Cycle Tour Stage 9 – The Home Straight

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Oceania » Australia
May 1st 2013
Published: May 8th 2013
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Cycle upgradeCycle upgradeCycle upgrade

Andy was delighted with the upgrade. Mel wasn't so sure that the deal with the Indonesian man had been to her benefit.
Bandung (Java, Indonesia) to Perth (Australia):

Final Distance (since 20 Dec): 7280km

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 - MapJourney 9 - MapJourney 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
Ensuite facilitiesEnsuite facilitiesEnsuite facilities

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

Additional photos below
Photos: 25, Displayed: 24


The BIGGEST Family!The BIGGEST Family!
The BIGGEST Family!

Mel's Dad's Indonesian family is huge and very very welcoming. We had a wonderful time with them in Bandung.
Tangkuban perahuTangkuban perahu
Tangkuban perahu

Fuelled by eggs, if the smell is anything to go by.
03:30 AM - Briefing03:30 AM - Briefing
03:30 AM - Briefing

Before mounting Mount Merapi (world's most active volcano) we get a briefing. Just like the Army days.
Humiliation for AndyHumiliation for Andy
Humiliation for Andy

Got thrashed. Twice.
The north coast of BaliThe north coast of Bali
The north coast of Bali

On our way to diving Menjangan island.
Hindu templesHindu temples
Hindu temples

Out of Muslim Java, and onto Hindu Bali.
Andy in the town of KintamaniAndy in the town of Kintamani
Andy in the town of Kintamani

Look at all the danglers - we think they are super.
Spot the differenceSpot the difference
Spot the difference

In each photo one of the figures is a statue, and one of them is one of us... can you tell which is which?
Mount AgungMount Agung
Mount Agung

The view from Kintamani at 1699m above sea level

On our way to Lembongan Island....Rustic travel making us nervous with salt water on the bikes!
Nusa Lembongan (Island Off Bali Coast)Nusa Lembongan (Island Off Bali Coast)
Nusa Lembongan (Island Off Bali Coast)

On the left you see 'Lacerations'. This is Andy's resident surf break for our stay here.
Drift Diving at Crystal BayDrift Diving at Crystal Bay
Drift Diving at Crystal Bay

Beautiful - 30m visibility at 20m depth - WOW!
When in Rome!When in Rome!
When in Rome!

Trying to be dapper having a few drinks!
Our Pool on Lembongan IslandOur Pool on Lembongan Island
Our Pool on Lembongan Island

Pool + beer + sunset = lovely!

Each light represents a volcano. It feels like we cycled up and down most of these.
Arriving in PerthArriving in Perth
Arriving in Perth

With Mel's bro Martin and his girlfriend Jaime.
Perth SkylinePerth Skyline
Perth Skyline

Day tripping on the bikes around Perth!

Sand-dune deserts north of Perth are pretty cool.

8th May 2013

Can't wait to see you ......
Hey you're on the home straight. Glad 'the son' and Jaime looked after you. See you soon. Can't wait to catch up on all your stories. Travel safely xxxxx
8th May 2013

Cycling all that "volcanoness" is no small feat. Very impressed!
9th May 2013
Our Pool on Lembongan Island

Great pic!
29th May 2013

Welcome Home !
What an amazing Megamoon and wonderful thing to have done. Huge congratulations, and now every BEST wish for the difficult job of have an ordinary life in UK for a bit. hope to see you before the next adventure. Much love Muriel

Tot: 0.091s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 11; qc: 67; dbt: 0.0165s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb