by: Marcus Phillips ‘Silalahi’ –
Recently, Chantal, a girl from Netherlands visited Tuktuk Samosir, on her solo journey from Australia to Amsterdam by motorbike across Asia. Chantal bought her XT250 in Australia, rode to Darwin, shipped it to Dili, Timor Leste, and has island hopped across Indonesia, eventually shipping her bike from Tanjung Balai to Klang, Malaysia. From there she plans to journey through Thailand, Myanmar, India, Middle East and into Europe.
Chantal says, she was joyed and encouraged by the friendliness and support of Indonesian people. Sometimes a family at a warung or bengkel invited her to stay for the night. She said she had no fear to travel solo because she had a positive attitude.
In Jawa she had to ride through volcanic ash from Bromo, and in Sumatra during rain season she was 2 times delayed by landslide erosion.
Flores and Sumatra had the best scenery, and Jawa had the best roads, but traffic was usually busy. So far, her motorbike has only needed minor repairs and maintenance.
Chantal writes a website and facebook, called in bahasa Australia, ‘chick on the chook chaser’ (cewek si pengejar ayam) https://www.facebook.com/chickonthechookchaser/, because chickens are always crossing the road. But one time in Flores she had to slow for chicken family, which made her avoid a large hole in the road which saved her from a serious accident.
Chantal spent 3 days at Tuktuk on Lake Toba, because it was the best place to rest and swim. She said her main logistic concern was getting a visa for Pakistan, Afghanistan, so she may have to ship the bike from India to Dubai.
One thing is for certain, Chantal is a brave girl. (***)