The case of the missing spray cover

Wednesday 28 Dec, 2016. Moni to Mt Kelimutu to Ende. 75 kilometres in 8 hours at 9.4 km/h. 1517 metres up, 2163 metres down.

When I was living in Brisbane I played basketball for the Suppos, with some current or ex pharmacists. Suppos was short for suppository. Suppose it was some sort of pharmacy joke. I remember waking up one morning and not being able to find my wallet. The last time I had it was the night before paying for the game, so before work that day I drove to the Auchenflower stadium to investigate. I didn’t even have to go inside. It was on the ground in the car park. It must have fallen out of my bag as I got into the car. Nobody had seen it. Cash and cards were still there.

Yesterday I lost a pannier spray cover. It slipped off some time between buying fruit and having a water stop, part way up the hill to Moni. I kept an eye out today on my way back to Ende, the only time in the trip I backtrack, and there it was by the side of the road. A little bit worse for wear but possibly fixable.

Back to the start of the day. Banana pancake for breakfast, ordered for 6:30 am to get a good start on the day. Got to the dining room 6.45 am, pancake arrived half an hour later. 

Testing climb out of Moni to the Mt Kelimutu car park, and a 150,000 (almost AUD $20) entry fee but the tri – coloured lakes (that change colour regularly) and views make it worthwhile. Incredible colours. Special experience. The locals reckon souls go here. The old folk go to the top lake, currently black, the young folk end up in the middle lake, currently a lightish blue, and if you are bad your soul will go to the bottom lake, currently a vivid aqua.

Pretty flowers on the ride up/down the mountain. This red one was on a poster about Mt Kelimutu I’ve just seen in my hotel. Rhododendron renschianum.

I also practiced with my gopro and tripod. In the video version (updated once back in Australia perhaps?) the cow turns her head to follow me, which I found amusing.

And saw a clever way to get water from a waterfall without getting wet.

I got absolutely drenched on the way into Ende, and then just like that, the road was bone dry and looked like it hadn’t rained for a long time. Talk about localised showers.

And finally, I got my bike repaired. I noticed a wobble yesterday. I bumped into a tour group and waved down the supporting car to have a chat. Nice chap. Told me the 8 riders that passed me going down the hill were from Poland. I told him about my cone problem and he recommend I drop into a motorcycle mechanic. Say what now? Bit different aren’t they, bicycles and motorbikes. What about spares? 

Nevertheless, I gave it a go. From previous experience I know this is a problem with me cones. Fixing a loose cone seems complicated. It’s happened before. My local bike shop in Oz wanted me to leave the bike with him, he had to order in a part, and he charged me $50. One reason I love Asia is the cheap services. This guy nodded. Told me to take a seat,  and had it fixed within 15 minutes for 20,000. $2.50!!!! I paid the cashier and gave him another 20,000 directly. I was the least I could do. I was ecstatic.

And finally, finally I had my first nasi goreng, words which every Australian associates with this. The man taught me how to say I’m an English teacher. Goo roo Bahasa English.

And finally, finally, finally I found a great hotel in Ende, Hotel Ikhlas. I don’t know why it’s got bad reviews. It’s awesome. A variety of room choices with prices on a board, clean rooms, staff that laugh, and a water well out the back to wash filthy bike clothes.

My zen moment of the day.


8 thoughts on “The case of the missing spray cover”

  1. Ahh, a story with a happy endeing! I was wondering which way it would work out and the way you wrote it maintained the suspense. Well done. When i was travelling through Java in 1972 I stayed with a local family in Bandung and one day someone in the neighbourhood stole my Swiss army knife. I can’t remember if I ever got it back. I see from the map that you are heading around the coast, then across the range to the north-west. May the winds be behind you. Love from Dad and Moo.


  2. Fantastic photos Simon! The lake colors are supreme, and as for the flowers…..scenes like those must “almost” make the hills, rain, bed bugs etc. worthwhile!! Great to read about honest people, especially those who can fix bikes!! Continue to spread your smiles and Aussie goodwill around!


  3. Looking good, Simmo. Glad things are going well and you’re having a bit of luck after a difficult start. We’ve just arrived in NZ – all good. Love from us all. Mark.


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