Monday, January 25, 2010

Still alive and kicking

We met my buddies cousins on the port and they welcomed us into their homes. Fantastic people. Warm and friendly. We sat and ate and then we went to church. Romblon was in full party mode because of the Fiesta Senor Santo Nino. Or the feast of the baby Jesus. The Island was discovered by the Spanish. The particular fleet that landed here had as their patron, the baby Jesus. So they imported this to Romblon. Been here ever since. It's celebrated the weekend after new year and goes on for a week. And for a small quaint little island, these Romblomanon can party really hard.

There she is. Romblon.

Janay. Rommel's bro Rogel's youngest son.

Buddy Rommel. Bunk beds on 2 decks. Probably about 300~500 pax capacity. Lucky we had the bunks near the side. Surprisingly comfy.

The ferry didn't look too convincing. This clunker must be at least 30 years old. Also the fact that they sink everytime. Ferry's sink almost on an annual basis. '08, '09. Then there was also the Princess of the stars that sank with over a thousand deaths. All happened within the Sibuyan sea.

The Phillipines!

Went offroad riding in Romblon Island, Romblon (google earth it!) Its a small island. Maybe about 150 clicks in circumference. Getting to Romblon was the kicker. Cebu pacific flight into Clark, Manila then jeepney all the way to Batangas. But wait, I stayed with friends in San Juan DEl Monte, Manila. Took a bus to Batangas the next day. From Batangas, a very restful 14 hour ferry trip to the jewel that is Romblon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

been awhile

Its has been quite a while since the last post. Bout 2 years in between. Lots have happened. Since the africa twin, I've gone thru a kawasaki '03 Z1000, '07 repsol CBR1000RR, 2001 Yamaha TDM 850, and now the Honda '01 X11 (or the naked blackbird) And now eyeing either an MT-01 or the naked CB1000R. All nakeds. The Z1000 did it for me.
I've changed 2 jobs. The present sees me stationed in South Korea. And I also got ROM on 25 March 2008 (coincidentally, 25 March 2007 was the last time I posted here).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang was the best part of this trip to Laos. Very old city. Kept secret for much too long because of the revolutionary war. Fantastic classy place, cosy as well.

  1. Brunch. Oklam (somekind of stew with traditional ingredients. It had a type of root that was pungent and kick in the arse like garlic & ginger), lao beer, lao coffee, mekong river on the side.... fan-bloody-tastic.

Monument to the great Sisavangvong. A great king in the ancient times.
Previously the "government"tried to erase all symbols and evidence of the royal monarchs of days past, but due to overwhelming tourist interest and subsequent revenue, "they " decided to hype things up a bit A little "too little too late"? or a "better late then never"?
Whatever it is, he looks solid.

The Ho Kam museum. Plenty of relics from the past kingdoms, weapons of recent wars, presents from other countries and of course, buddhist relics.

The mighty Mekong

Can never get enough of it. THE MIGHTY MEKONG. The legendary trade route, source of life more like.

School. Worn out & in shambles.

The temples are pristine.

In fact, there are more monks in the temles than children in school. A long chat with the group of understudy's in the pic here revealed that they study up 16 subjects. They are always eager to chat with tourists to improve on their english.

Banyan trees at Wat Aham.

Luang Prabang's main street. There is a seasonal night market. There so much splendid items to be had. trinkets, pottery, weaves, cutlery, jewellery, parts for weapons (found parts, and mostly in advanced state of disintegration... like bullets, magazines, helmets, aircraft wing guns...etc)

Wat Phousi. The most prominent landmark in LP. Bannister of stone snakes, & a shrine to lord Buddha in a cave. Nice.
Wat Phousi at night. Just a lit temp[le floating in the sky.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Luang Namtha thru Oudomxai to Luang Prabang.

Woke up to a surprising chill morning. Surprising for me only. This are pics of the @ in the courtyard if the motel. Its called the Motel Lousymatress&nohotwater.

Belly full.

Luang Namtha main street. Plenty of not much going on. This town is more famous for its natural whatchacallit..uh wonders? anyway this place had a certain vibe... come to think of it..the whole of Lao had a certain vibe. I liked it. I heard that if you misbehave, they shoot you. My kind of place.

On the throttle and headed to Luang Prabang.

Sign ahead says Boten left, Vientienne right. Boten is 18 clicks from the junction at this bridge, the border town to China. haissshhhh.. so close yet so far... next time though.

View from the bridge

The villages along the way. Can see adults and children beside the road, carrying forage stuff from the jungle, ferrying buckets of water, working. Everyone worked. Except the men. All they do is play that game with the big metal balls. Like an extreme version of lawn bowl. And some of the mothers and fathers looked like they were still adolescents them selves..

Somewhere in one of these villages, I stopped to take a pic of the small little children (they are very tiny, like 8 inches tall only) beside the road, doing their thing...they took one look at the big full black from top to bottom monster like machine with all these things stuck to it plus this black suited furry man waving at them to come closer, they promptly ran off in tears.. poor things.

I stopped here to take a call from mother earth. When i came back i saw this vehicle parked behind my bike. Check it out, a mini harvester turned into a hilux. Can drift arh?

Was having lunch here in Oudomxai, when two old beemers pulled up. An older australian gent and his wife. He said he saw the @ and decided to stop to say hello. They had been travelling in the opposite direction as me. He & his wife had been on the road for 6 MONTHS! Started in Australia, island hopped in Indonesia, Rode around in Malaysia, couldnt get into Singapore wiith their Aussie reg bikes (??!) rode thru souththai into cambodia and vietnam and would be soon heading into NEPAL! I fumbled and burbled like a fool. They looked to be in their forties, real uncle and auntie type. Respect mannnn. I still remember he said he rode a 23 year old beemer. And when they fall, they have to help each other up, If they both fall they have to unload their luggage before attempting. I was amazed at them and realised how much of a chicken shit i was in comparison. wish them luck.

Taking a breather here, about 2 hours away from Oudomxai, in the middle of nowhere, not a soul along the way, when I heard this voice say "hello" turned around and theres this caucasian fellow on a frickin bicycle!. I remember his name. Sebastian from France. Had been riding from bangkok. Wished him well. Afterwards noticed quite a few bicyclists... solo, group, young, old. I remember also seeing this other chap....walking for heaven sake! holy buffalo balls! that, is an adventure.

Criss crossed these rivers, tributaries of Nam Mekong, Nam Ou & Nam Xuang.

The Mekong just before Vientienne