Speeding Up To Slow Down

By Jane Mountain | June 5, 2014

14,937 km so far.

Since we were supposed to be spending today riding into Kuala Lumpur, I couldn’t help but thinking of it as a free day. It was a day in which nothing much had to happen, since we had bought ourselves the time along with our bus tickets yesterday.

So, we took great pleasure in doing nothing much all day. Well, we did manage to get a few decisions made.

Taking Flight(s)

First, we will be flying to Jakarta from here. Actually, we made this decision a while ago, but now it has solidified as the plan.

I hate that we are flying.

I hate that we will be adding so much pollution into the atmosphere. I hate that we will be skipping all of Sumatra and most of Java. I hate that we are once again in a rush.

Stephen’s note: I REALLY hate that we are skipping Sumatra, which is where some of my favourite coffee in the world comes from.

But still, I know it is the right decision. There are just too many mountains and too many miles of very bad roads between us and Bali. We explored the option of boats. But in this part of the world, boats are unsafe, unsanitary, slow, and expensive. Taking a ferry to Jakarta would add more than a week and several hundred dollars onto our itinerary.

Flying is the only option, really, under the circumstances. I hate that most of all.

Training Wheels

From Jakarta, we’ll hop on a train to Yogyakarta. Our timeline makes this the wise choice.

We're making good use of the LRT in Kuala Lumpur.

We’re making good use of the LRT in Kuala Lumpur.

We could grind out the extra kilometres and ride the full length of Java, but it would be a race, and that’s far from enjoyable. Also, we’ve read numerous blogs about the hellishness of cycling on Java.

One couple I emailed told me this about cycling in Indonesia:

Just avoid Java, and you’ll be fine. from an email from Beasts In Jungle

At this point in our trip, a hellish fast ride is not what we’re looking for.

So instead, we’ll take a few modes of super-fast travel, in order to spend our last few weeks going slowly. A good compromise, we hope. We’ll let you know how it goes.  

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