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Old 01-16-2012, 07:09 PM   #91
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I ended up spending a couple of weeks in and around Kuta... waiting to hear if I'd won three tenders that I'd submitted from Gili Trawangan... and yeah, I did, so I ended up flying home from Bali, rather than trying to find somewhere further north to stash the bike over Christmas.

While I waited, there was a bit of fun to be had. Coral fishing with the girls



Then, after the girls headed off, I rang my mate Agus and said "tell me about Lovina".

Needless to say, we ended up heading straight up. Kuta, where I'd been based since I got to Bali, is down south. Lovina is up north - so it was up to Denpassar, met Agus' parents, and away. When we got to the centre of Bali and started climbing the mountains, the rain started. Terrific..... I was wearing shorts, shoes and a shirt. My only protective gear was some light gloves and a helmet.

The road was steep, winding and a bit greasy... so I took it easy.

There is a video that Agus took before the rain that would appear, from what I've seen, to be a bit incriminating. He's never managed to get it uploaded unfortunately..... but it does appear to show some rather hectic riding - despite me thinking I was taking it easy. Then again... I did manage to overtake a car and bike going the other way.... on their off side... and there was a bit of footpath overtaking on a few days too.

Here's a shot from the trip back... there was even more rain.



I had Agus' rain gear on and had it tucked in around the tank bag and it flew up at about 100kph once... so I tucked it right in and it was OK. Funnily enough, its probably the best gear for here - you don't end up sweating profusely with it. I might have to get one for myself. It was a bit disconcerting on that trip to see all the oil on the road though.

Still, I managed it without going sideways... and when I pulled up at the crater lake where that shot above was taken, Agus was raving to someone about how quick we'd got there. I must admit, I prefer to attack on the roads here.... always overtaking. If you don't, you have to start watching your mirrors... which means you can't keep 100% focused on the critical areas in front. They come at you from everywhere here. Slow down and suddenly a bike will go past you underneath your handlebars on the off side... while another one does it on the near side. Its madness... because there'll also be an SUV coming directly at you on your side of the road, overtaking someone else.... and then, someone will just pull out from the side without looking.

It really does take 100% concentration and there's no way you can go long distances like that.

So - it was a pretty quiet night, and about half way through dinner the sideways glances we were getting clicked with me. Ooops... nah, its OK folks... he's a friend, get yer minds above yer waists. Agus retired early (hey.... I coughed for 3 hotel rooms that night... my one in Kuta and two more in Lovina at the same price... not bad, 3 rooms for under $40 in total... although the ones in Lovina were A/C, had flush toilets and towels even)... but I ended up going into the disco next door to check out Halloween Night. Damn good effort by them... great makeup on the bar staff and waiters. I didn't overdo it though... I had the alarm set for 5:30am for dolphin watching.

So... just me and the boatie for the trip. Agus has done it before.... Here we are. A leaky dugout outrigger with a rat tail motor setup



Off we go, and there's the sun



Bit of a crowd out there. Actually, there were at least 50 boats out there at a guess... some in different areas. There are apparently 4 pods of dolphins



It didn't take long.... about 3 or 4 miles offshore and we were among them






And they kept coming....



I saw them feeding one time and saw a couple jumping, but my last remaining camera wasn't up to fast focusing.



So, after harassing the dolphins for an hour or so, it was back to the beach... with a bit of bailing every now and then



Brekkie on the beach... tough eh, then a catnap and away about 11:30 to do battle with the soaked mountain again. Heaps of monkeys in one area too.

Had some nice desert at Agus' place after noodles on the way. This was a sweet dish... coconut milk, banana, Jackfruit, sweet potato and maybe one other



For some unknown reason, I didn't get photos of Agus' parents or daughters and the family compound... which dates back to Agus' grandfather. Quite a lot of his extended family live there - along with ducks, chooks, dogs, etc. Right in the centre of Denpassar. I managed to somehow miss my part of Kuta on the way back from his place and carved a few figure 8s trying to get "home". Here's a shot of what the petrol stations are always like. It doesn't take long to get through them though... most take about 3 litres.... a tenth of my tank.



Petrol here is less than 50 cents a litre. Hmmm.


I'm not sure I got the best of deals at my cheap hotel one night.... swapping the local lads shot for shot Arak and Laphroaig. I'd bought the Laphroaig back in Darwin, for $83... and then had to spring another $26 for a hip flask because we hadn't drunk more than half of it. I meant to send it home with my daughter, but forgot... and I'd only had two small swigs in the past 2 months of lugging it around - the first in Dili during a teary session with the medico's after they'd lost an apparently healthy patient, and the second to celebrate being on the dry island of Sumbawa.

Anyhow, I wandered back through the hotel courtyard after dinner and the local lads grabbed me.... as usual, and shoved the shot glass my way - yep, one shot glass for half a dozen folks... and mentioned that this Arak was different to the one we'd had the night before... and what did I think of it? I told them it was good, but I wanted them to try my Scotch Arak. Yep. They like Laphroaig.

So.... there we were, swapping Laphroaig... at a million or so rupiah a bottle and Arak, at 20,000 a bottle. I ended up shouting them another bottle of Arak and retired graciously. They're good lads. The hotel is a dive, but I ended up staying a week or so at it. The nightly drinking session was with some workers building a new restaurant at the hotel and the manager.

I worked out with Agus that I could park the bike over at his family compound and leave most of my gear there. I'll get back to Bali, rather than Cambodia, as planned, and see if I can make up lost time... or, more likely simply extend my trip out the other end. I still need to check on wet season timings and the like.... but I'm pretty sure it will be right. First impressions are that I'll still catch the tail end of the monsoon season going through the rest of Indonesia, then I'll be in the hot dry season up in Laos. Such is life.

In a bit over 3 months, I travelled just on 12,250 kilometres. One month in Australia - the toughest month for me physically, given the injury I sustained on Cape York; one month in Timor-Leste - the toughest month emotionally for me, with far too much third world hardship and so much that needs to be done; and one month in Indonesia - with its incredible variety and people.

Just a quick note on Indonesia, out of the paper the other day - Indonesia is "the fourth most populous nation, the third biggest democracy, our (Australia's) second nearest neighbour and the world's biggest Muslim country - Indonesia is by any account a giant"

So - the plan is.... back to Bali in late February... taking a new front tyre with me - and on into mainland Asia. There's at least 10,000 more km of this trip to come. In the meantime, I'll post up some more of the photos I've taken so far.

I might have mentioned that my visa extension took 6 visits to Imigrasi. The last one, to pick up my passport the day I flew home was interesting. I got there at the annointed hour (1pm for the 1pm-3pm allowable pickup time)... and was among the last of a pile of 30+ collected... and got told to take a seat. Fortunately, they piled them on top, then worked down from the top... so much for western views of queuing eh?

Anyhow, I got sent into another office... and it turned out I had to be photographed with a digital camera, fingerprinted and my signature captured digitally. Gee - I wonder why they didn't ask me for my bank account details and passwords too? I was about 3rd to come up... but they were having trouble processing the guy before me - the camera batteries were flat, so out they came and into the charger for 10 minutes. Nope. Try another 5 minutes. Ahh... yes, that worked. My turn. Sit down and the guy keeps hammering away... trying to get the system to work. They didn't sweat, of course, but its dripping from me (they've only been sitting... I had to walk from the cab... hence the sweat). "Having trouble?" "System very slow".... "You guys should sell Bintang here... would make life easier" That one worked and they cracked a smile... well a laugh actually... and we eventually got it done.

So yeah... my visa got extended till December 24th... then I flew out.


... and here's the KTM's new home for the next 3 months.




I'd have liked to have changed the oil before storing it, and to have got it off the wheel bearings, but.... such is life. I've unlocked the fuel cap and told Agus that there's 15 or 20 litres of fuel in there that I want him to use. He liked that idea.

Speaking of home... I finally got a photo of Agus with his eldest daughter. That room is home. Its a large family compound and if I had to guess, I'd say 15 - 20 similar rooms cater for the wider family. It pretty much looked like one room per family to me. Matresses on the floor, but I didn't want to intrude. I think his family has it pretty good, compared to many.




I had to get that visa extension or risk an "overstayer" stamp in my passport - which isn't a good look. Also, if I hadn't won the tenders that I did, I'd have put another month in on this stint and parked the bike up in Malaysia or Cambodia for Christmas.

My original visa was too short because I had the misfortune to be sitting with a nasty old woman at the Indonesian embassy in Dili... so didn't get the visa I wanted (60 day, multiple entry)... just a 30 day single entry one, so I had to get the extension. I should have applied for the extension a week before it was due, but was on the move, so ended up applying the day before I became an overstayer. It meant that I was legal when I left. When I go back, flying in means I can get a visa on arrival... rather than having to apply for one, like I had to with the land border crossing.

Back to the nasty old woman. Hungarian by birth, grew up in South America, then the USA. 68 years old and a veteran traveller, with more than 100 countries visited. Nothing but whinges and moans now. In the end, our host did the right thing by the rest of his guests and told her he didn't have a room available when she wanted to extend her stay. She put in her 60 day visa request at the embassy, then sat down with us 10' from the applications window and started to bitch and moan about over-officious, nasty staff at the embassy "the uniform goes to their head, Indonesia isn't what it used to be 20 years ago, blah, blah". When I got called, the guy... who'd heard everything she said, asked me "you travel with her"... "No". Didn't matter... I'd been sitting with her, so I got tarred with her brush. Miserable bitch.

There was a Belgian guy staying at the same place in Dili with a similar attitude. Bitched and moaned about everything. He'd been travelling by pushbike for 8 years straight. Reminded me of Forest Gump. He hated Indonesia because he was there during Ramadam - so he pulled up right in front of every mosque he went past, sat down out the front and ate something. I asked him if he ever stopped riding his bike to speak to the locals "why would I want to do that?" Miserable prick.

..... anyhow, I'm itching to get back over there.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:14 AM   #92
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I'm starting to get things ready to head back up to Indonesia and resume the trip in about a month's time.... and I figured I'd look through the pile of crap that I had left over. Here it is... most of the stuff I took off



I bit the bullet and bought a new DSLR to take back.... another Nikon, a D7000 with an 18-200. As much as I'd like to take my 80-400 and maybe an ultra-wide zoom.... I won't. I'll stick to throwing just the one body/lens in the tankbag with the netbook.

Here's a snap from the new camera today. A Rainbow Lorikeet on the back deck at home

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Old 01-29-2012, 04:16 AM   #93
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Obviously, I replaced a few of those bits with something else... the twin headlights cost me about a kilogram, but the grabrails along weigh nearly that much. Saved plenty of weight elsewhere.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:58 PM   #94
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Bloody good RR Ian
how do you think a beemer F800gs would go there??
just for future reference..looking at riding home (Cairns) through there when I finish my stint here in Dubai in a few years...
keep it coming

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Old 02-12-2012, 04:18 AM   #95
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Great RR, it's been a long time since I read one from start to finish and I enjoyed every moment. Actually I was tossing up the idea of Russia & Mongolia -> UK but I think you've changed my mind as it seems that a great experience can be had much closer to home!

Hey I'd love to know what route you took up in the North and how much did you spend on island hopping through there?

Something like this would be a perfect trip for my WR250R.............
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:21 PM   #96
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Thanks folks. I wouldn't hesitate taking any bike through. The question becomes one of just when to call it quits. One place we parked the bikes and walked, I'd happily have ridden my old TY 250 trials bike that I had 30 years ago past but not much else. It worried me walking it actually.

The big bikes suffer a bit in the really heavy traffic.... places like Kuta - and I'm of two minds whether or not to take the 950 into Jakarta. I'll suck it and see in a few weeks time. If I find it too taxing, I'll hire a smaller bike. I've got a couple of people to catch up with in Jakarta... so???

A 250cc bike would be ideal in a lot of the places I've been - with one proviso - how much gear do you want to take? I've decluttered twice on this trip - sending parcels home. I'm travelling light with clothing, but spares, cameras and a computer start to load things up. I'm not taking my Klim jacket back... I'm changing to armour for this leg and will buy one of those local poncho things for any downpours.

Riding back from Dubai would be brilliant. I had a friend who's just back from 3 months there with the RAAF.

What route did I take? I presume we are talking once I left Darwin, not the Australian component, as you mention island hopping. It was Dili to Kupang after exploring Timor-Leste.... so call that the back way, rather than the main road. Then it was island hopping to Bali so far. So a ferry from Kupang to the eastern end of Flores.... rode east to west through Flores, then a boat tour of Komodo and Rinca (can't use the bikes there, but well worth seeing).... a ferry to Sumbawa, again, did that east to west... and there's a few options there, then across Lombok, boat to the Gili Islands (again, can't take a bike there), ferry to Bali... and that's where I have the bike now. Its island hopping from there to Java, Sumatra and then across to Malaysia.

I'm on track to fly back to Bali in 10 days time. I've got a stack of work to "finalise" first... and even then, there's problems. There were supposed to be mid-February review meetings on the projects I decided to do while my wife was recuperating. Those meetings are now in the second half of April. I'm doing my bit and heading back to move the bike from Bali to Malaysia. A 30 day Indonesian visa is the only limiting factor - apart from me getting back to Oz ahead of the review meetings.... then I'll head back to the bike a month later.

I've not got much planned for the Java / Sumatra / Malaysia leg. I wouldn't mind picking up on a bit of the WW2 history as I go, I want to see the Volcano at Bromo and the Lake Toba supervolcano site (about 70,000 years ago - largest explosion on earth in the last 25 million years). I'd like to take in more of the wildlife, without getting recycled as tiger poop if possible and to that end, I'm toying with packing my big lens and a tent.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:37 PM   #97
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I'm trying to organise what I do and where just a tad, so I thought I'd take a look at what lonely planet say about the weather. Trying to draw it together a bit, I've come up with this. Bright blue seems to be the "best" months for each country.



It looks like I'll get wet when I get back to Indonesia and riding up into Malaysia during March.... miss a relatively good month while I'm home for work in April, then get back there in time to ride into the monsoon in Cambodia. Lovely eh? Still... a bit of mud could be fun.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:43 AM   #98
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While info in lonley planet can be very helpful, my experience with Vietnam and Cambodia last year says they're not always accurate. Google weather for your place on the web and get conflicting opinions.
As with weather anywhere it could be the driest or wettest year in the last 20, just the luck of the draw.
You know June, July and August are going to be the hottest, tropical climate , you just got to dodge the rain as best you can.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:36 AM   #99
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Yeah, we found some pretty woeful stuff in their books as we travelled, but at least it was a starting point. Our best info came from people we met who were headed in the opposite direction to us.

The only place I'm really concerned about the weather is the Ho Chi Minh Trail. I don't think I want to get stuck in a remote village between a couple of flooded rivers for a few months.

I'm more trying to figure out when to change my flight back to.... the more I look at it, the more it looks like I'll extend the carnet and leave the bike over there until around Christmas.... flying home during the main monsoon months again.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:23 AM   #100
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G’day Bigfella .. and a belated Happy New Year to you ..

For what it’s worth, me an’ Er Indoors are planning on going back for 2-3 months and riding through the northern Thai-Malay Peninsular + Golden Triangle + Indochina part (where possible) of our trip starting right (literally) after Christmas – partly cuz we want to see-in the New Year somewhere in the region – but mainly for the same reasons as your line of thinking – the climate – especially the rainfall and humidity factors. Although I have absolutely no doubt you’ve studied them already – see the charts below, which say it all.

I hope we're able to catch-up with you some place mate.

All the best

K&E



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Old 02-19-2012, 03:54 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
Thanks folks. I wouldn't hesitate taking any bike through. The question becomes one of just when to call it quits. One place we parked the bikes and walked, I'd happily have ridden my old TY 250 trials bike that I had 30 years ago past but not much else. It worried me walking it actually.

The big bikes suffer a bit in the really heavy traffic.... places like Kuta - and I'm of two minds whether or not to take the 950 into Jakarta. I'll suck it and see in a few weeks time. If I find it too taxing, I'll hire a smaller bike. I've got a couple of people to catch up with in Jakarta... so???

A 250cc bike would be ideal in a lot of the places I've been - with one proviso - how much gear do you want to take? I've decluttered twice on this trip - sending parcels home. I'm travelling light with clothing, but spares, cameras and a computer start to load things up. I'm not taking my Klim jacket back... I'm changing to armour for this leg and will buy one of those local poncho things for any downpours.

Riding back from Dubai would be brilliant. I had a friend who's just back from 3 months there with the RAAF.

What route did I take? I presume we are talking once I left Darwin, not the Australian component, as you mention island hopping. It was Dili to Kupang after exploring Timor-Leste.... so call that the back way, rather than the main road. Then it was island hopping to Bali so far. So a ferry from Kupang to the eastern end of Flores.... rode east to west through Flores, then a boat tour of Komodo and Rinca (can't use the bikes there, but well worth seeing).... a ferry to Sumbawa, again, did that east to west... and there's a few options there, then across Lombok, boat to the Gili Islands (again, can't take a bike there), ferry to Bali... and that's where I have the bike now. Its island hopping from there to Java, Sumatra and then across to Malaysia.

I'm on track to fly back to Bali in 10 days time. I've got a stack of work to "finalise" first... and even then, there's problems. There were supposed to be mid-February review meetings on the projects I decided to do while my wife was recuperating. Those meetings are now in the second half of April. I'm doing my bit and heading back to move the bike from Bali to Malaysia. A 30 day Indonesian visa is the only limiting factor - apart from me getting back to Oz ahead of the review meetings.... then I'll head back to the bike a month later.

I've not got much planned for the Java / Sumatra / Malaysia leg. I wouldn't mind picking up on a bit of the WW2 history as I go, I want to see the Volcano at Bromo and the Lake Toba supervolcano site (about 70,000 years ago - largest explosion on earth in the last 25 million years). I'd like to take in more of the wildlife, without getting recycled as tiger poop if possible and to that end, I'm toying with packing my big lens and a tent.
I'm pretty good at traveling light now after doing South America on a DR200, I imagine you can carry a lot less in SE asia because it doesn't get too cold? The WR250R is actually pretty fast, twice as much hp as the DR200 had and another gear to boot.

Have you found any premium fuels since leaving Australia? That's the biggest problem with this bike....

Anyway, I'm glad you're on the way back and I'm looking forward to your future instalments
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:16 PM   #102
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Hey thanks for those Keith. Sheesh, you might end up inspiring a guy to do more than five minutes research before he leaves eh? The original plan was good... I'd have been on the Ho Chi Minh Trail right about now. Damn clients eh? If we didn't have clients, we wouldn't have problems.... isn't that the old saying?

Premium fuels, you ask? Yeah... no worries, sort of, in Indonesia. They sell 92 octane pretty much everywhere there, but as to whether that's RON, MON or whatever, sorry, I can't recall. A quick google gives this site

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating

.... which says that is the same as standard fuel in Oz.

I've left the wire disconnected on my 950 SE, which allows it to run on lower octane fuel. Outside Dili, in Timor-Leste is a different story to Indonesia though. The fuel at Tiger Fuel in Dili comes in from Oz, and I've seen tankers filling up from their bowsers and heading bush, so there is some good fuel out there.

I had to fuel up from roadside plastic bottles a couple of times and who'd know whats in it. Probably a mix of petrol and Arak (home brew rocket fuel made from palm tree flowers). One fill was fine, the next, the bike was down on power - wouldn't wheelie when I rolled the throttle open, so I took it easy... nothing over 140 on that load. That fill, funnily enough was in the western part of Sumbawa, where all the fuel stations were dry so it was roadside only.

I don't think I posted this shot earlier.... it was at a fuel stop up in the eastern end of Timor-Leste. Keef (Keith, and Ellen) graciously took me along in their hired 4WD on a tour of the east while we waited for our bikes to arrive on the same ship. Despite having bowsers, but maybe not electricity... this was the refueling setup. Half a 44, filled out of a tap leading into the shed on the right, dipped into plastic bottles, then into the car. The poor bastard doing that wouldn't have much skin at the end of the week I reckon.



I made some guy's day there... we filled the 4WD and there was about 3 litres left over, so I gave it to the next bloke in the queue.... and his face just lit up in a big smile.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:03 AM   #103
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This time tomorrow, I'll be on the road again.

Its a short stint this time, with the duration dictated by client needs on some pretty big projects. I fly out tomorrow and return to Oz in five weeks, on April 8th for a month.... then back to Asia again.

I've set up a Spot Adventures page for this leg. There's no data in there yet, but in a couple of days, it should start showing progress. I just need to get the link here now before I get back to the vagaries of 3rd world internet.

http://www.spotadventures.com/trip/view/?trip_id=295152

Hopefully, some of the technology I originally set out with on July 29th last year will work this time. My Garmin Montana couldn't take the rough roads on Cape York - and conked out after one and a half days. My Nikon didn't like the monsoons - and its been replaced too.

So - the plan is to recommission the bike in Bali and head northwest (ish).... Into Java, take in the Bromo volcano and head to Jakarta to catch up with some folks. From there - who knows? I'd like to take a look at Anuk Krakatau - but that may be problematic. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, I've been glad to help out the family of the tuktuk driver who was very good to us in Siem Reap just short of two years ago. Life's pretty tough for these guys.... various things have knocked tourism around and when we were there in June 2010, there were empty tuktuks everywhere. He's one of the guys here... second from left



(nice feast of fried crickets going on there... damn things aren't bad actually, but you sure need a toothpick afterwards)

Jeat got married not long afterwards and now has a one year old daughter, so I'm helping him step up to a tourist car. Shouldn't mention that on a bike site... but hey.. this is about how he can make a living. I'll be catching up with him mid year or a tad later.

OK... must be time to pack.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:52 PM   #104
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I guess its issues like this that make these trips "interesting"... after the fact. The Katoom isn't running right. Riding it down from Depasar to Kuta the other day was certainly "interesting" Its running like a pig - one cylinder (I think) is running lean. Its backfiring and carrying on a treat. The only way to ride it is with the choke on.... and hit the kill switch at stops. I tried to find a bike shop but Mr Honda didn't want to know m - and sent me back to Denpasar, where another half dozen bike shops took one look and said no. I decided that I'd do the work at a bike shop in case things get complicated. I was betting on it being a blcked carby jet - when we started cranking it over, we got a fuel spill out of one of the carby breathers.... so that was going to be the starting point.,,,, but the guys in OC have me on another track now.... one that makes sense. Its probably a split or unplugged vacuum lead. So simple, so annoying.

I'll swap the air filter and plugs while I'm at it and see how we go. I certainly can't set out for Java without getting it right. I'm not overly keen on pulling carbies apart without access to gaskets... but I've used a cornflake box as gasket material before today. Agus is coming by in a couple of hours and we are going to try the Harley shop. Surely they won't be scared of big bikes.

I suffered an Asian crash on my first day back... at my friend Agus' mother's restaurant. Sitting there with Agus when "BANG".... and I'm on my arse on the tiles. Yet another cheap Asian plastic chair tried to murder the big fat westerner. It hurt too. I'll remember to choose my chairs more carefully from now on. A couple of massages later and I'm recovering.

I scored an unusual honor on Wednesay. Agus took me to a couple of Hindu cremations. Talking to another mate "Kiwi" - who runs my hotel, he tells me that there are three levels in the society - low, middle and high (duhh!) and your level determines the ceremony to some degree. He was a bit sad, said he didn't have enough money to cremate his mother, so she's waiting in the ground until he can afford to do it. Back to the ceremony... it left from near Agus' family compound and we joined the procession - with one of his girls on my shoulders. There were many hundreds of us (I was the only Westerner - and it wasn't the slightest problem with anyone that I was there)... and we walked a couple of kilometers through the centre of Denpasar to the cremation grounds - with the coffin being carried in a very elaborate bier (did I get that term right?).... Once there, the body is removed from the coffin and unwrapped. I'm not sure what's done to preserve the body... the cremation takes place one week after death and unlike in the west, there's no refrigeration involved. Anyhow, the body is placed in a structure made of banana trunks.... with about five iron rods to support it. There's lots of annointing and placing offerings of food.... and then a gas burner goes in underneath.... and Bob's yer uncle.

Talking to Agus tonight about cremations here. He said the one we went to yesterday probably cost about 110 million rupiah - call that say $11,000 a lot of money here. His grandfather's cost 80 million in 1999. His was a high level service, as will his father's be. They use wood, instead of a gas wand cremator in the high level ones.

Here's a couple of shots from the procession yesterday


The dude himself




One of the guys carrying ceremonial spears IIRC



I believe people are paid for their ceremonial offerings, but, tomato sauce?



Getting into the swing of things



They struck a bit of trouble with low hanging cables.... soon sorted out




Some random western dude in the parade





Plenty of noise



There were several girls / young women being carried like this. They were damn hard to get a photo of



Persistence paid off



and again... one of the younger ones



More noise



Now we get to the business end. We arrived at a park... after passing another cremation parade.

I'll mix photos from both ceremonies together here. I haven't got enough computer grunt to fix a few problem photos...

First up, the lid comes off the coffin and the covers are removed.



a rather interesting and very sharp ceremonial knife is used to unwrap the body



The unwrapping doesn't go too much beyond this before lots of ceremony with liquids and foods



and when we get to this stage, we're pretty much ready for the cremation



those shots above are from the second service.... the rest are from the first one

This guy did most of the ceremonial work



No one shies away. Everyone is keen for a look



Here's the overall setup, just as they are lighting up. Banana stool trunks are used, steel rods support the body. The coffin has been removed... and away he goes. Compared to western cremations I've seen, which go off at around 950C IIRC, this is a much lower temp setup



Two guys run the show from here on.... they spend a fair bit of time raking out all the cloth coverings and making sure they burn first



Everyone is keen to watch



The squeamish may want to avoid the next one. There's nought wrong with it... and cremation like this is central to these peoples beliefs



I don't know how long the cremation took... we took the girls home at this stage... I went past yesterday and the park was pretty well cleaned up.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:45 PM   #105
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OK... I'm bikeless and stuck at the pub.... The Harley dealership here told me to take a running jump but Dr Harley... run by an Aussie and an American..... have the bike. They didn't want me working in their shop, so they're doing it. I've given them some new vacuum tubing, the new air filter and oil filter and I think my bank account will suffer. It just wasn't worth getting stuck half way through the job without enough tools. Funny thing is, out of town I would have been a lot better off. The local shops take anything on.

So - all this riding around today was with Agus ahead of me, with his daughter perched in the gap ahead of the scooter seat. No helmet. He had a crash with one of his daughters aboard a week or so back... so, here's the best $15 I reckon I've ever spent. I buggered the photo up - I'll learn one of these days to check the camera settings when I drag it out of the backpack.... but a quick hit of photoshop and we've got..



Now all I need to do is get her sister to a helmet shop.

Speaking of riding today.... I trapped myself at one stage... Agus' scooter is a good foot narrower than my bike with its wide bars - so trying to stick with him was "fun" -- so, I've ridden up this footpath and discovered that the outlets back onto the road have disappeared, the footpath is blocked with fibre optic cabling everywhere... and its an 18" drop back down to the road. Nothing for it, but wait for a 6' gap and launch. The locals loved it. I didn't. Nor did I like the converging SUV and 5 ton truck going for the same bit of road.... with me in between. Sheesh.
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