Wednesday 11 Jan, 2017. Senaru to Senggigi. 22st cycling day. 7 hours 18 minutes. 83.5 km. Average 11.4 km/h. 565 metres up, 923 meters down.
An initial steep decent and then a back road short cut heading west. Beautiful scenes of rice paddies and people going about their business, children walking to school, farmers attending to their rice, ladies carrying things on their head. Road turns to dirt, but it’s compact dirt, nah worries at all.
I decide to visit a school and after some initial trepidation, enter the gate and approach a classroom. Kids excited and female teacher in head scarf smiling, but didn’t speak much English to provide me with any sort of confirmation I was ok being there. I take it as fine and grab the whiteboard marker and go through some basics, and English lesson, pro bono with Mr. Simon. A bit hard to get any call and response for what’s your name? My name is.. happening, English isn’t taught until high school. I’m a bit of a shock for them, I’m sure.
Another teacher, male, better English comes in and I explain that I’m a teacher. He’s very friendly and when I all to see another class he happily guides me. Similar reactions, smiles and laughs. I decide that this is the moment to give out my second ‘koala stamp’ tea towel. Photos together on multiple phones, before I ask if I could be sent to the principal.
I’m invited into the office area. I pull out my photo album and the male teacher translates my story to the principal (left) and his best mate the school security (who didn’t stop a mad Aussie from barnstorming the grade 1 classroom) guard (right). Coffee and donuts and a decline of a cigarette, and then it’s time to continue.
Beautiful ride heading south into Senggigi up and down, in and out of bays, each one more picturesque than the last. Debate making a detour to a Gili island, the three shown in the photo below, but in the end decide against it, though pretty resort type islands I’m sure they are. Next time? When I come back to climb Mt Rinjani? When I have a wife (and children) who aren’t keen on cycling long distances each day to explore some place new?
In Senggigi I skip the hotels/guesthouses/homestays at either end of the price spectrum and find a nice bungalow, the main drawcard being being a pool. Sooooo good to spend a couple of hours swimming and lounging before cycling the main drag to find food.