Week 4 - The return of the “HELLO MISTER, WHERE YOU GOING!”
6x 1.5 litres of water (9 Litres)
3x Mizone (Energy Drink 600ml) 1.8litres
1x Coke 350ml
1x Sprite 350ml
This is what I drank during the 12 hours on the road from Desert Point to Kuta Lombok. It was supposed to be an 80km day traversing the beautiful bays of South Lombok, but turned into a 12 hour marathon.
After 3 nights at desert point I reluctantly hit the road at 6:30am, needing to leave early to beat the midday heat. I packed the bike while a few of the professional surfers slept on the deck of the bungalows. Out the small village of Bangko Bangko and up the hill, its fairly quiet and about 26 degrees, the perfect temperature for riding. I head back along the only road on this west point, until I hit Sekatong and then I head South. I immediately hit some mountains and am climbing hill after hill. The last one seems too take it out of me, and I end up stopping half way to get my breath. Once at the top I had an amazing few of Blongas Bay, my surf guide says that there is a left and right hand surfbreak and 1 recorded shark attack. A recorded shark attack and its quite remote, I decide to keep on going. I descend into the bay and then hit the most stunning white sand beaches thus far on the trip with clear aqua water. The road followed east along the coast, I was aiming for a place called Selong Blanak, which apparently had a losmen to stay at. It was about 2 bays further and I knew the road would head inland. Maybe there was a smaller road not on the map that followed the coast, which would cut out about 20km.
I came to a small village where the road turned inland, I could see the road winding up the mountain range. I asked some of the villagers if you can follow the coast but they all said you have to go inland. So back into the mountains I go, climbing the first winding road up the mountain. I make it to the top and dip back down into a valley, at the bottom the wind stops and its super hot. Its about 11am now and to come is one of the steepest hills I’ve ever seen, impossible to ride up but with a surprisingly good surface.
Whilst touring you’re constantly feeling the road through the saddle and the road surface becomes really important, if it’s a good road you can cycle faster, if its pot hole ridden road your slow and the ride is uncomfortable, even worse is that you can hit a pothole and damage your bike.
I am forced to push, stopping every 10 meters as the road is so steep and the bike so heavy, it takes be about 30min to get to the top, and then I see the next hill and it’s the same. By now I’m out of water and I push to the top and stop at little shack that’s selling drinks, no water only soft drink. I hit the next hill and also end up pushing up it, the gradients must be over 20%, I curse the Indonesian civil engineers who built a road so steep.
I make it to the top and stop to have my tuna sandwiches for lunch. I find some more water and then the road turns bad, perfect slick ashfault gives way to pot holes and then to a dirt road. This slows me down and with me still traveling inland I’m really tested. I stay focused on small goals like making it to the intersection where the road heads back towards the coast. I’m very slow, dodging rocks and trying to pick the best line through this moon like surface, I average 8 – 10km per hour on the flats and about 5-7 on the uphills. The people around this area don’t seem to see many tourists let alone some white dude on a loaded bicycle. The kids simply freak out when they see me, shouting at me yelling “hello mister”, the dreaded return of the “HELLO MISTER, WHERE YOU GOINHG!” returns. It’s funny, sometimes its annoying, sometimes they are genuine and what to talk, but often it’s the only English they know and scream it at you. At one stage I am going slowly downhill concentrating on the road, so many holes and rocks, some kids run to the side of the road to have a closer look, one snatches the chips from my bike and the other has a stick and gives me a tap. A kid on a motorbike that was following me from when I was eating my tuna sandwiches yells at the excited kid with the stick, I laugh it off as I know they were just really excited.
I continue and make it to the intersection, the road improves a bit still very up and down. I hit the main road and its beautifully smooth and looks like its just been resurfaced. I head down to the coast and make it to Selong Blanak my destination for the evening. I look around and there doesn’t seem to be any losmen or hotel, I see some bungalows but they appear abbandond. I start to see some more westerners on motorbikes so Kuta must be close. I find some 5 star villas and they have a café, so I sit and have some lunch, second lunch and asses my options. By now its 3pm with about 3 more hours of light and im completely spent, so tired, as I started at 6am. I can find a place to camp but there doesn’t seem like any good spots, so I decide to push onto Kuta 21km away. No I don’t know what the road is like but it’s a gamble I take. Around the first bend there a massive hill, too steep to ride again, by now I’m at the tired humorous stage, of course it’s an unrideable mountain and to top if off a pack of dogs is hanging around the steepest part.
I start pushing and the leader of the pack starts barking, I put my head down and keep pushing just ignoring the barks, they stay on the other side of the road and keep there distance. Luckly the pack leader is all bark and follows me for aobut 40meters then gives up. Once over that hill I see another bay with a mountain on the other side, hear we go again. I push up that one and eventually make it over, I have done now about 18 km, 3 to go and I’m in Kuta with another huge mouthain on the otherside of this bay. I cycle through the village and it seems quite touristy, I read a few signs and Im in Kuta, The Sign was wrong back at Selong Blanak and to my surprise I made it, I was in Kuta by 6pm, 12 hours on the road, one of the hardest days I’ve ever had.
I get the feeling Kuta is an up and coming destination, with an international airport newly built last year in Praya only 1hours drive away, its still rough around the edges but that’s the charm it has. I stayed for 3 nights in a newly built bungalow, the english owners were still finishing the kitchen, but it was an awesome little joint. They recommended a little warang down the road and it had the best and cheapest food I think I have had on this trip. Whilst reading the menu an Australian accent called over and asked if I’m touring on a bicycle, I said yes as I pulled up on my unloaded bike. 2 Australian girls noticed my bike and invited me to join them for dinner, they are on there massive bicycle trip from Melbourne to Europe. We exchanged stories, they had some interesting stories to tell about the outback and just al inspiring.
For a day I hired a motorbike to check out the other surfbreaks, its too far for a bike. Kuta doesn’t have much surf and after checking out Mawi and Grupuk the swell was too big, and they were really fat waves, not right for bodyboarding.
My next stop is Sumbawa and I make good time and do 90km to the ferry port of Labuan Lombok, there is a hotel here but its 1.30pm and I choose to catch the ferry, expecting there to be a place to stay at the Sumbawa port, but there wasn’t. Tano was basically a ghost town, super dry, simple shacks and later im told it’s a simple fishing village. My options now are to head to Alas 21km in the wrong direction or head to Taliwang which is 30km away. Again I don’t know the terrain, and could be stuck up some range for hours. I take the gamble and it pays off, the road is great and I make it to Taliwang before sunset.
Again a different island and the people seem so different, hardly anyone shouts hello mister and are genuenly interested to say hello and greet me. The kids see me coming and hold out there hands for high fives awesome, just awesome.
The next day I head for Yoyos, up another 2 massive mountains the last one almost breaks me, and by break me I mean I was almost passing out from the heat and exhaustion. I pull up at yoyos hotel run by some Australian expats working at the Newmont mine. No one is here, its pretty much deserted and the surfcamp part has the worst smell. I stay one night and then head to Scar reef where I think I have found paradise.
Bolongs Bay, the first bay I saw on the South Coast of Lombok.
The dirt road I was on for a few hours, this part is actually quite good. Small rocks no holes
Hill after hill.
After the inland detour I could then see the coast again, note how high up I am.
The newly built bungalows in Kuta Beach, Highly recommend, i think it was called Bombora.
Look at the pool, so good.
My bike with bodyboard attached, at Mawi Beach.
Mawi looking alright, its about 9ft out there.
The o so flat road to the ferry on Lomboks east coast. 90km by lunch.
The port of Labuan Lombok, gateway to the dry island of Sumbawa.
First view of Sumbawa, and it looks dry and windy.
Water quality is great, but really sad to see people just throw there rubbish off the ferry.
Even though Im buggered this late afternoon scenery is amazing. It starts to cool down and the light is amazing.
Morning to Yoyos, this is just before scare reef and the dreded monkeys. Story to come.
A wasp flew into my mouth and stung my lip, luckly no reaction.
The bay at maluk and supersucks, paradise.
Supersucks in the distance.
Bay at scar reef, true paradise.
Phil from NSW pulling into a scar reef section.
This is a smaller wave near scar reef.
The surfcamp is amazing, basic but amazing. $15 a night.
The Taliwang mountain bike club had to get a picture with the 2 white guys on the beach.
Heading back to the ferry for lombok, I paused to do some filming and ended up missing the ferry, so had to wait 1 hour.
Filming is a challenge, I stoped a couple of times to set up the tripod and ride past.
My boy blue, hasnt had anything go wrong. No flat tires nothing.
Ferry back to lombok.