Today would be another interesting ride. There would be 1 fast downhill followed with 1 uphill push and another 1 fast downhill as we make our way from Bukit Tinggi to the lower altitude of Danau Maninjau. In between would be rolling hills through several villages.
The drizzle yesterday was gone. It was a great day for cycling. Today's destination Danau Maninjau, is a short distance of 32kms from Bukit Tinggi.
The altitudes recorded on my Polar (below) shows the terrain we would cover over the 30 odd kms. The sharp drop at almost the end of the journey is the winding downhill of Kelok 44. Kelok 44 is the famous 44 sharp downhill corners from 1060m above sea level to 422m when where Danau Maninjau is.
Elly Kassim, the famous Indonesian singer of yesteryears has a song penned for Kelok 44.
Bidding farewell to Hotel Bagindo, we pushed off heading towards Lubang Jepang for Ngiarah Sianok (Ngiarah Canyon) where we would have our first downhill. It would be a mini version of Kelok 44. The village we passed before the descent was already alive with parents sending their kids to school. Traffic was just slowly building up. We had our hands constantly on the brakes to slow down the speed as some parts of the road was wet, always careful not to jam the brakes to avoid skidding. The canyon whizzed past rather quickly and in no time we were down to the bottom of the canyon. Had a quick stop for a photo shoot on a bridge before we moved on.
Selamat jalan Bukit Tinggi. Sampe ketemu lagi.
From the valley, it was a steep climb of 3kms. So, we did what was sensible to do - push the bikes up the slope.
And after the push, the poor bike needs the rest. Ha...ha
Continuing on, we passed several more villages along the route. I recalled passing Kampong Pisang. It is obvious what the main crop here is, except that in the early morning, no one was enterprising enough to open a stall yet. We continued on the rolling hills and just 6kms after Bukti Tinggi, we climbed back to 935m.
We passed a milestone indicating we were 11kms from Maninjau. Padang was a cool 151kms away. We would reach Padang 2 days later.
I came across this man washing clothes by a pond. The pond was fed by running water but the water was murky. Just wondering whether he would have a good wash. Also wondering where was his wife to do the washing?
Villages dotted the slopes and at one corner, these kids caught my attention. Initially, they were shy to be photographed but the parents gently urged them on to pose. And when you show them their pics on the camera screen, they laughed. Simple joys. They braved a wave at us as we started pedalling and we waved back.
Next on our must visit was Bapak Hamka's musuem, about 8 kms from the hotel. We cycled there but the weather was threatening. We managed to find a shelter at a warong and waited out the rain, a good 45mins of heavy rain.