15 01 2014

The smell of trees and damp earth after a light rain in the evening.

What a pity there is no way to record it. I guess I’ll just have to enjoy it.


Laos, China and Kyrgyzstan

3 06 2013

The current bike trip is well underway, from Laos to Kyrgyzstan. I did get my passport back in time (just).

I had plans to update this blog along the way, but for various reasons I’m using a crazyguyonabike blog this time. So far there have been almost daily updates – sometimes it takes a while to get to an internet connection to upload them though. Feel free to check it out and leave comments!


New keyboard!

15 04 2013

I just got another package in the post. Always exciting when one of these turns up. Actually, today I managed three – a final (hopefully) order from wiggle, an order from bivouac (some more camping gear – and there I was thinking I had everything I needed), and now a mini keyboard. Two of the boxes are in Adelaide, so the only one I can play with is the keyboard. Gone are the days of going shopping in a store…

And as I expected, it’s too small. But still better than the on screen keyboard on the nexus 7. I’m still going to take the tablet, but longer blog posts might need a computer. When it is set up as a laptop, the whole thing looks ridiculously small, smaller than the old 7inch eeepc. And I think it is even harder to type on. Although the screen is now far better than the eeepc. Touch screen and high resolution beats the nasty resolution of the eeepc. And battery life of this thing is much better. Either way, this one is going – with the tiny keyboard. I’d be much happier if it had an sd card or usb port. Perhaps next time I’ll have to look at a proper tablet. By then they’ll be everywhere.

Other things. The camera has recently died. Which means a new one has to be bought. Which isn’t a big problem until you look at the selection available now. Ridiculous. I had to narrow to one brand I already know. So, hopefully this weekend I’ll make a final choice, and get another new toy.

The trip is organised. Well more or less as organised. At least as organised as it’s going to be. The time is flying though – only 3 weeks left. The count is for the number of days left that are not work days. That makes it seem very close! I just hope the passports come back from the Chinese Embassy soon. Preferably with a nice shiny visa in there somewhere.

Right, the keyboard has proved it will work. I might get frustrated pretty easily, but it’s better than the android on screen keyboard.

The formatting got all screwed up for some reason. WordPress? What happened there?
I just tried to add a photo. Now that will be a real challenge. Will definitely need a proper computer for that, or… Another toy?


16 03 2013
Poor blog has been ignored for too long. Again.
As the last post alluded to, there’s going to be another trip! Yippee! I never finished writing about the last trip. I still think I should write something more but it’s been a year and a half and I still haven’t got around to it. Looks like it’s not going to happen. So… A quick summary: Pakistan seems to be full of great scenery and people. Because of the (perceived) danger, the tourists seem to huddle together and you end up with a great experience. India couldn’t be more different, and if I was in a different ‘head space’, I may have even enjoyed it. As it was I was at the end of my trip and the end of my tether, so I ticked a few of the tourist must-sees with my father and headed home.
 18 months goes by
There must be a different time scale in operation when travelling. I can hardly believe how fast time goes past in ‘normal’ land. I just had to check my calendar (yes, at home I need a calendar…) – I’ve been in the west for two weeks. That really flew past.
Anyway, the upcoming trip. When I came back to Australia, I convinced myself that I would be back for about six months, then back to India to resume where I left off. Then more work came along, and the Pamir highway looked inviting. Then, for various reasons, I decided to stick it out in normality and see how it went.
It was good for a while, but I couldn’t shake the idea of getting back out there. Again, for various reasons, I decided to try a shorter trip. The one year was quickly reduced to six months. Now it’s four months. See how a shorter length trip goes (maybe it’s too short?). And the starting point changed from where I left off in India to somewhere in SE Asia. Mostly so I could build a route that finished in Kyrgyzstan so I could ride for a month with Stefan an Sabine. They’ll be there in August, but they can’t wait that long for another trip – they’ll be in Jordan over Easter.
So, a one way ticket has been bought. To Thailand at the start of May. Quickly leg it over to Laos, then ride the length of Laos, look around China (assuming the Chinese authorities give out a visa). Head over the desert to Kyrgyzstan for August. Do a lap of Kyrgyzstan and fly back. I don’t know if there will be time to ride all the way. Since the trip has an end date, it makes more sense to skip any boring bits with a bus.
Looking forward to starting now!

Test from tablet

2 01 2013

So I went and bought a new tablet.  Hopefully I can get away with just this on the next trip. At least that was the plan – it’s really just a new toy 🙂

Edit: 3 January 4.5billion and 13

More on the toy later.

I forgot that people who are following the blog would get an email that it’s alive again. I was only trying to test the WordPress Android app (which seems to work pretty well, but the on screen keyboard leaves a bit to be desired). Woops. Not to worry. As John has reminded me, before I talk about future trips (which I hope there will be one) I should ‘complete’ the last trip. I’m somewhere in China or Pakistan still – a year later, I still haven’t looked at some of the photos I took in India…

It’s a bit embarrassing that I haven’t made a single post in 2012. Not so much Adventure, but plenty of work.

Still alive

11 09 2011

I appear to have forgotten about the blog. I am still alive, and at the moment I am safely back in Australia. Not exactly home, but Frankenbici is parked up in my parents shed, and I’m several thousand kilometres west of there. I’ll try to write something about Pakistan (a great place) and India (a less great place) before I forget about it, or get overwhelmed by the day to day. The latter may have already happened…

Asian Internet

12 07 2011

Iran filters it’s internet. In country, it has been dubbed the filter-net.

China does the same thing. It seems that Iran uses the Chinese technology to filter the internet. The China version is aka The Great Firewall of China.

Pakistan uses a slightly different approach. When you get online, nothing appears to be blocked. Or perhaps that should be “If you get online…”. Especially in the north, where I have just been.

I haven’t worked out just why, but Pakistan is having all sorts of problems with keeping the electricity on. I thought this was just in the north, way up in the mountains, but it is all over the country. I’m in Islamabad (the capital) now, and just now the power has gone off (Laptop + battery = power independence + I didn’t lose what I just wrote). The fan stops, and instantly it feels 10 degrees hotter. the locals tell me they are rolling blackouts, which implies it is due to a lack of generation capacity. This from a country that is proud to have nuclear weapons. Priorities?

So, when the power is on, there should be internet. Well, I found one satellite connection in Hunza… except the power was never on. And a few days later, a connection in Gilgit, and when the power was on, the internet didn’t work. At one point the stars did line up, and we had both, but it was so slow that it made dial-up look blazingly fast.

And so with no trickery at all Pakistan joins the last two countries I’ve visited as internet black spots. The problem is I could geek out and find ways to get around the filtering in Iran and China, but having the power pulled really makes things difficult…