SATURDAY 17th JAN 2009
We finally arrived back in Makassar today, soaking wet I must add. It rained all the way from Bantimurung, 40kms from Makassar where we overnighted yesterday. Bantimurung is a National park, well known for its waterfalls, butterflies and 2 caves. The continous rain had turned the waterfall into a gushing inferno, too dangerous to be up close for photography. In the rain, the butterflies can't flap their wings and the caves too slippery to venture into. But we still enjoyed the surrounding heavily foliaged landscape.
Yesterday's ride from Melawa though was very challenging. We were quite reluctant to leave the beautiful Mutiara Sari Bungalow to cycle the 70 odd kms to Bantimurung. It was relatively a hard ride. It was hard on the uphills and it was challenging to negotiate the slippery downhills because of the wet condition. Lorries overloaded beyond what we are used to see added to the excitement of negotiating this mountainous area. But, we were also rewarded with beautiful cliffs, some jutting as canopies over the roads. At times, we could hear the raging river down below but could not see because of the thick foliage. We lost count of the blind corners, but the huge lorries gave very strong warning with their horns of their approach.
On the downhills, I have never braked so hard and for so long at a stretch. What is certain is that I need new sets of brakes for both my front and rear.
All in, it was another humbling experience. Alhamdulillah, we are back in Makassar. Tomorrow we fly back and I hope to write the day to day report (with photos of-course) when I am back home.
Once again, thank you for all the well-wishes.