Despite supreme optimism on my part, the bike still managed to miss the plane on Wednesday. It “should” be on the plane today (Friday) and here in Kathmandu on Saturday. Then the fun begins trying to extract it from the airport. After the super-modern, space-age Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Tribhuvan airport here in Kathmandu is like stepping back into the 70’s.
The Kathmandu Guest House is a veritable sanctuary compared to the chaos that is the streets of Kathmandu. This was made worse by the fact that all the public buses were on strike yesterday in response to the new constitution that is being released in about 10 days time. Lots of roads closed and general mayhem. This presented a golden opportunity for the taxi drivers to double or even quadruple fares from the airport to the city.
Internet access is fairly cheap but very intermittent and unreliable. Have tried uploading some photos but takes far too long, even with low resolution.
I will spend the next few days playing tourist until I can get back on two wheels and the odometer on the right will start ticking over (many thanks to Laurence).
The hole in the plane waiting for my bike.
Well, at least one of us made to the airport on time. Still no final word from QANTAS about the bike. Boarding in about 40 min. Maybe I might see the bike being loaded from the viewing deck.
Have just heard back from QANTAS Courier. The bike will be flying to Bangkok on the same flight as I am. Hopefully it will be on the same flight to Kathmandu as well. Tomorrow is the big day. Twelve hour stopover in Bangkok, then on to Kathmandu. All very exciting/nerve-wracking at the moment!
Spent a very entertaining afternoon at Brisbane Airport freight precinct trying to get all the necessary bits of paper to put the bike on a plane bound for Kathmandu. If you ever want to do this yourself, you MUST talk to a gentleman called Mal Miller at QANTAS Courier – they handle personal freight. Do not contact QANTAS Freight – they are a separate branch of QANTAS and only handle commercial freight. Mal is extremely knowledgeable and efficient, and a nice guy as well. He has shipped many private motorcycles overseas for overland travellers. You will also need to get a “Dangerous Goods Declaration”. The DG Declaration will cost $143 from a company called Dangerous Goods Management (DGM). The guy in charge is called Steve Turner. Like Mal, Steve has also helped freight many motorcycles overseas and he is extremely helpful. These two guys can get you sorted out in about one hour. Do not, under any circumstances, talk to anybody else. Otherwise, you will spend a couple of hours running around in circles, as I did, trying to follow useless instructions from people who don’t know what is required.
The contact details for Mal and Steve are on the Links page.
So, hopefully the bike will be on a plane to Kathmandu on Monday (May 14) and I will follow on Wednesday (May 16).
Let the adventure begin!
Had the last visit to the quack yesterday. I am now vaccinated against rabies, typhoid and cholera along with a booster for tetanus – to go along with the Hep A and Hep B shots from previous trips. Just have to finish packing the bike and it’ll be time on Monday to hit the road for Brisbane and the Qantas International Freight Terminal.
*Apologies to Neil Young
The best motorcycle mechanic in North Qld. Nev Watson from West End Motorcycles in Townsville.
Picked up the bike today from the workshop. Feels like new – almost! It is 20 years old after all. Too bad it rained today for the first time in months! Now it’s time to start packing. Only 10 more sleeps until I ride to Brisbane.
Finally received my carnet from the RACQ/AAA on Monday. Have now got all the bits of paper I need to start my trip. There’s only one small thing missing – my bike! It is still at the workshop. Hopefully we will have it finished tomorrow so I can start packing the bike.
Finally I have all four visas (Nepal, India, Pakistan and China) that I can get before I leave Australia. Not as difficult as I thought it was going to be – just time-consuming and expensive – about $100 each! Just waiting on the carnet de passage from RACQ/AAA. Should be here next week – fingers crossed! All I need now is a bike. All the work should be finished by Friday. But may be Monday or Tuesday of next week.
Welcome to my blog. On 16th May I will leaving Australia to fly to Kathmandu to start my trip around the world by motorcycle. Initially, I will be travelling through Nepal and India to Lahore and Islamabad in Pakistan.
I will staying in Islamabad for about 2-3 weeks while I apply for the next batch of visas and permits