The Greater San Fransisco Area

Continuing my quest to travel the world.

It has been my quest to cycle around the world for a very long time, although I have ticked off 16 countries to date, I still haven't achieved the ultimate goal of cycling the world. I cannot wait any longer for the conditions to be perfect, age is catching up with me, so it is now or never.

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia
After our trip to Vietnam in 2012.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Happy non Father's Day Niel.

It is almost Father’s Day. Niel and my Fathers’ have both unfortunately died.  Niel may not be a Father, although he is a surrogate father to our cats, but he is the most important male in my life. And with him being on the other side of the world at the moment, I have noticed a few things related to his absence.

First of all is that the house is so quiet. I have never realised how much noise he made, and the house seems so big without him. How can the lack of one person’s presence make such a difference to the feel of the house?
Secondly – the bathroom stays remarkably clean, especially the mirror. What do men do in the bathroom to make it so dirty? Especially as I'm sure women spend more time in there than men do.
Thirdly – I keep forgetting to do things that he normally does, like cleaning out the ash from the fire, shifting the furniture when vacuuming the floor, and sweeping the decks. Hmm – come to think of it – he was remarkably useful around the house.
Fourth – one bonus of Niel being away is that I don’t have to cook a meal every night. That is such a treat, I don’t know if men who don’t cook, realise how much we get sick of cooking for them.
Fifth – I can save more money than when he is at home, even though I go to the doctor more than him. Actually everyone goes to the doctor more than him, as he hates them and refuses to ever go to one. He is pretty good at not spending needlessly, but there are those little things that keep coming home from the bike shop – like pressure gauges, and colour coordinated tidbits for his beloved bike (drink bottles, valve caps and cable outers that match his transfers on his bike etc.) – No they are not free to the staff. Then there is his favourite bike shop of E-Bay, where he gets all those ‘essentials’ like caps, how many caps does a man need?
Just some of Niel's Caps.

Sixth – even though I am the gardening enthusiast, I do miss his muscles when trying to prune trees, or do things that the ‘Carpel Tunnel syndrome’ in my wrists find hard to do.
I have had to limit my cycling in the last few weeks due to injury and sickness – the first and hopefully last winter ill I will get. I am jealous of the amount of cycling Niel is doing right now, but it is finally Spring time, and I am over the tummy bug that laid me low last week, I’m still hindered by my injury, but it should come right too.
I’m not exactly lonely, but with my birthday coming up, I have decided that I’m not going to sit it out and do nothing, so I’ve decided to do something special and buy my flights to Hong Kong. Tickets to Hong Kong are on special at the moment, and why not make the most of that as a birthday treat.

In the meantime – Happy Father’s Day from the cats Niel.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Is it Spring yet?

Well Niel has left on his big cycling adventure of Scandinavia. As per usual the airlines have left his bike behind. He must be absolutely sick of this happening. Every single international flight he has taken in the last 3 years - the airlines have lost his bike. Don’t the airlines realize that a cyclist deprived of his bike is like a bird unable to fly? Anyway while Niel is gone I am starting to organize my first section of my ‘round the world adventure’.
I have sorted out an estimate of where I would like to get to each day. I need to know this to apply for visas for China, Vietnam and Laos. I don’t need visas for Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore or Australia.
I have a friend in Darwin Australia, where I can send my camping stuff that I won’t need in SE Asia, and where I can send my tropical clothes home from. They have also invited me to stay, which will be awesome.
My brother has expressed interest in cycling some of SE Asia with me, but hasn’t committed yet. My friends near Seattle in Washington State of the US will join me for some of the Pacific Coastline in the US. Niel and I will do a bit of the last stage from Russia to Hong Kong together. I am still hoping some of my friends will be interested in accompanying me in Australia even if it is by car and not bike. The invite is still out there if anyone wants to join me.
Obviously I am saving every cent, although I have expenses such as renewing my passport and paying for visas, when I have finally bought my ticket to Hong Kong and have dates. I have even started to sell some of my possessions to try and raise funds. It doesn’t help matters when My Vespa scooter got a parking ticket for exceeding the time limit in a car park, when I wasn’t parked in a car park (as if I would do such a thing); I was parked in with the bicycles. $65 fine for depriving another car of my spot in the car park – how ludicrous is that! I refuse to pay it – that is one over- zealous parking warden.
Does it look like my Vespa is in a car park? No? why did a get a ticket then?

While I have time to myself with Niel away, I have got a Spanish CD and booklet out of the library in attempt to learn some Spanish. I am a typical New Zealander in my lack of knowledge of another language. I know phones have a translate app, but the more you actually understand – the better. I will be in Spanish speaking Mexico and South America, so I thought it would be worth at least getting a basic grasp of the language.
I am almost desperate for this seemingly unending winter to finish. It was winter before I left for the Trans Am and winter when I returned, and it is STILL is officially Spring in 3 weeks’ time; I wish it would hurry up.