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Boss! De Bike, De Bike!

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Shockingly enough everything with the arrival of the bike went off without a hitch!  Instead of giving you all the details, here’s some photos of the uploading.

Then it was off to the jungle for riding and special meet that’s been 2.5 years in the making!…

No motorbike, No cry

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So, with my bike safely (?) aboard a wooden vegetable boat, it was time to get me to Malaysia.  In this day an age in Indonesia it involved going to the airport, walking up to the check-in counter and buying a ticket for the next flight.  That’s it- no ‘you-didn’t-buy-it-on-the-internet-and-print-your-own-ticket-so-we’ll-charge-you-all-sorts-of-handling-fees’ silliness.  As it turns out, my flight was delayed, so since…

Okay, now it’s just creepy

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Back on the road and heading to Medan things were normal until I hit a bit of a traffic jam where a truck was trying to pull another one out of a ditch (not a terribly rare event in Indonesia).  As I was stopped, I heard some squealing and the general types of noises made by overly exited teenage girls.  Seconds later…

And I’m Off!

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Ah, no.  I’m still in greater Jakarta.  So, ‘I’m off’ actually means that the 100km ride to the ferry for Sumatra doesn’t ever really leave the sprawling suburbs and takes the better part of a day!  The whole experience really brought home the fact that while Indonesia ‘only’ has a population of around 240 million people, over 30 million on…

The Big Durian

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Getting to Jakarta seemed like a fairly straightforward ride, and generally it was.  Decent traffic, some pleasant detours, and a dash of deja-vu.
Along one country road that paralleled a canal I was thinking about how Dutch the scene seemed (not surprising considering the canal was built by the Dutch while Indonesia was still a colony) when I passed a…

Java Jive

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Rolling off the ferry into Java was perfect- wonderful!  Whatever happened to the bike now, I only had to get a truck to Jakarta and didn’t have to deal with any kind of ferry issues or anything.  I couldn’t relax, but I could certainly give my nerves a break.
First order of business was to head to Yogyakarta to experience some Javanese…

Bummer Dude!

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Riding while worrying about your bike is just not fun.  Any little noise, any strange vibration and your Spidey Sense goes on full alert and you become convinced that your bike is on the verge of self-destructing in the middle of nowhere.  When riding on roads with the kind of variable surface that you get in Indonesia, it turns into a…

More bike problems.

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When I got on the ferry to Sumbawa, I heard a little grinding from my rear tire.  Nothing too loud, but certainly enough to have me check when I parked the bike.  Damn- oil was leaking out of my final drive hub!  The drive had about 80,000km on it, but the last change was at 100,000km and after Africa- my riding…

Tourists are Bad. I Think.

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When I got to Flores I was looking forward to the mountains, volcanoes, and volcanic lakes…  Unfortunately, while the rain held off, everything was carpeted with low clouds and mist.  It was still something to see, but not what I was hoping for.  Sigh.
But, but, but!  The riding was great!  Decrepit roads winding through the jungle, impossibly steep corners,…

Island Hopping

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Finishing Sumba worked out perfectly- I arrived at the town where the ferry left from in the late afternoon and the ferry was scheduled for 9am the next morning.  After finding a hotel, I went down to the dock to make sure I knew where to go and buy a ticket.  Unfortunately, things weren’t exactly as they should be…

No…

This is gooooood

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After my 32 hour odyssey on the ferry, I arrived in Sumba well after dark.  A stop at a gas station where the attendant waived over a local to direct me to a hotel had me in a dreamless sleep before my bike had even started to warm up properly.  The morning came early (like 4:30 am early!) when the…

What a difference a border makes…

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Crossing the border into the Indonesian side of Timor was a straightforward and relatively pleasant affair.  I was steeped in the history of East Timors occupation and was half expecting some fortified border filled with hardened military men.  Instead I got a very friendly welcome from a universally young group of army lads- I suspect chosen because they were too…

Timor-Leste

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East Timor- a country whose very name brings up thoughts of civil war and brutal occupation.  And one where my knowledge of it ended there.  It’s now a country struggling towards a stable democracy, with a surprisingly cordial relationship with it’s one time oppressors (Indonesia), and a growing worry over the planned UN pull out at the end of 2012. …

I’m doing it again!

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Yup, I’m going to condense the rest of Australia into one post.  Partly because I want to get to the new, fun stuff and partly because it was more of the same, where some of the cool riding was off the table because of rain and delays just dragged things out.
Leaving Perth I started my ride- generally my plan…

Like the Dodo

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Well, it seems my little post is well and truly lost, so here’s a quick recap.
-Bal, blah, blah, sorry for the lack and generally poor quality of posts.
-Thanks for still reading and for taking this blog to over 40,000 hits with no big pushes from me.
-Until I get new posts up (as you can see, they are…

Peebles, People, and Perth

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Finishing up with the Nullarbor, I got in contact with some riders in Perth that I’d met in Columbia and arranged to stay with them while my bike got dealt with- new front tyre, my wiring harness checked, and various other odds and ends that were no doubt a result of my little Finke run.  Poor bike- she’s still young,…

The long road to nothing

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Riding the highway down south is an exercise in patience.  It’s neither barren enough to satisfy my ‘desolation’ fix, nor diverse enough to give you something new to look at every so often.  Then you get close to Coober Pedy and the scrub disappears and is replaced by piles of dirt from the (estimated) million+ opal mining shafts.  The town…

A reality check

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Uluru was also where I had to make a choice.  A most annoyingly difficult choice.  Head down to Port Augusta or try and ride across the desert on The Great Central Road towards Perth.  I REALLY wanted to do the desert ride- 1,250km of deep desert with only a couple of roadhouses, no tar, deep sand (it’s supposed to be…

A touristy tour

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After a hot, sandy, sweaty, hard day- you know- the best kind,  I finished the night just outside of Kings Canyon.  After the rather flat and uninteresting terrain, the rising cliffs were a most welcome change.
As always in the desert, the morning came early and cool.  It wasn’t going to last, so I got myself together quickly and headed…

The creeping sands

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The outback- the real middle of Australia outback- creeps up on you.  Over hundreds of kilometers, the grassy prairies and small forests slowly become sandy stretches and small copses of stunted trees.  There is no line- no instant you can say ‘I am now in the outback’.  It is something you feel and changes for everyone and in every season.  For me,…

Rain, Rain Go Away!!

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So, after a pleasant little stay in Brisbane that also included meeting up with a rider that I had just missed in Botswana, I decided to head North-West and towards the outback.  Well, I’d planned to that is.  I knew there had been some flooding, but knew pretty much which roads were out and thought I could avoid them without…

Not Feelin’ It

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On the bike, on the road again, and…  Nothing.  Everything was fine, but just that- fine, nothing was really grabbing me.  The people were perfectly nice, the riding perfectly pleasant, but it seemed somewhat pointless.  No ‘WOW!’ moments.  I think most of the blame can be laid firmly at New Zealand’s feet since it really was such a wonderful treat.…

tech specs

I’ve made a point of skipping much of the boring detail of shipping a bike around the world- this blog isn’t about that sort of thing.  Horizons Unlimited is where I post that info since, really- how many people care which customs shed you have to take form B to in order to get stamp 12 so you can return for…

Long Story Short

I ran this cheat in South Africa and I’m going to do it again- finish up NZ in one post and then then start Australia clean.
The rest of the south island was fine, but nor terribly moving- I’d done the really fun stuff, so I took the eastern coast up back to Picton.  From there I headed back to…

The soul of riding

Before I hit the flat lands properly I had some fun riding through recreated historical towns…

More impressionist masterpieces…

And more scenes from LOTR, this one being close to where they filmed the chase scenes through Rohan to Fangorn forest.

I also met up with another rider, though he spent far too much time just staring at the views, so…

It’s like they picked out all raisins…

…And left the rest of the world with the bran flakes.
Hitting the south coast it was time to do the mandatory ‘Southern Most Point’ pic at Bluff and like most of these points, it’s technically not the southern most point (that honour belongs to Slope Point), but it’s the traditional one, so it gets the pic.

I then had a wonderful…

Back to the classics

Off to Milford Sound and another ride down a couple of different memory lanes…
My luck was holding out and the normally rainy area was filled with puffy white clouds and warm sunlight.  This, of course, meant plenty of tourist buses, cars, and caravans on the road.  All things that tend act as fun vacuums on bike, but on this road there was…