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Itchy Feet "I am going because I would have no peace if I stayed" - Donald Crowhurst.


INDONESIA | Thursday, 7 August 2014 | Views [461] | Comments [2]

Today we are leaving Tangkahan & heading to Bukit Lawang. The total of our bill for 3 of us, for 6 nights in 2 rooms, plus all meals & all drinks was three million, nine hundred thousand rupiah or $390 Australian Dollars. 

We said goodbye to Alex, the owner of Jungle Lodge & all the staff.  We had hugs from them all, including some other travelers.  It was sad to be leaving such a lovely bunch, but thanks to Facebook, we will all be keeping in touch.

Retno, our driver took us to Bukit Lawang along a very stoney, bouldery road.  I had to take pain killers for pain to my back, neck & shoulders.  The juddering journey wreaked havoc on our bladders too, so we had to pull over quite a few times to wee in palm plantations.  Dan said he had never needed to go to the toilet so often in his life.  Dave & I burst out laughing, so loudly that Retno wanted me to translate for him, which I did & then he joined in the laughter.  Three years studying Indonesian Language at university has paid off so we could share a laugh.  Ha ha.

At one point in the journey, we stopped to take a photo of a lovely green vista & we found a calf laying at the edge of the road in a bad way.  Its front leg was broken.  Dave & Retno lifted it into the shade & we poured a little of our drinking water over its back to keep it cool.  We stopped the next two cars that came along asking them to tell the news to the next village.  Maybe they could alert the farmer who owned it.  We felt helpless & so sad.  I think it will probably die.

 Retno drove us to Bohorok (Bukit Lawang’s city)so we could get money out at the ATM.  It wasn’t working.  A bank employee came outside, turned the ATM on at the power & went back inside the bank.  We stood in the ATM cubicle watching the ATM go through the windows startup.  All 3 of us tried to get money out with our 3 different cards.  Fail.  Then a security guard came & put money into the ATM.  (I guess they’d forgotten).  Dan & I took out the maximum amount allowed which was 1,250,000 Rupiah ($125).  Then we repeated the transaction, so we had 2,500.000Rp each ($250).  Then it was Dave’s turn.  Fail.  There was no money left in the ATM.  Dan & I had cleared it out.  So the security guard had put the equivalent of $500 in the ATM to last the day.  Dan & I were the first 2 customers & we emptied it.  There were 3 Indonesians in the queue behind us.  We told them the bad news, jumped in the car & arrived at Bukit Lawang soon after.

We arrived at the Jungle Inn.  Dave & I had wanted to stay here four years ago but it had been full.  Today we were in luck.  I chose the most expensive room – the honeymoon suite for 450,000Rp per night ($45).  The room is gorgeous, enormous & has big chunky carved furniture, wooden floorboards & a bathroom with a bath & mosaic walls & floors.  To get to the room, you have to climb 55 external stairs (a couple of the stairs are actually sandbags) & the view from our room is a wall of jungle.  Spectacular. 

Dan chose the waterfall room, so named because he has his own private waterfall in a little grotto.  It’s currently the dry season in Indonesia & they haven’t had rain for 3 months here, so at the moment the waterfall is just a trickle but I have a good feeling that tonight it’s going to rain.

We had lunch at the Jungle Inn restaurant – special fried rice & passionfruit lassi.  Today is the hottest I have been & the boys agree.  We are all sweating & perspiring.  After climbing the stairs a second time with the bags, we discovered that there is no water in our room so we couldn’t have a much needed shower.  As they say in Indo – tidak apa-apa.  We all put on our togs & had a quick splash in Dan’s waterfall grotto & then a dip in the river to cool down.  The river is much lower than it was in 2010.  In fact, we would never have been able to sit in the river here then because the water was flowing strongly with rapids.  A big sign of the lack of rain they have experienced over the last few months. 

Afterwards, we walked along the shops by the river & had a bintang each at Tony’s, sitting on black & white comfy sofas.  My poor blistered, swollen piggy trotters got to rest a wee while as I sat & unjammed them from my trekking sandals.  I’m not sure what this swollen leg & feet thing is.  It can’t be from the airoplane because that was a week ago now.  Weird… 

In the half hour or so that we sat at Tony’s, we experienced a few blackouts & it started raining!  I knew it would!  Great news for Dan’s waterfall.  We walked all the way back to the Jungle Inn in the rain & puddles & thunder & lightning.  It was lovely & the heat cooled a little.  We bought some takeaways & climbed our 55 pebbled, mosaic & sandbagged staircase to our amazing suite.  We three sat on our wide balcony on our bamboo chairs & toasted to good times in Indonesia in the dark in the night-long blackout watching the lightning show light up the jungle of Gunung Leuser National Park.

No water.  No electricity.  No problem. 

Tags: atm, blackout, bohorok, bukit lawang, dry season, grotto, honeymoon suite, jungle inn, sumatra, waterfall room



banyak bagus well done great memories roll on reality!

  raff Oct 21, 2014 5:22 PM


Bernie, you must all be having such a wonderful time! hurry home soon so I can see your photos :)

  Rachel Nov 13, 2014 12:34 PM



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