Sunday, April 23, 2017

On the Go in Manado 5: On the Road

Finally, it was time to get my motorcycle rental and hit the road. The agency's rep was going to meet me at the dock where the boat from Bunaken lands, so I'd be on my way with no time lost. I was so excited.

After doing some paperwork there at the same warung where I'd waited to go to Bunaken (no fork-wielding toddlers around this time), I climbed on the Honda Vario 150, and vroom! I was on the road.
Even though it was fully automatic, meaning I had no controls over the gears whatsoever, I was immediately impressed by the motorbike. I normally drive (or rent) bikes that are 125cc, and that extra 25cc of this one's motor was noticeable. Secondly, it's a Honday and it was brand new, less than 1100 km on the odometer. It had some pick up and was perfect for negotiating my way through Manado's relatively modest traffic. 

First stop was IT World, Manado's largest technology mall. Among it's dozens of camera shops, there were a plethora of models to choose from to replace my broken GoPro.
Can't tell from the pic, but this little guy is
about 2.5" x 4" x 1" in size.
Based on some recommendations, I settled on a Xiaomi Action Cam. It came with a waterproof case that fit the same mount that my GoPro uses, so it was helmet friendly. And at less than $100, it didn't break the travel budget. 

Like with any new technology, there's been a bit of a learning curve. Sometimes, I thought I was recording and I wasn't. Other times, I thought I was recording and instead I was taking pictures. It also occurred to me that when it was inside it's casing, the audio would certainly be effected. Would it even pick up sound inside the case? I found out along the way.

Next stop on the journey was lunch with Steve. He'd been reading my posts about this trip on an online forum for expats in Indonesia which I've been participating in, and he invited me to meet, and after a lunch of my favorite Indonesian food, Siomay Bandung, it was off to his home to meet his wife Penny and their dog, Bosco (who had made the trip with them from America).
Video frame grabs are fun. It looks like Steve has gone
berzerk here.
It turned out Steve was from San Francisco and Penny was from Morgan Hill, both towns very close to where I went to high school and the region to which I feel most connected. Steve and Penny had a lovely 3 bedroom house and grounds 20 minutes outside Manado for which they pay less in rent than I do on my little Yangon apartment. Manado is a nice place to spend retirement. 

A road in Steve & Penny's village.. Crosses everywhere.
After a tour of the home (which I thought I was recording) and a couple glasses of cap tikus, It was already 3:00 and I still had quite some ways to go. Because of its relative position within its time zone, the sun sets early here; I didn't have a lot of time. Steve had recommended that I take the coastal route all the way down to Anurang, my planned destination for the first leg. When I left, I decided to take the shorter route; I don't like looking for new places in the dark. 

When I got the crossroads, I stopped and thought about it for a second. I thought about if I'd ever get a chance to check out this road ever again in my whole life. What's a little inconvenience in place of the joy of driving through the jungle alongside a beautiful tropical coastline? As you can see on the map at the top of the page, there's an obvious shortcut that I didn't take. I'm quite glad I didn't. The views were amazing.  

Steve had also mentioned that if I stopped anywhere along the way, not to be surprised if the locals asked if they could have their picture taken with me.
At a beautiful beach out on the tip of the peninsula, that's exactly what happened. An older man started talking to me, and when he found out I was from America, he said, "Trump, good! Lots of money!" That's a bit different than the reaction I got in Myanmar from a Muslim guy. His daughter wanted her picture taken with me. Then the old guy grabs his son and says it's his turn.
I know how these things go; I'd be there a long time. I made my apologies, saying "it's already late afternoon..." and was back on the road. 

Also because the camera was brand new, it didn't have a fully charged battery and so the video today kind of ends abruptly as I was coming around a corner. 


  1. I have to admit, you do a wonderful job at making videos. Thank you. Blessings, Lynn

    1. Thank you, Lynnie. I appreciate your appreciation!



I thought I was going to retire there. I was the senior staff member. I'd been there longer than anyone. It. Is. Not. Fair.  But on the ...