Final location: Laval, Canada GPS: N45°32'30 W73°44'23 Altitude: 58m Total distance covered: 113631km
Riding in Malaysia
Sunday, 27 September 2009 15:45
Just a little taste of what the roads are like in Malaysia
Off she goes
Sunday, 27 September 2009 09:50
Already more than a week since we finally left our motorcycle in the capable hands of Wilhelmsen Ships Service in Kuala Lumpur. Everything went well but I must admit that going our separate ways (us and the bike I mean!) was a bit stressful. The poor thing will only be let out of its box on the 22nd of October when it arrives in Buenos Aires...
In all we spent 3 weeks in Kuala Lumpur. In addition to settling the shipment of the bike we spent some time visiting the city. In this part of the world, shopping centers rule and KL is no exception. If you like shopping, you will like it here. But if you are Marie-France, not so much!
It is also a very modern country...
Once we were satisfied that the bike was safely aboard the ship we made our way to Singapore, by bus. It was weird to be driven around but considering the driving habits around here we were happy to be inside what is essentially a giant metal box on wheels. While in Singapore we are staying with our friends until our departure for South-America at the beginning of October.
Why back to South-America?
Friday, 11 September 2009 11:53
Several people have asked us why we plan on leaving South-East Asia so soon and why we are going back to South America. True, our original plan was to make our way to India then return home by plane from there. But somewhere along the way we decided to go a little further and finish our trip in South-East Asia instead. And now here we are, organizing the shipping of our motorcycle to Argentina so that we can ride up the Americas and back home. So what is going on?
There are a few reasons that we tend to stretch the distance that we want to cover in this trip. First off, we already visited this part of the world several years ago. Second, this region (and now I am including Nepal and India) does not offer the best riding with a few important exceptions, namely Ladakh in the north of India (and what an exception that is, great motorcycle riding!) and the extreme north of Laos. The third reason that we are leaving South-East Asia so soon is that South America is huge. And despite staying there almost one year we have yet to visit Brazil, the Guyanas and Venezuela.
But in addition to all these reasons is the fact that South America was an unexpected discovery for us. A great surprise that turned into a bit of a passion for all things latin. And that is the real reason for going back.
Shipping the bike
Sunday, 06 September 2009 13:55
Well, we are a few steps closer now to solving the shipping problem but not without lots of discussion, research, e-mails, phone calls and meetings, all of which was done here in Kuala Lumpur. In the end, we decided to ship by sea from Port Klang near Kuala Lumpur to Buenos Aires. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let’s get back to Georgetown and share a few pictures of this easygoing city.
From Georgetown we went up into the Cameron Highlands which was a bit of a let down. The place we remembered as a scenic little town where walks to tea plantations were something to be remembered is now overrun by tourism, overdevelopment and garbage. But still, driving down to Kuala Lumpur offered some interesting sights.
In terms of places to organize the shipping of a vehicle, KL is second only to Singapore in this region. But we chose to use Kuala Lumpur as our “command center” for a couple of reasons. First off, it is a bit complex to get a vehicle into Singapore with too many papers required. Second, it is a relatively cheap place to stay put for a couple of weeks while getting everything together. We had originally planned to ship by air, thinking it would cost around 3000$. But a few phone calls and several e-mails revealed that we could expect to pay would be 4400$ minimum from Malaysia (!) or 3300$ from Thailand plus travel expenses to get there, something we simply cannot afford. So instead we focused our efforts on finding a sea freight shipper. Eventually, we settled on a company called Wilhelmsen Ships Service. This company had been mentioned by an English couple who shipped their bike to Istanbul a few months ago with good results. So we met with Mr. Chan and Mr. Kong at the Wilhelmsen offices near our hotel. Both are very professional and seem to know their stuff so we feel we are in good hands. The final cost of shipping is yet to be determined (it is a function of the size of our crate, the dimensions of which we do not know yet) but we are expecting to pay about 1400$. The downside is that the earliest our bike can be in BA is October 22nd. In the meantime, we will be going to Singapore in a couple of weeks to visit Aaron and Eva once again. If you have been following our trip from the start you will remember them from when we were in Ecuador and also when we were in England. After that we hope to spend some more quality time in Mendoza, Argentina, sampling steaks and wine and taking tango classes while we wait for the bike to arrive in BA.