– Third: how to get out of there, hardcore hitchhike
well what follows is odd at best.
From the mountains you enter in a beautiful plateau with grass covered hills and mountains that create a bowl in between. The road here is good, but the traffic is still scarce if at all.
Later I will discover why.
In the mean time I managed to get to a town called Kenjay after my ride from the middle of the road left me in another road camp (where food was offered again).
A moto offered me to ride few towns away. A parade of scooters soon joined, piking other walkers on the way, getting to 3 and 4 riders in a moppet :). While stopping for sighting the grass bowl on the side of the lovely road a truck passed. I, being on top off the small hill for the pictures, could do nothing to stop it. But rest assured that the parade stopped the truck for me and it waited until i got my pictures.
I jumped on the cargo part, at the back.
This will get me trough the hellish ride! 😀
After the grass bowl plateau finishes the mountains start again. Before that we catch a guy waiting in a bus stop like place for a ride. So I’m in a truck-bus :D, the 2nd so far in this crossing.
Not far into the mountains we stop to fill the back of the truck with river rocks, odd, extremely odd. Not far the good paved road abruptly ends in a bridge, after that the door of hell awaits.
A muddy hellish slope climbs the mountain. So many cars have struggled there that the road is now a 2 meters deep craved cannon. When we get there a lorry is trapped in between. Finally it gives up on ascending and goes back.
A 4 wheels waiting its turn, with some struggle, passes.
Then our turn, now I understand the propose of the rock, to add traction to the rear wheels, as the truck is not a 4 wheels.
First try after a bumpy bumpiness and… Fail.
Another 4 wheel passes.
2nd try, this time the front passenger and the other hitchhiker go to the back.
On the tricky section they start to bounce jump on the back, to add instants of traction to pass.
I try to join, I achieve tremendous success in falling over repeatedly :D.
Starts to rain.
But somehow we pass! Hell is open, and from here it comes from above more than bellow.
Pours, we ascends in bumps, I try to protect my backpack while holding to something not to roll down, and also try to pull out my raincoat, as easy as it sounds.
Clouds await, their wet interior embraces as we ascend inside them. We officially are entering heaven and it’s hellish.
Hardcore hitchhike, woooho! My excitement and frustration is at its highest, it’s so cool to feel so exultant and pitiful at the same time 😀
The poor front passenger passed from sitting comfortably at the cabin to suffer the same as us while caring for his rolling goods on the back.
Now I understand why a bunch of plastic barrels are tightly tied.
After minutes, or weeks, I’m not sure, we get to the mountain pass.
The fog becomes mist and then clears, the misty scenery becomes really beautiful, still the bumping does not help for great pictures and wonder whether my unprotected camera will still be alive.
Descend. I think that now what awaits is the brakes breaking down to complete the ride :D. But no, the descend is shorter. We are in another plateau, paved road again.
What is worse than rain pouring when you are ascending a hellish mountain pass on the back of an open truck?
Well being on the back of that same truck, pouring rain again, but going at high speed! so it integrates more water hitting on you per unit of time. Again feeling miserable and full of joy shows what a great moment to be alive :), and therefore something is clearly wrong in your mind :P. Its good to confirm that.
It’s true that according to physics when crossings the rain is better to go as fast as possible since the total amount of water will be reduced the shorter you are inside (you integrate over distance AND time) however as always cows are not spherical and that does not account for the dissipation power of your gear.
If you wear an umbrella better don’t advance too fast or you will hit the rain. With a wide wing hat go even slower. No hat, yeah then is physics bitch, it works, run!
Then with a raincoat you learn that there is only so much water that it can keep away, after that threshold it gets into you and even in you no matter what.
2 or 3 more episodes of rain and we clear. Hellish hitchhike level 1 achieved.
Well after that I was invited to a lunch-dinner, so good.
To finish the ride to Manokwary pass trough depressing Chinese owned palm oil plantations.
Now your turn!