Getting to Aimere was easy: straight downhill. Getting to Belaraghi was very difficult: straight uphill. I struggled a lot. I did quite a bit of pushing. I couldn’t take any breaks while pushing because the second I stopped I would become covered by at least a hundred mosquitoes. Belaraghi is a beautiful village in the hills above Aimere. Those that call it home have preserved local traditions. This is obvious at first sight when the thatched houses come into view. My first view of the village reminded me of the town that Ewan McGregor visits during his walk in the woods in Big Fish – Belaraghi similarly has a grassy ‘street’ between two rows of houses. I rode slowly into the middle of the village and introduced myself to those starting to gather around me. I let the guys inspect my bike as I was invited for a coffee by one family. I was soon invited in for lunch and moke/sapi/arak (whichever name you want to give it). Through the afternoon I wandered around the village, learning how the place is maintained as I went. Roofs were being repaired, bamboo floors constructed, house support beams replaced, candle-nuts crushed. I conveyed that I wanted to stay the night and was quickly adopted by the family who took me in for lunch. Now it is 6.35pm and it is apparent from the mattress and mosquito net that I am being welcomed into their home for the night. I feel terrible because I can’t remember any names. The man of the house is named Leonardus, but that’s all I can recall right now.
|Accommodation||$ (Village stay, donation)|
|Distance ridden today||48.06km|
|Average cycling speed||14.8kph|
|Total distance ridden||9,351km|