A Travellerspoint blog

August 2009

Indonesia Part II

Almost all my adventures in Java... more to follow

sunny 30 °C

Hello again and so soon you cry, have you finished the last one? This is going to be a whopper!! I missed out a few bits in the last one so might add them in here and there....

so, The flight to Jakarta from Padang was great, we got a sweetie to suck while taking off then a wee box with a sweetcorn pie, glass of watter and a slice of green cake. Slept on the plane for an hour cos I was so knackered from the bus trip and the motorbike ride to the airport. Got to sweaty, dirty, muggy Jakarta and tried to find somewhere to stay. The hostel we wanted was full so went next door to find it was totally minging and we found out later the guy that ran it was a bit of peeping tom perve so glad we treated ourselves to a hotel down the road for the night after looking at more flea pits then moved into our first choice the next day which was lovely and clean. The beds were like prison issue and I think the matresses were about 50 years old and well passed their prime but good enough for what we paid.

So, another volcano, the fullest train I've been on, the unfortunate trip to Bandung, rollercoasters, photo taking and much more... let the tale begin (even if I sort of started it above already...)

We were all set and excited to be going to the fun fair in Kota, kinda like a rip off of disney we were led to beleive. Got to the train station and went upto a counter and asked for 2 return tickets to Kota. Ok she said, that'll be 100,000 rp Hmm we thought, seems like a lot but it is there and back for 2.... Got the ticket and headed to the platform asking people if the ticket was indeed for Kota. They all said yes even the train attendant and a man sat across the aisle from us. 3 and a half hours later on 1st class might I add, we arrived in Bandung which has now been dubbed Bad dung cos it was horrible and not right at all. Kota we discover is a meer 15 minute train ride in the opposite direction and the woman at the station just had no idea what we had asked for and just gave us what she thought was best. Anyway Bad dung was really dirty, the rivers all chocked with plastic and other rubbish, millions of cars and bikes and buses all trying to find space to get to where they were going, minging. We'd heard about a a famous dutch bakery so decided to find it, have some lunch somehwere and get the 3.5 hour train back to Jakarta day wasted. It wasn't totally wasted though as it was in Bandung that I drank my first ever cup of coffee. Yes, 29 (ahem) years old and never had a cup of coffee. We had lunch in this wee indian place and afterwards Aisling ordered 1 coffee, no sugar. He repeated back, one coffee no sugar while putting 2 fingers in the air so when 2 coffees with sugar arrived I decided to try it, after all my friend Niall did say the coffee in Sumatra/Java was supposed to be good. When I get the before and after pics off Aisling I shall post them, there I am looking cool and relaxed with my coffee and ciggie then 5 mins later I'm as high as a kite laughing and grinning into the camera!! I can safely say I'm a coffee drinker now and starbucks is like a sweetie shop, I've tried most of the menu now.
We got back to the station after a dissapointing bun from the bakery and hopped back on the train in cattle class this time. Oh I forgot to say, when we got off the train earlier we had to cross the track and walk through another train to get to the station, crazy. Anyway the lesson learned is don't accept anything you are offered on the train, they're not being nice they're making money. On the way there we were offered mango juice and tea amd coffee only to get billed at the end. On the way back we were offered a cushion and again charged at the end of the ride the gits. Back at Jakarta we went to customer services and complained about the missold trip and got all our money back thanks to Aisling. Next day off to Kota!! We got the right train which was cheap as chips and only 15 mins down the road then a bus and landed at the fantasy world park. We had so much fun. I went on my first ever upside down corkscrew rollercoaster ride which was ace even if I couldn't really open my eyes... Got proper soaked on the rapids ride and log flume ride and birled about on the windmill ride which after watching it I didn't even want to go on. Felt sick sat on it wanting to get off before it started and Aisling there going you'll be fine, come on. Well, it was mint!! I loved it and at the end the guy comes over the tanoid in his typical fairground 'scream if you wanna go faster' voice and says lucky lucky and it heads off into the sky again round and round and up and up and down, I loved it. Poor Aisling who'd forced me onto it was green when we finally got off hahaha We alos went on a simulation ride. I know know what its like to be a log going down river, bizarre but great fun and a ride that you had a gun and shot at aliens, it wasn't great.... By 3:30pm after candy floss and a rubbish roti bakar and some chicken and rice and icecream we were knackered and sat down to rest and watch all the people in there matching couples t-shirts. They do a roaring trade, things like I love him, I love her, Soul and Mate, Bonnie and Clyde, barbie and Ken, Burt and Ernie, the list goes on very funny. Back at the train station at 6pm we got our ticket. Got onto the train and stood there while the rest of Jakarta forced their way on. It was so hot I thought I might faint. More and more people got on and we were packed in like sardines. Mostly men might I add a little too close for my liking, that better be your rolled up newspaper thats digging into me... anyway it headed off eventually and a bloke heard us taking about the station we were getting off at and how it's only 2 stops away and we'd be off soon. It didn't stop at our station, I mean why would it? why would we be told the right platform... at each stop more and more people got on. the doors were left open and people were practically hanging out avoiding oncoming trains. We flew passed our intended station and got off at the next one. The train was so full and more and more people were trying to get on that Aisling had to actually man handle me off the train pushing me through the crowds, it was madness. Spat out onto the platform, turned round and was amazed to see the roof of the train was packed with hundreds more people!! again Aisling has the photos of this madness. I thought that sort of thing only happened in India...
Next day we went to Tamen Mini Indonesia. Its a park with little bits of the whole of indonesia. You can visit Bali, Komodo island which had shocking looking horse sculptures. Lets just say the boy one was anetomically correct and painted bright red... we also saw Batak houses in sumatra and all sorts of things. When we got there there was a load of school kids there who imidiately crowded round us asking loads of questions. Where are you from the asked, I said scotland Oooo scotland was the reply. My friend is from Ireland to which they all looked confused at each other having no idea where that was which happened quite a lot. In one of the exibits they had a glass case with tradtional clothing and pots and stuff. We went in with a local family following us and started to look around when they asked if we wouldn't mind being in a photo. Well, sat on the chairs with the entire family they took photo after photo, the person behind the camera swapping so they could get in it's crazy. I imagine they go home and show their mates saying look at the white people we saw. We also has pictures taken with a couple of guys in another exibit and so it went on. It's really funny and hasn't happened in any other country. I son't mind though, it's kinda fun. To get home we made it to the bus station, found the right bus and got on and waited for the driver while people got on and off selling sweat clothsm drinks, nuts, toenail clippers, super glue and all manner of what have you then the entertainment started. 2 men got on with guitars in hand and sang then a woman with her baby then a young guy who couldn't clap amd sing in time bless him. It was like audtions for Jakarta's Got Talent. We also watched a woman across from us peeling little valls of friut and dropping the shell on the floor the eating the fruit and spiting the stone on the floor. She then devoured a big bag of crisps and threw the empty bag on the floor then finished a bottle of juice and threw that on the floor. It's no wonder Indonesia has such a major rubbish problem. The streets and rivers and overflowing with plastics and papers, it's a disgrace. The further south you go towards Bali, the cleaner it gets though.
Spent the next day travelling not knowing anything about the bombings in the Jakarta hotels at all. The bus journey to Pangandaran on the coast was meant to arrive at 7pm but what he actually meant was 7 hours. It was fun though, we ended up singing irish songs and laughing so hard people started to take the piss out of my loud laugh which I inherited from my Dad and has brought a lot of joy to the world over the years. I'm sure Julie Davies would agree as many a day in the english tea room eating 'fush and chups' I scared small children and was flung dirty looks from local over made up ladies with my howls of laughter. Anyhoo Pangandaran is a beach town that you have to pay to enter. They had a public holiday on, a kite feastival and a super up lambretta thing going on so it was packed and was hard to find a room but we ot one, including free breakfast and free tea and coffee all day. Our first experience on the volcanic beach was an eye opener. We froliked in the indian ocean which rocks!! but we noticed quite quickly, wear a bikini, get stared at, go in the sea in a bikini, get stared at more so the moral was to get dressed to go to the beach into the sea in shorts and t-shirts then the locals didn't care. I got the cold again and lay in bed for a day after taking 2 sudafed and 2 anti histamines which put me into a dozy dream world. Aisling went out and brought me some cold and flu remedies, fruit, vit c tablets and chocolate bisquits and a Beng Beng - the best chocolate bar in the world. my eye swelled up like I was related to John Merrick and Aisling suggested I keep my sunglasses on while out for dinner for fear I might scare small children. Feeling better we were on a tour the next day with 2 miserable french girls and a dutch couple who were loads of fun. The trip was ace apart from the green canyon but we'll get to that later. Perhaps now is a good time to put the kettle on... got loads more to go hehe
We went to a local village to watch brown sugar being made, it was lush!! it's made from the nectar of palm tree flowers. I bought some and have sent it home. Then it was the puppet master, he was so funny making up a story while moving the beautifully carved puppet about. He could have been saying anything but it was really funny. Bit punch and judy. We had lunch at the beach then off to the Green Canyon after a short stop at a bamboo bridge which didn't look very safe but we crossed it anyway and were surprised to see motorbikes using it aswell. Apparently some fall in sometimes but not very often... Before we got on the wee skinny boats on the river we stopped to marvel at the giant pythons by the entertance. The handler put one of them round my shoulders and it squeezed me qute hard, more cos I was stood on it's tale I think than anything else poor thing. Anyway got gingerly into the wee boat and headed off down the river which was lovely and green as I hummed 'she sailed away on a sunny summers day on the back of a crocodile... you see says she he's as tame as tame could be a floating down the nile... etc, one of my Grandpa's fav songs anyway we then got to the beautiful pool you're supposed to swim in. It has a lovely waterfal and the sun shine down in beams of light, it's lovely but being the last days of the holidays eeryone was there and we had to walk over other boats to get to the slippery rock face to climb up and see the pool. By the time I got there I was petrified. So many people so many ways to fall and drown and Arghhhh!!! it was horrible, I was shaking like a leaf, big blouse that I am. 20ft python - fine, flimsy boat and deep water - eek!! anyway got back on the boat and back to dry land. A group photo by a giant cement sharks head and a poke at some turtles and we were home again. Off to Yogyakarta tmrw. Yogya (pronounced Jogja) was great, much nicer than Jakarta. I spent a night there then flew to Singapore for a night to re new my visa. Got to the airport on the back of a bike and sat down for a coffee as it was about 6am After I ordered the coffee I noticed it was 23000 rp, I'm used to paying 4000 so when he went into the kitchen I hot footed it out of there and hid behind a pillar till my flight was ready. You have to pay airport tax when flying domestic or international from indonesia. The other people on the flight were practically fighting to get their hands through the plastic hole to pay the man, I coudn't beleive it. Indonesians have to be first. Whether it's getting on or off a train, plane or bus or paying for airport tax, queuing for immigration or going to the loo, they're up and out elbows flying, bags all over the place. As soon as the plane lands mobiles are on and they're up getting nags down before the planes even parked up!! It was great to see Angela and David again even for just a short while. Back to Yogya on another plane and motorbike and off to a shadow puppet show after devouring the cheese I brought back for Aisling, she went out for a french stick and we munched the lot. When I got off the plane I was sprayed for swine flu from above, the side and below which made my skirt do a Marilyn Monroe. The puppet show was pants, we left after an hour and that was generous. Got up at 4:30am the next day and went to see some temples which was really good. I esp liked Borobudur with all it's buddas and atmospheric morning mist. Then onto Prambanan which was pretty cool. We got a free guided tour by a couple of students from nearby Solo. Then home for a wee nap before going out for dinner down the main street. Does anyone know where I can get a becak from? I need to find some batik clothes...? all down the street there are a million horse and carts, motorbike and becaks all wanting you to use them. We must have walked passed about a trillion shops selling batik clothes too, crazy mental. On our last day in Yogya we went to Kota Gede which is a mecca of silver, we walked the 5kms there and I bought a present for my Granny then got a becak home but felt bad after we got in cos the guy must have been in his 90's, we could have walked faster but coulnd't exactly get out and say he was rubbish so we carried on feeling guilty till I spotted a roti bakat stand, our 1st proper one since sumatra!! hurrah, we stopped, got out and left the poor bloke to have a heart attack in peace while we ordered and ate our own.

we went to Bromo the next day but I think I'm going to start another episode for that and leave you be for now.... I really should update this more often in future...

to be continued....

Posted by blondesock 22:32 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Indonesia Part I


sunny 30 °C

OMG!!! Sumatra is amazing, I think everyone should go there once in their lives!!

How rude of me, hello everyone, hope you're all well. I didn't get bombed in Jakarta... when I went to the Ritz Carlton but the room they showed me was rubbish, it had a proper toilet and everything, I much prefer a squat these days... so went to a hostel down the road....

Back to Sumatra. I've been trekking through the jungle (Christmas will never be the same again... will explain later), feeding and holding hands with Oragutans, walking up volcanos and sort of swimming in a volcanic lake as well as numerous amusing and down right minging bus rides and I'm featured in more locals holiday snaps than I can remember... The people here are amazing!! they're not sure on whether they should shout 'hello mister' or 'hello miss' but thats fine, I don't mind, it's great fun.

I've met some great fellow travellers in Indonesia including a french tram driver called Sam and an Irish couple but one in particular person who's going to get a paragraph's mention purely cos she's totally worth the keyboard bashing is Aisling...
Aisling is brilliant. I met her in Bukit Lawang while doing the jungle trek and after spooning in the jungle, we've been together ever since. I was going to leave Sumatra and head to Thailand after lake Toba but she convinced me that the best plan would be to see some more of the place with her and it was sooo the right choice. I've never laughed so much in a long time. I laughed so much one night I was asked if I was on magic mushrooms. They sell magic mushrooms all over Toba by the way, you can even order tea or an omlette in the resturant of where we were staying. Signs all over the place say 'laundry, internet, crisps, burgers... magic mushrooms..' crazy, I didn't try them cos with Aisling about I didn't have too!! "Stop, collaberate and listen.... ice ice baby to go..." Crying with laughter I was. Anyway she's a 6ft religion teacher from Dublin and mad as a door as the dutch would say. She's full of energy and totally daft with it which has made the whole trip even more enjoyable. I'm sure she'll be mentioned again during this waffle...

anyway, back to Sumatra. I landed in Medan and stayed in a fairly expensive hostel for the night then took a bus to Bukit Lawang. It was supposed to be 4.5 hours but ended up at just 2.5 which was great as the roads are a nightmare!! just like marfield road where I grew up, imagine 96km of that!! The bus was small and stuff but when it was on the move it was fine with all the windows open. At last count my 10 seater mini bus had 17 people in it, 2 hanging onto the back a couple of the roof and a chicken in a box behind me!! we had to stop at one point and get some air in the tyres, someone smelled of cheese and I hoped no one would fart. I met Alex the guide on the bus and booked a jungle trek with him which included a days trekking, a night in the jungle and inner tubes back to the village along the river. It was amazing!! The trek was pretty hard up and down rock face, I of course fell over a few times and had to helped along by the guides. We stopped about every half hour or so and ate loads of bananas, passion fruit, pineapple and oranges while I rang out my sweat soaked ponytail to the amazment of my fellow trekkers, sweaty sock indeed.... When we stopped for lunch we were given a banana leaf with fried rice on it, the obligatory 2 slices of cucumber and a slice of tomato then just as you thought that was it one of the guides produced a clear see through bag of fried eggs!! (has anyone seen my bag of fried aggs anywhere...?) Hilarious!! We saw a male oragutan swinging through the jungle till he fell out of the trees and onto the floor bless him, showing off. There were a couple of blokes we ran into doing a 10 day trek, one of them walked passed us, notices a massive ant, picked it up and put it in his pocket and carried on passed us... weird. We then met Jackie the oragutan, she had a baby with her and was so friendly. She must be used to us lot going through the jungle everyday cos you could sit right next to her, put your arm around and give her bits of pineapple, it was amazing!! I even held her hand when she followed us, or maybe she was holding mine incase I went arse over tit again hehe. we also saw 3 other kinds of monkey, a scorpion and a monitor lizard. Anyway we got to the place where we were staying and played in the river for a bit while dinner was being cooked which was so good. Curry, rice, tempe which is tofu and tapioca with veg, a chicken dish made with palm sugar sauce then cups of tea and packets of biscuits. I've never seen so many matchstick games in my life, I'll have to dazzle you with them when I get back, we also played cards till it started to rain. Rain?? OMG it chucked it down for hours, thunder, lightening you name it. The roof and the back of the shelter flew off and we had a small flood of course at my end... then an ant invasion but at the other end. Finally it all calmed down and we tried to sleep all spooning in the shelter. The next day was fine weather again, and the guides tied 4 inner tubes together and we hopped on and went floating down the river back to the village, it was a fab experience I totally loved it!! We also learned a song.... to the tune of 'jingle bells' come on everyone sing up... 'jungle trek, jungle trek, in bukit lawang, see the monkeys, see the birds, see orangutan, hey...' Jungle trek, jungle trek.... and so on, it's very catchy and as I said before, christmas will never be the same again.....
I also went to a cave in Bukit Lawang. Jumping Jehosifats Batman, it's the Bat Cave!! it was class, loads of bats and darkness, I took my rubbish torch which is a blue light on the end of my lighter, pretty useless and a guide called Ali G, also pretty useless to be honest, didn't catch me when I fell on my arse and kept calling me 'Me Julie'. I fell over and smacked my head off the rocks but then again I did have flip flops on... health and safety is non existent over here really, if it was the uk it would have probably had bannisters and such like... After the cave he took me to see some honey bee trees and had a swim in the river, I stayed at the side while he stripped off down to his y-fronts and got in then laughed as he whipped them off and swung them over his head!! I did my best from the shore to be interested in the nearest tree... Not shy these local boys. I supposed they're used to washing in the river and being naked from a young age infront of anyone. After he got out and dried off a bit he took his y-fronts off again and put his jeans on then wrapped his pants in a banana leaf and asked me to carry them back to the village for him in my handbag and I have to pay for this guide? I shake my head in his general direction and head back to the village.
After the jungle trek I stayed with Aisling and we went to the next place with Sam the french man who was nursing a hangover from the night before bless him. Everyone kept telling him how lucky he was to be travelling with 2 women. His answer to this was to put his fingers next to his temple and pretend to shoot himself...
We arrived in Berastagi after 2 bus trips, one to Medan and another to Beristagi. It's weird, we travellers must all go to the same places cos when you get off one bus someone will come up to you and say exactly where your going and where you can get the bus from... kinda freaky but very helpful, saves a lot of searching. Before we left Bukit Lawang, Aisling and I went to the childrens home where some of the kids whos family died in the flooding live. It's been built by a local guy and his dutch girlfriend all out of their own money, it's truley a tremendous place. You give them a donation to use the internet so we did that. On the way back I slipped sideways in some mud and did a comedy fall, near wet myself laughing, mud all down one side of me, great for travelling all day. At one point we had 20 people on the bus which was made for 12. No chicken this time just a really old woman who kept staring at us freaking us out and sucking on her one jaggy tooth. It pretty cold there at night so I was glad of my jeans and jumper. We all got a room together with our own private mandi. A mandi is basically a wet room with a squat toilet and a bucket at the side with a tap above it, you then slosh the squat with a smaller bucket from the big bucket you've filled from the tap, this is also how you wash yourself in the freezing cold water. Many a time on this trip I have chased myself around the 'bathroom' with a small bucket of cold water. Some rooms come with an additional showerhead but it's still cold water. Berastagi is a wicked town, the people again are very friendly and say hello to you, I even got my photo taken while walking along the road. Photo taking happens a lot.
We went up the small volcano which with my love of hill walking (not) was big enough. We started up with a bag full of fruit from the market and a packet of biscuits. It was weird going down hill to get up the volcano, still not entirly sure why that was but still, we were following the map. got to the bottom of the actual volcano and stopped in the cafe for a tea and to write our names down on a bit of paper and buy a ticket. Then the climb began, we had a map of sorts that someone had drawn, not to scale might I add. The road up was a normal road for cars as some lazy people get a lift up but we walked. We then got to the bit where you have to start scrabbling up rocks and through bits of jungle to the crater. The crater was huuuuuge. Not full of lava or anything but still really cool and the view was brilliant. We saw puffs of yellow sulfar smoke and sat down among the eggy whiffs and ate our fruit and finshed off the biscuits while watching in disbelief at the groups of kids up there in flip flops, bare feet and carrying guitars!! madness. We asked them how to get down to the hotsprings and thought they must be joking when they pointed down the side of the volcano. It was a sheer drop, all slippery rocks and I thought no way, NO WAY!! but it was the way, the kids skipped and jumped like death wasn't a serious injury to have and off they went. I went down gingerly carrying my bag which although is very nice, has tried to bump me off many times now swinging it's weight from from to back and side to side putting me off balance. I have now invested in a small rucksack for safety purposes and will only use my fatface bag at night or in safer conditions. Anyway, finally got off the rocks and headed down through the jungle. It's supposed to be steps but whoever laid them must have been blind or stupid cos instead of them being flat they were all turned on their sides so you have to step over the steps!! got to the bottom with wobbly legs and headed into the nearest cafe shack for a drink. Sam was thrashed by a wee boy on the chessboard twice and we left. We didn't go into the hotsprings cos they were basically just baths, I was looking for holes in the ground you know, all smoky and stuff. Anyway, the bus back to town wasn't leaving for 20mins so we thought we'd walk, it's not that far according to the map... yes, the 'not to scale' map. We walked for hours and hours. started our trip at 10:30am and got home in the dark at 8pm!! I would gladly have gotten into any one of the passing bemo vans but peer pressure made me stay on foot hahaha we got to the town and gave off a big cheer only to read a sign saying Beristagi + or - 5kms Aaaargghh!!! we couldnt not do the last 5kms. when we got in we were all knackered, my big tow nail on my left foot is now a weird colour from accidentaly kicking stones, my bag was so heavy I thought I might cry so stopping off at the side of the road in amoungst some banana trees for a wee, Aisling took my bag from me and I carried hers. God send. I paid for a hot shower that night which went cold on me but was still so worth it. The next day was a stiff, sore, non event although we did discover a new and delicious thing called a Roti Bakar. Roti meaning bread and Bakar meaning roasted. It was like a foot long brick of sweet bread which was layered in butter, blueberry jam and thick chocolate sauce and choclate sprinkles. It's then cooked on all sides and wrapped in brown paper. It's one the the best things I've ever tasted. It was amazing, all googey and sweet, total heart attack material Mmmmmm.
Next was Lake Toba which was amazing, I loved it so much I went twice. We got there on 2 buses then a short ferry crossing from Parapet to Tuk Tuk which is a sort of island, part of the bigger island of Samosir. It's quite a touristy place but we loved it. We met a guy called Ben on the ferry who happened to work for the place we wanted to stay at. All moved into Bagus Bay in single rooms for about 1.30 a night we went for a wee look around. We chose the place by the way cos of the mini golf but didn't play... Lake Toba is where Batak people live, they speak a different language to your ordinary Indonesian and they also eat dogs on Sundays. Yes, puppies, about 15 months old and chubby. On my second trip there I was told by a guy called Tony that his dog Jackson (who I'd petted and played with the first time) was no longer with us. He took him for a bath in the lake on Friday, took him all round Tuk Tuk on saturday eating and such like and had even been trying to teach him how to give a paw and shake hands which he finally did on saturday night. Tony and Jackson then went home happy. Tony woke up hungry on sunday morning and went to the kitchen where there was some piglet meat in the oven. He took some out, chopped it up, added some spicy sambal and munched a bit then noticed the dog wasn't about so called his name a few times. While he was calling, his dad came in so he asked him "where's Jackson" to which his dad replied, oh I killed him, you're eating him!! OMG can you beleive that?? his pet pooch?? it's a different world. I hasten to add any sunday that came around, I didn't try it, no way and any dog I saw on a sunday I told them it was a blessing and to enjoy their day... Anyway, apart from that Tuk Tuk and Lake Toba is beautiful. The lake is calm, the sky is clear and when the moon is full you can see for miles, it's gorgeous. We arrived on a wed and in Bagus Bay they do traditional Batak dancing and singing. Aisling and I were dragged up with a few others to do one of the dances. It's not hard and you definately won't break out in a sweat doing it. Basically you put your hands in prayer mode with your thumb sticking out then twist your wrists up and down and kinda keep time with your feet. Not much else to it really... The singing is amazing, I loved it. Many a night I went to a bar called Bamboo for a sing song, loved it!! We all went out one night to the local disco place called Tumba. It was very odd indeed. It was like follow the western girls round the dance floor... quite amusing to begin with but after a while got a bit uncomfortable so we left and ther music, well, those of you from Gibraltar... imagine the underground 5 years ago, add a song with chicken noises and you might be there. Everyone drives a motorbike here and everyone smokes. Even 8 year olds drive motorbikes with passangers and bags of rice, it's mental. When it comes to food, apart from dog, it's all pretty normal, rice, noodles, chicken, amazing fruit salads and gold fish. I tried goldfish one day, it was quite nice, bit boney though. Going to the fair and winning one just doesn't seem right now, I'll want to grow it and eat it. Any of you with goldfish had better keep me away... Aisling and I went to many places to eat and sometimes you'd order something and about 5 mins later you'd see someone getting on a bike and zooming off only to come back a wee while later with a bag of food so they could make whatever it was you asked for!! Once we went to a place and hungry for bacon asked for the american breakfast. Bacon, hash browns, egg, toast, tomatoes and tea or coffee. Yes she said and off she went to the kitchen. After a while we get a plate of eggs, toast and tomatoes and get told the rest will be along in a minute... shortly after a fruit salad arrives along with our drinks. no bacon. We met a scottish guy called Paul in there who had been travelling for about 15 years. Took a year off work and never went back. Some of his stories are hilarious, really nice bloke.
You can hire motorbikes in Tuk Tuk, no licence required or helmet just balls of steal and an itchy finger over the horn so people know you're coming, this is the case for all modes of transport in Indonesia. Dare devil driving is not the word for it, you're better to look out the side on at your feet and not out the front window. It wasn't uncommon to hear loud intakes of air followed by relief as the bus or betcak you were in passed a lorry on the wrong side of the road on a corner by the edge of a cliff. We didn't get a bike, esp after seeing 2 girls with a distint lack of skin in places where there should have been plenty. Got one in Bali but I'll tell you about that disaster another day. Aisling left to go to Bukit Tinnggi to climb another volcano, my original plan was to go straight to Thailand but she asked me join her for the rest of her trip so I did. I couldn't get on her bus so had to wait another 5 days to meet up with her. During that time I met up with an Irish couple who were really nice. On one of the Batak dancing nights they ordered a magic mushroom omlette, it was brillaint, they were totally off their faces laughing at the MC who spoke like he was the guy off the Resivour Dogs sound track, Billy's super sounds of the 70's. I found out later he's actually had a stroke and thats why but nevermind... Anyway the irish couple headed off to their room after getting a bit paranoid only to come out later belly's aching with the laughing - class. Ben took me to the hot springs and to the old Batak village for food which I had to eat with my hands, not too experienced in this I made a right mess. The food was great though. You can only really use your right hand as the other is for more personal use if you catch my drift. A lot of Indonesian men have a really long left thumb nail, often painted purple. This, I can only imagine is for using to get right in there for a good scrap out Ewwww!! My day to leave finally came and off I went to catch my bus. You know, hindsight is a wonderful thing. I should have got a 4 hour bus to medan and flown straight to Jakarta and met her there but instead I got an 18 hour bus ride from hell to Padang and met her in that airport and flew to Jakarta from there... never again. The bus journey down the trans sumatran highway was horrendous. Not only did I not get a seat to myself, I fell over in the aisle coming out of the toilet as the road is a mess. It's like Marfield road where I grew up in it's hay day only far worse. I had to hold onto a metal bar to stop myself from falling onto the people on either side of me and spent the rest of the trip fighting off cockroaches and bus staff. I was the only western person on the bus. They all stared at me when I got on then 2 of the busdrivers helpers took it upon themselves to touch me at any given oppertunity. One of them gave me a pillow to rest my weary head on so I beat him with it not that it helped. Having no where else to go I didn't sleep a wink. Half way through the journey we stopped at a greasy spoon without the cutlery. You get a bowl to wash your eating hand with, a small plate of rice, a big plate of rice and a selection of food. You only pay for what you eat so I stuck to the veggie options. I could have eaten the prawns and chicken but decided not to and wondered if they got flung or put back in the glass case for the next person. Question answered, seeing I wasn't going to eat them the waitress came over, picked up both plates and plonked them on the table in front of me. The last 2 hours I got a seat away from everyone and relaxed. I got off the bus and hopped on a motorbike to the airport. We stopped about 10 mins along the road to pick up helmets which fitted like a large bucket and had to be held on with my hands. We then stopped again to screw on the side mirror incase the police saw us. The guy was class, very happy and cheerful chatting away to me and anyone that rang his mobile while doing 80kmph along the motorway. Windswept and knackered I reached the airport and gave Aisling a big cuddle. The airport itself was quite small and over the tanoid you didn't hear anything about planes landing or calling missing passengers, you hear the mosques call to prayer. We checked in and went through to departures thinking we culd get something to eat on the otherside but no, not even a vebding machine so Aisling asked ig she could go back through and go to the shop, yeah no problem they guy said and on her way back they didn't even want her to go through the xray machine again, there could have been anything in that bag, not just crisps and donuts... the flight was great and it's on to Java!!

to be continued.....

Posted by blondesock 03:45 Archived in Indonesia Comments (3)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]