Saturday was a travel day. I returned my motorbike to Bukittinggi so I wouldn’t have to pay for it all the next week in Harau, then returned to the valley by bus. That took almost all day, which was fine because I was still exhausted from Friday.
Sunday I was ready to go again, but my long pants were away at the laundry. I decided to walk the roads around the valley floor because long pants are essential in the jungle.
View from the road close to Abdi Homestay.
Rock climbers right next to the big waterfall on the road through the valley where it narrows.
They have some creative solutions to keep the birds from eating rice. Here are flags posted all around a nearly-ripe rice field and shirt waving around. The shirt is attached to a supple stick coming up from the ground and bent like a fishing pole. It is attached by a string that runs through a small hole in a tin can. The whole thing is balanced just right so that a slight breeze makes the shirt dance around and the movement of the string through the can makes a loud noise.
A farmer just starting the daunting task of laying out careflly spaced rice sprouts in his flooded, tilled field.
This bee was huge. At least it looks like a bee. It's almost as long as my thumb, and even thicker.
A wicked looking wasp sitting on the next flower over.
Here is a mature cinnamon tree that has had bark harvested from it carefully. They peel it off in strips to make those sticks of rolled up cinnamon we can buy.
A bamboo irrigation pipe. It looks like someone just split the bamboo in the spot where they want the water to come out, at the uphill corner of this field.
Me standing in a field of rice ready to be harvested. These golden fields are visible in that photo from my last post, the one where I was looking out over the valley at the end of my solo hike on the upper plateau. There are only a few fields of rice that are ripe like these so it's easy to spot.
Storms can really roll in quick around here. Luckily, I was almost back from my walk and didn't get rained on.
Back in town, I met these guys walking along the road. The shortest one right next to me approached and wanted to practice his English. He is a farmer and I think among his friends were a convenience store owner and maybe a teacher. All working men, but for three days each month they live at the mosque, where we're standing in this photo. For those three days they go out among the community and ask everyone to come visit the mosque to pray (Muslims pray five times a day, but coming to the mosque to do so is optional).