On November 4th Fred the bike is embarking on a six month journey across Southeast Asia. Starting in Singapore, Fred plans to make his way up the west coast of Malaysia, across Thailand, Cambodia, up through Vietnam and into Laos. After that... who knows? Fred invites you to follow him through his adventure. Any advice from fellow travelers is always welcome.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And So Concludes Our Little Story...

All the arrangements have been made. Flights have been booked, Fred has been put into storage, I've even purchased a backpack. It feels weird, carrying my life on my back as opposed to my bike. I feel so normal. Just another regular Canadian Backpacker. Parting ways with Fred was no easy task. I would have loved to have taken him on one last ride before we went home. It was time for a break though. Actually, it was probably time for a break a long time ago. I'm just too stubborn to have admitted it. It's done. The final decision has been made. 100% sure. I can't help but feel a little sad.
Well, it's been quite a journey. Starting from Kuala Lumpur, heading through the beautiful beaches of Southern Thailand, exploring the ancient ruins of Cambodia, up through the ever changing landscape of Vietnam, climbing the monstrous mountains of Laos and Northern Thailand, and heading all the way back to Singapore. It's been everything I imagined it would be and more. I've learned so much. I've seen so much. I've ate so much. Through the rain, the heat, the wind, through the good times and the bad, through it all Fred has been the trustiest of travelling companions. I couldn't imagine having done it without him. He will be sorrily missed.
Now it's time to move on. This is the start of a new adventure. A significantly shorter one, mind you, but an adventure none the less. I don't feel right using the same blog for my Indonesian Adventure. If you want to continue to follow what I'm doing you can do so through www.indogabby.blogspot.com. I'm sure it won't be as interesting as The Adventures Of Fred The Bike (whether or not you found it interesting I don't know, but I hope so), I try to keep you entertained though.
And so concludes our little story. Fred and I would like to give you our thanks for following along. It was one hell of a ride!

Fred The Bike & Gabrielle

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kota Tinggi-Singapore

Total Distance:69.86km
Total Time:4h14m11s
Average Speed:16.5km/h
Maximum Speed:44.0km/h
Total Distance:11,120.35km

My last day riding! Probably my last day riding. I'm so indecisive. I gotta work on that. Today we are at a probability of 85% that Fred will NOT be accompanying me to Indonesia. It's a lot harder than I though it would be to leave him behind. We've been through so much together. My ass has been adhered to that bike for pretty much eight months now. 85% probability.
I don't like biking through big cities with my bike all loaded up. Today I had the displeasure of going it twice. Once in Johor Bahru, and once in Singapore. I got pretty turned around in JB. I don't see why that can't just put up a big sign that says "SINGAPORE" and has an arrow pointing in the direction you have to go. It would make sense wouldn't it? Maybe they just want to toy with tired,confused, foreign cyclists. All's well that ends well. I found my way out... eventually.
Singapore, on the other hand was a breeze to get through. Everything here is clearly labelled and straight forward. It's such an organized city, and so clean. I love it. If the cost of living here wasn't so high, I might never leave. I was pretty excited when I went into the store and saw gummy candies today. I had been craving them for a while. A clean city with gummy candies, what more can a girl want.
So, I'm back where I started. I think this is it. I think it's the end. I think. Tomorrow flights have to be booked, things have to be arranged, final decisions have to be made. I'll let you know tomorrow.

Rompin-Kota Tinggi

Total Distance:154.79km
Total Time:8h52m14s
Average Speed:17.4km/h
Maximum Speed:49.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:11,050.49km

The ride to Kota Tinggi proved slightly hillier than the day before. Still it was nothing to really complain about. the hills were a little steeper, a little longer, but still nowhere near comparable to those of Laos or Norther Vietnam. The road became even more desolate. Cities and villages were fewer and farther in between. I enjoy riding amidst nothing but nature. It causes less distraction. After weeks of never having to go far without hitting at least a small village I didn't anticipate it though, and didn't properly gauge how much water I would need. I ran out and had to ride an hour without water. I was starting to freak out a little. After an hour you start to really feel dehydration setting in, which is worrisome. I have pretty good luck. Just as I was starting to panic i pulled up to a town where I could "fuel up".
Kota Tinggi is a fairly big town, or maybe a small city. I'm not sure how you would classify it. It's main attraction seems to be a rather large shopping mall, where the locals flock to at the days end. I was not so inclined to do so. There isn't much else to do there. It's too bad. Kota Tingii is actually in a pretty choice location. Situated on the banks of a river amidst the tall trees of the surrounding forest and within close proximity to both the ocean as well as Singapore, Kota Tinggi could easily capitalize on passing through tourists if they spruced things up a little.
One more day! One more day of riding and I'm done. At least I'm probably done. There's still this voice in the back of my head saying "take Fred to Indonesia". I'm about 90% sure I'm going to leave him in Singapore. I feel like I'm abandoning him. Sorry Fred!


Total Distance:137.31km
Total Time:7h43m42s
Average Speed:17.7km/h
Maximum Speed:49.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:10,895.70km

For some reason I thought making a stop in Kuantan would be a good idea. I was wrong. Not that there was anything wrong with Kuantan. As far as a place to stop for a night it was fine. However I probably should have pushed on a little further. I guess I thought it wasn't as far as it actually was to Singapore.
I stayed in a pretty nice, not to mention a little expensive hotel on Kuantan. Sometimes I'm not the best budget traveller. It was nice though. It was clean and in the morning they had a really great all you can eat breakfast buffet. It was the best breakfast I've had in eight months. Still having quite the distance to travel i probably should have forfeited breakfast, but it came complimentary with the room. Free food is the best kind.
The road to Rompin was hillier than I had anticipated. It was the good kind of hills. Rolling hills, where you can catch enough speed going down one to almost make it to the top of the next. Entering Malaysia through the North, the east coast was very developed and filled with resort after resort. The view of the South China Sea was nice, but grew a little dull after a while. This area, the area between Kuantan and Jahor Bharu, is a lot more desolate and came with a change of scenery as well. The surrounding landscape was much more of the wooded National Park Variety. I like the beach, but at heart I'm a mountain girl. I always feel a little more at ease when travelling through a park of forest.
The name Rompin is misleading. One might expect it to be a "rompin', stompin" good time, but it's not. It consists of about four hotels, a 7/11 and a KFC. I suppose that's all you really need, especially when just making a quick overnight stay. It gave me a chance to spend a good night catching up on some reading and resting up.