01.08.2010 - 01.08.2010 25 °C
Baik is the Indonesian word for 'good' and the cycle trip was pretty good. Though I always wish I had my own bike when I do these things. The downside of the bike I had today was that the seat was too low and some of the gears didn't work at all. The plus side - the brakes worked and what gears there were worked well!
The cycle trip began with a visit to a coffee plantation and a free tasting. Luckily it wasn't just coffee we tasted but also lemon grass tea, ginger tea, cocoa and ginseng coffee. My feet did quite a tapping routine after the coffee and have a little tapping thing happening right now as they reminisce about the coffee.
A late breakfast (especially by my body clock which thought it was mid-afternoon) was had over-looking Lake Batur - the caldera of the Mt Batur volcano. It's pretty cool and the cone inside the caldera has quite a blackened spot from a lava flow. The last time it smoked was 2002 I think. Just a little smoke. The last eruption was 1963.
From there we began the bike ride, mostly downhill with a couple of little ups just to tease your legs. We had frequent stops to look at temples, rice fields, ducks in rice fields (they eat the grains of rice that got missed after the harvest), have the next hill explained to us etc. It was pretty cruisy riding. You didn't have to think much apart from avoiding the odd pothole and the person on the bike in front when they stopped suddenly. Loads of kids and some adults yelled out 'hello' as we biked past. It reminded me of cycling in Laos, except in Laos I would answer back. There didn't seem to be time to do that here.
One of the things I wanted to write about was the extremely long queue in Customs yesterday - it took over an hour. I haven't been in a queue that long in years. And I wondered why it took so long given that I was processed in under a minute and there can't have been 60 people in front of me when I joined the queue. I amused myself by talking to the gay guys in front of me, meditating (sort of), and doing what I do when I bike up an extremely steep hill - pick a landmark and count my way down to it. Landmarks in the Customs queue included a yellow line, a squashed cockroach (I was very pleased when I looked down and discovered it was my turn to stand on it) and an information display. Lots of people from other queues would walk between me and the gay guys to access the leaflets on display. I interpreted that as me needing more personal space than other people there ie there was a nice big gap for them to push through.