Arnold's Odyssey

North America

December 30, 1999 Seattle, Washington, USA: "Home is where the heart is!"  :-)
Starting Weight:  ~152 lbs.
Feelings:  Well, it's now or never: I've got the time [1 year] -  the funds [$36k] - and still got the legs [I HOPE]  ... but 20,000 miles is 100 CONSECUTIVE Seattle-to-Portland bike rides!  (Gasp.)

January 1, 2000 Dana Point, California, USA: Jan 3, 2000!

"Happy New Year!   It's good to be ALIVE!"
I yelled out the above to Rose Parade spectators, and to you too (belatedly).  Odyssey 2000 riders jumped the gun and outran all Major Media coverage but could NOT outfly the B2 BOMBER overhead - Awesome!!!
Agape Fellowship gave me a "ERGO" Saddle to use & I think about them on every BUMP!
Monday Morn leaving good old USA for Baja Mexico - "AGUA, AGUA..." ("WATER, WATER...")
- Arnold

January 8, 2000 Catavina, Baja, Mexico 8-Jan-2000 (#3)
Catavina, Baja
Total Trip Kilometers: 773.5

Whew!  Today is our first "Layover Day" - rest after 7 days straight of riding.  I hand-laundered my jerseys & shorts; applied hydro-cortisone salve to a painful fissure in my left heel; clipped my toenails; recalibrated my bike odometer (it was reading -4%); tweaked the bike index shifter; and am jotting this down after a delicious Mexican dinner of fried crispy chicken, beef tortillias (sp?), beans, & "flan" (custard dessert).

Yesterday's stage El Rosario to Catavina, 128KM was brutal: 98 out of ~250 riders had to be "sagged" or picked up by the Sag-Wagon.  I made it into camp at sunset, but only after ingesting Cytomax - a (legal) power drink.  (I've tried to ride on natural food only until now.)

These are the Badlands: Baja Banzai Semi-trucks; ghastly road-kill (a cow, a horse, dog carcasses flatter than a pancake); blistering sun; freezing nights; rough roads; alpine climbs; gritty & dusty.

Never-the-less, I'm having outrageous fun!
- Arnóldo

January 20, 2000

(via email)

San Jose, Costa Rico >How do you feel about the trip now?

Saturday 22-Jan-2000 we bicycle over the 12,000 ft. elevation Cerro de La Muerte pass ("Mountain of Death").

What?  Me worry?


Thanks for your efforts,
- Senor Arnoldo

January 20, 2000 San Jose, Costa Rico 20-Jan-2000 (#4)
San Jose, Costa Rica
Total Trip Kilometers: 1863

Scorching, dry Baja is a (mercifully) receding local, as we've jetted into lush, verdant Costa Rica and get "re-hydrated"(!) here.
Today is a rest day and Sokolik & I toured downtown & viewed the pre-Columbian Gold exhibit.  During cafe-lunch our table was swarming w/ peddlers offering cigars - hammocks - full length mirror - shoe shines - bird feathers - figurines --- we caved in & bought pre-Columbian "transformer" figurines that whistle when you blow them with your lips.

- Arnold

January 28, 2000 Panama City, Panama 28-Jan-2000 /  Total Trip Kilometers 2732 / Weight: 65 Kg

Panama City - Panama
San Jose, Costa Rica to Panama City has to be the most challenging biking I've ever done!  Six days...straight thru!
Friend Sokolik was attacked by "killer" bees & stung 10 times; he's recovering nicely but - what new bugs await us ?!  Kids in Central America have been great, cheering us on with "Whoops" and waves.
Most memorable meal?  I nominate the pan-fried fish at a small cafe on Pan American Highway near San Bartolo: crispy - moist - delicious!  I'm eating ravenously but not getting FAT.  Next stop: Chile!

On the Road Again, Arnold    BTW, new BUZZcut --> (self portrait)

South America

February 1, 2000

(via email)

Santiago, Chile >You must be pretty Chile by now, eh?

You´re funny!

We´ve been stalled two extra days in Santiago, Chile awaiting shipment of the remaining 79 bicycles that would not fit into our charter flight from Panama City (a Tradewinds Lockheed L1011 jet).

February 8, 2000 Valdivia, Chile 8-Feb-2000 (#6)  Total Trip Kilometers ~3567  Weight: ? *

Valdivia, Chile
  Friend Sokolik & I took the bus into town, skipping two days of riding bikes [thunder cloud picture] in cold drenching rain (no shame at all :-) )  In Santiago, a pickpocket got Bob B's wallet; on a hill, 3 urchins helped push me up - but while giving me a boost, were also rifling through my pannier and snatched my cable lock (but overlooked my wallet).  Hence a certain "paranoia" has set in.
  Nevertheless, fun & adventure lures; flavors, colors, smells, sensations, sounds are new & intense - or is it a side effect of 250mg dose hits of Larium Anti-Malaria pills?!  Hmm.  Feb. Should be windows 2000 launch & prosperity, eh?


* No scale but - no potbelly!

February 14, 2000 San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina 14-Feb-2000 (#7)  Total Trip Kilometers ~4200

*San Carlos De Bariloche,
  Argentina - "Don't Cry For Me..."

  (This side is written in Argentina and them mounted onto an Arg. postcard - if I can find one!?  Otherwise, the flip side is a funky Studebaker Museum visited in Chilly Chile: we ducked in out of rain. [lightning and rain])
  We biked up "Summit Paso International Cardenal Antonio Samore" @ 4290 ft. Elevation & it was cold!
  But at least we were on concrete on the Chile side; the descent on Arg. side was 25 Km on steep gravel road route 231: potholes - mud - stones - semi trucks: pure punishment, but I survived w/o dive!

"Ciao", Arnold [bike]


February 19, 2000 Hazyview, South Africa "Odyssey Riders at Sunrise"

19-Feb-2000 Total Trip Kilometers ~4562

Hazyview, South Africa
We took off from Bariloche, Argentina on a very short runway! 747 Captain "Hamed" clamped the brakes, spooled up to take off thrust, & let go: we were slingshot into the air!  South Africa has had a tragic, bloody history (like U.S.A.) & Odyssey 2000 riders were advised to ride in a "pack", for security reasons.  We've gotten to the gates of Kruger Nature Park - but won't bike thru: meals on wheels, not!  AC

February 22, 2000 Ezulweni, Mbabane, Swaziland

22-Feb-2000 Total Trip Kilometers ~4806 (#9)

Ezulweni, Mbabane, Swasiland
Drenched again!  Cyclone "Eileen" is dogging Odyssey 2000 riders as we make our way clockwise from Johannesburg to Swaziland to Durban to Capetown.  Yep! - Swaziland is another country 'cuz we had to get our passports stamped.
  Also, the natives are more {{{UPPITY}}} than in South Africa: I traded "High Fives" w/a bro. & he slapped my hand so hard (as I rode by on my bike) that my hand stung - even wearing padded gloves!
  Today's ride was 169 Kilometers - long & hilly & there were wicked headwinds.  I had to really grind - grind - grind to finish the course...
  But this beats walking the SPEEA picket line @ Boeing!  -AC


March 19, 2000 Tyrosapounakaiika, Greece 19-Mar-2000 Enroute to Tyrosapounakaiika, Greece  KM ~7600

(I don't have a clue???) [referring to a sticker on back of postcard - "It's all Greek to me!"]
[also a picture of a triangle drawn, to illustrate Pythagoras' theorem.]
   Whew!  I'm still trying to shake off a strange African VIRUS (night sweats, fatigue) but leaped at a chance to climb steps up Acropolis.  What a view!  Birthplace of: Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, et al.  & Democracy ... speaking of democracy it's Gore vs. Bush in good 'ol USA!? (Ho-Hum.)
   I'll sit (or ride) this one out.  Arnold. [bike]

April 2, 2000 Saint Peter's, Vatican City

2 April 2000 (#12)
San Pietro, Citta del Vaticano
Saint Peter's, Vatican City

This Sunday morning I attended the 10 o'clock mass; received Communion; and at noon went out into the square to hear The Pope's message & blessing.  I understood nothing - since I don't speak Latin (or Italian).  However, after extended viewing of the sculpture "La Pieta" (mounted near the entrance) I understood SOMETHING and then wept for the slain Jesus ... for the first time in my life.

April 8, 2000 Repubblica San Marino

8 April 2000 (#13)
Total Trip Kilometers ~9480

Enroute from Urbino, Italy to Caprese Michelangelo, Italy ... we crossed into the "Repubblica San Marino" which is, or appears to be, a Bonè Fìde (sp?) I.E. "real" country - people, buildings, postal system, streets, etc.
But I had never heard of this place before!  Ciao!  - Arnold [bike] on Odyssey 2000

April 15, 2000 Monte-Carlo, Monaco

15 April 2000 (#14)

Odyssey 2000 had to overshoot this place when our insurance brokers pulled their coverage on our gear locker-trucks, and the group was taken by bus to Nice, France.  Tonight, Sokolik, Sharlene, Elizabeth & I doubled back by Train to visit the Luxo Casino here & gawk.  (We were too shy to gamble, but we used the restroom: all marble & sparkles!)  Arnold

April 19, 2000 Marseille, France

19 April 2000 (#15)
Total Trip Kilometers ~10,400

Marseille, France
"Bon Appetit!" - A French driver just exclaimed to us; we're (Kevin, Matt, Barb, AC) seated on the sidewalk munching lunch.  (I had a tuna fish submarine sandwich.)  This is a tough & gritty place, but I know I'm prejudiced - because I've only heard of it, linked to heroin [needle] processing & export. :-O  Whoa, on the approach to town, friend Sokolik almost got hit by a speeding car (he pulled out, didn't see car); I've had a near-miss before myself, W/A semi-truck!  When I encounter (animal) road-kill I avert my eyes, can't bear to look; but I stared at the two (human) fatalities - DOA - on highway 101 in Cal. & in So. Africa. - A

April 24, 2000 Soldeu, Andorra 24 April 2000 (#16)
Soldeu, Andorra
Total Trip Kilometers ~10,900

"Brrr, it's Cold, Cold, Cold!"
Odyssey 2000 crested the Pyrenees at 2407 meters (7702 ft.) altitude today, on roads traversed by Tour de France racers in July 1998.  It's a good thing I wore my ski gloves!  (My sister Lisa had them Fed Ex'd to me in Johannesburg).  The grueling, tough pace of this tour has riven the group into various factions; I'm ambivalent about TK&A's (Tim Kneeland & Associates - or Trying to Kill us All!?) motives, execution, finances, myself ... :-o
Yo! BTW, a belated "Happy Easter" to you, from Andorra (enroute to Spain). - AC

April 27, 2000 Barcelona, Spain 27 April 2000 (#17) Total Trip Kilometers ~11,140 KMS

Barcelona, Spain
¡Hola, Amigo!  My legs were holding up well, but a week ago while kneeling in my tent (it has a low ceiling) I "stepped" on a thorn & pricked my kneecap.  Well, my kneecap is swelling up like a "big Mac", and my left leg is stiff as a board!  I've located a medical dispensary in this town (Odyssey 2000 has no staff doctor - a cause of much grumbling.) But, I have to first screw up the courage to go in! My Spanish is so feeble, I hope they don't misinterpret my grunts, gestures, & then AMPUTATE! - AC

April 29, 2000 Gibraltar 29 April 2000 (#18) Total Trip Kilometers ~11,140 KMS*
*Note, I have not ridden all kilometers, but 7 (of 247) have!

"Rock of" GIBRALTAR -> Formidable, unshakable, unsinkable, bomb-proof -> But...I said & thought the same thing... about Microsoft! :-O  $119 tanked -> $66 7/16
"Cheerio, Chaps!"
Odyssey 2000 riders breezed into this British Colony, after a 14 hour bus ride from Barcelona, Spain.  (We had planned to fly-in originally -- but logistics and/or co$t said, "Take the bus!")  First impressions: the seagulls have the run of the place; they nest in every nook & cranny on the rock face; they've bombed all exposed surfaces with their droppings! (Yuck.)  Medical update: I barged into the Spanish medical dispensary & got diagnosis, antibiotic, pain-killer & tube-sock for infected left kneecap.  Ouch!  (But no amputation.) -AC

May 10, 2000 Monsaras Alentejo, Portugal 10-May-2000 (#19) Total Trip Kilometers ~12,070 KMS

Produzido: Bar-Restaurante - Where we feasted! [happyface]
On a whitewashed wall, A.C. {Alfredo de Campos, Portugese Poet} wrote:
"Dá-me lirios, lirios,
E rosas também
Dá-me rosas, rosas
E lirios também
Crisantemos, dálias,
Violetas e os girassois
Acima de todas as flores
Deita-me ás mancheias
Por cima da alma
Dá-me rosas, rosas
E lirios também..."
{The proprietor de-coded the poem for me!} - AC

North America

May 13, 2000 Washington D.C., USA:

13-May-2000 (#20)

God Bless America! [Stars & Stripes]
I'm "sleeping over" two nights here in a lounge at Dulles Airport, awaiting flight time back to Seattle - for "R&R" - rest & relaxation from O2K.  (To make a short-story long, I save 50% by stalling.  This makes sense/cents to me - with Microsoft plunging 50%)  I'm skipping the east coast/NYC leg and will rejoin in Ottawa.  In Seattle I'll do a rebuild of my 'Global 2000' bike - it's beaten up!  I would prefer to ride my Ti-bike but that's taboo! :-(
 - Arnold

June 18, 2000 Vancouver, BC, Canada

Sunday 18-June-2000 (#21)
(Enroute to London, England)

Aboard "Air BC" turbo-prop to Vancouver from Seattle (BTW is Belly up :-o)
Finally, got the good doctor's blessings to rejoin Odyssey.  In Seattle my knee infection migrated to the {{{groin}}}!  They took biopsies of my infected and infested flesh; cultures indicated serious staph.  Now, after a course of antibiotics and extended rest, I'm ready-to-roll!  -- Arnold


June 21, 2000 London, England

21-June-2000 (#22)
London, England {First visited in 1984}  {I was just a "spring chicken" back then}

"Please mind your bags.  Professional bag thieves operate in this area."  The above caution sign in posted in the Starbucks cafe next to Chinatown and caused me to tighten my grip on my shopping bag, as I sipped my brew.  Earlier I had purchased a new bike odometer at "Evans U.K. Bikes & Bits" on Waterloo Rd.  (I have to replace the odometer - it's on my Ti-bike, yes! - & wiring harness - the wiring got stretched & broken in shipping.)
Cutting across Shaftesbury Avenue in Soho I'm looking at the bright theatre marquees - just like a tourist, gawking.  A pleasant young man approaches me & queries, "You like hash-hish?  Cocaine?!"  Tsk-tsk.  -AC

June 26, 2000 Newbridge-on-Wye, Wales

26-June-2000 (#23)
Newbridge-on-Wye, Wales

"Tra bydd golau goch sefwch yma" (When red light shows wait here)
I am flabbergasted by the Welsh language on bilingual traffic signs here!  Wales is adjacent to England, yet it seems the root language is from Planet "W":-)
Whew!  Five weeks layover in Seattle, & I am way of of shape, though I get a boost riding my own Ti-bike in this hilly, lush green terrain - where numerous...P17 "sheep" "Defaid" are grazing.  (My knee is still tender.)
Psychological warfare (You heard it here first): One (or more) disgruntled O2K rider is depositing live 12-gauge shotgun shells around camp.  I discovered two!  :-O  -AC

June 28, 2000 Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland  28 June 2000 (#24)

I should be ashamed of myself: here on O'Connell street, the 'main drag' in this bustling, bright capitol city of the Irish Republic, I went and done stuffed myself at the local McDonald's!  (It seemed apropo.)
The final biking leg to the ferry boat at Holyhead, Wales was 80 miles.  I got there in time, but then my (peculiar) compulsion to ultimately pressure-jet wash my titanium bicycle (at a gas station) took so much time, I nearly missed the boat to Dublin!  Oh, well: Cleanliness is next to Godliness."  :-)  -AC

July 4, 2000 Belfast, Northern Ireland

4th of July - 2000 * * * * (#25) 

Happy Fourth of July! to you in the USA celebrating Independence from England.  (It's a different story here, where the Protestant majority are "Loyalists" to the Crown.)
Biking into Belfast was Bucolic & Beautiful, for the most part.  Bad News: it is "Marching Season," tensions are high - a woman Odyssey rider was assumed to be "the enemy" and was assaulted & slammed to the ground; her helmet saved her from injury.  -AC

July 8, 2000 Fort William, Scotland

8 July 2000 12AM
Fort William, Scotland (#26)

"Y-M-C-A, It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A!"
- So blares the disco loud speakers, from across the wet sports facility field on which Odyssey is camped tonight.  The Scots seem fun loving & friendly, but there's a bug here - the "Midge" - that's been chewing through our collective hides, like cotton candy! (I've put on Long Pants.) - Arnold

July 20, 2000 Oslo, Norway

20 July 2000 (#27)
Roald Amundsen <- First to South Pole [globe] (Ahead of Scott, who did not make it back!)
Oslo, Norway

A highlight of our time in this beautiful place was a visit to the "Frammuseet," a museum housing the entire original Arctic exploration ship Fram, built in 1892, and used by Amundsen.  Odyssey 2000 bicycle riders have climbed some challenging terrain, but I'm afraid "Roald" would still think we're pampered! - Arnold

July 25, 2000 Copenhagen, Denmark

25 July 2000 (#28) Total Trip Kilometers ~18,650
Copenhagen, Denmark

This town is the most "bicycle friendly" place Odyssey riders have entered (so far)!  There are bike paths on both sides of arterials; there are lots of bikes in use - perhaps 50% of residents are regular riders; and car drivers seem docile toward cyclists.  Today I visited the famous "Tivoli Gardens" amusement park (by bike) and saw, on an outdoor stage, a trained-seal act.  There were two seals; they were glistening & black & surprisingly huge; and they were good!  One trick performed was to balance 4 filled wine glasses on a tray, on top of a wine bottle, on the seal's nose! (even I cannot do that trick. :-) )
Copenhagen is so charming, I don't want to leave... Arnold

July 31, 2000 Stockholm, Sweden

31 July 2000 (#29) Total Trip Kilometers: 19,498
Stockholm, Sweden

I'm staying at the Odyssey's "Vandrarhem Stf Backpackers Inn" - a youth hostel with large, 14-bedded rooms.  The hostel converts the local Gardesskolan School (during summer recess) for revenue bookings.  Even with 14 in a room, I slept like a brick! - with the help of 'natural' was earplugs, and sheer exhaustion from riding.  Well rested, this afternoon I took a guided tour of "Sveriges Riksdag" - the Swedish parliament building, and got an introduction to democracy here.  Very classy, elegant, understated; the place reminded me of ... Nordstroms! -AC

August 3, 2000 Helsinki, Finland

3 August 2000 (#30)
Helsinki, Finland

The friendly gal behind the counter assured me that the northern lights were visible here last spring.  I'll have to take her word for it, because it's summertime now, and the sky stays light!  Nokia is indigenous (oops, native) and our "Grand Marina" hotel room is a veritable wireless wonderland.  Messages, or menu?
- Arnold

August 4, 2000 St. Petersburg, Russia

4 August, 2000 (#31)
St. Petersburg, Russia
(Formerly Leningrad, Formerly Petrograd)

I joined "Denise's Tour", out of Helsinki by train, to visit this city called "The Venice of the North."  During the siege of Leningrad in World War II, ~600,000 perished.  Now, the place is alive again with capitalism ascendant...
- Arnold
[picture of soup bowl]
Spicy bowl of Borscht

August 10, 2000 Berlin, Germany

August 10, 2000 (#32) Total Trip Kilometers ~19,850
Berlin, Germany

"Checkpoint Charlie" is a relic of the cold war after the Berlin wall was torn down in Nov. 1989.  Berlin is historic, and some if its history is grim: our tour group visited the site of Hitler's bunker where, in the waning days of WWII, he & wife committed suicide.  The bunker has been filled-in and cannot be entered; an entrance way is circumscribed by stone, and forms a sandbox in which children play...!  Arnold

August 14, 2000 Prague, Czech Republic

August 14, 2000 (#33)
Prague, Czech Republic

Fellow rider, friend "Safari Bill" advised me to not call the country "Czecheslovakia" because Slovakia has SPLIT! (News to me :-) )
I've got some buying Power here, with the U.S. dollar fetching 35-plus Korunas.  (Contrast with pricey Scandinavia $$$.)  I'm tempted to buy A-N-O-T-H-E-R CHESS SET!
- Arnold @ [bike] 20,000 Kilometers

August 16, 2000 Salzburg, Austria

August 16, 2000 (#34)
Total Trip Kilometers 20,222
Salzburg, Austria

"[music] The hills are alive, with the sound of music [music]..."
There is a sightseeing tour available here (for $25) that takes in the Trapp Family Villa, made famous in the movie. Since time is tight - what an odd predicament, I'm purportedly on vacation - I'll try to see a re-run of "The Sound of Music" A.S.A.P.! [music] :-) - Arnold

August 22, 2000 Flims, Switzerland

August 22, 2000 (#36)
Flims, Switzerland

[music] "SHAFT", ELVIS'S "You're the DEVIL in disguise!", BEATLES "PaperBackWriter," - Hit after Hit of GOLDEN (English) OLDIES comes over the PA system here at the gigantic SPORT-ZENTRUM complex where we're camped.  The narration is rapid-fire German, and the effect disconcerting: r-f FlashBacks of younger days...
The Swiss ambience is friendly, well-to-do, clean & orderly, the only noxious aspect here (newbie's perspective) is the pervasive cigarette smoke! :-(  -AC

August 28, 2000 Turin, Italy

August 28, 2000 (#37)
Turin, Italy

I went "off-route" from Odyssey 2000 at Raron, Switzerland, to take a train south, to view the "Shroud of Turin!"
Time Magazine's recent cover story on this venerated relic described it (at first glance) as appearing like the scorched cover on your ironing board; and so it did.  More impressive - stunning, staggering - is the ("post-processing") photo-negative image of...the man of the shroud! - Arnold

September 4, 2000 Luxembourg, Luxembourg

September 4, 2000 (#38) Accum Trip KMS: ~22,000
Luxembourg, Luxembourg...

Where am I?!  I got this map-postcard to get a geographical fix on my current location!  <I've rejoined Odyssey 2000 in "The Novotel" Hotel (It's not a telecom) but my memory lingers over the 10-day break to view the Shroud of Turin.> :-)
This place is a hotbed of E.C. (European Community) institutions, including the Court of Justice, Investment Bank, and Computer Center.  The news concern the sliding €uro: [down arrow], trading @ $0.88 USD! - AC

September 5, 2000 Bastogne, Belgium

September 5, 2000 (#39) Accum Trip KMS ~22,060
Bastogne, Belgium

At Kilometer 65.4 on today's daily route guide (DRG) is the instruction, "(Take) right around army tank towards La Roche at light." The tank on display is an U.S. Army Sherman M4; it was hit by a German shell on Dec 30, 1944 during the "Battle of the Bulge." It was from this greatly strategic town that American General McAuliffe, when asked to surrender, issued the historic answer: "Nuts". - Arnold [bike]

September 12, 2000 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands Accum Trip KMS: ~22,570
September 12, 2000 (#40)

(Vincent Van Gogh is a native son, and his vivid self-portrait on reverse leads off the permanent exhibition of his paintings here in town.) Odyssey 2000 set up camp 25 Kilometers out in the boonies; (but where there's a will, there's a way) I got to share a taxi-wagon with 7 others eager to see this city. Now, in Seattle, panhandlers will often times play an instrument or wear a card board sign lamenting their fate to garner donations. Tonight, in Amsterdam, I witnessed a middle-aged pan-handler perform suspended acrobatics in the center of town, wearing only an emerald lamé jock-strap! (I should have stayed out in the boonies.) - AC


September 24, 2000 Syndey, New South Wales, Australia

September 24, 2000 (#41)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

G'Day Mates! Bill Gates came to the Olympics and attended that table tennis (i.e. ping-pong) competition, so of course I had to check it out! The most memorable match I saw was the women's doubles semi-finals match, Li Ju & Wang Wan of the People's Republic of China vs. Moo-Kyo Kim & Ji-Hye Ryu of Korea. (I could not tell if those sisters were from North or South Korea; it wasn't disclosed.) With the best -of-five games score tied at 2-2, tension was almost unbearable; the fifth & final games score tied at 18-18; 19-19; 20-20; 21-21; 22-22. Then, the Koreans cracked, and the PRC won it 24-22! - Arnold


October 10, 2000 Hiroshima, Japan

October 10, 2000 (#42)
Hiroshima, Japan
Peace Memorial Park

The sun is out, it's a lovely day - but our Odyssey tour bus is subdued & introspective after a two-hour stop at this site, which became a hellish "ground zero" 55 years ago...
Tour bus? Tour bus?!
Odyssey management spurned Japan Air Lines and chartered a MAS747-300 for airlift from Australia. Alas, Malaysian Air Systems was blocked by Japanese Aviation Authorities from shipping our bikes! Ah-so: We are bike-less and must bus thru Japan.
Sayonara, Arnold-San

October 15, 2000 Hong Kong

October 15, 2000 (#42 [43 really])
Hong Kong China S.A.R
(Special Administrative Region)

Odyssey 2000 riders & staff are staying at the "Panda" hotel in Tsuen Wan.  At our dinner banquet we were served a huge steamed fish, garnished with green onion & bather in light soy sauce & oil; it was delicious!
- And the top half was quickly devoured.  Now, to get at the remainder, the fish has to be flipped over; but which way - sideways (easy) or head-over-tail?  I advised the table to flip the fish head-over-tail, because (of the superstition that) doing the easy sideways flip will curse & cause our fishing boat to flip over & capsize!  SPLASH!  - Arnold

October 29, 2000 Nanning, Guangxi, China

October 29, 2000 (#43 [44 really])
Nanning, Guangxi, China

From Hong Kong, to avoid congestion & traffic of Canton, we headed up the Pearl River by boat, landing in Zhaoquing, then catching buses to Wuzhou.  Biking in rural areas have been great, the people friendly & drivers courteous...the scenery at the "world famous" Longi Rice Terraces breath-taking.
However, for me the unforgetable memory is a small dog barking inside a cloth bag, tied to a bicycle.  (They eat them here.)  Oh well :-(  Arnold

October 30, 2000 Hanoi, Vietnam

October 30, 2000 (#44 [45 really])
Hanoi, Vietnam

"Uncle Ho" is venerated, and there is an impressive grand mauseoleum downtown.  I approached that edifice today - camera clicking - but was sternly turned away; it's closed to the public, because his remains entity has been sent to Moscow for refurbishing.  The Vietnamese have also preserved the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison where captured American pilots were held during that war.  In the 25 years since, healing and forgiveness are evident. -  Arnold

November 19, 2000 Terengganu, Malaysia

November 19, 2000 (#47) (?) Total Kilometers 25,494
Terengganu, Malaysia

Our gracious hosts at Sutra Beach Resort provided complimentary i.e. "free" batiks (sarongs) to everyone, and I wore mine to dinner, then showed it off by dancing in the finale of (!) the after-dinner show, of traditional ethnic Malay music.

It's monsoon season here drenching rain, then hot sun, followed by deluge again.  At kilometer 49 toward Cherang on yesterday's ride, climbing the high bridge at mid-span I was surprised by sand bags, soldiers w/ machine guns monitoring traffic.  What's up?  Whatever the political situation - riots? smugglers? (I don't know.) ... It's intense! - Arn

December 5, 2000 Singapore

December 5, 2000 (#48) Total Trip Kilometers 26,150. [arrow to period]

The American Public (me too!) took notice of this tiny island-city-state with the saga of American teenager Michael Fay, who got CANED for vandalizing a car a few years ago.  That hard-line against crime & littering, etc., seems to be working o.k. here - this is perhaps the safest, cleanest burg I've seen (next to Mercer Island)!

AIEEE... Odyssey 2000 has burned up its cash, and requested another $3000 to go on to New Zealand.

No money,  [sad face]
No biking
I'm O-U-T out!  AC

North America

January 1, 2001 Seattle, Washington

01/01/01 Happy New Year!
"Home is where the heart is!"

Ending Weight: ~135lbs.

I got up at 7:45 A.M. and warmed up the TV (it's a 1978 Sony, purchased just to see the Huskies in that year's Rose Bowl) for I wanted to see the remnants of Odyssey 2000 in this year's Rose Parade.  (These are riders who paid an extra $3000 surcharge to continue at Singapore.  I refused to pay - hence my vicarious TV longings.)

On TV? Not a peep!  (Same as last year?!)  I confirmed Odyssey was in the parade (via internet) but if they were again placed at the "Pole Position" (1st in line) they're overlooked.  (continued ->

-> continued) Oh well - so it goes :-(  (sigh.)

Last week the weather was cloudy (see reverse [bottom postcard]) and rain.  Today - spectacular!  So I hopped on my "Global 2000" bike and met Susan Cady, Richard & Joyce (ex-Odyssey riders) at Leschi.  We spin up the Burke-Gilman trail; we get closure, at last!

So this is the "End of the line!"  Odyssey is over and I'm readjusting to the "real world."  I purchased a new car (Honda Insight).  I've been visiting my "old haunts" - Sea Garden Restaurant in Chinatown; Starbucks (several locations); Pho Van on Rainier Ave.

Special Thanks:

Lisa Chu - kept my creditors at bay, for the year!
David Schilling - webmaster supreme!

- Arnold