Sumatran Sickness Strikes!
Trip Start May 20, 2010
195Trip End Sep 05, 2011
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Day : 93
Temperature : 30 degrees
Weather : Sunny
Apologies once again for being tardy on the blogging front but unfortunately Kevin and I succumbed to a nasty, nasty, stomach bug that has been going around. Kevin managed to get away lightly with a slight stomach ache and a few extra trips to the loo for a day, but unfortunately I have been pretty much wiped out for 5 days! I won't bore you with the details but long and short of it is that I spent 12 hours from 5pm to 5am with my head in a bucket spewing my insides out
Anyway, we did manage to get a couple of dives in on our last day in Pulau Weh which was very nice but we didn’t want to spend any longer there as we had places to go and things to see. So yesterday we had a mammoth of a travelling day getting up at 6am, we caught a minibus to the ferry terminal which was about 45 mins away. We jumped on the slow ferry which was a two hour journey to Banda Aceh where we paid for a Becak ( motorcycle with side car for passengers – see photos) to take us to the immigration office because we would like to extend our visas. Unfortunately it would take 5 days to process and we didn't want to spend 5 days in Banda Aceh so we decided we will try to extend them elsewhere. After deciding that the Becak driver had slightly overcharged us we caught another one, squeezed in again and headed to the bus station to enquire about buses heading south. After discovering that a bus left at 1pm we made a quick decision to buy the tickets for that afternoon and try to see what we could in Banda Aceh in the couple of hours that we had.
For those who don’t know Banda Aceh is the town that was shown on television screens around the world as the tragedy of the Boxing Day Tsunami unfolded in 2004 killing 170,000 in Aceh province alone
We also went to see the newly opened Tsunami Museum but unfortunately that day it did not open until 3pm…maybe due to Ramadan?? Since our bus left at 1pm we had to give this a miss which was a real shame. The other Tsunami landmarks which we didn’t get to see were the two mass graves sites near Banda Aceh which together hold 90,000 unidentified bodies and which I’m sure would have been a very moving experience.
Shortly before 1pm yesterday we boarded our nearly empty bus and eagerly waited for our departure at 1pm. Well, one o’clock came and went and finally we left at 1.45pm, pulled out of the bus station, drove 100 yards and stopped…so the driver could get out and chat to his mates it would seem
Anyway folks, we really need to get out and see some of this town, and also move to a different hotel since our one is booked up for tonight….so, must dash and we will do another blog soon.