Travelsonabike2 Indonesia This Day 23rd-February-2012

This week’s Travelsonabike2 bicycle touring on this day post comes from Indonesia on the 23rd-February-2012, and I’ve nearly reached Australia, my final destination on this tour. At this time, anyway.

Thursday, 23rd February 2012. Pangkulan Kotabaru to Bukittinggi. 48 miles.

Blimey, what a noisy place the jungle is at night. And where was my air con!? I struggled to sleep last night, and I can usually sleep through anything. But the noise and heat were just too much. But it was nice to be camping again. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it.

I was up at first light and packed the tent away. Disappointingly, though, I had to pack it away wet. It had been very wet overnight. It’s currently draped around my hotel room, drying out. I don’t need the extra weight of a soggy tent with all the hills around here. Besides, who knows when I’ll get to use it again.

Some things just work out for the best. I’m so glad I got persuaded to stop last night. Right from the start this morning, I was peddling uphill. And as I was told yesterday, it was a 17km climb, which took me three hours. And that was on fresh legs. God knows how long it would have taken me last night. There was also no sign of a hotel for several hours afterwards.

I’m In The Southern Hemisphere

I’ve now crossed the Equator. Well, I think it was the Equator. There was a white ball beside the road, and knowing the Equator was somewhere around here, I took that as the marker.

I got invited to a girl’s house today, ding dong. Not for that. As I was cycling along, two girls pulled up alongside me on their scooters. After stopping and talking to them, I was persuaded to follow them to their house, where I drank coffee with one of the girl’s dads and his friends. I spent a good hour chatting to them before setting off once more. The people are so friendly and welcoming here. I like Indonesia.

Man abd girl by a bicycle
With Any
Back To The Hills

After leaving Any (that is the correct spelling of her name) and her dad, I had another 30km climb. This is worse than Laos. I now remembered why I was dithering so much the other day about which route to take, wondering which one had the least hills. I’d like to think I made the right choice. But I suppose I’ll never know.

I reached Bukittinggi, saw a hotel, and debated whether or not to cycle on. I had hoped to get a bit further today. After all, it was only another sixty miles to the next city, Padang. Sixty miles! What was I thinking about? It was already 4 o’clock, and the last fifty miles hadn’t been exactly easy. In the end, I stopped and had a short day.

There have been plenty of monkeys around today, particularly when I was near the Equator. There has also been an alarming amount of mosquitoes. I hope my anti-malaria tablets work.

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