Day 313. 47km. Sawah Padang – Nagari Lolo

Posted: March 2, 2016 in Cycling, Indonesia
Tags: , , , ,

I counted fifteen people gathered around us in the little pergoda on the side of the road. Clement’s bike was inverted and we were looking at his wheel. A bicycle expert with teeth pointing in all directions was the first to arrive, and after tapping my bike and feeling the tyres, he started working on Clement’s bike.

Our bike repair place

Our bike repair place

Three washers were added to the back axle to compensate for a bolt ground smooth by some, as yet to be discovered problem. The gears were then readjusted to compensate for the washers. All explanations during the repairs were done by the waving of arms and pointing. Thank-you, kind gentleman, for helping where Clement’s and my technical skills were inadequate.
We fear, however, the problem will return. Clement needs a new axle, maybe a new hub, and a new gear cable that is now frayed.

We woke this morning to hear the pouring rain, and then went back to sleep. One’s desire to cycle diminishes when one contemplates getting that wet. Also, Clement’s panniers are not very waterproof anymore, apparently. When we finally woke up, we were offered another incredible breakfast, including a self picked cocoa fruit from the tree just outside the door.

My first cocoa fruit

My first cocoa fruit

By ten we were on the road, cycling at snail pace up an incredibly steep, unrelenting road. We were cycling up the side of a volcano, we discovered later, when we spotted the volcano evacuation signs.

Volcano evacuation

Volcano evacuation

At the top was a beautiful high altitude volcanic lake with an amazingly steep road climbing and falling through fields of temperate weather vegetables, above the lake and below the volcano.

High lake

High lake

High lake

High lake

It was steep

It was steep

We are camping at a bus food stop about a kilometre from the fateful pergoda.

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Was it any cooler at the higher altitude?

  2. acidmustafa says:

    Lovely, bring back memories. Did that same route, twin lakes, danau diatas and danau dibawah. One of your photo was shot almost at the same spot as mine, lake above (danau di atas.. danau is lake, di atas is above)

  3. Tony says:

    How was the traffic over there? Tried to cycle Sumatra after many months of pedaling, and after a year on the bike i feared I would get killed by one of the running crazy crap trucks. Actually we rode up to padang and just decided there to stop, and jump somewhere else.

    Did we just get on the worst road again and again, or do u get a similar feeling? Looking your pictures I am even considering trying again at some point, it really itches me a bit leaving Indonesia as “almost unciclable” (to dobit safe and more important, to enjoy it).
    Last thing, are u camping a lot in sumatra? Couldn’t read much detail 🙂

    • Hi Tony. I found the traffic fine. There was almost no traffic, actually, and I never felt in any danger. I heard the road on the east side of Sumatra is a different story. Also, we didn’t go to Padang, but stayed in the mountains before going to the coast.
      These blog posts are about 2 weeks behind (due to lack of internet on Sumatra). We are now in Jakarta. Even Jakarta was fine, and almost no honking of horns. A welcome relief after China. 🙂

      We camped, stayed in people’s homes, in schools, and other random places. We didn’t stay in a hotel at all on Sumatra.

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