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Old 10-01-2013, 08:17 PM   #16
blek
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Hello there. I've finished my Trans-Sumatran trip and now heading back home. Whenever you ride near my small city, Dompu, West Nusa Tenggara, Sumbawa Island, contact me. My e-mail is blackdramon(at)gmail(dot)com

Here is a thread that you might find useful on your journey around Nusa Tenggara. http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=824611
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:56 AM   #17
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Awesome. The Viking is very happy. Wishing you a nice ride, and I am really happy you're making this ride report and bringing us with you. Thank you!!!
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:57 PM   #18
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From the mountains to the sea

Writing this at 0500. It seems to be the best time of day for internet speed. Had a very quiet night.

Had a huge day yesterday. Up before the sun for a look at the mountain in that nice soft light that happens before the sun breaks through. Breakfast of strong sweet black Timor coffee and bread rolls then back down the mountain to Dili to collect my passport with a shiny new visa for Indonesia. Postie Bike (PB) much prefers downhill to uphill.
Now camped in complete solitude on a beach about 85klm east of Dili. Do believe I'll break out the fishing gear in the morning.
Managed to overlook shopping in my rush to get out of Dili so its bananas and water for dinner, same as lunch. Makes for a cheap day $3 plus $10 for fuel.

First view of the mountain

First sight of Ramelau photo P1100365.jpg

Strong winds in the morning created dramatic rapidly changing cloud formations

Clouds being stretched by strong winds photo P1100377.jpg

Heading back down the mountain with PB

Down the mountain photo P1100384.jpg

Stopped in at the Fire Station in Aileu, retired Firefighters can't resist fire stations. Was made very welcome by the crew.

Aileu Fire Dept. photo P1100390.jpg
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:00 PM   #19
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Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by blek View Post
Hello there. I've finished my Trans-Sumatran trip and now heading back home. Whenever you ride near my small city, Dompu, West Nusa Tenggara, Sumbawa Island, contact me. My e-mail is blackdramon(at)gmail(dot)com

Here is a thread that you might find useful on your journey around Nusa Tenggara. http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=824611
I'll be calling.
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:32 PM   #20
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Into the wilds

After wild camping on the coast between Manatuto and Baucau I headed off with the intent of getting to Lospalos, however somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn and found out I was heading towards Viqueque. Iíd intended to come back this way in any case so I just kept going. The country is pretty dry but the mountain scenery is still pretty spectacular.
Mountains photo WP_20131003_007.jpg
The road was still pretty crappy but I could make reasonable time averaging 20 to 30 kmh while I was moving but the frequent stops for sightseeing and photography slowed me down more.
The town of Viqueque is set in a nice pocket of rainforest with a lovely waterfall right in town. I found a guesthouse and considered staying the night but the price at $40 was out of my range so I kept going to the southern coast of Timor.
 photo WP_20131003_010.jpg
I stopped briefly to have a look at the beach and was considering setting up camp in what looked to be a coconut plantation but some bloke came along and said something which by his arm action and tone sounded like ďpiss off Noddy, youíre not camping hereĒ but it could well have been ď look at that sky, what a brilliant dayĒ however I still had a few hours of sun left so decided to play it safe and keep going.
A bit further along I passed a family farm and spied the father busy at work on what was once a tree but now was being transformed into a boat so I invited myself in and by means of hand and body language asked if I could watch. Anyway to keep it short, I was treated like the honoured guest and invited to sit in the only chair in the shade. I took a couple of pics and some video of the bloke hard at work and then the little kids lined up for a photo so I took one of them. Now I bought out the friend maker; my little Polaroid instant photo printer and before their very eyes produced a print of the kids. Mother was over the moon with this and ran out to the road to show people going by. When she got back and calmed down we took a nice family portrait to print as well, then a couple of the older sisters wanted a photo.
Boat building photo WP_20131003_016.jpg
First photo photo WP_20131003_017.jpg
Boat builders kids photo P1100405.jpg
Hit the road again as time was running out to find a decent camp. About halfway between Beacu and Iliomar I came to the perfect spot.
Wild camp second night photo WP_20131003_021.jpg
I thought I was in the middle of nowhere; Iíd gotten well off the road and hadnít seen a car or any other vehicle for over an hour. I just got dinner cooking and bugger me some bloke comes walking up the hill, waltzes over and sits down to stare at me. After the usual pleasantries I gave him a pack of dried banana and wished he would take that as a parting gift but he just sat and stared. I tried my best to let him know it was getting late and that he really should be moving on but just more sitting and staring at my tent, stove, food, water, and Postie Bike most of all. You might imagine what was going on in my head when without a word but a big smile and wave he ups and off over the hill. Phew! Why do we always think the worst of people?
Anyway I had a great sleep and up at sparrow fart to get the cam packed up, try for internet, unsuccessfully and hit the road.
This next section from camp to Iliomar was to be some of the roughest road so far but also the most rewarding. This section is pretty much virgin coastal rainforest and is lovely to ride through. The road descended into deep gullies to cross small creeks and then climbed high for sweeping views of the coast. At times I was concerned that if I couldnít climb the other side of the gully that I might not be able to backtrack either, but I should never have doubted the Postie it just kept going.
 photo WP_20131004_003.jpg
 photo WP_20131004_006.jpg
Now Iím in to very remote areas seldom visited by travellers, the villages here are about as traditional as they can get and at times I feel like Iím riding through the pages of National Geographic.
Traditional village Timor Leste photo WP_20131003_019.jpg
The road continued up into the mountains, some sections very rough but other sections of smooth surface made road shaded by a canopy of leafy trees, it was so good to get into 4th gear for a while. Iíd fitted a tiny voltage converter to charge the computer but with such slow progress the motor hasnít been revving hard enough to produce much in the way of electricity. Even with the headlight turned off the computer only managed to get up to about 30 percent charge.
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:58 PM   #21
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On to Iliomar and Lospalos

Shady lane
Nice piece of road photo WP_20131004_001.jpg
Mountain road to Iliomar
Road to Iliomar photo WP_20131004_005.jpg
Sometime after Iliomar I came across a ceremony at a local church, ladies were all in costume and dancing and singing outside. The kids were wearing white sashes and some of the girls were in little bridal gowns. Aha a confirmation is on the go. Iím not much for religion but it being Friday I was a bit surprised, I thought all this stuff happened on Sunday?
Anyway I stopped and was mobbed by kids who all went into a frenzy like Santa himself had happened along to join the party. A couple of the older lads restored order with a few well-placed swipes with lengths of thin cane. I asked if it was OK to take some pictures and was invited to do so. The kids got a bit out of control again until a very small older lady stepped forward and took my hands in hers and kissed them. A bit taken aback by this I responded in kind. Well the kids just lost it then but quickly got themselves back in control after a few stern words from the LOL (Little Old Lady) I indicated Iíd like to take a photo of her and she posed nicely, Iím guessing it was her granddaughter who came and stood by her for the photo. Again the instant friend maker came out and I produced a print of the LOL and presented it to her. She and her granddaughter were delighted. Of course the requests came thick and fast then but I picked out some of the more senior folk and told them that the battery was close to finished. As it turns out this was the truth, canít have me telling porkies in front of a church now can we?
Church ceremony photo WP_20131004_012.jpg
Patriarch photo P1100411.jpg
 photo P1100409.jpg
At some stage on these rough roads the screw holding the back of the additional fuel tank decided enough was enough and it hit the road. The tank was sagging at the back but still serviceable; Iíd tried a temporary fix with some light rope but it too broke under the strain.
When I finally made it to Lospalos I looked about for a fuel station but not seeing any in obvious locations I asked a local. young lad on a scooter gave me a personal escort to his favourite place where I took on the first fuel since Dili three days ago. I asked him if he knew where I could get a replacement screw for the fuel tank and he took me a couple of blocks down to a mechanic. Within seconds the exact right screw was produced and attached, job done and no charge. We had a few laughs and I was on my way. Decided to stop in Lospalos for the night at the AVR Guesthouse. Itís a lovely old building falling slowly into dereliction, I imagine it would have been one of the more upmarket restaurants in town in a bygone era.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:11 PM   #22
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Found Paradise at the end of 8KM of hell

Headed back to the mechanic in the morning to get the oil changed on PB, charge for labour 50 cents so I gave him a dollar and said the other 50 cents was for the bolt he gave me the previous day.
Road from Lospalos to Tutuala is pretty good, it passes by a huge lake which Iím told is home to many large crocodiles. There were kids fishing from the road where they stand in ankle deep water and should be safe however a woman was taken recently. The locals to refer to the crocodiles with the same word as they use for grandfather, seems they believe them to contain the souls of ancestors.
Looks inviting, the crocodiles thought so too photo WP_20131005_004.jpg
Some traditional structures along the road
 photo WP_20131005_003.jpg
The Patron Saint of crocodiles and small children?
Patron Saint of Crocodiles and small children? photo WP_20131005_001.jpg
From Tutuala to the beach opposite Jaco Island is 8km of extremely rough track with large loose stones on very steep and rutted declines. I had met a young French couple on a borrowed Kawasaki KLX 150 back along the road and they were heading for Jaco as well, they made it here OK but she had to walk for much of the way. Iím not feeling overly confident of being able to ride back up that track, some of the hills are very steep and long and Iím doubting the power of the little motor in PB being sufficient to carry me and the luggage up them.
On the upside, at the end of the track is a truly magical piece of real estate, a pristine white beach backed by flat level camping grounds under huge shady trees. The view from the campground is over brilliant blue sea to the nearby white beaches of Jaco.
Jaco Island photo WP_20131005_007.jpg
There are two Eco Guesthouses here with a selection of bungalows, rooms and camping. I asked about camping and food at the first place and the bloke didnít seem too interested but did say the bungalows were $20 per person and camping $10 so I explored further and came to Lakumorre Guesthouse at the end of the beach road. The reception here was far more positive and camping just $5 which includes use of toilets and showers, brilliant. Iím camped under large tamarind trees with lots of fruit lying about for the taking. I ordered lunch and set about unpacking and setting up camp
 photo WP_20131005_005.jpg
Lunch was $8 and was far too much food for one person so I took my fill and then packed the leftovers into my cooking pot for dinner.
 photo WP_20131005_006.jpg
Iíve got a reasonable heavy work shirt with me so I soaked that, wrapped the pot in it and hung it in the tree to let the wind and evaporation keep it cool until dinner time.
My morning view
 photo WP_20131006_001.jpg
A bit about Lakumorre Guesthouse. Established in 2009 it is the nicer of the two places on offer here and is very well run by a family who have owned the land for generations. They are building a new guesthouse but at the moment have a couple of rooms with either 2 or 3 single beds for $20 per person a night and a room with a double bed for $30 for the room. They also have a tent set up in the campgrounds for $10 a night or if you bring your own tent itís just $5. Meals are available for $8to $10 and are huge. Phone numbers if you want to make a booking. (Advisable on weekends)
+670 77245620 Ė 77852050 Ė 77933041
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:21 PM   #23
mammutetzsidecar
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Great report Rob

Very inviting pics accompanied by very informative dialogue. Have faith in the Postie, it will get you back up the hill
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:11 PM   #24
sharkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDT953 View Post
In some places the road was terrible and the rest was just bloody awful. The last 20k to Hatubuilico looked like the Romans had made it, just fist sized stones in the dirt. Nothing a Postie can't handle of course.
I thought this washout was worth the picture. This was one of the better parts of the road.
I'd forgotten about that one, but it's at the 17 minute mark on this video from a week or so earlier

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Old 10-08-2013, 12:36 PM   #25
blek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDT953 View Post
Lunch was $8 and was far too much food for one person so I took my fill and then packed the leftovers into my cooking pot for dinner.
Huh? But that is our average dose!
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:09 AM   #26
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Leaving Jaco

Decided Iíd had enough of paradise; with no fish to catch itís a flawed paradise anyway. Packed the bike and paid the bill and with more than a bit of trepidation set off to tackle the track uphill. Most of the track is perfectly fine actually itís just half a dozen mongrel hills with big loose rocks and deep washouts that make it so daunting.
Hereís a pic to give some idea but actually capturing the road condition or the severity of the incline in a picture is very difficult.
Jaco Track photo WP_20131007_003.jpg
Well of course I made it otherwise I wouldnít be here reporting. The little bike struggled on the steep hills and needed a bit of help from my legs to keep moving but it did an incredible job. I donít know if Iíve caused any damage to the auto-clutch though, Iím sure it got very hot. So off we go past the croc infested lake
Croc bait photo WP_20131007_004.jpg
until I come across a local couple in distress with a flat tyre and no tools. Stopped to lend a hand and discovered two important things. First my glue for patches is useless and second, my walking shoes are gone. Iíd put them on top of the panniers, fastened with one of my Andy Strapz elastic and Velcro fasteners, the strap was also missing.
Fellow biker photo WP_20131007_006.jpg
I guessed that I must have snagged the strap on my boot while my legs were flying about trying to get up the mongrel hills. What to do? I had to go back and look as I really need those shoes. I found the shoes but not the strap on the very first bit of mongrel hill Iíd come up earlier. I was bloody happy to have my shoes back but not too happy at having to tackle that track again.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:35 AM   #27
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Baucau beach and bike repairs

Now in Baucau resting in luxury in an air-conditioned room with a big bed and hot water.

Had a brilliant sleep in quiet cool comfort and woke up to breakfast of egg, bread and jam and of course a big jug of Timor Coffee.
The bracket holding the back of the XR tank which Iíd fashioned out of a thin piece of metal strap didnít stand up to the punishment of the Jaco track causing the tank to drop at the back and rest on top of the carburettor. So I went searching for a workshop. Found a place that seemed to do everything including upholstery.
Broken strap
 photo WP_20131008_003.jpg

PB had a small rip in the front of the seat pad when I bought it so I patched it with cloth tape. Here was an opportunity to fix it properly so after negotiating a fair price the seat was removed, a new stronger bracket was fabricated for the tank and the seat now has a lovely tan piece at the front which contrasts nicely with the black.
 photo WP_20131008_002.jpg

Took a ride down a long winding road to Baucau Beach for a look
 photo WP_20131008_008.jpg
Then explored a bit further and found this old Portuguese fortification.
 photo WP_20131008_010.jpg
Returned for another look at the beach and decided to stay a night. I asked at the Baucau Beach Bungalows if they had any room but was informed that the bungalow was already occupied, bugger.
 photo WP_20131008_012.jpg
The grounds have lovely big breadfruit trees casting lots of shade which looked ideal for camping. We negotiated a rate and hey presto up goes the tent on a very soft patch of lawn under a small pomegranate tree.
 photo WP_20131008_013.jpg
The beach is lined with palm trees and fisherman huts and a string of boats anchored just offshore. Thereís one small cabana on the beach selling drinks and food. A walking path heading east leads to a couple of more little beaches with equally stunning views.
Late afternoon at the beach.
 photo WP_20131008_016.jpg
Had dinner at the beach hut with the couple who had beat me to the bungalow
 photo WP_20131008_017.jpg
Then early to bed for another restful sleep.
Got up early to take in the sunrise
 photo WP_20131009_008.jpg
Then one last look at the beach and off to Dili
 photo WP_20131009_010.jpg
Climbed a hill to a lookout over Manatuto
 photo WP_20131009_011.jpg
Now back in Timor backpackers getting some washing done and updating this.
Off towards Indonesian West Timor tomorrow.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:14 AM   #28
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VIDEO from a few days back

Finally got enough phone signal to upload some vid.

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Old 10-09-2013, 03:35 AM   #29
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Vid not working

Sorry, I don't know how to do this yet. I'll work at it later when I have faster internet service.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:25 PM   #30
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Can't wait! I ended up using Smugmug's video hosting, but vimeo would work too. If you can, turn it in h.264 before uploading
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