Saturday, January 31, 2009
1st, we have to fill up a form on the computer. this form cannot be saved and it's online. after filling it up we have to print it on the spot. so we go to an internet cafe to make sure the cafe has a printer linked.
2ndly, go to the 'post office' to buy a kind of phone card that cost us$14. it is so good as described in their webpage that we can use this card to call the embassy in chile up to 8 minutes and the expiry date is 1year. the pain is, we have to find a good working phone.
3rdly. the 1st phone that we found was a littlebit soft. the chile public phone ( they specify which particular network to use) always eating up our coins. we are puting about s$0.20 per minute. we didnt standby enough coins when we call. Sam has to rush to some shops to get coins. the local shop usually dont change coins. at last, after 10minutes, i got the operator. to book for the appointment, they will ask for my name, address in chile, phone number in chile, passport number, email address. this is real hard. by spelling out my name thro this soft spoken phone, i kept shouting. we were calling by the main street and when a bus passed, i couldnt hear a thing. then they ask me which is the 1st name, the last name and blah blah. for them, its quite difficult to understand the structure of a chinese's name. don't forget, the meter is clicking. this us$14 last for 8 minutes, excluding the per minute public phone charge that Sam has to put the coins in. For the address, they need to fill in every columb. we are staying in santiago central. they wanted to know the small zone of the city. i told them santiago central and she said no, i must have it. i just bluff something out because i know it is not important. she is just being not flexible. then it comes to email address. ohhh... i have to spell everything. its hard to spell because the english pronouncation is different from the spanish. like 'V' the spanish pronuced as 'Bee'. just before anything, the public phone stop taking in coins and the line was cutted! i nearly had a stroke on the spot.
we ran across many streets to find a good working phone. again i called and made a shout over the phone for providing all the infomations again. luckily i had a better operator.
back in singapore before the trip, when Sam booked for the appointment, everything was online. isn't all the usa embassy in the world worked with the same system?
4thly, it cost us 2 x us$131 = us$262 for the visa application, regardless if the visa was approved or not. we had a US$500 travelers cheque. the next morning we set out to change the travelers cheque (TC). Sam read in a guide book (2004) that the tc could be changed easily at an address. we took a train, walked all over and found that address. no... they no longer change tc. we went to HSBC Santiago, somewhere near. along the trip when i show my tc to any bank, they refered me to go hsbc because the hsbc logo was printed on this american express tc. at hsbc, they told me that they dont change tc. go to a 'casa de cambio', a change house. we ran to that change house, its like a private owned money changer that accept tc also. the rate is very lousy as compared to the bank rates. we will lose money (about the price of one night stay in a hostel)! after running here and there, we decided to use our ATM for withdrawing the cash.
we had to go to the 'post office' again to tell buy a kind of cashier's order paid to the embassy.
5th, we prepared about 34 pages of supporting documents like:
bank account statues
my apartment's (in singapore) value
our marriage cert
my education cert
our planned route in usa
for male, im required to fill in another form which questions like: have you ever been specilized train in any firing arms or weapon? if yes please indicate. then another one was the list of countries i visited for the last 10 years. in the list, there is Iran and Pakistan. i hope it wouldnt be too sensitive for them that we stayed in these 2 countries for almost 3 months.
the most important and strongest document is: an air ticket.
we checked the net on LA to sydney.
cheapair.com united airline/quantas
one way: us$915 us$1400
return: never check us$1000
how come they charge cheaper for a two way tickets?
then we took a taxi to the santiago airport to purchase airticket from the desk counter of american airline. (as recommanded by a fellow biker from germany, daniel.) that is our only hope. we reached the airport at 1210hrs. that AA counter was closed. the information counter said AA has an office at the next building. we went. its closed too! com'on! its a working day and at working hour. we went back to the info counter and update her. she told us to wait till 6pm and maybe AA will open again.
dissapointed, we walked out of the airport and look for the taxi that was waiting for us. he disapeared. i went in to try other counters. not many counters are selling airticket for usa-australia. there is one: quoted an one way, that cost $1200. forget it. my plan was to go back and book from the internet.
just as we were going out, the AA counter re-opens. i think it was lunch time but they just put a label: closed.
one way : us$1200
return (2 ways) : us$759
we bought the 2 ways ticket and only intend to use one way.
now i have to plan my date and route very carefully. the date has been set for departure from usa to australia and the location also has been set. no 'cock ups' has to be done. if we need to change the date, it will cost us$200 per person.
on the day of interview.... cut long story short, the officer checked our passport.
'oh.. u been to pakistan. did u go to that wagah border?'
because out of intrest, this officer had beed working in pakistan and made many travels around. so he understand us.
'hmmm.. u been to iran, how do u think of it'
i replied about the people there always mistaken me as jackie chan.
the officer laughed. it wasnt so tensed as compared when sam was interviewed in singapore alone. i wasnt allowed to accompany her in because i need no a visa.
this time we applied as 'a family' and both of us was standing at the counter.
we had so many documents to show him, the only document he wanted to see was only the newspaper article. i showed him the brazilian newspaper when we were at felipe's home.
YES! we got it! it was a multiple entry visa that last for one year!
not to be too happy, their web says it doesnt mean that if we are issued a visa, we were allowed to go into usa. the officer at the actual border will determine the entry.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
4) Q: what brand is the bike and how many cylinder?
A: honda. 2 cyliner.
we met friends from Hong Kong... had a very good time with each other, abit of chinese new year mood!
one of the camp site in chile
another camp site in chile
we would like to thank Adrain low (3rd time), Koh Chin Yee (4th time) and Timothy Low (my childhood friend) for making their generous donation. they had given us a very big ang pao for CNY! really really thank you all!
we need help:
we would now like to purchase 2 OPEN ticket from america (any airport) to australia (sydney), making sure its the cheapest. OPEN ticket means the date of departure could be changed. estimated date of departure is july 2009.
we will be on skype during chinese new year, 26 Feb 2009, 1300 hrs (GMT+8hr) to 1400hrs (GMT+8hr) my skype name is goh.mia.chun
wishing all of you have a properious year of the Ox ahead.
Lottery fans, here are some numbers that will appear on the next draw
7651 3207 0321 7807 1788
2309 0101 4559 0324 9812
4437 9027 8916 7717 5333
6890 5155 6109 0480 7382
Saturday, January 17, 2009
we camped freely along the road from Puerto Madryn to Esquel. the first camp site was a wrong decision as it was about 6pm, the sky was very dark and about to rain. I got off the main road and saw some bushes. I rode in and Hope Too was stucked in the sand ditch! both of us could not get it out. we were tired, hungry and it was about to rain. My decision was to pitch the tent for a night and wait till tomorrow to get some help. the ground was sandy. I could not hammer in the tent pegs. The ground was very lose so we left the tent free standing. the heavy wind blew our tent as we hid inside. the fine sand rushed into our tent. it was a horrible experience.
13 January 2009, we entered a national park. along the road, there seems to be like a guard house to ‘filter’ tourist from the local. I stopped and asked the lady (dressed in her home clothes) that got off her seat in the guard house regarding the camping site nearby. then she said something (in Spanish) like we had to pay 30pesos (S$15) each person to enter this road. I took a quick glance at the guard house and there isn’t any price list, I assumed she is trying to get some part time income from us. guess what I did: with my broken Spanish, I told her thank you and off we go!
Am I doing the right thing? She might be right that we have to pay but she did not show me any tickets nor there is any signage of payment. we didnt see the cars in front and back of us paying her.
Ruta 71 was nice as recommanded by Miguel (puerto madyrn) and Paul (germany). there are a lot of camping libre (free camping) by the lake. bikers... u can just dont stop at the unautorized paying station... i think its like india, foreigners always pay almost double than the local here. there is no proper system.
1) Tires sponsor. we need one set within next week and estimated 3 sets in the future. each set cost S$350.00
2) 1set chain kit ($200.00) within next week.
3) long term engine oil sponsor (estimated 5 liters for every 5000km, about S$75.00 every 5000km). estimated journey back home is 40000km, that means we still need 8 oil change, 8 x S$75.00 = S$600.00
4) 2 x inflatable sleeping mattress (S$120.00 each)
5) we also need help from anyone that is able to design a sticker for us. preferred with Singapore flag design.
6) to help us participate in the ‘Singapore record breakers’. check the web on
at the moment, item 1 and 2 is more important as my last tire, the Metzeler enduro 3 (made in Brazil) only last less than 7000km as compared to the Metzeler Tourance which I used for 20000km previously.
this is the ´supermarket´ that we topped up our food. beware... they are closed from 1pm-5pm.
Goh Mia Chun
below is a blog extracted from a fellow biker. this couple from Poland is now in africa. we had the same experience too:
Maybe it’s too early to be writing this (given we’re only about a quarter of the way through this big continent) and it can be interpreted as a blatant generalisation, but we have to ask - “Africa, where is your pride?!” We’re referring to the constant begging… And it’s not just the kids, crippled or elderely that are doing it but the educated and relatively well off Africans. Time and time again we have met people who at first seem generous and willing to help out a ‘foreigner’ passing through, only to discover that there is a catch… Two examples:- We stopped in a small village in Rwanda to have some lunch. As is typical of Rwanda, dozens of people immediately surrounded us and the bike. One guy came forward asking (in English) if we need some help. We could have managed to order something ourselves but always like to meet the locals and appreciated the offer. All was going well until our new ‘friend’ insisted we buy him a beer. “Why should we buy you a beer?” we asked. “Because I was the first to help you and I’m poor” came the answer. We tried to explain to him that if we gave money and gifts to every African that asked for it, we’d be broke by now.- The second example is from Tanzania. Again we stopped for some food. A middle-aged man sms-ing away on his mobile phone, came up to us for a chat. All was cool until we asked whether they had a well or spring from which we could get some water. He said they didn’t because they’re a poor village, but we could change that by giving them a ‘grant’. What’s wrong with picking up a shovel and digging a hole yourself, we thought…
Not everyone is like this of coarse and we’ve met some fantastic people. Most Africans are super friendly and always smiling, but some just can’t help themselves when they see a white face. We realise a lot of it has been caused/influenced by western countries, who use corrupt governments to feed off Africa’s rich resources and think that a bit of humanitarian aid will silence their conscience. Also ‘generous’ tourists who think material possessions is what the Africans are missing don’t help the situation either. But we don’t buy the argument that if you think you’re poor, the world owes you something. We’ve been to many countries and regions of the world (Mongolia, central Asia…etc) where people have less than here, yet don’t expect anything in return for their hospitality. It’s not for our benefit that we say all this (although it would make for a better travel experience), but how can a country (continent) hope to prosper and move forward when they feel helpless and give up their pride so cheaply
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
so dont expect me NOT to: digging my nose, doing a fart, littering once a while, looking at other girls on bikini, scratching my underwear and trying to pull it out from the ass... blah blah blah.... everyone do these! (secretly)
i just have a bad neck and spinal pain. it happened over one night of bad sleeping position and after that night, everymorning i wake up i suffer it. morning: problem lifting my head up because of weak neck. little pain down to about 6 inches below the neck on the spine. like usual stiff neck... i cant turn my head but the little spine pain is not usual. Sam gave me alittle massage and it feels better. in the afternoon, my neck can operate like normal condition with very little pain. in the night, after sleeping and next morning it happen again! i am using a inflatable pillow. does it affect the condition?
cube: can u advise me on how to invite company to advertise on my page? i have no knowledge on this.
steve: thank you for following our blog. your encouragement makes us feel better for further updates.
haojie: neck... donno how.... hope can recover by itself. i dont use painkiller. about the statistic, sometimes i feel like writing to ghost... only ghost is reading. like the 7th month ghost festival, the wayang artist perform on stage and no body clap or watch...
cindy: do you think i shall only give registered user to read this blog only? BTW, we really sorry to miss ur wedding.
God: thanks for your offer. i would very very prefer readers to advise me on how to get $ from coperate company rather than getting $ from readers. can u help on this? BTW, when is the Lunar new year?
we dont really enjoyed watching the dakar but had a wonderful time being with friends watching the dakar.
this race is a special one... 30th annivesary and first time out of Europe and Africa. i watched the TV report, most of the riders were suprised by the terrain condition of Argentina, unlike the usual Africa. on day 5, reported about 104 paticipant were out of the race!
the girls waiting.... waiting for the racer to arrive...
one of the small little crowd-....
Miguel"s friend came from far away and stayed at his house, like us. we had a good BBQ dinner with the company of new friends! they are great!!!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
we also like to thank Mr balachandran thevakumaran for his support in our trip... thank you!
we spent half 1 full day in editing this video, almost 3 hours in this expensive and touristic city just to upload this video for all of you, what do we get in return?! if we are lucky enough, we get a few comments. its a WASTE OF OUR TIME AND MONEY FOR THIS BLOG.
why are we spending these effort? why do we need the blog? i do not have to answer to anyone. 43000 readers, only less than 50 comments. less then 0.001% readers give comments. what does reader want to get from our blog? are they friends that are concern about us and want to know about our location? if we do not update blog for 1month, i guess no body would care.
im not trying to be selfish. this is our travel. why must i make all the trouble to update all these shit????
Saturday, January 3, 2009
we met 3 french driving towards Argentina. they had low petrol in their tank and i escorted them to a nearby Kiosk 70km away.
these looks like wood chip but they are hard like rocks.