The Trans Oceania 2014 Cycling Expedition and Tour ended with a final Dinner for all riders and staff members in the dining room on the 25th floor of the Sydney Bayview / Boulevard Hotel.
Here Andreas and Team awarded the full tour riders with Finisher Medals and surprised almost everyone on the tour with a personalized gift, characterizing her or his special appearance during the tour. A great event to complete this fantastic trip after 4 months. Even Sponge Bob ‘reincarnated’ after being missing since the blast in the Bromo Crater on Java back in September.
The Indonesian part of the Trans-Oceania is almost over. 4 cycling days before our arrival in Dili / East Timor, from where we will fly out to Darwin / Northern Territory, Australia, the cycling group assembled in Kutang / Timor for an early morning, pre-breakfast group photo.
I met these youngster down on a river, when I left the road before the bridge to get closer to the water. The boy carried his catch of the day in his hands. Besides the usual ‘how are you’, ‘what’s your name’ style of questions, a nice little conversation and a language lesson developed …
No, I’m not going to rob a bank, although the millions that I pulled earlier are almost spent. This is my new riding mask, as long as we are in dense traffic and polluted air. It was 8200 rupias, which is equivalent to about 0.60€ and hopefully worth the investment.
The Sumatra Sutra section is over. Yesterday late afternoon I arrived at Carita, the first camp location on Java. A fairly large hotel complex at the beach. Whereas Eric – who was already here for some days, to recover from his fall and broken rips – stated that the hotel was deserted, with him as the only guest; it is now over crowded with weekend guests. two dozen busses with students and adults from all over the place are here turning the hotel into a massive entertainment area, with live music, games and all day BBQs.
As with the terrain – with a lot of ups and downs – it goes up and down with the health. Many suffer from sore throats, colds from A/C and pollution. It is not easy to find the right balance between refreshing cool and a comfortable room climate. Sharing the room with another person require compromises, too. Cycling all day in sweaty, wet fabric and temperatures between 20 and 40°C and the entering the hotel room with A/C set to 18°C is of no good. The filters are probably also not well maintained, spreading germs easily. Well, this will all change in Australia, when I am sleeping in my own tent.
I skipped a boat trip to Krakatau in favor to relax and cure my A/C|pollution cold. It would have been a ~4 hours boat ride to and from the volcanic island, but too much if you don’t feel well. Therefore I went to the village, got some medicine for my cold from the hospital (costs me 0.80€), had passport photos made (for my 3rd application for the Timor-Leste visa), and permanent ‘health mask for biker’ to wear when cycling, replacing the disposable surgeons masks.
Hope internet gets better during the day, so I can upload more photos from the past cycling days.
This night I moved out of the room I share with Brett. It became too hot with the A/C switched off (however no way to get over my cold sleeping with A/C) – The bed sheets were kind of plastic causing more sweat. Mosquitos bugging me all night. No way to fix a net in the room. Not comfortable at all. At 3am I grabbed my mattress and moved onto the table in the living room, bedding me raised above the floor. Mosquito net attached to the lamp, hot tea in a cup and eventually I dozed away for a healthier sleep. I should have done this right away.
Now my part of the bedroom serves as a store room for my bags …
A quick 30 km to the ferry mostly on a nice parallel road to the highway. On Java a complex navigation through the port city of Merak, before we turned into a more rural area.
We had to circumvent Gunung Rajabasa in the morning to get to the ferry port. Boarding was easy; pay 21000 Rupias (1.5€) and get on the large bark. The ride was fast and smooth, unfortunately we had to wait a long time in a park position before we could anchor and unload. So lunch at 45 km was at 12:45h, with still 82 km to go. The ride in Java is mostly unnoticed by the local people. Only rare ‘Hello Mister’ could be heard, unless you started to wave a hello to the people. We had to cycle along the slopes of the first volcanoes on Java. The day finished with a long 25 km downhill to Carita and the large hotel complex at the beach.
I felt better on the bike than yesterday, but now the fever is back, as I am resting in the large bungalow, that I share with 7 other riders. I may skip the day trip to Krakatau in favor to improve my health situation.