I admit I have lost my motivation for writing and updating the blog for a long time. After we separated with Adorján in Kuala Lumpur everything has changed immensely around the journey including this blog as well. And not just because the required toolbar stayed with Adi but the usual schedule – which we elaborated together during the past one and a half year- was missing too. Until today publishing has lost its meaning, I haven’t felt like sharing what I do or what I am actually in with anyone. Somehow the thoughts that ruled socializing on my part have prevented the initiation of yours who are reading these lines into this journey. Unfortunately I reckoned that there was no reason for writing and sharing the pictures that mean so much to me because it was just a superficial thing, like Facebook or all the other social media to reinforce the ego. Likes, smilies and pictures of who and what was eating, of who were they smiling together with even if it lasted till a flash… I became totally introverted since I have seen bleak emptiness on the tangled web of the internet. My only interest was just reality. I felt like shortening my life with every post, every sentence written on my timline and that the virual world would seize my real one in which I have learnt to live so well already.
However, I was wrong. Everything is just as much real, as it is unreal. My egolessness was fed by my ego, but what kind of bred can be made of such wheat that’s ground isn’t soil but chemicals? I didn’t want to see and admit to myself what I have already done many times before that this is the link between us right now and this journey is less without you.
Basically my life doesn’t show any difference compared to anyone elses, I wake up, eat, drink, fill in my day and go to sleep. The inner estimation of the job what I do has changed so much that I haven’t considered it special at all any more. I haven’t identified myself with the tale of the world traveller any longer I was just floating, following the thread of my destiny without saying a word.
Besides, there was an other feeling somewhere far, the sense of guilt pressing bluntly, that maybe the people, who really care about our journey; old friends, family or anyone blown by the wind this way are waiting for the accounts about an adventure which is ordinary for the participants but uniqe for the followers. Perhaps they, I mean you are also looking for something and meanwhile keep scrolling the mouse on the never-ending, thin news feed or check your mailbox in disappointment, but you find it empty again. Maybe tomorrow an envelope is coming, which will speak on a remote but clear voice filling you up with some brightness and so not just the sender but you too will be a little bit more.
I know that real connections cannot be replaced with anything just with being together. I haven’t been with you for a long time, although I feel you in my heart in every moment and I am also sure that you feel me. The picture of yours, evoked by the memory is warming me up, yet we shake hands or hug each other coldly because our meeting right now is not more than imagination. And although the soul can fly, it is covered in a body and without it ghosts would dwell in the world and therefore its precisely planned function would remain vacant. We are in charge for fulfilling this function with the content and the quality we are filling into it. This will tell if we use our short time here, this inconceivably, gracious gift correctly or wasting it worthlessly.
I recommend it to those who are searching, but it doesn’t matter if they have already found it.
Back to Asia
I needed a couple of days to cycle from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. On my way I booked a ticket to Jakarta as I made the hard decision to leave Sumatra out and headed toward Bali across Java as fast as I could. From Indonesia I was most interested in Bali and because the country allows visa for only a stay of 30-days I knew I want to spend the most of it on this little island. There was an option for extension but given that it was October, summer was about to reach its peak already in the next country, Australia, which is well-known to be torrid. If there is something that makes me hard riding my bike that is heat, therefore I wanted to pass the critical section before that. So I made my compromise with the 30 days, though fascinating Indosesia may deserve more.
In total I spent a single night in Singapore and the park beside the bay was perfect for that. You can get a ticket from an automat without charge and set your tent oficially on the carefully mown lawn.
Singapore is incredibly developed; I could desribe it best with a Switzerland mixed with Asia. Clean streets, cycle tracks everywhere, in the parks top-notch public showers and toilets that could be bathrooms. Of course they are free too, anyone can use these services anytime. In the park where I was staying, people were having barbecue, some were running, others were just chilling on the green, velvety lawn lit by the sunset. I was looking for the perfect place being confused with abundance when I bumped into a bigger company, who got me loaded with fresh food so the cooking was solved and I could start camping as I found my 5-star, self-service accommodation.
I had some left over for breakfast, so greeted by a new day my only task was to find a box for my bike and go to the airport. It wasn’t necessary to rush, the plan was going to depart at 4 a.m. therefore I was roaming on the streets of Singapore at an easy pace from one bike shop to the other until I found one where I was given a mobile garage for Mighty Voyager. 13 kilometres were left to the airport while the huge package fixed with a rope was hanging on my shoulder.
I was rolling into the Singapore terminal like that, where I immediately started to dismantle the machinery. I completed it in a few hours so I had time to relax a little on the carpet of the corridor in a sequestered corner. The check-in desk opened at 1 a.m. and I was the first pushing the well-loaded cart in. For some reason I have no good experience with flying, by and large I don’t like flying. Anyway what on earth is man doing in the air? It’s not our natural environment, better to leave it for the birds.
The countless regulations that you have to follow if you want to fly don’t help either. The morose lady behind the desk insisted to a ridiculous condition stirnly, upon which I couldn’t check in unless I show up a valid exit ticket out of Indonesia.
Oh my Gosh, try to solve this! I never buy return ticket, just one-ways because I never fly backwards, just forward. Time went by and the situation started getting distressing. It was likely that if I don’t buy an exit ticket scheduled to use in a month, I might lose the existing one and cannot enter into Indonesia.
I thought I call some friends for help to make some fake bookings. They were on it, while a Sikh looking man in turban and wheelchair started asking me about the big box and the many packages. I told him my story and that it was getting troublesome because I was supposed to take off in an hour but still wasn’t able to check in. I caught a mischievous gleam in his eye, followed by a soft sentence and a nod indicating not to worry, everything will be ok, just let’s step aside and have some talk. He must have been a serious Indian businessman with a crew of six dapper Indian guys. I get on well with Indian people thanks to the time spent in their country and because I happen to know their culture they happily talk to me as well.
Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of my savior but anyway he gave and order to one of his man to take my case over. After 5 minutes I was escorted back to the desk by the frequent flyers of the airline with the phantom version of my ticket out of Indonesia in my pocket in order to have an effect on the assistant lady who found it hard to smile. The scale showed some excess weight under my luggage but even this wasn’t a problem anymore, the lady perceived that she had to let the lasso of bureaucracy loose so the troubled Bambi could keep running around freely, joyfully waving his boarding pass. Many thanks to my friends, Krisztián and Dani at home, who invested time and energy to aid their mate whereas the fastest solutaion came from the rows of the audience.
Early in the morning I landed in Jakarta and it was nearly lunchtime by the time I have put every piece into its place on the bike unwraped from the box which kept a whole airport cleaning staff entertained.
I left Jakarta behind as fast as I could. Maybe this was the most chaotic city I have ever been, none of my cells wished to stay, just out, out of the city to find peace and finally sleep because I haven’t slept for 2 days in the new country with a lot of excitement.
The noise and everything that comes with it was chasing me from the city of 10 million to the conurbation 50 km away, though it felt like being still in Jakarta. I had to stop because I was terribly tired, I had to get myself horizontal otherwise the system might break down. On my map I looked for a church and went there. The security guard had some decision right concerning the church. He was nice, told me that I could stay and set my tent up in the garden. I was to prepare myself for the show when a different guard walked up to me because meanwhile there was changing and he told me roughly that he is the boss from now on and he wouldn’t let me stay there. The sudden change made me feel so small and helpless that I nearly cried, but instead of whining I became invisible for a while pretending to edge away, looking aroung unobserved. My nose hasn’t betrayed me, after some minutes I found a small room on the other side of the church. I had reason to cheer; it was a confessional room so I slipped into it avoiding to being noticed and driven away from my last hope shelter. The place was so tiny that my bike had no room beside me, still I had to hide it in case the guard walks that way at night. Otherwise I could start explaining my disobedience roused from sleep, wiping my eyes.
So Mighty Voyager went to the other side of the confessional screen, into an equal sized room and after I washed myself in the toilet hidden behind the third door, we confessed our sins to each other as accomplices. Because bikes don’t talk too much we finished quickly and besides I haven’t considered my sneaking in to the house of God as a huge sin in such a tight corner. Before I fell asleep I felt a little bit nervous since I had no idea if there was consultation that day and instead of the guard the priest was going to open the door on me helping someone who wants to clear off the burden pressing down the soul. Eventually, driven by fatigue I banished all the doubts out of my mind and dived into deep dream. I woke up in the morning rested after 10 hours of sleep. After some meditation I managed to get out of my special accommodation just the way I got in.
The great march
I planned to reach Bali in a week, where an old friend was waiting for me so I couldn’t waste my time, took the shortest road that crossed the entire Java. On this island only one destination was in my head, the Borobudur temple not far from Yogjakarta, which needed a small bypass yet I believed one week was reasonable.
I was pedalling with a lot of energy but soon I was stopped by policemen because I turned onto a motorway. Taken aback they completely forgot everything else. They have never seen such a thing that someone wanted to travel on a bike especially that far. They wanted to turn me back and redirect to a much longer road which would have meant extra days so I needed to pull a trick out of the hat. I was so enthusiastic that I managed to convince the officers who spoke hardly any English to help me find a car which can carry me to the part where I am allowed to cycle again from. What happened next was beyond imagination. The uniformed angels went about picking out every van from the traffic flowing on 4 lanes that seemed to be suitable for the mission. It was a serious operation itself because the highway was so full that there was hardly enough room for even a car between two other vehicles. This fact hasn’t bothered the charitable policemen, they kept conducting easily for the noble goal. I haven’t measured the time, but in my estimation in less than 5 minutes the third vehicle offered a ride with great joy. The policemen picked up my bike and there it was on the trunk. I guess they were even happier than me about the successful action. We hugged each other with a huge smile on our faces and shook hands as a goodbye and there we submerged into the torrent of cars.
A young guy, Ivadi Oda K was the driver and his dad was with him too. We understood each other haltingly, but I possibly managed to tell about myself because when Ivadi has come to understand it, he became even happier for being able to help to a guest. He called some of his friends in order to tell them what a great day it was to have a weird European sitting in his car. It was a fantastic feeling to meet such neat people during these two day already since I have arrived to Indonesia.
To my sorrow Ivadi passed away before his time in a motorcycle accident on the road we met. The news came from his brother. The fact that his family found it important to inform me about his death surely has an exceptional value for me. Those two hours spent together were enough to be caught up by the feeling of loosing a friend from the road after 3 months. Bon voyage Ivadi, you will be remembered.
I was in the middle of the first week when a previously unknown feeling has overcome me. Neither in India, nor in Nepal was I afraid of riding my bike on the road, although there were some problems too, but here in Java the traffic culture was just like a horror movie. In the oncoming lane swiftly approaching, for minutes overtaking, almost on two wheels coming buses don’t respect anyone. I have been cycling around half the world already but I have never felt unsafe. Now that point has come and I said I wasn’t willing to keep going like that. But if not by bike, then how? Thinking back on the policemen’s assistance two days ago I gave it a try on the next police station. Who knows? They might help as well.
And bingo! From there on policemen caught rides from town to town for the guy from Eger, and to make the intercommunication fast and steady they even wrote an official letter with a stamp on it. I was waving it when I arrived to a new police station and immediately the officers were to stand up and started catching me rides. Alone it was impossible because no one stopped for a white hitchhiker on a bike in such a rush. Obviously I owe my crossing over Java to the policemen.
It is amazing how much way there are for transporting a bike, if there’s a need. A few pictures can give illustration about it.
My last and longest ride was on a motorcycle carrier truck, heading to Bali. We were travelling all night before we arrived in Banyuwangi. From there on only a half an hour ferry ride set me apart from Bali. On the ferry I was seated right beside the captain.
We docked on the wonderful Bali having fun and selfies. And that was the way I managed to complete the Java mission in 7 days, with no travel expense and with getting to know a lot of amazing people.
For the next three weeks Bali became my home. Bálint has been living here for months in a surf villa run by the Czechs after he made up his mind to dedicate this part of his life to filming and surfing and leave Europe behind for a while. There aren’t many places better than Bali in this world regarding surfing but Indonesia’s best known tourist paradise also has countless other faces.
Yet the most important is the atmosphere and the energy which pervades the island. It is absolutely matchless, a real magic. And I don’t mean Changura and its neighbourhood because that was invaded by the tourists acting often unscrupulously, having a bad influence on the demand-supply mechanism of the local people. A couple hours from here by bike we can meet the ancient Balinese culture laid into the dazzling crib of the nature. We can walk up to vulcanos before dawn to greet the rising sun first as it pulls itself up into the ocean-blue sky by grasping the horizon with its rays.
Mystic temples dressed in moss pop up everywhere decorated with different animal motifs carved from stone.
There is no one here who wouldn’t smile which is reflected by the flowers in thousand colours. Green, yellow, red, purple, orange, blue and white, all equal to a cartoon.
The island radiates tranquillity, having stress would be even bigger art than the creations of the local artisans.
The food is heavenly and you can buy it freshly at almost every corner for pennies.
On the last week more friends have arrived from home to surf so it was like being on a barbecue party at Lake Balaton. The direction of this chapter turned out brilliantly as well and Life deserves recognition for that. It was hard to move on but the other half of the world was waiting for me with a new continent as a start which was Australia. Báló, Matyó, Sticó, Gyuri, CTM, Lukasku and Jan I am glad for sharing these special days with you. Thank you for everything!
I had no intention to leave Bali but the visa is not a request show. A day before the expiration of the Indo document I was packing again and in a haste I got to the Denpasar airport. Neither this time was the check-in simple because I had 5 kg extra weight. Thanks to my sad puppy face and my respectful persuasion I was allowed to go but I was close to reach the limit this time and therefore hit by serious extra charge. I am wondering if this airport training will follow me along until I get back to Europe. I wish the earth plates never separated making it harder for the poor cyclist worldtravellers.
The airbus landed with me in North Australia, Townsville where I started the usual assembly. Beyond the glass door a whole new world was waiting for me. A new chapter has started again with new lessons. On these occasions I take the bravery serum which has two basic ingredients; trust and faith. I look into the eyes of the Boss, who gently yet plainly nods and there I step out into the unknown. I have nothing to be afraid of, together we are capable of anything, so I don’t intend to leave him out of the bash… I just have to mind my own business and the rest is done by Him.
The first night in a new country is just as exciting as the first night with a girl. If you don’t speak the same language it just increases the excitement. Australia was the first country on our journey where the official language was English, the only foreign language that cause me no trouble to cope with. Soon I got into contact with a dad who arrived to the store with his daughter and son where I was hunting for a camping gas to my cooker. Elio and the two kids were very nice and invited me for dinner and also for setting up my tent in their garden. With such a start I am easily blown away by a country where I am a newcomer. Anyway Elio moved to Townsville from Argentina after getting to know his wife, Samantha on a scientific conference. As soon as we arrived home Elio showed me his bike collection from which my favourite was a 50 year old English one with an original Brooks saddle on it.
Elio was hiking a lot with his brother while he was living in Argentina. The old pictures, taken on the South part of Argentina, in Patagonia turned up quickly. We were on the common ground and had a long conversation beside a bottle of wine. Later Samantha joined as well, but I could meet the kids only in the morning again since they had to go to bed right after dinner.
Charged up by that nice family I have set out with maximum capacity to the Australian continent.
A day ago I was in Bali completely in love with the island and now I am rolling, singing in a totally different world not regretting the change at all. In one day the Balinese love was covered by the Australien sandblast and I plunged into it happily. Very soon I started to feel the uniqness of the land of the kangaroos, which is the oddest animal of the world for me. I couldn’t wait to see one jumping out somewhere from the dry bushes until the endless remoteness of the deserted countryside will engulf it again.
On the East Coast, from the North to the South there is only one road stretching as a thin stripe ironed to the desert. This is the Bruce highway. There is nothing, just herds of cattle, dry vegetation, wind and its toys, the tumbleweed. And also huge trucks with kemper caravans.
The hippy culture is thriving here, however not the newly discovered European version with starbucks coffee in the hand, but the original one shining invariably with freedom. It’s amazing how many travellers can be found here, some of them have been on the roads of Australia for years, and some for decades. They share stories that mean true life for me.
Apart from some small bypasses made toward the inland from time to time, I stuck to the Bruce highway until Brisbane. Meantime I was camping every night for a whole month. I was listening new stories every night in the free caravan parks alongside the road, or at petrol stations where the billiard ball of the sun was pushing me for the night. If I wanted to stay alone, it wasn’t a problem, there one could set up the tent anywhere. If I needed a forest I headed a few kilometres towards the West, if ocean, then I went just as much towards the East.
The usual crowd of Asia was quite the opposite here. A bike tour here was GREeeeeeAaaaaaT. Slow but steady the land started changing, everything became greener and nature was rejoicing together with me and the countless birds, lizards, snakes, turtles, opossum aaaand kangaroos!
There were always some movements alongside the road, but unfortunately many were just shrinking motionlessly under the torrid sun, because their meeting with a truck or a car has ended their earthly career. I passed hundreds of kangaroo corpses by the time I had the chance to witness the first living one. Since they are wild animals, they kept jumping away from me before I could get close enough to them.
Then there are the birds. They can make such a party that any club or festival in Budapest can hide behind them. They flutter in enormous groups carelessly and they are very friendly, for example I was often visited by the Rainbow Lories at my tent in the mornings.
On the other hand with the Magpie I had a lot of trouble. This little beast just freaked me out the first time we met. I was cycling on the endless straight in peace, deep in my thoughts, there was no one either in front of me or behind me when out of nowhere someone suddenly hit me on the back of my neck as hard that I nearly fell into the ditch beside the road. Dumbfounded I was gasping for air not exactly knowing what the hell it was. I was scanning the sky crazily when I saw a kamikaze bomber in nosedive, nearing me with Mach 3 screaming by then. I am not that wimp kind, but suddenly I froze as the windows vista or those who don’t use computers can imagine a glass of hot water poured out into the minus 40 through the window. Meanwhile I was pedalling Mighty so the confusion was complete. Finally with big movements I managed to shoo off the fowl resembling of a nervous bouncer but I had to stop for letting off steam after the big fright. Later I learned how to treat these brave fighters who are just protecting their nest so I could expect the next attack prepared.
Something interesting or exciting has happened every day but now I make a jump and continue my Australian story on the Sunshine coast.
The miracle called Sunshine coast starts at Noosa heads. This place is the Australian version of the European Cote d’Azur. It’s pretty the same, still absolutely different. Because it is just 80 kilometre long, I slowed down and switched on the cruising mode. I stopped everywhere and went into the ocean, hung my hammock and rested, enjoying what surrounded me. Not that I had a different habit before, but the speedometer showed at least with hundreds more when I stopped. This time I achieved 80 kmilometres in 6 days.
In the middle of the coast I got into the merciful captivity of Coolum for days after I got to know some local surfer. In a small house by the ocean I was given home for a couple of nights and moments that last forever from Nicole.
I have already left the town when I changed my mind and turned back to have some words with Jeff, who was a photographer and I met him that morning. He took some pictures of me, this is one of them.
Getting back to his car I haven’t found him there, but a guy was standing nearby staring the waves intently. I asked him if he saw an older dude with a big camera there? His answer was no, but these two words were enough to start a conversation resulting a coffee break some minutes later on the terrace of the house facing the ocean on the other side of the road. Dan was a professional surfer and a plumber. He swapped Melbourne for Sunny because of the surf. We were in the middle of the morning and Dan convinced me to go surfing so I decided to stay for the day. Our man changed the coffee cup in my hand for surfboard and there we were on the beach approaching the waves with big leaps.
I have never seen anyone surfing like him in my entire life. He was sliding on the waves without a leash and of course flew into the air many times and back to the equally blue medium that has greater upthrust force. My performance was a bit lame, but there were some smaller waves I could paddle into. During a fleeting tip request a fairly large turtle was swimming underneath us, whereat Dan cried if I saw it? I had no time to answer, jumping off the board he was already chasing the animal under the water. After some seconds he emerged with Sammy, a 30 cm diameter turtle mate in his hands who was flapping the water into our faces and we were undescribably happy about it. Magic happened again. We were admiring this aquatic creature for a while, then let it go and carried on surfing. Namely we just would have carried on, but during playtime we haven’t noticed that Dan’s board was gone. We found it ashore so instead of going back to the water we went up to the house. To be exact I was taken to the neighbour by Dan where on the porch of a small house a beautiful girl was reading. She was Nicole.
Dan introduced us and told her the story of our short acquaintance. He passed around the storytelling and I explained how I got there. For the word pilgrimage Nicole lifted the book that was lying open beside her with the cover turned toward me. Pilgrim’s progress. I read the title and smiling I looked back to this fairy. I recognised an old friend in her, returning into my life from that moment. In the great meet cute Dan ended like his surfboard a while ago, of which we forgot seeing the turtle.
Sure the neighbour wasn’t offended, just waved goodbye and left. Anyway he had to go to help a friend somewhere. So that was the way I found home for a few days on the shore of the Korall Sea, in a small house with a hippie bus in its garden.
Of course it was hard to sit back onto Mighty Voyager, but like many times before I knew that this feeling will vanish and I will be enchanted by the road again, which is the most important thing in my life right now. Since everything else links to this, just like this wonderful meet cute, if I stopped I would make the biggest mistake. Despite we can find home anywhere in the world, the genuine cannot be replaced. I am on the way home.
My next station was Brisbane, a day trip from Coolum. Actually I have been excited for weeks for having a beer with Mr. Csáti who moved there from Eger a couple of years ago. We were very happy to see each other and soon we continued the storytelling in an Indian restaurant where the girlfriend of Joci, Dóri was with us too.
The point is that instead of some days I spent 11 there by the time I could wave goodbye to them and to Brisbane, but in those days we were hanging out and cycling a lot in the town but probably we spent most of the time with eating and making that one awaited beer disappear…. 🙂
Finally, to move a little after the much of food and beer, Joci and his neighbour, Kris accompanied me to the Gold coast by bike which was about 100 kilometres and proved to be a big performance from them.
Before we said goodbye to each other here, we had some more beer in order to make up for the evaporated sweating…J Uncle Joci, Dórika and Kris thank you for letting me share my journey with you and for sharing your everydays with me.
And hereby I would like to express my thanks to Csilla for helping me find accommodation in the next 4 days.
Byron Bay can be found between the Gold Coast and Sydney, so I checked why people are gushing over it so much. There was no mistake in it, I was facing a gem again that needed a more thorough examination. Instead of talking let me demonstrate it through the pictures.
It was 3 days before Christmas when I arrived to Sydney and here I am right now. This is my longest station so far, although I had no idea that it was going to be, when I arrived.
I planned to have the festive break until the second day of the New Year, but the formula has changed all of a sudden. Turned out that the brother of my host, who was a childhood friend of mine was coming to Sydney to visit his brothers for a 3 week long vacation soon. The reason for the plural is a third and older brother who also lives in Sydney and I have known him for more than 25 years. It was great to see them together, they are an exceptionally entertaining company. Even seapartely they are jokers but when they come together that’s equal to a stand up comedy show. They call each other Honey Bunny and it could lead to some confusion with their very similar voices but there are none.
With these three Bunnies life never gets boring, there is always something happening around them. First of all I stayed at the youngest Hunny Bun. He is like the middle one but 10 years younger. He is very good at surfing, girls love him too and if he has some time, he might go to work.
The oldest one plays golf and he is definitely no slouch at it. One of Sydney’s most beautiful bays, the Little Bay is near to his apartment, over which the bright green golf course with the ocean in the background is just picturesque. I happened to make myself familiar with this superb game there. I really liked it even though I only managed to do hitting twice, I got some sense of achievement right away.
Through them I met other Hungarians too; Enci, Nórika, Laci, Trisztán, Geri, Levi, Krisztián, Gyetyi and Karol, not to mention Anita who was a schol mate at high school and we haven’t seen each other for 15 years and besides Rita, Little Kilián, Gilbert and his brother, Marci who was visiting that time as well represented Eger in the Bondi district, in Sydney.
So indeed it was like being home, just with the ocean and the left-hand traffic. All right, there are other things here to see as well, which were demonstrated by the Bunny brothers. All of them are gastro masters, therefore I was taken only into the best vegetarian restaurants. None of us eat meat, that’s a basic sameness.
Federer won the Austarlian Open, Balázs Bun is just leaving for the airport to fly home and I got to finish writing. In a few hours I am leaving Australia, this wonderful country too. Tonight I am flying to New Zealand so it’s time to sleep a little because the sun is just rising. I could tell a lot about what happened in Sydney but maybe some other time. In closing I put some pictures here, maybe they will send some warmth home on this cold winter Sunday. See you dears!
With love, Szalag