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Old 07-22-2012, 02:54 AM   #31
bokad OP
Difficult Child
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Wherever it is warm.
Oddometer: 395
18 June 2012
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Ende to Larantuka (Flores) via Maumere
~ 280km


Anna is on vacation and it's just me and Mr Ural on the way to Larantuka at the end of Flores.

This section is the best driving I've had so far in Indonesia. Smooth road, curvy but not too curvy, few cars, beautiful scenery. I even hit 100km/h (60mph) in one place, an Indonesia first! These roads would be twice the pleasure on two wheels.
Anna doesn't weigh much but it seems to be a tipping point for the Ural. Without her it handles better than it has in the rest of the trip. With her it's like driving an overloaded land boat, steering is a constant struggle. Together we are too much for poor Mr Ural.

Some of the locals drive their bikes with inspiring skill. They've been doing it since they were 8. And only two wheels, never a car. Scooter or bike every day for their entire life. The machine is an extension of their body, and they know their local roads in an out.
I follow a guy driving a small bike with a 7 cell chicken coop straddling the bike. He manages the turns at a speed I could barely manage to follow on a proper bike. Even with the high/wide load and chickens flopping about his balance is excellent. He knows I'm following him (he was following me before) and stops periodically for me to catch up.

The Ural has always gotten strange looks but on this stretch people react in fear when it rumbles in to sight.

"Villagers are panicked by this green monster and it's black clad master descending upon them. Men leap in the ditch, mothers grip their children tightly, scooters swerve precariously. Eyes are wide and jaws dangle. They've never seen a beast like this, they react on instinct."

This is all true, men literally leap off the road in to piles of rocks on the side. I check myself in the mirror several times to make sure I'm not the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

The driving is so good that I don't think about anything else. The trip is powered by two tanks of gas, half a pack of crackers, and a couple cigarettes.
Snacks and cigarettes are a great way to make friends by the way.


Leave your bike for a minute and they are on it!


Small fishing/farming village between Maumere and Larantuka, Flores. My fave section of road.


Small fishing/farming village between Maumere and Larantuka, Flores. My fave section of road.


Small fishing/farming village between Maumere and Larantuka, Flores. My fave section of road.


One of these is a live crab. That's good camoflage!


On the road between Maumere and Larantuka.


On the road between Maumere and Larantuka.


On the road between Maumere and Larantuka.
Moments before they all leapt in to the grass as I rumbled by.



On the road between Maumere and Larantuka. Mmmmm...soooo smooth!


On the road between Maumere and Larantuka. Mmmmm...soooo smooth!


On the road between Maumere and Larantuka.


On the road between Maumere and Larantuka. They do alot of work by hand here.


Oddly enough the busses here consistently have better paint and sound system than any other vehicle on the road


Fisherman's cove near Larantuka.
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