Day 388 Merak – Bandung (Indonesia) / motorbike GS Dakar RTW overland adventure traveller

  • Left – 8.00am
  • 28th April 2015
  • Miles rode – 188 (301km)

What a day! Not the best!

The alarm was set for 6.30am but my battery was flat and Lyndon was feeling sick so a slow getaway.

Motorbikes aren’t allowed on the highways in Indonesia so we had to take the local roads which pass through every town and city, it was a slow start in traffic until Lyndon decided to take a right turn and by 9.30 we were in the jungle with hardly any traffic. We stopped for a coffee and saw what I thought was small fried snakes but later discovered it was eel, very tasty mid morning snack.

I was again thinking where the other bikers had been riding as everyone of them said it was congested and slow throughout Java, then after a further hour we hit a town which was overflowing with small taxi buses and motorbikes, the traffic continued for the rest of the day.

When we arrived on the outskirts of Bandung having been in so much traffic all day I expected congestion but what we experienced was horrible. For the next hour and a half we travelled about 10 miles in the heaviest traffic I’ve ever been in, the air was full of diesel and petrol fumes and at times so thick I couldn’t see down the road. Cars and motorbikes everywhere all very slowly trying to get somewhere. It was a nightmare. The traffic was so dense I lost Lyndon.

It was 6.30pm when I found a hotel and contacted Lyndon. I always stay in cheap hotels but I had pulled into a nice hotel and couldn’t be bothered to look for another. It was only £12.50 each but that’s double what I normally pay. At this point after a very tiring day and lungs full of fumes a shower would have been ideal. My exhaust had been blowing and I thought it just needed tightening on a joint but upon inspection a seam on the silencer had broken and needed welding, either that or replace the exhaust. So I removed the exhaust and striped the bike down to get the useless battery out… The hotel manager was great and Nana who worked there gave me a lift on the back of a moped to a welder who had unfortunately closed, back to the hotel and now I had to tidy my bike and stuff up as the hotel car park looked like a garage workshop. It was now 9.00pm and I got into my hotel room. 

As I had been riding constantly for the last week or so I hadn’t got any clean clothes, that was an understatement as everything stank, so I got the bathroom bin and washed some socks and pants. Now where’s that shower?

9.30pm and I could sit down.

I really wanted a beer and thought as it was a good hotel they’re bound to have a choice, NO BEER. I thought I had done a great job as there was no mosque near the hotel but as I walked outside and looked at the hotel sign it stated underneath ‘For Anyone Who Desires Moslem Atmosphere’. I’ll get the whole hotel thing right soon I hope.

Today won’t go down as one of the best days but it will be memorable. 

The romantic life of adventure biking!  



3 Responses

  1. Hi Dan, love to see your journey. Just a few days ago the goverment make rule not allow beer sold in any minimart. Your story about things sometimes make me smile. Go for ride Dan.

  2. Haha told you the traffic was bad! Worst I’ve ever experienced too. It does get better further away from Jakarta, once you’re in central and eastern Java.