Gunung Lawu

October 5:

Left this morning a lovely family in Solo.

 

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People think I’m strong, that I’m not scared…This is not true. I just love so much travelleing so, it give me the energy to go over my fears. Last night, I had some nighmares. I have realise that every first night before I’m hitting the road in a new country, I have nightmare (little one…). To me, it always take me few days to be confortable in a new country. Its like a relationship. The trust between hin (country) and I have to be build. So many questions are running in my mind. Cyclist solo is a bit more committing than traveling with a partner: Where will I sleep, Is people will help me if I have a problem, how will it be to bike solo, will I have problem with men….However, when you are able to push your limit, there is such a great feeling of freedom. Not feeling scare to be alone and doing your own path and adventure. I think this is why I love to be solo.

 

This morning, I left my friend’s house in Solo late in the morning. In Indonesia, I feel there is no reason to hurry up in the morning because, as soon as the sun is up, it’s hot. No matter what time it is. This morning, when I have ask for my direction, a men told me : you are not enough strong to climb on your bike Gunung Lewu… I almost like those comment because it give me more energy to do it !

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One of the reason I had decided to take the middle road thru the volcanos was to avoid the traffic. From my reading on blog, Java’s island is reputated for the traffic. The road to Gunung (volcano) Lawu was an alternative road. The road on google map was little (grey line). I though it would go through some small villages. Noooooo !!! So much traffic !!! Along the road, when I bought some fruits from a food stall, I have ask a guy : will it be busy like that until Gunung Lawu ! Yes, and this is not busy. Today it’s holiday. Then, I thought : OMG, will it be like that everywhere in Indonesia ! Good thing I have not took the main roads (north or south). After a while, to avoid this traffic, I left the main alternative road to bike in the villages beside this road. This road was longer but much nicer and a little bit less traffic. In Indonesia, I have not target too ride a long distance. I only want to go to Lombok in order to explore the country and go on smaller road.

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Indonesia has the reputation to be a good challenge among cyclists. Indonesia is part of the ring of fire. It is composed of many many many volcanos. Today, I rode maybe 50 km. The first 30….were totally flat. After, bamm ! In your face !!!! Many very steep short hills. Some, I had to push my bike because they were too much steep. I would say more than 15 degree. I had to push the bike because those roads are to narrow and to busy to zig zag them has I usually do…You have to climb straight which is much more difficult. Here, they don’t bother to build gentle road. They just build it and you have to climb it. People were smiling and cheering at me. I was sweeting So much ! I had a headache from the heat. My body was struggling to keep my body regulated. In the past week, I was in the cold. I’ not use too it anymore. For the last Km, because those steeps hilll are very demanding on a short period of time, my legs were shacking. However, one thing that makes me tolerate the heat, its because they are so much cheap food stalls along the way. I can bike one hour and then stop anywhere for a nice cold drink or food. At 17h 00, I could not find the Kapaladesa’s house. In Indonesia, its dark at 18h 00. I have finally found a camping for . 50$ per person, per night. It was the right time for me to stop. Could not have been in a better place (other reason why I have choosen this road). I wore my down jacket in the evening and my two sleeping bag at night. It was sa big temperature drop.The camping was not busy at all. I have put my tent beside other of my age. Then, they notice the tape on my foot. Immediatly, one of the girl told me his brother was very good in giving massage. He was a sport therapist for his basket ball’s team. She said: if you want, my brother can give you a message. He’s very good ! Then I told myself, I cannot believe it. My wish will be realised ! My foot did not hurt too much today but still, all the way, I was concerned about how my foot would be in the morning. It was the best thing that could happen to me. A leg’s massage on the top of the mountain….or almost at the top…. He gave me a foot and bottom leg’s message for maybe over 45 minutes. Heaven !!!!

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Those days, the traveller have to face new challenge. How do deal with Facebook. If you inteed to say you have a facebook account, they will ask you username….100 % sure ! What should you say…Those people you don’t even really know and you don’t speak the same language. Then, you receive all those posts….Sometime, I refuse and only give my web adress. However, sometimes I feel I must too because they have been really nice with me.

7 October:

Climbing, climbing, climbing, pushing, pushing pushing my bike. So steep !!! This is what I have done all day today ! Today, I did about 30 km and half of it was downhill. This morning, I was pushing and riding my bike with an average of about 3 to 4 km per hour for maybe 4 hours….ish…But, I have know Idea why, here in south east asia, I love it ! I always smile. I love the scenery, the people, the food. I did not enjoy it like that in Central Asia. Today, It felt easier than yesterday because it was colder. I don’t know what was my evelvation but It was colder. This morning, someone gave me a orange, then later 3 carrots. When I’m too tired, I just stop and eat. Some people are  cheering at me (thums up), the younger get very excited and laught, some just stair at me with big eye ( what the H. is she doing there), other just ignore me (rare). If I ask someone along the road to take me in photo, I’m there for a while. They also want to be also taken in photo with me. I just stand, I don’t move and they all come beside me one after the other one. Sometime, they do a second round lolol.

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Today, when I bought a SIM card at a shop, I told the guy I wanted to ask hospitality to the Kapala desa later on because he ask me where I was sleeping. Of course…yhere is a langage barrier. I can speak bahasa indonesia but…there is a limit of our conversation. I was not intending to stay in this village because it was still early but, I was curious to see If it was really working. Then, he has called the Kapala desa (like the mayor of a villlage). I have spend the night there. He gave me a room, got a shower. Her wife has cooked for us a good dinner. It was great ! So, it works !!! Will repeat it lolol !!!

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