Solomon Islands Ministries Newsletter (Issue 1)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Dongi Dongi Mission Trip - Day 12

Cycling, Coffee, Milo and Another Cancellation!

At the end of two weeks of hard work, I was looking forward to having a day off!  While Stav enjoyed a sleep-in after his cancelled flight ordeal yesterday, I took the opportunity to go for a bike ride around Palu city on a mountain bike borrowed from one of the locals.  To ensure I didn't get lost, I carefully wrote down every turn and street name on my planned route and set off excited about exploring new places and nervous cycling in a strange city with unpredictable traffic behaviour (somewhat of an understatement!).  It took a bit of getting used to interpretting the constant tooting of horns as a courteous "I'm passing you" rather than an aggressive "get off the road!"  Despite the chaotic traffic, this was a pleasant change to the general attitude towards cyclists in Australia.

While riding along the coastline, I even had the pleasure of encountering an Indonesian cyclist who was riding across Indonesia from West Papua.  His motorbike escort rode up beside me calling out "Mr, Mr" to get me to look behind.  All I could see were other motorbikes, so I waved politely and kept cycling.  But they persisted in making sure I noticed their cycling companion.  It was the highlight of my ride meeting this guy and discussing his journey as we rode together for a couple of kilometres before he and his motorcade demonstrated who was the superior cyclist!

After lunch we drove Stav back out to the airport for a second attempt at his departure.  Stav checked in, we returned to the same cafe as last night and drank Milo and Coffee in a then be confronted with the disappointing news that his flight was cancelled...again!  

It seems Garuda Indonesia are much more cautious about flying in heavy smoke than local budget carrier Lion Air.

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