An early capitulation
Trip Start May 13, 2013
15Trip End Jun 01, 2013
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At 2pm we entered the town of Lembur where we were told there was a guest house. We couldn't find it and the town itself had a very unpleasant feel about it. Kids were driving us nuts, eventually we called in to the police station and asked if they knew where the guest house was. The policeman gave us an escort to the guest house but I was already forming an escape plan in my head to get us to Ruteng the next town where Lonely Planet said there was reasonable accommodation. We looked at the guest house agreed to load our bikes on the next bus that came along. We were informed however that that maybe another hour or two. We rode to main section of the town but the crowd was really annoying so we decided to ride on to the edge of town in the hope that they would leave us alone. No such luck. Eventually we haggled with a small truck driver to takes us to Ruteng, he wasn't real keen on the idea but I think the money persuaded him to take us. We set off but every little bus that was oncoming he would flag down and have a conversation with. I wasn't sure what was going on and it was starting to rain and rob was in the back. Eventually it dawned on me that he was trying to pass us off. Finally he persuaded a beemo driver to turn around and take us the 50 or so k's to Ruteng. This was a much better option as after we squeezed the bikes inside the bus and we got in we were dry.
The trip took and eternity and I wasn't in a good place mentally. I was feeling an early capitulation coming on, perhaps I am too old for this stuff now. We arrived in Ruteng about 5.30 in a fairly dishevelled state, I was feeling sorry for the kid who was sitting next to me on the beemo as I must have stunk of sweat. We found a hotel and I decided I needed a days rest as the road ahead was not looking good. I was entertaining thoughts of turning around and going back to the harbour by bus and head back to Bali and fly to Dili. I was not going to well.
We both crashed about 8pm and surfaced at 6 for a nice leisurely breakfast. LP had recommended some local sites including the famous hobbit cave which was nearby. The guy at the hotel fixed us up with a driver and by eight we were touring around in the "white lion". The art of car decoration is a local passion here and the white lion boasted several rear view mirrors a very loud sound system, all sorts of soft accoutrements gracing the dashboard, and a chain smoking driver who had no English. The drivers here revel in the most clever way they can obscure their vision. My personal favourite so far has been a completely uncluttered windscreen except for a huge spider web painted over where the driver would be looking. We toured until early afternoon (just have had a blackout) with the hobbit cave being really exciting. We ran into two of boat tour group there, one of whom was an Austrian archeologist who was really in her element. (Power has been restored). I was in a better frame of mind today especially after we discussed missing the first climb tomorrow by taking the bus to start of what we hope is descent to the coast. Not sure where were we will end up tomorrow but hopefully somewhere flat.