Tempeh to Turen 80km
Spent a really pleasant evening talking to two lovely young ladies, and listening to a very talented young man sing and play his guitar. It was after 11pm before I knew it. So much for the early sleep to compensate for the 3.30am call to prayer.... The two young ladies were keen to practice their English. He was keen to sing, he knows no English, and no western songs, but has a great voice. The topics were varied. Our guitar player is Muslim. He has four wives, each with a child. They live separately, and he lives away from them all. He could, if he wished, have several more wives, as long as he can support them all. Ayu, however, is from Medan in Sumatra, and is Presbyterian. She is not married, and at almost 30 years old, her mother is very keen for her to marry, preferably within the next year. Ayu has seen my Facebook page and sent friendship requests to several of my young friends that look suitable. Feel honoured gentlemen. She's a cutey.
Despite the late night, I was up early, you get woken so you stay awake, and I wanted to try and beat the heat of the day. Unfortunately, that meant not much was obviously open for my Nasi Goreng breakfast, so I supped Monkey Sweat, and finished all my Bali fruit.
The first few km were across a river flat, where there was lots of sand movement by big trucks happening. Only one truck seemed to have a digger. All the others were being loaded by half a dozen guys with shovels. Now they deserve a...... Oh that's right. No beer here.....Muslims don't partake.
Then I started to climb. It wasn't steep, but it was long. Very long. Maybe 15km of climbing. Steady relentless, climbing, and it was HOT. I was pouring the juice out faster than I could put it in. I stopped for a rest, and sat on a closed store step, and watched some kids fly kites. When I got up, I left a puddle. I stopped again later, at a roadside store for my Nasi Goreng fix, and had to ring out my gloves. Oh it was warm. Today I drank 6 litres of fluid.....
The Nasi Goreng didnt translate to much energy very quickly, so I had a rummage through some snacks Lyn had left me. An Em's Power Cookie Bar lept into my hand, and rebounded into my mouth. Instant energy. Yummy. Hey Em. If you're keen to send me a supply.......
After the climb, the next 30 plus km were a series of fantastically swerving downhill curves, followed by short uphill bursts, followed by more of the same downhill. It was lovely riding. Having climbed so high, the temperature was a good deal more bearable as well. The breeze was really nice, the air noticeably clearer, and smelling of...... cinnamon. I smelt it a long time before I spotted it, drying on the tarpaulins at the side of the road. Another of the Spice Islands famous spices. Today I saw coffee, corn on the cob, tobacco, chillies, cinnamon, and I think cocoa drying.
The traffic was reasonably heavy, even though it's Sunday, and the Trucks and I managed to dodge each other all day. A couple I was able to pass several times on the downhill sections, and then they would crawl past me on the uphill. But then it all changed.
Suddenly the scooters and Fiona and I caught up to a wall of stalled trucks. We dodged and snuck past them, between approaching traffic for over 3km of twisting road. Not a truck was moving. At one stage, Fiona and I were tootling up the wrong side of the road. A vehicle was approaching. All the scooters have disappeared. It's only Fiona and I breaking the law, well really only Fiona, I was just sitting there..... and the approaching car is Poloisi, filled with mean looking Police, armed to the teeth with cigarette lighters. The General, he had lots of brass on his shoulders, in the backseat said: Hello Mister. Where you from? Where you going? Oh you very strong. Keeping going up the road past trucks. Hati Hati (be safe).
So I keeping going up road past trucks, only to find..... a Carnival Parade. But good news. I manage to slip between floats 1 & 2, and head down the next hill. No trucks for the next two hours.......they're probably still waiting for the parade to finish.....