Bike-Ride to Australia Friday 24th-February-2012. Bukittingi to Painan. 109 miles. Surprise surprise, I spent the first hour of the day going uphill! But then it was downhill all the way to Padang, the capital of West Sumatra. I thought this would have been my overnight stop, but it was only midday. Far too early to stop!
I do like riding by the sea. All my previous trips have been either by the sea or rivers. And this is the first trip that most of the ride has been inland. It’s very different, in more ways than one! But I’m back by the sea and have spent the afternoon cycling beside the Indian Ocean, which I think is the first time I’ve spent any time by the sea since leaving England.
When I’d reached Painan, I’d had enough and decided to stop. But there was only one hotel in town, and it was full! That was annoying, I thought. There wasn’t another town for miles. And it was starting to get dark. After much discussion from the hotel owner and some guests, they came up with another place that might have a room. And it was only a kilometre down the road. To make sure I found it okay, they got a young lad from the hotel to guide me on his scooter. Luckily they had a room.
Now it certainly wasn’t a 5-star resort. The shower was a bucket, and the water came from the jungle. It was a squat toilet with no paper. The bed had such a dip in it I thought I’d need a rope to get out! The floor was so springy and bouncy that I got seasick just walking across it! But the view looking out over the Indian Ocean watching the sun go down was breathtaking and was definitely 5 star! And it’s only costing me £8!
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