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Rain in Kaş – what better to do than write our one year summary post?

(written by Dave)

It is raining but we managed to get out of the hotel briefly today.  Nancy got her hair cut.  It was almost as entertaining as my haircut yesterday.  A very energetic Turkish woman cut Nancy’s hair in between bursts of dancing expressively to the Turkish music playing in her shop.  Another worker (her daughter maybe) turned up about half way through, rolled her eyes at the hairdresser and got stuck into helping on Nancy’s hair.  It was the first time that Nancy has ever had two people cut and dry her hair at once.  I was thoroughly entertained by the whole process.

We also saw some more old rock things today, a BC Lycian 4,000 seat theater and some Lycian tombs cut in the hills above town.  It was them back to the hotel to work on the summary below.

Countries visited

So where to start?  First let’s do some basic numbers.  The table below shows how many days, both riding and non-riding that we spent in each country, plus the riding distance if we rode.  So far we’ve been through 11 countries.  And for the data folks out there, yes, Monaco is a country – the UN recognized it officially in 1991.

Miles K’s Riding Days Total Days
Australia 3422 5509 70 101
Singapore 12 20 1 5
Malaysia 926 1491 23 56
Thailand 1973 3177 38 66
Laos 701 1128 15 20
Cambodia 357 575 6 18
France 32 55 3 61
Monaco 2 3 1 1
Italy 520 833 11 16
Greece 142 230 3 6
Turkey 428 689 10 17
TOTAL 8515 13710 181 367

Where we slept

The next table shows where we’ve slept.  We camped mostly in OZ, but very little since then.  In fact, we left our camping gear in Singapore while we travelled in SE Asia.  We have the gear with us again now and will camp more as it warms up in Europe and a few more of the campgrounds open up.  We had expected to camp a bit more than we have since starting up again in Nice but the weather and the early season haven’t really been conducive to it (for us at least).  We admit we could have stayed in cheaper accommodation on some parts of this trip, but sometimes (though not always) spending just a little bit more will get you a significantly better place to stay.  Accommodation is sometimes just a crapshoot – you just have to pick something and hope it works out.  If it doesn’t, there’s always the next night to try again.  Camping should factor more significantly in the coming months as we head back into Europe.

SLEEPING SUMMARY NIGHTS
Showgrounds 1
Pub 1
Ferry 2
Bush camp 3
Caravan Park – cabin 5
City park 5
National park 7
Hostel 7
Warmshowers host 9
Private home 13
Caravan Park 63
Hotel 251
TOTAL 367

Food

Next up food.  Bike riding is all about food.  What you are going to eat next and when you will eat it.  We’ve found some wonderful new foods on this trip, plus some that we won’t necessarily seek out again.  We’ve never worried about finding a meal, except in Nam Thong, Laos where “rat on a stick” featured in 9 out of 10 restaurants.  We’ve certainly gotten braver, eating from street carts that we never would have considered when we travelled internationally on business.  See below for some more food points.

RANDOM FOOD SUMMARY
Best new food find – Malaysia Nasi Lemak – the first one was right off a street cart and still one of the most memorable
Best coffee in SE Aisa Tie – Amazon coffee at the Petronas stations and properly perpared Laos coffee
Best bakeries We don’t agree here.  Nancy gives the nod to France.  I’m happy in either Greece or Italy.  Both of us agree that more baking is needed in SE Asia.
Croissants eaten 97 each – estimating one per day in France, Italy and Laos – though some days we did eat two [Dave ate two, not me] and in both Italy and Laos they call a French pain au chocolate a chocolate croissant – so we are not sure how to count them.
Baguettes eaten 81 – estimating one per day in France and Laos – here again we have some trouble counting as France calls some baguettes banettes and we did try some of the fancy breads that are also not technically baguettes.
Best Indian curries Malaysia – this was our favourite food in Malaysia – we ate it every time we needed a good feed and sometimes when we felt the need for comfort food.
Pad Thai noodles eaten 35 each – again, this is not 100% scientific but this was our safe food in Thailand – when there was no common language you could always order pad thai gai (chicken)
Best new Laos food Laos Laap – tried with fish, chicken, buffalo, beef and pork – but passed on the rat on a stick version
Egg and Bacon rolls consumed Close to 100 each (Australia ones are the only ones worth counting) – exact totals are not known though we found an E&B roll made great energy food on arrival in town, just before starting the accommodation search.  Plus they were rest day staples.
Weirdest things eaten Dave only – silk worms (boiled in Cambodia, fried in Thailand), grasshoppers (fried in Thailand)
Best new brekkie Roti Canai – anywhere India food is served
Worst new brekkie idea Thailand and Malaysia – a hotdog like thing, not sure it was meat and it never tasted right.  They tried to play it off as “western” food but they really didn’t know what they were making – hats off to the local hotdog salesman as he tricked many an inn keeper.
Best new pastry Cheese or potato filled pastrys in Greece – they came in many shapes and sizes.  Sometimes you would not know what it was until the first bite, they were always tasty.
Best new hot drink that is not coffee Turkish Çay (chai) – served in funky hourglass shaped shot glasses – one sugar – just the right amount of tea and a nice shape in your hand

LWOP

A summary would not be complete without talking about our website.  We’ve posted 319 pages and had over 38,000 visits since the beginning of 2011.  We originally built the site so that we could move beyond paper log books like past trips and so that our mothers could follow along and would not worry so much about us.  To think that people have read something on our blog 38,000 times is crazy.  Both of us have certainly read a lot of other cycling blogs but we’ve always known that we were not normal.  To think that people come back for a second read is quite flattering.  Thanks for reading –we mean it.

Readers are great but comments sometimes are the thing that keeps us going.  The first thing we do every morning is check email for comments.  Sometimes knowing that someone else out there gives a toss, and is willing to invest time to make a comment is all you need to jump start your day – especially if the tent is wet and packing will be difficult.

Being on the web means that people find our site when they search for it.  It also means that people find our site when they are looking for something else.  Below is a table of the more interesting search terms that our website saved throughout the year.

The leavewithoutpay searches make a lot of sense, that’s us after all.  And perhaps those folks looking for advice about taking leave without pay will get some motivation to actually do it!

From the search terms it is clear that a lot of people were worried about Thailand flooding as well, particularly in Kanchanaburi.  This is quite funny as I don’t think that it ever flooded in Kanchanaburi but we talked about flooding in several posts from Kanchanaburi and now we show up in all these searches.  I’m not sure how happy the mayor of Kanchanaburi is with us – though we did like that little town and I think we said nice things about it.  It did make us laugh many times though when we saw it pop up, long after we had left Thailand.

Matilda highway gets 10 hits, while the Capricorn highway only gets 1. Go figure.

Several of Nancy’s former work colleagues show up, not sure why but she is happy to give them a lift with their celebrity status  – Prajakti and her family (hello to PK, Prasad, Ishaan and Ilana!) are our surrogate family in Sydney and she deserves to be famous for putting up with us!  Hello to Anthony as well…

Our Tesco posts seemed to attract attention.  I don’t know if these are frequently searched topics or perhaps there is just not much web knowledge out there on the Tesco food aisles.  The things you do for entertainment while on a long bike tour.

And finally, Cambodian beer is not all that great but somehow 10 people found it by searching our site.  I’m willing to bet that they did not stay long with how little we wrote on the topic.

LWOP Search terms

LWOP of some form 343
Kanchanaburi flooding 152
LWOP w/ Dave or Nancy of some form 87
Matida highway 20
Prajakti Khursale (work colleague of Nancy’s) 10
Cambodia beer 10
southern cross windmills 10
Anthony Tesvic (work colleague of Nancy’s) 6
cereal aisle at tesco 4
tesco green tea thailand 3
tin can bay to maryborough 3
tree of knowledge 2
capricorn highway 1
dolphin feeding at tin can bay 2011 1
glen innes cafe shop sells socks australia 1

Random things

Last table – below is a summary of various other random things from the trip.  Some may be interesting.  Most should be accurate.  Verification takes a good deal of time when you have to re-read 319 blog posts.

It’s a bit hard to believe that it is now over a year ago that we left Sydney.  We thought it would feel like quite a momentous occasion but the trip actually seems like several small journeys rather than one big one.   The travel in Australia seems like such a long time ago, as if it was one of our previous bike trips rather than this one.  Even SE Asia seems a long time ago.  That’s good I guess – the breaks we have taken have been good ways to relax a bit and get refreshed for the next leg of the journey.  It’s easy to see how some people could continue on and on like this….  Don’t worry moms, we’ll come home eventually.

OTHER RANDOM STUFF SUMMARY
Flat tires 10
New tires used 4 (Installed in Darwin and Nice)
Broken spokes 2
Chains used 6 (new installed in Darwin and Nice)
Rear cassettes used 4 (new installed in Nice)
Other mechanical issues 1 front fork eyelet on Nancy’s frame
3 Kick stands for Dave – can’t find one that lasts
Ferries ridden 17 total
–          1 Sydney to Manly
–          1 Palm Beach to Ettalong
–          1 Newcastle to Stockton
–          1 Nelson Bay to Tea Gardens
–          1 Mandorah to Darwin
–          1 Singapore to Malaysia
–          2 on and off Pankor Island Malaysia
–          1 to Penang island Malaysia
–          1 Penang to Langkawi
–          1 Langkawi to Satun, Thailand
–          1 Ancona, Italy to Patras, Greece
–          2 entering Athens
–          1 Athens to Chios
–          1 Chios, Greece to Cesme, Turkey
–          1 Bodrum to Datca
Sea sick bands used 2 – both for Nancy
Airplanes flown 2 point to point flights, 5 different planes
Darwin to Singapore via Sydney, Bangkok to Nice via Dubai
Airsick bags used 1 Nancy – that landing in Nice was not nice
Pedal revolutions 5 millon – something over 950 hours of riding time @ 90 RPM
Hardest day 17 April 2011 – Mt Seaview to Walcha 108k, lots of climbing and rain – we almost ran out of water and we probably had not yet ridden enough to be fit
Longest day 31 May 2011 – Longreach to Winton 180k.  Nice tailwind combined with an early start made it possible – we were still knackered at the end
Sabaidee’s yelled (hello in Laos) We lost count – we were only in Laos for 20 days but I think every kid on our route yelled Sabaidee to us at least 5 times.  Our response rate generally matched their delivery rate.
Kangaroos spotted More than we could count (only counting live ones)
Camels spotted 4 in Australia – we may yet see some here in Turkey
Pictures taken 16,000 or thereabouts – Our Nikon Coolpix recycles counters at 10,000 and we are now at 6,000 or so.  This would mean something close to 50 pictures per day – Nancy does think I stop too often so this could be accurate.
Funny/sad comment from fellow travellers (not on a bike) Are you carrying a weapon?’ – Really, people are pretty good around the world if you give them a chance.  And yes, we do have a weapon – a big stick for the dogs!!

Photos for today follow…

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13 responses to “Rain in Kaş – what better to do than write our one year summary post?

  1. I am off to see Steve P for an eye exam, printed out your post not sure he will have time to read 7 pages. It will give me something to read in the waiting room.
    stay safe

  2. fun facts, cute hair, time flies when you are having fun…stay safe!

  3. Congratulations. Very cool.

  4. Dave & Nancy I have really enjoyed reading your daily posts, so keep on riding and reporting. Thanks!

  5. How has this LWOP year been different than you imagined it would be? What do you miss most? What have you enjoyed most?

    I know I would miss my bed and my cats plus I would get very tired of figuring out where to sleep, what to eat and how to communicate with people when we don’t share a language.

    Nonetheless, it is an amazing experience, even vicariously. Love seeing it through your eyes. You do a helluva job.

    thank you!

    • Dave – Sometimes I miss having a really nice bottle of wine – on the road for a year means you think twice about spending a lot on good wine.  Plus, you don’t know what’s good anyway.  A good Aussie Pinot Noir, perhaps from Tassie would be nice.  (plus I miss seeing our friends and families).

      Dave – Finding a new place to stay every day is hard.  Finding a place to eat never is.  Every meal is an adventure and we both can eat about anything.  So trying new things is easy.  Food has been a real highlight.  I also have enjoyed being so surprised how beautiful some of the places we visited have been.

      Nancy – The thing I missed most has been my own nice clean bathroom.  And my own nice clean bed would be a close second.

      Nancy – I most enjoyed the people, the scenery and the food.  Sometimes all three at the same time, like on the balcony of the Hideaway Hotel in Kas.

      ________________________________

  6. Shirley Asselin(Aubie)

    I have been following your blog for some time now,ever since SE Asia, and enjoying them immensely. I have been to some of the countries you have visited but seen them from a totally different aspect, so I do enjoy the photos and descriptions of spots you have visited and foods you have tried(good for you).
    Keep up the good job and hopefully you will enjoy some nicer weather aas the warmer months approach.
    Aubie

  7. Great summary! I’ll share it with my kids tomorrow.

  8. Melissa Bannan

    Hi Dave & Nancy! Back to check on you today….was cleaning out my emails and saw the one about you guys leave 1 year ago, so was reminded of your anniversary. Wow, what a great post I was greeted by, you are also thinking about your milestones, and how wonderful they are. I am so happy that you are both living your dream, seeing the world together, in your own way, rather than being sponsored by the corporate world. Back here in Oz, it’s the same old same old….Dave I’m sure you can imagine – so you are definitely not missing anything, which I’m sure you already know. Sallie is off on leave with her second baby, probably never to return. Nathan had a sudden and ofcourse unexpected brain haemorrhage (YES! OMG!) in September 2011 and spent a month in Prince Of Wales ICU, it was a very very worrying time. But he is pretty much back to normal (AKA Messy, Immature, Naughtly) after 7 months of recovery and we hope he can return to some kind of work in the coming months. Hopefully soon we will be able to bring a new addition to our family – but nothing yet 

    So when are you guys really going to leap into 2012 and start a facebook group for your blog. You will get a LOT more ‘likes and comments’ as your page will be some much more accessible and user friendly – as we are ALL on facebook at least once a day from our laptops, or I devices. With a blog, I need to remember to go to it…..oh how draining! LOL!

    Wonderful getting your updates today, I have to admit I have been so busy/lazy, that I haven’t checked in a long time.

    Take Care
    Mel xo

    • Thanks for checking Mel.  Facebook may be a ways off.  Just getting a blog done every day is hard.  We’ll look at a photo page – stay tuned. Best wishes to Nathan.

      ________________________________

  9. Melissa Bannan

    One more thing, would love a PHOTO’s link or page, so we can just look at all your pictures 🙂

  10. Hey, you two, congratulations on hitting the one year mark! The year has gone by fast and I absolutely love reading your blogs (I was at least a month behind and am finally caught up) and your pictures are amazing! It’s nice to see that Nancy is getting her cat fix now and then. Keep living the dream!

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