844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Leaving Las Ubud (Bali, Indonesia)

For and updated version of this post, go here. 

Feb 27th, 2009 - I need to get the hell out of Ubud but this place has seduced me. It is like a tranquilizer. Time has no significance. I did not realize how long it had been since my last update. Somebody save me (Actually, don't!). Meeting an attractive German woman does not exactly stimulate my motivation to perambulate. Go figure. What can I say? Waking up is a challenge and requires at least one nap to compensate me for my trouble.

I did manage to drive to Denpasar today to get supplies for my motorcycle. I've mentioned the traffic so I won't go there. It is amazing how something seemingly so simple, like trying to find a cover for my bike in a country with 1.3 bazillion motorbikes, could turn into a search for the Lost City of Gold. You would think that a Honda motorcycle dealership would sell accessories for motorcycles, right? Nuh-uh. Or maybe they would at least know where to find said accessories? Nuh-uh. I might as well as ask where to find spare parts for the Cassini spacecraft.

I did manage to find what I was looking for in the most obvious place: ACE Hardware Store. Duuuuuhhhhh. It is true what they say: ACE really is the place for your helpful hardware man. Huh. It was dazzling. In addition to motorcycle accessories they had everything you need to complete that home improvement project you've been putting off. Being in there made me want to build shit.

The staff was ridiculously helpful. I've mentioned how nice the people in Bali are in general. Well, multiply that by six and slap an ACE Hardware uniform on them and you have what I experienced today. I was attempting to replace the tool kit that was supposed to come with my bike. When it comes to tools I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground. My mechanical disinclination is almost perverse. Thankfully, Budha (my personal ACE hardware assistant) gave me a a helping hand. He even brought tools outside to my bike to make sure they were correct. I had questions. He had answers. It made me want to buy things I don't need just so I could spend time with the staff.

A word on the tools. I am one. I bought them because I thought they might come in handy. Generally speaking the motorcycle engine might as well be a superconductor as far as my ability to fix anything goes. I did manage to find the owner's manual for the Honda Phantom in English online. I am working under the delusion that I will be able to step up when the shit hits the proverbial fan. Keep you posted on that one.

I am within days of breaking free of the Balinese spell.....maybe. I will be headed to the island of Lombok where I will, among other things, climb Mt. Rinjani (another volcano). I will be continuing east and visiting other islands of Nusa Tenggera for about a month, give or take. One of the highlights will be Komodo Island where I will hopefully mud wrestle a Komodo Dragon. Cross your fingers.

It is amazing how I do not really do much from day to day but the time drifts by expeditiously and , more importantly, enjoyably. Preparing for this motorcycle trip has been liberating. Even though I know this whole thing is a tad heedless just making the attempt is extremely gratifying. Yesterday, I just decided I was going to drive around until I found what I was looking for no matter how frustrating it might be. It turned out to be great. I know that disaster and the potential for throwing away a substantial sum lies around every corner but even if that occurs the sacrifice will be worth it . . . . I think. Doing shit like this can really make you feel alive. And you don't have to be on tropical island to feel this way (although it helps). Do I sound like Jiminy Cricket?

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'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim