ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-29-2012, 04:57 AM   #781
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardroadking View Post
when I saw this picture my brain got confused...nothing looked right about it concerning the position of the Ferry and it's drop gate. It seemed like the ferry was wider than it was long and is that some kind of motorized boat lashed up next to it on the right side to propel it across the river? While trying to sort it all out I looked around some more for a "bridge" where a captian might be seated and then saw what looked like the ass end of an elephant in the bed of a truck, somewhat camoflaged by the trees in the background...wow, just keeps getting stranger and stranger...funny how the mind tries to make sense of a picture where things just don't look right.

Great trip you guys, thanks for sharing your adventures, I've really enjoyed your writting and the pictures.


I wish I had a better picture of one of the ferries, but don't. There is a bridge that is just out of the picture but, other than that, the ferry is basically just a platform with a railing around it and a ramp on each end. The are at least twice as long as they are wide. I only took this picture since it did show the westbound end of an eastbound elephant! Glad you're enjoying the ride.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 05:01 AM   #782
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
Quote:
Originally Posted by kojack View Post
I just saw a ct 90 at a car wrecking yard, looks to be complete, and I know of a trail 110 by my cottage. My have to investigate further...hanha.
Do it! You won't regret it. I am now a full-fledged evangelist for these types of bikes. I don't think we could have picked a better style of bike for this trip. It just kills me that we don't get any of the bikes they have here in SE Asia. Yamaha has a 125cc 2-stroke with a 6-speed transmission and a 135cc 4-stroke. And they are both like the equivalent of $1500 USD, brand new...
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 05:03 AM   #783
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
Quote:
Originally Posted by takemeaway View Post
Exactly. Rather the SYM than you. Hope you weren't hurt in the making of this story.
Oh no, we are both fine. This was due to bad mechanic-ing, not bad riding. That's what makes it even more painful, it was self-inflicted.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 05:11 AM   #784
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
4/11 Tsunamis and Sunburn

After another 7Eleven breakfast, we unrolled the tarp and got to work repairing my rear hub. We went through the now too familiar process of removing the rear wheel and rear hub. A quick inspection showed that two of the bolts had backed off by several threads, one was starting to loosen, leaving only one still snugly fastened. We once again, put it back together with Loctite and as much torque as I could put on it. I received an email from an experience mechanic who suggested that our problem now was probably due to the threading being overstretched, and that replacing the bolts and nuts is next step. If I had access to a drill and a couple of 1/16” high-carbon bits, I would safety wire the bolt heads. I actually brought several feet of safety wire with us and should have brought the matching drill bits. Until I can do one of those two things, I will just have to be sure to inspect the bolts every thousand miles or so. Both Re and I seem to be infected with a bit of forgetfulness, since I got the rear wheel completely installed without reinstalling the chain (doh!) and Re reattached the brake rod without the spring (double doh!). We should be able to do this in our sleep by now. After putting everything right (or so we thought), we packed up the tools and got cleaned up.

About 10:30, we jumped in the water for a quick swim and a little sun before grabbing some books and spending the rest of the morning reading in one of the berugas (a beruga is a raised platform with a roof, usually thatched, to protect you from the sun and rain). Since we're both still pretty pale, we wanted to stay out of the direct sun during peak hours. We were comfortable where we were and ordered lunch from the kitchen and ate in the beruga as well. In the middle of the afternoon, we went back to our bungalow to work on some ride reports. At around 4:15 pm, Re headed back to the beach, and I followed about fifteen minutes later. After a quick dip, we were walking along the beach picking up shells, when we slowly noticed that we were just about the only people on the beach. Huh. Re walked up the steps from the beach in time to see the managers of the bungalows and their daughter heading out the front gate with suitcases and their pet rabbit. Double huh. Obviously slow on the uptake, we returned to our shell collecting on the beach. About ten minutes later, we were joined on the beach by another woman, who had just waded into the water, when the owner of the bungalows one row back from the water motioned for all of us to come talk to him. Mr Hutyee does not speak a lot of English, but he was able to explain to us that there had been a big earthquake off of Indonesia, and that there was now a tsunami warning for Koh Lanta. I guess that's where everyone went. We asked him if it was dangerous and if we should leave for higher ground with everybody else, and he said we would know when it was time to leave. Unlike the people managing our bungalows, he was a local guy and seemed a bit smarter too. Re and I went to our bungalow, packed the essential stuff, and placed it by the front door. The rest of the stuff, we put up on the furniture or hung on hooks on the wall. The floor of our bungalow was about five feet off the ground, and that ground was probably another five feet above the beach level. Feeling as prepared as we wanted to be, we walked back down to our beruga and waited for something to happen.

After a while, Mr Hutyee joined us in our beruga, and with his limited English, told us the story of the 2004 tsunami. He witnessed it from this exact beach, and told us that the water receded between a quarter and a half mile before the wave appeared. He said people were actually out on the sand, picking up the fish that were left behind when the water receded so rapidly. Then about 20 to 30 minutes later, he could see a large, black wall out on the water, heading north and west towards Phuket and Phang-Nga. He said that on Koh Lanta, which was partially spared a direct hit, the wave crashed on the beach, and then the water rose to the level of the ground we were sitting on, and that area was covered with one to two feet of water. He told us that if we saw the water recede quickly, it would be a very good time to leave. Awesome! Fleeing the incoming water with the waves lapping at our little wheels would be an awesome story. So we sat and waited, and waited, and since it was low tide, the water did go out farther than we'd seen so far, but nothing ever happened. We sat and watched for about two hours, until the sun set, and then decided to go get some dinner.

When we went back to our bungalow, there was still no one to be seen anywhere, except for Mr Hutyee and his son. We took a quick shower and got dressed for dinner. In the shower we both discovered that we were a little sunburned. Apparently we didn't account for the angle of the setting sun and the fact that the beruga was no longer protecting us. When we rode out to get some dinner, we found that most of the restaurants on the main road, which has another hundred feet of elevation from the beach, were closed. One of the few places that was open was the Jumrat, which we'd looked at last night. They were packed, and we ended up waiting for nearly an hour for our food to arrive. But it was very good. We hit the 7Eleven for beer and cookies and made the short ride back to the bungalow. The managers had still not returned, and we were the only people here again. All in all, a strange day.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 05:19 AM   #785
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
4/12 Ride Around Koh Lanta

While we were eating our 7Eleven breakfast on our porch, we saw that the managers had returned and were now standing in Reception and eyeing us. In a couple of the online reviews of the Nautilus Bungalows, one thing mentioned is the odd and not exactly friendly attitude of the hosts. They are a Swedish couple who have been managing the property for the last two years. On arrival, they seemed polite but reserved. I commented to Re how they were looking at us this morning, and then they started walking over to our bungalow. For all the world, they looked like they had done something bad, and their mom had sent them over to apologize. While they walked slowly toward us, they were looking at the ground and only occasionally glancing up at us. We said hello when they neared the porch and what followed was a rather odd conversation in which they more or less apologized for leaving without us yesterday. The husband seemed especially shocked when we told them we were right on the beach and saw them leave. The wife looked kind of appalled and gave him a hard stare, especially when we could describe what they were carrying when they left. Just so you understand, we were not upset at all about them leaving without us, but it was funny to see their reactions now. After this short exchange, they simply stood there, silently, looking between the ground and us, as if they were waiting to be yelled at or forgiven. Uncomfortable with the situation, we told them about what we saw and experienced while we waited and related Mr Hutyee's story to them also. They looked even more surprised that we hadn't evacuated when we heard about the tsunami warning and said as much. We explained that we aren't very bright. We told them of times we've gone to the beach in North Carolina during hurricanes and snuck into the water while the beaches were closed. They looked even more confused, and after spending some more time silently looking at the ground and each other, they left. Very strange.

Our biggest concern of the morning was that Turbo, the little kitten, was nowhere to be seen. (We decided that WFO was not such a good name, after all) Hopefully he's okay, but we missed seeing him at breakfast. The big plans for the day were to ride around the island and see some of the other beaches. We also wanted to check out one of the bars that was advertising a big Songkran (Thai New Year) party for tomorrow.



We first headed south along the west coast of the island, all the way to the national park at the end. The first few miles of the ride were relatively level, but then the road became twisty and went dramatically up and down hill. Some of the uphill sections required second or even first gear, but it was a beautiful ride.



We stopped and walked on several of the beaches to see if there was a place we liked better, but all the beaches seemed to have their pros and cons. Since the road didn't continue around to the east side of the island, we had to head back north, then turn east, and then south again. Before we headed east, we stopped to look at the Mong Bar to find out what was up for tomorrow. While we stopped to look, we noticed that while they did have beer and alcohol, the prominent items on the menu were a couple of different kinds of mushroom milkshakes and some “special” brownies. I don't know what they put in those milkshakes, but it must be good, since the milkshakes are 400 baht (13 USD). Maybe we'll need to find a different place to celebrate Songkran tomorrow...

Since it was after noon, we decided to stop for lunch at a small roadside restaurant, where we both had excellent Thai dishes and petted the first and only neutered male cat we've seen in southeast Asia. Apparently, there is a low cost spay and neuter clinic on the island. After lunch, I noticed my rear brake pedal didn't feel right. Normally, when you release the rear brake, the pedal snaps firmly back up. Mine now seemed to be returning slowly. Since we had the rear wheel off yesterday, I assumed this was simply down to a different adjustment on the rear brake free play. However, once we started climbing and descending hills again on the southeast side of the island, I began to notice that it felt like my rear brake was dragging. We stopped on the side of the road, got out the 14mm wrench, and I backed off on the brake free play adjuster a few times. With both bikes on the centerstand, I spun the rear wheels, and while Re's seemed to turn a little bit more freely, mine seemed okay. We continued south as far as we could go on the east side of the island, but then, I heard and felt my clutch slip a couple of times when we climbed some of the steep hills. We pulled over again, popped the bike on the center stand, and spun the rear wheel, only to find again that it wasn't turning very freely.



We rolled the bike to a shady spot under a cashew tree, got out the tarp and tools, and pulled the rear wheel off. I couldn't find anything wrong with the way it was assembled, but once it was reinstalled, it spun freely. I still have no idea what was causing the drag, but after reassembly, the brake pedal felt normal and the bike also felt normal when accelerating and decelerating. The bad news is, I have now ridden the bike for 15 to 20 miles with this condition, and I hope I haven't damaged my clutch. A clutch pack was one of the spares that I tried to get before we left on this trip, but I was unable to get one. Hopefully, it won't be a problem.

We continued our ride north along the east side of the island until the road turned west again. On the way back to the bungalows, we picked up some fruit and some water. Back at the bungalows, we headed out into the water for a swim and spent some time, once again, trying to figure out what comes next after this trip. While we were floating and bobbing in the water, I turned my right knee very wrong and felt a tendon or something pop in it. It was very painful, and my knee immediately swelled up, so I limped out of the water and back to the bungalow for a shower. After watching the sunset, I walked gingerly up the hill for dinner at Jumrat again. Re was kind enough to act as my crutch when I had to step over barriers. After dinner, we stopped for beer and ice cream before limping back down the hill for the night.


41 miles in many hours.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 05:23 AM   #786
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
4/13 Songkran and Conversating

After a snuggly morning (yet another NSFW link) and breakfast on the porch, we spent the whole morning talking about the future, the past, and paths not taken. Turbo the kitten is still missing. Hopefully, he is okay. After a while, we realized it was lunchtime, so we ordered lunch from the kitchen and ate it in the beruga on the beach. After some swimming and sunbathing, we hopped on the bikes in the mid-afternoon and rode out to find some Songkran festivities. There were a number of bars advertising that they had parties with deejays starting as early as 11:00 am, so we figured that by mid-afternoon, we should find something going on. But no. None of the three places we checked had anything going on. But we did get wet. One of the principal activities during Songkran is the waterfights. Sure, there's cleaning your house, bathing the monks at the local temple, respecting your elders, but most people know Songkran for the squirt guns and 55 gallon drums of ice water. There was some traditional reason for splashing water and smearing people's faces with powder, but it has evolved into an all day, water and powder throwing fest. In some parts of Thailand, it's a three to four day long waterfight, but on Koh Lanta it is just one day. As soon as we pulled out onto the main road, we came upon scooters whose passengers acted as tail gunners with outlandishly huge, super soaker-type squirt guns. These were fun to dodge and weave, and we only got a little wet. The real menace on the roads are the pickup trucks. These trucks ride around with several people in the bed crowded around a 55 gallon drum full of water and usually ice. The people in the bed use large bowls to scoop out the water on whoever they happen to pass. We managed to avoid most of these icy dousings, but Re did get splashed directly one time. One motorbike ahead of us that had two large farang on it decided to overtake one of these trucks on an uphill stretch of road, and it was not pretty. The rider and passenger each shared four to five large bowls full of what appeared to be very cold water as they slowly passed the truck. We, on the other hand, waited for a downhill section and were able to nip by, while the water throwers were still celebrating the previous dousing. Then we got wet in earnest, as the clouds decided to take part in the festivities. We pulled over to the side of the road and put on our rain jackets for the wet ride back to the bungalow. It seemed funny that the rain would put a damper on the water celebration, but most of the revelers seemed to disappear when the rain began.

Back at the bungalow, we were a little chilly, so we decided to walk up to the 7Eleven for some hot coffee. The shortcut by foot to the main road cuts through Mr Hutyee's (our friend from the tsunami watching party) bungalows. As we were passing by one of his bungalows, we spotted Turbo on the porch! Except that it wasn't Turbo, unless somebody had cut off his tail in the past day. Re then spied another small kitten that looked sort of like Turbo but wasn't him either, and then, snoozing on the porch, was the real deal.



It was Turbo. While we were petting all three of them, Mr Hutyee appeared and asked where we were going. We told him we were heading up for coffee, and he insisted that we join him, his son, and his grandson for coffee. A short while later, some of the guests staying at the Hutyee Boat bungalows showed up, wet and cold from Songkran, and joined us all for coffee. It turns out that Turbo and his siblings were the kittens of one of Mr Hutyee's cats, but that recently, the daughter of our Swedish hosts had absconded with Turbo. A couple days ago, the residents of the bungalow where the other kittens lived, spotted Turbo on their way to the beach and brought him back home. As it should be, since he looked too young to leave his mother. We spent the rest of the afternoon and into the evening talking with the other Hutyee residents. In retrospect, we should have stayed at the Hutyee bungalows, since, while basic, they were only 350 baht (12 USD) per night, and only 100 meters from the water. The atmosphere was certainly more friendly and lively, and the hosts are a lot more personable, even with limited English. The downside to the location of the Hutyee Boat bungalows is that it is farther back in the jungle, and there were plenty of mosquitoes. Then more Thai food for dinner before heading back to the bungalow for the evening.


12 miles and a couple of gallons of water. My knee is feeling better, it just feels a little swollen.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 05:25 AM   #787
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
4/14 Beach, Writing, and Rain

After another breakfast on the porch, we spent the morning working on ride reports in the shade. We both got too much sun a couple days ago, and our shoulders are still pink. We walked up to the main road to pick up fried chicken and sticky rice for lunch, and then went back to the bungalow, where Re worked on some blogging. We put on some sunscreen for a swim and some sun. Mid-afternoon, we returned to our porch to do some more writing and to wait for the sun to go down a bit. We hit the water around 5:00 pm, in time for the threatening afternoon sky to release a deluge. We've had some rain each afternoon, but nothing like this. It simply poured. We stayed in the water for a while, but eventually headed back to the room to get cleaned up for dinner. The bathroom on our bungalow is open air, and while the toilet itself is somewhat protected by the roof overhang, the shower and sink are open to the sky. For some reason, it's very odd to shower in a rainstorm (sexy, too). We returned to the Jumrat for dinner before picking up ice cream and beer for a nightcap. Tomorrow we ride!
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 11:03 AM   #788
kojack
My bikes Suck!
 
kojack's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: god's country, AKA. Newfoundland!
Oddometer: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Underboning View Post
Do it! You won't regret it. I am now a full-fledged evangelist for these types of bikes. I don't think we could have picked a better style of bike for this trip. It just kills me that we don't get any of the bikes they have here in SE Asia. Yamaha has a 125cc 2-stroke with a 6-speed transmission and a 135cc 4-stroke. And they are both like the equivalent of $1500 USD, brand new...
Unfortunately, our situation will never allow us that opportunity. Our son has autism, so long term trips will never be in our future. We are hoping to do two weeks in Africa with charley in the next year or so.
kojack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 07:29 AM   #789
LS650
Adventurer
 
LS650's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Victoria, BC
Oddometer: 84
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underboning View Post
They looked even more surprised that we hadn't evacuated when we heard about the tsunami warning and said as much.
We explained that we aren't very bright.
LOL!
__________________
'11 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
LS650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 09:22 AM   #790
Ronnie Ventura
Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Ipoh, Malaysia
Oddometer: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Underboning View Post
We are stuck in George Town 'til we get some parts, so if anyone happens to have a spare Symba clutch and clutch adjuster bolt lying around, let me know.
Colin, head on here http://maps.google.com/maps?q=5.3434,100.4863

That's the parts and assembly plant of MFORCE Holdings, the distributor for SYM bikes in Malaysia. They don't have Symba parts, but the Bonus model should use the same clutch and all.

If that is too far off the island for you, just pop into any moto shop around the area, ask for the Honda EX5 clutch. They are very likely the same thing. To be sure, remove the Symba clutch and adjuster bolt, bring it along for a visual match. If there is any difference, probably be the number of plates. Don't bother to tell the shop fellas about it fitting a SYM Symba. They will give you all sorts of shitty lectures and assume you know jack-squat.

If all fails, just shove the Symba clutch in their face and ask them to find a match from their inventory.
__________________
Ronnie Ventura
Motorcycle Travel & Adventure Rider (Malaysia)
Ronnie Ventura is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 05:24 AM   #791
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYSYM View Post
Glad to have you back on-line. The trip reports are well written and compelling to read. (great adventure, occasional suspense, and great personal stories)

All that is icing on the cake, a major point of interest for this reader are your mechanical descriptions, repairs and experiences with the bikes. (I have a 2010 Symba, and have selected tires, spare parts maintenance strategies and other elements for the machine based on your reports)

I would appreciate it if you can comment on other accessories you have found useful, specifically;
  1. What is the make and model of hand air pump you are using for fixing your flats?
  2. What is the specific style of Dariens you have selected (They seem to be holding up!)
    I am looking at the DarienLight Jacket #260 but didn't know if that's what you are using.
  3. What kind of strap do you use to attach your fuel cans to the front rack? (I know about the Ikea Cutting Board)
    Give us a closeup if you have a chance! (Some of your readers call for Cheesecake photo's, I call for closeup of gas cans....it takes all kinds...)

Thanks so much for your great reports, both informative AND entertaining!

KYSYM...
Whoops, sorry for the delay in replying! Our pump is the Lezyne HP Micro Floor Drive Mini Pump. We chose it for light weight and compact size. It has performed flawlessly, it has been our sole source of air on this trip, including tire changes. It takes approximately 9 pumps for one psi of inflation, so tire changes require 270+ strokes. We are also riding in the Darien Light jackets (Model #260). They have been great, too. The venting is as good as can be expected while still being waterproof. The Goretex was a good choice for us since we didn't want to carry rain gear as well. The are waterproof for a good long time, but getting the jacket and pants positioned right is important. Now when it rains we stop to make sure that the pants are pulled up and the jackets are pulled down. If not, water can get in through the zipper on the pants. As for straps for the gas cans, we are using a combination of bungee cords and a flat, buckling strap that we bought at REI.



The only weak link in the system is that Ikea cutting boards don't crash well. The front bit that overhangs the front rack snapped off of both of ours in India, but they still work.

Glad you are enjoying the report and your Symba, sorry it took so long for a response.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 05:35 AM   #792
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
underboning... wonderful RR!! thanks for sharing.

so how's the Darian light riding suits holding up?

how did the suits do in temperature extremes?
like extremely hot conditions and in extreme cold?
They have faded significantly and we are experiencing some wear on the inside of the jackets. There is a silver lining inside the jacket (I don't know what it is for) and it seems to be wearing in a few places. Especially near the removable pads and around the hem on the pants.



It's not a great picture, but you can see an example f what I am talking about along the pants hem above. The white areas are where the silver has worn away. They still seem to be waterproof, so it may not be an issue?

We love them in hot temperatures. They certainly aren't as cool as mesh, but they are lightweight and the vents do work at speeds over about 20mph. Obviously they get warm when we aren't moving, but if we are stopped for an extended period we can unzip the jackets and the pant legs for some relief. They have also crashed well. No rips, scuffs or tears for all the many get-offs they've experienced. The pads work well, too. Cold weather is gonna depend on what you layer under them. They are unlined, so they don't provide any warmth on their own. The vents do close tightly and the wrists and ankles can be cinched tight with the velcro tabs, so they do block the cold air well. Nepal was the coldest place we've ridden in them (about 50 degrees Fahrenheit) and they did OK given our lack of layers to put underneath them.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 05:45 AM   #793
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie Ventura View Post
Colin, head on here http://maps.google.com/maps?q=5.3434,100.4863

That's the parts and assembly plant of MFORCE Holdings, the distributor for SYM bikes in Malaysia. They don't have Symba parts, but the Bonus model should use the same clutch and all.

If that is too far off the island for you, just pop into any moto shop around the area, ask for the Honda EX5 clutch. They are very likely the same thing. To be sure, remove the Symba clutch and adjuster bolt, bring it along for a visual match. If there is any difference, probably be the number of plates. Don't bother to tell the shop fellas about it fitting a SYM Symba. They will give you all sorts of shitty lectures and assume you know jack-squat.

If all fails, just shove the Symba clutch in their face and ask them to find a match from their inventory.
I spent a few hours on Sunday trying to figure out if either the Bonus or the Joyride had the same engine, but couldn't ever figure it out. Instead I sent a message to Cam Purvis at Scooterseals.com in Taiwan for help. Cam is active over on SYMforum.com has been helping American SYM owners get parts and accessories direct from the source. Cam was able to get me a clutch and gasket and get it in the mail by lunchtime on Monday. The online tracking shows that it made it to Kuala Lumpur tonight and hopefully I'll have it soon! Big thanks to Cam for coming through in a hurry. He couldn't, however, get me a chain adjuster bolt on such short notice (apparently not too many people are dumb enough to need a replacement... ), so I will be getting one of those locally.

I am loving the inexpensive parts prices here in Malaysia, though. I just picked up two RK chains (to replace mine and have a spare) for 26 ringgit (9 USD) for both! And I also priced a replacement Yuasa battery for 36 ringgit (12 USD)!! It would be at least three times as much in the US and they'd probably have to order it. We should be back on the road soon, and then we'll have to make the trip down to Ipoh!
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 05:53 AM   #794
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
4/15 Ride to Krabi

On her walk back form the 7Eleven this morning, Re saw a snake in her path that had a dark body with a distinct red head. She Googled this later and is fairly certain it was a Red-headed Krait, which is a highly venomous species. Good thing she didn't try to pick this one up or pet it as it slithered across her path! After eating, we loaded up the bikes and showered. Before we left, we walked over to the Hutyee Boat bungalows to bid farewell to Turbo and his siblings.



We gave them a quick cuddle before thanking Mr. Hutyee for his hospitality and wishing them all well. Back at the Nautilus, we settled our bill and hit the road around 9:15.

The ride back to ferry and the ferry rides themselves were unremarkable except for the beauty of the water and the one slight slip of my clutch when going over the spine of Koh Lanta Noi. Back on the mainland, we rejoined Highway 4 for the short ride to Krabi Town. The land here is surprisingly hilly and green, the dramatic limestone faces make a nice backdrop to the good roads. We arrived at the turnoff to Krabi around 11:30 and decided to give it a look. The guidebooks don't say much about Krabi, other than it is a ferry port for boats to some of the Andaman islands, so we didn't expect much. We were prepared to continue on to Phuket if we didn't like what we saw, but we were pleasantly surprised and decided to spend the night.



The town itself is set along the water and there are many limestone karst islands in the bay/river that runs along the main road. There was also a sign for a mangrove trail at the edge of town, which looked interesting as well. But the real attraction was the market set up along the main road and all the good looking food stalls! One drawback to Krabi Town is that accommodations seemed fairly expensive. There were some very posh places aimed at farang, all in the 20 to 25 USD range. I stayed with the bikes, while Re went in search of something more in our price range. She shortly returned with our choice for the evening.

After unloading the bikes, we walked out to the market we saw earlier for lunch, where we picked up some fried chicken and sticky rice and some little deep-fried sausages wrapped in dough.



We ate them on the riverfront promenade before walking back to the sign for the mangrove walk. The sky was getting increasingly dark as we walked, and we didn't bring our rain jackets with us, but we were feeling optimistic. The mangrove walk itself was actually quite interesting, since we saw a variety of different colored, small crabs.



Some of them were turquoise, some were bright red, some butter yellow, and others were multicolored. The canopy of the mangroves hid the rapidly darkening skies, and it was only when the thunder and lightning started that we realized we were now about a mile from our hotel, and the sky was very black.

We started walking quickly back toward town, but no luck. The rain started gently at first, but soon turned into a downpour. Not realizing quite how far we'd walked out, we tried to make it back in the rain, but eventually stopped because we were soaked and the rain was falling even harder. After hiding out for 30 minutes or so, the rain slacked off enough for us to try to get back to our room. For the last five or six blocks, we were able to run between awnings and made it back to the room. Since we were thoroughly soaked, we pulled off our clothes and jumped in the shower to warm up. We hung all our wet stuff under the A/C and took advantage of the wifi to post some of our writings. Later, I saw that my parents were on Skype, so I talked to them for a while before we headed out for dinner.

We'd hoped that our clothes would dry by dinnertime, but they didn't. We ended up pulling on our still damp clothes and headed back out to the market. The rain had stopped by now, and many, many more food stalls had popped up. I've never seen so many varieties of little clams and shellfish, all steamed and for sale in one place, but after a bad reaction to a cockle omelet I ate on our last trip, I skipped the bivalves. Instead, we bought an assortment of small, grilled squid on sticks, different noodle dishes, and some more of those deep-fried, dough-wrapped sausages. We picked up some soda waters and cookies to round out the meal. Later, we went back to the room and spent the rest of the evening catching up on emails, news, and snake identification.



65 miles in about 2 hours. My rear brake is acting normally, but I am a little concerned about my clutch. We are overdue for an oil change, so hopefully, that will fix it.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 05:56 AM   #795
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 702
4/16 Ride to Phuket (It's Really Pronounced, Poo-get)

A peek out the window this morning revealed that the sky was still overcast and a bit threatening, so we decided to push on to Phuket Town today. After breakfast, we started loading the bikes, where I was again cornered by an interested passerby. Consequently, our 9:00 am departure was delayed until 9:30. When we pulled out, we were happy to see that the sky had begun to clear.



Today's ride was very much like yesterday's, scenery wise, with jungle covered hills and the occasional exposed limestone face. The bad news is that my clutch is slipping more frequently. Come on, oil change. As we passed Phang-Nga, the sky grew rapidly darker, the humidity increased, and inevitably, it began to rain. The rain quickly gathered strength to become a pretty steady downpour. The rain continued on and off, all the way to the bridge to the island of Phuket. Once we crossed the bridge, the sky became a mixture of dark clouds and patches of blue. My clutch continued to slip either when I tried to exceed 42 mph or when climbing hills at more than three-quarters throttle. I elected to baby it as much as I could, since right now, I really don't have a Plan B.

Once we got into Phuket Town, we found our way to the Nanachart Mansion. We stayed at the Nanachart on our last visit here, and remembered it to be a cheap and clean option. We were glad to find that it still is and has secure, gated motorcycle parking as well. The rate is still 350 baht (12 USD), but one new feature is wifi in the room for an additional 50 baht (2 bucks). We walked down to the market for a late lunch of noodle soup with pork and then into the mall for a Blizzard at the Dairy Queen. There really isn't much to do in Phuket Town proper, so we spent the rest of the afternoon planning on which beaches to visit tomorrow and after discovering that there is indeed ferry access, decided on the island of Koh Phangan as our next destination.



One other reason we returned to the Nanachart is because it's located less than a block from an excellent little restaurant we discovered on our last trip. We headed there for dinner tonight, and it was as good as we remembered. My favorite from the last visit was the “fired grums and crispy pork.” I liked the Engrish so much last time that I ordered it on a whim, and I was pleasantly surprised when I received a plate of fried morning glory leaves, and some really delicious crispy pork. The chef here is also a treat to watch, since everything is cooked in a wok over a single burner, with one hand he's flipping, mixing, and adding ingredients, and the other hand is on the valve of the gas cylinder, regulating the heat. Re had the fried tofu with minced pork, and we both thoroughly enjoyed our meals. Due to the rain earlier in the day, it was a very humid evening, so we cut our postprandial walk around the town short and headed back to the A/C comfort of our room.


115 miles in about 3 hours. I really hope an oil change will fix my clutch.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014