Friday, 15 July 2016


Arriving in Bangkok almost 2 months ago, I was stamped in to Thailand, with permission to stay in the country for 30 days (as usual). Those 30 days were over too soon, with the hassles of 1 week delayed baggage, etc. So, I saddled up my bike (old Saartjie), for the trip to Malaysia to get a longer Thai visa. I am still waiting for my new passport (a few months more), so Malaysia is convenient as I do not need a visa (they only place a small entry and exit stamp in the passport, which is almost full). I have cycled this route a number of times, and I had to be out of Thailand on a certain date, so I took the train for part of the way from Bangkok. From the border I headed South to Penang island where there is a Thai consulate (visa office), camping a couple of times along the way there and back. I stayed a few days in Penang (George Town), in the Little India district (good street food). Then I headed back towards Thailand and Bangkok. I arrived there without my tent poles (where do errant tent poles go?). Now I have to try and find some more poles. Distances cycled I will add up later.
And so, at the risk of harping on about things, my pre-schemed plans regarding my travels in E Asia have obviously been seriously disrupted. In the mean time my travel options are limited. But there are also positives, and the day after arriving in Thailand without any baggage I met Pannee. She has been good company, and has made me forget some of my troubles.
Currently I am visiting on her family farm in Isan, Ubon province in the East of Thailand.
The Buddhist Lent, also called the Candle Festival, is very big in this region. This year the culmination of that festival is in the provincial capital, Ubon Ratchatani, on 19 and 20 July.
The festival consists of float parades (built over months from candle wax), accompanied by local dancing troops. The various important temples compete against each other for first prize each year (nb. "temple" refers to the entire community, not only the monks). After that we take the train back to Bangkok again for the time being.

Monday, 6 June 2016


I am in Bangkok, Thailand, once more! I left Florida, USA, more than a week ago, and I have had some excitement in the process.
Let me start at the beginning. A while ago I met Brandon, a cinematographer based in Florida, USA. He is interested in documenting my travels, and he gave me a bunch of equipment for filming as I go along. My departure from Miami airport was being filmed at the check-in counter. The unflinching attendant charged me US $ 500 for excess baggage! Interesting that I had been on that same sequence of flights 3 times before, with the same baggage, and was never charged for it (I suppose they made up for it this time). Thanks to Brandon who immediately paid the fee on my behalf. Almost 2 days later I arrived in Bangkok - WITHOUT MY SUPER EXPENSIVE LUGGAGE! Exactly one week later my bike and all my equipment was delivered to me. Besides that, the cheap guest house where I have stayed in Bangkok many times was closed down when I turned up there, and it seems that the place is being demolished. Peachy GH was an institution amongst budget travelers, and it feels strange that it is now gone. My passport is nearly full, and I was planning to apply for a new passport at the SA embassy here, before returning to China and a few other countries. Surprise surprise! At the embassy today I was informed that the processing time for a new passport is 6 months. Now I have to figure out what to do and where to go in the mean time, and my savings may be depleted by that time anyway. Never a dull moment, but right now I could do with a few dull moments.


This post is a little belated, as I have already left Paradise Farm and the USA more than a week ago. Anyway, here are some more pictures from around the farm, and also pics of Warmshowers touring cyclists who have camped on the farm.
In addition to welcoming guests and servicing the guest houses, taking care of guests on the farm also ivolved serving them breakfast.
The Warmshowers cyclists had to take care of their own meals, although all the necessary facilities were available to them.
Two of the farm workers, Jani and Carmella, at a teepee brought there by guests for a ceremony.
And of course I have to again add a pic of my part-time cat, Guacomole. The ginger kitten was found at the roadside and brought to me, so I raised him for a couple of weeks until he could eat on his own. I was quite sad to have to find a new home for him before I left.

Monday, 29 February 2016


OK, I have been back on the Paradise farm in South Florida since December, so it is probably time to post a few pictures. I have been taking care of B&B guests as before, as well as looking after a host of Warmshowers touring cyclists. The pictures below are from around the farm, and the people in the pictures are mostly touring cyclists from the USA and all over the world (Russia, France, Canada, etc.).
At some stage my hair and beard started to irritate me, so I decided to shave it all off. It was then that I discovered that I have a rather lumpy skull, so now I am letting my hair grow a bit again.
Then there have been friends camping here as well, such as Keith and Carissa who come to visit every year.
Also, Germans Fred and Ludia and their two little girls (Lotte and Malea) have been camping here for a number of weeks while helping out on the farm. Sadly they leave tomorrow.

Monday, 18 January 2016


Been back in south Florida since December, at Paradise Farm once again. Will update later. In the mean time please see the previous post, as eventually I have put on some pics! Distances cycled on my final stint in Asia in 2015 are as follows:- From Chiang Khong on the Mekon in NW Thailand to Yuan Hom 55 km; Taha Ngam 55 km; Charoen Moean 62 km; Payo 67 km; Temple camp 75 km; Lamphang 61 km; Thoen 109 km; Hill Temple 98 km; Mae Sot 106 km; Tak 90 km; Sukhothai 95 km; Utteradit 123 km; Phitsanulok 109 km; Nakhon Sawan 140 km; Chayo 125 km; Ayuttaya 66 km; Pai Kwang 103 km; and Kanchanaburi 57 km. Total to this point is 134 041 km. But there is more! From Kanchanaburi to Samut Sakhon 81 km; Ban Pli 84 km; Pattya 99 km; Outskirts temple 80 km; Bangkok 51 km; Phitsanulok (train) 8 km; Sukhothai 67 km; Tak 82 km; Wang Chao 93 km; Kamphaeng Phet 67 km; Ban Khong Wiat 66 km; Uthai Thani 75 km; Chai Nat 81 km; Suphan Thani 91 km; U-Thong 77 km; and Kanchanaburi (again) 59 km. Total to this point is 135 202 km. Next days cycle was to Phetshaburi 69 km; Cha-Am 71 km; Hua Hin 31 km; and Bangkok (train) 12 km. Total cycled up to end 2015 is 135 385 km. I have had some requests (mostly from cyclists) to post a bigger version of my route map. Well, here it is, but I am no longer in the far East, I am in Florida USA. Good luck trying to figure out where that map leads, it is probably more of a maze!

Thursday, 22 October 2015


The previous few posts are about my most recent trip in China (some of those posts still need completing). Since leaving China I have cycled back south through Laos, and I am currently in Thailand. The following are some pics of Laos and Thailand during Ocotber and November 2015. Daily distances cycled from China through Laos back South to Thailand are are follows:- Tribal village 70 km; Luang Namtha 12 km; Vieng Phouka 55 km; Service Spot 45 km; Laos village 25 km; Village clinic 30 km; Huay Xai 55 km; and Chiang Khong (Thailand) 25 km. Total to this point is 132 450 km.