Seblat to Lubuk Mukti 109km
Today I clocked up 8000km cycling, from my home in Hammer Springs New Zealand. I guess you could say, that if my journey was 43,000km, I am just under a fifth done, a fifth of the way around the world. I'm pretty pleased with that, pretty proud of my achievements so far, and am pretty excited about continuing the adventure.
Over those 8000km I've lost a few things. I've left behind a pack towel, in Yogakarta. I've misplaced my head torch, I know not where. I've blown the base out of an Earth Sea Sky dry bag.....145 days of compressing out excess air does that. And somewhere between home and here I've lost 12kg of body weight, (I'll probably find that again in the Breads of Europe)....a little plug for your sponsors Fraser....
I found a few things as well. One day I found a 2000R (20c) note. I gave it to the guy directing the traffic around the hair pin on a steep climb. I'm pretty sure it was for him. That's the only thing I've found of monetary value, because the other things I found can not be priced. Here's the list..... I've found:
Happy, smiling faces where ever I've been, A smile and a little patience can solve a thousand different problems, New sights, New friends, New and greater understanding, New knowledge, New fitness levels and strength, New inner strength, New tolerance levels, New experiences, New flexibility in my planning ( it really doesn't matter where I'll end up each night ), New language and communication skills, How Not to sweat the big stuff, or the little stuff, ( there's enough sweating happening here), Not all routine is boring, Some really sharp, enquiring young minds, People are 99% wonderful, How to cope with unpredictability, And one or two other things.
What has all this cost me? My budget has been $20 a day. I'm under budget. I've been on the road 145 days. Total cost...$2,900. If I'd been on a 145 day Corporate training course, with the aim of achieving all I've achieved, I'm thinking the cost might be a little higher.
I'm also thinking that I'm on a winner. The gains, far out weigh the losses, and one of the losses, I'm pretty happy with anyway.
We were sweating it out today. Graham has only one more day riding with me, and wants to get as close to Pedang as possible, before packing his bike up, and putting out his thumb. I'm sure he might have liked to have completed 1000km riding with me, but he's going to be just a little short of that, unless we do 150km plus tomorrow. He's adapted to the conditions really quickly, got his riding legs going, and over the last two days, has been caning it. Not like a week ago, when he learnt a new Indonesia word, ( binasa...destroyed or broken).
I'm going to miss his company, and his ability to attract the millions away from me. The last two days have been crazy. Every time we have stopped we've drawn a crowd. Kids, teens, adults. At times it's almost claustrophobic. All Graham has to do is stand up, and his height draws all the attention.....fantastic. His smile and enthusiasm do the rest. I couldn't count the number of times he's told people our story, our route, our plans, our ages, but I do know, that at about 90km of riding, he is just as happy as I am, not to stop and be surrounded by enquiring minds.
At that stage of the day, we are on a mission. We want to find a bed. Today's enquires got the following replies...3km. After we had ridden 3km....4km near the Benzin. 3km later, as a check, reply is 2km. 2km later we get less than 1km from one, 200m from another. They all want to help, just have no idea of distance. Following the lead of signage re distances, we always add.....plus or minus.
A roller coaster today. Sometimes the ups were a little bigger. Lots of Palm Oil trucks, but little else, other than scooters. We saw monkeys, water buffalo, lots of dogs, and thousands of Palm trees. Graham lifted a Palm Oil pod. He reckoned it weighed about 40kg. The guys lugging them about are pretty buffed up, from all the physical work. I'm sure some of you ladies would enjoy the views.
Once again the sun was an orange ball, but it was plenty hot, with the wet from yesterday's storm evaporating around us. We really enjoy the downhill, because it creates a Draft, and cools the body. Standing still, or climbing a hill, you just form a bubble of warm air around you. It gets warmer and warmer, and the sweat flows. I wonder how much sweat I've created? At least 12 lItre I reckon.