I am the original 'Uneasy Rider' .. not especially blessed with much natural motorcycling talent, nor am I a particularly courageous motorcycle rider.
Nevertheless I went 'Right Way Round' New Zealand (at least twice) followed by a wonderful ride around Australia.

Then it was up to southeast Asia, around Indo-China, across southern Central Asia to the Middle East, Asia Minor .. and finally into Europe.

Right Way Round - all the way home .. from New Zealand to England, 2-up on a Honda Transalp.

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PROGRESS SO FAR - Distance covered across Western Europe: 6,411 km [3,984 miles] - as at Thursday, October-22nd, 2015

Friday, 25 May 2012

Scooby Doo ... We Love You

Rest and recuperation done with .. on Thursday (17th) we rented a car and headed up north to Lovina – one of our favourite places from last year.

.. watched a sunset or two sipping fresh coconut milk (or beer) ..

.. and partied with the locals through the night.

Char-grilled Red Snapper at 3:00am  ..

Too much!

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Saturday, 19th May

We took to the high ground, east of the main north <--> south Bali highway, and up into the Central Mountain range on our return trip down south. Brett took the wheel of our little rental car and enjoyed the driving experience; far different, of course, from the flatter terrain and straighter road network of the Northern Territory* Australia.

*B&T’s home state

The afternoon and night time was spent in the city of Ubud, the other half of the Island’s tourism duopoly. We had expectations of experiencing the rich Balinese culture that Ubud is renowned for; plus maybe take in a dance-and-music show during the evening. The reality for us though was somewhat disappointing. Ubud, just like the rest of Bali, is falling victim to its outgrowing popularity. What a shame. The streets were choked with tourists, all seemingly without a mission. And to think that the busy high season is still at least a month away!

It was not, therefore, a difficult decision to leave the following day.

We got lucky with our choice of lodgings though at Gayatri Bungalows. Nice place. Our rooms were in this building (above); flanked by rice padi fields on two sides.

Nice swimming pool too.

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Sunday, 20th May

Back down to Legian to return the rental car by noon; then a flying taxi ride across to the eastern coast of the Denpasar conurbation and into the suburb of Sanur ..

.. where once more we were pleased with our choice of accommodation. The Prima Cottage Hotel (Nice one TripAdvisor.com – thank you, again).

Good eating at the downtown Japanese restaurant too.

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Monday, 21st

Up and about before dawn.

05:45 am
Facing the eastern horizon, Er Indoors and I both felt another sunrise coming on.

06:22 am
And we were not disappointed.

07:00 am
This is the shrine Ellen was sat in at sunrise (above)

Back at Prima Cottage for breakfast with B&T. The Hindu ‘offering’ already placed at the roadside entrance. You see these everywhere; outside nearly every home and business. Offerings .. to bring good fortune. Some are quite elaborate in make-up. This one (above) is quite typical though.

11:30 am ..
.. and we were boarding our fast ferry to the outlying island of Nusa Lembongan. 30 minutes at 20 knots in a south-easterly direction and you’re there.

What can I say about Lembongan? Well, it’s probably the Bali many imagine, but more often-than-not never find. A very mellow place. Simple rooms on the beach, with cold beers always readily available at the bar .. right next door.

We stayed at Scooby Doo Bungalows (and Bar!), right on Jungutbatu Beach .. not perfect by any means, but nothing much is perfect in this part of the world. The wet room shower didn’t want to drain away, the TV was hopeless, etc etc .. but none of that really mattered. For two days we did little else but chill; our time marked by the crow of our next door neigbour’s rooster .. and the fall of a coconut.


The view from our lounge ..

.. where we watched the local seaweed harvesters pluck and gather their crops within the boundaries of the offshore reef.


Drying the seaweed in readiness for shipment and export .. to who knows where? To be turned into Japanese sushi accompaniments and western cosmetic products, so we were told.

Took a boat ride out to the reef

.. and watched the surfer-dudes just do their thing ..

Great sunsets

What a fabulous way for anyone to spend 48 hours of their life.

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From Ellen's journal: click on this link → Bali
 
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Wednesday, 23rd

B&T’s last full day before their departure the following evening, Thursday-24. And they ‘go for it!’

Spot the difference:

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

If only I had the hair .. or the beard!

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Evening

Last night together and we ‘live it up’ at Teluk Jimbaran (Jimbaran Bay), just south of Kuta .. an alluring crescent of white sand and blue-turquoise ocean.


What a feast we ate, right there on the beach. Char-grilled Barracuda, shrimps and mussels with spicy accompaniments, salad, veges and French fries .. all washed down with ice-cold Bintangs (Indo beer).

Yep, right down on the beach .. and it's still 29°C


Even had that Balinese Dancing we missed up in Ubud a few days before.

A Great Way to finish, our brief but fantastic time altogether .. the four of us.

See you up in Thailand guys.

You Bewdies!

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Friday, 25th

And now our westward ride must recommence. It's been too long a wait already.

The bike is running better than ever, all thanks to the brilliant mechanical skills of young Ronald. S. of Winner Motor, Dalung. Ronald stored the black beast for me during the seven month absence.

Due to prolonged inactivity the carburettors and the fuel regulator were all fooked-up when I went to collect and start her up on Thursday-24th. No problem though. Ronald and his assistants (mum & dad) had the crash bars and fairings off within ten minutes. Fuel tank and air box removed within another ten; carbs out within five more.

All cleaned-up, fixed, sorted and reassembled within three hours. The finest exhibition of motorcycle engineering excellence I’ve ever witnessed. Come and work in England Ronald .. and show ‘em all how it’s done mate. You’ll make a bloody fortune, for sure.

This is the intended route across Java. It’s good to have a plan, not that we’ll stick to it .. we never do.

JAVA ITINERARY:

Bondowoso - Kawah Ijen – volcano & sulphur gathering
Kalibaru - a small village with beautiful and various types of plantation
Bromo - sunrise over Java Island on the top of Mount Bromo
Malang - a city of historical significance
Gunung Kelud - Visit Candi Penataran, the largest and most important Hindu temple complex
Solo - City Tour: visit Sukuh and Cetho - Sangiran Museum (about 15 kilometers north of Surakarta in the Solo River valley)
Solo to Yogykarta via the enigmatic temples of Prambanan - watch Ramayana Dance
Yogykarta
Dieng Plateau - Borobudur Temple, see the sunrise
Pangandaran  - Java’s premier beach resort
Bandung - See the crater of a volcano real close at Tagkuban Perahu
Visit Gede Pangrango National Park and take a day to reach the summit of Gunung Gede for jaw-dropping views.
Traverse the tea plantations, waterfalls and dramatic scenery of the Puncak Pass area.
Bogor - Kebun Raya Botanic Garden.
Jakarta
Merak - to Bakaheuni (Sumatra) ferry.


1,560 kilometres (970 miles) across Java all told. Better get a move on then!

I'll activate the Spot locator software tomorrow morning (Sat-26) - and we'll be gone from here (Kuta-Legian) shortly after breakfast. It's about time.

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