Sanur to Bedugal 68km
So Lyn, Ryan and Brendon had their days pretty well sorted, so there didn't seem much point hanging around in Sanur by myself. I'd managed to get a haircut, and get my laundry done yesterday, so what was to stop me hitting the road on the next stage of my adventure? Well......
Perhaps I should have considered: yesterday I seemed to have got a slight dose of Bali Belly, something I ate or drank last night kept me alert and awake until well after 1.30am, and I hadn't packed and sorted my gear, bought any food, or thought too much about where I wanted to end up tonight. Oh well. That's adventure....
Took some meds provided by Dr John, and that seemed to bung me up....problem one solved. I've survived on 4 hours sleep before.....problem two sorted. Packing and sorting is over rated, and I've done it almost every day for the last 90 days.....problem three solved. I can pick up food at roadside stores...problem four sorted. Singaraja on the north side of Bali is 85km away. Could head that way to avoid the heavy traffic heading along the southern coast towards the ferry to Java.....no more problems.
Loaded and mobile by? Who cares about time? The hotel receptionist said " just follow the big road until you see signage to Singaraja". What could be simpler? So the dodging and diving through the scooters, trucks and other traffic began, and it was fun, and it was scarey, and it was exciting, and it was Wow, and I loved it. But after 30km the eyes and throat are stinging from the exhaust fumes. I need to get off the main drag. Look at the GPS and make a plan..... This smaller road seems to go in the correct general direction, and hooks up with the main route again in 30km or so.......but the GPS doesn't know about one way roads, road works that close roads, and the traffic that stops you making those crucial right turns. It's a challenge, but one I cope with. The road gets narrower, and becomes "broken pavement", then deteriorates to "occasional pieces of pavement", and then the phone runs out of battery. Goodbye GPS.
At every junction it is now important to ask directions, and always to ask at least two different people.....and even then don't totally rely on them giving you the correct info. Sometimes they have no idea, and just agree with everything you suggest, like Singaraja this way? Yes this way. Singaraja that way? Yes that way. 180 degrees opposite....Adventure is never being sure of outcomes.....
This second 30km is definitely uphill. And it gets steeper the higher I get.....sorta like a volcano....oh that's right it is a volcano. My lack of sleep, illness, and lack of food is starting to take a toll. I stop several times at roadside shops, but none seem to have the good stuff, dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruit, that we saw last week at the tourist spots. At one I buy a small bottle of what we call "monkey sweat". It's water with some sort of salts, and feels and tastes pretty good when your hot, tired and thirsty from riding, and that's just how I feel right now. At the next stop I find a 2l bottle of Monkey Sweat, and an ice cream. Still no good stuff..
I'm getting really tired now. It's hot. I'm drenched with sweat. It's steep. I'm hungry and thirsty. I've drunk almost all the 2l plus my 2 other bottles of water. I've eaten two energy bars that Lyn thrust upon me yesterday. I stop and sit on a temple step.....and fall asleep....a short 20min nana nap. I need sustenance. The next shop has a very small bag of nuts, and one only, small bottles of coke. Gone in seconds.
Not long after, after climbing two particularly steep sections of road, there is a restaurant. They want 10,000R ($10) for a buffet meal. Didn't really like what I saw, so just took advantage of the short rest on a chair. Didn't even fall asleep, but found out the main road is only 500m away. On the way to the junction, a dog lunges at me. I sweve to avoid him, and catch my back pannier on a parked scooter, and the pannier jumps off the bike. Its a real struggle to get it back on. Im tired.
There are more shops on the main road, but most are on the other side of the road, and the traffic is dense. Decide to wait for one on my side. A local cyclist rides with me for a chat. He reckons 15km to the summit. Damn. I'm not sure I've got 15km in my legs. I stop on a shop step, and have another nap.
The road gets steeper. The traffic slower, and the stink of poorly maintained fuel and exhaust lines is strong. My eyes are watering, and I have a foul taste in my mouth. The shops have disappeared as well. On one really step section, I stop and sit next to a local lady. My legs are cramping up....calfs, thighs, quads and insteps. Oouch. The lady tells me with sign language that there are six km to summit. I like that. I rest for about 20 mins, until the involuntary twitching of my calfs stops.
The road is not so steep now, but has lots of switch backs. Some of the heavy traffic gets pretty close on the corners, and I'm not responding very quickly. I've had enough. I'm knackered. I spot a hotel. $25 for the night. There's no hot water. The shower only barely works. There's a squat toilet. I spot two cockroaches in my room. Only one of the four light sockets has a bulb. The Wifi is intermittent. I don't care. I'm staying. I'm happy to save the downhill until tomorrow.