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- sis......... 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 heat. 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 film. 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 RINGITS. 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 tea! 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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- vites......... 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 www.THinnc.co.uk 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 www.THinnc.co.uk
"Battle of Bramham Moor Document"