Saturday, 10 April 2010
A BREAK AFTER A BREAK
Leana broke her arm, so we've flown back to Cape Town for a break while she recovers (that's the basic info - for those who only look at the pictures). After leaving Jakarta we cycled South and spent a day in Bogor ("Rain Town") where we visited the amazing historical botanical gardens. Then we aimed East along the interior of Java Island, climbing a mountain pass along the slopes of two 3000m volcanic peaks. Those hillsides are a scenic tea-growing area, with continuous villages, food-stalls, and hotels (called villa's there) lining the mountain road. I was still suffering from Bronchitis, and after sheltering from a heavy afternoon shower I waited outside with the bikes while Leana went out back to inspect the rooms at one of the "villas". Then one of those crazy things happened (in a place where there is always a good chance of being knocked down in the traffic!). Returning from the rooms out back, Leana slipped on the wet concrete ramp and broke her arm - not even on the bike! For the next 2 days we struggled on (me on the bike, and Leana and her bike in mini-van taxi's), to the city of Bandung where she could consult an orthopedic surgeon. There was nothing much to be done, except to take a recovery break - and she bought me a plane ticket as well (for the benefit of those who are wondering where I suddenly got so much money!). Thirty-five hours after leaving our room in Bandung, we were home in Cape Town (17 hours in the air). Our bikes are just about our only luggage (for a decent overhaul at CMC). The 8th was my birthday, and I paid a surprise visit to my mother on that day (my mother is 86 with a weak heart, so it was almost a funeral as well as a birthday!). In the next 3 weeks I hope to visit my sister Olga in Sedgefield, as well as my friends around Cape Town. As usual I'm short of money, and as usual my bicycle is my means of transport (so if you live more than 150 km away, don't expect me to reach you in one day!). Fortunately many of the countries where I've recently traveled have been quite cheap, so I'm shocked by the prices of consumables here in SA (it seems that prices have more than doubled in the 3 years I've been gone!). The bit of cycling which I've done since Jakarta is as follows:- Bogor 57 km; Cipanas 41 km; Cianjur 25 km; and Bandung 63 km. Total distance cycled so far on this journey is 57 002 km.