Cape York & into Asia via Timor-Leste, Indonesia, etc

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by The Bigfella, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. AusStealth

    AusStealth Bohican

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    Oh no, this is more of a worry than just about popping in for an update. Time to ask for a complete physical review. Whats up old man, has the chook got hold of your balls?
  2. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    Maybe he found the kick lever on that 500 again and doesnt want to tell us about it?
  3. KMC1

    KMC1 There is no spoon.

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    Hey Bigfella - got thinking about you today, it's been a long time since any sort of update... I did go and perv your profile though :photog and I see you're still active here and there.... would love to see more pics and hear more inspirational stories sometime.... I'm hoping to start a journey of my own (very) soon and it's amazing stories like yours that inspire me to to dream. Don't let the bastards get ya down!
  4. Fordfixer

    Fordfixer Semi Old Fart

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    I think work just keeps getting in the way..........;-)
  5. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    I'm back. Been riding a bit too.... but only local stuff. Life's been busy... but not too much work. I've been helping out some friends, doing things... getting some changes underway.

    I've had some changes on the home front. Not sure where I'll be this time next year. I'm chasing some work in Indonesia, so, maybe.....

    I'll be riding tomorrow... with the girls. I've warned them that if we pick up another female to tag along, we've got to call the group Ian's Harem. Their response

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    Tomorrow, it's St Albans for lunch. Other recent rides have included Brooklyn, Pearl Beach, Kulnura / Mangrove Dam, Kangaroo Valley, Grey Gum Cafe / Putty Rd, Katoomba and the like. My blonde friend is on red P's, so speed limited, but more importantly, she's riding a cruiser... and dirt is verboten when she's along. She has Sunday and Monday off... and we favour Mondays.

    I ended up with the Funduro again when my elder son moved to Colorado. I actually enjoy riding it around town and on these rides of up to 250 km or so. I added some foam to the seat and it's made it bearable.

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    The first ride with the girls saw me pondering what I'd committed to.... and then they asked me to lead the ride. Eh? We had lunch at the pub at Kangaroo Valley... and despite me being the only one two-up, I had to tootle along at 60kph at the top of the hill for about 10 minutes on the way back, waiting for the Harleys and other cruisers to catch up....

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    Last Sunday saw me ride with the Bikers Australia mob... doing the Blanket Run. About 400 blankets donated to the homeless after a kilometre-long cavalcade from Penrith to Parramatta.

    Another ride saw us hammered.... literally. A major hailstorm on bikes. It hurt.

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    OldPete and bungen like this.
  6. AusStealth

    AusStealth Bohican

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    I can see that its clear Ian needs some tropical therapy. Hailstones and blanket rides!
    I have a week in Chiang Mai at the end of the month, but sadly not enough time to got biking in the jungle.
  7. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    What is your itinerary? Doing any biking? Mae Hong Son loop, for example?
  8. AusStealth

    AusStealth Bohican

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    That twisty road to Mae Hong Son alone is an alluring attraction, but this trip is going to be largely social and involving catching up with friends in CM and with others coming up from Bkk. Might make it up to the Mekong, but can't guarantee it will be on 2 wheels. There is a cunning plan for the future, but everything has to slot in place.
  9. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Chiang Kong? Here's the view from my bedroom, across the Mekong when I was last there.... which, damn it all, was March or April last year.

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    That's smoke. It was shockingly bad. I was there with Auke Koopmans after doing some mapping in Laos. Auke is on FB... and has posted today that he's just finished a new version of the Northern Thailand off-road GPS map. He's working on an update for the Laos one too. Might be worth contacting grabbing one whilst there if you are planning more trips.
    swamp likes this.
  10. AusStealth

    AusStealth Bohican

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    I'm probably expecting rain rather than the Asian burn off smoke this time of year.
  11. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    There's been lots of rain there this year. Auke is in Laos now, posting lots of good waterfall pics on FB.

    Meanwhile, I've put on about 1,000km on the Funduro in the last week. A nice Monday ride to Colo with Paula, then a mate woke me up on Wednesday with a call for a favour - could I ride up to Newcastle and pick up a harmonic balancer for him. Saturday saw a 6am departure on a ride to Hill End (overnighting at the Royal Hotel) with a group of Paula's friends - 7 Harleys, a Triumph Storm, a CBR650, Paula's Suzie 250 cruiser... and me on the BMW 650. My pillion pulled out late the night before - if I'd known she was going to do that, I'd have got the last ounce of rubber out of my old rear tyre.

    As it was, I had fun showing a tail light to the cruisers in the corners.... and I was slightly naughty when we did a couple of laps of the Mt Panorama circuit. Is it legal to overtake on the corners there when it's in public road mode?

    My trip took a different turn 15 km short of Hill End. No drive... I thought I'd dropped a chain... but, I'd stripped the front sprocket, as I found this morning, having trailered the bike home.

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    All fixed now... and locktite and 140Nm should see it stay there this time.

    I'm not really a cruiser sort of guy... but they were a great group of people to ride with, and some laughs were had at the pub

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    A couple of the guys got along at a nice clip on the more open roads,

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    but once these sort of corners appeared, I rode alone. It's nice to have space in places like this

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    Lovely day for a ride. Lots of bikes were out for the early spring weather. I will admit... I wore my electric vest - had it turned off by this stage

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    I talked the group into doing a lap (some of us did two) at Mt Panorama. I've had a few different cars around here - the Jensen Interceptor (great going up the mountain), the M5 - which loved the Dipper... and a few bikes, going back to my Honda 750 / 4 days. A bike is so much more fun going up and down the mountain bits.... and the straight is just as boring in any of them, given the speed limit.

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    The Turon River is always nice.

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    As mentioned, 15km short of Hill End, no more go.... I asked the guys to go into town and offer a slab (carton of beer) to anyone at the pub with a ute, if they'd come get me. One of the guys at the bar threw his keys to my friends and said "white ute, out front - off you go".

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    The guys were grateful that it was only my bike being lifted in. Theirs weigh double this thing.

    I tried to offer some money to the guy who owned the ute when we got back into town. It turned out he was the publican and he wouldn't take money. I was grateful for his generosity.

    The pub is a great place to stay. Here's Paula enjoying some champagne

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    and again the next morning - with the old '31 Studebaker in town

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    The mate I'd gone to Newcastle for on Wednesday threw a trailer on and did a 3 1/2 hour kangaroo and wombat dodging drive up to the pub... and hauled the bike and I home yesterday

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    OldPete and bomose like this.
  12. AusStealth

    AusStealth Bohican

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    North along the Mekong river a ways at what they term "The Golden Triangle" just north of Chiang Saen. The confluence of the Mekong and Ruak Rivers. Golden Buddha is in Thailand, the resort in the middle is Myanmar and to the right is Laos. No smoke, just plenty of cloud. golden.jpg
  13. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Yes, interesting area there. I posted a drone video over that area, three pages back.
  14. AusStealth

    AusStealth Bohican

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    It appears that the resort at the centre of the photo is new, I don't see it on your drone footage. River was well up too.
  15. Rinty

    Rinty Been here awhile

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    Good to see you posting again, Ian. :thumb
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  16. swamp

    swamp Shut up. Ride.

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    How many front sprockets have you done that to big fella? :lol3
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  17. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Maaate.... the only spline problems I've ever had with front sprockets were with my 1949 Matchless 500. I do believe that sprocket got welded onto the spline in some remote location.

    I did have a slight problem with the KTM front sprocket on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the wet season. The mud is a tad aggressive

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    This week's problems have been more around the RSA kind. The RSA Marshall delivered us a jug of water after this

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  18. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Well, we're on the road again. I'm in Jakarta with the girlfriend, for work, but we are going to a family wedding and will duck across to Sumatra for the weekend, unless work gets in the way. Not on a bike, but we hope to hire one.

    Here's a gratuitous bike shot... taken on the drive from the airport to her sister's house

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  19. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Strewth, have I been in Indonesia for 12 days already.... and still haven't gotten on a bike? I'm getting withdrawal symptoms. The girlfriend is keen. I'm keen. A few things may keep us from getting to Sumatra... but either way, there should be some things of interest.

    Before I start.... I think Photobucket is about to make it's presence felt on this thread. I've been with Smugmug for a while now... but the bulk of this thread is with the miserable bastards at Photobucket. I have all the originals... but trying to figure out how to restore the thread might be interesting. Some rainy day work for me at some stage, eh?

    So - Jakarta. We've been having some business meetings and we've also attended a wedding in the girlfriend's family, up on the western end of Java at a place called Cilegon. We're being hosted in Jakarta at her sister's place... and are getting used to a life of relative privilege. We're in a gated community - with some interesting neighbours, who I dare not identify. There's three main house servants and a number of drivers. We're driven to our meetings and the driver hangs around for hours while we dine - and on one occassion, wine... and then off we go again.... driven home. Personally - I'd rather have a scooter, I think... except it's rainy season.

    Last Friday, I was given the opportunity to be a participant in a very, very interesting meeting - with the ambassador of a country that's been gathering people's attention... or to go to the family wedding. I chose the wedding. Said my bit to the guy running the meeting... and hope to hear back in a while as to how it's progressing. I suspect I'll long wish I'd gone to the meeting... but such is life. The wedding was good. Family before rogue nations, eh?

    So, we were driven up to the wedding on the Friday and got there just in time for the various rituals. The bride and groom washing their parents' feet, for example

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    Apparently, I was popular with the ladies

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    Another part of the ritual is the cleansing of the bride and groom

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    Only the second time I've seen my girlfriend cover her head - the bride is her niece, btw

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    More ritual, where the bride and groom are fed a final time by their parents before starting their own life together

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    and then there was time to sit around for a while and relax, before checking in to the hotel


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  20. swamp

    swamp Shut up. Ride.

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    "Last Friday, I was given the opportunity to be a participant in a very, very interesting meeting - with the ambassador of a country that's been gathering people's attention... or to go to the family wedding. I chose the wedding. Said my bit to the guy running the meeting... and hope to hear back in a while as to how it's progressing. I suspect I'll long wish I'd gone to the meeting... but such is life. The wedding was good. Family before rogue nations, eh?"

    ...wait... kim jong un of north Korea?