Chatting round the camp fire

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May 25th 2010
Published: May 27th 2010
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Went straight for a swim again first thing (well 11:30ish :p) this morning in the lovely warm lake then dried off whilst waiting for brekkie, pancakes mm mmm. Sitting on the grass we noticed that we had the tiniest of leeches on our feet that were a right bugger to get off!

Sat in the restaurant to eat and played a game of chess. 2 guys from Switzerland came this morning (the Malaysian have left can't have it getting too crowded) and we talked at length about our travelling and theirs (1 of the guys had been like everywhere so it was very interesting to listen to his stories and opinions). They mentioned the infamous horrendous bus trip to Lake Toba that we're doing in a couple of days (they took the same bus as the NZ guys) and they told us how at one point they had to all get off the bus and walk up a steep hill as the bus couldn't make it with their weight in!

We also spoke to a tour guide from Bukittinggi that was showing a Japanese guy around. He was really interested in asking us questions about tourists and why there aren't any here, he said the situation has got worse since Thailand problems erupted. He gave us a card for the hotel he works for but told us that Hotel Asia was nicer (he was very honest). He also told us that the Japanese guest was their first guest in 5 days! We met Rozan (it's his mother that owns/runs the place) too. He explained that the bungalows belonged to his sister but when she died in 2006 (in Sumatra property is owned by the women) his mother had taken over. They're also bringing up her 10yr old kid. Rozan helps out but has a job of his own as a chef in Bukittinggi so the fishing guys (Ali etc.) help out as and when they can and in return they live and eat there for free. Fishing guys were working hard today and hauled in huge bags of little silver fish.

Late afternoon we went for a walk into Bayur Village. It is so hot here and we've both caught a little too much sun on our shoulders. We walked for about 3km stopping off in a couple of shops for drinks and taking pics along the way. Once again everyone was smiling, waving and saying hello. Knackered and hot when we got back so we had another dip in the lake then a shower. Ate fruit salads in the restaurant then played with the little kid (about 6yrs old) that lives there. He's very cute and he squealed with delight as Rob spun him round, picked him up by his ankles, chased and tickled him.

Tried tempe and tofu curry for tea, decided tempe (soy bean and yeast) is not for me- it looks like pieces of a cut up oat bar and my mind and taste buds seemed at odds as to what I was eating :P The fishing guys were sat in the restaurant singing and playing guitar which was really nice. At about 9 they lit a camp fire and asked us to join them.

They sang a traditional Indo Happy Birthday to Rob and a few other traditional songs mixed with a couple of western ones like Metallica and Oasis. We sat for a couple of hours and gradually one by one they went to bed till it was just us 2 and Ali. We sat up till 1.30 talking at great length about his relationship with his Ozzy girlfriend and about relationships in general in the UK and Indonesia. Ali tried to play some songs on his guitar but it's hard for him as he just had part of his finger amputated last year and we sang along badly explaining to him that us English don't do much public singing! When the fire went out we all stumbled off to bed.

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