Since I returned to my village after my accident I have been on a kind of house arrest. I have been allowed to go to work and then back home to rest and wait for my back to heal. The doctor said that I should expect 3-6 months before I start to feel better. So needless to say after about a month of this nonsense I started to get cabin fever really bad. Little things that I normally brush off were affecting me in a BIG way. So Andy and I had the brilliant idea to get away for a weekend and go to the Lake. Hotels there are really cheap and we could spend the weekend walking around the water, eating amazing food, and shopping at the market (all of the produce is grown right on the farms there… and you have never seen such red tomatoes or huge carrots and cabbages).
I had Friday off from teaching so I met Andy in the morning, and we quickly ran to the bank and convenience store to pick up necessities like Listerine, peanuts, Oreos (of course), soap, and our once a month can of A&W Root Beer. Then we caught our Angkot (like a mini mini bus) to take us up the mountain to the lake. We have gone to the lake many times and know that the price to get to where we were going was 15,000 Rupiah (~$2) a person. So the entire ride we had idle conversation and enjoyed the scenery on the way up the mountain. Then about halfway up there was a plateaued section. The driver stopped and said that if we wanted to go all the way up to the lake it was going to be another 10,000 Rupiah. We needless to say argued with the driver telling him that we know how much it is normally, but he was not budging on his price. I was just about the pay him the extra money when Andy said “No. We’ll just get out.” I looked at Andy in utter horror and said “We will?” “Yeah, I am not giving this guy any more money. We can walk it. It will only take about an hour.”I stupidly agreed and got out of the vehicle. The driver wasted no time and left back the way he came (Ithink he might have even chuckled to himslef). I looked around and up the road we needed to walk up, ‘Are you freakin’ kidding me?’ Andy followed my line of sight and said ‘It’s only steep in this one area and then it levels out. Come on we can do it.’
So like fools we started walking up this steep incline up the mountain to the lake. To truly put it into perspective… go to south florida in July, take a treadmill and put it directly under the sun, and set the incline to its maximum level and resistance. Then start walking. After three minutes my back and butt were screaming at me and Andy kept telling me it was gonna level out any minute. We continued on this way for another 20 minutes (with me having to stop more times than I could count to catch my breath and ease the cramping in my left side).
Me: Why the hell are we walking up this damn mountain when we were in a vehicle to start with!?
Andy: Because that guy was shady and trying to rip us off.
Me: Yes he was. You know why? Because he knew only a freakin’ idiot would get out of the car and walk up this damn mountain!
Andy: Its not that bad, we are almost there.
Me: I hate you.
Andy: No you don’t.
I threw our bag from the store at him and told him he could carry it up the rest of the way. So after about another hour or so of walking…. up and incline that didn’t level out in the least we noticed that the motorcycles going up the mountain were slowing down and having a hard time keeping up momentum going up the almost vertical incline. Then a miracle happened, there was a switchback and the road got even steeper! After more cursing and reassurance that I did in fact hate Andy we continued walking. Then a motorcycle with two teenagers on it broke down right next to us. They tried to restart but the motorcycle was having none of it on that incline. They had to get off and push, but the weight of the motorcycle, the incline of the road, and the fact that they were wearing flip flops caused them to start to slide backwards down the road.
Me: You should help them push up the hill.
Me: Because aren’t you an Eagle Scout?
Andy: What’s that have to do with anything?
Me: It’s your good samaritan duty! Now go help them.
Andy went and helped them push up the hill until they reached a point that was a little flatter. They were able to restart and continue on their way. Andy looked beet red in the face and was bent over heaving.
Andy: I can’t breathe and I am dizzy.
Me: Good. Now we are on the same level.
After that Andy had the brilliant idea that if we looked pathetic enough someone would stop and give us a ride the rest of the way up the mountain. It wasn’t very hard to act since were both were already drenched in sweat and bent over wanting to vomit. But every car that passed just laughed, honked, and waved and they continued to drive.
Me: Have I told you how much I hate you?
Andy: That driver was going to rip us off! I was making a point!
Me: What point was that? That we were stupid enough to walk up the mountain! Good point! We sure showed that guy!
Andy: We are not going to agree on this. I was right!
Me: No you sure as hell were not.
Andy: Lets agree to disagree
Me: Fine, but you were still wrong and this was a stupid idea.
We finally sat down ready to pass out in front of a house. This cute little girl was just staring at us completely shocked that two foreigners had stopped in front of her house. Andy said hello to her and she ran inside. She came back a couple minutes later with her mom. After talking to them for a few minutes we found that we were only about another 15 minutes of walking away and the last 10 minutes of that was completely flat. We said our goodbyes and continued. The lady was absolutely right, it leveled off and was just a easy stroll after that.
Andy: See! I told you it leveled out.
Me: I hate you.
We reached the lake over 3 hours after getting out of the Angkot…. All because of what amounted to about a dollar.
The rest of the trip was relaxing and wonderful. The view from our hotel was amazing. It overlooked the farm fields. We ate wonderful food. I went shopping in the market. We watched movies, walked around the lake, nursed our sunburns, and just did whatever we wanted for two days.