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Old 26-09-2009, 07:47   #1
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Hitchhiking from Cairns to Port Moresby (Carrying a Bike)

Hello everyone!
My name is Matias, and I am preparing myself to cycle around the world to support and raise funds for the NGO LIBERA! (LIBERA!), which specializes in the welfare and protection of wild animals in captivity. My expedition will start in Melbourne, Australia, in August 2010, and I will try to cycle all the way up to Madrid (where I am living at the moment), visiting Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, all South-East Asia, China, Middle-East and center-Europe on the way. As you can see, I will have to jump from island to island before reaching the Asian continent, and the first issue is how to get from Cairns, to West Papua, in Indonesia. I first considered traveling by yacht from Cairns to Port Moresby, but I still haven't found any information on yachts or boats traveling following that route.

So my question would be the following: ¿do you think it's possible for me to hitchhike between these two cities? My aim is to reach Indonesia, which is well communicated with the Philippines by ferries, hopefully visiting some other islands along the way, like PNG, the Solomon Islands, or even Palau on my way to Davao. ¿Where could I get information about this matter? I don't want to catch any planes if possible, for that would break the chain of trying to reach my final destination all by land or on the surface of the planet.

I am also aware that my bike and equipment can be an impediment for taking me as crew member of a yatch, buy it can be folded and be stored quite neatly.

Any advice or help on the matter would be more that appreciated! All the best in your travels,
Matias

PS: I am attaching one of the possible routes of my expedition.
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Old 26-09-2009, 17:04   #2
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Riding a bike through a game reserve...

I don't know much about the rest of your proposed trip but my recollections of Papua/New Guinea are that riding there would be about as safe as riding through a game reserve.

I don't recall ever seeing a local on a bike.
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Old 26-09-2009, 19:47   #3
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Matias,
I did a similar trip the other way in the early 90's. You will have a ball, its a great way to travel. Not sure about using a folding bike, but each to their own. I flew from Timor to Darwin. I second Boracay - PNG is the wild west and you may end up just minus all your expensive gear, if you are lucky. Worse outcomes may involve a machete. Indonesia is pretty challenging too, but reasonably safe. Use Continental tyres whatever you do, modern bike tyres are very hard to buy except in first world countries, the Conti's will last you 10,000 kms. I believe its illegal to bike as a foreigner in China, so you'll probably need to check that out. Some Aussie guys did it a few years back and spent all their time dodging the law. There's plenty of other people out there biking it, so you'll be able to swap news and intelligence on the way.
cheers
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Old 26-09-2009, 21:21   #4
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Matias and JMB, you've both reminded me of Cruisers Forum member Ronnie Simpson. Remember him? He left San Diego last October 1st, bound for Hawai'i on the first leg of his planned circumnavigation.

About 600 miles out, his steering became disabled and he abandoned ship. He was taken aboard a Chinese vessel - next stop, China.

From there, Ronnie proposed to get a bicycle and pedal to Europe. Here's the best part - he made it! He actually arrived back in San Diego near the end of July, almost ten months exactly from the time he left.

Let it be known: Ronnie Simpson completed his circumnavigation! (Just not the way he intended. )

Want to know the whole story from beginning to end? Go here: Open Blue Horizon

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Old 27-09-2009, 04:06   #5
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JMB,
Thank you very much for your reply! About the bike, I am not taking with me a folding bike, but a Thorn with S&S couplings, which enables to dismantle the bike by the middle and store it more easily in narrow spaces. It doesn't fold like the other type of bikes, but it certainly helps!
It's true that PNG is not a destination chosen to cycle around, but I know of one guy, Rob Lilwall (he published a book about his journey some weeks ago, brilliant), who actually made it, with some amazing stories to share. I wish I could visit PNG at least for some weeks, for it is a country I have always felt attracted to, being so wild and unexplored!
About China, you reminded me of the prohibited zones throughout the country. Apparently, there are some zone which are restricted to foreigners, and other which are not. I had a map marking those zones, so I'll have look at it. Thanks for the advice!
So JMB, you did a similar journey on a bike? That must have been an amazing experience! Did you feel like stopping when you where near the end?
All the best,
M
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Old 27-09-2009, 04:17   #6
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... Let it be known: Ronnie Simpson completed his circumnavigation! (Just not the way he intended. )
Want to know the whole story from beginning to end? Go here: Open Blue Horizon
TaoJones
Thanks for reminding us of Ronnie’s adventures, and noting his successful return.
Ronnie’s next adventure may be the 2010 Singlehanded TransPac (San (Francisco to Hawaii).
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Old 27-09-2009, 07:54   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatiasHyde View Post
So JMB, you did a similar journey on a bike? That must have been an amazing experience! Did you feel like stopping when you where near the end?
I went from London to Darwin in a little over a year. It was quite a journey. I did not want to stop at the end, but I had to get a job. I ended up starting a company which I sold 12 years later, and now I'm sailing with my partner and our two kids. The sailing is in some way a continuation of the bike trip, they have a similar feel, but the bike is so much simpler. I found myself in all sorts of situations where I had to rely on others and it generally worked out well. People are on the whole good natured. You also get a good feel for places in terms of security, I had some sketchy moments, but clearly no fatal ones.

Its going to be a blast, enjoy!
cheers
James
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Old 27-09-2009, 08:25   #8
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I went from London to Darwin in a little over a year. It was quite a journey. I did not want to stop at the end, but I had to get a job. I ended up starting a company which I sold 12 years later, and now I'm sailing with my partner and our two kids. The sailing is in some way a continuation of the bike trip, they have a similar feel, but the bike is so much simpler. I found myself in all sorts of situations where I had to rely on others and it generally worked out well. People are on the whole good natured. You also get a good feel for places in terms of security, I had some sketchy moments, but clearly no fatal ones.

Its going to be a blast, enjoy!
cheers
James
Looks like you really enjoyed the ride! That's excatly the reason why I want to sail from Australia to Indonesia, not to lose the feeling of the bike, not to brake that magic. I thank you for sharing your experience, it must have been a really nice adventure, one of a lifetime!

Recently, I found out about a yacht race from Darwin to Ambon, Indonesia. That sounded like a very good plan to do, but I'm afraid it celebrated in july, and not it octubre-november. Does anyone know of any other yacht race from Australia to Indonesia, or if it is a good time to sail?
Thank you all for your replies,
Matias
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