Day 2 (Oct 05, 2013)
Our second-day journey started at 6 AM in front of our hotel. That day, we would ride our bike to Manggar, a city made famous by its many coffee taverns.

We planned to stop by at Gantung village to see the set of "Laskar Pelangi" (Rainbow Troops). Apart from the novel that was a major hit and published internationally, the movie was a blockbuster one that won international awards in Italy, Hong Kong, and Iran.

On the road, the air was so fresh, and the tarmac was so smooth. Never did I see holes on the streets. The local government did a terrific job in maintaining the road condition.

Although the roads were smooth, they were not flat at most parts of the route. There were many big and small climbs, and in some areas, it was quite steep that riding my MTB was a challenge in comparison with most of the other members, who brought Road Bikes.

As the sun rose, I started to feel the skin-burning sensation. As we took a long time on the road from morning to the afternoon, we could really feel the humidity and the hot air. Every time I stopped for a while, I felt the vapor coming out of my body. It was hard for me to keep biking without drinking much water every few minutes.

We stopped at Gantung village and took a few photos, including the one in front of the primary school set of "Laskar Pelangi". 

By then, we had ridden 73 km.

We continued riding our bike to Manggar and reached the city at approximately 12 PM. The total distance we covered that day was 97 km.

After we had taken lunch, we loaded our bike and drove off.

We were curious about the taste of the coffee that made Manggar city famous, so we stopped at a coffee tavern and took a zip. The taste was quite strong and delicious.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped again at a souvenir shop. There were unique souvenirs that I had never seen before.

They were the pieces of meteorites that the local people called "Satam". Some also called them Billitonites. They were shiny, black stones that the miners found while digging the earth for tin.

The price was quite expensive. For the size of a small marble, "Satam" was priced IDR 225,000.

After the souvenir shop, the next stop was our hotel. We took bath and prepared for dinner.

Unbelievably, that evening we went to several places to eat. After having snack in a chinese restaurant, we went to a seafood restaurant, and also ate street noodles. It was our last night in Belitung, and we wanted to enjoy it as much as possible.

While eating the street noodles, we saw lion dance in a vihara just across the street. Some people were practicing the acrobatic movements on a few high poles. We stayed there for a while and enjoyed the attraction.

Although the night was still young, some of us were a bit tired, so we decided to go back to the hotel and rest.

Day 3 (Oct 06, 2013)
Just like the previous day, we started biking early in that morning. A few friends from Belitung Cyclist Team accompanied us on our way to Tanjung Tinggi.

It was a 27-km bike ride with many small climbs. It felt good breathing the fresh morning air, far from the pollution caused by the vehicles. There were many motorcycles in Belitung, but their population were far less than that of big cities such as Jakarta.

Soon enough, we reached the place. Our Belitung friends bade farewell, and we were on our own, enjoying Tanjung Tinggi.

We saw one boulder as big as a three-floor building. The biggest stone I ever saw. I quickly posed to capture that rare moment.

After taking some pictures, we put our bicycles on the truck and rode in cars, back to our hotel. We packed and checked out, as we had to catch the flight in the afternoon. For lunch, we went to a chinese-food restaurant, "Dynasty", and had a delicious meal.

On our way to the airport, we stopped by at a small tavern to eat ice. "Satam" monument, Tanjung Pandan city's landmark, and the tavern, were in close proximity. Thus, we quickly took our camera, crossed the street, and posed.

By then, we only had a little time to catch the boarding time. So, we hurriedly went to the airport. Our flight back to Jakarta was on time, and we left the island at approximately 4 PM.

It was a memorable trip for all of us, and we looked forward to having another bike adventure soon.

Written by: Chris Wibisono - GF 71

To See More Pictures Day 2 , Please Click Here
To See More Pictures Day 3 , Please Click Here

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Day 1 (Oct 04, 2013)
As our airplane descended to Tanjung Pandan airport, we saw vast vegetation all over the island. Belitung was truly a "green" island, and we felt excited to explore this magnificent place popularized by the novel "Laskar Pelangi" (Rainbow Troops), which had been published in 21 countries by far.

Belitung (Billiton in English), was home to approximately 300,000 people, and was famous for "Satam" stones (Billitonites), which were pieces of meteorites falling down to earth millions of years ago, and large granite boulders, which could easily be found on beaches.

Some said that the large granite boulders were thrown out from the belly of the earth when meteors hit the ground. Some other said, that the cause was the movement of the tectonic slab. It was anyhow miraculous to see such natural wonder.

Our airplane landed at 07.50 AM, and the Event Organizer had been there to pick us up. After the cargo was complete, we went to Grand Pondok Impian hotel to put the luggages and bike boxes, and drove off to enjoy Belitung noodle soup in "Atep" restaurant.

The noodle was delicious and sweet, although the portion was quite small for my stomach. Luckily, I took quite heavy breakfast in Jakarta.

After the meal, we went back to assemble our bicycles. There were mostly Road Bikes, except for three people including I, who brought Mountain Bikes.

The plan that day was to ride our bikes to Tanjung Kelayang, where we would ride on a boat to sightsee several islands.

The distance between our hotel and Tanjung Kelayang was 25 km, and the road condition was so smooth that it was very enjoyable to ride. Nevertheless, it was humid and hot in the afternoon.

After reaching the place, we took lunch before riding on the boat.

The sea breeze was so soothing, and we had passed several groups of rocks including Batu Garuda, before stopping at Lengkuas Island.

On Lengkuas Island, there stood a 131-year-old light house. The Belitung icon that was built in the era of the Dutch colonization.

It was amazing to see its 322-step stairway, 18-floor steel construction. A strong building that could defy its age. We went inside the light house, and took photos.

The view at the top was mesmerizing. The sea water was so clear, and there were large granite boulders that made quite an impression.

On this trip, we also arranged a little time to snorkel. Near the Lengkuas Island, we put on our goggles and saw underwater creatures and reef.

We then headed to Kepayang Island to see the turtle conservation.

It was almost 4 PM when we went back to Tanjung Kelayang, where we took another 25-km bike ride to our hotel. Luckily, at that time the sun was already near the horizon, so that it was not as hot as before.

After having dinner in a restaurant, one of Green Fly members, Wie Wie Wen (GF 132) who happened  to spend his childhood time in Belitung, took us to a tavern which served dried squid. We enjoyed the snack with the special local sauce.

We drove back to the hotel and quickly took our rest, as the next day we would go on a 100-km bike ride that would take us across Belitung from west to east.

Written by: Chris Wibisono - GF 71

To See More Pictures, Please Click HERE

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