Do you want any leeches for that?

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , Sumatra,
Monday, August 30, 2010

We had all had an unsettled night's sleep and hadn’t got much between us all.  The rocks under the camping mats were to blame and every time you turned over it was painful.  Still we all knew this wasn’t going to be the Ritz but as Thomas said it was a "thousand star hotel" as you could see them up above.  We had some tea and a breakfast sandwich with scrambled egg with onions, cheese, cucumber and tomato which was really tasty and just what we all needed.  Just as we had all finished eating we noticed that we had a visitor who was watching us from a nearby tree.  It was an Orang-utan with a baby.  It ended up coming in to the camp, walking across the river and coming up to the men who were cooking our lunch in search of food.  They gave her a few bananas which she devoured instantly then started demanding more and becoming a little aggressive.  It was such an amazing sight to behold this beautiful beast up so close yet knowing that it was still a wild animal with the nature of such.

We started back on our second day of trekking in the same manner as yesterday but even tougher.  The very steep ravine that we had come down in to to camp now had to be scaled.  I found it really hard and gulped back so much boiled river water getting up there.  We walked for about an hour then stopped for a fruit stop where more passion fruits, bananas and watermelon were served for us.  Then we continued over more difficult ground that we had to basically rock climb using tree roots for hand holds.  Andrew managed somehow to get a leech on his stomach which I thought was huge and it left a nasty little sore when it was pulled off.

We had noodles for lunch by a river clearing then we were off again where the group split and those who were trekking for 3 days continued without us and we made off in the direction of the river.  More treacherous ground to cover hanging on to vines as we tried to keep upright on our way down steep ground.  Finally we got to the river where we quickly changed in to our swimming stuff ready for the culmination of the trek – the tubing.  Today’s tubing was different to yesterdays as this time we were all strung together on 4 tubes.  So six of us went down the river together and it was such a relaxing and refreshing way to finish the trek we were all so relieved to get in to the cool water and soothe our aching legs.

When we got back to the hostel we all had a quick lunch before getting changed and climbing aboard the mini bus that Thomas had kindly arranged for us to take us back to Medan so we could catch our early morning flights the next day.  The bus was in pretty bad shape, all of the vinyl on the seats was totally ripped up and the windows had to be forced to get them open which we needed desperately as we were sat on top of the engine and there was no air conditioning.  The two guys that were driving us were brothers with a penchant for speed.  Yet another journey where we were all scared for our lives at points.  The driver also liked to give passing drivers high fives at high speed...hmmm...a couple of these were also their brothers apparently.

The trip to Medan was hairy to say the least and Ewa and Graeme at more than one point were screaming for him to slow down.  We were made aware that the pair of them didn’t exactly know where they were going especially when we stopped at the side of the road to an apparent stranger to ask directions, this also turned out to be another brother.  This was getting hilarious.  Medan appeared dirty, smoggy, overpopulated and basically horrible on the outskirts but as we got nearer what we guess was the centre near the huge mosque, which was beautiful, it was a lot nicer.  As we got to the same mosque we realised that we were in the right area so breathed a little easier the nightmare was nearly over.  Then as we started to draw away from a set of traffic lights the engine failed and we just all looked at each other and thought that you couldn’t make this kind of thing up.  The guy in the passenger seat got out to push and after a few attempts we got going again.  Shortly after that the door at the side of me suddenly flew open and a man in a crash helmet jumped in to the van and on to the seat beside me, I was scared half to death but then just fell apart when the passenger seat brother announced this new arrival as another brother!

We arrived at the Angel Hostel in Medan and took the first room we could get, a cell for 50,000 Rupiah again Ewa and Graeme took a nicer option next door.  We all went out to dinner at a nearby food court as a final goodbye and a great end to a fab couple of days, they even insisted on picking up the tab, we really must be starting to look like proper paupers, maybe it’s because the beard is back.  Still, thanks guys it really was a lovely gesture and we hope you enjoy the rest of your honeymoon in Bali and beyond.  Keep in touch!
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mum snd dad on

glad you are safe.

Rorie on

Hey hey, Beardie is back. Knew you'd cave in at some stage Stevo, or was it the lack of running water for the few days. You might need it for a few of the cold places in oz n nz anyway so it was enevitable i reckon.

farknash on

Amazing pictures.

I also genuflect humbly to the return of the beard. Long may its reign continue... But if you are tempted to shave can you please leave a goatee - that way you will look more like Mark... ;)



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