Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Nothing is true

"Everything we were told in Indonesia turned out not to be true. Sometimes this happened at once. The exception was if we were told something would happen at once, in which case it turned out not to be true over several hours" -Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See.

The claim that buses out of Bukittinggi only run at night was wrong. There was a 1pm bus and it was full size and surprisingly comfortable. Although I could have done without the pink mood lighting and ballads. The first bit of the journey was very twisty and slightly nauseating, like accidentally turning on a TV when Piers Morgan is on, but after that the roads got straighter.

The views were breathtaking with limestone hills covered in jungle, rice terraces and fast flowing rivers. I tried to get a few pictures from the window but not sure how well they will work.

We arrived at Padang Sidempuan at 10.30, it would have been 9.30 but there was an hour break for the driver to have his tea. I was put in a tuk with instructions for "hotel, hotel" and delivered to Hotel Natama, a basic place where at least one receptionist spoke a bit of English.

No one else did though. I had to deal with them 'thoughtfully' turning on the TV and removing the toilet paper.

I was woken first by the middle of the night prayers, which seemed to go on for about a year. Falling back asleep I was woken by a knocking on the door. A boy who looked about ten was standing there with two breakfasts, each consisting of a cup of black tea and two slicesof untoasted white bread with strawberry jam.
He struggled to place it all down on the tv stand as I tried to explain I was only one person. Eventually I picked up one meal and handed it back to him.
I spoke to the receptionist who almost understandsEnglish and he told me to take a tuk tuk to the ALS bus station and wait two hours. However at the station my attempt to buy a ticket to Parapat was met with "Parapat, no bus" so I returned to the hotel and after finally making it understood where I wanted to go was told a minibus would pick up from there at 2pm. So now pretty much trapped here hoping it comes.
The good news is that all the indications are that it will only take 5 hours. Which by Indonesian standards is barely time to find a seat

No comments:

Post a Comment