Monthly Archives: May 2012

Kelly the Kettle.


My Kelly Kettle arrived today. It’s fab!

I’m not really into cooking outdoors unless I have to, but I do want to be able to boil water for Tea (and to purify it). I looked at loads of different cookers and stoves etc., and good as they are they all have one common downside. They all need fuel. I don’t want to have a decent cooker but no meths, or gas, or whatever. I saw these kettles, also called storm kettles, in a shooting magazine ages ago and thought ‘what a good idea’.

No-where in Melbourne stocks these, so I got one direct fro Patrick Kelly himself in Ireland. Shipped to my door with the optional cooking pots (‘cos you never know!). It was late and raining but you know how it is with new toys, I just had to try it. I also didn’t want to travel with a virgin kettle, that just wouldn’t do now would it? It took a while to get the fire built, but from lighting to boiling was 3 minutes. Now that’s impressive!

Tea anyone?



Well there you go. Another step closer to going, but a sad day indeed. My lovely Royal Enfield Bullet has been sold to a guy named Keith in Newcastle. I do hope he looks after it. It’s a little Gem of a bike, I’ve spent every Saturday for a year dicking about with it and it’s spot on. Goodbye my friend.

The money will go towards the China leg of the trip, I just have to work out how to pay for the rest now!

I’m still being Badgered to ride across Australia to Dawrin, then fly to Bali and take in all the little islands on the way to Singapore. The more I hear about it, the more doable it seems. Time to talk to some more freight companies…..

Veggi Bike Man!


I met up with Harry Lyon-Smith this evening, what a riot we had! Harry has ridden here from England on a Diesel Royal Enfield, running on vegetable oil! The Royal Enfield club caught wind of his escapades and instantly made him an honoury member. (Even though it goes before the club motto “Thrift before honour!”). Here’s Harry’s Blog:

I managed to have a long chat about all kinds of travel requirements, about routes, borders and costs etc.. Food for thought is skipping through Azerbijan into Turkey and up through Greece, rather than across Russia. One recurring theme seems to be the temperatures in elevated China and Russia, especially at that time of year.

Harry continues on tomorrow and I doubt we’ll meet again, as he’s heading to Queensland via the coast – then Canada, America and down into Chile. Maybe in England one day?
Either way, Veggi Bloke – I salute you!

Moto Guzzi Owners Club.


I called in to see the MG owners club last night, they seem like a good bunch. I’d borrowed the special tools to extract the fork seals and remove the forks from Joe, thanks Joe! I now have new headset bearings fitted, all greased and adjusted. I joined the club, even though I’ll only be here for 3 months. I figured I might need some assistance or expert advice prior to my departure. Unfortunately it’s on the same night as the Royal Enfield owners club, who have been helpful beyond words – particularly with getting my Guzzi registered on club plates. I decided I’d fit new rings while the bike is apart, here’s a pic of me checking the gaps – in the Kitchen no less!

A letter from China!


I just had word from a specialist travel guide in China. The good news is that is IS possible to make the trip across China. There has to be a set itinerary and route, which cannot be diverted from – but you do get to choose that for yourself. The guides have provided me with a full breakdown, which is the entire route I requested with minor changes. That part of the trip will take 27 days on the road. (26 nights in hotels). The detours are to visit recommended sites such as the Terracotta Army, which I guess if you’re passing you may as well see, right?

Of course it’s not cheap, but it does include all the paperwork, licences, visas, bike transit, planning and an English speaking guide. In just a couple of emails the hardest part of the trip has turned into the easiest (for me), if I justify the cost. Up for debate at the moment, but when you break it down it’s both do-able and reasonable. I just have to put the rest of the budget together and see. Plan A comes a step closer!!!