Honda XR250, Thailand

The Count Down Begins

| Australia

That it, I just had enough! I just wanted to pack it all in and go home. With the temperatures and the rain falling daily, wearing every item of clothing, I had. I still could not keep warm or dry enough. Simple chores become huge efforts. Every morning, I would endure my morning motorcycle circus of trying to start the engine. First attempt would be the normal way, pressing firmly down the starter button. One the first attempt I would flatten the battery. Next, I would try the kick-start. However, since I was using roughly one litre of car oil per 1,000 kilometres, my compression ratio was too low to turn the engine over. That meant I had to rope some unsuspecting poor sod, off the side of the road, to help me push start it.

After a few hours on the motorcycle, my hand would become stiff and frozen to my handlebars. At least twenty minutes before coming to a stop, I would have to bend down and place my unusable hands on the engine. Soaking up the radiant heat, they would become semi flexible and ready to attempt fill my tank up.

At every DNC police checkpoint, the police officer would question my soggy passport. Every page were padded with toilet paper, and the stamps had smudged forming one big messy stamp. I had to point to the sky with a cheeky smile and use the only word I knew ‘doosh (shower)…?’  I got the impression they felt sorry for me as they waved me with a slight nudge of the ancient looking gun that slung heavily around their thick necks.

After a few weeks of constant rain, snow, and many police check points. I found myself riding up to 800 kilometres and chewing through a one litre of oil per day. It was all getting too much for me, but I made it, limping into Moscow.
Looking at my bank account, I realised the decision had been made for me. I needed to sell my beloved, troublesome motorcycle in order to get myself home, and debt free. A couple of weeks later, after many days sitting in custom offices, I managed to permanently import my motorcycle into Russia and sell it.

Landing in Australia, words, conversations crammed my head, as I was finally able to understand a language, after ten months of a peculiar silence. Passing through the custom’s automatic glass doors, I was feeling flat. I was without money, a bike, and a direction. I had only been in Australia for under an hour and already I needed to get back onto the road.
Taking a year off to enjoy life, and concentrate on work. I found it just slipped by too quickly and suddenly the twelve-month count down began. I had to start planning my next adventure! The economy crashed in the Brisbane building industry and it was a scary moment. We were all cut back to a four day week, slashing my saving down by 25%.
Realising I needed a website to pull together my last adventure and to display my next one. I found myself spending my day off, on the internet learning how to use ‘dreamweaver’ in order to create my own website. Six months later, I have finally created this one.

Its now April 2010 and October is only getting closer. Trip preparation, website development, sponsorship, and grant applications seem to fill my nights. Every time I am about to take a step forward, I medication for herpes have to take hundreds sideways first. I am hoping the swamped feeling will cease after ANZAC weekend.

ANZAC weekend brings the 2010 Australian ‘Horizons Unlimited’ national meeting. Where I helping organize a two day event for all motorcycle, 4×4 and bicycle travellers who use the ‘Horizons Unlimited’ website to help plan their own trip. With only two weeks to go, I am trying to make sure we have covered everything – I guess only time will tell.
The paperwork is decreasing slowly with every bite size piece I chew. I now have to make a decision on a motorcycle so I can actually pack up and leave my home once again. That is it, I just cannot wait to pack my bags and go!