“When you live in the shadow of insanity, the appearance of another mind that thinks and talks as yours does is something close to a blessed event.”
Robert M. Pirsig
It’s a beautiful thing when you meet a like-minded person, someone whom shares the same odd obsession as you. I often joke that motorcycling is some sort of addiction although it is said in jest there is a quite pang of truth in the banter. I’m sure that most motorcyclists will agree that there is a sense of camaraderie amongst us we share waves, nods, roads, stories, rides and of course our bloody opinions incessantly. There is that nod or wave when you pass another motorcyclist we have in the West, this sort of statement of mutual recognition that yes you are both as a matter of fact flinging yourself through the air on two wheeled death traps and it is fucking awesome. This feeling was only amplified when I had the pleasure of meeting an overlander; if there are motorcycling addicts overlanders could just be some of the most addicted. The HU meeting brought together many like-minded people the group of us became fast friends over a handful of days sharing a common outlook which some might call insanity.
On the day before I left the meeting I had the privilege of being invited by the host to the Island off of Sumbawa Moyo. Early in the morning we took a sketchy boat ride across the ocean for little over an hour the rough really rocked the boat! Whilst nursing my seasickness we joked about who had their SOS beacons for if the boat flipped. Making it the island in the morning we had the unique pleasure of riding on the back of the locals scooters on a short trip over the remnants of thin concrete slabs that served as roads. The waterfall was an honestly spectacular sight in the middle of the jungle, a series of cascading steps with an opaque and pale green water.
After a quick dip in the water, we had a packed lunch and had another questionable scooter ride back to the boats. After returning the town we decided to visit another waterfall but opted to travel on our legs rather than two wheels for a change. The next waterfall wasn’t as visually impressive, although it did boast crystal clear waters! What this waterfall did have however was a rope at the top tied to a branch of a particularly tall tree. Local children took the opportunity to show their mad skills as we also took the opportunity to Tarzan our way into the water!
Moyo was a truly spectacular place, I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say that we all had a spectacular time. Our day was over and we had to take a slightly less questionable ride back to our small slice of paradise I was positioned on the back of the small boat and as the salt water sprayed in my face I took a moment to reflect on how serendipitous it was that I found myself surrounded by such outstanding people as I watched the sun melt into the ocean on the distant horizon.
The next day those of us who remained had to go our separate ways, after many heartfelt goodbyes and promises to see each other in the future we went our separate ways. I left my postie brothers as Matt opted to remain in Sumbawa as he was growing rather attached to the restroom and Tom decided to make his way back towards Flores to see Komodo.
Josh and I decided to head to Lombok via the south road on Sumbawa with Steve another motorcycling Australian we met who lives with his wife in Kuta, Lombok. Steve was a truly impressive gentleman with some amazing stories about his travels in the 1970s once where he made his way overland without a vehicle from Victoria all the way to South Asia and then how he rode his Honda CB from Singapore to Malaysia. His tales of Overlanding in the 70s paint a very different world of overlanding. Some things seemed easier, there were certainly fewer barriers by the sound of things however he didn’t have the same access to information and communication that we have today. One thing was certain though the motivations were the same and the emotional hurdles were the same. When he left he would have been the same age as I was now and we shared that we were both certain our mothers would have cried as soon as we left.
As we left we soon were out of the city and into the wonderful scenery and after a few hours, we stopped for lunch and a second later in the middle of nowhere coming from the opposite direction a German pulled up on his KTM. Thomas was coming from Bali after he flew his bike into to Indonesia and was now heading to see Flores. It’s always wonderful to run into another overlander on the road we shared lunch and some tips and made our way again.
After following a road that seemed to be the main one we soon were riding on dirt. Steve and I powered on ahead on our little bikes (he is riding an Indonesia made KLX150). After our first and highest river crossing (maybe around 30cms) we had to climb a steep hill on a trail mainly comprised of large rocks. After waiting a couple of minutes at the top we assumed Josh had fallen over on the Africa twin and Steve went down to investigate. Josh had seemed to disappear and Steve and I decided to back track. After Steve took a consensus of just about the entire village we had worked out that we were heading in the wrong direction. Steve took a moment to explain that most of the villagers probably had never been to the other side of Sumbawa and were just trying to be helpful so it is always best to get multiple opinions (just like anything I suppose). The road was really enjoyable run along the coast through a series of cornfields and hills. I would say about 70% of the way was surfaced allowing for some really fun off road segments and river crossings but not enough to become overwhelming. A few hours later we came across Josh, he filled us in on his disappearance saying that the path looked that it was going to be too difficult for his Africa Twin. Also having issues on the small off road segments he managed to get bogged but some friendly locals helped him out.
Steve and I spent the night at a small surf camp where we could see the fearsome swell of the ocean in a truly powerful display. The next day we made our way out to the ferry from Lombok and all the way to Steve’s homestay in Lombok while Josh went to Senggigi. I stayed in Lombok for a long while where I took a cheeky visa run across to KL for a few quick Tigers and made my way back to Lombok for a few quick Bintangs and to continue on with the journey.
Lombok was a lovely quiet place where one could relax quite easily on many of the beautiful beaches, however, it seems apparent that there are massive changes happening to build the place up as a new tourist hub possibly to rival Bali a real shame in my opinion.
After relaxing stay in Lombok, it was time to set sails again and make some kilometers, I rode out a bit later than expected towards the ferry terminal across the little island and was crammed onto the ferry being the last motorcycle on after I had to assert myself that I would be going on the ferry. Probably severely overladen and without an inch of free space on the vehicle deck and since day 7 of my travels I was once again on my own. Making my way to Bali to finally fulfill my place as a Perthite and visit Bali.
Love and Mercy,