Monday, June 23, 2014

Tour of Indonesia 01 : Sumatera - Part 2

Into the unknown...

There are very few resources about cycling in Dumai.
Let alone, the scarcer information about traveling from this port town to Pekanbaru.
I found an interesting journal by David Truelove through his daily jottings on crazyguyonabike.com
His entries are considered the latest (dated April 7, 2014) and in one of his photos, we took a break at exactly the same spot near Minas from Duri.
I made a critical error by ignoring the distance as Mr Truelove's journal was entered in miles instead of kilometers. And for this, we paid dearly.
With such reference, I had a certain "feel" of what to expect when we are on the road.
Days before the ride, I told Michelle, my wife about it.
She wasn't too pleased as I will be gone for a week.
That's the length of the journey and Mohd Radzi didn't contribute much to the schedule as he could only provide some information about hotel stays in Duri and Pekanbaru.
I left things to chance and had my contingency plans.
That said, it's all about adventure and facing unknown challenges.
I also kept a low profile about this expedition because I felt that there weren't too many people who are keen on it.

And when the fateful day came.. 

I left home about 06:00am.
Michelle sent me to to the KTM Komuter station in Subang Jaya. I said goodbye to my kidz before leaving the house.
I will be away for a week. My heart was heavy, but a promise is a promise, I vow to come back in one piece.
The train bound for Port Klang was due to arrive at 07:10am sharp. There's very little time to waste.
We had to check-in at the ferry counter at 09:00am, then wait for boarding at the ferry terminal. Get the travel documents checked and load the luggage..

Saying goodbye to my girl..

The train bound for Port Klang
Arrival at Port Klang
The bikes marked as fragile on its carry-on cover
The deck hand organizing the passenger's luggage
All aboard!

I met Mohd Radzi at the Subang Jaya train station.
He was already onboard.
We sat through a few stations before alighting at Port Klang.
From there, the ferry terminal is just a short walk away.
At the terminal, we chilled out at the canteen while I went up to the ticketing booth to give our travel and personal particulars.
There were plenty of people at the terminal, particularly Indonesian nationals heading to Sumatera.
There were two ferries: One to Tanjung Balai and the other to Dumai.
After I got the tickets sorted out, I was told to report to the local ferry company at Jalan Jenderal Sudirman in Dumai.

Pay, pay, pay...

The baggage handlers charge a fee of RM20 to load the baggage onto the ferry.
I told them to label the bikes in its carry-on cover as "fragile" and watch the staff load up the gear.
We had our stuff in the X-ray machine by the Customs and clearing the immigration was a breeze.
There is a port surcharge and baggage handling fees that chalks up about RM30.
Add RM170, the total costs RM200. This excludes the port tax in Indonesia and back in Port Klang. So, total for our sea logistics costs more than RM500 for two people.
I had to work this out with Mohd Radzi and he's pretty willing to fork out the money.
For me, this is a learning experience and my first time traveling to another country with my bike by sea.
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