Stage 29: Java

Solo to  Sarangan
Date: 22-09-2014 Time:

04:47 h

Σ Time: 151:24 h
Distance: 62 km Σ km: 2983 km Temp: 18/37 °C
Up: 1872 m Σ Up: 34935 m Calories: 2681 kcal
Down: 715 m Σ Down: 33051 m Σ kcal: 70874 kcal
Conditions: This was the announced ‘all day climb’, except for the last 8km down to the hotel at the lake. Cooler morning temps, busy roads in Solo.

The announced ‘short’ but with an ‘all day climb’ to 1870 m over the shoulder of Mt. Lawu (3265m) should prove, if I slowly can get back to my former fitness level. I was taking the first 30 km through busy Solo and thereafter less busy and more scenic roads through rice fields and little villages very easy. At 9 am the first part was done, 50% of the distance, but only 10% of the elevation gain. Now the tough part should start. From the issued profile it could be seen, that the next 10 km will gain only about 400m, leaving the major part of the climb – the remaining 1200m to the following 12 km. This translates into a 4% average grade for 10 km and a 10% average grade for the final 12 km to the summit – ouch! The road continued in an almost straight line into the slope of Mt. Lawu; no switchbacks that were built-in to reduce the grade. The smallest gear was used for most of the time. Legs were fine, heart rate at low average, all fine. I had to wear my mask for most of the day, as there was the usual noisy and stinky traffic. Some Coke and photo stops added to my elapsed time, but I felt strong enough to make it to the end. Henry and Gerald soon closed up to me and we were cycling long time close together and into lunch at 41 km. Great catering again! Boiled potatoes for more carbs, fresh fruits and nuts. It doesn’t take much to make us cyclists happy (at least some of us). However we were only about 50% through the climb.DSC_2919 Still 800m vertical elevation gain on the final 8 km before the summit and the fast downhill thereafter. Continuing the climb with an average speed of 7 km/h the end was not too far away. However the little ‘smiley’ that Garmin draws on the profile page, seemed to not move at all. More photos of the scenery, with fields of various kinds built into the steep slopes, and luxury houses in the holiday resorts. Unfortunately no time (energy) to detour to the 2 Hindu Temples with the erotic pictures and sculptures. Finally the summit was reached, no turning back into the hazy view from where we came. Downhill was quick, short stop at a strawberry field and the merchant shops. More photos from the view into the target valley and the village at the lake. My breaks were on fire by the time I finished the 700 m drop and turned into the hotel grounds.

I was so looking forward to get a hot shower – the air is much cooler up here in 1280m – but to no avail. Long pants and long sleeved sweater will keep me warm, as I lost most of my natural body insulation, thus hi-tech fabrics come into play. At least my body seem to quickly recover and get back to power to tackle the following tough days until we reach Bromo, again high on a volcano.



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