Bike-Ride to Australia 25th-February-2012

Bike-Ride to Australia Saturday 25th-February-2012. Painan to Tapan. 83 miles. What a way to wake up this morning. I awoke to the gentle sound of the sea lapping on the beach. As I said yesterday, I do like to be beside the sea. After getting up, I went and had a coffee with Eddie. I’d remembered Eddie saying something about a crocodile last night, but I wasn’t too sure what he was saying. I soon found out!

Eddie had a six-foot-long pet crocodile! Pardon? He’d caught the crocodile when he was 24 or 24 years ago. I wasn’t too sure what he said. He kept the poor thing in a square concrete tank, which was nowhere big enough for it. I felt a little sad about it. But I certainly wasn’t going to rescue it! Eddie was definitely one of life’s characters. I said goodbye to Eddie and his wife, thanked them for their hospitality, and carried on my way.

Crocodile eating leaf
Eddie’s crocodile

I hadn’t been cycling long when a man on a scooter joined me. The man spoke good English, and we chatted as we rode along. He was an English teacher and was on his way to school. He asked me if I’d go along to his school to meet the students. Seeing as I’d enjoyed my trip to the school in China, I said yes, and off we rode the six kilometres to the school.

Back To School

I spoke to two different classes, which both seemed a bit chaotic. But the students listened to what I had to say and asked plenty of questions. The students had plenty of photographs taken with me, and I even had to sign a few autographs! After my stint in front of the students, it was playtime. I was taken to the staff room. There I was given coffee and doughnuts and introduced to the other teachers. Some spoke English, but the majority didn’t. The children kept getting told off. They kept coming up to the staff room windows and looking in! I must have spent a good two hours there, and when it was finally time for me to leave, the whole school came out to wave me off! Once again, it was a great experience.

It’s been hard going today, and for once, it was nothing to do with the roads or heat! It seemed that everybody I spoke to today wanted me to go to their house. I often get greeted with “Hi sir, nice to meet you. You are very handsome!” and that’s from the men! And as much as it’s always a positive experience, I did want to get on.

Plenty of showers again today. It seems to have rained at some point every day since arriving in Indonesia. Is it the rainy season?

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