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Offline tifua

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Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« on: March 08, 2018, 08:21:02 am »
I am sitting on a ferry somewhere in the middle of the sea between the islands of Lombok and Bali. I am heading back to Bali to catch a flight out this evening after a quick ride from Bali through Lombok to West Sumbuwa and back. Here is the RR, hope you enjoy it.

First things first. The route. I decided to ride from Bali where I have done several trips before and explore new routes. I had not seen the island of Lombok or West Sumbuwa yet and having a few days decided that would be the direction. It would involve 2 ferry crossings (5-6 hours and 2-3 hours) to get to my turn around point, the town of Sumbuwa Besar. I looked at Google Earth and made a route that every local advised me to not to and that would give me the widest coverage and reduce riding same roads twice. For me, the challenge was to find a route with the most curves and hills and as remote as safely possible to be in a very Muslim part of a Muslim country. I am bringing bike tours to Indonesia and in as such I am always looking for new routes and places to explore and bring people. Limited time meant I did not want to get myself stranded and miss my flight out. Map below shows planned route outbound and then next one is route back. As always planned and reality when in the jungle in middle of nowhere are different things.

Next was the weapon of choice. My options are KLX150, KLX250, scooter. I decided on the scooter and my logic is as follows:

1. Scooters have the biggest R&D department in the world. Given the millions on roads around Asia they have figured out how to make them reliable and take a beating as its primary transport for Asians in areas some would be nervous to ride plastic bikes

2. Availability of spares, parts, repairs all over Indonesia

3. Fuel consumption. Light on fuel is not the word. These things sip fuel.

4. I have only spent a day on a scooter before so was new challenge for me

5. Going fast through twisties on a scooter nobody notices. Going fast around on a big bike like a 1200 or similar gets noticed. You blend in on a scooter and its great fun once you get over the ego and lack of power. You also dont p off the locals and blending in with helmet on on a Honda 125 scooter allows you to go more remote places. I also had no idea of terrain and so a small light bike I can step off easily, cheap to replace (worse case scenario) and still carry all my gear the scooter won hands down.

6. With my tours a lot of times people ask how can we enjoy ride on small 150 - 250 cc bikes. Well I want to show people what can be achieved with a scooter and some imagination.

I will be getting off ferry in next 30 min so will pack up for now and carry on with RR this evening. Lots of pics to add
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 
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Offline Sailorman

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 09:21:52 am »
Sub
Looking forward to this
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Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 01:07:46 pm »
Saturday 3 March 2018: So caught the evening flight into Bali after saying goodbye to mrs in Surabaya. Arrived without any issues and grabbed local version of Uber outside the airport (all online taxi services banned from picking up passengers inside airport - I had my Uber driver in Surabaya grabbed from vehicle). Got to hotel, checked in and proceeded to start making my route into sections for navigation and checking accommodation options along  the route. Didn't want to book ahead because I had no idea how far I could go in a day so quick check of 2 - 3 options along the way and then confirmed collection of my bike the next day. Hotel was not bad, once a grand place but bit neglected now. Has great potential and a walk around the grounds showed half the property not even being used and some lovely rooms in back standing idle. Bunch of backpacker types made up the background noise. I think they were Swedish nurses... or at least one of the Nordic countries. About 8-10 of them all blond and spoke in language that sounded like a cross between an old Bedford truck running bearings and one of those "straight to VHS" Bollywood musicals where sound runs 15 seconds behind the video. The pretty Swedish nurses we all thought about as lads were a far cry from the reality now presenting itself in their drunken stupor. Anyway off to bed.

Sunday 4 March 2018: Had breakfast, checked out and decided a quick walk to the bike rental shop would be good exercise after breakfast. 2.4 km later, the heat and humidity interrupted by some beautiful buildings and the throng of daily life in Bali. Amazed how many tattoo shops their are then you see some of the tourists in their gap year and they are inked up like they have been painted by a colorblind clown at a Crayola factory. Bike shop was nice setup, some great bikes and as promised the beast was ready. 125cc fuel injected with a luggage rack that could double as a spoiler, it was going to be interesting. Forms filled in, GPS loaded, luggage tied down and I hit the road... first stop. Some lunch at my mrs and my favorite little restaurant. Serves plate of pork cooked in different ways and a bowl of spicy clear soup that could strip chrome off a tow bar. Bali is Hindu and their pork dishes are delicious. Wanted a nice load because Lombok and Sumbawa are Muslim and I would be stoned asking for pork there. After lunch I hit the road for the sprint up to the harbour town of Padang Bai. No hassles getting there other than the crazy Bali traffic. Bought ticket, got inline then boarded the ferry. Once on board was asked for my private cabin number. Told the guy, not for me. I want to see all. He shook his head at this crazy "bule" (foreigner) and let me be. I worked my way up to the top and with a quick "may I?" the captain let me sit on the small area right in front of the ships bridge. Light breeze blowing. school kids on a field trip laughing and running around the boat, some local music playing and me, sitting on the top looking at the sea. Norman Rockwell meets Bruce Lee painting. I fell asleep on my backpack for a bit and then woke up and walked around the boat. Talking to locals, grabbed some noodles for "dinner" and then went back to my perch for the last hour (trip is about 5 -
 6 hours) into the port of Lembar in Lombok.

Arrived in port after dark so disembarked and then hit the road to Mataram and my stop for the night. Dark roads, chaotic traffic and smoke and smells from all the food stalls along the way. Took me about hour and a bit to reach Mataram and my hotel. Checked in, had shower and then hit the sack after checking the next days route.

Ok so now for some pics for those wanting to skip the text. Will add some video when I had chance to edit and upload to YouTube but that will be a while
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 
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Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 01:11:44 pm »
some more pics from first day ride
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 01:13:12 pm by tifua »
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 
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Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2018, 02:11:06 pm »
Monday 5 March: Had spicy breakfast (Lombok food is all spicy even breakfast). Took the northern road out of town and followed it through mountains passes and coastal towns. Saw scooter accident in front of me -
 truck pushed a scooter off the tar and it went sideways throwing off mom dad and a kid about 3 years old. I stopped to help them and picked up their bike and collected their things that went flying. Little kid didn't even cry. They got up, got on and road on. Followed the road until turning right and heading up into the mountains on small back road through villages and rice paddies and corn fields. Rain caught me so stopped in small mountain village to put it on. Two locals came out and didn't speak a word of English, came out to help me put on rain coat and see if I was OK. Google Translate and offline files helped a lot. Some hairy bends down steep mountain passes still being tarred with mud and water rushing down and I am day 2.5 of my scooter riding live. Road tires and all the fury of 125cc with 12 hp up the hill but what an adventure. Didn't get pics but video will be up soon. Made the ferry and settled in for the 2 hour trip and bought some local rice with spicy chicken in banana leave for R8. Made friends with the crew and they invited me in to chat to the captain. Ferry is 4 months old and looks brand new. Was nice to chat to them about life in that part of the world.

Arrived and noticed scooter was sluggish and realized I had slow puncture. Pushed onto my stop for the night but Google Maps had not updated routes with new road so it sent me on a rough footpath last used 3 years and overgrown. Decline was about 15 degrees with huge ruts and holes and I was slipping in mud going down even with brakes on full. Thorns branches and bottoming out with a few near spills riding "pregnant water buffalo on ice skates". Arrived, checked in, had shower then went into town to get dinner. Found magic little place and sat chatting with its owner and some of the patrons. Will go back there as food was great and freshest fruit juice I ever had. Coffee, friend rice with chicken and freshly squeezed juice for R 42. Free wifi and great chat and when I told him I needed some items he walked me over to the local shop to help me get it. Back up the hill to the hotel (now that I found the right road) for good night rest
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 
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Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2018, 02:14:07 pm »
more pics
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 
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Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 02:16:15 pm »
and more
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 
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Offline ClemS

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 02:19:28 pm »
 :drif:
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 02:45:43 pm »
Gooi more about the tour  :thumleft:
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2018, 05:52:25 am »
Gooi more about the tour  :thumleft:

 :thumleft:

working on it
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 

Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2018, 06:24:17 am »
Tuesday 6 March: Woke up, had long chat to owner about local riding routes and accommodation options for larger groups (I am planning a trip for 10 people in December from Bali to Labuan Bojo by bike to see Komodo dragons - more on this later). Headed to town to get slow puncture repaired by Jeffrey. Fix puncture, tighten mirrors, clean old 5 litre container to be used for extra fuel. Cost for all? R 20. 15 min later the beast was ready. Jeffrey looked at my route and said dont go. I asked why and he said it has too many curves, has offroad and a lot of hills....um...wow sign me up. I asked him how long (Google says 5.5 hours) he said all day and he was right. So hit the road and almost immediately the adventure began. Long story short, the roads were mix between wide gravel, mountain tar road with switchbacks that are bikers wet dream, valleys, hills, mountains paths that are on par with Sani pass any day untarred. I had corn fields, rice fields, small villages where the old woman covered their faces soon as they saw me. Empty beaches, roads running along mountain river with 150 m drops down washed out roads with no barriers....sections are tar in middle of nowhere followed by roads so steep you get off scooter and with wheels spinning you have to walk it up. I have ridden fair bit of Southern Africa and have ridden in Thailand, Philippines and Bali. Nothing could prepare me for this ride and how beautiful it was. Very little traffic, no tourists, no westerners. To ride through small towns where people come to see a white face shows that its not the preferred route and the mountain section to get back to the coast is enduro terrain. Scooter, other than bottoming out never missed a beat and I thought ofr sure some of the bumps I hit would have give the rims more smileys than a dental magazine...but nothing. Kept on trucking.I had rain, mist, sun. Some places I didnt see another person for 30 min.

Eventually started coming back onto roads and civilization...heading north through the central part towards Sumbawa Besar, I still had not touched my extra fuel. The scooter was so light that I would not need it till I got to my overnight stop and turn around point. Amazing. My words cant do this road justice. My pics and video only slightly better but it has to be ridden to be believed. The feeling of accomplishment riding Sani pass type terrain half the day and winding tar roads that are designed for bikes (thin and smooth and wide car wide, hardly a pothole, no oils or spills) the other half on a scooter and seeing all these people. Amazing. Like I said, already planning my next ride in December. Arrived in town, stopped to empty the extra fuel into the beast and grabbed a drink. They had not seen westerner in a long time I guess so I was asked to take a pic of me with staff member promoting Milo drinks they were starting to sell. I like Milo so why not..after dinner of chicken Sate and riding around the streets I found a road where the kids are allowed to race scooters. I think it keeps the racing off the busy roads and lets kids be kids. These scooters have been heavily modified and lightened and watching them wheelspin on pull away... awesome. One of the riders on the faster bikes was about 9 - 10 years old. Nobody spoke English but we figured it out and they let me take some pics and we laughed a lot at the antics and scooters wheelies down the road 3 up.

Ok some pics of the day ride
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 
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Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2018, 06:28:03 am »
more piccs
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 

Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2018, 06:54:08 am »
Wednesday 7 March: Had breakfast, checked out and began the quick highway ride back to the port that would take me by ferry from West Sumbawa to Lombok. Managed to sit at around 80 kph as roads were great and as this is a highway the roads are busy. Fishing villages, markets, fish farms, paddies. Got to the ferry as they were loading so good timing. Ferry took 2 hours but we had to wait 45 min for our turn to dock and offload. Once off, refueled and hit the back roads all along the southern coastline of Lombok. Rode through the beach surf town of Kuta (Lombok Kuta not Bali Kuta). Tourist trap full of foreigners so didn't stop. Pushed on.

Took a turn off the main road when I saw one too many tourist on a scooter and found myself in the the most amazing road I have ever ridden (tar). The bends, curves, switch backs, descents, ascents... flat out on a scooter where power is enough to give you safe thrills. The deeper I went the more I became the odd one around and people stopped and stared and some were asking in broken English where I was from and why I so far from the main road. They kept trying to steer me back, not out of being malicious but there seems to be a genuine concern that anything bad happening to a foreigner will reflect badly on them. Stopped to stretch legs and watched old man walking his goats...storm building overhead and wind blowing through rice fields. Surreal and peaceful.

Got the last part road into Mataram where I would overnight before catching ferry in the morning. Check-in, shower, ride around town and dinner before hitting the sack.

The pics.
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 
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Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2018, 06:57:13 am »
more pics
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 
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Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2018, 07:29:48 am »
Thursday 8 March: Left after breakfast and rode the hour to the port to catch the 6 hour ferry back to Bali. Arrived as ferry was loading and what a ferry. Double the size of previous ones I was on. Has stage, dining area, reclining seats, desk and chairs, kids playground on top deck. Realized I had forgotten my mobile phone in the GPS phone cradle on the bike and rushed down to the loading deck. One of the staff had found it and sat on the bike looking after it till I got there. I thanked him and soon a crowd was around asking where I am from etc. Few google images and translation later I went back upstairs. Luxury ferry. Slept for a bit on the top deck chairs looking at Lombok fading in the background as a storm rolled into the island. Walked around looking at the people, grabbed some noodles, worked on the ride report, charged batteries and checked in for my flight a few hours later.

Arrived in port, disembarked and hauled ass for the 3 hour ride to drop off bike and then catch taxi to airport for the 45 min flight to Surabaya. This was a 4 day adventure. December I plan a 10 day one to Flores. Will include trip to see the Komodo dragons. Will be on scooters, low cost, local foods, local hotels and homestays. Will ope up to a few friends to join on this adventure. So far its 2 going and we cant be more than 6 - 8 people so if you are interested in trip like this with buddies, let me know. I will be working out the logistics and planning over the next few months. Looking at having bikes shipped back to Legian by truck so we dont ride back but fly out of Flores.
Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 

Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2018, 07:38:40 am »
some info from GPS


Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2018, 02:37:57 pm »
Thank you for this write up, East Asia is the most incredible and magical place! We've explored a bit of Krabi, Thailand with the scooters and it left such a strong impression on us that we would love to go back soon. Bali is right up on the to do list too! The only thing that bothered me about Bali is that somebody mentioned they eat cats/dogs there, not sure if it's something you see when you out on the streets there? If that is the case I'd rather avoid it  :-\
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Offline tifua

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2018, 02:41:45 pm »
Never seen it or heard of it in my 6 trips here nor did I see anything like it in Lombok or Sumbawa. To be honest the cats and dogs you see walk streets freely without fear and unlike Africa, they get out of the way from cars and bikes and I never saw them cross in front of them.

Love your life. Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things you're scared to do. So many of us die without remembering all the little moments. Take your life and make it the best story ever.
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2018, 02:46:55 pm »
Never seen it or heard of it in my 6 trips here nor did I see anything like it in Lombok or Sumbawa. To be honest the cats and dogs you see walk streets freely without fear and unlike Africa, they get out of the way from cars and bikes and I never saw them cross in front of them.

That is really good to hear from somebody that has explored as much as you! Maybe some if it was false information spread online. Looking forward to seeing more from your journeys :)
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Offline Single Cylinder

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Re: Bali to West Sumbawa March 2018
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2018, 03:02:55 pm »
Fantastic ride. Thanks   :ricky: :ricky:
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