Slip Sliding Away

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March 17th 2016
Published: March 18th 2016
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We arrived at Makassar airport to the usual utter chaos of an Indonesian airport. We'd done our research and knew there was an airport bus that took you to the city centre so had booked a hotel there.

We showed the name of the hotel and address to the woman at the ticket booth, she screwed up her face then read on to the address and reassured us the bus would go close to it so we bought the ticket and boarded the bus, showing the hotel name and address to the driver, same reaction -he seemed to recognise the road name.

When all seats were full the bus set off but soon hit terrible traffic, road works were going on and only one lane of the dual carriageway was open. Despite this, traffic crushed into three lines, bikes, buses, lorries and cars, all hoping to get to the front of the queue. How none of the motorbike riders didn't end up getting crushed I'll never know! We began to wonder if we'd done the right thing, maybe we should have stayed in the hotel close to the airport. However we were in no hurry and the bus was comfortable so we just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

An hour and a half later people began calling to the driver to be dropped off, eventually we were the only two passengers left. We strained our eyes to see the road names and noticed a sign for Fort Rottadam, that should be near our hotel so we were hopeful.
After driving around the same statue twice the bus pulled up at a large sign saying ' Airport bus stop'. An official looking man got on and asked where we were going. I pulled out the now tatty bit of paper and showed him. He said 'sit there' and went to talk with the driver. A few minutes later they both got off, we gave them a quizical look and they said 'ten minutes'. So we decided to sit tight and wait. The driver went over to a street food stall and began buying food. Ok so I guess it's his official break time.
Just at that moment Stan noticed the bus was moving backwards, we were the only people on! I was considering jumping off before it picked up speed and Stan rushed to the front to pull on the handbrake. I glanced out of the back window, the road was relatively flat and the bus just rolled to a halt thankfully. The driver had noticed and returned but didn't seem unduly worried. An everyday occurrence no doubt!

He started up the engine and we set off, round the same statue - again, but this time we took a different road off and- joy! It was the road we'd been looking for. He asked again the name of the hotel then crawled along slowly while the three of us scanned our eyes for the hotel. It was going dark so not really easy to spot amongst the crazy array of lights everywhere. Then we saw it and called out to him. He stopped the bus and escorted us into the hotel. Can you imagine that happening back home? A public bus running around looking for a hotel!
To our delight the hotel sparkled with cleanliness as did the friendly staff. We were shown to our room, equally sparkling clean and dropped onto the bed. The most comfortable bed since we've been travelling. All this for 200,000 rupia (£9.50) in the centre of the capital city and it included breakfast.

That evening we went in search of pizza and found a modern food court, still no pizza though but a chicken steak on a sizzling hot plate with fries, mixed veg and a delicious pepper sauce. True to it's name it came sizzling hot and not a grain of rice in sight! They also sold beer there and it was icy cold. Now that's more like it- hot food and cold beer instead of cold food that's meant to hot and warm beer that's meant to be cold.

Next morning we visited the Dutch Fort - Fort Rotterdam for an hour before taking a shower and heading back to the airport this time we used the hotel's shuttle bus and got there in just over 30 minutes as he took the toll road. Soon after arriving the heavens opened and the rain poured. As you would expect in the tropics it came down in bucket loads.
It was still raining when it came time to board the plane and there was no tunnel to walk through. Instead the plane was 200 yards away on the tarmac. As we left the terminal building we were each handed a bright red umbrella and gestured to paddle through the now two inch deep puddles on the tarmac while the rain continued to pour. Of course we were only wearing flip flops! The umbrellas did little to protect us and by the time we reached the steps to the plane our feet were slipping around, the steps themselves were very slippy so for the second time in 24 hours we were slip sliding away.

I shivvered as I sat on my seat, the air conditioning belting down freezing cold air onto my wet soggy clothes. Oh joy!
I hoped my backpack hadn't suffered a similar fate as it got loaded into the hold then I really would have no dry clothes to wear.

We eventually arrived back in Kuala Lumpur, dried off by this time, and made our way back to China Town.

Well that's our Indonesian adventure over.

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


A bit of a challenge to walk along the pavements!A bit of a challenge to walk along the pavements!
A bit of a challenge to walk along the pavements!

One side of the flowere pot was an open smelly drain the other side a very busy road!

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