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AUGUST 2008... We are re-visiting these pages, with a view to updating them... Our original feelings were written mainly in a tent or a camp ground... Rarely were we able to sit comfortably and think through these writings

Hi all, Lee and I thought we would share our impressions, feelings, “personal” changes, outlook, priorities, etc. that cannot “really” be quantified, but, that were generated by our first six months on the road. Well here goes, in no particular order..

This is clearly a work in progress... It must be obvious, that attempting to quantify a momentous event in ones life, within two or three pages, is impossible... I will – when time permits – re-visit these pages, modify and update the content. My hope is to pass on our experiences to anyone interested in human growth, via the self imposed challenges, brought about by change.

IMPRESSIONS (written by Mal)

My impressions of Australia has been one of awe... I love this country, even as a young child in England, I read everything I could about it's people, landscape, history etc... “Yalbow” or Hello... From a dying language in the Carnarvon area of “our” state, WA. Sad, but last I heard only about 500 speakers left... In the early eighties I made a feeble attempt to learn to communicate in the central desert language.. I found nothing written (I am aware it is now documented). I was amused by the laughter of children in a “Boys Home” that laughed a lot when calling one of their minders “papa” - I later learned it meant dog :-)

Meeting with our Aboriginal Cousins has been mixed.... Some with extreme views such as get rid of all “invaders” and leave us alone... it was sad to see such “all consuming” hatred... for a goal that is (and should be) totally unattainable. I chose not to write these meetings in my Journal (Days, Dates can identify a person(s) ) – not because I am a convert to political correctness......... Far from it “My” country is still a bastion of free speech... with it though, comes responsibility.... It is the latter I was exercising. I do not want to cite example after example... as it is not productive. I hope with all my heart that a compromise can be found that will allow Aboriginals to lead a productive, fulfilling, life of meaning and dignity – amongst us, not along side us.

Ridding through our land we saw the terrible effects of drought. A burnt landscape, stock in various states of malnutrition. Wildlife struggling; towns barely surviving and towns that have gone under. We saw too, parts that had not been effected e.g.. Esperance Shire and southern parts of Victoria. We experienced the kindness of people that were obviously feeling the effects of a rural economy that was/is clearly suffering...

Christmas Dinner in Cleve on the Eyre Peninsular is a classic example, an absolutely humbling experience, to be invited into the home of a complete set of strangers and leaving like one of the family.

The offers of a place to stay in so many parts of the world is just overwhelming.. this too is humbling. The “goodness” of the majority of people we met, strengthened us for the minority of “bastards” that we came across.

Roads need upgrading in many parts of the Australian countryside.. It is disconcerting to see the marked disparity between states... One must ask the question “is this one country”? The duplication between States must surely be at stupid levels. I am at a total loss to understand the logic here. However, to add infrastructure, such as world class roads – to a continent – is an expensive job with just 20,000,000 Twenty million people paying taxes.

Water has finally been forced into the public arena with PM Howard's $10,000,000,000.00 (Ten Billion) proposal.. The political fighting will now begin... followed by – one hopes – a cohesive set of solutions outside political considerations.

To be continued....


They are adequate for the most part, and differ slightly, state by state, Personally I feel one set of rules for one country should be the goal. Again the duplication must be costly and for the average “Joe Blow” completely unnecessary. Penalties need addressing and solutions sought and found. Currently all States focus on the punitive approach, when it comes to enforcing road rules... it is done this way because it works and is easy.

Punitive measures are not used on most burglars, car thieves or those that assault us, because we listen to idiots with degree's. The “idiots” methods clearly do not work.

Tasmania is an example of the “why” we need a standard when building roads, they are atrocious throughout this state.

To be continued....


I can only speak for myself here! My feelings have changed on a lot of fronts. I have been confronted with extremes of kindness and abuse. There is an underlying selfishness prevalent in our society that I had not observed before. It does not apply to everyone of course, in fact it does not apply to the majority of people I have met, but, the number is significant. “Road Rage” appears to be epidemic, with Tassie being by far the worst State - so far.

Queue's at washing machines, dryers, toasters, kettles, etc.. etc.. in Caravan parks can cause major upset as the selfish try to bully their way in. Some grudgingly tolerate it, others fly into a rage (we have never been at the receiving end of either). It is sickening to watch.

Conversely, in Devonport, one Lady put an extra two dollars in our dryer, because our clothes were not completely dry when the cycle finished. We had to insist she got reimbursed, such is the kindness of some. The incredible kindness of those with the least to give, is the most humbling.

The loss to humankind of the Tasmanian Aboriginal had a profound effect on me! Much deeper than I could possibly have imagined. I am unable to quantify my feelings as I am overwhelmed by them... I will try at some future date..

I have a new respect for our environment, it's plants and it's beautiful animals. I have also developed a deep sense of sadness at the plunder and carnage of and in our land.

Conservation now has a new meaning for me, as do environmental issues. We can save the Whale by stopping Whaling but if we continue to eat over 90% of it's food (Krill) it will starve to death.

Our environment requires an understanding of the applicable synergy. Sustainable “whatever” must have the dollar removed and the synergies considered, IF we are going to provide future generations with sustainability. For example: Bio-fuels are a great alternative to fossil fuel's, but greed will kill millions of people as farmers plant these lucrative crops rather than food crops. Without global rules, it WILL be disastrous and not just to the third world, indeed to all humankind.

To be continued....


I feel I have experienced many changes since our journey began. Physically these are rather obvious, I was “Morbidly Obese” when I started peddling, I have left a lot of kilo's on the road behind me. I am much fitter than I was and can sustain a “cadence” of about 80-90 RPM for up to 8 or 9 hours with a 70kg load on the bike. There are other changes too – mental outlook, etc.. which I prefer not to expose my personal dynamics. Suffice to say I am much more serene that I have been for some time. I suspect exercise stimulates endorphins and perhaps assists with serotonin levels, I am no expert here.

Priorities change, day by day.. We no longer have the comforts we had before we started. At first it was tough adjusting... after all I am 60 next year and at first, found it difficult getting up off the floor or in and out of a very low tent. Now it is done without thinking.

Sleeping on our “mats” IS comfortable and in some ways better than the bed we used. I no longer need a chair and no longer get backache from sitting on the floor for extended periods. I am looking forward to dispensing with my pillow... whilst I still use one, I find sometimes when I wake, it has not been in use. An alternative I have recently explored, is to use my clothing bag as a pillow... It is airtight and waterproof.. Just need a soft cover of some type?

Water has taken on new respect.. It is something we constantly monitor... It is also a constant juggling act between weight and what is sufficient for our needs, in our constantly changing circumstances. Food too is a juggling act, we have both become opportunists when fresh fruit or veggies are available. We eat a fair bit (increasing) of wild fruit, berries, mushrooms, plants and leaves, when we get the chance. Our diet would be pretty bland if we relied only on dehydrated foods for our needs. ANYONE that can recommend a good book on native Australian foods will be much appreciated. I would love to extend my meagre knowledge.

To be continued....


Both my and Lee's outlook on life has taken a huge turn around... I sincerely hope we can continue peddling for the foreseeable future. I am also a realist and I know we are on shaky ground with our financial plan. We are way outside our comfort zone. I suspect the economic circumstances will not favour us in the relatively short term say the next couple of years, without a great deal of luck... (Update Aug 2008) Of course the luck was not to be found.. The world financial markets are in a power dive as are house prices..... I fear it will get worse for a LOOOONG time, before it crawls back to last years levels.

We will of course take every legal and reasonable step to prolong this way of life. We are constantly looking for opportunities and will grasp enthusiastically those that we can turn to our advantage. So if you want me to run your computer shop in Britain/Germany/Istanbul for a few months, whilst you take that holiday... We can work it out...

To be continued....


The second six months started April 22nd 2007. We were in Perth waiting for Lee's Australian Citizenship to finalise, after 7 long years waiting and filling in countless forms. It finally happened on the 27th April 2007. Lee received her Australian Passport on the 1st May 2007 and we were in the air on our way to Britain on the 5th May. Our reason for suspending our Australian circumnavigation was because Mal's Mother had developed an aggressive form of Cancer. From the 6th of May to the 20th of August – the day she passed away, we spent most days with Mal's Mum. I feel privileged to have been able to spend time with my Mother during her final months, days and hours... and was at her bedside during her passing.

Whilst in England we cycled the paths of the Canal system and the hills of Parbold plus around Wigan. We also went with my Sister Denise and her husband Frank to campsites in England and Wales... Never for more than two nights despite Mum insisting we go further.

England is the land of Mal's birth. He spent his formative years there. He left the family home at age 15 never to return - to live.

I spent 8 years in the Royal Navy. Many of my shipmates from when we joined in 1964, still keep in contact. One disappointing thing for me during my long visit to the UK was being unable to catch up with Ron Dorey... To a large extent Ron is the anchorman for the “messmates” from Benbow 29 Mess, HMS Ganges... If you ever read this Ron, I WILL catch up with you one day. (Update) we caught up with Ron and Carol and spent an all too short time with them... Pictures can be accessed from our main page

Lee's ethnicity is clear – she is 100% Thai. My ethnicity on the other hand is not so clear. On my Fathers side it appears I am of English Decent. On my Mothers side, my Grandfather was born in Scotland and my Grandmother is a Corrigan of Irish decent. To my knowledge there are No Welsh in my lineage. This type of mix, is not unusual given the history's of both Britain and Ireland.


We re-commenced cycling on the 26th of August 2007, in two of my Children's, (Zoe and Paul were Both born in Elgin Scotland) and my Grandfathers land. We were to witness incredible courtesy and kindness. A complete absence or road rage so prevalent in Australia, particularly Tasmania. We will both remember Scotland fondly. The downside is the prices and facilities. First world prices and fourth world facilities...

Crossing by ship to Bergen Norway we were accommodated by our “Warm Showers” host, Helle. It was an invaluable introduction to a new tribe – the Norwegians... Norwegian people, we found, were very friendly and very accommodating. Or time with Helle, Tove and Jens will stay with us for life.

The incredibly high tax burden tourists are forced to pay, was beyond our means, as was the very high transport/accommodation costs. There could be a way to get back some of these taxes, but we were unable to figure that one out. Corporate Norway functions with heartless indifference, as we were to find out just catching a bus.

From Norway we crossed into Sweden – no passport control or custom checks.. This is normal in Scandinavia, however we can have our passport checked at any time by Police. If Norwegians were warm then Swedes were just as warm. We had a fantastic time in Sweden and spent far less money using the “bush” to camp more and the warmth of the Swedish/Thai people. We both hope to return to Sweden one day to tour more extensively.


Road Rules in Scotland, Norway, and Sweden are good. Signage in Norway is very poor with regard to Cyclists and equally poor in Sweden's countryside. The city of Gothenburg is simply FANTASTIC for a Cyclist in terms of both signage and infrastructure... Scotland is the “poor man” of the three countries we visited.


Money and “Tribal” greed – including UK and Australia – has new meaning for me. Quantifying it here will be hard, but I will tackle it soon. In the meantime some things to ponder.....


FOR EXAMPLE: We strive for a global fund to replace “tribal funds”. (See Bellow)

Norway's “Future Fund”

Australia's “Future Fund”

I probably could go on citing (My words) “obscene” statistics... but how do we fix it. I do not have the answer. I have an answer. Instead of “tribes” obsessing about the welfare of their tribal members... e.g. In the two examples above Australia and Norway.

All “rich” nations (tribes) should spend “some Time” debating a “constitution” on how a Global fund will be managed, chaired, etc.. etc.. As quickly as possible use the power of MONEY to effect change...

Every 3.6 seconds another person dies of starvation and the large majority are children under the age of 5.

It is absolutely obscene to hoard MONEY when fellow human beings live in such abstract poverty. We have a DUTY to each other to stop this obscenity as soon as possible.

Caribbean Nations have done something like the above for years – with great success. Source:

Strive for a global currency, even if we do it in stages e.g. European, Asian, American and Non Aligned. This one IS doable... After all “Gold” is probably the de-facto global currency at the moment – with one value, wherever traded.

<SNIP>The Basics: Are you ready for a global currency?
Worldwide money may be on the horizon as a way of simplifying the planet's 190 currencies -- the Esperanto of money.
Goodbye, dollar. So long, euro and yen. Hello, dey!
Dey? It's a proposed combination of the three currencies, which could eventually form the basis of a global currency.
A worldwide money won't emerge any day soon. Still, it's a long-time dream of some economists, who point out several advantages to simplifying the jumble of nearly 190 currencies.
For starters, the world trades about $1.2 trillion worth of currencies a day. If that market disappeared, it would save companies and individuals hundreds of billions of dollars a year in foreign-exchange and hedging costs.
Another benefit: no more national currency crises, which have riled Argentina, Mexico, Thailand and Russia in recent years. No country would have a balance-of-payments problem or need to maintain reserves of foreign assets, such as currency or bonds, to counter dramatic fluctuations in the market.
The end of currency fluctuations would also stabilise international business. Manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic, for example, would no longer have to adjust to huge changes, such as the slide in the value of the euro from $1.17 initially in 1999 to 83 cents two years ago then back up to about $1.22. The value of stocks and other assets in countries now subject to high currency risks and inflation would also soar hugely as investors became more reassured of values.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has said “
a truly globalised world economy needs a global currency”.

The pitfalls of global currency.
But world money has drawbacks too. No single nation could adjust its domestic monetary policy to remedy a specific economic situation. So the Fed could no longer lower interest rates to counteract an economic slump.
Also, central banks would not be in competition to maintain low-inflation rates for their money. Then there's the question of management. The Federal Reserve is independent of the White House, but is a creature of Congress and thereby not fully independent of the political process. So it "must always look over its shoulder to see how Congress is responding to its policies," says Richard Cooper, a Harvard economist who proposes a common currency for the major industrial democracies.
If finding a good governance system for a nation's central bank is hard, finding one for the industrial democracies, or the world, could prove even more difficult, he concedes.
Then there are the human ties. Losing a national currency is "a very emotional thing," says John Marthinsen, an economist at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. "It's like losing your flag."
Currency consolidation around the world
Still, there are moves to consolidate currencies -- of which the euro is the most obvious example. Eight former French colonies in Africa have long shared a common currency. Since 1981, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has provided the EC dollar to about a dozen island nations, including Antigua, Barbuda, Dominica, Montserrat and St. Lucia.
Next year, the Gulf Cooperation Council plans to launch a common currency for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Also in 2005, the West African Monetary Zone planed to introduce the “eco” to Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.
Proponents are pushing for more. Last month, Robert Mundell, a Columbia University economist and Nobel laureate, and a small group of economists and officials considered plans for a world currency at his personal conference centre in Siena, Italy. It is Mr. Mundell, famed for his supply-side economic theories, who talks of the "dey."
Also last month, the Single Global Currency Association held a conference on a world currency. It attracted only eight speakers and three attendees, says Morrison Bonpasse, who sold his temp agency last year to form the group. His timetable for a world currency: 2024.
 By David R. Francis, SOURCE


My/our feelings have changed in more ways than just the environment and Money.

For example, we are both “pragmatic” animal lovers. We both see the need to use animals as food and food sources.. We both hope and actively lobby (I have written to many newspapers – none will print – about “Battery Hens”), for animals to be treated with respect and in the most humane fashion possible.


When we cycled through Sweden, the Elk season had started.. This is where Elk's are slaughtered for fun. Talking with one Elk hunter he said “It's a sign of “Manhood” to have its head on your wall”. He also said, “When I wound them I always try to follow them so I can stop their suffering”. I am diametrically opposed to hunting this way.


We are constantly evolving both emotionally and physically. I am stronger – given my years – physically than I have been for some time. Emotionally, we are in a constant state of flux. Daily one is presented with new challenges, environmental, physical, mental and emotional.. There are times when these overwhelm, but a strong relationship with both Family and Wife/Husband smooths the road ahead.

I have come to love my wife and family (includes my extended family) more deeply than I could have imagined. I have come to rely on them more than I ever would allow in the past. I have a new beginning with My sisters and I love them all. Plus relationships with “In Laws”, Aunties, Uncles, Cousins, Nephews and Nieces have all taken on new meaning.

I recently sent my mother in law a postcard telling her how precious she was... Having lost my Mum, I felt she needed to know we think of her often – She had the card translated after she received it (She is Thai).

My own children and my Nine grandchildren (10th on the way) are always at the forefront of my mind. Our “Postcard” list is becoming un-manageable due to its size and costs... Do the Math. – we cross a country each fortnight – send a card ,Say 50 cards and growing, about $330.00 per month currently... We will “e-card” where possible in future :-).


Our combined outlooks are different and so they should be. I am more accepting of my “lot” than I was... The financial future is a lot more precarious than ever before and unless we stumble upon a new source of funds two years is the ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM that we can stay pedalling. A more likely scenario is about 18+ months. (August 2008 Update) We cannot go further than early 2009, this is when our funds run out.

The frugal lifestyle we lead, camping wild and eating cautiously will take it's toll over time. We expect nothing for nothing. But if you, the reader, is feeling generous? For example, like dumping a wad of money into our coffers?... We will be very very very much obliged :-). However we are not looking for charity per se, quite the opposite. Any 100% legal opportunity within our grasp we will undertake... for fair reward.

To Give you some idea of our costs on the road... See bellow: We have begun (Starting in NORWAY) a detailed daily diary of our expenses, which we may publish at the end of our journey's.

$45,000 Australian Dollars £20,000 British Pounds or €29,000 Euro

This is the absolute minimum amounts that should allow us to keep going for 1 more year.... Four Ninths (4/9ths) of which we use for ourselves.. (About $AUD20,800.00 PA $AUD50.00 per day with $AUD50pw buffer) We support 3rd world people (About $AUD5000.00 PA – have done for over 10 years) and have commitments at home, that keeps the whole thing running, with the balance. Remember we will work at any 100% legal job, for fair reward :-) We can give motivational talks, with schools, businesses w.h.y. And are adept public speakers... If YOU have an idea please just bounce it off us..

A WORK IN PROGRESS.... 18/10/07


As we complete our “third six months”, we both fee a sense of profound change... We now know the value of life is twofold... Fulfilling your dreams and having enough money to do it. We have come part way on the first and know little about the second.

Having lost more friends to the grim reaper, in this last six months.. we were both saddened they died “at work”... I.e.. before they retired or had taken a chance to pursue their own dreams.

We now know we will feel, once again, the crushing effects of poverty as our assets deplete and our funds return to their normal state – which is ZERO.

It is not the fact that I return to poverty again that really concerns me. It is the reality this time, that I will drag those least able along with me – the ones I have been supporting for over 10 years..... I will not waffle on this time as I can see few read these pages, compared with the thousands that read our diaries.... I wish for YOU all the things I want, which I have not. (Written May the 9th 2008)

November 2008:

Thought I would share a couple of articles I have written. One on Finance and one on “racism”.


Currency Trading – an obscene and growing phenomena

I for one, simply do NOT understand the currency fiasco.... Why do governments allow this obscene trade, an average of FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS A DAY (yes trillion) (1.)

($US4,000,000,000,000.00) is beyond me, where the filthy rich, shuffle paper for staggering profits.

This trade IGNORES the effect on human beings....

Countries can and ARE destroyed by these faceless monsters.

The Aussie dollars nosedive is simply astonishing – arguably the biggest drop in the “Industrialised world” over 40% down on over the last few months (Written Nov 08). The Icelandic Krona, Brazilian Real, Russian Rubble, are, amongst others, experiencing severe devaluation, outside of the “fundamentals”.

YET, - the USA is in meltdown, it's currency is (currently) soaring... Thailand is on the brink of political annihilation – it's currency is soaring... the dichotomies are endless. The “spin doctor's” who want the status quo are working overtime and the public are oblivious.

A “one world” currency, would go a long way to stopping this obscenity. Even a group of four currency blocks, would help enormously...... Xenophobic considerations aside, IT IS DOABLE.


ALL currencies attached to a universal “PEG” e.g. gold, platinum OR WHATEVER....


(Please do not get bogged down in the history of the “Gold Standard” - it DID “work” after a fashion and WILL work again – what we have now is NOT better).

The "players" of the currency game are generally VERY rich.. at the high end you must purchase at least 100,000 "units" of currency to "deal a hand"... Yet the vast majority of these very same people live in the worlds most advantaged nations... They do little to advance the "enterprise" of their fellow citizens... They simply want to increase their own wealth (and power)....

Governments should take the opportunity of regulating and making sure that “pure speculation” is at best undesirable. Should we NOT find a way to stop it, at least find a way to TAX it.. After all it is a form of gambling.

A few possibilities?.

e.g. If you applied 0.001% (One tenth of one percent) to the daily turnover It would produce $40,000,000 - Forty Million dollars a day income.

The players in this obscene (1,000 ++ trillion dollars annually(261 days x 4T$ Per Day) ), "currency game" should, as they produce nothing but profit for themselves, be compelled to contribute. It is totally wrong that these “gamblers” should escape taxation.

This type of tax would not impact in any significant way, on the long term mum/dad, investor, who is planning their future.

Changing our world and it's people is going to take courage, persistence and determination.... For the sake of our children and their children, somehow we must begin....


Somehow “race” always seems to be a factor... (For Some) As a touring cyclist, through 15 countries on three continents to date. I am always asked “where do you come from”? In the main it is mostly a question of passing interest. It puts me in a “box” based on the “questioners” understanding of my tribe.

My tribe, Australia, has a song – a national song... The first few words are here.....

We are one, but we are many and from all the lands on earth we come”. “We share a dream and sing with one voice”. “I am”, “you are”, “we are Australian”.

We have a similar racial diversity to North America, with the “mix” being somewhat different, for a plethora of reasons.

My Wife is Thai, not only is she Thai but she is from the northeast. Thais from the northeast are generally less well regarded as “central Thai” as their skin is darker, due in part to their Lao heritage. “Light skinned” Thais have better prospects in almost every field of endeavor. The market for “Skin Lightening” products here, is absolutely phenomenal. Plus the lengths some go, to prevent “sun exposure” defies belief.

May I play a small game here?

Raise one hand (assuming your intact and normal) you will see five digits.

I want you to find (without the internet) FIVE Verifiable differences between Black People, Brown People and Asian People - vs - White people.

Raising your hand will help you count them off..

I will help you out here by answering the first one, so that you know how we answer in this game.

  1. They “Look Different” e.g. Darker skin, curly hair, slanting eyes, (some), - you get the idea, they look different in many many ways.... So PLEASE do not use the “Visual aspectsin your answers. They are ALL covered in answer number ONE.

  2. Your answer”

  3. Your answer”

  4. Your answer”

  5. Your answer”

I will now point out the similarities... Actually I cannot, because I do not have the years left in me to put them all down on paper or in type, with my one finger typing....

What I am getting at is..... How, as a species, do we change these dreadfully important misconceptions, that tend – for some – to pervade throughout the world.

Are we “emerging” as tribal entities into global entities? Will we succeed?... I would not want to be a “Tutsi” right now...... But, would be proud to belong to that tribe called the USA. (Written after Mr Obama was elected president of the USA.)


Enough rant.....


Our fourth six months and the final three were spent in ASIA. Asia has changed our lives – totally. The warmth of the Singaporeans was unbelievable, as we stayed with Jo, a fellow cyclist and “Warm Showers” member. I had a dose of flu when I left England and they allowed an extended stay to recover. As well as this Jo and his mate Rez helped us overcome a terrible “customs” fiasco caused by the ineptitude of our shipping agents in Britain. Without their help we would have been over $1000.00 out of pocket. Most of our problems stemmed or originated from flying with the corporate vermin “Emirates Airlines”. See “warnings pages” I will do all in my power to warn other cyclists of this terrible “anti green” airline. Airlines have a huge “carbon footprint” Emirates just refuses to give back.

NEW 19/10/2007 This page has been accessed times.

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