Bromo or Bust
They say that great minds think alike…Now, we are pretty far from “great minds”, but we’d like to think that a good idea formulates in our noggins from time to time. And it just so happens that this occurred not so long ago. Apparently the worldwide family of Deus seemed to communicate on a subconscious level….or something like that.
All 3 regions…Bali, Australia and America had simultaneous motorcycle trips. From the Sydney House of Simple Pleasures the boys had the North to Noosa expedition, In LA at the Emporium of Post modern Activities Julian Heppekausen and friends threw legs over steeds and were taking the scenic route from California to Costa Rica…and from the Temple of Enthusiasm, we had Bali’s best surf instructor and Deus family member Adek, jumping on a ferry and going to check out a volcano on a neighboring island.
Just before Dustin and the boys jumped on a plane to Australia, Adek asked to commandeer a bike to go on a trip to Bromo in Java. The first question out of Dustin’s mouth was “are there waves there?” to which Adek laughed and said that it was an active volcano far inland on the island of Java…and that not every trip needs to be a surf trip! So with a bike to ride and nothing but time, Adek tore out the Temple’s gates with West as his bearing.
I spoke with Adek after his trip, looked though his photos, listened to his story, eagerly watched his facial features as he described situations he encountered…and from all these, we put his journey into words.
“I left Canggu with not much in my rucksack, only what i needed to carry…Just some spare clothes, a couple packs of smokes and my phone for a map. I cruised along the coastal road, overtaking trucks on the way to the Port town of Gili Manuk…but not without a quick stop in Balian for some lunch and a last look at the waves. After that i hit the tarmac again, soon having to re-overtake the same trucks i had earlier in the day…a frustrating and tiring game. But thankfully before long I was on a ferry and relaxed as the captain took over and ushered his human / vehicle cargo safely across the Bali Strait.”
“It was late by the time i rolled onto Javanese soil, and with Bromo still 8 hours away, i thought it would be best to turn in early and save my energy for the next day. After a much needed nights rest, I woke up in the morning and still groggy from my sleep had a mini “WTF” moment as it took me a good 4 seconds to figure out where i was and what i was doing. A coffee soon brushed off the cobwebs and next thing you know i was flying up hill, bright eyed and bushy tailed. About 4 hours into my morning drive the road started to incline quite rapidly, and right before the town of Kawah Ljen i was engulfed by clouds. It was refreshingly cold, my visibility was down to about 5 metres and the road still had a steady incline, taking me up and onward to my destination.”
“Soon i realized that i hadn’t seen or passed another car or bike for quite some time. I stopped on the side of the road and killed the engine….Nothing…it was as quiet as you could get. Just the sound of the wind moving through the valleys. I took a deep breath through my nose and remember thinking how fresh the air felt. No traffic, No noise, No pollution.”
“I soldiered on, enjoying my seemingly private road, it was amazing, scenic and had just the right ratio of corners to straight aways. Time flew as i did and before long i was approaching Mt Bromo. Perched on a road high above the a vast plain that the locals call “The Sea of Sand”, i could see people like ants making their way to the volcano. The sun was setting soon, but i still had to go check it out. I descended down a jack knifing road and rolled onto The Sea of Sand. It was definitely a new riding experience… imagine a consistency of half beach sand and half volcano ash…that was the surface. With high revs and my weight on the rear wheel, i wafted for a couple hours across the massive expanse below the volcano. Only retreating as the sun started to descend on the elevated horizon.”
“The next morning i rose with the sun, and watched as the golden orb lit up the valley beneath me. Returning down the hill, i hit the sand and made a B-Line for the nearest volcanic crater…Popped the kickstand and proceeded up the 300 steps to its ridge. Plumes of sulphur rose from its depths…and as soon as its beauty was overtaken by its smell, i ambled back down to my bike. For the next 3 hours I explored the surrounding areas, found some amazing riding trails and to my surprise discovered out that the opposite side of the volcano had the most picturesque landscape i and ever seen. Like a lovechild between Europe and New Zealand, the valley i had stumbled across had rolling green hills that transitioned smoothly into towering cliff faces. It was quite a sight to see.”
“After taking in the scenery and stopping next to an un-attended horse for a quick snack, it was time to head back the way I came. I took a different route when I returned down the mountain, as i wanted to check if G-Land had any waves…this was a mistake…i found myself on a 2 hour descent along trails that vaguely resembled roads…and to top if off when i arrived at G-Land, it was as flat as a lake. Now was a good a time as any to return to the ferry, so i drove 3 hours non stop until i was on a ferry and on my way home!”
From the sounds of it Adek had quite the excursion. Motorcycle trips are always a delicate balance between comfortability and the experiences that make you remember them…and this ride sounds like it had just the right amount of both. Who knows, we might just have to rigs some bikes up and get some people to join us on this adventure in the near future! I mean we did just have Charley Boorman here to give us some inspiration!
Photos by Mirza Nurman, Words by Tom Hawkins