Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Highway to Hell

For the first time in two years I did not want to ride. I never thought that day would happen but starting in Bali and across both the islands of Java and Sumatra is a 4000km traffic jam. The roads themselves are shit and are nothing but potholes or gravel patches. And where they are trying to improve you are down to one lane construction.

Reminders of crashes found along the highway.

There is just to much traffic volume for the tiny two lane highways. It does not matter what road you take or direction there is gridlock traffic. Because of this the roads are extremely dangerous and full of drivers with a suicide wish. 
Until now I was unaware that Indonesians had special vision because it seems that they can see or believe they can see around blind corners and over hills. Even with the constant reminders like in the above picture they do not seem to get it.

I cannot tell you how many hundreds of times I had someone driving directly into me while trying to pass lines of traffic. And because of this I new it was only a matter of time before something bad could happen. And the above picture of Fred shows the result of being run off the road by a bus.

 I myself was very fortunate and almost made a perfect skidding stop on the shoulder. But my luck ran out when there was a broken semi resting on shoulder. Due to the poor roads vehicles are found on the sides broken down constantly.  I was a mere foot from perfection when I skidded under the rear end and took out my windscreen and all my gauges and lights. 

Here is what is left of the bus after he sideswiped the truck behind me. All in all know one was hurt which was very fortunate for all.

As usual everyone wants to help and this is my Indonesian pit crew helping me put Fred back together. It could have been a lot worse if the truck was lower or even a car. If that was the case I would have damaged my front forks, handle bars etc making the bike inoperable. 

So after a little Indonesian fix (strips of inner tube) we had the lights and smashed gauges tied on. I now only have to drive 700km with out an odometer, gas gauge and GPS. 

As much as this sucks it could have been worse. As they say it is only money right? At least I keep telling myself that. Almost made it 2 years on the road without an issue Argh......

But as luck would have while in Medan getting ready to ship the bike to Malaysia. I ran into Mark again that I met in Timor Leste when our bikes were both in the cargo container together. We will be shipping our bikes together to Malaysia. We also me Michele from Germany who was waiting for his bike to come from Malaysia going the opposite direction from us. 

Take a note of Michele as this guy had some extremely interesting stories form his travels by motorcycle around the world. There is an actual Hollywood screen script in the process as we speak about a particular adventure of his through Iran. It should be in the movies theatres in a few years!

Well here is me standing on the boat Fred will be sailing on between Medan, Indonesia to Penang, Malaysia. This is owned by a man called Mr.Lim from Malaysia and is called an onion boat due to the cargo he ships. It amazes me what you can find and what you need to do to get a vehicle around the world. 

Pretty basic but will do the trick. I felt like I was in some movie on some far away dock in a strange country making a deal to ship the bike with a guy called Mr.Lim. 
All part of the adventure and loving it.

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