|Our longest ride thus far - 131km of undulating hills. We managed to start riding by 7:30am, despite the gate being closed in the morning. The commotion I caused while jumping the fence, and collecting my bike and panniers on the other side, woke everyone up. They all came out to open the gate and let us out.
Instead of heading to the market for some breakfast, we ended up in little Chinese restaurant. The meal was nothing to write home about, but Myles liked the pop music they played.
Riding out of town we passed a huge bees' nest, hanging off a branch of a gigantic Tapang tree. We could see the bees do the wave for us, as the wind hit the nest. Many kids were heading to school at the time. Mist covered the vegetation, and the sun was on its way up.
We passed farms with cocoa, peppercorns, tapioca and much, much more. We saw many people working on their farms - trimming, picking or spraying pesticide (at times in a very indiscriminate fashion).
It was one of the most beautiful rides we've done on this trip. We had a green mountain range to our right almost the entire time, on the other side of which lies Indonesia (Kalimantan).
We passed many Iban people on the way (Sri Aman area is mostly Iban, while Kuching and Serian is Bidayuh). Many were walking in or out of the jungle carrying baskets, machetes and fishing gear. We chanced upon 4 Iban women making their way into a little stream to catch shrimp with their nets. They were putting on thick, knee-high socks and then jumped thigh-deep into the water. They seemed like good friends, all about the same age. They laughed a lot as they went about their task. They didn't mind us hanging out and watching, although a couple of them were very camera shy. They had with them an ingenious little basket - the catch can go in, but cannot escape.
Closer to Sri Aman, we passed three little guys playing soccer outside their house. Myles joined them, and picked the smallest guy to be on his team. They all played their little hearts out, excited about the change of pace.
Sri Aman is about the size of Serian, maybe a tad bigger. It's a quiet town on the muddy Batang Lupar. It's famous for a tidal bore that periodically sweeps up the river, scattering all craft in its path.