Posts Tagged ‘Simpang Berrinin’


Cycling in the zone. Paranoia. Heat and hills. Cramp. Amazing spread of food for dinner. Today was a weird day.

River

River

Clement and I both are bursting with energy. The road is flat and straight, and we power on, going faster and faster. It’s great feeling the energy flowing through my body. I feel strong. I feel I can conquer the world, and I guess I am conquering it, in a strange kind of way. I pass Clement as my music reaches a climax, and am overtaken as Clement does the same. People wave, pass us giving the thumbs-up. We are fast, and we have come a long way to cycle in this blur of a tropical background.

After 80km we stop for lunch, and we talk. And talk. And talk. Two hours pass – two hours of the hottest part of the day. And then we continue, this time at a slower pace – the sun is pounding down and it is hot. The landscape becomes hilly. The sweat pours off me – Clement calls me a ‘spring’ – a spring of sweat.

Then the mood changes. Suddenly people seem threatening. I don’t know why. A guy invites us to his lake to swim, and we both don’t trust him. Strange people drive past making us feel uneasy. Are the tired looking women, plastered with make-up and dressed to kill, standing by their cars, standing there for a reason?

The cramp hits – well, the preliminary twinges of cramp. The hills are steep, and it’s a constant up and down in the heat. No amount of water can fix my twinges, and I know that it is only a matter of time before I buckle over in agony from cramp. We stop – a truck stop – everyone looks weird and suspicious. Or is it us?

A fantastic dinner – a spread of tiny dishes of incredible Indonesian food – and we feel more relaxed. What was the problem? Cycling makes you learn your body, and your brain. Some unusual brain chemistry was at work today. I have experienced it before, and will undoubtedly experience it again. It’s all part of the adventure.


Today was the day of palm plantations. Endless plantations with few people. Today was the day of gas pipelines. Today it rained cats and dogs. Today we saw the rolling hills of total devastation. Land that was once (I’m not sure when) forest, and is now barren as far as the eye can see. Today is day number two of camping in a school.

Pipeline

Pipeline

With no more boats to catch, Clement and I can set the schedule. We realised today that our bodies have different needs. Mine needs many more calories, and it needs a breakfast. Two bananas is enough for Clement. Not for me. An early start was fine, but, due to the lack of people, and just an endless road through the plantations, we found ourselves 50km further on before we could have a late breakfast. I was a bit crotchety, even after devouring my reserve biscuits, ripping open the wrapper when it didn’t comply with my wishes. We will take this calorie need into account in the future. ☺

The morning light and scenery was very serene.

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The morning light

The rolling fields of emptiness were everywhere.

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The empty plains

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Not a tropical rainforest