Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Upcoming Route

View from my host's apartment, all seem calm now......

Bangkok & Southern Thailand
As you might have heard there are some serious protests planned in Bangkok starting this coming Monday and continuing on through the week.  My luck of course….It happens to be the exact time when I planned to be here?!?!?  I wouldn’t be worried except now I have been warned by too many people to be careful and avoid the city at all cost.  My plan?  I will cancel my school visits, as they are closing down as well for a few days and head south as soon as possible. I needed some bike maintenance in the city and was looking forward to just relaxing but with the situation as is, I don’t think it will be relaxing at all!  I spent an extra day down south and got my bike all serviced, visited a school, and made some new plans taking into consideration the Bangkok protests.

Planned protest areas in Bangkok for Monday

I’m also working on my route through the southern part of Thailand and trying to avoid the last three South Eastern provinces.  Again, a lot of local Thais have warned me about the Muslim extremists down there and advise me to avoid those areas as well.  I do have a couple of route options depending on the situation the further I head south.  I would like to cycle down the Eastern side of Malaysia because it isn’t so developed, but again, it might mean taking the Loong way to get there!

Click here for more information regarding the protests

I’m starting to think about the next continent I will be cycling shortly and spread the word to friends for support.  I’m looking for hosts in New Zealand, Tasmania, and Australia, as well as schools to visits.  Yes, those are huge countries, so to give you a better idea of my route, here is a brief description of my itineraries.  I will fly into Christchurch and make a loop of the south island, counterclockwise direction.  Then I will fly to Melbourne and ride out on the Great Coastal Road for about 300 kilometers and come back through the interior to Melbourne.  From there I head to Tasmania and do a circular loop for about three weeks.  At the end of March, I head up to Sydney where I will fly to San Fransisco, mid-April. 

I am hoping to do a get-together with friends and Thomson Bike Tour clients in both Melbourne and Sydney, where I already have a lot of people who have graciously offered me a place to stay.  I’m excited to start using my camping gear again, but would also love to be hosted from time to time if you know of anyone along the described routes.  Also, if you have friends or family who teach at schools in any of these areas, I would love contacts here as well.  My school visits have been few and far between in Asia due to the holidays and the longer distances.

Thanks so much for all your support, I hope 2014 is off to a good start!

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