Few minutes after I’ve started this new day, this is what I’ve seen: a nice valley covered with clouds. I’m going to have some downhill for a while, this is very good! For lunch I’ve stopped in a warung and had a nap after that (in that same warung). Then I continued cycling up and downs until I finally arrived at the end of it. This was my last day in the mountains!
Today, I visited the Harau Valley with Winda, a guy I met on the road early this morning. Then we spent some time at his home. Because his home was 20km towards Bukittinggi, today I progressed only 30km forward. At this speed I will be late in Dumai! I must hurry up a bit more or stop meeting nice people. The problem, they are everywhere in Sumatra ;-) Then I cycled uphill for most of the day and found a nice warung where to spend the night. Interesting day again :-)
This morning the rain started again. So I went with Esri to another warung close to his place where we had breakfast. This is only around 11am that the rain stopped. I could finally leave the place and start my journey. Esri kindly offered me the breakfast. I feel guilty each time someone pay for my food because I use my money only for this and the visas normally. This day was touch as I had a big hill to climb. I’ve learned today that Bukittinggi means High Hill (Bukit tinggi) and understood very easily why! All the way after Bukittinggi was flat so I could finally accelerate a bit and cycle 90km today :-) I’ve stopped for dinner in a Warung where I discover a new card game called Koa. These fancy cards are very nice. I like especially the design. This is another day with discovering and surprise :-)
A new day for a new experience. As we agree yesterday, I’ve been visited the school next door where Rahmat’s sister and certainly all her brothers and sisters have been studying. I met first few teachers and then the english one. We talked about the differences we can find in our culture and the importance of english today. The teacher invited me to appear in his classroom and exchange with the students, in english of course. I think it’s great!. I really think that the school system need to teach students how to like english. It needs to show them how important is it. Yesterday, another Rahmat’s sister (the one who loves selfie ;-) asked me to help her with her english exercises. The english books are difficult. As I said to the english teacher today, the story showed in those books are just not realistic. They talk about babies singing with angels inside flowers. How come this is going to be useful in real life?
This morning I planned to go. My visa expires in 11 days. I should have enough time to get to Dumai and catch the ferry but we never know what could happen. The rain season is now coming and I won’t cycle under the rain unless I am really late. Firstly we took some more picture with the family, then I had some breakfast, then more pictures, then I was invited by one neighbour. I had a drink plus some snacks at his place. This is hard to leave a nice place like here. Everyone is so kind. Rahmat offered me to stay one more night and maybe visit around. I was hesitating until I found a deal. You guys stop smoking for the day if I stay with you. That way I am doing something good for you as you do something good to me :-) Deal?
This is the rest of the story that we finished in the street. So as I explained previously we went first to Princess Ayu’s home to have dinner and then we moved back to the direction I was originally cycling to and stay at Rahmat’s home for the night. This night is one of my best experience in Sumatra.
Bukittinggi and its famous clock Jam Gadang. When I looked online to find some point of interest in Indonesia, this is one of them which came up. I bookmarked this on google maps and it became one of my goal destination. This morning I hanged around for an hour and hit the road towards the Sianok Canyon without knowing it would be that wonderful. I’ve just seen on google map that there was a shortcut and wanted to try it. Later on, I arrived to the lake Maninjau (another point of interest) and discover another wonderful place. I’ve finally ended on the other side and continue pedaling until dark. The last surprise of this day was when I met Rahmat who follow me on scooter and asked me for a photo. I finally spent the night with his family! Warning, this post has a lot of pictures. Enjoy!