Wed 22nd February 2012 – Pekanbaru to 7km north of the equator

Pekanbaru to 7km north of the equator. 97 miles

Felt a bit uneasy last night, went down to the hotel bar, tried to get a G&T but no tonic but hey ho! Got my beer and was doing my blog for the day, when along came this women, who introduced herself as hotel guest relations manager, she introduced me to the girl from the resident band and a couple of the backing group, she then introduced me to her friend, who I’m sure was a prostitute, I might have been wrong and if I am I’ll apologise! Anyway she tried talking to me but didn’t speak any English and as my Indonesian isn’t that good, or rather none existent, she didn’t stay long. Which was a bit of a relief! Shortly after that the singer came over who did speak English, she was chatting away but kept touching my leg! I was glad when she had to go and sing, I made a quick exit and went for something to eat.

I was flying along first thing and was making good progress, was even thinking I might do a 130 mile day, as that’s the next place that looked as if it might have some accommodation. After about 40 or 50 miles things slowed down I hit some really steep hills, not particularly long but steep, the sort we get in England, in fact the road reminded me of the old road to Exeter in Devon, past Lyme Regis and Seaton.

It was about 5.30 and I still had another 30 odd miles to do, I was going up this hill when a man came rushing out, hey mister you stay here, no thanks I want to get to the next town, no you stay here you can camp in my garden! He was pretty insistent, he said it’s 17km up hill to start with. So I decided to stay.

His garden, ha! Don’t think it was, it was about 200 yrds up the road past a few shops and houses on the outskirts of the village in the jungle! But he did let me have a shower at his place, the sort of shower where you fill the bucket up with cold water and tip it over yourself, but it’s so hot and after a long day who cares! It was very nice of him to take me, in sort of!

After I’d showered we we up the hill to a restaurant for something to eat and then a tour around his village on the back of his scooter.

Really nice man and nice family, I met his wife and mother in law.

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