It takes one hour in Bali to realize that the average tourist is a sexually frustrated drug abuser in urgent need of a taxi. At least that is what the Kuta marketplace is all about. Here are the options: You can buy a venereal disease that will kill you slowly. Or you can be arrested for drug possession and get the unforgiving Indonesian death penalty (which will kill you faster). OR you can settle for a taxi ride, but the island is so small that you’ll likely die of backseat boredom before 5pm. Therefore - since the Balinese seem so eager to terminate their visitors - I decided to quickly move on to Nusa Tenggara, the island in the east and the ferry hell of Southeast Asia.
The happy owner of this pile of junk welded from a Vespa took me for a grand tour around Bima. It was a nerve-racking but memorable experience.
First ferry was to Lombok. The ticket master asked about the size of my bike. I said it was 600cc. Then he started to argue that it might be 500cc. I could only repeat myself, but so did he. Being annoyed with this seemingly unnecessary discussion I showed him the registration papers. He sighed, then - and not before then - explained that all bikes with more than 500cc had to pay triple ferry price, and now I had to pay because he knew for sure. Yeah, thanks a lot. Two hours drive and Lombok was history, and the ferry to Sumbawa was much cheaper because Balto was suddenly a 400cc. Then the hotel receptionist in Bima said there was no ferry to Flores going the next day, which was some bogus information to make me stay an extra night in their otherwise empty establishment. I didn’t, though the 8am departure was indeed delayed because the ferry was out of petrol (!). It took eight hours for a fuel truck to drive the 40 kilometers from Bima.
Flores offers some stunning roadside views. Volcanoes are everywhere.
The first person I met on Flores was a young man offering me a blowjob, something that would be a wonderful gesture of Flores hospitality if it was my cup of tea. Nonetheless being boringly heterosexual I quickly moved on because I was told by the tourist office in Ende that the final ferry to Timor would leave on Thursday. But in Ende there was no ferry, only more boys promoting Flores. Then I got a tip about a departure from Aimere sometime during the weekend, which meant that I had to drive back 150 kilometers. Being fed up with mixed messages I phoned the ferry captain in person to be sure. When talking to the man in charge it seemed needless to ask twice, but I’m glad I did.
“The ferry will leave on Saturday at 8pm,” he said.
“Are you absolutely 100% sure?”
“Yes, the ferry will leave precisely at 8pm in the morning.”
The ferry left at 10am.
It was 23 hours of terrified household animals screaming on the deck below. Rust painted water dribbled in because several windows were missing, and at sunrise I woke up by the rudder house rooster (yes, they had one), just to discover that we were behind schedule and someone had poed on my tankbag. But not to worry, Balto and I made it here to Kupang, and we celebrated by cooling down in a hotel with air-con, only to discover that our biggest ferry problem is yet to come. That is, there are no more. The only scheduled shipping route from here to Australia goes from Dili in East Timor (Perkins Ltd.). I had an appointment with them, but the East Timor border has closed due to recent riots and gun fights. The only option is to hitchhike from Kupang with a shrimp boat owned by an Ozzie named Bob, though his engine is kaput and new parts will not arrive before my visa runs out. How shall I get away from here?
HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!
"The calendar is magnificent!"
"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"
We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!
Next HU Events
- UK Haggs Bank: Sep 19-21
- USA California: Sep 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Germany Autumn: Oct 23-26
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12, 2015
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!
Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!