January 2016
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Dec   Mar »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Month January 2016

Bangkok again

A very brief catch-up post.

I bought my own ticket out for the day after Lucinda flies, scheduled for a week after my friend arrives.

So first we do the awesome easy thing and get a longtail to tour the canals for an afternoon. Up the river
DSC03130

Past traffic
DSC03139

And into the canals
DSC03149

Same as before, Ballardian
DSC03224

Big-ass lizard thing, maybe 4 feet long
DSC03191

Granny out for a paddle
DSC03167

Feeding the catfish
DSC03183

Into a lock where we waited for 20 minutes
DSC03229

Our suddenly pensive driver. A few minutes earlier he was being manic
DSC03236

Did some shopping. My friend needed a new cell phone which she got at the collosal MBK for about $20. A perfect Apple iPhone clone.
DSC03128

The classic Honda Grom
DSC03252

On that theme, motards and scooters at night. Fantastic. When I’m back I’ll do a Bangkok night ride with the big dogs
DSC03119

Madness at Wat Phra Kaew, home of the Emerald Buddha
DSC03266


DSC03262


DSC03272


DSC03263


DSC03277


DSC03278


DSC03282

Some mural details
DSC03300


DSC03299


DSC03292

All kinds of beautiful people
DSC03314


DSC03323


DSC03322

Temple security
DSC03324

Market shopping in the rain
DSC03349


DSC03353

Inspecting small Buddhas
DSC03347

A Buddha store
DSC03331

My friend’s feet. I’ll miss her crazy ways. We had some great adventures in Laos and Thailand. Safe travels M
DSC03360

And off, back to Vancouver
DSC03377

Via Narita
DSC03376

Picking up Lucinda the following day at YVR, after a quick visit to ICBC for a new decal. Fantastic packing job by Transpologistics. We picked Speedy Air Cargo to receive, couldn’t have been slicker. So a strong recommendation for them too. Customs at the airport didn’t even want to see the bike, just signed us through in under a minute
DSC03398

Then, home sweet home

longtail

A couple of beers and he’s off

into Bangkok

Knowing it was going to be a long day of traffic in Bangkok, we didn’t stop for photos.

The track
Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 10.22.03 PM

The gruelling two hour battle through Bangkok. It’s hard to describe, different to other bad city traffic we’ve been in. It’s more claustrophobic in some areas than any other city so far, which is harder on a big bike, enduro or not.

The GPS track below is a history file, the GPS was of no use other than being a useful compass. In such super-dense gridlock of small tuk tuks, scooters, small cars, rolling vendors, you have to make decisions at every corner to try and make progress, the GPS recommendation is no good at all. Sidewalks, alleys, anything in that goes in the right direction. It’s on the borderline between fun and frustrating. But I want to do it more again, so maybe fun has the edge. One beer first next time.

The two hour track. The red road is ‘no motos’. The green exiting previously at dawn.
Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 10.26.14 PM

OK, now we’re in Bangkok, tons to do, plus our friend is arriving in 5 days from Phnom Penh.

The problem ahead is finding a firm to ship the bike before she arrives. A recent decision to go home, so we’ve no advance research. It’s a pain in the ass when there’s no rider history, like exiting Bangkok by air. So we need to find a trustworthy forwarder and check them out. Plus Canada isn’t an easy destination with a wooden crate where the materials have to be certified fumigated and a ton of other details as usual. Anyway, we get it done, and arrange a receiver at the far end who can deal with a bike. Cost including airfare was about double the┬ábig-distance flight from Buenos Aires to Aukland, which had the advantage of being direct (and un-cased, lol) on an ancient and sketchy LAN Airlines jet. The boat to East timor was cheap as she shared a container with 2 other bikes and cases of booze and cleaning supplies. Panama City to Bogota by air was a breeze and cheap. No case, no hassles. Aukland to Perth was all about quarantine which despite going relatively going smoothly was a mountain of paperwork and licensing I’d rather forget. In theory this time it should be smooth.

Here are the warehousemen. They’ll case her now, ready with disconnected battery, mirrors off, etc. all done at this point. As it happens it was about 100F and 90 humidity when this shot was taken. My sweat drenched suit plus helmet gloves and boots are in a $3 duffle under the bike to ship with her. Always a bad idea but the alternate is a big hassle
DSC03111

Time to pay up. Cash only, as usual.

This is JJ, the manager. She takes care of everything perfectly and she’s very funny. So a strong recommendation for her and Transpologistics, Bangkok. Use them. Negotiate your own price
DSC03114

This is tiny JJ on the bike. I cropped myself out of it and didn’t take the lousy shot
DSC03108 - Version 2

Then I left her.

I get this shot from JJ later. On her way to the airport. Sad seeing her enclosed like this
FullSizeRender-10

back to Vancouver

The blog is going public again! Oh man. Something to explain: we’re (me and Lucinda) going home for three birthdays and a wedding. That will take about 8 months, lol. Now headed back to Bangkok and will fly from there.

The ride was originally planned to be between 2 1/2 and 3 years. So we’re supposed to be finished, but we’re about 1/2 way. This is absolutely standard long-distance-rider behaviour that I originally laughed at. Why on earth were people taking so long, I wondered? Well, now I know.

Now that I’ve made the decision to good spend time with family, instead of few weeks a year for a few years, I’m┬ámissing my ride already. Which is why I’m taking Lucinda back. We’ll do some exploring of BC this spring and summer.

Upsides, beyond spending time with family, friends and my City of Glass are fun things like wall-sized route planning, re-building Lucinda’s suspension and making a few further cool mods she’d like. Plus, returning mid-October puts us in the ideal weather pattern for continuing.

When we return we’ll fly back to Vietnam, which will give us a no-loop line through Cambodia, Thailand to Myanmar.

The blog will continue with BC riding posts

P1060107