Danielle Murdoch

By AG Staff 19 January 2011
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One woman’s inspirational journey will push her to the limit as well as into the homes and hearts of women around the globe.

Danielle’s journey will take her from Australia across Indonesia and India, through the Middle East and around Africa. Throughout her two-year journey she will cover over 70,000 kilometres getting a glimpse into other women’s lives as well as becoming a role model of strength and independence for women all over the world.

I often draw similarities between riding through third world countries with playing a video game. In Indonesia jumping onto each island brought new obstacles to the table as I rise through the levels of this particular game. So far, I have passed levels that include increasing traffic, people and animals. Every district gives off a distinct theme for me to battle through.

The island of Sambawa was no exception. The backdrop to this particular level was the port town of Sape, where the houses were painted in bright colours. Green stood out as being either the town’s favourite colour; either that, or they got a super special from a paint company. Standing in front of them but lining the streets were small horses (the size of western ponies), all pulling brightly painted carts in reds and blues with ethnic patterned on the timber and leather work. As the horses trotted down the road a bell that hung over the lower parts of the horses main jingled as a warning to all that it was also on the road.

With Sambawa being the poorest island out of the main group of Indonesian islands, the roads matched the tax payers income. The tar seal was slowly slipping down the road and pot holes punched through the thick black surface. Luckily for future travellers, the Indonesians were developing the roads in small sections, which I also had to avoid.

To add another layer of complexity to this island was the introduction of goats. Goats have no idea of the world around them as they only think of their tummies before danger. With this in mind, they would dart across the road unexpectedly. I would then have to apply full pressure onto the brakes stopping with neck breaking jerk.

Every night, after a long day of intense concentration, all I would like to do is have a shower and sit down with a cold bottle of beer in my hand. These two small luxury items were not available on this Muslim island. Taking residence in a ‘loesmen’ (Guest house) where my ensuite had no main light. I cast a beam of light from my head torch around the tiny box like room, which is when I saw the layers of filth and worms growing in force in the madi (bathroom/shower).

Madi varied greatly in Indonesia. Most traditional bathrooms were no more than a small shed outside, constructed from what ever was available, such as woven bamboo to sheets of ply wood or plastered bricks. To have a shower, you would pick that bucket by the handle, and dip it into the cool water and pour it over your head. After a couple of pours I was generally wet enough to then start lathing myself up with soap and shampoo. The whole process was repeated to wash away the spent soap.

Extract taken from Motomonkey blog January 1, 2011

For more information about Danielle’s journey go to www.motomonkeyadventures.com

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