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Showing posts from March, 2011

How difficult can it be?

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This week I discovered something that I definitely cannot do. I cannot drive a motorbike. I cannot even nearly drive a motorbike – even an automatic. Despite the fact that shy 14 year old girls in every country we have visited manage it with no problem, it was beyond me. We spent a couple of days on the island of Pangkor and, with our friends from Red Boomer II decided to hire motorbikes and drive around the island. Scott and the boys had explored the island this way before and he had proclaimed it a 'piece of cake' as Pangkor has few cars and is quiet. So Jane and I decided to have a go. We didn't exactly tell the lady hiring the bikes that we couldn't drive, but decided to go to a quiet lane round the corner and practice. How hard could it be? Well, both of us found ourselves unable to turn, wobbly and barely in control. It was when I was giggling on the dirt verge of the road, unable to go forward or turn, that the lady of the bike hire place came around the corner …

Stocking up and heading South

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Our week or so in Langkawi was spent in the usual frantic, sweaty, expensive exercise of re-stocking the boat. We had to top up our stocks of tinned and dry food, bread flour, cleaning goods, meat, cheese, alcohol, fuel and the inevitable chocolate rations. In Langkawi, as in many places in this part of the world, the places to buy the above goodies are spread out across ten kilometres of streets and
laneways. People on boats talk to each other about where the essentials can be found – from hardware to Parmesan cheese – and pass on information about treasure troves. I was excited to find a bakers' wholesaler with a cool room full of wonderful flour and other delights. The owner was clearly a man who knew his farino and was very happy to be finding the best grain flour for me in his Aladdin's Cave. Bought bread is available, but is white and sweet – as you can imagine the boys love it! A dinghy is only so big and once we have loaded ourselves up with that day's selection …