Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bandung and Bogor bikers

All good things must come to an end. We have to navigate on our own again. Our destination was Cipanas, a famous hot spring resort. It was another 300km in 8 hours. We had to endure with the buses and trucks around, we had to look for lunch spot, and we had to wash our faces because the black smokes from the trucks were really thick.

Cipanas was a weekend get away place for the locals because the weather here was cooling and there was a nature hot spring. The room that we stayed had a weird bathtub. They had a never ending water from the hot spring flowing into our bathtub. After the entire dirty ride, it would be a best time for us to relax in the room, watching Japan got defeated by Uruguay.

It was another 70km into Bundung and we have to meet another group, PULSERIAN. Borwo was our host and they paid for our lodging in Bundung. We had a good night out with them and did a small presentation for everyone. The group wanted to host us for more days but I have to reach Bogor on the next day, to meet up with a Singapore friend.

Small presentation to closer friends.

The escort party out of Bandung.

Again, they gathered in our hotel in the morning, some could not escort us out due to work commitment but they managed to take a few hours off just to say goodbye. Kutu, Denny and Arif escorted us all the way to Bogor.

Dandy and Arif.

The 95km took us for 4 hours. Not because of the road condition but the congestion and rain. We stopped for lunch at Puncak Pass and continued towards a link up point 20km away, which took us 1 hour using a major highway.

We waited for Kutu’s friend to bring us into Bogor and it took us another 1 hour to cover 20km before we could finally reach our destination.

Thou the congestion was terrible yet Kutu, Denny and Arif insisted to ride with us, making sure we would arrive at Bogor in safe hands. Kutu left Bogor back home in late night around 1130pm. He had to ride alone in the dark for few hours. Denny and Arif were in 1 bike. They were university students on vacation and they always had last minute plan with very little preparation. What a great adventure. Their style of traveling reminded me when I was in my younger days.

On the next morning, we finally met up with Chunkok, our Singapore friend. He took us to the famous botanical garden and explained to us everything we saw. We also paid a visit to the grave of Olivia, wife of Sir Stamford Raffles.

Chunkok also brought us around the quite village that he was staying and shared a lot of stories with us.

His friend had a big empty warehouse to rent out. It was on advertisement of a few months to look for tenant. Then he realized that his utility bills were very high for the past few months on the empty warehouse. He realized that there were local hawkers setting up stalls outside his warehouse and ‘stole’ electricity from him. Chunkok asked him why didn’t he report the case to the police. This wise business man answered:

If I report to the police, the police would chase the hawker away. Then the hawker would be angry and they will vandalize or burn down my warehouse to show their anger. When my warehouse in vandalized or burned down, I would lost more money.

In the end, this wise businessman paid all these hawkers us$5000 to tell them to go away.

An average secondary school teacher earns us$200.
A bowl of noodles cost us$0.50.

After hearing this story, Sam and I looked at the situation here very differently. We appreciated home.

Chunkok brought us to a rabbit farm.

It was a lazy Saturday. I was half waken up by the mobile phone at 730am and didn’t border to look who’s calling. It doesn’t even matter if the president is calling me. Then it followed by a series of door knock. We were too tired to wake up. In the end, I woke up not because I wanted to wake up but to tell that asshole to stop knocking. It was the owner of the guest house. He said that there were many people waiting for me outside. I looked at the phone, it was Dono.

Dono was from Jakarta. His bike group knew that we were coming and was very eager to meet us. They invited us to go to Jakarta but we rejected a few times. So their mission today was to meet up with us and try to bring us into Jakarta.

Arif and Dandy on extreme left.
Dono came prepared, driving his big car to meet us so that we could put our luggage into his car and go to Jakarta with him. We do not feel comfortable about his plan. The few of them set off from Jakarta at 6am just to drive up here, outside our guest house, have a breakfast with us and a small discussion and ended at noon. Wao!

The journey from Bandung to Bogor was bad enough, not to mention about going into Jakarta with Hope Too.

Sorry Dono, maybe next time I take a flight to Jakarta would be better. At that time would they want to meet me again? I don’t know Dono know what I know. heee…

We spend some time walking around shopping mall, escaping from the usual stuff that we did.

On the day when we wanted to leave Bogor towards Sumatra, there comes the escort party. We didn’t realize that there were so many of them, willing to ride 6 hours with me to the western end of Java and they would ride back to Bogor.

Remember Adrain Low of Sydney, his Singapore friend had a business in Java and yet, he came with his team to sent us off in the 12 hours ride (2 way)... Thanks Al!

We were all tired after the 6 hours ride. The ladies were still in high energy!

Upon reaching the 'hotel'.
The 6 hours ride with them was marvelous. There was a lady biker with us too. When we reached the ferry point, Sam and I decide not to go to Sumatra on the same day as it was late. We heard of locals telling us stories about riding in Sumatra. There would be bandits in the night out there to rob. Sam and I were always on the safe side. We stayed a night in the flimsy lodging next to the port. We showered with ‘black’ water. Yes… black. Again, the room was filled with mosquito.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bikers in Solo and Jogya. cool!

Pouwel was a very active adventure rider in Indonesia. Somehow he found my blog and facebook and we added each other as friend. I promised to visit him when we reached Indonesia. About 1 week before meeting him, he had sent out numerous posts about our arrival to all the enthusiastic bikers in Indonesia Java.

One of the enthusiastic bikers group was Solo Black Bikers Community (SOBBISCO) and their lead was Angga. We had some mobile contact with Angga before reaching Tawangmangu. We were supposed to call them when we reached the main market of Tawangmangu but were spotted by them along the road as they were patrolling up and down for our arrival.

With Angga were Rudy, Alwi, Okky, Ilham and Aznan. The 6 of them accompanied us thro out the 3 days 2 nights Tawangmangu tour. They took us to beautiful waterfall and ancient erotic temples. They paid for all of our food and site fees. The group of them was mostly students but they were extra ordinary host. In the morning, they would ride half hour from their village to meet us and in the night, they would only want to go home when we say we wanted to sleep. They shared everything they have with us and gave us their t-shirt. Thou they were young but their heart were very matured and generous.

They brought us to the famous erotic hindu temple.

Our plan was to go to Jogya from Tawangmangu. The group of them escorted us for 4 hours and they had already linked up with the Jogya bikers to escort us in. Yes, when we say escort riding in Indonesia it means they really did it the traffic police way.

Meeting place for Jogya and Solo Bikers was about 10 km away from Jogya. From there, we were being baton onto the Honda Tiger Mailing List (HTML) group of Jogya, Dworo being the representative to fetch us. When we leave with Dworo, we waved back to the friends that had hosted us for the past 3 days. No one knew that we were holding back our tears because their sincerity had touched our heart.
The bike group of Indonesia have uniform and they are proud of their country.
Bakso time again...

Dworo brought us to their ‘base camp’ at Galaxy Brothers workshop. From there, we could meet most of the bikers. At last, we got the chance to shake Pouwel’s hand as he had just knocked off from work. We were arranged to stay in Mr Rimbo’s house.

Mr Rimbo and his wife.

When the 5 bikers said they will bring us to Mr Rimbo house, we were still wondering where the house was after they had stopped. To us, it was a castle! Mr Rimbo was only 1 year of my senior and he and his big family lived in a castle! His command of English was always a laugh to the group when he spoke to me but he was a very genuine person, to us and to his friends. He showed us his wedding photos and he was very wholehearted, trying his best to explain about every pictures. His castle was another base camp for the HTML bikers to hang out.

Night out with HTML.

They brought us to local nursery and we found this adenium bonsai, which cost more than s$500.

Pouwel and I.

After the presentation, I shared with them my map.

The plan for the day was to do a presentation which Pouwel had arranged for the local bikers. We rode to Agung’s house, which was another castle and prepared the projector and slide. Pouwel did a very good translation for me when I spoke in English. I believed that this session did inspired most of the bikers that had attended our presentation. Hope Too did a good job in the pictures and videos.

Day 2 in Jogya, they drove us to some famous places around to do the tourist visit. We were in Agung’s vehicle to escape from the heat and congestion. Then ‘Mr Homo’ came with his bike just to accompany us while we were comfortably in the car. Very sporting! (Singlish).

In the night, they brought us to the central garden to do a famous test. There were 2 big ficus trees on this football field sized land. If we were able to walk blindfolded across the 2 trees, our wish would come true. So we got blindfolded, stood 50 meters away the trees, made a wish and follow our sense to walk. After trying for 4-5 times, we ended up somewhere else instead of going straight. Strange….

On Sunday, I noticed that Hope Too’s front bearing was not working well and I brought it to Galaxy Brother Workshop to have a check up. (Another escort too, we never ride alone here). Jonky, the owner, did not want me to pay for anything on the repair he did. I told him if he does not want to take my money, I would delete his facebook. So, he charged me us$1.00 for the job. Thanks Jonky! It would cost 90 times more if I did it in some other country.

The friends we met in Jogya were really great. They took us to many places around and we had a few rides visiting the nature together. They brought us to the best place to have our stomach filled. All of them would escort us back to Mr Rimbo house after a casual gathering with at least 10 bikes.
One of the Sultan (king) of Jogya has 78 children. AD1839-AD1929.
It was hard to say goodbye to new friends but we believed that we would come back easily on a flight. We left Jogya on Monday towards Dieng. It was a working day but Mr Rimbo threw away his business schedule to ride with us. Yan and Andang rode with us on this 4 hours road to Dieng.

We met up with Pouwel again and the 4 of them took us around and took good care of us. During dinner, Pouwel suddenly passed me a key saying that it would be the key to our hotel room. After the dinner, all of us got ready onto our bikes, started our engine and Pouwel would be the one leading us to the hotel. When we were in formation ready to ride off, Pouwel took on his first gear, wheeled the bike for 5 meters and stop. Everyone laughed because the hotel was just 5 meters away from our dinner point!

We took the last photo together and again, I couldn’t hold my tears in front of them. It was a very emotional moment of my life.

I confessed to them, when they brought us to walk the 2 big trees, I wished for peace and prosperity for Indonesia.
Blind folded, trying to walk in between the 2 trees.

It was about 10pm when they left. They had to ride 4 hours in the dark to reach home.

This is what they meant by ‘riding for brotherhood’.
What about it happening in Singapore?

Touching moment...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

back in Singapore

sorry all my friends. we are supposed to update our posting weekly but...

1) we had sent our lap top to repair. the company, Fujitsu, has 1 year international warranty and 3 years local warranty. so when we took the laptop to Fujitsu, we have to pay S$80.00++ to get it dignosed before they do any repair. I am using my friend's computer to upload this picture.

2) I have to do an annual in camp training (national service) from 10 august to 21st august.
so, my posting regarding indonesia will come after i get my laptop back...