Current location : Gattières, France (Google map)
Last entry date : 08/Sep/08
12/Jul/08 to 22/Aug/08
Exactly 3 months since the start of my journey from France east across Asia, here I am like a kid with a big smile starring down the Malaysia’s northern Bukit Kayu Hitam border checkpoint some 50mtrs away. A big welcome sign “Visit Malaysia 2007” is still proudly displayed above the 4 lane passage. No other signs like sudden Thai military coup d’etat or protest of any sort were visible at the border, so I knew I was going in. 12/Jul/08, a sunny Saturday afternoon, I rolled head high into Malaysia. Dah Sampai !!
Unlike the previous countries, this time it does felt a bit like “balik kampung” (Malay term for “going home”). The surprised Malaysian customs officers gave their “Eh, boleh lah” comments – meaning “Thumbs up”. Gone is the anxiety of the “unknown” that usually surround me as I enter a new country. Family members, friends and supporters in Malaysia who have been following this “crazy trip” (as they called it – saying its radical by going it alone) were waiting. This time I have been offered places to stay across the country, speaks the language, missed the “teh tarik” and food !! Its nice to be back.
There were still a couple of serious stuff left to do before getting “lost” in this homecoming. (A) To get the bike serviced by an authorized BMW workshop. It’s a locked-in high-tech computer testing these days. This was done thanks to BMW Auto Bavaria Penang and its bike chief Mr Lim BK who readily “sponsored” the 20K service for me. And rightly so Mr Lim – the BMW F650GS Dakar is a great adventure bike and a great ride so far !!. (B) Wind down mentally from the trip mindset. But … putting the feet back onto the ground to adapt anew to the grind of the system was easier said than done.
I clocked up less kilometers (but more stops) in Malaysia than in the other countries, partly because its uncomfortable to ride in this hot and humid tropical climate with my protective biking outfit on. I wished it was possible to avoid its heavy thunderstorm rain every 100km (meaning my expensive riding outfits are not worth the purchase since they have lost their waterproof properties after only 3 months). Your boots smell, said my brother.
Lydia had brought her crash helmet along from France. That provided an excuse for a couple of days of back-on-the-saddle wind-in-the-face ride and camp up on my favorite mountain Gunong Ledang in Johor with local riders Solomon and his brother Chris (both supporters of “bybike2malaysia”!!). Many years ago, I did try to track up to the peak but never made it, this time I did (with a little help from Kuda, of course)! Never too late to decide to do something, I guess.
A word of Thanks to all Visitors
Finally, to all of you who have followed or passed a few hits on this website – thanks for your visits, comments and the encouragements. I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos, reading some of the postings, or …maybe even thinking to get out to one of these places one day ?? Honestly, when I was on the road I was encouraged by your visits. That’s because out there its sooo… not easy to trick a tired brain to write a post, to locate or sit in internet cafes, manage slow internet upload, etc, etc. (by the way, its just as true even after this trip ie hard to write when no longer out there, I mean). So thank you again for your visits.
Please check back now and then for updates to this website before the next SE Asia / Australia outing starting Jan 2009. Or, if you wish to be informed automatically of any updates, you can do so by simply clicking onto the small “Subscribe to the latest news” RSS flux icon at the bottom of the website.