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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Lost Roadie, Jan 23, 2020.
Hope you are out there having a great adventure!
Awesome trip, thanks for sharing
There I was on the last fast boat of the day leaving Lombok heading back to Bali with my head still swimming. The mushrooms and wine from the night before were fading away all too slowly, my time on Lombok was being cut short - for the first time in a while I HAD to be somewhere at a certain time, back on Bali.
The next morning I had an ADV play date I couldn't pass up with @KTMInduro who was leaving to go to the UK for the holidays, if I wanted to meet up this was the only day he could swing it.
I was very glad I came back when I did, Monty is just plain awesome! I had been inspired greatly by his Borneo Equator Expedition 11 years ago and both being passionate Husaberg guys had been sharing info in the berg' threads for some time. I could go on and on about this fellow on so many levels, his kindness and generosity taking me out for some truly epic riding certainly is the highlight of my time on Bali.
For now some photos from him and I will have to suffice.
Here he was talking with these guys about the major volcano eruption in the not so distant past and how the lava flow went around the Temple below.
I'm feeling quite good, even considering how awesome a rider I am to be keeping up with Monty. But I'm finding, as usual, I'm not that special and my ego was deflated back to where it should be after seeing other riders out on the "trails".
Welcome back, Finn.
The ride continued throughout the day, stunning views, great trails awesome company and it was also nice to be on a bike with more than 15hp.
OSHA would not approve of this.
Stopping for lunch we were bombarded by the kids for some ice cream, he knew better but I fell for it and bought the group some ice cream.
The ride continued and the rain moved in with a vengeance, now we're talking! No rain gear but at least it was warm.
We finally descended back to the coast, stopped for some dinner with beers and watched the heavy rain continue.
It was about 45 minutes back to his place, getting dark and pouring.
Monty is a crazy mother fucker! The ride home in the dark, no headlight, on dirt bikes, in heavy traffic and this guy wants to ride like he's on a track, a dry street track that is.
I don't know how I made it back without dying but thankfully I did and thank you Monty for such an epic one day adventure.
(sorry I haven't kept in touch, I've been very withdrawn this past year)
Back to the homestead in Bali feeling a little sore and still digesting what had transpired over the last 48 hours, what a fucking whirlwind. Needed to hydrate, there was a guy who delivered coconuts 10 at a time and now that I had the proper tool I bought in Lombok it was game on.
Monty had given me some tracks around Danu Batur for me to explore - on the Honda ADV 150 scooter. He also had one of these as a daily driver, I think he was testing me. haha.
I told you not to put so much weight on the back, you dumbass! says the guy in back to the driver.
this is awesome, glad to see the continuation of another Lost Report.....
i too have followed @KTMInduro adventures, great riding he shared.
you guys are bringing the best riding in SE Asia which we don't see very often.
keep them coming Finn.
Not sure if I mentioned it but there was this certain German lady friend I had met and hung out with a few times. Christmas was coming up and we decided to visit and stay at a few other places.
This was the first, on Danau Batur, below where I had ridden around shorty before.
Then we moved to another place far more remote in the jungle xmas eve, turned out to be a homestay in a mansion with a very interesting old women who was the host.
On Christmas thing gots interesting, she happened to have some acid. haha
We dropped and set out on a hike through the jungle, following a maze of little used walking paths.
Minutes? Hours? Days?
Hard to say, but I was Lost in a very good way.
Then it happened, we stumbled upon an alice and wonderland park, obviously made by some people who were on the exact same wavelength we were on at that time.
You can't make this shit up, what a perfect playground for a couple wandering trippers on xmas to find!
This was the first sign we were heading down the rabbit hole as we hiked.
Then Kong. Shit was getting weird.
After spending an unknown about of time down the rabbit hole it was a couple hour walk back to the homestay. Maybe it was 10 minutes, but I'm pretty sure it was a couple hours. Snapped a few more photos along the way.
My time was running short in Bali and I had been neglecting what I was going to do next.
Try to extend my visa? I think that my time here was well spent but I was yearning for something different.
How about Thailand? I had been there twice earlier in the year for work with about 5 days off in Bangkok. I really liked that place.
Spent much of the time just wandering around on a rental.
But being a dickhead privileged American who someone else had dealt with my work visa in Thailand I didn't realize there was no visa on arrival or online for Americans.
Lots of other countries had VOA but not us.
I originally was leaning heavy towards heading there after Bali but not doing my homework and really just trying to be Lost doing this trip with no plan I was shit out of luck for Thailand unless I wanted to go to Jakarta to the nearest embassy to get a visa.
Nope, too much extra cost that was not in the budget and I really wasn't interested in visiting Jakarta again.
Online visa's.... online visa's..... online visa's..... BINGO!
Vietnam it is. No plan and a couple days to research to find a bike, the kind with a clutch at least.
I made the best of my few days left in Bali, visiting the Mother Temple of Besakih, the place that was spared by divine intervention from the lava flow and where Monty and I had lunch nearby.
Everyone must wear a sarong, they provided them for you.
Next place to get Lost, Vietnam.
Arriving in Bali was like landing in a beautiful paradise when the people gently put their arm around your shoulder and greeted you with kindness and love.
Arriving in Ho Chi Mihn City (formally Saigon) on December 30th was bit different.
There, it's more like a drunk old friend comes running up to you, slamming into you almost knocking both of you over, throwing their arms around you and screaming in your face WELCOME TO VIETNAM!!!!!!! HAHAHA!!!!!
The city traffic in other SE asia cities was pretty epic by western standards but HCMC was a whole different level.
I spent the first night walking around trying to get my footing, at the first sidewalk cafe I sat down at for a beer and some food it took 5 minutes until one the ladies walking around selling cigarettes sold me some very nice weed.
I smoked it right there while chatting with the super friendly server, he seemed as interested in speaking english with me as I was with learning some very basic Vietnamese from him.
This was the icing on the cake from the very strong good vibe I had about a place I really knew nothing about beyond western propaganda and war movies.
As a devout stoner, in Indonesia with their whole "we will execute you for having weed" thing kept me away from ever asking.
This was the first of many lesson I would learn about Communist Vietnam, this was not a free country in a ignorant Westerners view but I was discovering how they had many more freedoms than countries where religion was really in your face. Even more free in many ways than Americans, I'll get into that later.
While technically illegal, it seems that there are many unofficial freedoms to be had here and smoking weed was not a serious matter to most. It was everywhere and cheap.
Before I picked up my rental I was using Grab to get around, like Uber on bikes.
I had given myself 4 days in HCMC, picking up the rental on the 1st. I came on a one way ticket, would I ever go home?
On my second day in country I did some of the tourist stuff, namely went to the War Remnants Museum.
I was born in 1972 so was hardly conscious for The American War, as they called it in Vietnam. I only knew what I was taught in school and from movies and documentaries so I didn't know what to expect. I've only had one (American) perspective on this horrible war.
I thought it would be like visiting a museum with exhibits based off of a war. I was seriously wrong and my casual walking around outside taking photos like a good tourist quickly changed.
After that last photo of an outside jail exhibit I went inside and as I started learning more there would be no more photos here. I was already ashamed of the tourist photos I took outside.
I was completely overwhelmed with emotion as I went through inside looking, reading, watching videos. Stuff I had never heard of that happened, stories and photos that have not been seen or heard on this side of the Pacific, at least for me. Even Ken Burns award winning Vietnam documentary didn't even come close to showing the violence and suffering that was shown in here.
Not Even Close.
I openly wept and had to go outside numerous times for a smoke, each time being very surprised this was my reaction for learning things that happened mostly before I was even born. Gathering composure and going in to learn more.
There were a lot of mixed feelings about being an American here, for me.
Partly because of the atrocious things the US government had done (and the north too of course) and also because of the sacrifices so many Americans had obviously made fighting for the freedom of the Vietnamese people from the Communists.
So much suffering.
This experience with what I learned about the war and to a much lesser extent myself, which will be with me always is part of why I started out this story with this quote.
"Travel isn't always pretty. It isn't always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that's okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.
If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food. It's a plus for everybody."
I can feel the emotions now as I write, reliving this moment after a year of depression and need to take a break.
On a lighter note.
I believe that more than any other photo I made this day, this one right here shows how things have changed in Vietnam since the tumultuous times when I was born.
Thank you Sir.
What's up, its been a while for sure. Looking at a Baja ride in December on the small bike if your back in town?
Thanks Finn for continuing...
Glad your back!! Thanks!!
great read so far.
thanks for the honesty.
i hope you continue to update.
New Years Eve in HCMC 2020! wooHOO! 2019 was just so awesome for me I just couldn't wait to welcome in 2020. Life is great!
( I certainly felt this way at the time, currently looking back it feels much like a bad horror movie. The hero girl is in the shower and the serial killer is already on the loose, just on the other side of the curtain with a big knife... silently creeping closer.... spreading....)
While there were some celebrations, generally the Chinese New Year is the big event in Vietnam, better known as TET. It's certainly not like the US where you book a $200, each, fancy sounding dinner with shitty live music and glass of sparkling wine (Champagne toast included!) months in advance.
I generally wandered around smoking weed and taking in the sights, visiting night markets and just enjoying being Lost in a foreign land on a precipice of something great.
(would that be a precipice or the precipice, I just try and use smart sounding words sometimes)
No big party for me, 3-sum with twins or wild stories from the night to bring in 2020, tomorrow I would be picking up a bike and that's where my mind was shifting to.
The Roadie was ready to finally get in Motion.
Now it is game on!
This bike was a huge step up from the ADV scooter in Indonesia, perfectly suited for the off the beaten track I didn't have any plans for.
Hell yeah, I can go anywhere with this!
However, that sweet little thing would not be what my grand adventure was to be ridden on.
First off, it cost 5 to 10x as much to rent an imported bike, plus very few shops would have parts for it on hand to fix or for maintenance which you are required to prove via text message receipt photos you had done while on the road, only western tourists ride this type of imported bike here, not the locals.
In my extensive research done a few days before I flew here and my limited budget I went with something a little more commonly found on the streets of Vietnam.
Introducing the Lost Honda Winner 150!
I'm a winner, or at least my Mom says so and this little beast of a Winner for about $14 a day would turn out to suit me well and go with my riding gear quite nicely.
6 speed trans, a clutch and two wheels. 16 hp of pure ADV fury. Or was it now 18hp after the full titanium Akro exhaust, airbox mods and ECU piggyback module?
I had Tigit remove that top case larger than all my luggage combined, whatever didn't fit in the sweet Givi side panniers didn't come with me. I gave them my large turd yellow backpack to ship by train to their office in Hanoi where I would drop the bike off.
Why yes, I will take the full coverage with recovery insurance option for $4 a day, thank you... muuuaahhhahahahahha
After a thorough inspection and test ride I noted the tires were kind of worn, they installed new ones right then. Tigit rocks!
This was gonna be sweet.
Liking this shit!!
I finally found the original files and roughly put together a vid from the epic ride in Bali with KTMInduro. The best of times.
It really was my pleasure mate and it was awesome to show you around.
Sorry about that ride home . I was thirsty
Its good to see you back my friend.