Following the Front Wheel- Postie Bike Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RDT953, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Shady lane
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131004_001.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131004_001.jpg" border="0" alt="Nice piece of road photo WP_20131004_001.jpg"/></a>
    Mountain road to Iliomar
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131004_005.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131004_005.jpg" border="0" alt="Road to Iliomar photo WP_20131004_005.jpg"/></a>
    Sometime after Iliomar I came across a ceremony at a local church, ladies were all in costume and dancing and singing outside. The kids were wearing white sashes and some of the girls were in little bridal gowns. Aha a confirmation is on the go. I’m not much for religion but it being Friday I was a bit surprised, I thought all this stuff happened on Sunday?
    Anyway I stopped and was mobbed by kids who all went into a frenzy like Santa himself had happened along to join the party. A couple of the older lads restored order with a few well-placed swipes with lengths of thin cane. I asked if it was OK to take some pictures and was invited to do so. The kids got a bit out of control again until a very small older lady stepped forward and took my hands in hers and kissed them. A bit taken aback by this I responded in kind. Well the kids just lost it then but quickly got themselves back in control after a few stern words from the LOL (Little Old Lady) I indicated I’d like to take a photo of her and she posed nicely, I’m guessing it was her granddaughter who came and stood by her for the photo. Again the instant friend maker came out and I produced a print of the LOL and presented it to her. She and her granddaughter were delighted. Of course the requests came thick and fast then but I picked out some of the more senior folk and told them that the battery was close to finished. As it turns out this was the truth, can’t have me telling porkies in front of a church now can we?
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131004_012.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131004_012.jpg" border="0" alt="Church ceremony photo WP_20131004_012.jpg"/></a>
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100411.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100411.jpg" border="0" alt="Patriarch photo P1100411.jpg"/></a>
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100409.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100409.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo P1100409.jpg"/></a>
    At some stage on these rough roads the screw holding the back of the additional fuel tank decided enough was enough and it hit the road. The tank was sagging at the back but still serviceable; I’d tried a temporary fix with some light rope but it too broke under the strain.
    When I finally made it to Lospalos I looked about for a fuel station but not seeing any in obvious locations I asked a local. young lad on a scooter gave me a personal escort to his favourite place where I took on the first fuel since Dili three days ago. I asked him if he knew where I could get a replacement screw for the fuel tank and he took me a couple of blocks down to a mechanic. Within seconds the exact right screw was produced and attached, job done and no charge. We had a few laughs and I was on my way. Decided to stop in Lospalos for the night at the AVR Guesthouse. It’s a lovely old building falling slowly into dereliction, I imagine it would have been one of the more upmarket restaurants in town in a bygone era.
    #21
  2. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Headed back to the mechanic in the morning to get the oil changed on PB, charge for labour 50 cents so I gave him a dollar and said the other 50 cents was for the bolt he gave me the previous day.
    Road from Lospalos to Tutuala is pretty good, it passes by a huge lake which I’m told is home to many large crocodiles. There were kids fishing from the road where they stand in ankle deep water and should be safe however a woman was taken recently. The locals to refer to the crocodiles with the same word as they use for grandfather, seems they believe them to contain the souls of ancestors.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131005_004.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131005_004.jpg" border="0" alt="Looks inviting, the crocodiles thought so too photo WP_20131005_004.jpg"/></a>
    Some traditional structures along the road
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131005_003.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131005_003.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131005_003.jpg"/></a>
    The Patron Saint of crocodiles and small children?
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131005_001.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131005_001.jpg" border="0" alt="Patron Saint of Crocodiles and small children? photo WP_20131005_001.jpg"/></a>
    From Tutuala to the beach opposite Jaco Island is 8km of extremely rough track with large loose stones on very steep and rutted declines. I had met a young French couple on a borrowed Kawasaki KLX 150 back along the road and they were heading for Jaco as well, they made it here OK but she had to walk for much of the way. I’m not feeling overly confident of being able to ride back up that track, some of the hills are very steep and long and I’m doubting the power of the little motor in PB being sufficient to carry me and the luggage up them.
    On the upside, at the end of the track is a truly magical piece of real estate, a pristine white beach backed by flat level camping grounds under huge shady trees. The view from the campground is over brilliant blue sea to the nearby white beaches of Jaco.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131005_007.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131005_007.jpg" border="0" alt="Jaco Island photo WP_20131005_007.jpg"/></a>
    There are two Eco Guesthouses here with a selection of bungalows, rooms and camping. I asked about camping and food at the first place and the bloke didn’t seem too interested but did say the bungalows were $20 per person and camping $10 so I explored further and came to Lakumorre Guesthouse at the end of the beach road. The reception here was far more positive and camping just $5 which includes use of toilets and showers, brilliant. I’m camped under large tamarind trees with lots of fruit lying about for the taking. I ordered lunch and set about unpacking and setting up camp
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131005_005.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131005_005.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131005_005.jpg"/></a>
    Lunch was $8 and was far too much food for one person so I took my fill and then packed the leftovers into my cooking pot for dinner.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131005_006.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131005_006.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131005_006.jpg"/></a>
    I’ve got a reasonable heavy work shirt with me so I soaked that, wrapped the pot in it and hung it in the tree to let the wind and evaporation keep it cool until dinner time.
    My morning view
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131006_001.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131006_001.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131006_001.jpg"/></a>
    A bit about Lakumorre Guesthouse. Established in 2009 it is the nicer of the two places on offer here and is very well run by a family who have owned the land for generations. They are building a new guesthouse but at the moment have a couple of rooms with either 2 or 3 single beds for $20 per person a night and a room with a double bed for $30 for the room. They also have a tent set up in the campgrounds for $10 a night or if you bring your own tent it’s just $5. Meals are available for $8to $10 and are huge. Phone numbers if you want to make a booking. (Advisable on weekends)
    +670 77245620 – 77852050 – 77933041
    #22
  3. mammutetzsidecar

    mammutetzsidecar Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Japan
    Very inviting pics accompanied by very informative dialogue. Have faith in the Postie, it will get you back up the hill:clap:clap
    #23
  4. sharkey

    sharkey XLV750R

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'd forgotten about that one, but it's at the 17 minute mark on this video from a week or so earlier

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/2799008526_FrqLkM2?width=640&height=360&albumId=32061864&albumKey=2zqfp8"></iframe>
    #24
  5. blek

    blek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Dompu, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
    Huh? But that is our average dose! :rofl
    #25
  6. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Decided I’d had enough of paradise; with no fish to catch it’s a flawed paradise anyway. Packed the bike and paid the bill and with more than a bit of trepidation set off to tackle the track uphill. Most of the track is perfectly fine actually it’s just half a dozen mongrel hills with big loose rocks and deep washouts that make it so daunting.
    Here’s a pic to give some idea but actually capturing the road condition or the severity of the incline in a picture is very difficult.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131007_003.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131007_003.jpg" border="0" alt="Jaco Track photo WP_20131007_003.jpg"/></a>
    Well of course I made it otherwise I wouldn’t be here reporting. The little bike struggled on the steep hills and needed a bit of help from my legs to keep moving but it did an incredible job. I don’t know if I’ve caused any damage to the auto-clutch though, I’m sure it got very hot. So off we go past the croc infested lake
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131007_004.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131007_004.jpg" border="0" alt="Croc bait photo WP_20131007_004.jpg"/></a>
    until I come across a local couple in distress with a flat tyre and no tools. Stopped to lend a hand and discovered two important things. First my glue for patches is useless and second, my walking shoes are gone. I’d put them on top of the panniers, fastened with one of my Andy Strapz elastic and Velcro fasteners, the strap was also missing.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131007_006.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131007_006.jpg" border="0" alt="Fellow biker photo WP_20131007_006.jpg"/></a>
    I guessed that I must have snagged the strap on my boot while my legs were flying about trying to get up the mongrel hills. What to do? I had to go back and look as I really need those shoes. I found the shoes but not the strap on the very first bit of mongrel hill I’d come up earlier. I was bloody happy to have my shoes back but not too happy at having to tackle that track again.
    #26
  7. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Now in Baucau resting in luxury in an air-conditioned room with a big bed and hot water.

    Had a brilliant sleep in quiet cool comfort and woke up to breakfast of egg, bread and jam and of course a big jug of Timor Coffee.
    The bracket holding the back of the XR tank which I’d fashioned out of a thin piece of metal strap didn’t stand up to the punishment of the Jaco track causing the tank to drop at the back and rest on top of the carburettor. So I went searching for a workshop. Found a place that seemed to do everything including upholstery.
    Broken strap
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131008_003.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131008_003.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131008_003.jpg"/></a>

    PB had a small rip in the front of the seat pad when I bought it so I patched it with cloth tape. Here was an opportunity to fix it properly so after negotiating a fair price the seat was removed, a new stronger bracket was fabricated for the tank and the seat now has a lovely tan piece at the front which contrasts nicely with the black.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131008_002.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131008_002.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131008_002.jpg"/></a>

    Took a ride down a long winding road to Baucau Beach for a look
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131008_008.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131008_008.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131008_008.jpg"/></a>
    Then explored a bit further and found this old Portuguese fortification.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131008_010.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131008_010.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131008_010.jpg"/></a>
    Returned for another look at the beach and decided to stay a night. I asked at the Baucau Beach Bungalows if they had any room but was informed that the bungalow was already occupied, bugger.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131008_012.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131008_012.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131008_012.jpg"/></a>
    The grounds have lovely big breadfruit trees casting lots of shade which looked ideal for camping. We negotiated a rate and hey presto up goes the tent on a very soft patch of lawn under a small pomegranate tree.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131008_013.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131008_013.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131008_013.jpg"/></a>
    The beach is lined with palm trees and fisherman huts and a string of boats anchored just offshore. There’s one small cabana on the beach selling drinks and food. A walking path heading east leads to a couple of more little beaches with equally stunning views.
    Late afternoon at the beach.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131008_016.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131008_016.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131008_016.jpg"/></a>
    Had dinner at the beach hut with the couple who had beat me to the bungalow
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131008_017.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131008_017.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131008_017.jpg"/></a>
    Then early to bed for another restful sleep.
    Got up early to take in the sunrise
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131009_008.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131009_008.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131009_008.jpg"/></a>
    Then one last look at the beach and off to Dili
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131009_010.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131009_010.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131009_010.jpg"/></a>
    Climbed a hill to a lookout over Manatuto
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20131009_011.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20131009_011.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131009_011.jpg"/></a>
    Now back in Timor backpackers getting some washing done and updating this.
    Off towards Indonesian West Timor tomorrow.
    #27
  8. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Finally got enough phone signal to upload some vid.

    <embed width="600" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullscreen="true" allowNetworking="all" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf" flashvars="file=http%3A%2F%2Fvid1160.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fq493%2FRDT953%2FGOPR0010.mp4">
    #28
  9. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Sorry, I don't know how to do this yet. I'll work at it later when I have faster internet service.
    #29
  10. sharkey

    sharkey XLV750R

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Can't wait! I ended up using Smugmug's video hosting, but vimeo would work too. If you can, turn it in h.264 before uploading
    #30
  11. kyotoviking

    kyotoviking Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Kobe, Japan.
    Awesome pictures and report.
    On Facebook I saw a tall bloke that looked like Santa on summer holiday leaning over your bike. Is that a Adventure Rider -thing? To not shave during the trip, or a crocodile ate your shaving gear on the beach in East Timor?
    Anyway, have a nice, safe trip. Would love to join you. Looks like a really cool adventure.
    Can't wait for the updates.
    KV
    #31
  12. Lunapaso

    Lunapaso n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Kobe, Japan
    I'm so impressed with your posts I joined the site just to follow your progress RDT953. But for a postie bike you've been a bit slow with your regular mail delivery lately, hope all is well with you?

    Best regards from Kansai Riders!:ricky
    #32
  13. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    One of the challenges of writing a RR for adventure rides in remote places is keeping it updated on a regular basis. I bought a local sim card with lots of data capacity but it only gives me a minimum service at times. I have been keeping the diary updated on my computer though but I have to wait until I can upload pictures to photobucket for posting here. Anyway, thank for following along and your comments and feedback are very appreciated.

    And yes Luna it is a Postie Bike but it's snail mail old mate.
    #33
  14. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Had a terrible night at Timor Backpackers and didn’t get any sleep at all. The bloody A/C in the dorm did very little in cooling the room and sounded like a small diesel engine starting every time the compressor kicked in. So without any sleep at all I have a long ride in front of me. Got the bike packed, paid the bill and off. Down to one drink bottle holder on the handlebars now, the roads have taken their toll and alloy holder has snapped.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_BOTTLEHOLDERBROKE.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_BOTTLEHOLDERBROKE.jpg" border="0" alt="Bottle Holder photo R_BOTTLEHOLDERBROKE.jpg"/></a>
    I’ll look for a replacement in Kupang.
    Resolved to just ride along the coast a bit and see how far I got. Headed straight into a traffic jamb getting out of Dili which turned out to be due to a bike versus large truck accident. Looked like the bike and rider had slammed into the back of the truck making a “U” turn, blood and carnage evident on the road, note to self “BE CAREFUL”.
    Got through that and continued west along the coast on what could be one of the great coastal road drives in the world once the road is upgraded. The views are stunning and the road literally hugs the beach for much of the way only leaving it where the beach yields to rocks and cliffs and the road winds up through the hills for views along the coast.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_WESTOFDILI.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_WESTOFDILI.jpg" border="0" alt="Panorama photo R_WESTOFDILI.jpg"/></a>
    Coast road under development and a land slip up ahead.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_LANDSLIP.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_LANDSLIP.jpg" border="0" alt="Land Slip photo R_LANDSLIP.jpg"/></a>
    Picked up a hand of red bananas and four donuts from a roadside stall then stopped at a lovely little beachside café for a rejuvenating coffee at Maubara.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_RESTSTOPCAFE.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_RESTSTOPCAFE.jpg" border="0" alt="Shady Cafe photo R_RESTSTOPCAFE.jpg"/></a>

    Postie Bike got noticed by a passer-by who turned out to be from Darwin so I got to have a bit of a chat about the ride and life in general.
    Stopped to take pics of old colonial era fort.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_FORTRUINSWESTOFDILI.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_FORTRUINSWESTOFDILI.jpg" border="0" alt="Portuguese Ruins photo R_FORTRUINSWESTOFDILI.jpg"/></a>
    Was feeling remarkably fresh and decided to press on for Balibo to pay my respects to the Balibo Five at the Australia House.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_BALIBO.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_BALIBO.jpg" border="0" alt="BALIBO photo R_BALIBO.jpg"/></a>
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_INSIDEOZHSEBALIBO.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/R_INSIDEOZHSEBALIBO.jpg" border="0" alt="Inside Balibo photo R_INSIDEOZHSEBALIBO.jpg"/></a>
    Then back down the same road to the coast to continue westward to the border crossing.
    This was my first border post crossing with the bike so a learning opportunity for me. It all went pretty easily after at first being directed in all of the wrong directions by various uniformed persons on the Timor Leste side. No not here go there, no not here go back to there, no not here go inside over there, no not in here come with me, back to the very first place I’d gone.
    The Indonesian side was simplicity in itself although I did have to coach the customs official through the process of completing the Carnet.
    Took a speedo reading on entering Indonesia which shows that I did about 1100km in Timor Leste.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_101013.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_101013.jpg" border="0" alt="Start Indonesia photo R_101013.jpg"/></a>
    The roads improved immensely but still have some nasty bits and still not much in the way of signage. My HERE MAPS on the Nokia are useless for this part of Indonesia so I have to get in touch with my feminine side and ask directions several times.
    I had the bit between my teeth now and was really enjoying the ride so decided to press on. Well I didn’t ask directions often enough and ended up taking a wrong turn. I could have turned back but in keeping with the ethos of this ride I decided keep following the front wheel and see some of the less visited parts of the country. Hotels are few and far between and I’d failed to find either a hotel or a place to camp by the time the sun clocked off for the day. Oh well, time to test out the LED Driving light and yes, it’s bloody fantastic, what a great addition to the bike.
    Eventually ended up in Soe (pronounced So-eh) in a nice little hotel for the night with PB safely parked in the foyer. Think I’ll have a look around and then make for Kupang.
    Turns out I hadn’t taken a wrong turn at all, just a misunderstanding with some well-meaning locals the last time I’d sought confirmation that I was still headed for Kupang. Lucky I’d kept following the front wheel after all.
    An easy ride into Kupang with traffic getting heavier and crazier the closer I came to my destination. Surprised myself by finding Lavalon Seaview Guesthouse on the very first try. For anyone transiting or just visiting Kupang, this place is an absolute gem. The owner operator Edwin can arrange tickets for flights at better than internet prices and has lots of information about just about every aspect of travel in Indonesia. The rooms are clean, comfortable and cheap and the hamburger is reputed to be the best in Indonesia. The one I sampled was certainly very good.
    Had dinner at the night market, Mie Ayam (noodles and chicken) and a big glass of fresh apple juice for just under AU$2.
    After chatting with Edwin, I’ve decided to take the Tuesday ferry to Alor Island, in the meantime I’ll do a short trip to Rote Island on the slow ferry and kick back in a beach guesthouse for two days.
    Made it to the ferry just in time, the terminal is located at Bolok not at the main harbour which involved a bit of a ride along the coast through traffic.
    Bike and I are safely? On-board now and making for Rote as I write this.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_FERRYTOROTE121013.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_FERRYTOROTE121013.jpg" border="0" alt="On Rote Ferry photo R_FERRYTOROTE121013.jpg"/></a>
    #34
  15. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    The ferry trip to and from Rote was perfectly fine, the people were all very friendly and helpful and the time went quickly enough. The route from Kupang to Rote is in very protected waters so it was smooth sailing all the way. People are genuinely interested in what I’m doing and are only too happy to sit and chat.
    These young ladies are on holiday and visiting Rote for the first time. They were very happy to pose for a pic.
    Nona Nona Kupang
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_NONANONAKUPANG121013.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_NONANONAKUPANG121013.jpg" border="0" alt="Nona Nona Kupang photo R_NONANONAKUPANG121013.jpg"/></a>
    Arriving at Rote ferry port we had a bit of a wait for the other ferry to clear out.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_ARRROTE121013.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_ARRROTE121013.jpg" border="0" alt="Ferry at Rote photo R_ARRROTE121013.jpg"/></a>
    After disembarking I basically followed the crowd for the first several km, but then as people started branching off I had to ask directions again. It was easy enough and I managed to get there without getting lost. Booked into Tiraga Guesthouse for 2 nights. 150,000rp a night which includes all meals, it’s basic but clean and comfortable enough.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_TIROSACOTTAGES121013.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_TIROSACOTTAGES121013.jpg" border="0" alt="Tiroga GH Rote photo R_TIROSACOTTAGES121013.jpg"/></a>
    Didn’t do a lot here other than kick back and catch up on sleep and some reading with the occasional stroll along the beach.
    If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_FLAUNTIT.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_FLAUNTIT.jpg" border="0" alt="Got it? Flaunt it photo R_FLAUNTIT.jpg"/></a>
    A typical fisherman’s’ shelter
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/FishermanShelterRote.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/FishermanShelterRote.jpg" border="0" alt="Rote Fisherman Shelter photo FishermanShelterRote.jpg"/></a>
    A typical surfer’s shelter
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/SurferShelterRote.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/SurferShelterRote.jpg" border="0" alt="Surfer Shelter photo SurferShelterRote.jpg"/></a>Seaweed drying on racks.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/DryingSeaweed.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/DryingSeaweed.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo DryingSeaweed.jpg"/></a>
    The ladies and kids scour the beach at the water’s edge for any bits of seaweed that has managed to get through the thousands of nets strung along the shallows. What the ladies miss the pigs and goats get.
    Surfers waiting for a boat ride out to the break.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/Waitingforaboattothesurf.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/Waitingforaboattothesurf.jpg" border="0" alt="Waiting for a lift to the surf. photo Waitingforaboattothesurf.jpg"/></a>
    An improvised Emergency Signalling Device.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/EPIRB.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/EPIRB.jpg" border="0" alt="EPIRB photo EPIRB.jpg"/></a>
    #35
  16. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    It's my Feral look Viking. Now that I've achieved Gnarly Adventurer status on ADV I thought I should try to look the part.
    #36
  17. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Heading for Alor Island 15th October and then look for a boat to Lomblen and then another boat to Flores. I could experience weak phone signal and therefore poor internet capability so it could be a couple of weeks to the next update.
    #37
  18. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Off To Bolok Port, Kupang again this morning, this time for a ferry to Alor Island. As usual a friendly local wanting to practise English stepped forward and helped me with the ticket purchase. I was nice and early so of course the ferry was delayed, I parked Postie Bike and joined the crush at the ticket office.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_INTHETICKETCRUSH.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_INTHETICKETCRUSH.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo R_INTHETICKETCRUSH.jpg"/></a>
    Bought a bag of oranges and prepared to wait it out while chatting with a couple who had helped me. It was steaming hot so I broke out the umbrella and we huddled under it.
    Got on-board and took a seat on the seaward side of the ferry and then noticed the sky and recalled the conversation with my wife the previous night and talk off a typhoon in the area.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_LOOKSOMINOUS.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_LOOKSOMINOUS.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo R_LOOKSOMINOUS.jpg"/></a>
    Just as the squall hit Bolok Port the captain decided to pull back the ferry from the loading dock and I thought that he would need to have his wits about him. It was blowing about 25kn and increasing.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_SQUALLHITS.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_SQUALLHITS.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo R_SQUALLHITS.jpg"/></a>
    He was doing fine until he turned beam on to the wind and from then on he had lost control. There were another three ships tied up alongside and we ended up resting alongside.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_COLLISION.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_COLLISION.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo R_COLLISION.jpg"/></a>
    We sat there for another hour or two while the squall blew itself out and then it was announced that the trip was cancelled and we would all be refunded our ticket prices. So back down to cattle class to fetch Postie Bike and to send a text to Lavalon to let them know I was on my way back.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_TIMETOLEAVE.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Indonesia%20Postie%20bike%20ride/R_TIMETOLEAVE.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo R_TIMETOLEAVE.jpg"/></a>
    Not sure what’s going to happen now but the ferry to Flores is on Thursday so the plan could be changing again.
    #38
  19. prsdrat

    prsdrat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    874
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I think I'll follow along on this quest.

    Thanks for the ride.
    #39
  20. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    This mornings sky is looking decidedly friendlier for seafarers so I'm taking the ferry incident yesterday as a stroke of good luck in not having to steam through a storm on a rusty old ship.
    I see the thread is slowly collecting more readers, welcome and thanks for your words, it's good to get responses.

    So after another delicious Avalon breakfast of banana pancake and strong sweet Timor coffee I'm ready to give the ferry to Alor Island another try. :ricky

    Postie Bike is becoming a bit of a pop star in these parts. Looking for a charger for my photo printer, I stopped by a camera shop in Kupang yesterday morning. The owner was fascinated by PB and must have taken 50 pics. Down at the ferry terminal the other bike owners wanted to know all about the bike and the modifications, I keep getting the thumbs up signal and words like strong bike, very good bike etc. Indonesians know quality and class when they see it.
    #40