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Old 05-02-2012, 04:28 AM   #31
bokad OP
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Malang. Hotel Tugu.
Open air. Large traffic circles with green and monuments in the center.

They have mud volcanos!

Amazing hotel. You can wander around it like some sort of museum maze. Each room filled with strange antique treasures and unusual furniture. You're never sure where a hallway or doorway may lead. Best part is it's low season so we basically have the place to ourselves. Private eccentric mansion!

The main function of the hotel seems to be for the owner to store his collection of asian oddities.

They have a full and relaxing bar with competent bartender. Pretty rare in Java. I appreciate it.

I'm planning to do alot of nothing today. Probably tomorrow too.


Eccentric hotel


Eccentric hotel


Eccentric hotel


Eccentric hotel

bokad screwed with this post 05-02-2012 at 05:16 AM
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:59 AM   #32
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17 April 2012
-----------------
Malang

One of the guys working at the hotel is also a biker. The Ural draws attention. We go out for a few dinners and rides with the group. B.R.A.M. - Byson Riders Arek Malang. Big group, about 40 strong. Friendly too. All riding the Yamaha Byson. I still don't know what Arek means. When we ride they form a protective shell around me. Covering the back and sides, clearing the front. We fly through traffic. I'm mildly worried I may accidently run one over them with the tractor stearing Ural though. They give me a t-shirt and it feels proper to change in to it on the spot. We all have a good chuckle at my ultra pale skin and man boobs. For real.


B.R.A.M.


B.R.A.M.


B.R.A.M.


B.R.A.M.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:15 AM   #33
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More strange hotel.





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Old 05-02-2012, 05:27 AM   #34
bokad OP
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18 April 2012
-----------------
Malang

Lazy day. Another animal market. Still no monkeys purchased. Or vampire bats ((
We go to the bank to exhange money. It takes over an hour. The teller photo copies every bill.
The bank guards have crocodile dundee knives instead of guns. The largest denomination of bill is only worth USD $10. Pockets are always stuffed just to cover hotel, dinner, and gas. And drinks. That seems to be a large expense.
The rest from driving feels good. My butt recovers. I buy some baby powder.
Mostly I take pictures of rice paddies and other old timey crap. I'm a tourist so that's what I want to see. These are modern cities though and there is no shortage of coffee houses, fancy cars, and new buildings.


It's not all rice paddies.


One again Anna is a kill joy to my great ideas.


Traffic circle and park in front of the hotel.


Public square, fountain, mosque.

bokad screwed with this post 05-02-2012 at 05:34 AM
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:46 AM   #35
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19 April 2012
--------------
Bromo

Today we will go to mount Bromo. It's like a volcano, but better. Actually it's three volcanos inside the crater of an ancient super volcano. Like a zit on a pimple. Awesome!

Although only 40km or so away you need 3 hours to get there. Indonesian roads, remember? So for sunset you need to depart the hotel at 1am. I'm ashamed to say we didn't take the Ural but hired a car. I was really tired and they said 4wd was needed. In retrospect I think the Ural would have managed (the scooters did) and it would have been a great photo op. Ashamed.

It was an incredible day. Looks like nothing else in Indonesia. More like Mongolia.


Living on the edge of an ancient crater


Three volcanos and a sea of sand


Sea of sand


Gaping maw of Bromo. Sulphur fumes from the earth.


Like nothing else in Indonesia.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:03 AM   #36
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20 April 2012
--------------

I feel better and better as we get to less crowded areas. I realize that we're moving slowly and this trip is going to take much longer than planned. If it get's finished at all. I don't mind. We could blow through areas but I actually want to see things. It will be a trip of experiences, not miles. I look at the map and I'm proud of how far we've come.
I look at the pictures and they're so amazing. Also I see my man boobs are getting more prominent in photos.

Indonesians have been very good to us. Kinder than I could ever expect.

There are a million uses for bamboo. It's better than duct tape, p-cord, and a multi-tool combined.

There is a gecko in our room. Geckos are always a good omen. He's watching me write.

I Ural'd over a man's bare foot in traffic. I gave him $5 and his pain seemed lessened.


It's possible to have fun without drinking but it sure is a lot easier that way.


I love my old lady. And my Bonneville too ))


Giant gecko watching you!
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:32 PM   #37
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What a trip! I'd love to do something like this with my girlfriend.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:03 PM   #38
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I'd love to do this trip with HIS girlfriend.....
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #39
isaac-wombat
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Hey bokad, I'm lovin' ya story!

My only Indo experience is a few trips ta Bali but yeah, I hafta agree with yur opinions on their driving habits.
The biggest vehicle has right of way whenever & wherever it decides to exercise that right! But not only that, it seems they lack an understanding for dangerous traffic situations.

I was one of three people in a small mini bus and a local fella mentioned my 'concerned look' as we drove along (I was 'concerned' after several near misses).

I explained in my Country we don't overtake vehicles and sit in the opposite lane as we crest the top of a hill! We wait until it is safe to do so, when we can see what's coming. At home it's considered incredibly dangerous and in fact it's illegal.

He pondered this and said, "Here we look at the situation - and if we think we can make it we will go for it" or words to that effect...

But anyways, two things:
I'm on the verge of buying a URAL and I gotta say some of yur comments have me worried. I'm surprised to read it runs outta puff in some sections. But it seems to be altitude and fuel mix issues, yeah?

Papua New Guinea; I see yur heading there with ya lovely Lady... Mate, be very careful.
PNG has quite a reputation as a dangerous place. It's stunningly beautiful but theft & muggings & far worse is a regular thing over there. You sound like a seasoned Traveller, so please do some homework on this one.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #40
bokad OP
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Thanks for the reminder. I'd forgotten about the great crest of the hill passing! Even if you don't engage in such practices you're still at danger from people who do. Nuts!

Sorry for the long rant below. I have complicated thoughts about Ural.
I drove my Ural in the US for a few thousand km before bringing it here. Didn't have any problems. Cruising on the highway at 65mph for hours. It's horribly unsuited to driving here though. Quick shifting, acceleration, braking, and maneuverability are a must. And those are all areas where the Ural falls short. Ural has notably poor quality control and a new bike needs a thorough going over from the dealer or yourself. The rear drum brakes can be decent if they're properly set up. Near useless as they come from the factory. The transmission can be less crunchy with clutch adjustment. I own two Urals. Both of them came new with holes in parts, loose nuts, rust, and/or other issues. I love my Ural sometimes and hate it others. It's NOT a bike that can be recommended without reservation. You should have a desire to tinker, patience, some tools, and the time to adjust and fix the things that need it. It's the cheapest and quickest hack combo you can get. It looks cool. Hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people are very happy with their Ural. If I was doing it again and had the extra $'s I'd seriously consider a Ural sidecar attached to another bike though. Less worry and more riding. But I don't like to spend a lot of time wrenching.

About air/fuel mix and altitude and puff. Ural claims in their manual that their carbs automatically compensate for altitude but the general consensus is that they don't. If you're staying around one altitude range, just get it figured out right once and no problem. You'll need to become educated about jet sizes and needle taper, etc... If you're going from sea level to 2000 meters in one day then that can be a problem. My puff problems are usually a result of the roads here. Either having to drive too slow because the road is very rough and so the RPM's aren't in a high enough range to produce enough torque and the Ural isn't geared low enough. Or getting stopped by traffic on an incline and not having enough oomph to get going uphill again from a stop. As an air cooled engine it runs pretty hot and some have said the air intake and carb design heats the air up quite a bit before it combusts. Hot air is of course less dense and has less oxygen. I notice a HUGE difference in hot and cold performance.
Soviet Steeds forum is a great resource for all things Ural and they are a bit more optimistic as well.
I've had simple to fix (but very frustrating) problems that I never would have solved without the knowledge there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isaac-wombat View Post

I explained in my Country we don't overtake vehicles and sit in the opposite lane as we crest the top of a hill! We wait until it is safe to do so, when we can see what's coming. At home it's considered incredibly dangerous and in fact it's illegal.

But anyways, two things:
I'm on the verge of buying a URAL and I gotta say some of yur comments have me worried. I'm surprised to read it runs outta puff in some sections. But it seems to be altitude and fuel mix issues, yeah?
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:01 PM   #41
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Lovely Indonesian People
------------------------
A note is needed about the Indonesian people we've met.

They've been pretty damn wonderful. Helpful, kind, friendly, and honest beyond all my expectations. It extends from the security officer at the airport to people you ask for directions on the street. If we broke down or got lost I have NO doubt that help would come quickly and we'd get whatever we needed or a bed for the night.

I have to take my tank bag off to fill the gas. I set it aside at a gas station and forgot to put it back on. It had about $800 of fancy camera, sunglasses, keys, cash, and other do dads in there. About 5km down the road two boys on a scooter passed us smiling, clutching our tank bag, and waved us over. I would have been really upset if we'd lost it and it may have been hours before I realized it was missing. They didn't just hold it for us at the station, they hopped on their bike and tracked us down. That's super!

Numerous people who don't know us at all have volunteered their time, tools and garage to help with the bike.
We've been treated like visiting dignitaries by damn near everyone.
They've taken us out to dinner.

If the bike is about to tip over on a hill (that was fun) or is stuck in the mud, people swarm in like magic to help.

Someone drove us an hour to an ATM and back.

Restaurant strangers often offer us their business card and say to call if we have any problems while we are here or need translation help.

The people are so kind in fact that I sometimes feel guilty about accepting favours and not being able to repay them.

All of our tour guides really go "above and beyond".

If we have a low tire, dragging luggage, light left on, something left unlocked, or funny noise coming from our bike, someone will definitely let us know and offer to help.

At least once a day I'm amazed and the kindness we receive.

To be honest I'm sure some of this comes from travelling with a girl and an interesting bike. It makes us more approachable. But it seems there would be plenty of kindness for anyone that comes through.

Basic English is fairly widespread. Far more so than anywhere else I was in South East Asia. On par with Malaysia at least. And they use the Latin alphabet so you can read the signs and menus and try some of their words pretty easily. The language (to me) seems grammatically simple so it's not hard to communciate with basic words. All these things make it much easier to relate and communicate with people.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:40 PM   #42
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21 April 2012
--------------
Malang to Surabaya and back. (90km one way)

I'm ashamed to say we hired a car and driver again. $50 for 12 hours. vs Driving 6 hours there and back myself, arriving grumpy, tired, and sweaty. + there's a mud volcao half way between that has really F'ed up the road and traffic. Seriously, a burping, blubbering, town burrying constant mud volcano. The biggest mud volcano in the world in fact. Predicted to keep oozing for the next 20 years. Lucky them. They've built a 30 foot retaining burm to keep it from spreading further.
Anyway, we arrive clean and air conditioned.

First stop is a Soviet built (50's or 60's) Indonesian submarine museum ship. Now mounted on land so you can see the whole shebang. You're free to touch, rotate, flip, or climb in just about everything. Including the torpedo tubes. Instrumentation is in a mix of Russian, English, and Indonesian. Great fun.

Next up we visited the Sampoerna cigarette factory in Surabaya where they still hand roll and pack. The girls can roll 3 to 4 HUNDRED cigarettes per hour. Watching their hands move is amazing. Speed and precision. Exactly like watching a movie in fast forward. My head got a little dizzy if I watched them too long. You get to survey the whole factory floor from a second floor glass walled oberservatory. Photo/video not allowed but you can find it online.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxP3YYbYX3w
90% of cigarretes sold in Indonesia are kretek (with cloves). It certainly smells like it here.

After we got back to Malang we went clubbing (Hugo's) and they let us in for free as special guests. I don't mind. Good music and girls in skimpy outfits. Most westernised thing I've seen outside of Jakarta. Felt normal. Felt good.


Much bigger than my other sub experiences (WWII era)


Breaking up has never been easier or faster!


Floating capitalist pigs 2000 meters ahead! (because any submarine built in the USSR is communist, no matter which country it serves.)


Automated smoking machine. Quality Control I suppose. Poor robot.


Jawa motorcycle somehow related to company history

bokad screwed with this post 05-02-2012 at 11:47 PM
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:54 PM   #43
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Awesome report, looks like fun.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:06 AM   #44
bokad OP
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22 April 2012
--------------
Paragliding at Batu (mountain resort near Malang).

Another biker dude we met a few nights ago was in to paragliding and invited us to go. Said we'd think about it but had some other plans. He was pretty persistent. We often do things we don't really want because the asker is persistent and we're just people pleasers and confrontation avoiders. Gotta work on that. Anyway, it was only 8,000 Rupiah (like $0.90).
Paragliding is always fun. Beautiful view, peaceful. Or you can make it a cork screw vertical descent. Amazing that you can actually GAIN altitude without any propulsion. Just thermals and wind. The best part is always running over the cliff in to the winding. Trusting in your (whatever that thing is) to fill and hold you. Now 8k Rupiah seemed pretty cheap to me but I figured he was just being a friend and we were paying some registration or insurance fee. After all, there's not any fuel or consumable costs. After we landed, Anna gave him 10k and he stufed it back in to my pocket saying "I can't take a tip". Dude, that's not a tip, that's the payment. Some back and forth. Clarification and understanding. Numbers written down on paper. Oh, 800,000 Rupiah ($90). That's quite a difference. We pay it and leave. Bad taste in my mouth bothers me all the way back to the city. Number mistakes happen often between laguages. Did he say thirteen or thirty? But eight thousand to eight hundred thousand is a damn large gap. Was it a pronunciation mistake or a scam. Even if it was an honest mistake and he had meant to cummincate the true price all along, it's a big number for here and the feeling of meeting a passionate, interesting young friend turned in to a feeling of being picked up by a salesman. Need to remember to have a friend call back there to see what the real price is.


Dude's bike


I love stickers, patches, and other flair


Anna gets airborne


We gain altitude after the jump
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:22 AM   #45
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---------23 April 2012----------
Malang to Kalibaru - 240km (+ geting lost)

We leave early. The roads treat us well.

We see all sorts of things on scooters. A pet stores worth of fish in swinging bags. A motels worth of bed frames.
Google tries to take us across a bridge that washed out twenty years ago. Now only passable to scooters. Looks cool though. Pretty detour.
There's a train car sized pile of coconuts on the side of the road and they split a few open for us to eat and drink for free.

We arrive before darkness.

It's been a good day.


Good roads


Bags of swinging fish on scooter.


2 of 6. Must have been a club. Or bare bones rv'ing.


It's been a long time since this was a real bridge.


I think I could just about make it. Just damn that skinny part in the center.


Free coconuts are the tastiest.
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