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

LEAVING OUR ISLAND PARADISE

INDONESIA | Tuesday, 26 August 2014 | Views [370]

Today after 10 days in this tropical paradise, we have to leave Pulau Weh & we really don’t want to.  Our holiday is nearly at its end and we have to head towards home.  We were up at 6am.  A friend of Ivan’s met us in his open air becak at 6:30am.  The sea was very still & there were big black clouds.  Part way through the journey, the rain started.  Our driver put a roof on our vehicle & donned thick plastic jacket & waterproof pants.  Then it started bucketing down.  It was a little bit dark & the villages were just waking up.  We got wet legs, arms and bums.  Inside my bag, our boat tickets even got wet. 

 

On the boat in executif class, the aircon was again arctic and we were in wet clothes.  I put on 3 long sleeved Melbourne tops.  Yey!  I didn’t carry them all this way for nothing after all!  We can see through the window this trip, just the whitewash from our boat & rain falling on the dark blue Andaman Sea.  The sky is pure white with cloudy fog. 

 

It was still raining in Banda Aceh when we arrived & Fidos met us as planned (we texted him from the island).  We 3 went into a 3 storey shopping centre for breakfast.  95% of the stores were closed but we went to a small café with an open clothes shop next door.  For 3 coffees, 3 banana fritters & noodles it was the equivalent of 3 Australian Dollars.  The Muslim girls who worked in the shop were SO excited to see westerners.  They took at least 20 photos of us, repositioning each other either on the left side of me, or the right side of Dave or the right side of me and then the left side of Dave.  It was hilarious. 

 

We wandered into a Harga Pas clothes shop.  This is a shop with fixed prices so you get to relax from bargaining for a price.  It’s a bit more relaxing to just look at a price tag & pay that amount.   I bought 5 dresses, a t-shirt & some pajamas for 500,000 Rupiah = $AUS50. 

 

Fidos took us to the local market.  We chatted with some butchers.  They thought it was great seeing Bule (Westerners) at the market.  In the fish market we saw tuna & shark & lots of flies buzzing about and landing on the meat.  I guess your system just gets used to this & the non-refrigeration & you just don’t get ill. 

 

Fidos takes his mum to the market at 3am for her to sell food.  “Everything is cheap in the morning.  It’s more expensive for ‘lazy people’ in the afternoon,” he told us.  I bought a durian for 15,000Rp that me & Fidos shared while standing with the seller.  I told Fidos I paid 5,000 in Tangkahan.  He told me it would be 10,000Rp from this stall but the seller told me he was out of 10,000Rp durian & only had 15,000Rp durian left.  I guess I paid the lazy person tax + Westerner tax.  Hahahaha.

 

Fidos dropped us off at Banda Aceh airport.  I paid him 200,000Rp.  He was very happy with that.  We shook hands & said our goodbyes.  There were only 5 other bule in the airport.  In the women’s toilet was a sign with a plate & a fork being thrown down the toilet with a line drawn through it.    I’ll try to remember not to throw my crockery & cutlery down the toilet next time!?...

 

Our flight with Lion Air was running a bit late so they gave all of us passengers our food & drink in a box in the departure lounge.  What a great time saving idea & I’m sure it kept grumpy hungry people from being even grumpier & hungrier!  Dave had water & a spring roll & chocolate cake.  I had water & a banana slice in a banana leaf & an iced cake with grated cheese on top!  We’ve come across this before & I’m not a fan.

 

Once we got off the 737 in Medan, we had probably the best airport experience ever!  Our 2 backpacks were the first items on the carousel.  And as soon as we stepped outside, we immediately got into a taxi.  Too easy!

 

We arrived at Danau Toba International Hotel at 8pm.  We paid just over a million for two nights.  The wifi doesn’t work but we have a heavenly hot water shower, aircon, a TV & a stage with a writing desk on it!  Room service arrived at 9:40pm & we ate delicious beef rendang.  Hopped into our king size bed at 11pm.  It’s been a good day but a very long one.  Zzzzzzzz.

Iboih Beach. Sabang.

Iboih Beach. Sabang.

Tags: airport, banda aceh, boat, bule, durian, harga pas, lion air, market, medan, sabang

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