Tag: Solok

Giovanni’s Five essentials for a bike tour

Added on July 23rd, 2018


Pangong salt water lake, Ladakh, India Posing at Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, India

Helmet, jacket, trousers and boots are ready to don, your bike is clean, full of fuel, serviced and fitted with bulging panniers, navigation gizmos and action cam technology. All is in place with insurance, road side assistance and the itinerary.  You just need  to fire up your beloved motorbike, lock the front door to your house and ride off to that far away destination of your dreams. But hang on…wait a minute. There are some less obvious accessories to take along that  should not be overlooked. Consider these if you want add to the SAFETY and long term ENJOYMENT of your ride.

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Just like a Celebrity

Added on July 16th, 2018

Another crowd in Babusar The crowd gathers in Babusar, Himalayas, Pakistan

…in India

“Hey man, I’ve been following you for the past three blocks” said the young biker on his aging Honda as he pulled up next to me in the dark.
I was trying to find my way around the outskirts of Amritsar (India), just across the border from Pakistan, it was getting late and I felt a little startled.
“Really?!” I replied feeling the sting of apprehension.
“Yeah, I recognise you. I know who you are” the boy insisted .
“Oh yeah?” I replied as I stiffened, trying to anticipate what might be coming next.
“Come on man, I’m your fan! I saw you on the Discovery Channel…. mind if  I take a selfie?”

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The Fairy Tail Homes of Sumatra

Added on July 9th, 2018


Beautiful Minang House, on the road to Solok, Sumatra. Beautiful Minang House, on the road to Solok, Sumatra

I doubt anyone could travel through Sumatra and not be totally taken at the beauty of  the spired roof houses (the “Rumah Bagonjong”) typical of  Minangkabau culture. These iconic Minang long house dwellings have become a well known symbol of Indonesian heritage to the point that their features are often mimicked in the architecture of Indonesian consulate and embassy buildings around the globe.

Minang home decor is really like no other. These constructions ooze tradition and craftsmanship. Forged by the capable hands of local carpenters, many of these essentially wooden homes are painstakingly decorated with brightly painted floral carvings and looked after obsessively by their proud owners (women of the household most of all). Prominent upswept gables are easily the most eye catching feature of these structures that make the buildings appear as if stretched into the air by some kind of invisible threads. The onlooker is easily held in an admiring gaze, transfixed in awe as if in trance, completely captured by the simple beauty of the designs (I certainly was anyway).

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