Dirt tracks and Dragons
Trip Start Jul 11, 2010
17Trip End Jul 11, 2011
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After Rinjani, we were pretty wiped out. So we decided to rest our muscles and explore more of Indonesia by car. With help from the frustratingly vague Indonesian ferry system (and a couple of bribes) we were able to cover Lombok, Sumbawa and Flores, stopping at Rinca along the way for a glimpse of Godzilla.
The poor road conditions made it difficult to enjoy the scenery, yet there were other sights which made this road trip different; excited children shouting 'hello' every time we passed a village, farmers tying down their goats to the roof of trucks, suicidal dogs that wouldn’t move out the road, locals holding on for dear life on top of tiny mini vans, maniac lorry/bus drivers that wouldn’t stop for anyone, a randy goat trying to hump another in the middle of the road, a mother crying as her child was being taken away from her (God knows what that was about), a young boy doing a ‘moonie’ at his friends on the side of the street and hundreds of motorbikes constantly getting in our way. It was far from boring.
Indonesia has totally served its purpose in helping us slow down the pace and I would be more than happy to extend our visas so we could explore more of it. However, we have a long list of other places to see in South East Asia. So the bags are now repacked and we’re ready for the next adventure...
All I have to add here is something about the very reasonable express service the officials offer on the ferries. Okay some might call this bribery but if it ensures me a place on the ferry and I get on first I’m happy to part with the cash. I will admit that when I first got asked into the office and told that I wouldn’t be getting the car on the ferry unless I could pay my way up the waiting list, I was a little worried about the extortionate figure that was going to be suggested since they held all the power. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be equivalent to about £3.
On the way back I pre-empted this racket and went to see the official a few days in advance to offer him a little something if we could get the car on. All went well but this time I had to pay the official and the police. Even so they only stung me for 70p a piece. They were further east; I’m sure their rates will increase with tourist numbers!
We saw this kid on one of the ferries. Do you think his mum picked it for the colour?