16/11/2016 – Back on the road!
Total distance: 9154km
Easy cycling, flat or downhill all the time. Met Virgi and she invited me to have lunch at her place but it was way too far off my route so she offered me a coconut drink by the road. She teaches difficult kids how to be reintegrated in the society and get works. She is a very kind person and speaks very well english.
17/11/2016 – Good energy!
Total distance: 9233km
Today, I was still full of energy from my stay in Jogja. The weather was great all day, meaning cloudy and the wind was pretty strong. It started to rain lightly 30 minutes before I arrived to a hotel which was fully booked for the cheapest rooms. The receptionist suggested me to go next door. The rain was now heavy. There, all the rooms were empty. It has been maybe my cheapest room ever. The door didn’t even locked but the owner was very kind and they helped me drying all my clothes.
18/11/2016 – From South to North!
Total distance: 9324km
After a night on a hard and very old mattress, I don’t even know how many people have had slept on it but it was at least same age as me. I got some sleep and it was the most important because today is the last mountain crossing of Indonesia. I’m cycling from South to North. The weather was perfect. Very cloudy and not too hot. I’ve cycling fast and the wind was getting stronger and stronger every hour. The climb was not too difficult. Way less than what I expected. 1 hour before to arrive I had my first real stop. The wind was now crazy everything was flying, plenty of people were stopping by the road to find a shelter and I got back on my bike because the wind was exactly the good direction to push me. I loved it even if I was hit by clouds of dust. I finally made it on the other side of the island. I stayed in the most expansive hotel (30€) in regard to the bedroom condition but I had no choice as it was the only one in this town.
19/11/2016 – It’s crowded!
Total distance: 9379km
I started to feel tired again after 3 days on the road. The constant noise and pollution from trash burnings and trucks is a bit exhausting. Today it was hot, I was sweating a lot again. After the storm, it was now blue sky. In addition, I was starting to feel sick again. I finally arrived in the street where I spotted a cheap hotel on Google maps but impossible to find it again.
I finally tried my luck in another one and after the most expensive hotel the night before I was now in cheapest one and the bedroom was amazing. I asked them where I could clean my bicycle and they even offered it to me on donation. The bike was great!
20/11/2016 – Sick again… my body is tired.
Total distance: 9379km
Today, my body said stop. The good thing is that I realised I made a mistake on my planning and I have one extra day to cycle to Jakarta. I’ve been sick all day and enjoyed staying at my hotel and not have had to cycle with fever and shivers. Staying all day in bed is great sometime.
21/11/2016 – Good energy! Then…
Total distance: 9502km
After one day completely off, I was feeling better and started at 5.30am good energy for the first 95km then it hit me straight and I almost fainted. I stopped by the road and needed to rest for an hour sit in the dust. Locals working in a field wanted me to take photo of them but I was too weak to do so. Sometime my body got very weird reactions. Maybe the sickness wasn’t totally gone.
22/11/2016 – Last night in a hotel
Total distance: 9572km
It’s been a hard day in the beginning due to the very hot sun. Then I had a pretty strong tail wind and dark clouds which relieved me. I was getting really close to Jakarta and after trying 3 hotels, all fully booked for the cheapest bedrooms, I finally found a really cheap room in a luxury hotel. It’s been the best hotel bedroom ever, and it was perfect for my last night in a hotel in Indonesia. Tomorrow I will stay with warmshower hosts Tony and Camelia.
23/11/2016 – Jakarta!
Total distance: 9634km
Last full cycling day on Java island! After a huge breakfast at the fancy hotel, it’s hard to leave the comfy bedroom but the soonest I leave, the easiest it will be to cycle. Even if the temperature rises pretty quickly. I was motivated and went all the way pretty fast. Had a quick stop to buy some ice creams to cool down around mid day then finished the ride all the way to Tony and Camelia’s house. I met Camelia’s mother then Tony arrived. He is an amazing guy full of energy and we have a lot to share, about bicycle but as well photography. He is a journalist for a magazine in Indonesia and works with different photo agency around the world. Unfortunately he will have to leave tonight to cover a reportage in Papua with his camera and his drone. Before he had to go, we went to a bike spa, It’s a bike shop nearby its house where they clean your bike. I asked for redoing my wheel again because my last one wasn’t too good. Spokes never stop to break. This time I will have DT Swiss and a full bike clean. Tony insisted to pay for it and I was feeling a bit confused as he already host me and helps me with so many things. We came back to the house with his motorbike as we left my bike at the shop. I met Camelia. We spent some time together and then headed up all together to the airport fr Tony’s plane. Had an ice cream and it was time to say goodbye. I could feel it was hard for them to say goodbye. After the airport I went with Camelia to buy my boat ticket. I heard it’s hard to find the shop and it was indeed. we had to turn around few times before to find it. But I finally had my ticket and they said that my bicycle wasn’t a problem. Relieved.
25/11/2016 – Boat trip!
Total distance: 9651km
This morning I’m leaving the house of Tony and Camelia to cycle to the ferry. Jakarta is a big city and I’m getting a bit lost to find a cycle path. I end up on the highway with absolutely no shoulder to cycle on. As it’s very early it’s still a bit empty. It’s a bit hard but I finally made it to the port. This is a huge container shipping port and I got lost one more time. A policeman offered me to follow him as he was riding his motorbike to where the boat to Batam is leaving. I check in and will have to unpack all my bike, to bring everything on top of a huge staircase. It must be high tide. Once in the boat, I find another bicycle loaded with panniers already locked in the boat. Sweet! I’m not the only bike tourer on board! I met again Yann, the french dude I met before while hiking down Rinjani a few weeks ago then I met Yuki, the other bike tourer! He is from Japan and I discovered that he started his trip from Christchurch 17 days after I started mine from Wanaka. When I explained him that I never took any plane from New Zealand he seemed to be disappointed and he felt bad about not thought to take boats before. My turn to feel bad when he explained me that he almost never been to a hotel in Indonesia, just staying in petrol station where he had showers and was able to pitch his tent for free.
He is a really cool guy and he actually made the frame of his bike by himself! There is in Japan, a studio to build your very own bike, it’s like a workshop. Yuki doesn’t have any phone or computer he is not giving any news to his family for like 5 months and I’m pretty impressed.
26/11/2016 – From one boat to another! Then got a ticket for overstay…
Total distance: 9667km
We arrived on one side of the Batam island after 31 hours on board of the boat and the other boat to Singapore was on the other side, 15 km away. We went cycling on Batam Island with Yuki. I had a puncture 10 minutes after leaving the boat. A huge piece of metal of like 6cm went through my rear tyre. Luckily, a bike shop was just on the other side of the road and locals helped me kindly. I bought two new tubes for 3$ each. Very cheap. Changed the tube and cycled again to the other side of the island. At Batam city to take the speed boat to Singapore. When I went through the border they asked me to follow them in a little office and explained me that I was overstaying… Yes, the visa is 30 days not two months… I have to pay, in cash. All the ATM are empty… but finally found one that allow to get the cash needed. We arrived at night and I started to go to my Couchsurfing hosts Adrian and Ying. I finally arrived at their place 2 hours later than expected especially because the border in Singapore was giving me some hard time because I had a chewing gum and it’s forbidden in Singapore. I took a shower and I went with Adrian and Ying partying in a very cool place. It’s like a roof top bar in a parking where the bar is in a VW combi bus. That’s all for now.
27/11/2016 – A break well needed
Total distance: 9667km
Today I left my bike to Adrian and Ying and went to the airport to meet Amy! We met in New Zealand and spend 5 weeks learning to know each other and having some great adventures! We haven’t seen each other since 6 months and she flew all the way around the world to meet me there in Singapore! The plan is to go for 10 days in Thailand together then she flew to Sri Lanka with her best friend and I flew home to make a surprise to my parents after 3 years away. It was such a great surprise! I plan to have some time off in France and will come back on the saddle end of January.