Published: September 13th 2010September 13th 2010
On the Road
Lynn, Ali, AJ and Heather at the Equator
Day 65 Melaka to Pekanbaru (Mon 6th Sept)
So the ferry port was only about 30-40 minutes from the hotel and we arrived there just after 0800. Our ferry wasn’t until 1000 so we had plenty of time. Matt warned us that there may not be anywhere to exchange money for the first few days in Indonesia, so most of the group had withdrawn money yesterday and changed their Malay Ringgit for Indonesian Rupiah at the port. Since I was planning on withdrawing money instead of exchanging it this time, I just had a nap on the coach instead...
We boarded the ferry first, skipping the queue completely for some reason. The ferry was small, crowded, and smelt like fuel. The trip was to be 2.5 hours and the jokes that the boat might not make it across to Indonesia were not made entirely in jest by the people who get either travel sick, sea sick, or were claustrophobic. Surprisingly, when we left the dock, we were moving fast
. And when I say fast, I really mean it! We seemed to skim across the water.
Arriving in Indonesia we had to go through immigration and purchase an entry
visa for the equivalent of €22. Apparently the exit visa is a little less. So the exchange rate is about 10000 Rupiah to €1, which is at least easy to work out. Paying the visa and getting change in Rupiah meant I at least had a few hundred thousand in Indonesian currency to tide me over until I could get to an ATM for more.
Its still Ramadan for another week or so and that means food will be a little harder to come across during the day. We did manage to eat at the port before leaving though. Our bus for the next 2 weeks is a bit smaller, but by no means uncomfortable. An 18-seater and the air conditioning works well, which is a good thing because it is very humid here.
Our guide, Anto, is very cheerful all the time and seems willing enough to help out. And of course the clocks went back an hour again, which seemed strange.
So. We are now in our second to last country, on the island of Sumatra. The place is rather wild actually with jungles abounding and not too many towns around. It is vastly different
On the Road 3
Lynn on the coach
from what we have so far experienced, being hot and humid and not very cultivated. I can understand why we travel through so fast. Although by fast I mean we travel as far as possible each day, because you don’t really manage any appreciable speed on these roads!
It was getting dark as we arrived in Pekanbaru, which seemed to be quite a large city. We all went out for a walk here and there were a lot of people about and we did indeed get a lot of stares. You would think we would be used to it by now but it can still be a bit unnerving.
They even had hot water in the hotel! I swear I will never take even luke-warm water for granted ever again. Or shower curtains either for that matter.
Day 66 Pekanbaru to Jambi (Tues 7th Sept)
I don’t want to talk about today. At all. Well, fine then, but it will have to be brief!
We set out today at 0500. That was 0500
. So, needless to say it was still dark out. We stopped at 0800 to eat our packed breakfast of rice, which was unfortunately spicy so I couldn’t eat it. We did however make the breakfast stop at the Equator marker which was really cool (and so I therefore don’t mind mentioning that bit).
However not long after that they put on an atrocious movie. It was so bad that they stopped it rather quickly, but not in time to prevent my headache forming.
Fortunately I was able to sleep and that helped. However no sooner had I rid myself of that headache than I was dozing when we hit a rather large hole in the road and I managed to hit my head on the window sill. Hard. And now I have a rather large lump and bruise on my temple. And another headache to go with it.
And then it was an afternoon and evening travelling through jungle before getting into Jambi after dark. So I just went to bed. And that is enough said about that day!!