Saturday, September 19, 2009

CYCLING MINANGKABAU - DAY 6

Danau Maninjau to Pariaman

Another easy ride was in store for us today. It would be slightly more than double yesterday's distance from Bukit Tinggi. From the hotel, we would cycle 14kms to Muko Muko. We would be having a constant view of the lake on our left as we cycle to Muko Muko where the lake ends. From there it would be a very generous downhill.

The spillover from the massive lake form kilometres of cascading stream passing through several villages as we spin downhill. One can feel the fresh and cool ambience of the hilly landscape and hear the continous rumbling of the stream as it made its way to the sea. As usual, we would be in no hurry. We would slowly meander down to the plains below and play with nature - two "old" boys on bicycles.



We planned to leave at around 8 am. By 7:30 our panniers were already secured to the bikes. We now need to secure our stomach. Breakfast menu was simple. I caught Muhamud looking forlonly into the distance of Danau Maninjau. Perhaps he was missing his home and family. An elder brother was certainly not an emotional substitute. On my solo trips, I did experience such lonely moments. Absence anyway, makes the heart grow fonder.

The sign on the picture below may say "Selamat Datang". For us, it was "Selamat Jalan" Danau Maninjau. I don't know whether I will come back this way again.

Numerous fish-farms greeted us along the way to Muko Muko. Fish farming, besides padi planting is one of the major occupation of the people in Danau Maninjau. For sure, the folks here will not go hungry, recession or otherwise. Two staple food are in abundance here - fish and rice.




Muko-Muko boasts of a mini hydro-electric station. The station took advantage of the abundance of water of Danau Maninjau and the generous drop in elevation that naturally speeded up the turbine as water from the lake poured out into the stream. I am no engineer, but I believe my theory is sound!
And we have plenty of sound. The roaring stream of crystal clear cold water chased us as we spin downhill towards Pariaman. The winding downhill was a joy for these two old boys on their bicycles.


We just have to stop at this place to dip our feet and wash our faces in the stream.



and we did not dare each other to cross this swinging bridge to the other side
This is Kampong Lubok Sao. A kilometre from where we stopped, we had to stop again.

We came across a fish breeding farm. This must be the freshest of the fish farm.

Part of the fresh stream was diverted into seven concrete ponds. This provided constant water flow into the ponds where Ikan Mas Majalayar are bred.
There were hundreds of these fish of different sizes in these concrete ponds. It was a sight to see when the workers threw the pellets in.



We spent almost 30mins here, watching, soaking in and talking to the workers. A small hut provided shelter with a barbeque pit. These workers certainly appeared very healthy and nourished! It was not difficult to know their source of nourishment.

Enquired about the price, it would be IR20,000 (RM6) per kg. 1 kg will get you 3 or 4 fish. They had a wonderful weighing machine too. For a moment I thought it was some kind of weapon.

Cheap though it would be, there was no way for us to buy these live fish and hoped to bbq them somewhere along the road. So we cycled on. Several more kilometres of downhill, we came to 'fresh valley" - Lembah Segar. We were in luck. It was a rest area. And we saw a restaurant.
So Muhamud is no longer homesick.

It was too early for lunch but certainly ok for coke-break. Coke and ikan bakar for IR28,000. So we got our wishes at Fresh Valley.


By the way durian was in season too. We passed so many durian stalls on the route. I told Muhamud that we must continue to support the locals. He was obviously not a durian lover. Neither was I. At times though, there are cravings. This was one such occassion.




Once we reached the plains heading to Pariaman, the landscape became monotonous. We passed several small towns and and passed this "lady" giving us direction to Pariaman. In my earlier blog, I said I would not want to argue with her. I did not argue with her this time around too!

Pariaman is a town by the sea. Unfortunately there are not many hotels here

We settled in into the most expensive hotel for this entire trip. Hotel Nan Tongga Beach damaged us IR300,000 (RM100).

Tomorrow we would ride to Padang and would complete our round-trip back to Padang
TRIP INFORMATION
Hotel : Nan Tongga Beach Hotel
Rate : IR300,000
Distance: 79 kms
Av Temp: 29 degree C

8 comments:

Al-Manar said...

ARZ
You captured local scenes beauticully.
Pakcik

ARZ said...

Thanks Pak Cik. The pictures on the walls in your house are testimonies of your artistic past too.

With today's technology, photography as an art has moved to a different dimension.

AHMAD said...

peace upon u brother ARZ,

good stories,informative & pics are great too.so when is your next trip?i would like to join u next time.


Ahmad Haqkan(Atan)
Ampang, Sel.D.E
ahmsk69@gmail.com

oops did I just say that? said...

abah, why we no hap feet(fish) pawn??

ARZ said...

Peace brudder Ahmad,

Thanx for your compliment. A respected elder actually suggested that I break up the stories in biteable sizes.

Your blog site is unfortunately private and therefore I hardly know you.

Email me at arz.ramli@gmail.com and we can discuss about my future trips. Would certaily like to know you too!

ARZ said...

Mimi,

We no hap fiit pawn bcos ekspenchip. Chipper go buy market, got fiit, got pawn,got sequid, also got goat, got cow, got hen, many many tings can buy

Anonymous said...

Muko-Muko I imagined it would be like pantai tujoh/sg tapang,fish breeding and the abondoned paddy field.

TJ

ARZ said...

TJ,

Muko-Muko is not quite like Pantai 7/Sg Tapang. Perhaps the fish-breeding part bears similarity. Their padi-fields are fertile, planting goes on all year round, fed by fresh water from the mountains. And the weather is cool and pleasant.