Around South America and beyond

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cejnys, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    This would be perfect situation for a smaller bike. These bikes are just too big too heavy!! You can load all the stuf on them to be ready for every situation but then you are going to end up with a tank.

    Back to the basics is the way forward. A small and simple bike is the answer!!
  2. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    This would be perfect situation for a smaller bike. These bikes are just too big too heavy!! You can load all the stuf on them to be ready for every situation but then you are going to end up with a tank.

    Back to the basics is the way forward. A small and simple bike is the answer!!
    DavidM1 likes this.
  3. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Look, you've done almost everything anyone could possibly do on such an adventure; it's impossible for any one person to do absolutely everything!
  4. Kyler

    Kyler Confused Hack Nut

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    why? seems like they are close to having done everything. GO FOR IT!
  5. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    It appears that's what they did.
  6. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    There are many other things that can be done, I am not even close to call it everything :D
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  7. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    :eyes
    :ear
    :thumb
  8. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    After checking the second road and communicating with locals about other possibilities we had to unfortunately admit that Malaysian army got us. There was not another route to get us through the border. I was quite disappointed, on the other side we tried and we could not make it. I did not know what else to do. This experience just confirmed that big bikes are not suitable for serious adventure traveling.

    From the jungle it took us one and half days to reach Bahrain. It was a nice and easy ride; I was pretty exhausted after out jungle experience and tried to enjoy the ride. Most of the time I felt frustration from failure, I really wanted to make it to North Kalimantan.
    After making it to Bahrain we looked around because Matt was not in the city yet and then went for camping on the beach.

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    I woke up very early because I was cold in my hammock, the positive side of that was that I could see a nice sunrise.

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    After we left Bahrain I took us one and half days to make it to Indonesia. There was nothing to look at so we were just riding until we hit the border.

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    Entering Indonesia was really easy; the border facility looked really nice and new, and everything was well organized. Everyone knew what they were doing so stamping the carnet was pretty easy.

    Immediately after entering Indonesia I could see huge difference; suddenly everywhere were many small motorcycles and the traffic got generally more busier. It kind of looked like being back in India but without the sound effect. Nobody was using horns.

    When it was starting to get dark we stopped at a small village to discuss what we were going for sleeping. We did not want to ride during the night because the roads got a bit worse and mainly most of the small bikes on the road did not have a rear light. Thats really annoying when going a bit faster and suddenly there is a bike in front of me without any lights. After about one minute of our conversation there was a Muslim girl inviting us to join their motorcycling club evening gathering. It was just down the road so we agreed. Few minutes later we were sitting with a bunch of young scooter riders and taking many photos.

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    They asked us about our sleeping arrangements; we asked them back whether we can camp somewhere. For a while they were scratching their heads; then suddenly two girls jumped on a scooter and rode away. 5 min later one of them returned in a police car with a police officer in it. They just told us to go with them; they would show us where to camp. The police guy took us to the police station and offer one of their room for us to sleep in. We were like, yeah we take it.

    It was very basic and the next morning they woke us up around 6 am; we did not care because the weather was nice and we wanted to start early.

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    Before we left the top officer requested to have a photos with the bikes.

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    The road towards Kumai was really really nice. It was like riding a rollercoaster. Up, down, right and left, changing constantly directions in very beautiful environment of West Kalimantan.

    We wanted to take it easy and reach Kumai in two days which would mean 250km each day. In one point friend of us sent us a message that there was a ferry leaving Kumai at 3 am the next day and that we can buy tickets at the port.

    It was getting dark when we decided that we would try to catch the ferry at 3 am. We had about 200 km to go. It turned out that it was 200 km in very heavy rain through palm trees plantations. The rain would be ok; the biggest challenge were huge holes on the road made by heavy trucks carrying palm oil. Low visibility caused by heavy rain and very thick smoke from the trucks (they were used palm oil as a fuel) caused few very close calls when I nearly hit few scooters riding without any light. It was hard 200 km.

    When we made it to Kumai, we were totally wet and tired. Then we learned that the boat was not going that day and that the next one was going in 2 days. I tried to argue with them while showing a screen shot from their website which clearly stated that there was a boat leaving at 3am that day. It was totally useless because there was not any boat at the port and they did not expect any boat to arrive either, so we just had to accept it and find a cheap hostel.

    There was nothing to do at that place so we just chilled and did little bit of housekeeping.

    The departure was planned for 22:00. The boat arrived at 23:50 and everything was offloaded by 4am. It took so long because there was a low tide and the boat was sitting too low for trucks to get out. Only small scooters could make it out

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    Getting all the trucks inside was fast; it took about one hour and by 6:30am we were leaving the port.

    It was very old and dirty ferry. I found a good spot to hang my hammock and slept most of the time. The journey from Kumai to Semarang took about 29 hours. They were serving some kind of food which was pretty discussing so I ate just some cookies I got before leaving.

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    Few episodes of Two and Half Man make the journey go much faster

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    Most of the guys on the boat were very friendly; I could not refuse this breakfast invitation

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    After 29 hours we landed on Java island

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    After getting off the boat everything changed; suddenly we were experiencing real Indonesia and we did not like it. Cars and bikes were EVERYWHERE. Even if I wanted to go fast I could not because there was not any space on the road. It was crazy. I felt like I was back in India and probably even a bit worse. In Indonesia there was much more bikes on the road and they filled all the empty spaces between cars; it was really hard to find any space to overtake.

    On the plus side nobody was using horn so it felt much calmer. Also the roads were nice and everything was clean. But still, the traffic was so heavy we were moving very very slow.
  9. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    It's amazing when i think about it - I just can't picture that happening in a police station in our country. What impressive hospitality, and trust!

    I haven't figured out how you guys ride in the rain. We got caught by rain a few days ago, I could not see the road through my visor! Luckily there was a bridge over the road we could take refuge under to wait it out. No way i could have seen to keep riding...
    BarryB likes this.
  10. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    I wish I was there too Bro!
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  11. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    Yes, I am with you on that.
    My next bike with be a DRZ400 SM with knobby Midas tires
    Africa is calling.
  12. drag123

    drag123 Adventurer

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  13. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    Africa is defo calling brother! Yeah the Suzuki is looking good, with different wheels its very strong contender for the trip. Im still hoping for 390 adventure. Also the WR250R made to 280 sounds really cool.
  14. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    For the first night we headed South of Semarang towards Borobudur Temple. We wanted to check it out. When we got into the village we found another touristy overpriced spot where they charge much more because we did not have Indonesian passport and could not speak their language. I don't remember how much exactly it was to enter the temple but it was more than I was willing to pay. I could see the temple from outside and that was enough for me.

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    I found pretty cool place for camping. It was just on a side of a football pitch.

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    Later that evening when we set up our tents some youngsters from the village came and started to do a prep work for Indonesian Independence Day celebration which was coming in few days. They did not mind us staying there. We had pretty good laugh and they even offered to move our camping gear to their home. It was tempting but we were quite tired and did not want to pack/unpack again so we said no.

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    The next day we headed towards Surabaya. It is the second biggest city in Indonesia and if we did not have to go there we would not. Matt needed to buy a new action camera; he found a shop which was selling one he liked. Also I needed a new rear tire. Not sure how that's possible but this Mitas lasted much less then the last one. Right now I have about 20,000 km on it which is still pretty respectful but the last one lasted 37,000. Well the one I have now is still okish but it needs to last at least to Darwin where I want to get new tires for Australia. The problem is that I don't know whether it can last through the islands hopping all the way to East Timor. So as an emergency I got cheap Indonesian 120/80 18 tire for about 30 usd which should get me to Darwin if my old Mitas give up.

    On our way to Surabaya we went through mountains; it was very nice surprise to find out that the crazy Indonesian traffic totally disappear as soon as we started going up. Everything changed with higher altitude; temperature dropped and views got nicer

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    Surabaya was very very busy; more that any Indian city I experienced. The roads were full of scooters and they filled every empty space.

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    We stayed for one night and then headed to wards Bromo national park. We found nice place for camping few kilometers before the entrance gate to the NP. It was an old destroyed farm house. The temperature there was just perfect. Nicely cold during the night and just warm enough during the day. When we woke up we had a visitor. An owner came to check us out. He was really cool and just ganged out while we were packing our stuff

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    I did not have any expectations when approaching Bromo; as soon as I could see the whole are I was speechless, it was really cool place.

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    We could enter the main crater and ride on volcanic ashes. 990 totally loved that environment, we had so much fun. Unfortunately that was not the case with Matts GS. The bike just did not behaved well on constantly moving surface so he took it easy.

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    Inside of the main crater there is another smaller crater which is still active. We could ride the bikes all the way to the small crater and walk up to actually see inside of live volcano. The sound it made reminded me two 747's when taking off. It was very noisy, it was hard to talk to someone while standing there; I have not experienced anything like this before

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    This local guys was absolutely insane; locals are selling dry flowers to tourist for them to throw it into volcano as part of their tradition. It's long way to the center of the volcano so the flowers got stacked on a very steep slope. This guy just walked on the slope and collected the flowers people thrown in. The volcano ash is very slippery and the slope was very steep, little mistake and this guy would end up in a sulfate bath. I would go for a crazy shot but this was a bit too much for me.

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    This is the view from the rim of the active volcano. Thats a temple where we parked our bikes before we started our hike to the rim

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    The next thing to do in Bromo is to experience sunrise from the highest spot of the area. This is very popular thing to do so it gets crowded a lot between 3-4am. We wanted to have good spots so we found really cool place to camp; basically on the terrace from where people watch the sunrise. It did not last long and a local security guy came and informed us that we can stay but we have to pack our tents at 3am because there would be many people everywhere. Of course we did not like that; he then offered us a small house with only one room which was about 50 meters from the view point. It was actually pretty cool place and much wormer. During the night the temperature dropped close to 5 degrees.

    On the right you can see the roof of the small house we stayed in

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    The next morning the place was packed. Crazy full. It was really hard to find any spot to see the volcano crater.

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    We did not really care and entertained ourself by watching people trying to make the best shot.

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    One point people started leaving and made plenty of space for us to make few photos. I think they came out quite well

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    From Bromo we headed towards another interesting volcano called Ijen. We made it to a small town called Bondowoso where I got a room because I was not feeling well. In Surabaya I got some cold and it was getting worse and worse so it was hard to ride because I was feeling quite dizzy. I think it was the cold temperature from camping at a previous volcano. Also I did not want to keep going because I was excited about the next destination and I would not enjoy it with cold. Matthias did not stay because he was meeting somebody in Bali so he wanted to keep riding. After so many days together it was good to have a little break, we knew we would meet soon because we should be shipping our bike to Australia together in one container.

    It took me two days to feel a bit better. While staying in this little town I met a local girl Fenny who was working in a Honda dealership. She was very cool and showed me around the town. She also offered to join me for the Ijen volcano trek.

    The interesting part of visiting this volcano is that it takes 2 hours of hiking to get to the volcano rim. To get there for sunrise we had to start hiking at about 2:30. Fortunately from Bondowoso it was not long ride to the bottom of the volcano so it kind of worked out well.

    When we made it up it was still dark. The only thing we could see was burning sulfate at the bottom of the crater which created nice blue flame and many lights from all the visitors

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    We did not go there because the fire was not as big as usually is and therefore watching sunrise from the top part of the volcano rim sounded as a better experience.

    It was amazing how the whole place transformed with sunrise. Its hard to describe, just wants the photos I took

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    it was really cold up there

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  15. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    After the sunrise there was nothing else to look at so we headed down, which was much easier and faster. After a second breakfast I said good bye to Fenny and started moving towards Bali. Sides of all Indonesian volcanoes are good for growing coffee and this was not different. The road was nice and the views were even better.

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    I wanted to buy some local coffee so I took back roads and was hoping to find farmers that would sell me little bit of their pre roasted coffee beans. It did not take long and I found a guy who sold me one kg of his best coffee for about 1.9 USD.

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    Going on a ferry to Bali was the easiest ferry entrance I ever experienced. As soon as I entered the port area there was always somebody to show me where to go and except of buying the ticket I did not have to stop until I was on the ferry. It was crazy fast! Few minutes later the ferry loading door went up and we were on our way to Bali.

    In this part of the world, bikers are everywhere and this boat was not different. Shortly I had bunch of guys around me talking about the trip.

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    I arrived quite late so managed to clock about 50 km and then found a comfortable place for camping. I slept really well after the hike to the Ijen volcano.

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    I'm the morning I was woken up by local people that were offering a coffee and young guys who wanted to take photos. I was really surprised by the place, it looked much nice when the sun was out

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    I did not want to stay in Bali for long because it's very touristy and I rather wanted to explore more remote islands on my way towards East Timor. Unfortunately I had to stay few days because my dad sent me a new carnet and Bali was the easiest place to receive a document.

    Somebody recommend Ubud as a cool place to stay at so I headed straight there. Finding a cheap hostel was pretty easy.
  16. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

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    Great post, that little crater is amazing and something I've never seen before. That whole area looks "alien" to my eyes. Thanks for sharing.
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  17. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    Oh Magic String Power!
  18. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    yeah it was pretty crazy experience; I took this short video, you can get a bit of idea how loud it was and how steep was the crater where the local guy was looking for the flowers

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  19. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    My first feel from Bali was not positive. Tourists were absolutely everywhere. Traffic was extremely busy and infrastructure was not designed for that many people. Even in Ubud, which was considered as a "quiet" place by people I talked to, was really hard to move around due to the traffic.

    I did not like it, it was too much for me. When looking at a map I could see two volcanos in north part of Bali, I hoped that I could find a bit more quiet place there. After staying one night in Ubud I packed my stuff and was ready to leave. Around that time I received a message from Stealyka, a girl that I met in Kota Kinabalu (I believe I posted one photo of her). It was a bit of surprise that she was in Bali; when we met in KK she mentioned that she was meeting with a bunch of her friends in Bali. At that time I did not pay much to it and kind of forgot about it. Well the story was that all her friends left and she had little bit of time before going to Jakarta to see her aunties. I proposed whether she wanted to join for camping and she agreed. Fortunately she was traveling light so I could fit her bag on the bike

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    Few hours later we made it to Batur volcano. As soon as we started climbing up temperature dropped to very comfortable level and also the traffic disappeared. It felt pretty cool when we got there, the view was not bad either

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    It took me a while to find the perfect and free place for camping. The final result was not bad, I was slowly worming up to Bali

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    The next day I wanted to see how the north coast of Bali looks like. Going down to the volcano towards the north coast was really cool. The road was very small and sometimes quite challenging on a big bike which made me pretty happy

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    The north coast was much more quieter which was nice

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    Just before I made it to Bali I found a FB group "Czech's on Bali" so I asked people there about some recommendations for Bali. I have been approached by a Czech guy Jirka Hruska who together with his dad were living on Bali for the last 20 years. He invited me to visit their really nice and small hotel SelangResort on a steep northern coast very close to Amed. When I got there Jirka was with his clients getting ready for a diving trip. We just quickly said hi and he apologized for not having a room available for me because they were fully booked. Then he offered a small hut hanging on a cliff overlooking the ocean. I was like hell yeah, it was much better than any room anywhere on Bali.

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    The whole place was dug into a cliff, I really liked the layout

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    But still the best part was the hut where we were sleeping

    Later that evening when Jirka finished his work, he had a short talk for people staying in his hostel about his travel experience around Indonesian islands on his adventure scooter. It was good timing for me because I was about to explore most of the places he talked about and this gave me an idea about the places. Also I really liked his off-road scooter. After so many struggling moments with my big 990 I would not mind using his bike around here.

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    It was a very short visit and I could imagine staying for a bit longer because his place was really comfy.

    The next day I dropped Stealyka to the airport and mainly I collected my new carnet, I was ready to leave Bali

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  20. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    Crossing to another Indonesian island after Bali was also very fast. Not as fast as from Java to Bali but still pretty impressive. I was waiting in the harbor about 15 min and then everybody started moving into a ferry and we left 10 min later.

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    The ferry took about 5 hours and when I arrived it was already dark. I did not have any sleeping arrangements so I went to a closest accessible beach to check whether I could camp there. It was quite late when I made it to the beach. Big surprise was Matthias who was at the beach already sleeping in his tent. I did not wake him up and just hanged my hammock and went to sleep. Matthias was quite surprised when he woke up the next morning. He definitely did not expect me to be camping right next to his tent.

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    After having a little chat we packed our stuff and went for a breakfast. We both wanted to try some snorkeling while in Indonesia and Lombok sounded like a good place to do it. We rode to the south west part of the island and hired a small boat which took us to Gili Naggu island which should be a cool place for snorkeling. The ride was about 30 min, then we arrived to a small paradise

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    There were some tourists around but it was not crazy as I experienced in Bali.

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    Snorkeling was okish; there were some reefs around the island which attracted many small fish.

    On our way back we were passing very interesting fisherman's house which was made for fishing. It was pretty impressive because everything was made out of bamboo

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    That evening we found nice camping spot; in Lombok it was extremely easy to find a good camping spot. The beach was just behind bushed at the end of that field but was accessible only by walking ad there were not any trees

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