Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Northern Thailand

Bangkok to Phuket finished, the route is posted on the blog.  Chiang Mai down starts tomorrow.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Friday, 6 January 2012

Final Thoughts

Final Thought on the Ride

Well it is a totally different place to ride than New Zealand that’s for sure!  The drivers are not bike friendly although most will at least try not to hit you.  The roads don’t have the scenery either as the coastal roads don’t seem to have views of the see as a rule but the ferry trips and the small beach towns are very special.  The trip is more about the stops than the cycling so give yourself plenty of time to make the trip. 

The cost of living and camping is quite high with some places around $40 for the night and $50+ in Byron.  Camp kitchens are rarely more the BBQs so you might need a stove if like me you need a coffee in the morning.  We had a cold and wet spell for the time of year during our trip but it was still too warm to wear waterproof trousers in the rain.  Our little tent could get mighty warm and a sleeping bag was used more to lie on rather than in.  On a hot day cycling was far better than standing still as the breeze took the edge off the heat until you had a slow steep climb to contend with.

So 1000km on a mix of dirt, quiet and main roads.  Plenty of wildlife and a little surfing.  I have enjoyed the ride even though it wasn’t the initial  plan as our trip to Oz was all about meeting up with my friends for Christmas.  Would I do it again, maybe not that ride but I would cycle in Australia again for sure.  Tasmania looks like a great spot and the south coast looks like another awesome area to ride, better start saving again!

Cycling Evans Head to Byron Bay

December 17th Evans Head – Byron Bay 73km

Well this turned out to be our last days riding due to my buddy Adrian meeting us in Byron and taking us to his lovely house in Kooralbyn.  We left Evans Head early in the bright sunshine, the road were quiet  and although we had to go on the highway for a short distance most of the ride followed smaller roads and included our last ferry crossing taking us into Ballina.  From Ballina we headed towards Lennox Head where a detour changed the route slightly.  We were rolling into to the packed tourist town of Byron Bay before noon.  The beach here was beautiful but it was very busy, I guess we are in peak season now.  This is definitely a place where the young and beautiful hang out, as I am neither it was nice to see but not to stay as Evans Head is more my speed and $20 for a sandwich in a cafĂ© is pushing my budget!

December 18th – January 3rd Kooralbyn

Chilling with Ade, Grace and Tom the cat was just great!  I hadn’t seen these guys in awhile yet they made both of us incredibly welcome even though they had never met Maria.  Their place is just so beautiful complete with great views from the infinity edged pool!

We did a nice mix of chilling out and visiting places like Surfers on Christmas day.  We even got involved with helping Santa dish out sweets from the fire engine!  Too much food and drink was the order of the stay.
A walk in the rain
Surfers Christmas Day

Maria Ade Grace

Me cooking!!! The wine helped alot!

The 2 weeks flew past and before we knew it Ade was dropping us off at Brisbane airport with the bikes in homemade boxes as we couldn’t get any from the local bike shops.  Mine was sporting 3 broken spokes in the rear wheel which had happened on the last ride into Beaudesert on New Years day so a job for Bangkok. The flight took us back to Sydney where we switched planes to head for Thailand.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Evans Head

December 13th-16th Evans Head

We liked Evans Head so much that we have stayed here a week.  It feels like your back on one of those beach holidays from your childhood.  We have spent the days either trying to surf or body board, you will see from the pictures we still need practice!

The weather has been warm but not always dry with showers most days but nothing to spoil the fun.  We have eaten out a few times and sampled quite a few pies!

It is now time to move on, the school holidays start tomorrow and the campsite is preparing for an invasion.  We are off to Byron Bay but meeting Ade and Grace there for lunch and then they are taking us to their house.  Can't wait to seem them again.
We won't have cycled as far as we were expecting but should have still managed about 1000km.

Maria on main beach

Big black parrot thingy

Chinaman Beach

Chinaman Beach path

Ready to pop

I look much better than this, it's just a bad photo honest ;-)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Evans Head

December 11th Evans Head

It is nice here for sure so we hired body boards and got beat up in the surf.  Tomorrow we are going to get surfboards.  We caught lots of good waves but I had forgotten how tiring it is!  There is no camp kitchen here just an undercover BBQ area so we are using the gas stoves which are proving to be a great buy!

We had a downpour for about 30 minutes, it absolutely bucketed it down!  Thunder, lightening and then suddenly blue skies again.

Got a dvd out to watch in the tent, we are certainly comfortable campers!

December 12th Evans Head

Body boarding in the morning and longboards in the afternoon.  I am a bit rusty but managed to stand up on the first wave!  Maria did just as well but it was hard work.  I think we can manage at least a couple more days here!

Now where do we put the surfboards?

Cycling Iluka - Evans Head

December 10th 67km

John took me to the bike shop in Ballina at 8.00am they parted me from $150 and we were back before lunch.  The manager had let Maria stay in the cabin until we were ready to leave, not the usual 10.00am check out.  By early afternoon I had fitted the wheel loaded up and we were on our way.

This time we made it with no dramas.  The ride wasn't as nice as the recent days as we spent quite awhile on the highway but the shoulder was good and the trip fast.  Once in Evans Head we found a site right next to the beach at a bargain $21.50 a night.  There is a super market here, a board hire shop and several takeaways and resturants.  I think we will stay here a few days instead of Byron Bay.

Thai for dinner tonight and a bottle of wine!

I hate spiders! Good job it was on the otherside of the window

Big Mean Looking Spder