Friday 24th February 2012 – Bukittingi to Painan.

Bukittingi to Painan. 109 miles

Forgot to mention yesterday about crossing the equator. I was told it was about 7 km up the hill from where I was camped. Well that was a bit of a let down, don’t really know what I was expecting, a sign or something to say that your about to cross the equator. I think there was a big white ball and that was it, it was so insignificant that I’m still not sure if that was the equator or not!

Spent the first hour or so going up hill, then it was downhill nearly all the way to Padang the capital of west Sumatra, where I thought I might stop for the night, but it was only about midday so decided to carry on.

The afternoon was spent riding along the coast line, the first time since England really, I do like to ride by the sea.

When I’d had enough and decided to stop there was only one hotel and it was full, not good as 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 knew of this other place that might have a room. They got this young lad to guide me on his scooter the kilometer or so down the road to this cafe, right on the sea front. Luckily they had a room that they could let me have.

Now it certainly wasn’t 5 star, 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 and the floor was so springy and bouncy you got sea sick walking across it! But the view looking out on the Indian ocean watching the sun go down was pretty breathtaking and was definitely 5 star and so was the couple who’s place it was!

Spent the evening talking and drinking beer with them.

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