Monday, 19 April 2010

Nothing but the weekend and then Bangka Island


The week could not really go much slower really. It seemed to drag on and on. Work was slow as in time although I had far too much to do. In fact I did more last week than I have for a while. Teaching, Workshops, reviews, meetings and helping those that needed it.
All I was hoping was Saturday was going to come quicker for a change.
My girlfriend had her purse and phone stolen on Thursday by some clever and ruthless unknowns whilst on an errand and walking through a crowded streets. That was upsetting and also concerning as she needs her phone and also her money. So I met her and she now is using mine until she can get a new one.
Luckily no cards were taken.

Also on Thursday as I had a free morning, I took the chance to get a hair cut and so rode to Puri Mall to a good barber shop. That was good. Then on return to the bike, I found that my helmet had been stolen (which seems to amuse everyone but me as I had then to buy a brand new one and whats funny about that?). so after procrastinating to the security officer I trudged off to Carrefour to buy a new helmet. They had little choice but choice none the less. The hair cut cost me 100 x more than normal as I never expected to have to get a new helmet as part of the deal.
The strangest thing about all this was once I had had my cut, the barber rubbed baby oil into my head so not only did I smell nice, I also then started to sweat feverishly as oil just blocks the pores and in 90 degree heat cant be a clever thing. Still its nice a cut!!!

I ran out of the school after my last class, throwing caution to the wind and getting out. This was after convincing my teacher who had dengue that he needed a night in hospital to make sure the insurance department paid out, I can only hope that is what will happen, as he did on Sunday night!

The weekend arrived and bang on cue my lack of sleep returned with avengence and so I spent nearly all night awake shouting at my laptop as for some unknown reason, Hotmail, FB and a couple of ither sites would not open due to DNS error. At 6am it was all ok....why???????????/

Shocking.

Yovita arrived at 9 and then after a quick pack check and a trip to the ATM we jumped in a taxi and off we went to the airport.
Jakarta is a great city. You leave early you arrive late, You leave early you also arrive even earlier. You leave late then you will never get anywhere! So it was no surprise that I arrived at the airport in 30 minutes flat and so that meant a longer wait in the airport.
Lion aircheck in is a mess as it is run down, noisy badly managed but the staff are helpful and quick and with 20 mins of being there we had checked in and were walking toward gate A7 for the flight to Panglpinang, Bangka Island.
It was a beautiful day and so the flight was amazing. I was lucky enough to sit by the window and so camera in hand ( sorry I dont have the photos, when I do I will post) clicked my way to Bangka. The ceiling was high, the clouds big and fluffy when there were clouds and the little islands had gold rings around them.

My photos for the trip are here. http://picasaweb.google.com/lreg72/BangkaApril2010?authkey=Gv1sRgCLudy9ndkLHE9QE&feat=directlink, help yourself.

Once we landed we went to look for the man to drive us to the resort, Tanjung Pesona but alas there was no-one so we then went to the travel desk and Yovita got shouty and sorted it out. 30 mins later we were in a bus and on our way through north through the island to the resort.
The trip was great as the road ran through little towns and villages and then over huge bridges and also past swamps and also disused tin mines which left scars over the land.
 The resort was about 45 mins from the airport and by the time we got to the resort it was time to eat. When we got there, we discovered our driver was still waiting at the airport for us as a communication mishap stopped us from knowing that, but still we got there so who cares.
It was very quiet at the resort as it was off season, I believe we were about 2 of 8 people staying there and so it was pleasant wandering around and looking and searching for things
The resort hotel was great really even though it was devoid of people. My review is here.http://placestostayindonesia.blogspot.com/.

We wandered down to the cafe by the sea and took lots of photos and then finally ate and also my first beer of the day. Great.

The beach at Tanjung Pesona is a mixture of golden/white sand with huge basalt rocks scattered everywhere, some look natural some looked placed but however they got there it is certainly stunning back drop and it meant that you could have your own privacy amongst the rocks should you want it. 
The sea was flat and clear and there was amost no stone on the sea bed, it was just sand and so when swimming it was great, warm water, shallow and refreshing. Just what was needed. The beaches on both side of the hotel were beautiful and empty. Swimming for me and reading for Yovita.



A thunder storm came rolling in with some rain and so we retreated to the restaurant for something else to eat and more beer and to watch the rain roll over the sea and then disappear. By then it was dark and the sunset never materialised sadly. 
The evening was spent in the room as well there was pretty much nothing else going on and so room service came and went, the food which was nice eaten and the drinks drank. 
An early night in a peaceful and relaxing place.

Sunday was up with the lark although the 9am one and so straight to the beach for us and to explore more and see more of the rocks and the views and take in the air. The day was cooler and overcast but the fact the sea was flat and the beach empty really did not matter it was idyllic and something else.



Stopping off at a shop to stock up on fish flavoured crispy things Indonesian people like we got to the airport in plenty of time. The airport was like a little shop and that's airports should be like, relaxed, no queues and smiling faces. Also 15,000 rupiah airport tax instead of the 40,000 in Jakarta was also more than welcome. The departure lounge was small and the fact the flight was late came as no surprise but 20 mins is neither here or there in the scheme of things
The flight back was ok and the view over Jakarta was nice and we came into land. Back to the crush.

No kittens in the airport on sunday. 

Getting outside was a fight as the arrival gate was crowded with everyone pushing and shoving. I had several offers of taxis and after a few 'go aways and leave me alones' and 'no, get lost, I am taking a blue bird' the men walked off. We queued for a taxi which never seemed to becoming as there were 3 lanes of nose to tail as there was no clear direction or control. 
We took an Express who got lost at Taman Anngrek and it took longer to get back than it should.

The weekend was brilliant and refreshing and I had a chance to chill by the sea and see something new and on  a different island. I could have gone to Bali but I have been there before and this was a new adventure and place. I will return thats for sure, and Belitung is next on my list of places to escape too.
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