Cycle upgradeBandung (Java, Indonesia) to Perth (Australia): Final Distance (since 20 Dec): 7280km
Andy was delighted with the upgrade. Mel wasn't so sure that the deal with the Indonesian man had been to her benefit.
The Indonesian island of Java is a busy place. Not much bigger than the UK, but with a population three times that of the UK – it is rather chaotic. Very proud of ourselves and with bodies in pieces having cycled through Sumatra, we felt no shame at all in using a little bit of public transport to save ourselves spending hours on very busy roads alongside thousands of mental lorry drivers. Thus we scooted across much of the island by bus, with our bikes in the luggage compartment below us.
Our first stop was with Mel’s Dad, his wife Amy, and their MASSIVE Indonesian family in Bandung. Arriving broken wrecks we were well looked after, pampered, and had the wonderful time that we had been dreaming of for the preceding weeks. After Bandung we set off for a bit of touristing on Java before cycling round the island of Bali (super cycle touring island!) The grand finale had us arriving in Perth spending a week with Mel’s bro Martin and his girlfriend Jaime.
So... what did we discover in this stage? We found out
Journey 9 - Map
Check out the elevation profile for our hilly day on Bali. A little bit of flat to warm up on, and then BOOM - uphill uphill uphill.
that Indonesia is really very volcanoey indeed...
We had been cycling up and down volcanic mountain ranges in Sumatra but had been mostly oblivious to the fact that it was so very very volcanoey. Unless you are subjected to real volcanoness (a real word) – akin to doing a day cycle around Mordor - then it can seem that all the fuss about volcanoes relates to little more than a grumble about rather steep hills. However, arriving in Bandung in Java, surrounded by a ring of enormous volcanoes, and then getting some ‘fresh air’ (i.e. sulphurous eggyness) on a walk up one (Tangkuban Perahu), we started to feel a bit closer to violent nature. Furthermore, if there is anything that is going to make you nervous, it is sleeping in a hotel underneath the world’s most active volcano (Mount Merapi) when a thunderstorm breaks out. Having just heard how this volcano is due for another eruption in 2013, and then hearing “CCAAAKKKAAARRRKKKAAACCAAAKKKK”, causing the windows to rattle and ground shake, was sufficient for us to look outside to see if there were any signs of mass evacuation going on. There weren’t – the two old men in the café
Hotel owners love us.
opposite were still playing chess, and the old man was still trying to flog dumplings from his street stall.
On Bali, there was the temptation to immerse ourselves in the Kuta Beach tourist scene, getting sunburnt on the beach and wearing singlet shirts with offensive slogans. Instead, however, we ended up scooting round the North of the island. Pure delight, beautiful and still with a real flavour of normal Indonesia. We also did our biggest single bike climb – 1690m in one go, with no downhill or flat at all!
Finally we landed in Perth, where we have discovered that you can still be cosmopolitan and suave, despite the fact that you have only two shirts which are ripped, faded and have been worn every day for the best part of a year. Martin and Jaime nursed us back to normality and showed us a premier league time. Martin is doing an Ironman at the weekend, but still toasted the end of the MEGAMOON with us in style!
P.S. Good luck, Martin, on Saturday. Key Stats:
Distance covered in this stage (by bicycle):331km
Final Distance (since 20 Dec 2012): 7280km.
Cumulative Mechanicals: Sheared
Mel racing the rickshaws
Pannier Rack x1 (Mel); Snapped Bike Chain x3 (Andy); Puncture x8 (Andy), Puncture x 29ish (Mel); Explosively Burst Tyre x1 (Mel); Tyre worn through x1 (Mel), Tyre worn through x 1 (Andy); Superglue repair on slashed tyres x1 (Mel); Snapped Water Bottle Cages x3 (Andy), Pannier bag rail snap x1 (Andy); Snapped sunglasses x3 (Andy), x1 (Mel), Broken Tent Pole x1
Tot: 0.091s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 11; qc: 67; dbt: 0.0165s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb