Cycing Day 2
05.07.2010 - 05.07.2010 23 °C
After a 5:30 breakfast for a 6:00 departure, we cycled out of the city through rice fields and villages for a fairly easy 30 kms before we started the climb up the mountains to Malino which sits at an elevation of 1000m. We passed farmers or traders drying rice, coffee, and cocoa on tarps beside the road before stopping at a warung (roadside cafe stall) for some delicious cakes where we "interviewed" the ladies who ran it. We also stopped to rest at pondoks (bamboo platforms by the side of the road) as we climbed through many ranges. At this stage, our preparations proved to be sufficient as we were able to cope quite well with the gradients. On the last steep section, Sonia took the yellow jersey and disappeared ahead and, being a little concerned as to her whereabouts, I passed all the others to finally catch her relaxing at the next refreshment stop. The two drivers, Acok and Ucok (who are Toraja men) as well as the mechanic, Anto and his off-sider, Ridwan, were absolutley brilliant. As soon as you stopped, your water bottle would be refilled, the punctures and repairs were attended to speedily and proficiently, and Acok was able to source some wonderful fruit and snacks as we went along.
Following the heat, gradients and poor condition of some of the roadway, the cooler, rainy weather in Malino was something of a relief. After cleaning up, we had a late lunch at a local warung before a rest and yoga at 6:00pm. As it was raining, Col commandeered the central corridor of the hotel for the yoga. There was more entertainment as the hotel staff walked over us as we tried to tie ourselves in knots as per Col's eccentric instructions. I thought I was going reasonably well until Col's "... put your right hand in front of your ..... genitalia ...." instruction caused a minor collapse amongst the group.
Following another rice and vegetable and chicken soup meal, we had an extended chat with a family group at a shop before retiring for a well-anticipated sleep.