More than 100km’s to travel today and two scheduled stops along the way. The beach is beautiful in Pasikuda and no one to be seen as far as I can focus along the white fine sand.
The temperature is 35 degrees celsius and 70% humidity, not the best to be riding in a 3-wheeler, luckily we have natural air-conditioning!
We head off and visit a local school in Pasikuda where we have donated 15 bicycles to the children who need to travel a long way to get to school, we have helped to setup a computer class with 8 stations, provided boxes of toys and school books to all the students (approx 100). The children are amazing, not shy with our interactions, and are having fun with us. They love the cameras, attention and gifts and we all enjoy giving them the attention. From all the places, we have visited so far this for me feels the most emotional and rewarding. So many young children are going to benefit directly from all your donations.
Next stop is close to a town called Arungum Bay 3.5hrs away and we plan to visit a small children’s school. Along the way there are so many animals on or near to the road, I feel we are really in the out stations and the landscape is open, and dry. It reminds me that we need to get a fan in the 3-wheeler! We pass a male wild elephant close to the road, many goats, cows, and buffalo along the way. If you have ever seen a wild elephant in person you understand how intimidating they can be even at a distance. Amazing gentle animals.
We decide to stop for a break and I try to find lunch in a few small businesses with my Visa Card, I try long and hard. Searching and bartering, offering to wash dishes – you name it but no success. Around the corner I see the supermarket sign and knowing they typically accept a card for payment, my hopes are lifted. Apples, cucumbers and a coke for lunch! I’m actually satisfied but really wanted to find my vegetable Kotu and a King Coconut – next time.
We arrive at the next school (late again), the students are aligned in a row anticipating our arrival. It is quite a scene as all 25 Tuks enter the school roughly at the same time for such a small town and school. The kids are again so excited and happy to see us finally arrive. We handout some donations and chat and play before heading off to the hotel.
Once we arrive the hotel, being worried about where to find dinner before its get too late, I head off in search of businesses hoping they accept cards. I quickly find that it’s going to be tougher than I thought for one of the largest tourist towns. All the business’ I visit at first do not accept cards and they explain that towards the end of the season (monsoon & surfing), its difficult to continue paying monthly bank fees which I understand. Dinner is scarce but I manage to find a place to eat – fish and vegetables which is perfect.
Each day along this journey gets more and more rewarding and exciting. I look forward to each new day and what is next to come.