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The Road Goes No Further

August 28, 2010

Bear with me. I’m quite exhausted, and only semi-conscious. Some of what is to follow might make sense, but it might not.

In the past few minutes I have reached the end of mainland Asia. Last night, before nodding off in an industrial sized dormitory in the ancient little city of Melaka, I read the final words of my new favourite book (ranking alongside Rory Stewart’s The Places in Between and Bill Bryson’s Notes from A Small Island in case you were wondering). It’s called First Overland – London to Singapore by Land Rover and it is by Tim Slessor. The words went:

‘As an American journalist opined, “I guess you boys have run plumb outta road.” We guessed we had. And it was most satisfactory.’

Tim and his five companions, in their two Land Rovers lent to them by the Rover company, reached the southern tip of Singapore to a media storm in March 1956. Like Tim and his mates were all those years ago, I am satisfied at reaching the end of the road (almost). They called Singapore the end of mainland Asia, but I am calling the Malaysian city of Johor Bahru so – mainly because it is. Singapore is, after all, an island.

I managed 230 kms today – a record day by some 65 kms. I don’t really care that I managed to cycle that far. I’m not one for records. I didn’t think I would manage it. I only had a crack at a long day because I had a date to keep. Tomorrow I’m making my debut for the next in a growing list of cricket teams. The prestigious Singapore Cricket Club are kindly allowing me to take the field with them tomorrow against I don’t know who. The game is on a turf pitch here in Johor Bahru, a mere hop from the causeway that connects Malaysia with Singapore.

Right now I couldn’t lift a bat let alone use it to any reasonable effect. But hopefully when I wake up tomorrow I’ll be able to bat like Stuart Broad and bowl like Tuffers.

I know there hasn’t been a blog for a while. Malaysia has kept me busy. I was cycling at the start, then my friend Kate came out to visit. I got the distinct impression she wasn’t up for much cycling so we spent most of the time being tourists. I enjoyed the break, and I needed it too. The heat is affecting me at the moment. Perhaps it’s a hangover from Dengue Fever. I have found myself yearning for cold winds, snow, rain, an English summer.

When Kate left I was straight back on the bike and in the past few days I’ve made it down from Kuala Lumpur. Here is what I looked like on Friday morning after a sweaty night’s sleep – I kipped on this police station forecourt.

And here is where I’m heading after Indonesia….bring on Australia.

I’m too tired to stick links to my donate page in now. I will do it later. But please keep donating! Thanks, and bye from the bottom of Asia – almost.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Dad permalink
    August 28, 2010 5:10 pm

    Well done Oli: epic achievement to reach the end of Asia. Now for the big outback! And good luck tomorrow in the cricket – follow England’s example of the last two days!

  2. Nicki permalink
    August 28, 2010 8:46 pm

    Can’t believe you’re still going after all this time – October in London seems like a lifetime ago to me and I haven’t been doing anything nearly so epic! Keep up the amazing effort, hope the Aussies treat you well when you get there (of course, us Kiwis would treat you better!) 😉

  3. August 29, 2010 6:28 am

    Oli, you’re a maniac, 230kms in one day in the Malaysian heat, man that’s… I’m trying not to swear here….a flippin’ crazy long way to cycle in a day!! Well Done though, major achievement to reach the end of mainland Asia! The heat in Oz should be a bit more bearable than Malaysia anyway. Have a great time! Best wishes Liz & Chris

  4. andiperullo permalink
    August 29, 2010 1:57 pm

    Congrats on making it to the end of the road! Best wishes on your next part of the journey.

  5. August 29, 2010 6:29 pm

    I love reading your stories and looking at your pictures…Well glad to hear your safe, and still going strong. I am having my baby on the 6th of September :::)))).

    Will be in contact with my news.

    Lots of love

    Darling Darlow and BUMP XXXX TAKE CARE

    PS I hope you received KF’s donations…I put in :::)))

  6. David Butler permalink
    August 30, 2010 6:04 am

    Oli, All the Butlers send you our love and best wishes and admiration on reaching the tip of Asia. Edward and I are so looking forward to playing in Dad’s fund-raising golf day on Friday. Celia has made me promise not to come home with another Status Quo guitar!!

    Brisbane here you come



  7. lance foyster permalink
    August 30, 2010 7:18 am

    great stuff, Oli. Been following your progress since i heard you last summer on TMS and then again the other week talking to Aggers. I was in Johor Bahru in April – courtesy Quantas. They put us up there during the volcanic ash cloud in a very smart golfing complex.
    Your determination is fantastic. Looking forward to hearing how many you made in the match!
    Keep at it!

  8. August 30, 2010 7:34 am

    What a great read by Tim Slessor – awesome tales. Try Thor Heyerdahl’s ‘Kon Tiki’ as well. It’ll sit up there among the greats quite nicely!

    Happy pedalling Oli – great effort.

    S x

  9. Susie permalink
    August 30, 2010 7:45 am

    Keep going Oli! I am amazed you are still going – a brilliant thing to do.

    Have been sending your web link to all my friends (especially the cricket fans), I hope the donations keep on coming in.


  10. David Stanning permalink
    August 30, 2010 5:54 pm

    Dear Oli – talk of Singapore Cricket Ckub takes me back several decades. My then uncle in law – who had somehow become a byword in Singapore – went by the name of Pinky or Curly (he had no hair) Lee – lived in a bungalow in the grounds of the Sultan of Johore’s palace – was married (eventually) to a Chinese lady and had four children, the youngest of whom won ‘best dressed woman in Singapore’ for many years in a row- he was a famous character in Singapore, especially at the cricket club – but was even better known in rugby circles – he was an honorary deputy prime minister of Fiji because of that! Anyway, I expect you will have left Singapore by the time you get this – but if the name Pinky Lee turns up, then you’re following in his footsteps, except that I don’t think he ever sat on a bike! And 230kms in a day!! Lucky it was all downhill in the cool, then! Keep on pedalling – it’s been a mammoth feat so far and we’re all full of fascination and admiration!

    best wishes


  11. August 31, 2010 12:26 pm

    I went to a small cricket tournament this weekend with the Serbian cricket team and Adrian near Budapest. A nice girl explained me the rules of cricket, made some interviews, checked out a girl’s cricket tournament (Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Serbia). Everyone knows about you… Keep doing the good work. I will join you in 60 days. 🙂 Take care, WORLDPEACE, Laci

  12. Marian permalink
    August 31, 2010 2:23 pm

    What an achievement to get thus far. Well done Oli. That’s funny, we also came back with a Status Quo signed guitar from the last golf day. We’ll be there on Friday, not playing, but helping and supporting OH!! and donating some more. Love and miss you loads. x x x x

  13. Keith Adderley permalink
    September 4, 2010 3:53 pm

    Hi Oli

    Mum, Dad, Annabel and everybody who contributed to yesterday’s golf day did you proud. There was clearly a massive amount of work done in advance as the day was brilliantly organised and the atmosphere at supper was fantastic especially during your link. It was great to see your Mum and Dad surrounded by so many of their very happy and supportive friends.

    Congrats on what you have achived so far and good luck for the rest of your trip. Take care and as I am sure you know, you have a great support team back here in the UK.

  14. September 15, 2010 8:12 am

    I’m glad your family are still the first people to comment on your blogs.
    The wheels have been set in motion for a trip north for the cricket…..and to welcome you in.
    Good luck with the next month and a bit.

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