Monthly Archives: February 2015

Packed and Ready to Roll

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Just the weekend left to suffer through this first call. These last couple weeks have been just a blur. Landing back in Los Angeles from our Thailand trip, changing the suitcase and heading directly to Vegas for one day of coverage sure helps with the jet lag. I don’t think I ever had any, and from being awake for roughly 56 hours, working all day and driving the 5 hours back, I thought I would have been beat. A couple days later and I felt great. Oh, I forgot about the case of shingles that started on Monday and lasted for almost three weeks, such an inconvenience, and painful.

Sunday we will be putting our camper in storage for the next five months. Living out of a suitcase while working in Las Vegas, or our panniers while touring on our bikes will be our gypsy lifestyle. Luckily the time is split about half and half.
In preparation the VStrom has been outfitted with a new engine crash plate from the guys at Happy Trails. It was fairly easy to install, fit perfectly and went just according to the instructions. A review will follow after the Baja trip starting Monday.

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Also new for the trip was the soft sided Backcountry 40L Rear Duffel/Pack from the guys at Mosko Moto. This waterproof pack does it all coming of the bike and becoming a back pack. This will take the place of my rear box and the tent, sleeping bags and pad will strap right to the top, nice and neat for two up riding.

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This ride will be our shakedown ride for the new rear setup and will travel with us to Germany in May for our two month adventure of Western Europe on our Triumph Trophy 1200 appropriately dubbed WNDRR3, named after the two other bikes in the stable.

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The hours are ticking away as we wait for the dawn of Monday morning to arrive. I hear nothing but the call of the open road beckoning me to twist my wrist and head for another border crossing. The friendly people of Mexico, the beautiful desert scenery, rolling surf of the Pacific Ocean and clear blue water of the   Bay of Conceptiòn are waiting for us.

We also added a sticker for a charity we are supporting which is also the official charity of Horizons Unlimited Yosemite. The Lost For a Reason crew, Ron Grace in particular, are making a difference in the lives of children and families of the Navajo reservation. Go ahead and give them a look and get Lost For a Reason.

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The people we will be riding with are well known in the motorcycle/overland community and we are fortunate to be able to ride with them and enjoy their company. So stay turned and see what the neighboring country of Mexico has to offer riding down the Baja peninsula. Maybe next time YOU will be riding down with us and WANDRR Motorcycle Tours.

Greg “WANDRR” and Melanie

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Last days in Thailand

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Many years ago I would have never guessed I would be traveling  to places like this. I have always had this itch to go and progressing through the several phases of motorcycling has brought me to this point. The meeting of like minded adventurers at Overland Expo and Horizons Unlimited finished us off. We were hooked, big time.

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Hopping on a boat our group headed for some great snorkeling areas near Phi Phi island. The water is super rough on the way out which led to the best chiropractic adjustment I have ever had, for free. One of the waves had me a foot off the bench at the front of the boat. The landing was brutal, but my neck felt great. It was just a blast.

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The water, with its teal greenish color was crystal clear and the contrast to the green jungle, rock cliffs and white sandy beaches was beautiful. We snorkeled up to the rocky cliffs following the many multi colored fish as they zigged and zagged through the coral.

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Much was provided at a beach front cafe on Phi Phi island. During lunch a guy walked up with his Gibbon monkey which Melanie really wanted to take home. He crawled up on her shoulder and buried its head in her hair. So cute.
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We raced the receding tide back into port playing follow the leader with boats in front of and behind us through the channel.

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The next day Melanie and I hopped on our 125cc Honda scooter and went exploring. We found a place to stay in a cool bungalow, The Golden Teak, on Air B and B.

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We heard from some of our new friends, Diane and Tony, that they were heading to a reggae restaurant called Bob Marley’s. Not wanting to miss a good time, we rode over to meet them for some great crab cakes, fried bananas and beer.

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Following my mate Eddie’s example I had a go on a didgeridoo. After frightening several people and the rest of the them cracking up, I decided I needed more practice and then left our mark on the ceiling.

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After all the fun was over we headed back and relaxed the rest of the afternoon in the pool with more adult style beverages.

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The next morning we rode off on an exploration on the coastal areas of Phuket.

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The area is just absolutely beautiful and the scooters were everywhere. We saw several Thailand traffic obstructions and the largest Buddha in the country. The roads were fast and curvy and the views were fantastic. We learned how to lane split following the many scooters to the front of the line and racing for position.

Click on the link to see a video.
Scooter ride through Patong beach

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That night we went to a local market which had about anything you would want to buy with most of the merchandise having been imported from China. We ate dinner from the street vendors again and it was excellent.

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These were some of the interesting choices. We settled on skewered shrimp, 5 jumbos, and beef with veggies for 50 bhats each. An order of rice was 20 baht and dessert of two mini pancakes with banana filling, 5 baht apiece. Since $1US dollar is about 30 baht, it was very inexpensive and delicious, as usual.

The next day was a pool, beach and massage day. Melanie got a massage down the beach for 300baht, about $10, for 75 minutes. Great deal. We caught a sunset at the pool before heading to the top deck for pizza, drinks and live music before heading to the airport at 9:30pm to catch a 3am flight and our 24 hours of travel to end in Los Angeles at 9:30am the next day, flying back through the International Date Line.

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The trip was fantastic. The people are so kind and peaceful. We found Thailand to be very clean and it seemed most of the people took care of their humble homes and possessions. There was not enough time in our short visit to enjoy the many other areas of the country. There will be a next time we visit but it will be for longer, on a small motorcycle, and we will enjoy all that SE Asia has to offer.

Cheers

Greg “WANDRR” and Melanie

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