For lunch I find a restaurant at the right noon time. I get a extra full plate with different stuff. When I pay I am a bit disappointed, because it costs 15.000 Rupiah (1€) only, but I wanted to spend more money for my birthday lunch. Never mind, I try it again for dinner.
By the way, one thing I got already used to and don’t realize anymore, as you can see in the picture there is a spoon and a fork. You will never get a knife.
The weather is changing and a great rain cloud is showing up in the sky.
The water of the old rainfall isn’t totally soaked in the ground yet. In the puddle the water is 20-30 cm deep.
When the big raindrops start to fall I immediately enter the next shelter, fortunately it is a café. Other people drop in because of the same reason. A very cute small boy looks at me with wide eyes.
I drink my coffee and enjoy looking outside in the heavy rain. Isn’t that great. 🙂 Apropos, in Indonesia the coffee is always with coffee grounds.
After a while (it often takes some time to overcome the people to approach me) I get asked for a selfie. Sure, why not. I feel honored.
Actually the Indonesians aren’t shy. I have several stops per day just for taking a picture. Indonesia will be the country with the most taken pictures of me, I guess. I often feel a bit like a star. Kalimantan isn’t very touristic and everywhere I appear, people approach me. “Hello mister!” is the most common. “How are you mister?” “Where are you from?” “What is your name?” „Mister!!“
And some people call: “Hey ‘boss’!” The first time I think, oh wow what’s going on now. That’s funny. But soon I realize it obviously doesn’t mean the English ‘boss‘. ‚Boss‘ means friend in bahasa Indonesia. Alright, that sounds much more pleasant to me. 🙂
Later the day it gets quite tough, because the landscape changes from flat into hilly up and down. A bit exhausted I arrive in Tayan with the last sunlight (here it gets dark pretty fast and quite soon) and check in in the hotel I planned to stay.
I take a shower and go out to find dinner. In the small restaurant I get in touch with the friendly owner. Although he doesn’t know that it is my birthday today I am not allowed to pay and he invites me to have breakfast the next morning. At the neighbor table a group of young girls is chatting, I hear they want to take a picture with me. Finally they ask and I say yes sure. And immediately all are running to me with their smartphones. Wow. They are so happy and me too. Good memory for my birthday dinner.
I go back to the hotel sit down in the lobby and phone with my parents, with Johanna and with my sister. Suddenly some police cars appear and a few policeman enter the hotel. What’s going on now? Immediately they see me and say the typical “Hello mister!” and then, of course, they want to take a picture. I ask them why they came here and they tell me, they came to check me. 😉 Aha. I don’t believe it. I ask again, they have/want to check the whole hotel. But they want to see my passport. Ok, all right I hand them my passport and show, that it is my 28th birthday today. So I get personal birthday wishes from every policeman. 🙂
Breakfast the next morning with the owner of the restaurant.
In my map the river crossing is still marked with a ferry, but since one year there is a new bridge now.
And so the trans Kalimantan roller-coaster road begins, a lot of steep up and down for several days.
The beautiful clouds are showing how grandiose they are.
On this road you get nothing for free, there is no easy rolling flat part. You see how the road gets swallowed and appears again.
The clouds get darker and darker, the first raindrops fall. Usually I find a shelter. But now suddenly there is nothing, no house, no shelter. I can’t do anything than continue cycling. And the rain gets stronger and stronger. Gambled away. Too late I am totally wet. The hotel I hope to exist (it’s really unsure) is still 30 km far away. Oh shit that will be very tough in this heavy rain. But now, there is no need anymore to get a shelter, because it’s already too late. I didn’t expect the life to be so much harder, when I am 28.
And then a very welcome wonder happens. 🙂 The hotel appears 10 km earlier than I thought. Thanks God. Good that it is marked 10 km wrong to my benefit and not in the other direction! I don’t know if I would have had the strength and stamina for another suffering hour. I am so happy to arrive and to have a safe and dry place. The rain lasts for the whole night very strong.
Two nice boys during a rain pause. They weren’t that sad, like they look in the picture, they are just frightened by the flash.
The roller-coaster road is gruelling.
Impressions of a typical small village.
At the beginning of a small soft climb I hear a loud sound “PENG”. Oh no what was that? I stop and check my bicycle. One spoke is ruptured! It’s already close to noon and very hot, I push back a bit and luckily find a good wooden closed house, where I can repair the back wheel in the shade. Of course it is the side of the cassette. The good thing is, everything is still nice and clean from Singapore. With the smart small STEIN tool I can open the cassette and replace the spoke. The LHT frame has place for three spare spokes. For centering the wheel again I use my clothespegs.
Of course I am not alone for long, soon I get visitors which stare at me. But they respect that I have to work concentrated and can’t take care about them that much.
In the end I show them the broken spoke to ask where I can dispose it. The answer is a movement of the hand direction nature. :/ Sadly it’s everywhere like this. Almost everybody litters into nature. The people are left alone with their waste, there isn’t any litter service likewise. The best is, if they burn it. But most people don’t take care about that, they just throw it in front of their doors/houses.
Unfortunately I can’t find a place to swim in the nice river.
The first orangutan signs. Warning that they are in real danger.
In Nanga Tayap I stay in a hotel. The next morning, when I start cycling again I get surprised by a small festival. Everyone is dressed like a Indianer. There are vehicles full of people and drum music. It reminds me a lot to our Franconian “Kärwa-Umzug”. 🙂
A bit unexpected the road leads through a hilly forest area and I am getting hungry more and more. Good that I have a bit emergency food with me. At a very nice cottage I have my lunch break and cook some pasta.
And then I finally climb to the highest point of the trans Kalimantan highway. It’s only 400 meter above sea level, but the way to this pass was a exhausting hilly up and down. The gate also marks the border between West and Central Kalimantan.
Relentless the road sidles over the endless hills.
In the evening I arrive in a small village with two churches and one Losmen (guesthouse). The women offers me a room for 150.000 Rupiah (10€), which is a bit overpriced for a simple shabby room. The very common usual price is 100.000 Rupiah. I ask if she has a cheaper room. She shows me the semi basement, and points on a nice carpet: 20.000 Rupiah. Cool, that’s a nice offer, I can use my sleeping mattress.
A lot of houses have this nice looking traditional crossed gable roof battens.
Most of the traffic are small trucks, which carry palm oil fruits and tanker trucks with palm oil inside.
This site reminds me of my homeland.
The whole crew of a restaurant ready for the team picture after I have eaten my lunch.
On night before Sampit. Wonderful evening mood.
A mosque short before Sampit.
After Sampit I cycle along many pineapple sellers. Of course I buy one and they cut it for me. Hmmm..
Another night in a friendly Losmen. The morning I leave the kids come to say goodbye.
Finally a sign with PALANGKARAYA and a distance information. I am almost there. Palangkaraya is a very important intermediate goal for me. I will see the rainforest project, I collect the money for. I am very excited and curious about it. I cycled almost 20.000 km to get there and so far 2304 € have been donated. Great. Unbelievable. 🙂
Since I fixed the appointment with Roland for the 12th of June, I try to arrive there in time. Now everything works out fine, I arrive one day earlier and surprise Licen in the BOS Mawas office before I check in in the Obelix-Hotel. I am very happy. 🙂
Nice, but poor big bird in the hotel.