Day 393 Yogyakarta – Pasuruan (Indonesia) / motorbike GS Dakar RTW overland adventure traveller

  • Left – 7.30am
  • 3rd May 2015
  • Miles rode – 229 (366km)

I woke early and was feeling nervous about the bike, would it break down today? It started great but coughed and spluttered as I pulled away. I only made 50 miles in the first two hours mainly due to the horrendous traffic. The bikes acceleration wasn’t good, I’m no mechanic but still believe only one spark plug is working (twin spark, single cylinder). For the first time in a year my neck has been aching, I assume stress related due to me worrying about the bike, having to deal with the worst drivers and riders outside of India and the server pollution on the main roads.

I saw an accident today, a girl on a motorbike jumped the lights as everyone does and didn’t make it, hit by another motorbike. Fortunatly she was ok, picked herself and motorbike up and carried on. A motorbike hit me a few days ago, my Dakar didn’t flinch, can’t say the same about the other bike though.

After a bad start to the day I stopped for coffee and when I started riding again everything about my bike started to make sense. I’ve been abusing her and she’s finally had enough, she can’t take any more and her solution is to deny me my pleasure, I enjoy riding hard and she’s now limiting the accellaration and speed! I think she’ll need psychotherapy (or a mechanic) as the abuse is over a year now, these things take time to resolve but she’s taken the first step and she said ‘enough’s enough, no more’! It’ll be hard for a while as she further reflects on my abuse, it may get harder before it gets better.

I slowed down, was more gentle and had more consideration, this will resolve our issues and life will get better going forward. Of course, she’s in control. I hope I haven’t done irreparable damage! I think she knows I understand, I’m being more gentle with the throttle, later in the day she gave me full power for about 15 minutes, just to let me know she has the power to choose.

I wanted to stay on the main roads as if I break down it would be easier to resolve, but I couldn’t stand the petrol and diesel fumes any longer and took a right turn. The following couple of hours were great riding through the hills with padi fields and crops growing all around me, there was hardly any traffic. Every time I turn off a main road I fall in love with Indonesia again.

Riding through the countryside I was looking for somewhere to eat and couldn’t find anywhere so just stopped at the roadside for a drink and Arif came along and asked if I wanted a coffee, I followed him on his motorbike and went to a shack on the side of the road that I learnt was a cafe, well, Indonesian countryside cafe come bamboo shack. The woman working there gave me a coffee and a plate of food and insisted it was free with gestures as nobody other than Arif spoke English.

It was 5pm when I arrived in Pasuruan, even though I was really tired I noted where the mosque was and carried on down the road before I found the hotel. At last no early wake up call I thought, then after my shower I heard the ‘call to prayer’ louder than ever. I went out to investigate and they only have it coming out of a speaker on the hotel roof, had it been at ground level I would have pulled the wires out.