Sulawesi – Day 5 Siuri to Pendolo

Something surreal about having an early morning dip, breakfast and eager on bikes by 6.30 am.  Cloudless day and windy coastal road, this was a day to stretch our legs for 58 km along the side of this larger freshwater lake.  Well, at least we thought so.  The road quality somewhat deteriorated into broken bits and pieces with many potholes to “jump across”.  Most of the bridges were definitely a “walk across” and, of course, there were the hills!  For much of the landscape there were rice paddies and little villages.  ED stopped for breakfast snacks, as once again, his gluten free diet is proving a nightmare for Colin to manage.

Barry entertained a local school group that were out in the playground with his one & only repertoire of counting in English “one to ten”.  Women were spotted going about their daily work of chipping at rocks, and we all hung out for the magic powers of a local woman who cured everything from blindness to warts.

It was the day we discovered why we had mountain bikes.  Not for the roads, but the gears!  We climbed hills of over 22 degrees steepness.  Rayner even managed to flip over backwards as the front tyre lifted off the road.  The downhills being just as savage with sharp blind corners – ohh, did I mention the potholes?

ED thought he could challenge Andrew (a Sydney ring in) to a 15 km sprint.  Andrew riding cyclocross vs ED on mountain bike.  We needed 5 km to warm down and ended up patiently waiting for over half an hour for the others to catch up.  It’s clear Andrew would be an asset to the DUBBUG.

In fact, at this stage, the group seems somewhat split with the DUBBUG (plus Andrew leading) becoming the front runners and everyone else actually enjoying the ride.  Robert concentrated on remembering to turn on his Garmon so he could recite stats to us each evening.  We have many debates as to whether satellite vs on-road is more accurate measurement.

Our accommodation is in brand new, standalone, brightly coloured units on the edge of the lake.  Phil was impressed that they were built by tradesman who seemed more intent on using logic to save costs than practicality.  He may still be looking for that light switch.  The resort may have been designed for Indonesians but not taller Australians, as Barry discovered when trying to duck under one of the picnic shelters placed at the front.  Barry also tested out the theory that handkerchiefs are the best form of protection for a balding cyclist’s head, only to come down with tension headache from overheating.

An afternoon siesta sounded good with ED choosing to stand guard over the bikes then lend his hand with Alex in pulling out bearings on Phil’s bike.  We gave up after 2 hours and watched as “Charlie Brown”, our front driver, repair the damage in 10 minutes.

We had dinner with a chained monkey out the back, assumedly doing the washing up.


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