I am 30 km from the Equator, and completely thrashed from the last 7 days in the jungle. The roads wind and seem to climb forever and the sun has become unbearably strong. My skin burns and each night I feel the heat absorbed through my clothes. There is no shelter here. In the shade I am bitten by potential Malaria carrying mosquito’s, biting flies and large fire ants making the sun the only place I can hide. All day I watch motorbikes pass and climb the steep hills with ease, the drivers and passengers wearing clean, sweat free clothes that still smell like detergent, they smile and honk as they pass. I pedal on drenched in sweat that is of little help in such a humid place.
I am two days away from Balikpapan, (the capital city of East Kalimantan). If I keep up the pace I should arrive in time to catch the monthly ferry across the Makassar straight to the city of Toli-Toli Palu, in Sulawesi. Once there I can rest and pedal at a normal rate, not having to worry about connecting with transportation. Although physically this route has been extremely difficult I have had a very reflective and memorable journey through North and East Kalimantan. Sometimes the climbing seems endless, and I think of the cool deep waters of the Philippines to keep me going. There is more to tell and will post again when I reach the city.