Sunday, May 23, 2010

more of darwin

this guy was watching us from our Errol's neighbour compound.
Darwin botanical garden. notice this 2 trees were fallen some time but they still survive.

At night market.

Thanks to Yuki and Gigi from Hong Kong, they brought Samantha a very nice cake.

The Bilbao tree in Darwin.

Don’t border to go to big motorcycle shop in Australia to get something done on yours, instead, they will try to sell you a new bike. Remember I wanted a chain guard in Alice Springs and how the guys at the shop treated me? These are the shops that sell new bike clothing, new Harley, chromed parts. I went to the biggest bike store in Darwin. It was the Harley type of shop but they also sell many other accessories. I asked for a second hand crate for Hope Too and that guy quoted me a$250! Usually, in many parts of the world, the crate would be free because it came with the new bike. When they sell the new bike they have to find ways to throw away the crate. After knowing the price, they asked me if I wanted to know how much is it to put the bike in and to transport to the shipping company. No thanks. I browsed around, looking for a chain guard. The guy in-charged was kind enough to take an effort to do some measurement and research. I appreciated his work although he did not have any suitable chain guard for XRV750. I checked with him about other bike shops around and he recommended me to

Darwin Motorcycle Wreckers
Unit 2/1 Durand Court, Coconut Grove, NT 0810
Tel: (08) 89480995

S12 24.122
E130 51.194

It was situated in an industrial area where we found it by chance. There were some old bikes out side this rusty and dark workshop. There was a guy working on a bike when I approached. He was the kind of big beard man and wasn’t the friendliest person anyone would meet. After hearing my problem, he showed me all his baskets of chain guard he had and I have to help myself. He continued back to his work. Cool! There were so many used chain guard that I could fit on Hope Too. I noticed that although his workshop is not clean but all the used parts were categorized properly. It was because when I wanted to pay him for some screws, he showed me the segment where he put all the old screws and it was free. Then I realized that he always had a place for something so that it would be easy to find, just like an old library. Highly recommended for repairs and special motorcycle parts and helpful!

Bye Hope Too...

It was Sam’s birthday, a day before we have to leave for Timor Leste. It wasn’t a fancy cake that she had but it’s about blowing the candles in the dark with some nice friends (and me) around. Hey, where’s her birthday present?

Rather than spending time at the World Heritage of the MUST VISIT Kakadu national park, we spend most of our last days in Australia with Errol and Serene, which was really worth.

Errol was my direct commander when I was serving 2 years of national service (NS). From the times together, I guess Errol had learned to be much smarter because he had to deal with a person like me. I remembered every time I got into trouble, he would not use the rank to press me down but to counsel me. Sometimes he had to do special ideas just to make his superior happy because he was given the instruction from his superior to punish us. He always had new and strange ideas where the ‘straight’ people in NS could not accept. Luckily I didn’t belong to the ‘straight’ type of people in NS.

After the two years full time NS, we went our separated ways into our real struggling lives.

It was Adrian Low, from Sydney that updated us that Errol was in Darwin. I was so happy to meet Errol again and pleased to introduce Sam as my life time partner, my wife, to him because he did not attend our wedding.

Errol and his wife, Serene, lived a humble life in Darwin and most of the times during the 10 days stay, he was around with us and droved us around to show us everything that we wanted to see, to buy and do in Darwin. He tried to offer everything he could to us. We always had endless topic to discuss over the table and I would be the one hinting to go to sleep first. I had never been so close to him with out this RTW trip and got to know him better, other than being my commander.

Sam and I would rate Errol as the UNESCO World Heritage of a MUST VISIT person in Australia rather than the Kakadu alibaba thing.

Errol enlighten me in my many queries I had. He would be able to be my Buddha.

My Buddha?

That would be a person, an article, a movie or anything that would enlighten me from my query.

We had a good time in Australia with Errol’s presence. Sam and I were really lucky as compared with other travelers.

I am now writing this in Timor Leste. I am more eager to share with you the love we had over this country.

Long time that we have not have Laksa... thanks to Errol and Serene bringing us to the local market.

Errol making Hokkien mee for us.

last days in Australia, we had some grill in case we miss the food here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Adam & Eve, Garden of Eden and the Serpent

It seemed that everyone that visits Darwin must visit the Kakadu national park, a world heritage, listed with UNESCO.

Entrance fee to the park cost a$25 per person but there wasn’t any gate checking on the tickets.

The cheapest camp ground cost a$20 that provides drinking water, shower, human sticking flies and mosquito.

We had been told by the local travelers on their caravan that we MUST VISIT this park. Maybe they have not experience tropical climate before. The thing about Aboriginal religion was like:

Don’t ask too much, if not you will get cursed by the powerful being.

Don’t do this if not, bad things will happen to you.

Remember the story about the greedy lizard and the fighting snake?

This was what being passed to us, we are the children of the land and must respect the powerful spirit.

For me, I do not believe but I respect their religion and culture.

Usually visitor would go to Kakadu for the rock art, which was left for many years, like in thousands. When we visited, it seemed to be touch up before recently. There was no real truth and documentation about the reason behind all these drawings except the researchers gathered information from the local Aboriginals and they will tell stories related.

Our initial plan was to stay in Kakadu for 4-5 nights but the 2 nights was a struggle and the sites were over marketed. Some were too costly to participate like taking a boat to view the swampy land, which cost a$95 for 2 hours! Ciao bello!

The Sungai Beloh and Pulau Ubin of Singapore would be double rated than the Kakadu park and yet it is FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE OF CHARGE!!!

Then, the haze from Singapore might not be 100% from Indonesia. In this land of Australia, the Aboriginals burn the land too. Below was an extract from the catalog we took from the park:

The role of fire

Aboriginal people have burned country for tens of thousands of years. The ancestors gave them a cultural obligation to look after and clean up country, a duty handed down from generation to generations. Signs in nature told them of the time to burn, a time when minimal harm would be done to country but huge benefits would be gained.

Their ongoing traditional management of country is recognized in Kakadu’s World Heritage listing:

blar blar blar…

I don’t want to read, type and waste your time reading all these nonsense anymore.

I must admit that some views were really nice and the climb was easy. At this time, I do not want to talk anything about the Kakadu National Park again. The last hope I am giving this island was Kakadu National Park. Nothing in tourism impressed me.

What is more important is that I want to tell a story of Adam, Eve the Serpent and Garden of Eden.

Adam and Eve were first created in the Garden of Eden many thousands years ago. Both of them lead simple and happy life. They had children and grand children and the generations went on.

In the morning, they woke up, seeing the refection of the gold and germ stones on the ground shined by the morning sun and it reflected multi color lights onto the air. Looking upon the horizons it’s so beautiful because Garden of Eden had rich gold and gem stones. The descendants of Adam and Eve loved their land, letting these gold and gem stones untouched.

The women and children would make sure water supplies were clean and would start gathering berries and edible insects for food. The older women will teach the young women the art of gathering. The men will be out going to hunt for food for the family.
The elderly would usually use the wall of big rock as a classroom, gather the children in front of the wall, tell them stories and drew on the wall to have better illustrations, like a class room.

They built their houses by materials from the nature like wood and leaves. Usually most of them love to sleep on the bare ground under the stars in the dark night, which was much cooler. When they were about to sleep, the father would teach the children how to read star signs and weather. The mother would pat them to sleep.

They had really a happy and healthy life which most of them could live more than 100 years old. It’s really beautiful!

All the things changed when the Serpent came to the Garden of Eden. Serpent saw gold, gems and rich minerals in Garden of Eden and wanted to set up mine here. Serpent told the descendants of Adam and Eve that he will give the whole family of Adam and Eve money, houses and all the needs that they want without working hard.

Serpent explained to them how to use money and the wonder of what money can do.

Serpent promised them that they would have protected land.

Serpent will feed them and their entire family.

In return, the Serpent will introduce the family of Serpents into Garden of Eden.

Sounds good! The descendants of Adam and Eve were lured by the Serpent. Money does not exist in their life before. There wasn’t roof and concrete house for thousands and thousands of years. Now they do not need to worry anymore. It sounded that Serpent is giving them power and Serpent is a new God to them (because Serpent taught them money is power).

So the Serpent brought his colony over and settled in the Garden of Eden. They dug all the gold, gem stones and every natural minerals they could find, then sell it to other group of Serpents in other world and made lots of money. They confined the descendants of Adam and Eve into other areas with fences.

The Serpent colony grew more and more. They built cities all over Garden of Eden. They brought in cars and technology. They built tar road across the Garden of Eden. They cut trees down with machine. They built factory that uses the pure water from Garden of Eden and released poison chemicals back to the Garden of Eden. The Serpents had entertainment and they also brought in alcohol.

The descendants of Adam and Eve tried to join the Serpents in their way of life but they couldn’t. Descendants of Adam and Eve did not have alcohol before and their body system could not process the alcohol properly. Alcohol damaged their body fast.

Descendants of Adam and Eve could not live in concrete houses with metal as they could not get in touch with the real ground. Many died at young age.

Some descendants of Adam and Eve still tried to live the life they had before, drinking water from the nature but many died because of the chemicals released from the Serpent factories.

Descendants of Adam and Eve could not see the beautiful sunrise anymore because there wasn’t any more gold and gems on the ground. They could not see the beautiful stars in the night anymore because the smoke from factory had became the new sky. They had no classrooms anymore because it was locked by the Serpent to view as art gallery.

Descendants of Adam and Eve had lost their habit and skills of hunting and gathering, rather, taking the money from Serpent, go to supermarket and buy bread, alcohol and try to live like the Serpent.

Now, there is no more wonderland in Garden of Eden. Everything was changed.

This goes on for hundreds of years. The Serpent colony grew stronger and stronger. The descendants of Adam and Eve became weaker than before. They became lazy and generation after generations, they became like zombie.

In present days, the Serpent colony finds that it was very hard for them to integrate with the descendants of Adam and Eve. The Serpent colony find them a nuisance, a threat to the colony and useless. Many Serpents complaint to the King of Serpents that why do they need to feed the descendants of Adam and Eve when they do not work and make money?

This will go on for the next hundred years. The descendants of Adam and Eve will soon die and perish under the hands of Serpent.

Isn’t it a sad story on what will happen to the descendants of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden?

Sam and I always hear the OZ talking about the Aboriginal people creating problems in the society and to the land of Australia. The OZ complaining about paying so much tax to the government and the government is feeding the Aboriginals, building houses for them, giving them free health care and yet, the Aboriginals burn down the house that the government built for them and sleep on the bush. They used the a$500 per week given by the government to buy alcohol. They create violent on the street after alcohol. OZ complaint and complaint about the Aboriginal, saying that they are really useless.

In my eyes, I knew that the Aboriginal people were the first people in the land of Australia and they own this land. Things changed when the British came sailing down about 100-200 years ago and started to make this their land.

The Aboriginal people could not integrate into our world of life. Most of them do not know the value of money, unlike us.

Their body system is built to live in the bush, sleep on ground, eat the wild food and survive under heat.

Their body system is NOT built to drink alcohol, eat sandwich and stay under concrete roof.

Why must we force them to do what we are doing? I really feel sad when the OZ complaint about them. There is nothing that we can do because both people come from 2 different worlds.

It’s really sad.

rainbow serpent

Prostate Cancer, UFO Sightings and marbles

last posting on 14may

On the last morning, Stephen had to return the vehicle to the rental company. I helped him saved some money by fetching him from the town to the airport on Hope Too.

Our shipment schedule was brought forward from what we planned for a week. We have to send the bike to the company before 17 May 2010. The next available shipment that they have from Darwin to Dili (East Timor) will be a date after our visa expires. So we had to rush to the north via Stuart Highway, the main road from South to North of Australia. Every road idiot can travel this highway of 2834km (Singapore to Chiang Rai is 2600km) because there weren’t any much turnoff from it and would be very hard to get lost if you are driving from the South to North.

We reached the only ‘civilization’ area in this 2834km, which is Alice Springs, the centre of Australia. By the time we set up our tent on the proper camp ground, it was dark. At the camp ground, we met Kathrin’s brother, Stephen. After their road trip Kathrin had flew back to Sydney and Stephen was still hanging around the town and waiting for his flight back to Germany. Again, we had a German night’s out.

The next morning was one of the very few mornings that we do not need to pack up the tent and put on our riding gear. We went for a Mac Donald’s for a great breakfast, went for tire change, went for grocery shopping and back to our campground to do our admin.

Usually I would update the blog, check email and get in touch with friends while Samantha would do the laundry. Realising that it was 530pm, we quickly packed our things and rode to Kingsmill’s house.

We met Kienny and Geoff Kingsmill on 24 December 2008 at Ushuaia, Argentina. They were travelling Latin America too at that time with their 4wheels. Kienny gave us their name card and said if we are coming to the centre of Australia, please visit them. At that time, going to Australia was still quite far away and even we would reach Australia, why would we go to the centre of Australia which is so far away from everything?

The great welcome from them made us feel that we were not alone in this big land. We caught up with similar topics like the Latin America experiences and we learned some ‘tricks’ from them about travelling.

One of their great adventures was the overland trip, driving from South Africa to London in 1998 for about 2 years with their daughter, Su-Lin (9years old at the time of travel). They had taken 1 year off from Su-Lin’s studies and it had really made her memorable of Africa, till now. You see, even with kids, you can have an overland trip!

In June 2004 to Febuary 2005, they the Trans-Russia-Mongolian with their Land-rover again.

Being ichy feet, (or ichy footed?) they did Argentina, Chile and Peru in 2008 and 2009.

They did a good round the world trip. Some did it once and for all, like us and some did it in ‘instalments’ like them, depending.

They discussed their plan for the next trip and we were feeling excited for them!

Kienny cooked us a very delicious Chicken Rice with the chilli sauce, which I believe that it really took her 2 days just to prepare the sauce. I thought to myself that I could simply stay in Alice Springs because there is home food here, right at the Kingsmill door step!

Thank you Kienny and Geoff Kingsmill for the wonderful time we had in the centre of Australia!

Kienny, Geoff and Samantha.

the 6th (and last) time that we pass through Tropic of Capricorn in our trip.

After leaving Alice Springs on the next morning, we travelled as far as we could to the north, reaching a weird place call Wycliffe Well Roadhouse, about 360km north of Alice Springs.

Wycliffe Well Roadhouse was one of the more legendary stops along the Stuart Highway. This roadhouse is famous for documented UFO sightings. It also boasts one of the largest selections of beer in the NT (which may explain some UFO sightings). Interesting place to visit. We chat with a local that had stayed in the area for 4 years; they claimed that they had not seen any before.

Just 27km north, there laid Devil’s Marble. I reckon the campground here would be much better and cheaper. It’s a free park for visitors and could hike around this area for a day.

Devil's Marble.

Devil's Marble

I remembered one old couple that was travelling in their caravan warned us not to stay or hang around a place called Elliott. He mentioned about the native people there were not good and might have our things stolen if we are not careful. Sam and I were curious enough to stay a night there. Yes, it’s really a ghost town. I could see that I used to be a busy town but many services here closed down. the campground was shared with the same property of a scrape yard. At least we were sleeping well because of the shower facilities provided.

The next morning, while we were packing up, a lady in biking gear walked to we after we had 95% packed up. She was curious about our trip and she was also riding from Tasmania to Darwin for a charity run. They are raising fund for the prostate cancer foundation of Australia and they would be riding into Darwin town in the next 2 days together, about 300 bikes, to raise awareness to the public for prostate cancer.

I said ok, we ride together. Basically we are using the same road to Darwin and they were also staying a night in the town that we planned to stay, Katherine. So riding together with Hope Too means just ride and overtake us. We couldn’t catch up with them, mostly in big cc bikes, tourers with trailers at the back like Honda Goldwing, busting Harley Davidson with chrome metal, big beard + tattoo and luggage on a back up vehicle. All have a common goal, to join in to ride to Darwin to create public awareness.

Along the rest stations, we chat up with many bikers and answer them where we came from and our journey. They said all of them are staying at Knotts Crossing Campground tonight and invited us to join them.

Ok, we made it to Knotts Crossing Campground. Paid the premium price for a tent site but it doesn’t matter because we are supporting the prostate cancer ride. The whole campground was full of bikers. In the night, there was a briefing by the chief for 15minutes. That was the only time the bikers got together, for 15 minutes.

After that we retreated back to our tent and cook our dinner. Knowing those guys that had came for their ride in their homeland, they could afford the BBQ dinner in the restaurant.

What made our night special was the meeting with Nicole and Tobias from Germany. They ride bicycle from Germany through all the stans, into China to Singapore. Then they flew to Australia and worked here and continue their journey. The reason we could click along with many Germans was that though they are considered as white people but they are very straight forward in many things. Like comment about places, living lifestyle and things about life goal.

Both of them are young and after talking to Tobias, he had the sense of rightness towards society. Too bad we only have 2 hours of chat with them because the next day we had to ride with the prostate cancer people… opps sorry, we had to ride with the people that raise fund for prostate cancer foundation.

We experienced a Australia charity ride, that was to meet in a big carpark outside a shopping centre, get police escort for 25km into a grass ground, find a place to park under the hot sun, then everybody had to squeeze into a camera, then have our own time or we can go, then the leader speak to the TV. Anyway, we just want to help them built up the number of bikers.

Giant termite nest!

Road train overtaking Hope Too.

Answering questions from curious bikers. We were the only Asian rider here.

Stuart Highway.
Stuart Highway.

The TV reporter uses Hope Too as their backdrop.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, King's Canyon


Craig was on his KTM640 adventure from Tasmania.

Sego and David from France.

Monica and Rene from Germany!

It wasn’t easy for Hope Too staying on the Stuart Highway. After we left the touristy Coober Pedy, riding the 491km towards Northern Territory, we want to reach as close as possible to Ayers Rock. In the end, we settled 249km away from it.

I was told by a local friend that we have to pay a$25 each to enter the Ayers Rock. The trick of telling the toll officer at the Ayers Rock that we are transiting to the west does not work anymore.

Ayers rock was impressive. We watched the sunset at the ‘car park’ meanwhile met some other adventure bikers. Monica and Rene from Germany, Craig from Tasmania of Australia and David and his wife from France.

Monica and Rene just started their bike trip where they had shipped their bike from Germany to Australia. Craig was a prison officer in Tasmania, David and his wife, Segolene had a very interesting job. They had been working on a private boat and had been sailing around the world for 3 years. This private boat was owned by a German boss. David was an engineer in the boat and his wife was a stewardess. Thus the boat landed in Australia and both of them rented a BMW GS1200 and rode around. check

The Ayers Rock, known as the Uluru, was a sacred place for the aborigine tribes here. They treated the Uluru as something important in their religion and those who climb onto the top of the rock are the men of the tribe that were on a special ceremony. So they do not like non tribal man that is not doing the special ceremony to climb the rock.


The government has taken over the lease of the land of Uluru from the aborigine. They had developed this place as a touristic site and had built a climbing way for tourist to climb.

We respected the aborigines. We did not climb the rock.

We could now ride around the rock as road was built around it. Some faces of the rock remained sacred to the aborigine and there were signboard warning not to take pictures of it on certain places.

We respected it.

There was a free cultural exhibition of the aborigine of this area. One of the interesting facts that we learned was there were many people sending letters back to the parks. Their letter was all about them taking a piece of rock from the region and felt guilty, some had bad misfortune and had terrible disease on them. Was it a bad omen to bring back the rock from Uluru or it was really a curse? Try it!

On the last posting, we mentioned that we met a lot of friendly people after we left Swan Hill. I noticed something in common. Those that had come up to talk to us were old Aussie couple on their caravan holiday around. They were travelers too.

We traveled with Monica and Rene for 3 nights. On the second day, we met at Curtin Springs, which provide expensive fuel (a$1.95 per liter, in other parts of Australia, on average was a$1.20), restaurant, powered caravan camping for a$25 per site, unpowered site for free, as like some public place. The moment we went into the unpowered site and setting up the tent, an old couple came up to us and said

‘Oh, you guys must be tired after this entire ride and it is so late now (half hour to sunset). Have you had your meal? Do you have something to cook?’

Before I can answer anything, she pushed the instant cooker, the big type to us.

‘Here, you can have it. Just return to us after you had finish using it. We are staying over there’

How nice! How nice! They just want to help other travelers.

After the sun set, Rene and Monica joined us and the same old couple came with a big lamp, offering Rene and Monica.

How nice! How nice!

Upon returning the cooker and the lamp, I tried to have more conversation with the old couple but they seemed busy. We didn’t even know their name. They have no other intentions but just want to give and help others.

How nice! How nice!

After washing up, the 4 of us sat down under the bright stars, with the companion of guitar and songs from the caravan nearby, envying the other caravan groups enjoying their camp fire. It was a cold night. I went around and saw a dead tree. It was completely dead. (Trust my profession) The thickest part of the trunk was about 4 inches in diameter and it was leaning 45 degrees towards our tent. If there was a sudden gust of big wind that blew in the correct direction, we could be wakening up by the fallen tree on our tent.

I threw a rope and shake the dead tree. Within a few moves it broke. The 4 of us were happy because the tree will not fall on us and we had firewood now.

After Rene set up the fire (about half hour after I shake the dead tree), a fat woman walked very harshly towards our camp fire with her touch light, screaming at us:


I stood up among the four, went to her, standing 1 meter away from her in the dark with her touch light burning into my eyes and said: It’s me.

She continued her screaming:


I wasn’t able to understand her well because she was screaming and cursing all the bad words. I said:

I’m sorry that I had pulled some twigs off your dead tree but look, it was from this dead tree.

She screamed:


The message just didn’t come into my mind but I guess someone went to her and maybe said that we are ‘cutting down her tree’. That’s why she was so angry and couldn’t listen to what I want to say.

She continued:

SAME TO THE 3 OF YOU THERE, DICK HEADS! (She was referring to Samantha, Rene and Monica).

She walked away.

There was a sudden silence in the camp ground. No more guitar and songs, not so cold anymore because I was being pointed at something. We didn’t finish the firewood we gathered.


We were in a far away place. If she threw us out, we have no where to stay. In her point of view, we are destroying her property.

Bad luck enough, I saw the other dead stumps that were left, and we were not the only ones that took the twigs.
The twigs we collected and the stones were builted by the previous campers for fireplace.

The next morning, I was attacked by an emu. The emu was roaming around the campground. Everyone was taking photo of the emu and the emu walked towards Samantha. The more Samantha retreated, the more the emu got aggressive. I stepped in, distracted the emu’s attention to me. I retreated quickly and I could hear the emu being on high alert. I was kicked by the emu once and the emu wanted more. Then I stood calm, the emu stretched its neck and big beak onto me (I had my helmets on), screeched and observed me. I could notice other caravan owners taking out their big camera and was shooting at me. The emu then walked to Samantha and Monica (sitting on her bike). I slowly walked to Hope Too and Samantha got on. Rene started his bike and went off. We saw the emu chasing Rene.

After riding together for half hour, we stopped at a rest station and a lady from a caravan came to talk to us, trying to find out more about the emu attack incident. She told us that she had reported to the owner of Curtin Springs, trying to get some help for us and the reply from the owner was:

Oh, the emu was being disturbed by bikers, so……

WTF?! Do we deserve it?!

We rode together to Kings Creek Station. Our intention was to camp there and went for a hike together but it was too expensive for us to camp there. Rene decided to have lunch at the station. It was indicated on the road sign 400m before that Kings Creek Station is a place for fuel, camping and picnic. We sat at the tables, Sam and I had our sandwich and Rene and Monica took out their gas stove and cooked their lunch.

Rene came back from the reception and complaint that he would never stay in this campsite because they only give water to those that were staying with them, yet, they have water on their sprinklers watering their grass in the desert!

Just about Rene and Monica was about to start their meal, the owner walked past our bench and started cursing at us.


I tried to talk to the owner more but it doesn’t work. Rene and Monica just had a few spoon of their lunch and had to keep everything at once.

We were very disappointed with the local’s attitude, especially Kings Creek Station. The owner was too much. It was a big desert and travelers would come to the station to seek for shelter and help yet, they look at money first in front of everything. They weren’t using proper language too. Humiliated and angry, we came out to a decision to camp at another expensive site 20km away.

I reckon these people had not gone out from their property for half a century. They only see people coming to them and they felt needed.

Khama… they will have Khama.

At the ‘expensive’ campground,we had our farewell to Rene and Monica and we rode separate ways on the next day to Alice Springs. We paid a$5.50 to the aborigine to use their dirt road for a short cut to Alice Springs. It was called the Mereenie Loop, about 220km of hard corrugation and sudden attack of soft sand road. Some parts of the road were good dirt and we could happily cruise at 80km/hr but we often have to stop every half hour to readjust our bags and tape up the equipments that were shaken off. Some parts of the road reminded me of Argentina.

Alice Springs was an admin stop for us. We changed our front tire at Desert Edge Motorcycles. I had pre ordered a tire with them. When I went in, a young bloke was in this big shop. I told him that I had ordered a tire with Stephen and his reply was Stephen wasn’t around, with a big full stop after his sentence. I looked around and saw the tire lying there and asked him for the price and his reply was:

I don’t know.

He continued his computer duties at this big shop.

Desert Edge Motorcycles was a large building and served Harley Davidson motorcycles and some Honda. You could imagine how it was like, like the Harley Davidson showroom of Singapore.

I tried to ask him to sell me that tire what ever the price was on the shop and he gave me a price.

I also wanted a piece of chain guard because it was lost when I took the corrugated road.

I asked him: do you have any chain guard for sale?

He replied: what?

Me: chain guard.

He: what’s that?

Me: Chain. C-H-A-I-N guard: G-U-A-R-D.

And I ask him to look at one of his displayed motorcycle and pointed at it for him. Then he replied:

ohoh… what bike do you have?

I invited him to look at Hope Too just outside his building and his first word from his mouth was:

your chinnn was fucked.

I asked: what did you just said?

He: your chainn was fucked.

I replied: sorry, what did you say?

He repied: your chain was FUCKED!

why would he use such word to me? I just want to buy something off from him and show him my bike model.

anyway, I ignore his word.

He doesn’t seems interested in selling me anything. He kept saying his mechanic was busy and don’t know if they have the time to look at Hope Too.

I looked at the showroom. there were a lot of off road racers’ picture that thank Desert Edge Motorcycles’ sponsorships. I chose to forgive this young guy being ignorant.

It made me reminded of an old man that was staying in a camp ground that we ‘met’. There was a common kitchen that every camper could use. We stitched on the TV to a news channel and watch it while we ate our rice and beans. Then this old man came with his dog and went to the TV and switched channels. He was switching to all the channels and deciding which channel to stick to. Not being satisfied with what he wanted to watch, he walked away leaving the TV in some cartoon channel. Then I stood up and change it back to our news channel.

The he came, do the switching thing again. He was not watching the TV. The he spoke to another Australian couple in the camp kitchen:

‘Do you know why these Asians are wearing glasses? Look at them’

He was pointing at us and continued,

‘It was because these Asians are eating TOO MUCH RICE!’

Sam and I was shocked about what he just commented. I cool myself down and asked him in a humble way,

‘Yes, we are eating rice but would you advice me what to eat as a basic food to make our eyes better?’

The old man answered:

‘POTATOES! Potatoes will make your eyes good. You see we are not wearing glasses, like you Japanese, Chinese and Koreans, all wear glasses!’

I tried to explain to him that because our ancestor was from China and the soil condition in China does not suit potato growth. We only can grow rice. That’s why we are eating rice.

He replied:

‘But you can IMPORT the POTATOES!’

I shut my mouth and continued my food.

Now I wanted to tell you another story in Victoria. Another guy was a barman working in a small hotel selling beer and alcohol. I went in and look at his shelf and ask if he have any XXXX beer. (XXXX beer was the beer we drunk with Steve Smith when we stayed with him in Queensland.)

His straight answer was:

‘We don’t have that Queensland SHIT here!’

I didn’t buy anything from him. He could have said something than shit.

All these that happened were overcome by the visit to the legendary Kienny and Geoff Kingsmill in Alice Springs. We met them in Ushuaia, Argentina 24th December 2008.

Trying to calm myself and the emu by not moving.

If you click this picture and open in another window, please zoom in to see me trying to dug myself away from the Emu that had just kicked me. The claws were sharp and could be deadly. I heard emu uses their sharp claws to cut their enemie's stomach when they fight. Not to mention their beak.

You can see Samantha's shadow taking picture and the Emu walking towards her.

There was a hugh number of wild camels in Australia.

we were just at the bottom of the Ayers rock. On the right hand side of the picture you may see a handrail built for people to climb. We didn't climb the rock.