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 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.
I reached Painan and had enough, so I decided to stop. But there was only one hotel in town, and it was full, which was very annoying. And there wasn’t another town for miles. It was also starting to get dark. After much discussion with the hotel owner and some guests, they found another place that might have a room. And it was only a kilometre down the road. They got a young lad from the hotel to guide me on his scooter to make sure I found it okay. Luckily they had a room.
Now it certainly isn’t a 5-star resort. The shower is a bucket and trough, and the water comes from the jungle. I’ve got a squat toilet with no paper. The bed has got such a dip in it I might need a rope to get out of it in the morning! The floor is springy and bouncy that I get seasick just walking across the room! But the view of the Indian Ocean while watching the sun go down was breathtaking and was definitely 5-star! And it’s only costing me £8!
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