6 April 2012
Check out of the awful hotel from last night and find something better.
Drive to the white crater lake (Kawah Putih) and hot springs.
The Ural is crapping on me. We turn a corner on a hill and suddenly I don't have any power. Nothing. Even with feathering the clutch I can't keep it moving. We roll to a stop. Then backwards. Finally roll far enough backwards that there is enough room to park on the side where passing mega trucks won't smash us as they round the curve. Even on a relatively flat spot there's not enough oomph to get this box rolling forward again. There's been a fair amount of Ural related stress on this trip. As rolling backwards down mountain roads tends to be. I'd hoped to have just one "relax and see the sights" kind of day. We even got an early start. But it was not to be. Can't imagine what the problem can be as we were going well and then just puttered out when we turned the corner. Maybe there was water sitting in the air box and it slid down to the carb when we turned. Drain the float bowls, let it cool an hour. Start it up. All ok, and roaring on. Just as we're arriving at the parking lot for Kawah Putih it starts to do it again. Probably the fuel air mixture was rich even when we first arrived but now we've crossed some magic altitude (2000 meters) line and when the engine (and air) gets hot it becomes even richer and just sucks. I remove one shim from the carb needles and adjust the low end fuel/air mixture screw to make it leaner. This seems to be the magic fix and removes 70% of the problem. It still runs like a dog going uphill when hot but at least there is enough oomph to keep rolling.
The lake is nice. But there's ALOT of people. Unfortunately we've come on a holiday and it's close to a major city (Bandung). I know week days are usually best to avoid the crowds but this Friday is off for some reason. We are the only foreigners. We feel a bit like rock stars. People stare. Braver ones ask for a picture with these pale people. We don't mind. They get a picture of us and we get one of them. I'm going to start a collection of all the people we've posed with. We've come up with an inside joke to describe the reaction we get. Imagine if 4 black guys with giant afros toured rural Russia in the 1970's in a Cadillac. That's the reaction we get. Lots of staring. I come to believe that this group of people here today may have more pictures of me than my own mother.
I'm famous in Indonesia!
Don't go to major attractions on public holidays.
But the lake is lovely and it's possible to find a quiet spot.
We're also a popular attraction
A very popular one.