2 Ride the World - the epic journey continues 2RTW

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by simon thomas, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. simon thomas

    simon thomas www.2ridetheworld.com

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    ...on the road to everywhere
    19-04-2012

    The early morning call was at 3am but we were awake anyway –I think we were all excited! It had been cold last night too and we had all slept well because of it.

    The route across the crater in the dark was fun but we were all glad that someone else was doing the driving and he knew the way like the back of his hand – which was good as this jeep only had one weak headlight working!
    When we arrived and parked up there were around a hundred people already there and loads of jeeps.

    Andy and Simon found a spot on a ledge with no barrier and I stood up on one of the outlooks with a nice secure fence! (Vertigo). As the sun started to rise it began to show such a beautiful out of this world scene that I just don’t have the words to describe it. Hopefully the photos will help.

    [​IMG]

    Andy set's up his camera for the sunrise.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The morning mist hides in the shade of the massive crater before being burnt off.

    [​IMG]
    This is an HDR image made up of 5 exposures, which best resembles what are eyes saw. The colour and light were simply incredible...

    [​IMG]

    with the sun up the intensity of the colour diminishes...


    [​IMG]

    A panorama shot of the National Park and it's lunar landscape.

    We took so many photos and could have stayed for many more hours but our jeep and driver was waiting and so we left at 6:30 and headed back to the floor of the crater – the Laotian Pasir. The tour was now going to drop us off just by the Hindu temple which lies at the foot of Mount Bromo, (This temple is only used for special days of celebration during the pilgrim calendar) and we are to walk the 253 steps up the edge of Mount Bromo to stare into its steaming guts! We had a few of the local Tengger people try to get us to hire some ponies to take us up the slope towards the steps and initially we were all ‘no, no, we are going to walk!’ it wasn’t until we had passed the temple and started to head up the hill that I thought …nahh….I’ve got a few rupiah in my pocket I’m going to get on a horse! They guys started to laugh as they saw me pass! I think Simon was surprised too! To tell the truth it was, of course, a lot faster and easier than walking but the horse was not the easiest to ride: a funny little thing with a strange short stride and reminded me of the small horses we saw all over the Steppes of Mongolia. In fact the whole Laotian Pasir reminded us of Mongolia – it was just the way the sands absorbed and almost muffled the sounds.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    As we finally approached the steps some more locals had made grass flower bundles and were selling them as ‘offerings’ to Bromo to keep the volcano calm. Of course just a tourist ploy but for just a couple of dollars I thought it was a nice idea. For the locals of this area a couple of dollars makes a difference to their day and only a very small difference for me to pay out. And to tell the truth, we had not been hassled at all.

    When we eventually reached the top of the steps – all 253 of them! – the view was spectacular, both looking into the steaming crater – a deep dark hole into what appeard to be a vast nothingness – and looking out across the sea of sand. Once again I had a panic vertigo attack. Well its not surprising really as a thte top of the steps you just step onto the ridge – no hand rail, no fence, nothing to stop a headlong drop into the crater – one slip on the loose soil and – whoosh – you’re gone! With the amount of people all teetering along the edge I was having serious waves of strong vertigo. I managed to walk part of the way along grasping Simons hand so hard that he eventually had to tell me to stop hurting him! I also had to let go of him as he needed to take photos! So we threw in our ‘offering’ and I slowly made my way back down the steps that were covered in loose ash making them quite slippy.

    [​IMG]

    Looking into the depths of the crater...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We were now all ready to return to the hotel and grab breakfast and a good stong coffee! What a morning.
    The rest of the day was taken up with taking all of of photo and video footage off the cameras and sleeping! I was so dog tired that I slept after breakfast for almost 3 hours!

    Later on in the day we had all thought about going out for another ride across the crater bed but as a massive sand storm had come in we just stayed in the hotel and marveled at the views once more. The sunset was once again beautiful.
  2. Ford_Prefect

    Ford_Prefect Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Afghanistan... Lovely place minus the heat & dust!
    Ok, so, first I have to ask...

    What makes you choose the MX style helmet? I noticed earlier on you had Modular helmets (which are a touch heavier I realize) So why do you use the MX rather than a, say, full face, or a modular helmet?


    Second... There was a photo up there of Simon's Bike with Lisa riding into town, and three boys standing around the bike: It always amazes me just how fast yall attract a crowd! I mean everyone has taken that photo of someone on a ride, but how many of us can honestly say that a large percentage of the time you have other people stop and get into the photo because they are so interested in our bike?

    Any idea how long it will be for the new site to come up?

    Well thanks again for everything, and thanks for your thoughts on the helmet.
  3. simon thomas

    simon thomas www.2ridetheworld.com

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    ...on the road to everywhere
    Hey Ford...good question re the helmets. We've ridden with the BMW modular helmets from the very start of our journey, we originally used the system 4 but after years of use, dirt, sweat etc they literally died after our time in the Amazon. We then picked up a couple of system 5's which were great and we used them all the way up to reaching Thailand and Asia. There were 3 key reason behind our choice to switch to the new MX helmet's,

    1. The heat and humidity in Asia can be debilitating and Airoh helmets provide much better air flow than a full face helmet.

    2. We knew that in Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and of course now in Australia we'd be riding a ton of dirt, roads. Using goggles is so much better for our eyes, which don't get full of crap and so don;t get anywhere near as soar or dry at the end of each day/week.month.

    3. ...and here's the 'BIG' reason we chose these. The helmets are Carbon Kevlar and way just '950g' They're a pleasure to wear, ridiculously light and are really comfy. http://shop.touratech.com/airoh-aviator-shift-size-m-colour-white-black-950g.html

    On the subject of people/kids and photos with the bikes...we get that all the time in almost every country, we just figured everyone else did as well...right????? The second we stop we have people walking up and touching or sitting on the bikes, old and young alike, it's great. We have friends now around the world, after conversations got started because we're traveling on bikes. I'm positive that had we been traveling in a 4x4 or a truck, we simply wouldn't have made as many 'connections'. Bikes stir people, they're the ultimate metaphor for freedom and escape. Everyone at one point or another has wanted a bike, wanted one big ride, had a girl friend, boy friend, husband, wife or family member they looked up to, who rode a bike.

    [​IMG]

    In the most remote regions of the driest deserts on earth, great meetings happen because of motorbikes:clap:lol3:freaky


    [​IMG]

    We keep being told the new site will be ready soon, another week another month. Sadly we're not sure but we're pushing as hard as we can to massage a delicate situation to get the new site up and running. We've seen the site work so far and it does look awesome, easier to navigate and more dynamic, we now just to get the dam thing online and working. We'll keep you posted.

    Cheers for now. Off to put together the next entry for our Indonesian leg of this RR.

    Simon
  4. lisa thomas

    lisa thomas www.2ridetheworld.com

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    15 years on the road ..currently in Panama.
    hi there.
    hope you have enjoyed the last few photos we have just managed to put up here.
    its been quite difficult over the last few months since arriving in Australia. the internet connections here are few and far between and those that we do find are extremely costly!!
    hence not being able to post that often. now that we are back online we are hoping that we can continue to post.
    and.......we hope that you guys have liked our recent posts.
    if you have any questions just ask. we get many emails, of which we always reply (there is a delay sometimes mind you!) but if you think that anyone else may benefit from the reply - the post your question here.
    Thanks Ford_Prefect for your question.
    Feedback is always good and welcomed.

    cheers
  5. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,514
    Location:
    Merrickville, Canada
    Always enjoy your updates and photos :thumb
  6. lisa thomas

    lisa thomas www.2ridetheworld.com

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    15 years on the road ..currently in Panama.
    :D Deadly99.....nice to know that we are still able reach Canada from downunder! ;-)
    see you upon our return.
  7. BTBW 01

    BTBW 01 BTBW 01

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    SOUTH OZ
    You guys are Legends!
    Just goes to show that to live the dream, it's not easy.
    Thank you both SOOO much for taking us along.
    Hats off to ya.
  8. Ford_Prefect

    Ford_Prefect Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Afghanistan... Lovely place minus the heat & dust!
    Lisa and Simon,

    Ma'am, honestly words just can not explain just how much it has done for me these last few posts to see your new photos and conversations.

    It has been breath taking, as well as incredibly motivational. I am soon entering a period in my life in which I will be rather stuck in my career. I will have no ability to take time off for any extended period for about fifteen years. Further more there is not chance of taking a leave of absence etc so that I can travel. I have been very much longing for the open road, and traveling to parts unknown, so your thread has been an outlet for me to be able to enjoy what I might be able to do... someday.

    Thank you both also they very kind responses to questions posed by myself and others.

    Safe travels, and perhaps if you come back to the USA I may get a chance to meet you both as well.

    V/R
    Brian
  9. RobBD

    RobBD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    441
    Location:
    Perth Australia
    Gee our house is so quiet - the washing machine is not working overtime and there's no ticking of computer keys from morning till late night. Travel safe you two. It was a privilege having you stay and we will catch up soon. Rob
  10. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,249
    Location:
    Durango,CO(closer to Purgatory)
    Wow! I just read in Road Runner that you two have been on the road for 10 years. That's incredible.
    I had the pleasure of meeting you in Silverton,CO a few years ago at a Traveler's Meeting. Great to see you are still at it.
    Thanks for bringing us all along via the internet and the magazine articles.
    What a wonderful planet. Especially when seen through the eyes of another motorcyclist.
    Cheers!
  11. simon thomas

    simon thomas www.2ridetheworld.com

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    ...on the road to everywhere
    Rob, trust me the privilege was ours. Thanks so much for opening your home to us, it was great to finally meet you and share some time, enjoy the book, I'll let Alex know it has a good new home. Hopefully we'll see you at the film festival.

    ride safe, ride far and scare a few cars whilst your at it:evil

    Simon
  12. simon thomas

    simon thomas www.2ridetheworld.com

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    ...on the road to everywhere
    20-04-2012

    I woke up to the most amazing mist over the caldera floor. The guys didn’t believe me at first when I said….get up!! You just have to come and see this.!! Thye both lay there going…yeah yeah…..haha. When they realized that I was serious we all stood and took photo after photo. The mist was hanging on the crater floor with mount Bromo looking like an island sticking out of a sea of mist. The mist was creeping over the top of crater hill sides and quite literally oozing down their slopes to the floor of the caldera. We could see the Hindu temple floating on the bed of the crater, slowly emerging. Im sorry my words are just not good enough for me to describe what sheer and utter beauty was infront of us.
    We had decided to leave today but Andy was going to stay a couple more days. Due to our time limit we were now heading to the ferry in order to get to Bali. We had looked at the times the ferries leave the island of Flores and realized that, as its only once a week on a Monday, in order to catch the cargo ship due to leave on May 11th we must catch the ferry over to West Timor on April 30th. The one the following week – May 7th – will not give us enough time to work on and clean the bikes thouroughly enough for Australian quarantine!

    We now had 10 days to get from here, across Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa and half way across Flores in order to earch Ende – where the ferry leaves from. Now its not that far in kilometers (????how far???) but sometimes the ferries between the islands can be cancelled due to bad seas – although its less likely at this time of year – and the km are not always easy – its not like riding down the highway in Europe or USA!

    The road leaving Cemara Lawang was a great one. it slowly and gently took us away from the volcanoes and brought us to the small town of Suk Pura (ATM is here) and then onto the main road at Leces where we headed past a few more volcanoes (as you do!) on the northern costal road. This took us past Ijen and down to Ketapang and the ferry!
    The cost of the ferry over, which runs every day 24/7, was 23,700.00 rp each ($23.70) for one motorcycle plus rider.
    Yay! We are in Bali!! Wow. The roads are good! …but as it turned dusk the traffic seemed to increase and our day was turning sour. We were tired and there seemed to be truck after truck and the muck they were kicking out was getting to us.

    The road went on and on and we wer having a hard time finding anywhere to stop. Its always hard in the dark as you miss the small signs on the not so obvious guest houses. We eventually found a place called the Shakira Bali retreat and it was idyllic! A beautiful room with AC and a huge separate shower room. We each had a bed with a 4-poster style and our own small patio which was overhung with beautiful drooping ferns. The gardens surrounding the hotel were amazing as was the pool and restaurant- infact, pools (there were 3 of them)!
    Details: Hotel Shakira Bali retreat.
  13. simon thomas

    simon thomas www.2ridetheworld.com

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    ...on the road to everywhere
    [​IMG]

    This was the over whelming view that met us as we walk outside our small room.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...God knows what I was thinking of when Lisa snapped this one???

    [​IMG]

    Our first taste of Bali.
  14. simon thomas

    simon thomas www.2ridetheworld.com

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    ...on the road to everywhere
    [​IMG]

    Our first day in Bali saw us just kicking back and soaking up the Island....
  15. simon thomas

    simon thomas www.2ridetheworld.com

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    ...on the road to everywhere
    21-04-2012

    Stayed another day…and why not! This room is just so beautiful….and more importantly its clean ☺

    We took a lazy morning – enjoyed the fruit breakfast (very healthy!) enjoyed a walk to the beach…wow those waves and black sand. The waves were so strong they brought created a haze over the beach - a salt haze. The white horses were high – I thought that the surfers would be out on the waves but we came to a small beach café and saw them all standing around waiting……apparently the waves weren’t ‘right’..? there was a more technical explanation but it was over my head – Simon of course understood it due to his windsurfing past. By now it was getting very hot and humid and so we made our way back up through the village – had a swim in one of the pools – just in time for our massage ☺ ahhhh – and what a massage it was. Firm, but not painful like some of the Thai massages have been. We couldn’t manage much more after that. It has been an idyllic stay – exactly what we have needed. Just wish we could stay longer….but we must hit the road again tomorrow.

    22-04-2012

    Left quite early after breakfast and the roads were busier than I'd hoped. What with it being a Sunday….but its Muslim silly! So Sunday isn’t quiet. Duh. Despite the traffic – that at some points had me shouting and cursing at the sheer stupidity we made good time…until we hit the dual carriage way – yep a nice open and new tarmac duel carriage way that was closed so 4 lanes down to 2 and 1 in some places….all because of an international marathon. Aarrghh. The queues were horrendous and it was sooo hot! We were dripping. Eventfully made the ferry. They checked our licenses….we have IDPs. The police that is at the ferry docks. Then we paid 232,000.00 (not cheap in comparison to the other crossing but it was going to take 4 hours) and rolled straight onto the ferry after only a 10 min wait.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Half-way through the crossing boat got a roll on it and Simon went down to check on the bikes and decided to put on main stand- not something we normally do but there was no way to strap the bikes down to anything and if this roll continued they would probably both fall over! I was now concerned (Simon says Im a worrier) but This time the seas were rolling, and I began to suffer from the awful ‘almost sick with bile half-way in your throat’ feeling. The bikes too had their own problems as half-way through Simon went to check they were OK (we always do) and found the circular motion of the boat had managed to move Simons bike. It was now wallowing heavily against the wall of the boat like a drunk on a Friday night! This is despite the fact that it had been jammed in nice and tightly between trucks, boxes, chickens, other mopeds.

    . So – we found out some straps and strapped them after moving them about a bit which was a bit difficult as we were restricted in space as the bikes were jammed in between trucks and the wall. But we found 2 metal hooks on the floor that we were able to reach and used a couple of straps. No damage done but Simon was absolutely soaked to the skin with sweat!

    This ferry even had films on! Great. Not that they were in English but it didn’t matter – the time passed quickly.
    We were now in Lombok. What an easy ferry crossing. We set off not too sure where we would get but we would just see how far we could g, which is a shame really as I had always wanted to come to Lombok! Just as crossing Bali in less than a day riding was a sin!! But we WILL come back….!?

    By the end of the day we had gone a little bit further south than we’d originally intended but had found a nice country road – tar. All was going well – a lot less traffic than on the main road and then…! Queue! For ages and ages with loads of mopeds, police doing bugger all but messing it up (as usual! – we always find if there is a traffic jam the police are often the cause of it!) why so busy? A festival procession! A SLOW one. it went on for ages and we were stuck behind it.

    Eventually we found that we were on the other side of Lombok! That was quick despite the hold-ups. Riding again in the dark! I hate it – I just cant see. So my speed slows right down. even trying to follow Simon's lights is difficult as its all just a big red blob with lots of brilliant bright blobs coming towards me! Each bump and pot-hole jars me as I cant see them coming. I near miss a few guys as – as usual – they just pull straight on out without looking but….they don’t have any lights on. They really do want to be ‘organ-doners’!

    [​IMG]


    We got to 3 km away from the ferry port at Labuhan Lombok and at that point I was knackered. It had been yet another long day and the recuperation of yesterday had all but disappeared from memory! So Simon rode out the last 3 km and came back with a friend on a moped! This guy was a port ‘authority’ guy in uniform and took us to a small losman– hotel. We wouldn’t have found it at all as not obvious. It was small but clean. With fan. 70,000.00 great. Somewhere safe for the bikes….we popped out to one of the local cafes and had great fish! And then realized that the hotel was right opposite the mosque. The first guy was awful at his call to prayer…it almost made me hysterical with laughter it was that bad! By that time we were in the hotel so I could laugh out loud. The 2nd guy was a pro.
    But…..suppose there is one advantage – we wont need an alarm clock in order to wake up early.
  16. Arek Kontrol

    Arek Kontrol Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    281
    Location:
    Ex-pat Poles in Adelaide Hills, South Australia
    Magic, just bloody magic :eek1
    Thanks for the update…
  17. Nanuq

    Nanuq Aventurer by Trade

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,189
    Location:
    Point Hope, Sitka & Biorka Island- all in Alaska
  18. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,711
    Location:
    Behind the Redwood Curtain
    >"...God knows what I was thinking of when Lisa snapped this one???"

    Hmmm... a shave ? :>)

    [​IMG]
  19. MJS

    MJS Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,790
    Location:
    Off the grid in San Felipe, Baja
    Probably dreaming of a good British Ale or a nice red wine :lol3
  20. RobBD

    RobBD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    441
    Location:
    Perth Australia
    " God knows what I was thinking of when Lisa snapped this one???"

    Hmm ....... a washing machine???:rofl