by the border post and have morning tea before jumping back on board for the ride down to Kuala Lumpur (KL) which is a distance of 545km.
The Malaysian roads are fantastic, with great surfaces, well maintained and excellent road signage which all made the trip down to KL very fast indeed.
I was able to cruise at 120km/h pretty much all the way, with no traffic lights so by 2:30pm I was only 75km from my destination ,however another monsoonal storm came in and I found myself hiding under an overpass bridge along with several other bike riders in order to take cover.
I soon slipped on my wet weather gear and headed back out into the wet, the lanes were difficult to see and I found the best course was to keep left and simply sit behind a car and sit tight.
I was heading to Kuala Lumpur International Airport as the air freight companies are located in the vicinity, there are always plenty of hotels nearby large airports and road directions are typically well sign posted. This made for an easy ride in (apart from the wet which slowly reduced); after chatting with a couple of local bike rider near the airport who gave me the name of a cheap easy to find hotel I was soon at my destination.
I ended up stopping at the Tune Hotel (similar concept to Ibis) which was attached to the side of Terminal 2 at the airport. I could not have got any closer.
Yesterday I (David) had made the decision to move on solo as from today. So once we had packed our gear and collected the bike riding gear from the laundry we wished each other well and I moved on at 08.30am.
As the hotel did not do breakfast I stopped by the local Tesco’s and grabbed a bite to eat before heading south once more.
Today’s ride was an easy ride as it was a continuing on down the highway towards the Malaysian boarder. Speeds were up as the road had been improving and the traffic was light (Sunday).
It was 5.00pm when stopped at HatYai after travelling a distance of 645k and now only 65km from border. The day had been clear with only a slight drizzle at one stage.
As the south of Thailand has a significant fishing industry I had found the smell of dead fish in many parts! yes, it smelt bad. I gathered there are many fish processing factories along the way and it also smelt like the fish remains may have been used for fertiliser for the farming industry.
Hat Yai, however was a modern thriving city, one that you could easily mistake for many medium sized places in Europe, with shopping malls (where the kids hang out) etc.
Distance for week: 1,742km
Average Fuel consumption to date: 4.8 litres per 100km
We got up a little slower today as we had had a few drinks last night and as we had decided to stay a couple of days there was no rush.
We had decided to was h the bikes so we jumped on a couple of loan push bikes the hotel offered and road down to the local Tesco’s supermarket for few supplies which was a pleasant change to the motor bikes. The weather was great which also helped as it was the first morning in the past couple of months that we could look to the sky and not see a cloud.
After the trip Tesco’s I decided to wash my bike. it was nice to not rush and relax, cleaning and checking over the bike. Steve hung by the pool and later also washed his bike.
Later in the afternoon our friend Marion came by again and offered to take us to the local beach and show us around. Once again we were off on the sidecar at a very leisurely pace.
As part of the ride to the beach we passed through a military complex that also had a runway that we had to ride across as it was a public road when plains were not landing! very interesting.
Later in the day and after spending some time relaxing at the beach we were taken to Maggie’s Seaview Guesthouse to meet a few other people (expat’s from various countries around the world). We spent time chatting and having a drink before it it was time for dinner so we were back on the sidecar and off to a nice local Italian restaurant for a bite to eat and off then dropped off back at the hotel.
We rode from Samutsakhon (Bangkok), riding a distance of 250km continuing on down the main highway heading south. The day was very warm (mid to high 30’s) and sunny for a change.
As we made our way along the coast, the towns became far more commercial and full of large international resort complex’s. It was looking more Gold Coast (Queensland) that Thailand. Fortunately we made our way to a smaller low key town (albeit with a funny name) called Prachuap Khiri Khan. We did not have anything booked for accommodation but found a lovely hotel with a pool and individual bungalow accommodation for a really cheap rate, so we decided to spend the next couple of days and get our washing sorted before moving on.
We put our bike gear into a local laundry to be washed and were advised it would be ready for Sunday morning.
Shortly after arriving we bumped into a lovely Scottish lady (Marion) who had made the town her home some 3yrs ago and she kindly offered to show us around the area which was great. So the that evening we were off out with Marion to meet here friend and have a bite to eat. Transport was a little 100cc sidecar that the three of us got about on!
We had dinner with our new Scottish friend and other friends of hers for drinks after. which was a great laugh. We were kindly dropped back to our hotel in a car driven by a friend as it was raining once more.