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Plan C: Introducing (to be named later).

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Plan A was to sit on my ass and be miserable in some sort of public transportation (bus, train, tuk tuk, or boat.) Plan B was going to be kick ass. Fly back to South America buy a bike and ride back home. It turned out to be expensive and not within my time constraints ($2000 for a flight- crazy and a year six is a big no no, although I will be doing it later.) Then the travel gods got involved and Per (rhymes with beer) my “hardcore” trekking buddy (Ushuaia, Argentina (southernmost point)) posted on my website that he too was in Malaysia riding around on an old Suzuki 110cc scooter. It was kind of a shot to the gut especially since Sasha had just died but it was all part of the big plan I guess. During one of my mandatory walks as I no longer had transportation, I passed by a little shop across the road from the hotel. It was an old mans little shop he was running out of his front room. I noticed he had a couple of old beaters parked inside but never really paid attention to them. When I walked closer I was able to see that one of them was an old Suzuki. Yup, you guessed it, it was a FD 110cc Love. That was a bit of a surprise. I still wasn’t thinking much about it until one time when I walked by that there was another nice Honda parked out front with a little wooden sign stuck in the basket. It was written in Thai so I wasn’t sure what it said, but when I looked and saw the same sign in the Suzuki’s basket, I knew it was a for sale sign.

I did ponder the idea over night but with that much coincidence, how can you pass it up. Per had since written back telling me where and how much he had paid for his so I had a ballpark figure in mind when I went to talk to the old man. He started at 8000B but after some minor haggling I got it down to 7000B ($200US) which included an oil change, new brake cable, and a decent helmet (I gave all my stuff to that farmer and didn’t think it would be good voodoo to go back and take some of it back.) Anyways, with this one parts and repairs should be a lot easier as it is just another same same bike.

I did a bit of interneting to see if there was some info on it but that turned out to be fruitless as the only thing that came up was in Spanish (I think Argentina). Another Thai site about Gasohol showed it being only listed in 1996 which would make it the same age as Sasha. I have already started going through my stuff and tossing things that I wasn’t using as I want to travel lighter on this bike. I am not sure what to do with the laptop as that is around 2/3’s of my total pack weight. It is almost not worth the shipping costs to send home so it is making the decision harder. I will probably go a few sections with it and then decide afterwards. I finished Delta Force so not much to play anymore.

One of the new things that I would like to do is fishing. It is driving me nuts staying at all these beachy places and when it’s not a beach it’s next to a river. Every afternoon people are out wetting their lines while I have to just sit there and watch. This morning I watched a kid who had rigged up a 8” live catfish and was flipping it into a reed bed. I don’t know what the hell he was fishing for but whatever it was I wanted to catch it. If I can rig it so I can carry a rod and reel without too much extra hassle that would be most optimum. I could back down on the moving so much and just hit some good fishing places and hang around a bit like I did in Trat. All the towns on the east coast had those great fishing piers.

So life is getting interesting again. I still have to come up with a name for her. Per named his Smokey Joe but unlike Sasha this one is a four stroke which means gas only and no more killing the environment. Hell, someone should call Al Gore and tell him the environmental problem is over with Sasha dead. The other thing I need to come up with is something more masculine that scooter or moped. “I am scootering around SE Asia” just doesn’t sound as manly as “cruising around on my motorcycle.” Perhaps mega-motorized transportation beast would work.

And so, I am off to Malaysia on my mega-motorized transportation beast which hopefully is allowed to enter Malaysia. That would really suck if they don’t let me across. I have until the fifth of June to get a Thai Visa as that is the end of the Government’s free two-month Visa promotion. Once there I might have to hook up with Per to compare our mega-motorized transportation beasts.

This is where I found her tucked in next to that green thing in the garage. The silver Honda was the one out front with the sign. He wants 18000B for that one.

The old mans shop/house. I felt a good vibe from him first because his shop wasn’t full of young kid mechanics who just giggle when they see me and second because it was neat and clean, and finally because he had the silver Honda that was ready to go, the bike I bought that just needed some fine tuning, and the green one which he was working on at the moment. I don’t trust those shops where they have twenty bikes all torn apart spread all over the place. A knucklehead can take things apart, a mechanic is someone who puts them back together.

He had put on new rims and tires, rear wheel assembly, and a new front brake cable. I checked out the rest and it looked fairly tighty. The only glitch I have is that the speedometer doesn’t work. I think I might try and get that fixed as I didn’t have one for Sasha and it would have come in handy for finding turnoffs and such. I also have to figure out a new way to strap my bags. I am thinking big bag between my legs and bungee my small bag to the back of the seat. Otherwise I can try cross strapping the big bag to the back seat but the issue is that I have the laptop and it would hang over to one side. We’ll have to see. I might see if I can have one of those farmers racks put on. Perhaps get another pair of rubber boots…

I got the Green book which is an important commodity to register bikes in Thailand. I cannot/won’t be doing that myself but will make it easier to sell as locals will buy without a fuss as long as I have the book. The guy I bought it from wants me to sell it back to him when I am done so that brought out a little confidence. I doubt though that I will come this far south however another tourist my like the idea.

The last photos of Sasha.

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

This was her last shot complete before dismantling. It was a clear with a few spotted clouds day. She passed away under the shade of a big tree.

Goodby my semi-trustworthy friend and 20 kilos worth of stuff.

The new owner. He thought I just needed help but he eventually got it, I think.

This is what I mean when I said I wasn’t sure he got it. This was right before I got on the bus. He was looking for someone he could talk to about it. Finally at the end when the bus pulled up we gestured each other for him to take it with him to his house.

And this is my new ride. Nope couldn’t be one of those Dreamliner buses with air, recliner seats, dvd movies, stewardess in a little mini-skirt. Nope, good old rural transport, vinyl covered seats for making the puke and chicken shit clean up easier, a bunch of 1980’s electronic equipment that hasn’t worked since the 1980’s, and leg room just enough to fit one leg. Fantastic.

Sashas dead.

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
Leaving Koh Lanta, I was actually feeling pretty confident about Sasha’s ability to grind her way through the crippling effects of my stupidity. The knocking and grinding, although bad, were staying pretty much consistent. I was going on ... [Continue reading this entry]

Another Island anyone? Koh Lanta.

Monday, May 25th, 2009
You have got to be getting bored with this island/beach thing as much as me. Well, you gotta do what you gotta do. So off to Koh Lanta we go. kohlanta.JPG My favorite ... [Continue reading this entry]

Photos on the way (not coming later, actual photos I took while on the way, now).

Sunday, May 24th, 2009
Rai Ley. 0-1.JPG Aonang is a little higher end tourist resort town about a half an hour away from Krabi. Not an outstanding beach, but the town is very European tourist oriented and is ... [Continue reading this entry]

Keeping her running.

Sunday, May 24th, 2009
0.JPG One of the challenges with doing the motorcycle thing is keeping the old girl running. What makes it even harder is driving a motorcycle that most have not seen before. The ... [Continue reading this entry]

Island hopping.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
Coming south means islands, thousands of them. My goal is to visit a few and miss a lot. I’ve gotten beach and island fever so although quite picturesque, just not what I am in the mood for. ... [Continue reading this entry]

My middle name is Kazuo.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
tsunami.JPG And in Japanese, Kazuo stands for danger. I’m heading south, damn the monkey knocks. The chances are that Sasha isn’t going to make it all the way north or south so ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ignorance is bliss and sometimes useful and benefical.

Thursday, May 7th, 2009
copy-of-dscn0505-1.jpg I made it to Rayong. Oh what a happy day. I figured out a (ignorant) way of fixing Sasha. I found that driving at a certain speed the gear box ... [Continue reading this entry]

Photos: Biker clubs Thailand

Monday, May 4th, 2009
Hello to the friends I met. Hope you like the photos. biker-buddies.JPG We were driving all these backroads to the point I was getting worried. We drove down this small dirt road through ... [Continue reading this entry]