|Dompu to Sape & Labuan Bajo (Flores)|
|Date:||07-10-2014||Time:||05:02 h||Σ Time:||234:50 h|
|Σ km:||4746 km
|Up:||1092 m||Σ Up:||56473 m||Down:||1087 m|
|Calories:||2073 kcal||Σ kcal:||110006 kcal|
|Conditions:||A short 108 km riding day to the ferry port. And even shorter 4 km the next day from the Flores port to the hotel. However a 6h ferry ride (calm sea), with a 2 hours departure delay due to loading problems made it a long stage.|
Someone must have removed the fast gears of yesterday’s long distance ride. Somehow I was going on real slow motion … well, mostly on purpose, as my DLR was again in the handlebar bag. I was riding with Henry again, which meant a lot of stops to enjoy sceneries, get drugged from the infinite numbers of different green you see and inhale the smells of the fruits and veggies of the fields. A longer stop a ‘Little Las Vegas’ and a school made the day. No hurry, as we stay directly at the ferry port over night, with a scheduled departure at 9am the next day. I even stopped at a sea salt field and harvested fresh ‘Garam’ for Hanns, who is always in need to ‘spice’ up his food. Eric, Gerald, Stirling and I got the VIP ‘Dance Room’ suite for the night. Don’t envy us, it was a basic accommodation. No toilet seat, but a showerhead and a bucket. Stirling reserved the only available bed for himself. We 3 got so-called mattresses, which were as thin as a bed sheet and indescribable filthy. Thus we had to call Danu, our driver to get access to our camping gear and unroll the thermarests and sleeping bag liners. Late breakfast at 7am, as the ferry is supposed to leave at 9am earliest (we will find out later why there is no real schedule). An ‘undefined’ German in the group spread rumors the night, that there is no beer allowed on the ferry, and luggage will be inspected (like in Sudan). In the morning brain cells were spinning wild to create ideas how to smuggle beer on board and keep it cold during the 6+ hours ride. At the end it was harder to access the beer in the van than to get it wrapped and on board, as the vans were parked so tight that one had to climb over roofs of cars and seats of motorcycles to get to them and eventually get to the bags with the ‘smuggled’ goods. Even after the beer was finished the Smugglers were taking all efforts to remove the evidence of their ‘wrong doing’ and they distributed the empty bottles in all available trash bins on board. Unloading the ferry was much easier. We were first in, thus going first out. 4 km to the Hotel and back to paradise at the beach, which unlimited beer and bottled wine. 1 Rest day in Labuan Bajo, before we will have the longest climb of the tour – 3200m accumulated for the day. No scuba diving this time, no mountain hiking. I developed another cold at the last 2 hotels with AC. Luckily the aircon time is soon to be over and tenting is on. No more room sharing, compromises, etc. I’m master of my own comfort!
The ferry left with 2 hours delay at 11am. Loading was not as chaotic as the Aswan ferry to Wadi Halfa, but also a nice game to watch. Bicycles and motorcycles where shifted around to use the available space as efficiently as possible. A huge truck with a generator hardly made it around the corners and over the humps into the hull. Smaller vans were coming, unloaded and left again. Then there were 2 huge trucks, pilled up to the sky. It was immediately obvious, that they exceeded the max. height and had to be partially unloaded from the top of the stack. No idea, why these trucks are not measured the night before and made ready to fit. Everyone lines up as early as possible, since there is only 1 ferry a day, and once full, you have to wait another day.
Good news. My phone situation will improve. I get a new S4A in Darwin from Canada, delivered by my TdA fellow riders Ursula & Rae, who will join the tour in Australia. And there may be a chance to reincarnate my ‘brick’ at a phone clinic in Darwin, too. Thanks to my Doomsday fellow David, who researched the address for me and is also prepared to join us in Darwin.