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Old 07-22-2005, 07:15 AM   #1546
Stone Cold
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Striking Viking in Uganda?

Have also followed this thread with great ethusism, and when i checked on your planned route, i discoverd that you'd cross the equator from here! (For the nth time). Will link up at an appropriate time and give a ug treat worthy an adv. Later.
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Old 07-23-2005, 03:54 PM   #1547
cyborg
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Thumb Re: into the jungle

Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
Loaded with water, fuel and food and now headed as far into the jungle as trail and supplies last. Keep your fingers crossed.
FYYFF
Now that's adventure, heading off not knowing where the road goes! Glen, hopefully you keep GPS coords of those itty bitty roads. Through the free online satellite images of Google Earth and NASA WorldWind, for example I was able to zoom right in on Kapit, see roads and rivers in the area and far into the mountains. With coords we can punch them into tools like these and get a good picture of where you are to add to the fun. Only 200 miles to Brunei from Kapit ATCF (As The Crow Flies), many many more mile, if there's a passable trail, I'm sure. From the satellite images there seems to be lots and lots of small rivers, which likely makes things even tougher. If anyone can find a a way though Glen, I'm sure you can!
-=Clif
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:31 AM   #1548
Hugh
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Borneo Shakedown Ride
July 22, 2005
Sarawak, East Malaysia

Two hours of haggling in Mandarin, Malay and back into broken English netted yesterday’s result--no riverboat captains will haul a crazy American anywhere. At this point, even a return to the highway in Sibu is questionable.

Requesting directions to the abandoned logging road further confused anxious Chinese helpers. “You cannot go Missur Gren, there no pavement or hotel.” Adventure travel is illogical to business-minded local merchants but after several phone calls, they draw a map and reluctantly wave goodbye.

Without crossing any rivers, the trail appeared exactly where indicated, including a sign in three languages--Road Closed. After verifying three gallons of fuel, I reset the trip meter and switched on the GPS Breadcrumbs function to show a dotted line indicating ground covered. It’s easy to get lost on the hundreds of forks and overrun trails throughout Borneo but tuning into a half-dozen low orbiting satellites evens the field. Yet this GPS is well beaten and sometimes vibration shuts down the power connection, erasing recent tracks. This could be a problem on the way out.

The first three hours is a mixture of wheel-wiggling, rocky adobe and sandy gravel—a gentle reminder of departing the beaten path. At the twenty-mile mark, a bulldozed raised barricade blocks the road. The emptiness beyond is evidenced by blunted green mountains slightly etched by trackless miles of mud and landslides. As advised, the road is abandoned, but is the jungle? Why has the logging company sealed the forest? Indigenous people around the world resent international corporations raping them of natural resources. Would the natives accept or reject a wandering Westerner violating their isolated wilderness on a shiny blue riding machine? Tribal violence ahead? Weighing the circumstances causes a grin that won’t go away.

Through an early morning mist, the deteriorating trail grows thick with creeping vines and storm eroded gullies. A pleasant ride dry but after a solid rain, it would be a miserable, dangerous slide returning. How big a fool rides solo into an unforgiving rainforest believing it won’t rain? The decision narrows; keep spinning my wheels in Kapit or spin them in the forest.

The objective was to ride in as deep as possible the first day and take two more getting out. There was no way to judge how far the road would hold—ten miles or a hundred? Just before sunset, after buried to my axles in sucking mud for one last time, I mark a GPS waypoint and record odometer readings—fifty-five miles of delightful, challenging jungle track in eight exhausting hours. The finale of an adventurous day was apples and sardines by the shimmering glow of a silvery rising moon.

Like a warming-up orchestra, one by one, sections of insects chime in. The first round of beetles shriek like smoke alarms followed by volleys of deafening, singing crickets. An overhead silent soaring of circling nocturnal birds follows a slow methodical whoosh whoosh whoosh of enormous flapping wings. The symphony of life overwhelms--“welcome to the jungle.” Masters of the planet, humans are not—within a square mile, the population of bugs likely exceeds that of mankind. Suddenly this wanderer feels insignificant.

To Borneo tribesmen, the jungle is ruled by spirits, though evil ones are warded off by body tattooing—nervous relief for a recently ink-stained traveler. Still, sounds in the dark become louder as the mind races to identify and classify. Speculating how lurking ghosts welcome intruders is enough to delay a needed night’s rest.

Backlit against a full moon sky, silhouettes of creeping, fist-size roaches move across the paper-thin dome of my nylon tent. Somehow, even when sealed inside, tiny ants manage entry in numbers sufficient to leave trails of annoying welts. Laying naked on a cushy Therma-rest, late evening heat and humidity renders me soaking in sweat pondering tomorrows plan. The night turns long and eerie.

Enveloped in pre-dawn fog, clothes soggy from yesterday’s drizzle are wetter than when hung to dry. But there’s been a changing of the insect guard. Bees. With undulating little rumps, dozens of pink and yellow flyers buzz across the glistening, dew covered rain flap, probing for something or someone to sting.

It was Crystal-Lite and boiled duck eggs for breakfast while chasing shafts of sunlight to dry dampened camping gear. This year, pig-hunting season opened with a phenomenally large migration from the Indonesian side of Borneo. Tracks running through camp indicated a family of nighttime visitors. Later, a sharp crashing in the underbrush produces a two-hundred pound sow followed by a herd of snorting piglets. Slow on the draw, I missed photographing them trampling up the hillside meadow.

On the second night out, contact with humans was a midnight visit by three well-equipped Iban hunters curious of the alien invader. To remain unchallenged, the Malaysian government restricts ownership of firearms. But game-hunting, indigenous peoples are allowed single-shot, twelve-gauge shotguns. Armed with solid slug projectiles, they can shoot down boar at a hundred feet but not much further. After sharing the last of a strange purple fruit and through a sign language warning of snakes, they switch on their spotlights and quietly fade into the woods.

Often, levels of adventure are judged by what went wrong. To world riders exploring developing nations, even deadly confrontations become routine and absent disaster, we drum our fingers. But this week’s deviation into the rainforest’s mystical gardens terminates as smoothly as beginning. No flat tires, engine failures or tumbles off precarious rocky ledges. Poisonous spiders and snakes kept to themselves while evil spirits attacked only those who believed in them. Even the sons of headhunters turned out friendly.

Back in Kapit, local wharf workers lent a hand loading the Beast on the first boat heading downriver. The skipper was pleased to aid a man with wild dreams. As a penetrating tropical sun caked layers of red clay on my boots, mental images of expanding horizons burned. The dry run for looping the island of Borneo was finally complete.

locovikingman@yahoo.com
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:45 AM   #1549
Hugh
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Borneo riverboat


Turn off for the logging road


Borneo rain forest


Logging road


Plowed barricade


As the road narrows the plot thickens


Borneo logging road fading


The logging road narrows to sucking mud


Thirty two miles in


Fifty miles in


Can you find me at the fifty five mile mark


Readings at fifty five miles in


Dawn in Borneo


Digging out with tree bark


Iban boar hunters


Midnight visit from Iban boar hunters


Sarawak flowers


Setting up for dinner and journals


The forest taking over


Waking up in Borneo


Wild boar tracks outside my tent


Rejang River fish


Iban teenager comparing art work
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Old 07-26-2005, 08:57 AM   #1550
nailbnny
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Absolutely amazing adventure! I've just caught up with this thread and man, what a read.

According to maps.google.com you were here . Totally sweet.

I've just bought my first bike so, from one end of the motorcycle spectrum to the other: Cheers to you, dude.

Benjamin
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:11 PM   #1551
Coolhand
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Quote:
Can you find me at the fifty five mile mark
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:20 PM   #1552
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Always an interesting read....

Keep em coming....
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:28 AM   #1553
strikingviking OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone Cold
Have also followed this thread with great ethusism, and when i checked on your planned route, i discoverd that you'd cross the equator from here! (For the nth time). Will link up at an appropriate time and give a ug treat worthy an adv. Later.
See you around December!
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Old 07-27-2005, 08:30 AM   #1554
Noodles
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Hey Glen
I'm a South African but I'm in Uganda at the moment. When you're here look for a place called Blue Mango. You'll get some cheap accomodation, camp sites or bungalos, and a nice pool with a few babes in it. I went river rafting on the Nile this weekend, you gotta do that its a blast. Lastly, when in Uganda nothing is advertised price, haggle everything.
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:11 PM   #1555
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:33 AM   #1556
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Great stuff Glenn...!!! Took me a while to get through it, all very captivating.

Thank you for taking the time to write as much as you are,
and the images are amazing. Keep up the good work...!!!

Going to order your book, and await the release of the next.
If you ever make it near norcal put me on the list for beers & sushi on me.
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Old 07-28-2005, 08:59 AM   #1557
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First off, I want to thank all of you who have purchased my book Two Wheels Through Terror, but since revenues from sales fund my travels it’s time to sell more books. Having tapped into the emergency-five-grand-reserve fund back in India, I’m now close to running dry until another cash infusion from GUILTY. This isn’t about something for nothing, just a chance at earning a living. That living comes from selling words and if you like what you’ve read here, you’ll enjoy my book.

Royalties from sales to Barnes & Noble etc are withheld for donation to those worthier than me but signed copies sold off my website fund means for continuing this journey. The book is backordered again, so until the third printing, we have the only copies immediately available.

Don’t accept my word that this is an interesting book, check the comments posted on this thread by motorcyclists who have actually read it. Additionally, it’s received positive reviews by professional moto-journalists from across North America and Europe to India.

The more authors write, the better we get and selling books keeps us in the game. My first book won’t earn a Pulitzer Prize but the depth of story makes up for beginner’s errors. More than a daily accounting on being a prisoner of a rebel army, it’s an inspirational tale about completing goals, true friendship and what it’s like to ride a motorcycle solo to the tip of South America and back.

There’s over a thousand readers on this thread--if everyone bought a copy, it would extend this ride through Indonesia, Africa and back to California. If you’ve already bought a book, thank you very much—why not buy another for a friend? An interesting fact is the number of people who came back and bought multiple copies for gifts. Whether you buy a book or not, it’s been great sharing the adventure.

Sample chapter and reviews
Buy it!

All the best,
Glen Heggstad
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:19 AM   #1558
Nom de Guerre
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Glen, I just bought 2 copies... one for me and one to give as a gift to good m/c buddy. I'm glad I can give back a little something to help your journey, considering how much I have gotten from keeping up with this thread. You've taken us all along with you for the ride, and for that I thank you.
Anthony
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:27 AM   #1559
Gordy
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Glen,

Just as an idea for keeping your trip funded and going, is there any way of getting an escrow fund built up by pre-selling your new book? I know that I would pony up right now for the upcoming read.
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Old 07-28-2005, 10:26 AM   #1560
NE WILLY
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Laugh twtt

Glen,
Thank you for taking us on your journey. I have been following your ride for awhile. SV Bummin The World is always my first stop every day to see if you have posted. Sorry to hear that you are running out of funds. I purchased your book today. All along I planned on buying it just never have. After reading your last post I decided it was time for me to pony up. Thanks again and will be looking forward to reading TWTT. Now I can go back to what I do best.
LURKING!!!


Sincerely,
Willy
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