Riding up the side of a muddy mountain is as good as any roller coaster. Fortunately I love roller coasters.
The other day we went to visit friends up in the mountains. One of the best ways to get there is by motorcycle taxi. So, early one morning we walked to the end of our alley and waited for one to pass. The first motorcycle driver drove by not long after. So we asked him to call two of his friends and to take us up the mountain. He did.
They picked the most able one for J and I. We hopped on and passed beautiful scenery along the river. A few snapshot scenes are etched into my memory; ox carts with the cows up to their necks in water waiting to be loaded with sand; people bathing and doing laundry in their brightly colored sarongs; a man with black rimmed, coke bottle glasses splitting chocolate fruit with a machete; a lady with a red lipstick rimmed waggle toothed smile; and a lady carrying a chicken in her sarong. As we went by people stopped their working, stopped their living, and looked up to smile.
Soon it became steep. And more and more often I closed my eyes to the breathtaking drop-offs. A few times I felt like I was living in THE scene from "The Man from Snowy River." You know the one where he rides his horse off an almost vertical drop-off. Yep.
J quickly fell asleep. I prefer him asleep to squirmy, but it takes a strong arm to balance his lolling head and at the same time grip the back of the bike.
When I wasn’t gripping with my toes and my knees and my fingers and anything else, I was able to enjoy the scenery. It is a beautiful drive with dramatic mountains and scenic villages. I also actually enjoyed the roller coaster ride-ness of it.
After a long hour we finally arrived at our friends’ village. I got off exhausted. I wonder how the taxi drivers felt; they were doing all the work. They just lit a cigarette, leaned back, chatted, and then took off again when their cigarettes were through.