I’ll not ride alone on this 4 months trip. A few ‘fellows’ from the ‘neighborhood’ have already expressed their intend to accompany me as mascots and staying with me through thick and thin.
The first rider meeting was held this morning in the hotel conference area. Staff members and riders introduced themselves to the rest. Cristiano, Henry and Yudo did an awful job scouting this one of a kind tour earlier this year. It sounds as if we will have a lot of ‘fun and pain’ on this tour, as we ride a tour nobody did before.
The TdA Staff Team running Trans Oceania 2014
Cristiano (Assistant Director), Andreas (Director, Mechanic), Chelsea (Medic) and Nellie (Comms & Social Networking)
Local Travel Agent and Support Vehicle Drivers
Daniel, Van Danu, Sulis and Yudo (from left)
The riders tensely listening what the ‘directors’ have to say
Tour d’Afrique 2008:
- In Cairo I placed 84 kg raw meat on the back of my steal horse
- 4 weeks later, the Nubian Desert of Sudan and the climbs into Northern Ethiopia Highlands took their toll: down to 73 kg
- San Jose released me with 86 kg
- Approaching Doomsday, already 12 kg were doomed on the steep slopes of the Central American Volcanoes, before I was descending into Belize: Belize saw only 74 kg of me
- I touched down on Sumatra island with 77 kg
- How much of me will survive the Indonesian climbs and the brutal summer in the Australian Outback and manage to touch Sydney soil?
–> The best guess or funniest answer will win a
dinner with what is left of me at
Sydney’s Best Steakhouse!
(travel to and from Sydney excluded)
Medan, Indonesia’s 3rd largest and fast growing city with 6 million citizens, is located in the north east part of Sumatra, the 6th largest island of the world. It started its wealth as a center of the tobacco industry, followed by plantations of oil palms, tee and natural rubber and the discovery of oil.
The taxi drive from the airport to the hotel gave a first impression about the traffic challenges we waiting on us, when riding through densely populated areas. Outside the city the traffic obviously seems immediately to evaporate. At least this is what I found on my first short practice ride. But not only the traffic diminishes, but also the quality of the pavement deteriorate. Good to have suspension on my MTB
However, all my attempts to make them change their choice failed so far. They don’t seem to really understand, that I don’t like to be their friend for several reasons.
- They are far too active at night for me
- It would only be a short time relation, because I’m on the move and they don’t seem to go my pace
- I am not open for a multi partner relationship –> all of them want me equally and they don’t seem to be able to decide which one would be MY personal mossie
- They all look identical, so how could I ever recognize MY engaged mossie? Too much risk to being cheated on
- Their family is too big. How could I feed all of them!?
- They seem to perform blood revenge. If I harm one of them, the rest of the pack starts a combined counter attack
- This would definitely not be a win-win situation
Please stay away from me !!!
Lazing at the pool after a short bike ride to check assembly and conditions. It is about 3pm and the usual time for the daily rain shower. Light warm rain drops cool down the air a bit. What a refreshment. No thunderstorm yet.
However the discovery on the way to my hut makes me a bit suspicious. I see fishing rods in the pond and take a closer look . What is this? Fogs on a hook? True, these are frogs on a hook! Are they kept for bait? Are they getting swimming lessons, or were they secured from a forthcoming heavy monsoon rain, such that they don’t drown??? Poor little creatures. Will I ever find out?
It feels like time travelling back into the old TdA 2008 times, in northern Africa. The Deli River Hotel is sandwiched between mosques and there seems to be cross talking over our heads . Luckily I had a deep sleep this night and I didn’t wake up by the early morning prayers … only the cricket chorus and the humidity make a difference.
Joe, bags and box arrived at the Deli River Hotel, located just outside of busy Medan. It took us 60 minutes to get here from the airport. Cristiano, Chelsea and Andreas are already here and welcomed me. I already setup my bike and made it ready to run. It is a wonderful place, sides the flies that immediately started to bug and bite me. Now it is time to relax and avoid much movement to stop the rivers of sweat from constantly running in the high humid air.