Day 74 - Serious Hills and an Earthquake
We were off again on the bikes tomorrow so we hit the sack early and prepared for an early start.
I woke at the wee hour of 5.30am, as planned and found Dylan fast asleep. I woke him and pushed for him to get his bike loaded and breakfast eaten. After some quick photos with our new friends we pedalled off into the humid morning not knowing what to expect on this day. Mixed reports indicated we would take the short cut, however little did we realise it involved the hardest mountains we had seen yet. Only a 45km journey to Cimija took as a staggering 8 hours. Dylan and I both agreed it was the hardest day yet. The hills we came across were not possible to cycle up due to the steep gradient. The 45kms was spent walking/pushing our heavy bikes. We had many water breaks and by late morning I was feeling the heat and minor dehydration. My bladder or kidneys were hugely affected which resulted in an intense pain for most of the day. It really slowed me down and made the day tough.
Sure enough after 4 hours of this what seems impossible day, my attitude started to slip and Dylan and I were once again annoyed with each other over the pettiest reasons. Later in the day I found my brakes had worn out which resulted in a lot of hard work pushing up hills, but no reward by riding down them. I had the walk down every hill in case my brakes were needed, and I wasn’t having another fall – like Padang.
With my bladder infection making the day very uncomfortable I was in constant need for the bathroom. At one point I even resorted to asking a local to show me the nearest toilet which just so happened to be in a Muslim School. He spoke with the principle who was more than happy to allow me to use his private toilet. I spent what seemed like hours in there and even went back for a second attempt. Very grateful of their hospitality, I had to catch up to Dylan.
To end this day I managed to get a puncture in my tyre and was lucky enough to find a mechanic with a spare tube. We eventually found each other again and found our hotel for the next week where we would recover and surf. Dylan and I both retired early that night to the comfort of our beds and enjoyed a well deserved sleep after what was by far the hardest day of our lives.
Cimaja has been hyped up by the guide books and fellow surfers as a great surfing community. Dylan and I decided to spend a week here getting as many waves as possible. As each day passed, the forecast was looking more and more bleak. Spending money in a town and doing nothing seemed like a waste. We managed to stay at popular hotel run and operated by an Australian man. It turned into a week of indulgence with flowing beer, food and satellite television (which showed the latest football games from back home).
One day we decided to get some quality updating done on our blog and hit the local internet café. Mid way through a paragraph you felt the distant rumbling of a large semi trailer truck speeding past. As the wooden shack began to rock and sway, we soon realised there was no truck. The power turned off and fittings started falling from the walls. It was an earthquake. I’ve never seen Dylan move so quickly, he was out of his chair and in the street before I could even grasp what was happening. I soon followed him out to a panic in the street. We had just experienced our first earthquake, something which oddly felt like you were standing on a boat in the ocean.