Death Bus ride

Trip Start Sep 20, 2011
Trip End Jun 30, 2012

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Where I stayed
Samosa Cottages
What I did
Lake Toba

Flag of Indonesia  , North Sumatra,
Thursday, December 29, 2011

The last morning in KTM was well planned $400NPR for the taxi to the airport and $300NPR for breakfast. All went well and as the plane turned towards Singapore we were able to see the snow capped Himalaya clearly as opposed to the slightly grey appearance of the smog of KTM.

We arrived in Singapore quite late and booked into the Crown Plaza transit hotel in Terminal 2 as we had a very early flight to Indonesia the following morning and could not believe the quality of the room.. had both a bath and a shower for no other reason than we could. Hot water and clean white sheets with soft fluffy pillows and a TV and….. oh it was a nice change.

Specific good points:

1.      The toilet seat did not swivel off the toilet and plunge you to the floor as you sat down.

2.       All light switched worked, lights connected that turned on.

3.       Electronic devices could be plugged in without sparks leaping towards wary fingers.

4.       Clean white sheets on a soft mattress.

5.       Soft pillows that definitely did not contain bed bugs.

6.       Flat screen TV with a working remote (had batteries that had been replaced within the last century) and English channels.

7.       No cockroaches that we could see anyway.

The only bad thing was we were completely out of our comfort zone and could not sleep…

5:00am awake and dressed on our way to Medan Indonesia… we had been told to get out there early and not stop in Medan but take the morning bus to lake Toba that was rumoured to be a very nice place to just stop and relax and all would be great… that was the plan now for the real story.

The plane lands, we get through customs and out side the terminal head for the ATM. New currency is always difficult to get your head around…however when the ATM swallows your card it is very distressing. The ATM was an ANZ bank unit so a local  helped us into a Taxi to find the branch in Medan. The branch acknowledged it was there machines fault so about an hour and a half later our card was returned… okay now we headed across the road into another bank and got a cash advance on my credit card because we were cautious of the link.. and all good we now had some cash to be on our way to the bus station.. we squash with our bags  into a motorcycle side car thing and I had half my body hanging out and half a backpack and we were so heavy (because of Lisa) that the suspension would bottom out every bump and the chain would slip on the sprocket…It even came with a Christian discourse on the virtues of Christianity and the saviour Yeshua as we swerved through the traffic… crazy we could not believe it…none the less we got to the bus safely… Now we had only one choice of bus….a public bus (these are to be avoided at all costs)….oh my god…we were told it would take 4 hours to lake Toba so we thought we could cope….well picture this.. big bus full of people…little windows…exposed springs on the seat base….cigarette smoking is allowed…just enough room for my butt to be jammed in the back of the seat and my knees jammed in the back of the seat in front…and it was hot…not white hot just the type of hot where you sweat and it does not dry so you sweat some more…did I mention only small windows…. At least I did not feel the need to have a smoke the chap behind was happily blowing big clouds of clove cigarettes over Lisa and I… I pretended to be annoyed as well just to keep in the good books with Lisa. Lisa however was genuinely starting to cough and looked a little like some oxygen would not go astray.

Any way after 4 hours we asked how much longer….oh another 4 hours….be fucked I said…. Lisa was definitely ready to freak out so when the bus stopped in town out we jumped got our bags and managed to find a taxi to lake Toba, now the price for the cab was $250,000 rupia which equates to approx $27 AUD which is expensive…however as I so eloquently explained to lisa…we have no freaken idea where we are and be fucked if I am getting another of those Death Buses.. so we climbed into a nice car with soft seats and windows we could wind up and down as we liked…

The taxi driver true to his word dropped us at the wharf so we could catch a boat to Tuk Tuk where there should be accommodation. It was getting dark there was one more ferry and we did not have a clue where we wanted to stay.. So after a day with a plane flight…Card munching ATM….squashed into  a Tuk Tuk, Death Bus ride...pleasant taxi ride…and now a  boat ride out into a now dark lake and no accommodation booked we were starting to feel the strain..none the less found a place which was a rip off for what was on offer but did have a bed.

Awoke the next day and headed out to find a nicer place to stay… bugger me everything is booked out for New Years…shit… we have accommodation up to the 30th Dec and then nowhere else to stay… It seems there are a number of tourists with the same issue so maybe a beach party some booze and then who will care where we sleep….Strangely this may be the only option…

A moment of realisation… I think Lisa and I might finally have matured in our travel style... no longer does the Death Bus seem like fun and the stinky little accommodation place offer much appeal… matured or getting older… I say matured if any one say's older well get stuffed.
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davo on

a beach party with plenty of booze and some cigs sounds good to me have a happy and safe new year

Rosemary on

Well there is hope yet that we may travel togetherand enjoy the accomodation.

Suzie on

oh dear....I'm maturing too, but definately not getting older. Paula and I stayed at Lake Toba, and loved it. Can't wait to see you. xxx

travandkel on

$27 for a taxi, stop being such a tight arse!

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