Tuesday, 14 October 2014

May the roads be twisty and the facts be straight!

"Hello Madam are in there?"
I stirred unwillingly out of a heavy slumber and looked at my watch. It was 11.30am.
"Hello yes who is it?" I said with the rough, slightly confused voice of a person who had been up drinking whisky until 5am. Probably because I had been up drinking whiskey until 5am!
"Madam you need to get up"

I grabbed a towel and threw it around me. Hiding partly behind the door I opened it to see three proud smiling faces. Faces of people I could tell could not wait to share with me what they had done!

The three guys were Malaysian and had something to do with the guest house I was staying in but I had no idea what . I had just seen them around and briefly spoken to them the day before (I found out later it was the owner and two staff)

"We have arranged a press conference for you. You must get up. They will be here at 2pm. The English and the Chinese papers for the WHOLE of Malaysia." Big emphasis on "Whole"

Feeling rough after too much whiskey!
They pause for my reaction. Perhaps it was not the reaction they had hoped for.


They continued smiling at me and didn't seem phased at all.

"'Please wear your riding gear"

I felt quite annoyed to have been woken in the first place. It's not often I have a good drinking session and certainly not often I indulge in a lie in! I was mightily unimpressed that they had thought it was OK to do this without my consent. However, seeing their smiling excited faces, like children waking their parents up on christmas morning, I could not tell them to cancel and instead smiled, told them to go away and I would see them at 2pm outside.

I shut the door and muttered things like "UNBELIEVable" and "What is it with men around here" as I forced my body it to a cold shower.

After the cold water shock treatment I grabbed by shades and headed over the road to a cafe I had
now chosen as my regular. I swiftly ordered an ice water, a large tea and some eggs. Soon I would be human again and I could deal with this in a better mood!

These guys turned out to be great and over the following days we got on really well. I have had McDonalds breakfast delivered to my room the last two mornings along with random deliveries of water, fruit and chocolates at various times. They even treated all their guests to a wonderful Chinese breakfast this morning. All courtesy of the 60 Guesthouse!

The guesthouse is just across the road from the hospital and so the families that stay here are mostly outpatients who are looking for budget accommodation while they receive treatment. One Indonesian family, who left this morning gave me their contact details for when I made it further south. They were here with their 3 year old son (and grandson) who was having several heart operations.

They are certainly a welcoming breed and their generosity knows no bounds it seems! Malaysians want to look after their guests. LIKE IT OR NOT!

The newspaper articles came out this morning and the one in The Star was disappointing I must say. Another journalist who felt the need to embellish the facts or just downright lie! For the record, I have NEVER been held at gunpoint! These kind of stories are frustrating as it goes against everything I hope to achieve when it comes to encouraging other people to take the first step. Particularly as women, we are regularly reminded that we should be afraid of those nasty people out there. Negative reinforcement being drip fed from an early age via the media, films and even concerned loved ones. Well meaning or not, it often prevents us from taking the first step in to the unknown. This kind of made up rubbish just pours petrol on the fire! I hope the Chinese one was better!

I have felt nervous at times (who wouldn't) and I have had some tough roads to travel (that's adventure) but I have NEVER been threatened by another human being. Quite the contrary! People in general have been amazingly helpful so far. All solo bikers say the same and it has almost become a cliche but let's not pretend its all a bed of roses either. In fact when I finish Asia I fully intend on writing a list of things that annoy/stress/worry me most about travelling solo on two wheels. You are deluded if you think you are going to float along on a permanent high all the way. It may be a dream trip but it also happens to be in the real world!  I have no issues with talking about the bad days or the rough stuff. Bring it on!  That's what makes the good days so special. There is certainly going to be enough excitement so that the reporters should not HAVE to make things up!

Checking out the bling at Triumph
Here endeth the rant!

Rhonda has been given a new tyre and her second service in Malaysia (!!) by a Triumph dealer
would you believe (actually a combined contribution from Fast Bikes Triumph and NBG - a local bike club) so she is ready to go on the onion boat over to Sumatra Tomorrow.  Thank you very much guys.

My visa is now stamped and gives me 60 days to explore the islands of Indonesia.

I am very much looking forward to some rough roads, less traffic lights and more jungle!

See you in Sumatra!


  1. Great read as always and hopefully the readers from the paper will follow the blog to get the real story :)

  2. Ha ha - Spain and Russia - you kept that quiet!

    Good to read another informative blog Steph. Keep the wheels turning.

    Pete xx

  3. cool ride wish you all the best

    i got the same bike but not even 1000 miles on and crankshaft cylinder and piston changed

  4. somehow your biketrack not works its still show Thailand as your current destination

  5. If you go to Lake Toba from Bukit Lawang, be cautious of the shortcut over the mountain. Me n' my mate Bart tried it ... Our logic being, that we wouldn't need to go back through Medan, thereby cutting hours off the journey time? What happened was; the road deteriorated into a pile of boulders and scree, so instead of saving 3 hours, we added an over-nighter on the edge of the jungle ...

  6. great trip keep safe

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