In case you are wondering, Day 7 was recovery (or rations) day at Tando Bone. It was supposed to be a day to enjoy the local area, however in truth, most were hanging out for something to do or trying to con the kitchen into providing extra supplements. Colin did his best to humour us in learning the Indonesian language and Phil proved that you can’t easily teach an old dog new tricks and became is one and only dropout. That night an accidental fire caused a massive bush fire on a ridge line near us (it’s so dry). The whole ridge glowed red and nothing could be done until it burnt itself out.
The 8th (or Delapan) day started off in the usual manner, breakfast at 8 am (though everyone was awake at 5 am), refugee boat departure at 10 am and on bikes by 11 am. Mike left behind a sizeable tip, ED left his sun glasses, Colin part of the lunch, & Phil stole a case of diarrhoea. Whilst we waited for the boat, Barry entertained us by washing himself with his undies after carefully removing them in the lake.
No sooner than we were on our bikes then we were off them again, waiting patiently for the road works to open at 12 noon. With a flourish of cars and trucks, it was a mad rush through 12 km of fine bull dust, even Robert having to stop cracking jokes for fear of eating his words, literally.
Ruth from Canada, where the wild things are, had been under poor suspension for the last week. Today she found form when her bike troubles were fixed. Also, having decided the risk of catching malaria was far better than the side effects of perpetual drug overdose, we were pleased to welcome her back into the fold.
Today’s bike trip involved retracing our steps down the mountains to Poso, and just as we did on the way up, included the obligatory swim in the river. This time the kids were waiting. So after lots of fun with them in the water ED handed out a couple of aussie caps and Rayner gave out coloured pencils all round.
Artichoke, our rear driver, introduced us to coconut juice. Just the thing to keep our energy up. The statisticians are frantically working out the cycle km per cup of juice efficiency we gain.
Arriving at the outskirts of Poso, the police stopped us and offered an escort. Andrew had to be constrained, and this helped us keep together down the main street, or at least on the numerous bypasses around it, as the main road was being bitumen resealed in peak hour. A Naval ship was docked at the town wharf so this may have impressed the local authority to do this roadwork.
Today, it was a fairly short, “downhill-ish” bike ride of about 67 km. We were delighted to be back in the same hotel, the one with broken toilet seats, no toilet paper and drops direct to the ocean below. Dinner was rice, vegetables and fish. By this time Phil was nowhere to be seen – the bathroom had become his friend.