Cycling Day 3
06.07.2010 - 06.07.2010 28 °C
After a later start, we headed off on what Col described as a ride that rated 9 out of 10 in terms of difficulty. We started with some steep gradients to the markets where the girls took on the job of doing the vegetable shopping for the evening "sop" meal. Lalu, the omnipresent local police sergeant who was certainly very proud of his community profile, was particularly taken with Charlie, our 6' 4" policeman who had just returned from a stint in the Western Australian desert. Charlie and Paul were a little taken aback as Lalu proceeded to engage in some low-level graft as he took various goods from the stall providers to give to his new friends. Lalu had quite a well-developed ego and enjoyed being photographed in his beret with the ladies in our group.
Following this we went down a steep and poorly surfaced road through a number of villages. Col had said earler that "roadworks in Sulawesi are at an embryonic stage" and we were beginning to understand what he meant. We stopped to talk to a rice farmer's wife who only spoke Makassarese and had to conduct our interview through Lalu who spoke this local dialect. At another village we stopped to interact with a coffee seller where we sampled the product, raked the beans and bought some bags of arabica beans for roasting later on.
Eventually we arrived at a small village located at the base of an enormous waterfall. Col led us all off to the bottom of the falls. Lalu the local policeman told Bapak Colin not to go in but Col simply said "he doesn't know anything about water" and led us shirtless into the rocky pool. The noise was deafening and it was difficult to see but Col did know what he was talking about as it was reasonably safe once you got in and very refreshing in the heat. It was, however, quite probably the most insane thing I have ever done.
Following lunch in the village, we made the very steep ascent back to Malino. There was much talk about the state of the roads for tomorrow (there had been quite a bit of unseasonal rain) and conflicting reports as to whether they were passable or not and how many bridges were down.
In the afternoon, we visited Lalu's police station where Charlie was very much the honoured guest and then returned to the hotel for yoga (more pain) and beers (no pain).