Wednesday 6th December
Miles: 43 Climbing: 1070ft
Today was a good day. It started with a buffet breakfast, which is always a good way to start. I even managed to smuggle a few oranges out with me.
A friend had suggested a new mapping app to use which was a lot more accurate than google and it even gave me the elevation profile for the ride. It would be just 42 miles and I would get my first real (nothing too big yet though) hills of the trip.
I was also heading into a National Park with a lot to do so I was going to stop for 2 nights and have a rest day. It also promised to be quite touristy so I was looking forward to meeting some other westerners and speaking English to people who could understand me. To make the most of the tourists I had booked myself into the busiest hostel there.
Today also turned out to be the best days ride so far too. As soon as I’d turned inland the traffic vanished, I could go 20-30 minutes without seeing another person. I was passing lush green jungle and lakes with no sign of humanity except for the road I was on.
I stopped at one spot to enjoy the quiet for a while and saw a bird that was so bright blue it almost didn’t look real. It was a white throated kingfisher.
It was nice to finally get some hills but none of them were too challenging.
When I arrived at my destination I checked into the hostel, Easy Tiger, and went to enjoy a beer in the beer garden. It was early but soon more people started to arrive. Being on my own, I couldn’t help to eavesdrop on the conversation going on between a group of lads that had just arrived. It was clear that most of the group were traveling together but one of them had just joined the group. I overheard him telling them that he was cycling from Northern Ireland to Australia. Of course I had to talk to him so I introduced myself, his name was David, and we spent most of the evening talking about our trips. He also messaged a couple, Peter and Evelina, who he’d met earlier that day, in a cave, who were cycling from Poland to Australia. They joined us in the bar and we all continued to swap stories and tips. I was particularly interested in how they coped with dog attacks as I’d been having a lot of trouble with that the last few days. None of them had really had much trouble with them but advised me to steer towards them and shout or even bark back. Evelina even suggested stopping and standing my ground. My tactic so far had just been to swerve out of their way and pedal as fast as I could.
Later on we ordered some pizza, it tasted so good to be eating something that wasn’t rice or noodles for a change.
My new friends had all had a rest day that day and we’re heading off again in the morning but we swapped details and said we’d probably end up meeting up again later on down the road.