Day 312. 92km. Barulak – Sawah Padang

Posted: March 1, 2016 in Cycling, Indonesia
Tags: , , , ,

‘Don’t shit on the fish!’
The young man raced out of the house in the fading light of the evening. Clement was going, as instructed, to the place where we had a shower scooping water out of the stream that ran next to the road. Directly downstream was a little fish-pond containing some large specimens of orange fish swimming peacefully. The young man thought Clement only wanted a piss.
‘Don’t shit on the fish!’
Little did we know that the stream on the left of the road was for shitting, and the stream on the right is for showering (or urinating). We will know for next time.

The shower

The shower

That happened in the evening. This morning our new friends made a fantastic breakfast for us. We squatted down, fascinated in the kitchen, watching chillies being ground, dough being kneeded, and tempeh being fried. It was all using local ingredients. Just outside the kitchen, our friend pointed to a durian tree, a coconut tree, cocoa, mangos,.. The list was endless. And the rice was from the local paddies. Fantastic!

The grinding of chillies

The grinding of chillies

Then we were invited to the local school, adorned with many wise sayings which don’t translate well into English.

Lost in translation

Lost in translation

The teacher and kids welcomed us into their class and asked us questions on our trip.
Their eyes were shining, hearing about a world out there – a world that they will inherit. Before leaving, we were farewelled in chorus from the school gate.

The school kids

The school kids

School kids

School kids

Today was a day of climbing and cruising back downhill. These valleys are amazing – little areas with rice paddies, surrounded by little hills, dotted with palm trees.

Rice paddies

Rice paddies

Looking down

Looking down

The day finished with the road deciding to climb almost vertically upward. It’s really cool – pushing my body, the sweat pouring off, crawling up a road that gets steeper after every turn – with an amazing backdrop. The endorphins flow and I am happy.

We asked if we could camp in the school grounds in a small village. That was OK, but maybe first we would like to have a drink at the neighbour’s, and have a shower in the roadside stream with a view out over the fish. We were then invited for dinner, and then to sleep. Again, such lovely, hospitable people. All gathered round to look at our maps and hear some stories. Dinner was an amazing spread of delicious Indonesian food. What a lovely country!

The family

The family

Comments
  1. acidmustafa says:

    Taking your bath at a roadside stream sounds ecotic.😁😁

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    The ‘looking down’ photo didn’t come through for some reason – wish I could see the drop! Those schoolkids sure are cute. Glad you’re enjoying such a warm welcome.

  3. graham allan says:

    I was riding in that area last year and had thought about climbing that steep section of road up to those two lakes inland of Padang – the locals told me it was steep so I can imagine just how much sweat you shed on that climb – respect to you, I assume you are now heading up the long valley to near the big volcano – I have heard it is really nice in there – maybe on my next trip I will do that route.

    • Actually we are now on Java approaching Jakarta. The lack of Internet there has delayed my posts. The whole trip on West Sumatra was very beautiful with such lovely lovely people.

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