The Australian Adventure
across australia on a bicycle
One year ago I was in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia. The city has kept me for whole five weeks, but not necessarily because I liked it that much. It is a modern city - fast and loud and dirty. And also quite energetic and futuristic.
Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia is the name of the big national shipping company which operates about 30 vessels to connect the many island through various routes. The ships are often at sea for weeks, departure times varies and nobody seems to have an overview of all the routes. At least I could find out that there is a ship from Ende in Flores to Kupang in Timor every two weeks. Tickets are sold just a few days before departure and I buy one for the Economy Class.
I am stressed. In front of me are the mountains of Flores, they pile up at the coast, tall and green. Behind me lies a six-hour ride on a crowded and rocking ferry. I could get hold of only a small spot at the deck, overlooking the endless blue sea. But all this is not the reason for my stress.
The strong smell of fresh coffee is accompanied by the smell of deep fried snacks. It takes me just a few seconds to identify the house from which the smell is coming and I push my bike the last few metres along the dusty road. Children are playing tag but now they stop to look at the strange visitor. A group of women is busy roasting coffee but my attention is now taken by a bowl full of rice.