Island of Sumatra - Bukkitingi - Yogyakarta PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Monday, 20 April 2009 19:38
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 Day 65: Sunday 25th November - Bukkitingi  (Pedang Airport) - Yogyakarta

The dreaded day had arrived, time to get on yet another plane. As we set out Leighton informed us that we were not driving from Jakarta as previously told but doing two flights. The first as previously stated a one and a half hour flight to the capital but now followed by another one and half hours later to Yogatarka. Although the second flight was only an hour I was not well pleased. This is now making a mockery of the idea of an overland trip to OZ. If all goes to plan we will have caught four planes. Mac announced in the café yesterday before our guided tour that he was taking public transport and not flying. The journey time is 29 hours down to the ferry to Java. I would have gone with him but for the logistics of our luggage. He's the only one staying true to the original ideal. We calculated in the café that only six of us have stayed with the coach all the way. The list consists of Fe, Viv, Claire, Zoe, Anne and myself. All the rest have left to do other things. At the moment we are 18 and it will be interesting to see who turns up in Bali for the last flight.

The drive to the airport was interesting with beautiful views of a valley and its' river, a 75 metre high waterfall and a single rail line which looked disused but added romance to the scene. After a few miles Kate announced she'd left her passport back at the hotel. After a phone call the hotel agreed to send it to the airport by car.

PedangAirport looked very pleasant from the outside with low buildings roughly based on traditional wooden structures. The inside was just a large hall to hold people with very few shops, bars etc and no sign of alcohol. From my point of view it was just another nervous environment to sit around waiting in. It became very clear that the plane was late and this could well jepordise catching our connection. A thirty minute delay became an hour. There was no sign of any planes carrying the Adamair logo. Eventually an orange 737, looking for all the world like Easyjet, landed and quickly taxied into place and shed its' passengers. Within minutes we were boarding and taking off. The 90 minute flight was okay but would have been better if they'd handed out cold alcoholic drinks instead of cartons of warm water. Very lucky Anne had found me cold cans of beer in the airport. The connecting flight took off over 90 minutes late and did provide Anne with beautiful sunset on her side of the plane. I sat quietly watching a cloud storm in the distance and found the landing at Yogyakarta smoother than at Jakarta.

The journey from the airport to the hotel scheduled for an hour took about 15 minutes. The hotel was yet again a basic affair with a money grabbing owner. Our room had an air con blower which only worked once we'd paid the manager 50,000 rm a day. When I pointed out we had no hot water and would he reduce the price accordingly he said no. I replied he could bollocks for the money. The breakfasts were very poor consisting of half toasted sweat bread, a strange tasting butter which I compared to Kerrygold and almost started a war between the Irish and myself. There was no fruit juice to drink just green tea or cups of sludgy coffee. The only thing that saved this place was the swimming pool which was clean and the area around it. Had it not been for this I think there would have been a mass walkout.

The area surrounding the hotel was a backpackers' haven with lots of cheap bars, cafes, restaurants, internet cafes etc, etc. The little restaurant/ bar next door was buzzing by the time we'd checked in and walked the twenty five yards from our room to its front door. A group of teenagers playing guitar, fiddle, bass, percussion and mandelin had many of the bus singing along with old time favourites: Beatles, Stones, Bob Marley and Everly Bros numbers etc. The food was very good to. The band played for an hour or so and then left to carry on a few doors down at the Ragae Bar.

The reggae bar was a dissapointment, the lads were now amplified but still good but the beer was dearer and and there was nothing else alcoholic to satisfy Anne and John.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2009 19:17