“Long Way Round. Long Way Down”

Watching “Long Way Down” with D now. This is a show on the motorcycle journey taken by Ewan McGregor and his best buddy, Charley Boorman, in 2007, a long road trip that started from John O’ Groats (Scotland, 12 May 07) to Cape Town (South Africa, 4 Aug 07). This time, they were on the BMW R1200GS Adventure, together with 2 SUVs as their support vehicles.

I had seen the new book at Popular Bookstore at Bishan Junction 8 when I was still in S’pore, and excitedly brought it to D. He calmly told me that he knew about the book, and in fact, he had already bought it in HK. Now it is seated nicely next to my bed, waiting for me to find time to read it.

We had watched their earlier show, “Long Way Around” (read the book right after the show), about 2 years back when these two funny guys rode their BMW R1150GS Adventure from London to NY, riding thru’ Europe, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Canada and US.

It was a great show cos we could identify some of the things that they went through while on the trip. So, I am especially stoked to know that their new show is out and happy to watch the show with D. 

At Golden TriangleWatching these two guys brought back memories of our 2 weeks bike trip on our VFR 800 in Dec 2002,  S’pore to Northern Thailand and back via Peninsula Malaysia, Hatyai, Hua Hin, Chang Rai, Mae Salong, Doi AngKhang, Mae Hong Son.

D had reminded me, while we were packing for the trip, that I had only one of the 2 Hepco Becker panniers for my stuff. That was a major headache, cos it was not a big box, and I had a hard time figuring out what was important and what was pure vanity. Besides, D brought only the bare minimum and he needed the space to put spare parts in case we needed to service the bike during the trip 

Anyway, I think I had brought along 3 t-shirts, 2 long-sleeved, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of cotton pants, a pair of cheapo sandals that I thrashed at the end of the trip, the medium-sized shampoo and conditioner bottles and a couple of undies. I did buy a few things while on the trip, like 8 sets of Thai silk cushion covers cos it was so darn cheap and a few of the bags that the villagers made, as Christmas gifts. ;P Anyway, it was not a shopping trip, and space was precious, not forgetting that any unnecessary weight will make the bike heavier too, making it difficult for D to negotiate the bends.

That was 6 months after our wedding, 2 months after my Lasik, and I had kept this trip from my parents. Well, they knew I would be in Thailand for 2 weeks, but I just left out the little piece of detail, our mode of transport.

Above the clouds, Northern ThailandUnfortunately, the truth was revealed, with 3 days left to our trip. Basically my parents Me on some mountain in Northern Thailanddidn’t hear from us for a few days, cos our mobiles didn’t work, and had called my MIL, who thought they knew the truth and somehow the “bike” word came up. I remembered D and I were in the brothel-like inn at Tak, talking to my parents and froze on knowing that my parents knew. 😉

After that trip, we talked about doing an Alpine one, or even riding across NZ. The cost for the Alpine trip made us think twice, but it would have been cool to ride across Europe and be lost in the Alps. The scenery would have been photo perfect. NZ was the alternative, since it is more affordable and I believe the scenery and sights would be comparable to those in Europe. Except…. the road trip in the Alps would take us to different European countries, but the one in NZ will just be NZ.

Anyway, these dreams would have to take a back seat… somewhere really far back for now. ‘Cos of you-know-who. 😉

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