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Friday, 6 April 2018

BREAKING THE SILENCE

Hellooooo everyone....
Its been a looong looong time that I had not updated my blog. Its more than a year and my blog had gone rusty. I'm truly sorry. I had been extremely busy from the day I’m back to Malaysia after I’m done with my world ride, and believe it or not, I am still busy to this day!!! Life has changed a lot since then, but no worries, I am still the same Anita :)



So what had I been doing after I’m back? Well, lets do a little throwback. I had attended lots n lots of media interviews (I lost count the number already); giving motivational talks at schools, colleges, universities and events; and I also made several appearances at bike events either organized by local organizers or the brand I’m representing, Givi. I was also invited to be a personality for quite a number of TV programs such as Jurnal Bes, Santai Rider, Positif, Kalori and Yang Pertama, to name a few. To watch them, you can type my name on youtube and the list will be displayed.

As I had mentioned before, Givi had always supported my ride since my very first overland journey in 2012. Givi was also the title sponsor for Global Dream Ride. Hence, with my success in completing the ride, Givi offered me to be their world brand ambassador, which I gladly accepted. The contract was signed on 29th Oct 2016 at MotoGP event, witnessed by Givi Vice President, Miss Hendrika Visenzi, Givi Overseas Operational Manager, Mr Joseph Perucca, Givi Msia Manager, Mr On Hai Swee, and LCR Honda team manager, Mr Lucio Cecchinello. It was a very memorable event for me. It never crossed my mind that I am going to represent an international brand. It felt like I'm in a dream, but its not. By now, I had been Givi ambassador for nearly two years. Thank you Givi.



From left: Givi girl, Mr On, Miss Hendrika, myself, Mr Joseph, Mr Lucio, Givi girl

I would like to share some beautiful moments and recognitions which I got from organizations and important ppl in and outside Msia after I’m back from GDR. Among them were the invitation by the King and Queen of Johor, DYMM Sultan Ibrahim and DYMM Raja Zarith Sofiah. The meet up was held at the royalties official residence, Bukit Serene Palace. I was not aware that the very friendly Queen followed my GDR journey, until she posted on her FB congratulating me for my feat. During the meet up, I managed to have a private chat with the queen for more than an hour, before Prince Tunku Idris joined us, and later, the king himself.  I was truly blessed and honoured to get this opportunity which I reckoned as a once in a lifetime chance. Thank you Your Majesty.

With the King and Queen of Johor Darul Takzim

My GDR was also recognized by Malaysia Book of Records. The title was ‘First Solo Motorbike Ride Around The World’. The event which was sponsored by generous Dato Seri Raja Firdaus, and wife Datin Seri Lisa, was held at the elegant dine house, Flora Terrace. VIP for the day was Dato Seri Mirza Tayyab, the DG of Tourism Msia. Lots of media people, reps from Givi and Hong Leong Yamaha Motor, close friends such as Zana, Sue, Yongsuzi, Lee Panjang, rep fr Lanun Bikerz & LBM and my loyal supporters attended the event. Not forgetting my mom, sister and HE Dato Anne, the ambassadress at Msian Embassy in Tashkent, who hosted me when I reached her town during my GDR. Thank you very much to all.

The cert was presented by Miss Shikin, MBOR rep 
From left: Datin Seri Lisa, Dato Seri Raja Firdaus, Dato Seri Mirza, myself, my mom, HE Dato Anne and my sister


Besides MBOR, my ride was also recognized by Asia Book of Records. The title given was ‘Longest Bike Solo Ride Across The World (Female)’. I was the very first Malaysian who get a title in ABR :) Givi HQ at Bukit Beruntung organized the certificate presentation and a PC with the media.











Other recognitions were given by Red Garage, ‘Ridiculous Mileage 65369km’ during KL Bike Fest 2016; and NVOG, ‘Tokoh Biker Madani’ during Islamic Bike Fest 2017. Thank you :)

In April 2017, I was invited to join 'Ride For Jalil' convoy, a ride to raise fund for Tunku Laksamana Johor Cancer Foundation. The organizer managed to collect more than 300 superbikes from all over the country to join this ride. Whats so memorable about this ride was I'm being selected to be one of the 30 riders in the royal entourage, riding together with Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tunku Abu Bakar :)



With Tunku Abdul Rahman. He;s riding the late Tunku Jalil's bike
With Tunku Abu Bakar


In May 2017, I was invited to give a talk at Horizons Unlimited Annual Meeting which was held at Sumbawa Island, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. The event was organized by Indonesian top adventure rider, Jeffrey Polnaja who rode solo around the world for 9 years, collecting 400k + kms on his belt. Horizons Unlimited was one of my main platforms to ask for information during my ride. The VIP for the event was Ted Simons (Jupiters Travel), legend of the legends, the father of adventure riders. Again, I felt honoured to be at this international event as a speaker, together with other big names such as Mike & Shannon Mills, Norman & Maggie Magowan, Nicole Espinosa and others. I was honoured (and nervous) too bcos my Givi boss, Mr Joseph Perucca flew all the way to watch my presentation despite his busy schedule. Thank you boss & HUI2017.




With my boss, Mr Joseph Perucca
Me and the legendary Ted Simon
From left, 'the man', Jeffrey Polnaja, Maggie, myself & Norman Magowan


Two very big surprises followed suit. I was chosen as one of the Negaraku icons by the Prime Minister Dept and Tokoh Alumni UPSI by the university itself. I was almost into tears, especially for the latter. Its not that easy for a university to give a recognition to someone, especially when the achievement was not academic related. The certificate was given by the minister of higher education, YB Dato's Seri Idris Jusoh. Thank you very much.


Negaraku icons, Dato Soh Chin Aun, myself, Dr Arshil (scientist), Dato Ziana Zain & Dato Rosyam Noor

In Oct 2017, I successfully published my long-awaited book, Global Dream Ride – Andai Ini Takdir Yang Kupilih (If This Is My Chosen Destiny) (Series 1). I put my heart n soul in the writing of this book. Hence many admitted that they cried reading it and they felt as if I'm sitting next to them telling them the story and challenges that I faced before and during the journey. This malay-written book was sold at RM29.90 (Peninsular Msia) and RM35 (Sabah & Srwk). Send me a message at my FB Messenger 

https://www.facebook.com/anita.yusof.5 if you are interested to purchase one. While stock lasts :)





If I were to list out all the activities and events which I attended, its going to take forever for me to finish this post. So I better stop here :)

I closed the year 2017 with an amazing ride to 2nd most beautiful country on earth, New Zealand. The story? Stay tuned.....





Friday, 10 March 2017

PART 19: BACK TO HOME LAND, MALAYSIA

THAILAND (8 - 16 SEPT 2016)




My flight from UB transit in Hong Kong for few hours before the connecting flight with Cathay Pacific Airlines, and I finally arrived Bangkok at 8pm. I took a taxi to a hostel nearby the airport. After all the challenges in GDR, reaching here felt sooo blissful. Everything was easy when almost everyone spoke at least a lil English. Its easy to find my way around, easy to find a suitable place to eat, and easy to find a place to stay. Thailand‘s like my second home and its sooo good to be ‘home’.





I had few days to chillax in Thailand before my bike arrived, so I decided to go to Pattaya for 2 nights. There’re lots of things and sights to see here, but this is not my first time in this sex city so I only enjoyed the halal food (at last) and walked to the walking street at night which was filled with bars, sex businesses and sexy girls dancing at the poles. Well, not my kind of thing actually, so most of the time I prefer to just laze on the beach and watched people. 




I returned to Bangkok by public bus and took the metro to Malaysian Embassy. One of the staff, Miss Aishah, who was linked to me by Madam Nurliza's friend, was kind enough to let me stay at her house even though she was away for vacation. It was the eve of Eid Qurban when I arrived, and I was lucky again that the person who gave me her house key also gave me some Eid delicacies to eat. Mmmmm…..soooo yummy…



Meanwhile, I had been in contact with Thai Yamaha Motor in Bangkok who was linked to me by Mr Lee CW from Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia. They were very thrilled to know that I had arrived and they offered to help. I was informed that the bosses also want to meet me. Since my bike had arrived, the offer to help was like winning a lottery which I couldn’t resist but accept happily. The next morning, Mr Nikhom and Miss Yi came to pick me up. They drove me to the airport to do the bike clearance. 




It wasn’t easy to unite with my baby. Even with Mr Nikhom and Miss Yi to assist me and to be my interpreter, its still not easy, as both of them had zero experience on doing bike clearance. The clearance procedure was disrupted by the greedy staff's attitude at the entrance to the cargo complex which pissed me off. The staff insisted that I take the agent’s service which I declined. He (and the agent) said that its going to take a long time to do the clearance and the process is VERY difficult. I politely rejected the offer especially when the agent asked for THB3000 for his service (excluding the compulsory fees). They kinda forcing me by saying repeatedly its very difficult and refused to give me the FZ pass to enter the cargo complex. I’m beginning to lose my patience. They have no right to force me. I knew the staff will get some kind of commission from the agent if I fall for his 'threats'. Luckily I saw an officer and seek for help. Reluctantly the staff gave me the pass, but 1 hour already wasted for that.


The clearance procedure might not be very straight forward but its not so dead difficult either, only lots of to and fros from one building to another. As usual, the first place to go is the cargo office (Thai Cargo), to get the AWB copy and locate the respective warehouse where GD was kept. Then I had to go to the customs for declaration. Then back to Thai Cargo for documents signing and fees (THB1330 only), then go downstairs at the warehouse for more signatures, locate the crate, inspection, signatures again and walla...I finally got my baby back. 


Since its already late by the time we’re done clearing GD, and its going to take quite some time to assemble the parts which were dismantled from the bike (to make the crate smaller in size), Mr Nikhom suggested that GD being brought back to the HQ on the company’s pickup truck. We were all very tired by then so I agreed to the suggestion. Mr Nikhom then sent me back to Msian Embassy. The next morning, both of them came again to pick me up and brought me to their HQ. Upon arrival, I was surprised to see that GD was done assembled and even the oil had been changed. Woww, that was so nice of them. Remember what I wrote in my previous post? There will surely be someone who will help, so do not worry too much that you're lack of the technical knowledge. All you need to do is to pray that everything will be smooth, and help will find its way to reach you :)

Then it was time for me to meet the bosses. I was given a warm welcome by the management, including Mr Atsumi who recently transferred here from Japan. Mr Atsumi was one of the important YMC Japan person whom Mr Lee CW from Yamaha Malaysia will contact to handle the support that I need during my GDR.





After that Mr Nikhom brought me for a sumptuous Thai cuisine lunch. The tomyam was to die for.



I left early the next day to escape the morning traffic. While riding my bike, I cant help smiling when recalling my first time riding in and out of Bangkok in 2012. The road was sooo heavy with traffic and being a newbie at that time, it was sooo stressful for me. Ever since then, I never want to enter Bangkok anymore. I rather make a big loop every time I want to ride to the east part of Thailand. Now, after all the challenges in GDR, after all the difficulties reading signboards which only have Cyrillic alphabets in Russia, after having to use my own survival skill to navigate my way when my GPS is of no help due to the frozen screen, after riding on scary big highways to enter or exit huge cities such as Seattle, Vegas, San Diego, Lima, BsAs, Ldn, Madrid, Rome, Tehran etc, Bangkok didnt seem so hard or scary anymore. Same goes to their long lorries which scared me most last time. Now, I'm not scared anymore. Its because I had experienced riding (and overtook) by much bigger trucks on I-5 (N & S) in California, which ran at 130kmh the least. Thats to tell how much I had gone through during this one year...


I exited Bangkok without difficulty and head south. It was a breeze when riding on the familiar Highway 4. I experienced baby wind along Prap Khiri Khan to Chumphon and theres lots of road works along this stretch, so one side of the road had to be shared with both. I checked in at a guest house in Chumphon just before a very heavy rain hit the area. 



I didn’t sleep well last night. Perhaps I only managed sleep for one hour. Again, the reason was hate comments thrown to me by readers in the latest article about the success of GDR. It was very sickening to read what they wrote. Even though sleepy, I had 500kms to Dannok to do today. Dannok is a small town at the Thailand – Malaysian border. I cant wait to meet my friends who came all the way from KL to welcome me here, especially my best friend, Zana. I found Paramount Hotel, the hotel where we had agreed that all will stay here for the night. I met some bikers from Lanun Bikerz club, and the President, Jai (who is also Zana’s husband) at the lobby. It was a very hot day today and I felt like fainting, so Jai helped with my checking in and asked me to take a rest in my room. As I made my way to my room, I bumped into my close friends, Sue Rahman, Rosmawati and my bff Zana. It was a teary moment as we all hugged and kissed each other. It was like a dream to meet all my dearies again. I hugged Zana for a very long time. For a minute or so, nothing came from my lips except sobs and cries. We were hugging like a couple deeply in love, but please do not get us wrong. We were the bestest of friends. How I had missed her so much. 


When I finally gained control of my tears and emotion, then only I noticed a figure in the background holding a video cam, capturing every moment of the scene. I heard her calling my name. Her voice sounded very familiar. Who was that? It looks and sounds like Deborah, my host when I was in Temecula. Is that really her? OMG, it was indeed her!!! I could see her hb, Mark standing by the door. OMG, OMG, OMG!!! I was screaming and crying and being emotional again, all at once as I hugged Deb tightly, while Deb just laughed and patted my back and said, “See, you made it. I know you can do it.” All these emotions drained me out very quickly. I just couldn’t believe it was really her. She and Mark flew all the way from USA to Malaysia just to welcome me home. It was unbelievable. I had to pinch myself few times to be sure that all this were real thing and I’m not dreaming. I can never imagine someone would do such thing for me. 


After we’re done with crying, hugging and kissing, it was teasing and laughing again while sitting on the floor of the alley. Ohhh I loved my friends sooo much. 



I met more friends after that, Yongsuzi and her hb, Lee Panjang (who helped to change my expired spark plug...HAHAHA), sis Mira Yaacob, and friends from Lanun Bikerz convoy. It was so nice of them to come more than 500kms from KL to meet me here. We had a nice chat over dinner and I was also interviewed by Thai TV.





FINALLY....MALAYSIA (16 SEPT 2016)


Again as the previous day, I only managed 1 hour sleep last night. No matter how tired I was, I just couldn’t put my eyes to sleep. Too many things distracted my mind. I woke up feeling dizzy, but its my big day today so I forced myself to stay focus. At 9.30am, all of us gathered outside the hotel with our machines and we make a move to the border. I stamped my passport at the Thailand’s immigration new building and surrendered the customs form. Then it was the Malaysian side and I was grinning from ear to ear to see the familiar Bukit Kayu Hitam border post. The customs officers had the privilege to interview me first as I need to get my carnet stamped at their office (as a proof that I had taken my bike back into Malaysia). The custom officers, including the immigrations congratulated me and took pics with me. 



It was still early before call time, so all of us stopped for a while next to the immigration building. More bikers from Lanun and northern Yamaha FZ joined us. Jai gave instructions that 20 bikes will escort me while the rest will enter the venue first and wait for our arrival. Some of my fans and followers had been waiting for me since morning so they took the opportunity to take pics with me too. I felt like a superstar. HAHAHA sesekali, jangan marah yaa :)


At 11am, those who escorted me marched into the police station with our bikes (the place where Givi put up tents for my home coming event), with me taking the lead. While riding GD, my heart throbbed so fast and my eyes watered to see how grand was the welcome given by Givi Malaysia and my supporters who lined alongside of the road. Camera flashes blinded my eyes as the reporters (lots of them) tried to get the best shots. I was greeted by the State Assemblyman and Givi Malaysia Managing Director, Mr On Hai Swee. Too bad that Mr Joseph Perucca, Givi Overseas Operational Director, the one among very few who believed in me since the very beginning and never had any doubt of my ability, and also Edwin, Givi staff who put lots of effort for the home coming preparation, couldn’t be here during this special moment. Friends and biker friends from Lady Bikers Malaysia came to hug me, including my dear friend Mastura who came with her hb Ajax and their kids. I noticed not less than 60 big bikes parked at the venue and approximately 100 people gathered in and outside the tent. It all happened too fast and again I felt as if I’m in a dream.







After a series of speeches (which was interrupted by the arrival of my kids and the emotional hugging and tears scene again), media interviews, live TV phone call, and photo session with fans, friends and Givi team who worked very hard to organize the event, I made a move to my home town Ipoh, which was 300kms away.






Again, I was taking the lead with 10 bikers from Lanun trailing behind. They accompanied me to my mom’s house. My mom was not feeling well, so she couldn’t be at the border for the home coming event. Surprisingly, there were also reporters waiting at my mom’s house. It seemed that my GDR has sparked a phenomenon in the country.




I remembered the day when I left my country one year back. Not a single media write about me. What more to have any journalist send me off at KLIA. It was a very quiet and simple send off among friends. Sadly one year later, there were even some of them who sent me off last time didnt seem keen to be my friend any longer for only they-know-what reason.  And not just that, there were also lady biker friends whom I used to be so close with them before the ride, now they are drifting apart. I wonder why? I wonder why? What had I done wrong?


Tiredness, the lack of sleep and repeatedly emotional moments are taking its toll on me. By the time I hugged my mom and my sister, I can only shed tears of happiness. I thanked God for keeping me safe during my journey and allowed me to come home safely. After all the challenges in GDR when there were countless of times that I thought I am not going to meet my family again, its hard to believe that today, I am back into the arms of my loved ones. 




With that, my GDR has now come to an end. Million thanks to Givi Malaysia for organizing a wonderful home coming event for me. A very memorable event for me to cherish forever in my life. Thanks to all individuals who has given a hand and came to celebrate my victory day, especially Deb and Mark who came all the way from USA. My special thanks also go to my sponsors, Givi Msia, Givi SRL Italy, Hevik, and Hong Leong Yamaha Motor. Also many thanks to my family, Lanun Bikerz, LBM, Dato Raja and Datin Yan, all my hosts, donors, friends, fans and followers for the support and prayers throughout my ride. May Allah pays all of you for your help and kindness. 


All memories of blood, sweat, pain and tears in GDR is now a history not only to me, but to my country as well, for me being the first Muslim woman who rode solo around the world. GDR is not just a ride to enjoy seeing the world, but it’s a spiritual journey to correct negative perspective about Islam. And the road is my best teacher from where I learned a lot about life and people. I came back now a different person. Again, a much better person….for my people, my beloved country and my religion…..



A journey of 1001 stories…..


THE END OF RIDE



Wednesday, 8 March 2017

PART 18: MONGOLIA, THE LAND OF BLUE SKIES

MONGOLIA (28TH AUG – 8TH SEPT 2016)



I woke up feeling dizzy as I only managed two hours sleep last night due to lots of things playing in my mind. After checking out of the guesthouse, I exited Ulan Ude. I need to cover 600kms to reach Ulan Bataar. I was feeling so down this morning so I’m not focusing on the road, thus I made lots of navigating mistakes. Besides, for god-knows-what reason, my GPS was directing me to go north instead of south. It was a waste of time having to turn back. After going in circles for approx 30mins, I managed to get back on track. The road heading to the border was quiet and this let my disturbed mind to wander. Too many thoughts, sadness and frustrations. What had I done to deserve all this from my own people, especially from my own race and same religion? I don’t have the answer. Thank god that fifty kms after Ulan Ude, the view started to get better, a lil bit like Kyrgyzstan. This shifted my troubled mind and I stopped for pics at Lake Gusinoye.





I continued via A340 to the border town, Khyagt - Altanbulag. It was a very small border but the procedure took so long time. I spent almost 3 hours for both border crossings. At both borders, I need to show my passport and GD’s registration papers for 4 times. I was a bit worried as I only registered myself (as a foreigner in Russia) twice, within my almost 1 month stay in Russia. Luckily the officer didn’t say anything. At the Mongolian side, getting insurance is mandatory. I purchased one for MNT18, 250. 


It was already 4pm by the time I leave the border and head south to Ulan Bataar. The road was so-so and some were quite bad, narrow and single lane only. I must hurry or else I wont be able to reach UB before it gets dark. However, there were lots of vehicles at certain stretches, and I must also be careful due to the livestock eating grasses very close to the road. It was quite a stressful ride for me.


I arrived UB when the sun already set. Fortunately, I didn’t face any difficulty to find Kelvin’s house. Kelvin is my host in UB and he’s a successful Malaysian living in UB for already 20 years. He had a very nice beautiful house and both he and his Mongolian wife, Ochgi welcomed me with a nice smell of nasi lemak coming from the kitchen. What a relief after a looonggg 13 hours otr without any rest nor food. We chatted over dinner and the nasi lemak tasted soooo good. Thanks to both of you.

Nasi Lemak in Mongolia lah


The next morning I followed the couple to their office. Kelvin is the sole distributor for Gano Coffee. Besides that, this couple also ran few other businesses including doing customized tour and two wheels tour around Mongolia. Kelvin also owned a ger stay at Golkhi Terej National Park which I’m going to visit later. 




I told Kelvin that I want to pose in front of Ulan Bataar sign and he brought me to the sign. While posing with a Malaysian flag at the sign, I heard someone greeted me. Guess who is it? Auwww, she was Siti Noridah Et, a Malaysian famous solo backpacker who just started her silk road trip. We had been FB friends for couple years but never met before. It was a nice surprise to meet her here in UB. (Psssttt Et & Kelvin, shhhhhh :D )

It was Merdeka Day when we pose with Msian flag at this sign


I asked Et about her plans in Mongolia and co-incidentally, both of us wanted to visit Khovsgol Lake. A fast plan was made and I decided to be a backpacker this time. Kelvin sent us to the bus terminal and we purchased our bus ticket for tomorrow’s journey. 

The next morning, Mr Tserendug, my air freight agent came to meet me at Kelvin’s house. He measured GD and gave me a quotation. It was very expensive, more than USD2000. Mongolian air freight system obliged all cargos to be crated, hence the high price. Unlike my previous experience where my bike was fixed to a wood pallet only, this time, GD has to be put in a crate. In order to reduce the price, Mr Tserendug suggested that I dismantle both tires and the top box bracket or be prepared to pay the high price. I had to agree to his suggestion, but in my mind, I was worried about fixing it back later. Ahhh, worry about that later, I told myself. Lack of knowledge in the technical aspect is not a big issue. There will definitely someone who could help. So for the time being, lets enjoy Mongolia and what it has to offer.


Before departing to the bus terminal, I busied myself finding cheap flight to fly to Bangkok (after I’m done with my Mongolian sightseeing). I found some cheap flights but I need to transit and change terminal in China airports. This worried me as I didn’t have a Chinese visa. I didn’t want to face problems so I had to buy a more expensive ticket and flying via Hong Kong instead. After making the online purchase, Kelvin sent Et and me to the bus terminal. It was quite a search to find the bus as the terminal was very unorganized. There was no platform and there were lots of buses which destination was written solely in Cyrillic alphabet. After asking around, we managed to find the bus. It didn’t depart on time, not a surprise for me. The driver played very loud music inside the bus. We took the same route from the way I rode from the other day before reaching UB. The bus made a left turning at Baruunkharaa. 




Mongolia is sooo beautiful. It has similar weave rolling hills like in Kyrgyzstan but its more yellow here. Perhaps due to the upcoming autumn. I could see more animals here too and they are not afraid of humans and vehicles at all. Some horses even feast themselves with grasses just next to a busy road, something which is difficult to see in other nomadic countries. Yaks too, and they are in large numbers here. The sky is sooo blue and people are friendly and always smiling. 




Finally, we arrived Murun after a not so comfortable longgg 15 hours drive. It was 6am and very cold. A local girl approached us and offered transportation to Khovsgol Lake, but we need to rest at her guest house first while she searched for two more people to fill up the car. We agreed and was taken to the guest house to rest while waiting. We were served hot tea which was very nice.


Around 9am, the girl knocked on our door. She managed to find two more people to share the car. We drove via A1101 road to Khovsgol Lake which was very scenic. The road was long, winding and very deserted. We stopped few times for pics and to enjoy beautiful Egiin River flowing peacefully down the valley.





The other two passengers get down at Mankhan while Et and I continued to the lake. The paved road disappeared and was replaced by offroad for about 30kms. There were some inclines and declines and I kinda regretting not taking GD with me. After about 1 hour of slow drive, the blue Khosgol Lake emerged from the horizon. It was very beautiful. The driver drove us around to find accommodation but since it was off season, very few options were left for us. After bargaining, we settled down at one which offered MNT35000 per cabin with breakfast. 




It was a good choice and we stayed here for 3 nights, just chillaxing and enjoying the blue serene lake. Indeed a very good place to find inspiration to write :)





However, the weather was not very good on the 3rd day. It was very cold and raining at times. Thus we couldn’t laze by the lake and boredom started to take over as theres no entertainment here at all. Theres no TV and wifi signal from the simcard which Kelvin lent to me was very slow. Electricity for lights came from the solar panel and we had to burn woods traditionally in the oven to heat up our cabin. Against all odds, both of us still managed to go for a walk in the woods after the rain stopped, but not for long as its freezing cold.





I said goodbye to Et as I’m going back to UB and she will stay for a while in Murun to find transportation to venture deeper into Mongolia and later to Kazakhstan. It was a very boring 15 hours journey on the bus as the person who sat next to me (and same to everyone else in the bus) couldn’t speak a word of English. Kelvin fetched me at the bus terminal and we returned to his home. The next day, I send my bike to Mr Tserendug’s garage near the airport. Kelvin lead the way so I had no difficulty to find the place. 




My actual plan is to fly GD from Vladivostok, but through my research, I found out that its not possible because Vladivostok's airport is small. So GD has to be flown out from UB instead. Since theres no cargo flights from UB, GD will be flying with a commercial flight, which means that the cost will be higher. In order to reduce the air freight fees, I had to dismantle almost everything so that the package size is smaller and wont cost me a bomb. During my previous freighting experience, GD had only very minor dismantling. However this time, I watched Kelvin and Mr Tserendug worked on the bike, and get involved until everything was done, including drying the fuel tank. I learned a lot in the process. The final costing for air freighting GD (in a crate) from UB to Bkk is USD1700. Imagine how high is the price if I didnt make the package smaller. GD will fly on the 9th and myself on the 8th of Sept. See u in approx a week time, baby. I’m going to miss you :’(




I spent my last days in Mongolia visiting Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, which is a must visit place in Mongolia. It is not very far from Ulan Bataar, only about 70kms. This place is famed for its beautiful and unique rock formations, amazing views and definitely its spectacular milky way up in the heavenly sky. Since I no longer have GD with me (already left it under Mr Tserendug’s care), Kelvin was kind enough to drive me to the place. We stopped for pics at Genghis Khan Statue Complex (Tsonjin Boldog) and by the roadside to admire the pride of Mongolia, the eagles.






Then we continued to the National Park. I stayed two nights at Magic Rock Camp inside the park, which was owned by Kelvin. I really loved this place as it was very quiet. It was located at the end of the road, so one can enjoy the serenity without any disturbance. During my stay here, I could also see wild squirrels and marmots. The ger (Mongolian tent) here was very comfy and the toilet (they have western type toilets) were the cleanest in the whole of Mongolia. Seriously spotless, something which was difficult to find in this country. The concept at this camp was traditional but with high western standards. 



The small hill near Magic Camp which you can climb 


The food served here was very delicious. Since Kelvin is a Malaysian, he understood the need for halal food for Muslims and he could arrange that too. I feasted myself with delicious BBQ lamb which he made himself. 




At night, the spectacular milky way will definitely blow your mind away. This place was indeed a million stars heaven and strongly recommended.





Kelvin also took me for sightseeing around the park. I saw lots of beautiful rock formations around the area. The yellow grassland, the blue skies and the animals scattered around made this place seemed like heaven to me. Soooo beautiful.






To those who want to experience staying at Magic Camp, you can contact Kelvin at his Facebook, 
https://www.facebook.com/kcwchong74?fref=ts


On my last day in UB, I visited the famous square, Genghis Khan Square. Since it was a beautiful day, there were lots of people around. I took some time to just laze here and tried to imagine Genghis Khan and his troops during the former golden days.


Finally, it was time for me to say goodbye to my wonderful hosts, Kelvin and Ochgi. I hugged Ochgi in the wee hour of the morning before Kelvin send me to the airport and we parted goodbye. I have had a very memorable stay in Mongolia and GD’s air freight task had been done smoothly and successfully – all with their kind help. Thank you both of you for the hospitality which I will remember forever.


As the Mongolian Airlines aircraft took off from the runaway, I whisper silently in my heart. Bye2 Mongolia. Bye2 Uncle Genghis. I'm going to miss you. I know that you are going to haunt my dreams after I'm back home. And the more frightening to me is to realize that GDR is going to end very soon. Yes, very soon. Can I cope? Can I adapt to being back to normal routine after been living a life on the road for a year? I’m afraid to even to think of it…..





NASTIA

Band: NASTIA, Title: ANGGUR (taken from EP 'EKSPRESI')
HAK CIPTA ANITA YUSOF