Papua New Guinea
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A Ride Through Paradise

The feeling when you ride is like no other feeling. You feel free from the world, you feel unstoppable, riding is a passion, it’s a joy, it’s a stress reliever, and it’s a way of life.

This is what I feel to describe every time I ride my bike.  However, riding 472km from Madang to Hagen it’s much more than that.

It is a combination of excitement, fear, relaxation and pleasure.

It is both physical and emotional pleasure, with different layers of anxiety of course.

Hi am Daniel and this is another story about my travels.

Not as the other stories, this one is special. It’s something that was on my bucket list for some time. It’s a story about my bike; Skylar and I travelling up the highland’s highway.

Saying goodbye to Madang Resort and my boys: Steven, Tommy, Benson, Johnny and Kali was heartbreaking for me.

My friends, mother Lena and the security guards gathered to wish me well for my journey.

Although Kamie and Robin were smiling for the last picture, they knew I would never bother them again to open the gate during late rainy hours.

Pic 2. Kamie and Robin farewelling danny

Out the gate with small rain droplets on my shoulder and in front of the headlight, I was worried about how my trip would turn out to be.

Escorting me was my mother, uncles Alex, bata Sam and my sibling, Salem on the 10-seater Landcruiser with all my belongings.

Through the sleeping forest and beneath the black mewling clouds, the sound of my motorbike is all there is to hear.

Just after the Kawarau market, I had my first fall. It’s that place normally where all PMVs and vehicles get stuck.

Yes! Cars get stuck, but not my 200-cc baby Skylar.

Without hesitation, I accelerated up the bumpy road.

Orange mud flew in all directors as my 18-inch back tyre scraped the muddy soil leaving my tracks behind.

Because it was dark and impossible to see, I had my chinstrap and the shield up.

With a stand-like posture and my ass pushed back a little, I climbed with more exhilaration.

Suddenly, my chinstrap fell back down when I accidentally hit a rock.

In just a few seconds, my shield went all foggy and there was zero visibility as my warm breath touched the shield.

Without panicking I sat down and tried to open the shield while riding.

Boom! The bike pushed me off after hitting another pothole.

Just like the mighty Greg Inglis with his goanna crawl after scoring a try, I crawled for some meters avoiding the rest of my body to touch the ground.

Luckily for me and the bike, we did not encounter any serious injury.

Although fear crept into my mind and tension in my muscles, it was nothing compared to the feeling when I met the sun, wind, grass, and the straight endless road of Ramu Valley.

The sun just woke up from sleep and decided to light up the road from a 50-degree angle from the left of the mountain ranges.

Griping and pulling the throttle anti-clockwise, I see the speedometer going on its merry way up the dial.

The orange tilt on the highlights and the shadows filled with faded blue.

The wind was against my jacket and face as I shouted out, casting all the fears out from my soul.

No one heard me but Skylar did. She understands me.

Pic3. Skylar stopping for a photo along the Ramu valley

While my family was enjoying the breakfast, I was speaking to a small crowd who were wondering about my trip.

No one trusted me to ride this distance. The original plan was for me to ride to Ramu. Then the bike will be put on a truck and brought up to Hagen. That was my mother’s plan.

But for me, I knew I would make it. I was prepared for this.

After seeing me ride, my mother forgot about the plan and was cheering.

By 10am sharp we reached ’Water Rise’ to buy brooms and coconut.

Pic 4. Danny and his Mother at Water Rise

Everyone was worried about the great climb of ‘Kassam Pass’.

This is nothing compared to the great rugged road of Nob-nob in Madang

Like a great modern horse, Skylar and I galloped upon the road. It was a piece of cake when biking up a hill. This is what Skylar was built for.

Pic 5. Danny heading up to Kassam Pass

From Kassam to Yonki, then to Kainantu for a quick refuel, the ‘chips and lamp flaps’ of the Masumabe fuel station near the New Tribes Mission were calling out to me.

This is where you get to taste the true highland’s ‘kai bar’. Big Rooter and KFC struggles to make a profit there hahaha.

At 1:20 pm we stopped for a late lunch with the crunchy chips and crispy lamp flaps before continuing the journey.

Just like Kassam Pass, Daulo Pass couldn’t stop me except for a photo session on top of the summit.

Pic 6. Skylar at Daulo top

The only struggle I faced was going down the hill; loose gravel along the sharp corners.

One simple mistake and you could ‘kick the bucket’ instead of ticking it. It takes a lot of skills to balance and control the speed with the gear, clutch, and both brakes.

As soon as we made it past Simbu, I made sure my speedometer went up to 130 km/h.

Maintaining the 5th gear, I made my way through the ‘Free country’ and past the ‘style flowers’ and headed home. The road was sealed perfectly.

Reaching home just some minutes past 6 pm, I made sure to take a picture at Tinga Central as a prove to show my friends.

Pic 7. Skylar at Tinga Central, Mt Hagen

This is once in a lifetime experience for me. I’m sure, I’ll do it again sometimes.

My next trip would be Hagen to Lae if I find a way to ship my bike over to Port Moresby.

I heard about the Port Moresby Motorcycle Club and I’m keen to join.

You can contact me via dundaba@spp.com.pg.

With that “Apa Kada Kets!’ I’ll see you in my next travel story.

End//.