Bukit Tinggi stood at about 900m above sea level. It's not high above in the clouds, but the weather is a cool 22 degree C. We arrived yesterday from Danau Singkarak, where a day earlier we started our cycling from Padang. That's me and my brother Mahmood.
Touching down at 2:20 pm in Padang on Friday 24th July, it took us under an hour to assemble our bikes and rode off to Padang, 25km from the airport. We overnighted in Padang.
On Saturday, we headed out for Danau Singkarak, roughly 80kms away heading towards the mountains towards Solok. Danau Singkarak is 102km along its circumference, 52kms end to end and 6kms at its widest. So you can imagine its size. The mountain is a killer on a tour bike and we did what was sensible. 50,000 rupiah got us on a passenger van for about 10kms up the winding stretch to a lookout point. The view of Padang and the Indian Ocean was visible here. We still got to push an extra 2kms before we reached the real peak and started the downhill.
On Sunday, i.e. yesterday we headed for Ombilin, a small village on the shores of Danau Singkarak. From there, we branched right heading for Batu Sangkar and onwards to Pagar Ruyung to visit the famous Minangkabau Palace. The road was winding and hilly and almost maxed my heart rate limit. From there, with sun beating mercilessly we struggled towards Baso, a good 30kms of up and up and up. Though gradual, we decided against challenging both the heat and the gradient. A rickety bus came to the rescue. Up went the Surly and the Trek on the roof top, tightly secured. We seated in the business class section, together with Pak Azril, the pilot aka the driver. Arriving in good time to Bukit Tinggi, we headed straight for Hotel Bagindo, the hotel I stayed in back in 2007.
Today is a relaxed day exploring Bukit Tinggi. Tomorrow, we will descend down to Danau Maninjau, another old volcanic crater, where the famous Ulama Prof HAMKA grew up. We will have to ensure our brakes are in tip-top condition. We will descend down Kelok 44, i.e. 44 sharp corners over a stretch of 8kms down to Danau Maninjau.
From Danau Maninjau, we will make our way to the coastal town of Pariaman where we will overnight and from there complete the full circle back to Padang.
Insyallah, we will be back on Friday.
Full report will be upon my return home.