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Battle of Bramham Moor Document


									                                         Terry’s Travels
                           TT28-1 Biggest Trip Yet!           October 18th 2008

Back in the UK was a very busy time of meeting fam-
ily and friends, catching up with chores, service work
on Mercie and dodging the plentiful rain. The weather
came very good later with a wonderful weekend in
Pickering North Yorkshire for a motorhome show (this
time the wallet opened a little) and a great day at the
East coast resort of Scarboro for some exciting m/c
racing. Then plenty of stress with the financial cri-

It is great to have started a major trip which will take        My grandsons now can fly
us back to New Zealand for 5 months. Via Heathrow
we flew to Dubai on Virgin and the excellent Mille-
nium Airport Hotel to take it easy with up to 36C heat,
they allowed early check in and late check out. An
evening in Biggles bar got us amongst the lively lo-
cals and the weekly carvery (£8). Calling the next day
for a beer the owner bought us a plate of food -
thought I looked like Richard Attenboro - I’ll take it
anyway it comes...... Dubai is more unreal than ever
but the Ruler has dug into his small change to put 70
BILLION Dhs (that’s Dirhams) into the banks to wave
the flag for the World economy. His oil has tumbled to           Gets Coronation St OK?
around $70 a barrel - shame.

Our Round the World deal is with “Great Escapade”
who use Travel2 but booked through Redfearn Travel
Bradford who have ABTA/ATOL so there may be a
chance that we will even get back from all our ambi-
tious travels or if all else fails MasterCard. What an
uncertain world we live in.

I suppose you could say that we are fiddling whilst
Rome burns - and occasionally doing it in some style.      Millenium Hotel and building work
Putrajaya is a newly created Garden City near KL air-
port and is the seat of Government here. It is all very
splendid and with friendly hotel staff, the countryside
gives a strong feeling of Florida. We are here to add
viewing another motorcycle Grand Prix and circuit to
our expanding list. It was free entry on practice day
and even that didn’t pull the crowds. We have several
British riders to cheer along and the expected rain
may even prove an advantage to them - we will see.

Kuala Lumpur is our next stop with Di especially look-
ing forward to the PETRONAS Twin Towers where               Marriott Hotel Putrajaya near KL
Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones made such            Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
                                                           Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
good use of the backdrop to their high class robbery       May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
and intrigue...........                                    Mid May ’09 back to Europe
                                                           July/August ‘09 in America

         Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                         Terry’s Travels
                                 TT28-2 Malaysia           October 24th 2008

We had noticed that airports seemed a bit quieter
than usual which improved travel and there were
some empty seats too on our flights. Over the next
weeks we will see if we do better deals as we book
hotels/motels along our trip. The sunflowers are
watching the plane taking off at Changi Singapore air-
port. The outside lounging area is cooled by a water
mist system and a gardener was giving the recently
planted sunflowers plenty of water to combat the
                                                                Sunflowers watch the planes
38,000 people were with us at the Sepang circuit, the
photo shows the Italian Simoncelli (the one with wild
hair) celebrating becoming World 250cc Champion.
For the Brits the best excitement was Bradley Smith
coming from 13th to be second in the scorching heat
in the 125cc race. You can see why one of the mil-
lions of scooters here is delivering extra local Tiger
beer. The heavens opened just after we got in our
limo, they call it that so you pay more than for a taxi!
to drive back to our hotel amongst the hundreds of
drenched fans riding back on scooters .
                                                               Simoncelli clinches 250cc title
Malaysia is a very Islamic country and Di assured me
that there were signs for a “different” ladies room for
Islamic dressed ladies. We also saw adverts for
apartments for rent that were only for Muslims. There
are many very stylish Mosques, in fact the architec-
ture is one of the great interests in visiting Malaysia.
In the UK we have seen the tourist campaign the slo-
gan of which is “Malaysia - truly Asia” a very good
theme. Many of the ladies are most beautifully
dressed with some immaculate materials, some have
the full head cover but must be able to see well              Tiger (Malaysian) beer supplies
enough looking out.

We chose a hotel right in the centre of KL within walk-
ing distance of the Twin Towers and next to the
Monorail. There have been quite a few powerful elec-
trical storms and a whistle is blown to get you out of
the swimming pool. I saw a hotel just a few hundred
meters away take a lightning strike, all very spectacu-
lar as we sat out the storm in bathers in the poolside
bar at a lovely temperature.
Breakfast is included and is a lavish spread for all
tastes and cultures, so we were into feeding our faces          Renaissance Hotel central KL
and knicking a piece of fruit for lunch. Lychees and         Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
                                                             Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
Longons on wet muesli was my favourite and neither           May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
of us fancied a Madras or Vindaloo curry...                  Mid May ’09 back to Europe ?
                                                             July/August ‘09 in America - motorhome?

         Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                         Terry’s Travels
                              TT28-3 Kuala Lumpur October 29th 2008
The PETRONAS Twin Towers was built for the head-
quarters of the National oil and gas company who
have drilled offshore on the E coast of Malaysia. This
building is used to project the face of modern Malay-
sia. Built in 1996 it was the world’s tallest tower at
that time (425m). Clad in stainless steel it is very im-
pressive. A ride up to the Sky Bridge is a popular free
attraction and we had to queue for an hour with the
crowds but it’s worth it. Having just seen a film on our
ecology called “The 11th Hour” which is presented by
Leonardo Di Caprio I can only see fossil fuel compa-              PETRONAS Twin Towers
nies as the BIG baddies of the Earth - do see this

A super modern monorail is cheap and efficient to
ride, we used it to ride to the end of the line to get to
Central Station. We have bought rail tickets for later
in the trip to get into Thailand. On the monorail we
were able to people watch, it really is a most interest-
ing mix of races and cultures, Chinese and Indian are
clear to see but there are many more variations. As
the track is elevated you get to see the teeming life
and mad traffic below.                                          From Sky Bridge on Tower

We were lucky that a Food Festival was taking place
within the Tourist Information compound opposite our
hotel. We sampled a few tit bits and then sat at the
bar whilst the musicians entertained the crowds in the
marquis, again we saw both men and women in their
finery. The bars are always quiet which is part religion
but also alchohol must carry very heavy taxes, a pint
of good draft is usually £4+.

We had booked a rental car for the next week so took               Monorail Kuala Lumpur
a taxi to Hawk Car Rental, the only one that allowed
drop off in Penang our future destination to the North.
The office was shut! But a phone call rapidly got an
apologetic young lady. We didn’t need the Interna-
tional Licenses that we had been told we needed but
got a very detailed look at the car. It’s a worry when
there is an excess for damage. Maps and guidance
were given then it was into battle with the City Centre
traffic. Talk about canons to the left of us etc it was
more like mopeds to the right, Kamikaze mopeds to
the left and deep pot holes to avoid whilst a wagon is
2” from your bumper - but we have survived so far                  Regional Food Festival
and even arrived at our next destination the Genting        Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
Highlands. First hotel wanted £150! For a night but Di      Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
                                                            May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
took a number for the queue to book one at £40.             Mid May ’09 back to Europe ?
                                                            July/August ‘09 in America - motorhome?

          Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                        Terry’s Travels
                        TT28-4 Malaysian Highlands October 27th 2008
The Genting Highlands are very unusual, perched at
the top of mountains at around 6,000 feet it is much
cooler an advantage from the sweltering heat. We
were lucky to get good visibility but also got heavy
mist and rain. The different hotels here are intercon-
nected and with some 6,000 bedrooms claim to be
the world’s largest hotel. With an amusement park on
the outside positively dwarfed by the Las Vegas like
gambling inside it was interesting to visit to see the
strange contrast with nature.
                                                                     Genting Highlands
We had an amazing drive down back to the plains
drove a 100km on the modern E1 motorway N and
turned upwards again to the Cameron Highlands.
This was a much smaller road into the jungle follow-
ing a river. Work gangs were clearing mud slides and
it was VERY windy so made for really slow careful
driving and made this a highlight of the Malaysian trip.
We stopped at a waterfall and bought a bunch of
plantain bananas which were delicious. We had seen
one monkey cross the road in front of us and could try
to give the next one a treat.
                                                                        Misty Genting
Afternoon tea was very welcome as we reached the
Cameron Highlands and gave us a Raj like feeling as
we slowly sipped. Another young Brit couple stopped
for tea and we chatted and took their advice of the
next hotel to stay. Tana Rata is one of the small
towns in the Cameron Highlands and we stayed at
the Century Pines Hotel which proved to be good with
a room with a balcony overlooking the park.

We got the room for the first night at a lower price but
got stung for the next two nights at what they called       Climbing to Cameron Highlands
Peak Peak rate since it was a holiday weekend cele-
brating Deepavali. The staff were very friendly and
could not have given us better service. We chose to
eat at the hotel and tried the “Steamboat” where you
cook on the table in your own cook pot with two differ-
ent stocks, one was the very spicy Tam Yam soup
and the whole experience was really special - in fact
a feast costing about £8, a normal good meal was £2.
The town was interesting but still quite poor and
scruffy looking.

We left to drive through more of the Highlands and           Tea overlooking tea plantation
the roads were extremely busy with the holiday traffic.    Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
Lots of people movers were packed with people - in         Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
                                                           May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
fact large families seems to be the norm here......        Mid May ’09 back to Europe ?
                                                           July/August ‘09 in America - motorhome?

         Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                          Terry’s Travels
                         TT28-5 Serviced Apartments October 28th 2008
The motorway reached the city of Ipoh set amongst
the craggy mountains with stony cliffs but amazing
vegetation. We got the last room in the slightly jaded
Excelsior Hotel, again with friendly people in the lifts.
We had a beer in the typical Chinese owned bar
across the road, the inscrutable Chinese owner said
$23 dollars but 23Ringits was the price of 2 large
beers (about 6 Ringits=£) he smiled as I paid him in

Di had found a place on the map called Bukit Merah,             Craggy mountains from E1
advertised as a luxury resort on a huge lake. With it
being the last day of the Deepavali holiday I was sure
we would get in. The Hotel said it only had the 400R
most expensive rooms, we went to the serviced
apartment block and paid 250R. We couldn’t have a
lake view! The room was new but sparse and with the
noise of motorway traffic. We went to the bar - no al-
cohol! - “I’ll have the watermelon cocktail” - the waiter
came back “watermelon finished”. I got a longon
cocktail served on a dirty tray. The large TV was on
with the picture jumping and sound clicking. We
looked into the empty restaurant and decided to go                   Chinese owned bar
back to the hotel instead. In the dark we could see
that the whole place was like a ghost village. We en-
quired for the restaurant at the hotel and were sent
across the badly lit car park to the quiet restaurant.
The waiter brought menus and stood over us for a
while, the table wobbled but he did nothing but stand
over us. Eventually the food came, it was edible and
didn’t poison us. A chatty Chinese came and ex-
plained that he was experienced and overseeing what
these Bengalis were doing. I had guessed they were
Tamils from an entry on the menu. We returned to the                Locals fishing in lake
apartment block - the empty bar still had the TV with
jumping picture and clicking sound!

We had planned to stay two nights but are booking
out - no doubt they will offer us better but TOO LATE.

A drive round the local area had been very interest-
ing, we saw a few healthy cattle and found the rental
car had good ground clearance as I tackled the scary
jungle road around the lake meeting some of the lo-
cals. Malaysia’s tourism industry is its second largest
earner, we have seen so many failed new building                Main apartment - few cars!
schemes, they need to do things better even for Ma-         Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
laysian people to better enjoy their country. Tourists      Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
                                                            May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
are probably better using the known proven places.          Mid May ’09 back to Europe ?
                                                            July/August ‘09 in America - motorhome?

          Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                         Terry’s Travels
                             TT28-6 Free Upgrade November 1st 2008
After my rant in the last TT these serviced apartments
have served a good breakfast, provided free WiFi and
best of all have upgraded our room to a lake view so
we are staying another night. The Chinese manager
that we met is also staying here and is whipping up
the staff.........we have completed a report form which
now needs a stamp on it to post to HQ - putting it into
the complaints box somehow seems ineffective!

Leaving this lakeside area we headed towards the
coast. Along roads getting ever narrower we reached              Bukit Merah apartments
paddy fields and then jungle type growth with many
banana trees and coconut palms. Malaysian curry of-
ten uses coconut milk and can often be of the milder
taste. With the ethnicity being so varied so is the food
but rice and noodles are staples with many vegeta-
bles and especially fantastic tropical fruits.

Nearing the sea on this flat plain we came to the fish
farm area on the coast. It was like a mad house with
dozens of mopeds with sidecars carrying fish boxes
and of course the fishy smell was very dominant.
Pickups and bigger refrigerated trucks were squeez-        The lake from Bukit Merah Resort
ing down the narrow roads. Fish farms were every-
where and a glimpse of a boat confirmed that we
were indeed on an inlet.

Just a short distance to the North via the Route 1 was
the turn towards the island of Penang our next desti-
nation. Back in 1786 a Captain Francis Light struck a
deal with the Sultan to buy the island for the powerful
East India Company. It was a malaria riddled swamp
back then and Light filled canons on his ship with sil-
ver dollars and fired them into the jungle to give a                      Paddy field
great incentive to the labourers to quickly clear the
dense jungle undergrowth!

Our excitement to be here was to meet our long time
friends Graham and Robyn Radford, like us they are
“swallows” with a home in New Zealand. One of our
great delights when travelling is to meet up with
friends, this brings the really privileged advantage of
expert local knowledge on places to eat, shop, hear
music and have fun. They have been coming to
Penang for the last 20 years and stay for a month or
so living in an apartment overlooking Batu Ferringhi              Fishy sidecar transport
Beach near Georgetown the capital of Penang. The           Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
hotel is the Park Royal a superb 5* hotel and of           Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
                                                           May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
course got us a great deal here..........                  Mid May ’09 back to Europe ?
                                                           July/August ‘09 in America - motorhome?

         Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                          Terry’s Travels
                                  TT28-7 Penang November 2nd 2008
The Proton Wara was reliable transport, a bit gutless,
poor lock and bad visibility due to wide windscreen
pillars, £20 filled it to do 400km per fill. They drive on
the left here- another remnant of the British Empire.

The Eastern & Oriental Hotel is one of the world’s
splendid hotels (like Raffles in Singapore), I had
stayed a night here about 20 years ago. It has re-
cently been carefully refurbished and Graham organ-
ised for us to drop in for a beer just as the singer
started her set, it was a total treat. The Hotel is lo-                 Proton rental car
cated on the Malacca straits in the Indian Ocean and
has canons as a reminder of past history. George-
town has kept lots of original buildings unlike Singa-
pore and is much more interesting for that.

The traffic is manic on some of the roads and a taxi is
the way to do it, but heading inland the roads were
quiet and our rental car was ideal to see the Spice
Gardens, spices were so much a part of Malaysia’s
history with Malacca being a very important port to
ship them in the days before freezers. The Butterfly
Farm and also the Tropical Fruits Farm are all tourist                 In the E & O Hotel
attractions along the quiet road.

Care is needed to be watchful for the hordes of scoot-
ers that for the majority of the population is the trans-
port of choice - they even are allowed free on the toll
roads - a great idea, they just slip through the toll
booths using their own narrow lane. You can see
from the photo that three on a bike is normal, even
wearing immaculate robes. The government provided
the money to build a Mosque on the beach in the sea
- very unusual.                                                    Eastern & Oriental Hotel

I have hit a health problem but my Guardian Angel
had me in the right place for good service. I told Gra-
ham at breakfast that I needed to see a doctor, there
is a clinic in the basement of the hotel! - within 30
mins the doctor had made me an appointment with an
Ophthalmologist at Gleneagles Hospital. Eye tests
before seeing the specialist doctor and out of the
pharmacy with ointment to help with possible shingles
by lunchtime. Another visit the following day to check
progress (less sure it’s shingles) and only £35 quid all
told - what service. I’m still itching and aching but                Next stop the Mosque
feeling OK and hope to continue with the trip as             Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
planned. It feels like I may have been stung or bitten       Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
                                                             May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
on my eye lid.........                                       Mid May ’09 back to Europe ?
                                                             July/August ‘09 in America - motorhome?

          Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                        Terry’s Travels
                                TT28-8 Thailand November 6th 2008
We were very sad to leave Penang, you can see why,
our final two days were at the weekend and two wed-
ding receptions made the hotel very busy but still the
service was good.
A friendly taxi took us to the free ferry to Butterworth
and a stroll to the nearby train line that connects
Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok. The station was quiet and
just two coaches were starting the journey. We had a
friendly Thai guy who helped stow our luggage, the
aircon looked after our comfort and after six hours our
attendant came to set up our beds. Di upper and me             Evening at Park Royal Hotel
lower, the only worry was sleeping through our
planned station of Surat Thani and waking in Bang-
kok! My phone alarm did its stuff and we got off the
train on time at 11:30pm. A TukTuk, driver and likely
lad seemed the only choice of taxi and we shared
with a couple of young Danish guys who had been on
the train. The town was some 30 minutes away and
first dropped off the Danes at a backpackers which
we rejected - not just because it was next door to a
knocking shop. We were taken to a new large hotel
on the river, Di checked the room and we were happy
at about £20. The likely lad then opened his folder to        Weddings are big and lavish
show transport to get us to Phuket. We chose a mini
bus for our onward journey and went to sleep happy
how our taking a chance had worked out .
The empty hotel had no food, not even a coffee but
we had water and crackers and wandered along the
bank of the big river before the heat of the day. When
a TukTuk came on time to collect us I knew we had
been ripped off, we had expected the mini bus to
come pick us up and take us to our destination. The
TukTuk cost a bit more and the Minibus was in fact
the locals bus to Phuket. It was packed, one of the             Ferry leaves Georgetown
children was sick on the 3 hour journey and we still
had to get off and pay for a taxi to Patong Beach and
the Diamond Cliff Hotel which was where we had
booked to be with our friends - this looked splendid.

Phuket is an island but with a road connection,
Phuket is also the main town, there are many fabu-
lous golden sandy beaches and of course it is a
popular tourist destination, being Thailand the sex in-
dustry looms big in its impact and I will be reporting
on this for you! Our friends are David and Aon, I go
back to being a neighbour of David when he was just                 Butterworth station
twelve and I was fourteen, yes that long. He lives in      Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
Bangkok and Yorkshire with his pretty Thai partner         Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
                                                           May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
Aon so he too is a “swallow”.......                        Mid May ’09 back to Europe ?
                                                           July/August ‘09 in America - motorhome?

         Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                          Terry’s Travels
                            TT28-9 Sex in the Sun November 7th 2008
Patong Beach is a busy buzzing place especially after
sunset. My pal Dave has been here many times and
was able to put us wise on some of the ‘goings on’.
After dinner at the Austrian Restaurant (the owner
said business was down 30% after the Crisis and bad
publicity on riots) we headed to the street of the “Lady
Boys” - weird. Some look pretty and even truly femi-
nine and as you see some do not!

It was noisy and with language problems I didn’t find
out if business had gone down for them as well.                       River at Surit Thani
David explained that they are looking to pick up men
and that Japanese men especially are in to this kind
of thing......He also explained what this strange group
of males endured to become ‘real’ women - it made
my eyes water.

We moved on to another street where the women
were at least genuine women. Amazingly they looked
quite ugly by comparison, did their dancing with less
animation and with more boredom being very obvi-
ous. In no time at all my eyes were more captivated
by the UEFA football on the screens and Stevie                      Lady boy says hallo.....
Gerard scoring another goal.

November 4th was Di and my 35th anniversary of
when she moved in with me, this day in England is
known as mischief night the evening before Guy
Fawkes Bonfire night. Back in the Diamond Cliff Hotel
they had thoughtfully provided bondage equipment
suspended from our ceiling for our anniversary. Now I
need a little help with this, is there any etiquette as to
the type of knot you use when engaging in this fun
activity? I used ‘granny’ knots but they were a bugger                 ALL are lady boys!
to get loose afterwards........

This great hotel has an excellent scheme where you
choose a kg of superb fresh tropical fruit for £2. We
were then able to enjoy a fruit basket breakfast on our
balcony overlooking the Andaman Sea before the sun
makes it too hot to sit there. In typical English fashion
we have our own Tetley Tea bags with us, ideal for
refreshing us after our bondage session............

Another day on a shady beach is planned with the
possibly of another body massage, it’s a hard life but              Bondage gear in hotel
all of this is proving to be a good therapy after my         Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
health hiccup and yes I feel no wish to change my            Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
                                                             May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
gender, I drink bottled water in case the tap water...       Mid May ’09 back to Europe ?
                                                             July/August ‘09 in America - motorhome?

          Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                        Terry’s Travels
                    TT28-10 Overnight in Singapore                  November 14th 2008

Driving round the island of Phuket was so interesting
and we got to the less inhabited side with several
stops to see a Temple and another to a lighthouse
but best of all was to get to a fishing village that has
not changed much yet. Sidecars were a common type
of family transport and here you can see the junior
behind the handlebars with the rest of the family.

This beach had a special type of white shell and the
artistic locals had used them in many creative ways
especially making insect curtains for doors. The Tsu-            8 year old sidecar driver
nami struck Phuket badly and caused great devasta-
tion. The government have helped in many ways in-
cluding new umbrellas for the beaches and recon-
struction of esplanades in the more developed towns.
It all looks and feels good and the beach food - espe-
cially seafood was safe and cheap. The hotels have a
policy of setting high prices but then giving much
lower prices for booking by travel agent or on the
internet. Di used our travel agent to book in advance.
We also used local taxis when we arrived rather than
the more expensive ‘meet and greet’ service, again it
was easy.                                                        Far side of Phuket Island

I mentioned before how good it is to meet up with
friends with local knowledge and we even shared a
taxi having returned the excellent Honda Jazz hire car
when we returned to the small Phuket airport. David
and Aon returned to Bangkok and we had just a 1:40
minute flight back to Singapore for one overnight.

We landed and just carried our hand luggage to the
Transit Hotel at the splendid Changi Airport. We got
an excellent room with a great view of the aircraft yet    Di and Aon climbed the lighthouse
we couldn’t hear them! We felt as if we were on a film
set and had rented the room for 14 hours worth. A
couple of hours sleep and we got up to go to dinner in
the quiet airport. We found Arsenal v Man U on a
screen and ate and watched there, later strolling
round what we feel is perhaps the best airport that we
have visited. It was midnight as we returned up the
escalator and put our heads into the free cinema. The
film “August Rush” was just starting and we stayed to
watch. This is a brilliant film, the only name you will
know is Robin Williams and it’s not a comedy.
We had a great nights sleep and just a stroll to catch        Transit Hotel, Changi Airport
our onward flight to Brisbane Australia. A relaxing        Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
concept and one we would enthusiastically recom-           Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
                                                           May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
mend.                                                      Mid May ’09 back to Europe ?
                                                           July/August ‘09 in America - motorhome?

         Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                          Terry’s Travels
                           TT28-11 Rainy Brisbane             November 19th 2008

Arriving in Brisbane the rental car was an excellent
Toyota Corolla and better still a window that opened
for a night without aircon in the motel. We left the air-
port area on the busy M1 North to the Sunshine
Coast. Soon we turned off for the scenic tourist drive
that took us along the coast and through the familiar
English names of Brighton and Scarboro. It was
lovely to see the older homes that were so well cared
for. The newer ones were very like Florida ones - in
fact people say that Australia is like America for be-
ginners!                                                                Eumundi Market

We headed for Caloundra and were soon meeting our
friends Bryan and Helen at their spacious home with
an acre of rain forest. The wine was open and the
chatting was in a comfortable open conservatory in a
perfect evening temperature and screened from bugs.
On this trip we have been so lucky to meet three lots
of old friends in three different countries, Malaysia,
Thailand and now OZ. Darkness quickly fell and the
tropical bird sounds were replaced by noisy frogs. A
central courtyard allowed us to sleep again without
aircon as it rained and felt very humid.                          The rainy Glass Mountains

A few days quickly drifted by with shopping and espe-
cially to the vibrant Eumundi Market which was really
enjoyable. Not only was there a jangly piano player
but a superb guitarist that had obviously bought The
Shadows Songbook back in the Sixties.

It rained quite a bit during our visit but since the area
is having the worst drought in 100 years and it cooled
things down, it suited us. Returning to the airport via
the Glass Mountains was through very heavy rain but               Fresh seafood at Scarboro
it added to the whole tropical feel. We shared a
shrimp sandwich at the award winning seafood res-
taurant in Moreton Bay where the “Bugs” come from
that are in fact like lobsters and returned to the airport
motel. Just a block away was the local pub so we
sampled a Friday evening there. There was 20/20
cricket on TV before Harry turned up to play and sing.
He soon had us giving him song titles and we were
singing along with the locals - fun.

Our early flight took us to windy Wellington then to
Nelson our “home” on South Island. Friends Henry                Tropical tree Sunshine Coast
and Val met us and we were so thrilled to be back as         Oct 13th: NZ via Dubai/Malaysia/Thailand/
we sank a beer overlooking Nelson harbour in perfect         Brisbane - then Nelson New Zealand Nov 15th.
                                                             May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
weather talking about the new government here...             Mid May ’09 back to Europe ?
                                                             July/August ‘09 in America - motorhome?

          Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                         Terry’s Travels
                TT28-12 North Coast of South Island                        December 14th 2008

Back living in Nelson NZ means we have moved back
in time in so many favourable ways. The first photo
shows a Settlers Cottage close to Nelson and al-
though this was from some 150 years ago modern life
still has space and time here, with friendly helpful ser-
vice being the norm. Our first 4 weeks back have
flown, with friends visiting and ringing. Santa came
early with a new BMW motorcycle for me and I have
ridden it 1,000km so far. We have been busy with the
house (now repainted) the pool up to 27C with the
summer heat starting early and Di has a veggie patch           Settlers Cottage near Nelson
growing well.

One of my motorcycle clubs big events is the Toy
Run and this year around 400 bikes made the parade
with crowds watching and waving all the Xmas
trimmed shiny machines carrying gifts to be handed
to the Salvation Army for their good use with under
privileged children. You can see the little dog was
very excited to get to ride in the parade which was led
by big yellow Honda Gold Wing motorcycles playing
Xmas music on their onboard sound systems.
                                                                Toy run Charity M/C Parade
The BOFs (Boring Old Farts) ride each Wednesday
and if you look carefully at the mugs which we picked
up in Australia you can see the description fits us to a

Di has had some problems with her eyes for some
time with what has turned out to be rubbish diagnosis
and treatment in the UK, even scaring her with talk of
glaucoma. A visit to our local GP here in Nelson and
he removed inward growing eyelashes! A follow up
visit to an Ophthalmologist has both cleared the prob-               Read the mugs.......
lem and completely re-assured her, our visit to NZ
has been worth it for this alone. A letter of compliment
has been sent to our doctor here. My ears have been
syringed and we both are seeing the dentist here
amongst all the more fun stuff.

We have people coming for Xmas lunch and the
house is starting to be trimmed. We couldn’t resist the
motorcycle lamp and the Kiwi Santa seems happy
riding it. Like the rest of the world traders are dis-
counting early and even a map of NZ for my GPS
downloaded with a 30% discount. We are especially                      Happy Kiwi Xmas
pleased to be out of business in these difficult times
and wish you all a HAPPY and HEALTHY XMAS.                  May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
                                                            Mid May ’09 back to Europe ? At £=Euro
Terry & Di                                                  July/August ‘09 in America for Laguna Seca and
                                                            Indianapolis Moto GP Races......

         Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                         Terry’s Travels
                            TT28-13 Nelson 2009                January 9th 2009

My pal Ken brought his newly designed and con-
structed (by him) Hovercraft model 36” wingspan to
the pond in Nelson for its 1st sea trials, it sailed and
responded to rudder a third hp electric motor and a
range test but needs a different prop to get enough lift
- more later. We drank coffees to celebrate it’s
maiden voyage in the Beach Cafe - another fun time.

A super day out was on the motorcycles and a trip to
the Golden Bay area where my pal Des has a back-
packers at Pohara Beach (Des of “The Last Hurrah”).             1st sea trials of Hovercraft
My new BMW got to ride dirt, streams and beaches
for its first real dirtying. The beauty of New Zealand is
all around where we are lucky to live for part of the
year and riding by motorcycle gives full access by
roads they call tar sealed which often change to
gravel with some fords. Another 2 day ride was
through the Molesworth Station NZ’s biggest sheep
station. The photo shows one of the many expanding
vineyards en route to this massive wilderness area.
You can just see the snow capped mountains. I have
uploaded higher definition photos to my Flickr website
(the mugs in the last TT read “Old Fart and Old Tart”).       Totaranui Beach Abel Tasman

The last photo shows me at a wilderness place called
Lake Tennyson looking right at a new “Dunny” that
even has a wind driven fan to clear the fog in this
ecological crapper with a sensational view. The 2 day
ride was around 500km and about 9 hours in the sad-
dle most of which was off road completing the trip
along the Rainbow trail.

Amongst all this pleasure has been time to revamp
the double garage with a paint job and neatly racked              Wine and sheep country
tools. I even plucked up courage to go to the doctors
to have a good check up. As luck would have it I got a
pretty young doctor that I hadn’t met before and two
minutes later she had her finger up my bum! Fortu-
nately she took my blood pressure (was good) before
this excitement.

With all the doom and gloom this certainly is the rainy
day that we saved for (hope the banks don’t go bust)
and we are booked for our next ambitious trip to the
States after this one, one thing that we will avoid is
going to Europe with the pound only buying around                 Terry Travelling off road!
one EURO. Dear old England will be where Mercie             May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
wanders in 2009. I hope the New Year is healthy and         Early May ’09 back to UK until June
                                                            July/August ‘09 in America for Laguna Seca and
happy for you all.                                          Indianapolis Moto GP Races......then Sept/Oct
                                                            in England

         Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                        Terry’s Travels
                        TT28-14 Racing & JazzFest               January 21st 2009

We are still in the height of the holiday season here
on the North coast of South Island. There are just so
many events going on it’s impossible to do them all. I
was a flag marshall again at the Port Nelson’s road
races, we had excitement on turn four when a rider
lost his front brake and crashed heavily into the straw
bales. When we got to him and let him remove his
helmet he said “he didn’t feel too flash” - he had a
broken collarbone, fortunately the worst injury of the
days racing. You can see one of the Ports many log
piles in the background.                                         King of the Port winner

The Nelson JazzFest was brilliant with 70 events in 5
days and I got to about 20 of them, some of them with
friends including the Grand Finale which was 8pm un-
til midnight with beer breaks. The Cellars at the
Woolaston Winery is a fine acoustic venue with great
Sav Blanc and a superb cheese and fruit platter we
had a sophisticated night with friends.

Nelson continues to surprise me, the bicycle shops
give away a 40 page book sponsored by the council
and NZ Land Transport. It contains 6 City Rides and       JazzFest venue Woolaston Winery
10 Mountain Bike Rides around Nelson. The council
have developed these routes over several years and
are committed to expanding them. One City Ride
goes out to where my pal Ken lives in Atawhai some
8km away. This encouraged him to buy a bike and he
has a snazzy NZ made one. The last photo shows
our bikes outside Pomeroy’s Coffee Shop near Rich-
mond (the next town). The cycleway uses the old
Railway Reserve track and avoids roads completely
in many places. The coffee shop does its own roast-
ing which makes it a hard place to pass!                        Brilleaux rocks in Nelson

The social whirl keeps us busy with birthday parties,
we had a bride stay with us and then Di artistically
trimmed our convertible to transport her to the nearby
Boathouse for the civil ceremony. Imagine vows be-
ing taken with boats drifting by to leave Nelson Har-
bour, swimmers passing by on the top of a 4.6 metre
King Tide, the bride obviously loved every second of
her big day and we are so privileged to get these in-

As I write this the early morning sun strikes Hau-                 BOFs on BICYCLES!
lashore Island, being that it’s a Wednesday the BOFs      May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
are motorcycling today to French Pass by road and         Early May ’09 back to UK until June
                                                          July/August ‘09 in America for Laguna Seca and
track, another pal getting his new bike dusty.........    Indianapolis Moto GP Races......then Sept/Oct
                                                          in England with maybe a trip to S Ireland

         Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                          Terry’s Travels
                  TT28-15 Waiheke & Forgotten Highway                          March 6th 2009

My hosts Graham & Robyn (friends from past con-
nections in the hifi business) really had me plugged
into Island life joining the Friday crowd in the lively
bar with much chatter and freeby nibbles to go with
the beer and wine. Even the dancing started with
Rahmon who certainly knew how to boogie.

I “commuted” into Auckland to meet Grahams daugh-
ter for lunch. Quite a few of the Islands residents
cross daily on the ferry, in good weather it’s a scenic
45 minutes each way. I walked all around the marina          View from Graham & Robyn’s
where the Americas Cup was held several years ago,
NZ won the Louis Vuitton race series last month in
the build up to the next Americas Cup.

There was no time for a siesta when we returned as
we had a dinner invite with Rahmon and his violin
playing new partner David. Another local couple were
invited, she was the confidant who helped Rahmon
through his last heart rending break up - you read it
here first. It was a most memorable evening, I greatly
regretted not taking my camera as the table setting
was so artistically laid. A spicy Malaysian starter was    Auckland Harbour to Sky Tower
followed by an incredible tasting melon (and a lot
more additions) sorbet to cleanse our pallets. The
vegetarian main followed and then desert and a
chocolate all with the right wines over several hours
of really good conversation. The background music
was just right and I could easily say it was a 10* res-
taurant, I was able to say thank you for a memorable
evening to our stylish hosts. Upon going outside it
was a balmy evening, it had felt quite humid earlier
but now it reminded me of a Spanish evening after a
very hot day - wonderful, and the sky full of stars.        Lovely Beach Cafe on Waiheke

Sunday am was coffee at the Beach Cafe before
Sunday lunch at Grahams with leg of lamb on the
spit. WOW what a visit........

Henry had mentioned a road called the Forgotten
Highway back on the mainland which is to the West
of Lake Taupo. I joined the 40 and was greeted by a
sign “no fuel for 150km”, it joins the 43 at Ohura and
is a most fantastic ride to Stratford, do look on my
Flickr site for more photos. There is a ghost town and
a sign                                                     Forgotten Highway,Hobbit Hole
TO the CEMETERY - NO EXIT                                 May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
The last photo is a narrow dark tunnel with a sign        Early May ’09 back to UK until June
                                                          July/August ‘09 in America for Laguna Seca and
which reads “Hobbit Hole” - well this is NZ.              Indianapolis Moto GP Races......then Sept/Oct
                                                          to France for £29! And park Mercie in Spain

          Many more photos and earlier travels on my website
                                         Terry’s Travels
                               TT28-16 Leaving Nelson                  April 13th

Now we see signs of Autumn with cooler mornings
but still long largely hot sunny days. Tomatoes, pas-
sion fruit and figs, plenty of lemons from our garden
and friends bringing grapes makes it feel like Harvest
Festival time. On Saturday we leave for Tonga with
its lively volcano. It will be hard to wrench ourselves
away from our paradise by the sea, but with the new
National Party in government here we will plan to be
here a bit longer when we return in November.

The credit crunch has hit here and sadly some jobs                          My office!
have been lost locally but the statistics on borrowing
in NZ look better than many other places in the world.
The photo of old tools in the Nelson market is more a
reflection of recycling and the use of power tools than
in desperation although there is more stock in Cash-
Converters (like a pawn shop) than previously.

I had lunch one Sunday at the Tophouse Cafe which
was an old coaching house and listened to a great
story of murders and intrigue by the manager, even a
ghost was mentioned that resides there. The photo
shows where a pub was added to the 1846 building,                 Nelson Saturday Market
this has been recently re-opened and is the smallest
in New Zealand, for guests staying there even is an
honour system of serving yourself and paying for your
drinks. It is a most delightful setting in the Nelson
Lakes area with great motorcycle roads.

One of my favourite walks is up the Maitai river and
the photo shows the start near the coast, the river is
tidal here and becomes fresh water after 5 minutes
walking, expert kayakers launch by slipping down the
bank into the water. The building on the right is the            Smallest pub at Tophouse
council offices right in the centre of Nelson. After 15
minutes walking you start to leave the city into pristine
countryside. There is an organised path and bicycles
are allowed including some mountain bike trails. Nel-
son has ever increasing bicycle routes which are
used enthusiastically. It also wishes to become
known as the Solar City and with the powerful sun it
really is a realistic aim.

On another walk one morning to the large beach a
couple of seals were having breakfast of fresh snap-
per right at the bottom of our driveway before swim-            Maitai River, Nelson Centre
ming ahead and heading up the length of the beach,          May‘09 back in UK via Tonga/Mexico/Cuba
it was so still and calm I could see them enjoying          Early May ’09 back to UK until June
                                                            July/August ‘09 in America for Laguna Seca and
themselves for almost a mile........                        Indianapolis Moto GP Races......then Sept/Oct
                                                            to France for £29! And park Mercie in Spain

         Many more photos and earlier travels on my website

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