Tuesday, January 20, 2009


4th January 2009

Here is Acid, his bike bag in the background, all ready at LCCT to check in for our 14-day Sulawesi escapade. I therefore will have a ride buddy for this Sulawesi ride - someone to talk to, someone to disturb my sleep (if he snores), someone to photograph me, someone to split cost with, and someone to disagree with!

AirAsia flight to Ujung Pandang (Makassar) was delayed a good 3 hours. Good because we would be compensated with a RM200 voucher under AirAsia's guaranteed 2 hour delayed take-off. The Airbus touched down on a wet runway as rain drizzled the window. Looks like we'll be having a wet cycling tour.

It was 10:40 pm at touch-down at the spanking newly opened Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport. There were hundreds of people, some sleeping on the tiled floors as we made our way out. They were not welcoming us, though we felt very welcomed. They were waiting for their loved ones returning from the Holy Land.

Our original plan was to start the journey from the airport itself. This meant we need to assemble our bikes at the airport, and cycled to Hotel Afiat which I have booked earlier, 4 kms away. We chose the comfortable (and more sensible) way out and took a taxi instead. We would want an early start of the journey the next day well rested.

Sleep didn't come easy as we bundled into bed almost past mid-night. Sulawesi shares the same time-zone with Malaysia. So like East Malaysia, dawn breaks early and it gets dark early too, an hour earlier than Peninsular Malaysia. We roughly had 3 hours of sleep. The sound of the azan for Subuh alert us to be up for prayers. Then it was unpacking the bike from the bag and assembling it ready to roll out.

5th January 2009

It was raining, rather heavily too while we were having breakfast. Our first day ride would be to Takalar, 65kms from Makassar. Add another 24kms to Makassar from where we were, it would roughly be a 90kms ride today.

After final check of the bikes and a break in the weather, we left Afiat hotel at 0745 heading towards Makassar, 24kms away. The town was bustling with traffic and we got used to negotiating the traffic very early in our journey. We need to get used to the constant hooting of the horns too, everytime and all the time.

Thanks to Acid, I have more pics of myself from this trip then during my solo tours. I too of-course must do justice to Acid. So when we stopped to buy our energy bar (pisang), I had to feature him too.

Upon reaching Makassar, we noticed this Masjid Agung 45. The name struck us as unique and we made a quick stop.

There was also this Muzuem Juang "45" within the compound. Hunger for some history, we entered and found students inside. Must be a study tour. We were wrong. Sadly, the only remnants of this muzeum was its name. The building had been converted into lecture halls for a local university.

"45" of-course stands for 1945, the year of Indonesia's independence from Dutch rule. And along the journey, we would be reminded on pillars at the schools and buildings we passed with the words "HUT Kemerdekaan 45".

"HUT" stands for Hari Ulang Tahun. Indonesians are well know for their liberal use of acronyms. Acid had fun photographing these acronyms. He now understood what PUSKESMAS meant from this signboard - Pusat Kesihatan Masyarakat. Klinik Masyarakat in our Malaysian term, or shall I call it KLIMAS?

We had decided earlier that we would take the village roads to Takalar, bypassing a greater part of the "jalur utama" or the main road. To do that, we seek directions, polishing our Indonesian slang along the way. We always experienced friendly assistance and gestures. They knew we were foreigners, no matter how hard we tried our "Permisi Pak" on them!

The village roads brought us into padi-field country, where in the monsoon, padi-fields would abound with fish.

We passed a kampong quite close to the sea but could not see the sea, but managed to take some pictures of their fishing boats. It was also time for us to prevent dehydration.

Sometimes we had children on their bikes eagerly following us, in their minds probably seeing two overly-attired cyclists was a welcome change to their daily fooling around.

Indonesia will be having its general election come April. Throughout the entire journey, the banners were a common feature. Like Malaysia, Indonesia too boasts of a Partai Barisan Nasional.

I can't help noticing this candidate below and I wondered whether he originates from where I originated, i.e. Kelantan!

And I was popular too as candidates. There were at least 2 versions of myself, one came pretty close at describing me...ha...ha....

But I knew that "I" would have no chance of winning the election. "I" will surely lose my deposit against Suzanna and Maharani!

So sadly, Acid and I cycled on to our destination for the first day, Takalar. It was Hotel Azman, priced at IR120,000 (RM36) with air-cond.

The weather had been kind and we covered 90kms on this Day 1 ride. I burned 3074 calories but probably put in much more. We look forward to Day 2 to Bantaeng tomorrow


oops did I just say that? said...

i like the poster ads featuring Ramli Boto! hahaha

khalis said...

Hey Tok Cik! Fantastic Blog!
Been keeping up with your posts, keep it coming! ;D

alis :)