The Greater San Fransisco Area

Continuing my quest to travel the world.

It has been my quest to cycle around the world for a very long time, although I have ticked off 16 countries to date, I still haven't achieved the ultimate goal of cycling the world. I cannot wait any longer for the conditions to be perfect, age is catching up with me, so it is now or never.

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia
After our trip to Vietnam in 2012.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Coping with heat

Coping with heat.
Pineapple shelters - yum

35 degrees and  85 % humidity, is hard to cycle in. We have noticed that we need a break every 20 kms to cool down or you feel quite sick. It’s too hot to eat, so we drink copious amounts.
although we’ve discovered the shelters that cut up pineapple for you today.  That was excellent. The “sugar lump” karst limestone hills and islands around Halong Bay were very beautiful, although it was hard to get a decent photo as they were sort of misty with the humid air.
Halong Bay

At one point the road ended in a inland estuary and all the scooters and bikes had to cross by ferry, incidentally a little later we had to cross a large bridge coming into Haiphong. There was no cars at either of these crossings, where did they go ?
Waiting for the Ferry.

Karst Limestone hills from the Ferry.
Cycling into Haiphong.

We are hoping in the next few days when we get next to the sea, that we can go for a dip in the water. That would be awesome.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Hanoi Madness

Hanoi madness.

I dropped an unhappy Bob off at the cattery. It breaks my heart leaving him, but he’s safe there.

After finishing the chores around the house, Niel and I cycled off to the airport. He decided not to use a helmet in this trip ( I am), so we had to stick to the cycle ways so that the powers that be, don’t issue him a fine. Everything went to plan except for our gear being overweight. Our on board bags were under weight, so we spent half an hour trying to reduce our weight and juggle things around. Niel tricked the ticket lady by holding some of the weight off the scales so that we got within our 23 kg weight restriction.
$200 NZ = 5000,000 Vitnamese Dong

It was hot when we got to Kuala Lumpar, and we spent our time looking around the terminal shops and took the sky train, to and from the terminals 3 times to entertain ourselves.


We thought KL was hot Hanoi was stifling. Over 30%C, and humid.  It was fine though and not raining. We took a taxi the 40 kms into Hanoi. It was total madness. 4 million people live in Hanoi, and I think all of them are on scooters. No one gives way to other traffic, people merge and swerve all over the place and constantly toot at each other. It is total chaos and very noisy. It was unbelievable the loads these scooters and bicycles carry – everything from whole families to huge loads of say bricks or even whole carcasses of animals. We saw one scooter with 3 pig carcasses on the seat in front of the rider, it was so overloaded the trotters were almost  dragging on the road.
Scooters galore


We tried to get some sleep in the afternoon, but it  was almost impossible with the nonstop noise through the open balcony door. It’s night now, but the noise and traffic hasn’t abated.   To be honest, I’m not looking forward to cycling out of Hanoi tomorrow, but I am looking forward to the country roads.


crazy wiring outside our balcony window.

Hotel Reception has warned us about a storm that is coming in a couple of days, they have closed all tours of Halong Bay when we will be there. We will just have to play it by ear, and take it as it comes.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I've come full circle.

This time last year I was in such pain, that the only way I could carry on cycling was to take the cleats off my cycling shoes, and take my clip - in pedals off and change them for toe strap pedals without the straps. One year has passed, two operations endured, and I have put my cleats back on my cycling shoes, and now ride with clip in pedals again. This has obviously made me very happy. Not only can I ride again without pain, but my operations were a success.

All three bikes with clip in pedals and a coating of winter mud and grime.

It has cost all my savings, but been well worth it. Thank God for 2 years worth of holiday pay owing, or I wouldn't be having a holiday in 2 weeks.

It has rained almost constantly for 2 weeks now. It is cold and dreary, but we know we will be rained on in Asia so we have been out in the rainy muddy conditions training, and getting used to being wet.I am sure the warm tropical rain will be much nicer than winter conditions, so we should be well prepared.

Asia here I come. I have been looking through my photos, and reading the diary of our trip around the US in 2010. It has helped me get in the right mind set. All the ups and downs - literally. Cycle touring is a roller coaster of emotions. It is also amusing to watch me slim off. I lost 20 kg cycling the US. I'm sure in the tropics I will lose weight again, from sweat as much as from exertion. You will need to follow my progress to see.