Down, down, down Gunung Lewu !!! Nothing make me more happy then going down on a nice road and listen some songs of the Ray CHarles greatest hits. Often, I sing and dance on the bike while going down. I’m very proud of me. My friend told me I had climb the tower ! Dam right, so step ! On the way to Ponorogo, I wanted to avoid any big town and big road. I took the locals roads. Still, a lot of people but nice narrow roads. I think more than 200 million people are living in Indonesia. So, don’t expect to much empty places such like in Canada. Java is reputated to be crowed and have a lot of traffic. I think to enjoy the road, you need to pick the very very small road on google map.
Today, once I stop infront of a police station to ask for direction and other time, I was looking for toilet. Each time, the policeman were requested to be taken in photo with me. Everytime, the police men wan to be taken in photo while fermely shaking my hand. There is something I don’t get when I travel. I observe that each country has their own manner…often almost look like if they have been though to manner this way (ex: polices shakes my hand and wanted to be taking in photo, the tajik people want to be taken in photo, the turk are shy to be taken in photo, the indonesian all want to be taken in photo with me…).
Indonesian people are lovely, happy, smilie, friendly people. Ofter, along the way I can hear : Hello Mr !!! …..instead of Hello Ms lololol They are very very very nice people.
When I got in Ponorogo at lunch time, a nice lady has offer me to join her for lunch at her house. Of course, and I knew it, she has offered me to stay with her family for the night. I had only done 30 km but I though it would be nice to spend some time with the local people. The purpose of this trip is not only biking. The bicycle is helping me to have access to the local people in a easier way. I had plan to stay only one night but she was so sad when I told her I was going away. She wanted to show me around. It was nice because she was very good in english and she was very friendly. I spend some time with her family, friend…She made me some very nice fresh fruit juice..Her and her husband are staying in a very very simple and modest house in Ponorogo. She was so shy of the condition and facilities of her house. Her husband is buidling bamboo houses and furnitures.
She though me to play a traditionnal javaneese game: Dakon. Before to start the game, such as we do, we had to choice who would start first. Instead of doing the rock, paper, scissor as we are doing in Canada, we have done the ants, human, elephant lololol !
The couple from Ponorogo has joined me for a strech of my journey. They rode their motocycle for more than 100 km. After few Km, when we stopped for a cold drink, the husband told me: I’m happy to join you ! I think he was happy to join me, to make a part of my journey safe, proud to be my friend ….His eyes were shining ! It really please me. On the way, they have phone family and have found me a place to stay for the night near Kediri.
At luch time, I have discover the best drink EVER !!! and it cost only 0.30 $. The juice is made from fresh coconut water, fresh coconut pulp and a lot of brown sugar. This drink is just like heaven !!!!
The photo shooting is still going on. This is crazy ! The indonesian people may bit the Indian in India ! Twice, I had to tell the waitress to wait until I had finish my meal before to start the photoshot. When one person take me in photo, they all wanted to be taken too. I feel like a celebrety here ! It can because overwehelming sometimes. One night, at my friend place in Ponorogo, I did a photoshot with my fanclub. I did not know at the time. But the boys were waiting for this all day. At night, they took me in photo with their motorbikes lololol, one at the time….
After Ponorogo, for one day, I have decided to take the south road instead of going middle land because it’s quicker. A friend from the bikepacker community was waiting for me in Malang. Plus, now I may inteed to bike Sumbawa’s Island which is located east of Lombok. Then, I want to do a short trip to Komodo’s island. Komodo’s island is home of the famous Komodo reptile. You can book a one or two days boat trip. It Will be my vacation from my holiday !However, to get to Malang, I went back on the inland road thru Pare and Batu. I like the inland road because near the top and at night, it is much colder. The road went in between two Volcanos. One of them, Kelud’s volcano is still very active. Kelud had an eruption last February. At first, before coming to Indonesia, I had all those funny questions about Volcanos such as foreigner have when they are visiting Canada (bears, snow..). According to them, I should not be worry. The volcano is always giving signs before to explose and they always evacuate the population near by. However, sometime the people think nothing will happen and they stay in their houses.
Climb climb climb hot, hot, hot…been with a lot of people the past week, I felt the need to spend the night in a hotel room. Around 17h 00, could not reach any big town. In Indonesia, it is dark by 18h 00. I found the Kapala desa house but he was not there. A lovely family host me for the night. In the morning, they were so sad I was going away and were telling myself to call my friend in Malang to delay my arrival. In the morning, I had a very good view of Kelud Gunung (has erupted last february).
Today, after a gentle climb of about 20 km, I went down all the way to Malang. Is it only me …but most of the time, when I’m going down a hill, I’m happy I have not climb by this side and did by the other way. I’m staying with a friend of the cyclig community. This cycling is great, indonesian people are great ! The guy that was supposed to host could not help me anymore because he was out of town for this period of time, so he has phoned another friend to help me. I’m planning to stay here one day to get a rest. The past days have been great but a lot of climbing. Malang is lcated at the base of Bromo national park. I’m going to head to Bromo national park on monday. As written the front page of my blog, everyone is saying that this national parc is just amazing. Both vocano are conic. However, I may have to climb some step sections again. I’m planning to reach the top in two days. No need to rush. So excited to see the sunset and surise ! From far away, I will see Cemero’s Volcano whish is supposed to be one of the most beautiful volcano in Indonesia. It is possible to trek it. However, because of my goal to reach Komodo’s island and my foot, I won’t trek it.