Overall, today has been the most enjoyable day I have had in a while. My body has adapted to the topography, so the slopes are not so bothersome anymore. The weather was very warm but not punishingly so. The ride was a nice mix of climbs and downhills. The scenery changed between expansive paddy fields, cloud-topped hills, and natural tunnels through thick jungle vegetation. On first glance, Lembor seemed unremarkable, but it has grown on me as I have relaxed here through the afternoon. While eating lunch, the little warung I was in suddenly filled with multiple generations of the same family, who clambered down from the back of truck to have a meal break. They were on their way to a birthday celebration in a village near Ruteng. One of the old guys shared his sope with me and I felt a slight tipsy head-rush when I stood up to pay for lunch. Back at my accommodation I met Irene, a French/Polish lady, 75 years young, who used to work for the Refugee Section of the UN High Commission. She was very interesting to talk to. We chatted for a while before she zoomed off on the back of a scooter, free as a bird.
I couldn’t face being indoors so I have sat outside through the afternoon chatting to locals and reading A Short Ride in the Jungle: the Ho Chi Minh Trail by Motorcycle. Reading put me in a reflective mood, so I have been contemplating my life a bit too. I feel as if I have recently settled much deeper into life as a cycle traveller, moving a few large steps further away from the life I used to live. Perhaps such thoughts are being spurred on by the fact that my hair has reached a length at which I can tie it up in a man-bun (just for fun, not because I especially want to have a man-bun) – I did so and when I looked in the mirror I felt like I was looking at different person from the guy who started this adventure back in Australia.
As I write this, I am sitting next to a group of guys who have been grouting the tomb that lies before us. It holds the father-in-law of the guy who welcomed me into the accommodation. I offered to help and ended up spending the about half hour working alongside them, pushing green grout in between the green tiles. Pretty soon I will head out for dinner and will probably to the same place I visited for lunch (I like being a familiar face at a warung). Then I will retire to my tent, which I have set up on my bed to keep out the mosquitoes, which Irene said are horrendous here.
|Distance ridden today||75.26km|
|Average cycling speed||17.9kph|
|Total distance ridden||9,535km|