Orangutan Town

Trip Start Mar 03, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of Indonesia  , Aceh,
Thursday, July 5, 2012

We woke at the un-holy time of 4:45am for our 7:30am flight to Kuala Lumpur. I soon realised that I had cocked up the flight times and our flight wasn't until 8:15. I tried to blame this on the bad internet connection so Leyla wouldn't kill me for making her get up 45 minutes earlier than she needed to. Murder averted, we were whisked off to the airport by our hotel's mini-bus service (2).

As had now become the norm in Thailand, it was lashing it down with rain. Air Asia decided to use the terrible weather as an excuse for our plane's 4 hour delay. This was despite other Air Asia flights landing and taking off from the gates around us.
The upshot of this delay meant we would miss our connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur to Medan. Leyla, the queen of airport knowledge, condemned the 170 we had paid for our connecting flight as dead and gone. Undeterred, or rather, acting like a desperate man, I made my way to the Air Asia desk to plee for some sort of arrangement. Low and behold, Air Asia pulled the customer service rabbit out of the hat and changed our connecting flight to a later one free of charge. It was nice to see a common-sense approach. Well done Air Asia!

When we got off our last flight in Medan we had to get our visa for Indonesia,we hadn't checked this out before hand so when some dodgy guy from behind a desk says we have to pay 25$ each I was convinced he was full of poo. But after Phil did a quick check in lonely planet we discovered this scruffy smoking gentleman was intact telling the truth so we payed for the visas and then preceded to grab our bags,it was chucking it down so I donned my pashmina in a hijab stylee that my father would be proud of and lugged our bags out to the taxi bit, we cudnt find a price we liked so we put on our ridiculous plastic bag ponchos, on pulled over our backpacks to keep them dry and looking awesome out we trudged into the rain. We walked down the road a little until we saw a small carriage thing attached to the side of a motorbike, this is what we want! After explaing where our guesthouse was to the little man driving the 'bikcheck' (I think its called) who looked incredibly like a smaller Indonesian version of our friend Sonny! (sonny if Ur reading this hun, Ur little identical twin is called hassan and lives in medan FYI) we headed of! So funny, this little carriage was creaking alover the show with me and Phil crammed in it grinning like the chimps we are! Our guesthouse blue angel was basic, but clean sheets and towels. We wanted the cheaper room with fan only, that's how we roll now yar. But they said they only had aircon rooms, Phil didn't belive her but it was only 130,000rm which is about 9quid so we just took the aircon room. Which we shall now refer to as the sprouts room, il explain why later on. Hunger pangs kicked in so we went of in search of food, we went for a wander, it was
belting it down now! We walked over some horrid footpath that was slippy as hell, and had massive slabs missing that revealed the drain network underneath a couple of meters drop! After a while we hadn't found anything apart from mcydees so we turned back and settled in a little place round the corner from our guesthouse. We ate cheaply and went of back to.....sprouts room.( I also got talking to a dutch girl about trecking in the jungle of bucket luang and she recommended a guy called Eepull who is also known as snakeman of the jungle!no joke, apparently he is like ray mears, and bear grills and also that crocodile man and he's also crazey! He has snake bites alovera him and if you want to trek as in real trecking you need him, we decided to seek him out wen we got there.) Now then let me explain , we got ready for bed and I'm lying there commenting on how actually this mattress is really comfy! And all of a sudden SPROUTS! It reeked of them! Everywhere! The bed, the pillows, the air! It was mental! Phil couldn't smell it until I pointed it out,Haha! Oh it was vile! Anyway we had quite a good nights sleep on the comfy sprout bed, and then had some breakfast downstairs which was shit. Utter shit. (sorry had to swear then twas called for) soggy 'toast' rubbish coffee with black bits in it oh yum! Missing Thailand a lot at this point. we organised to go in the minibus from the hotel to bucket luang with some other people doing trecks I bagzied the front seat whoop! Three hours later and we were in bucket luang which is basically the jungle. We walked a bit up the river and then Phil left me in a cafe of rain guesthouse I met a very bucktoothed funny Indonesian bar guy called Kelvin and had a nice pineapple shake! Phil found us a room with a lovely balcony over the river with a huge four poster bed and lovely wooden furniture and it was only 100,000 (7) so we stayed here. We asked Kelvin about Eepull- aka 'snakeman' he new him strait away and called him so we sat and waited for him. Ten mins later a long haired short man with tribal necklaces and riddled with hidious humungous scars on each arm appeared....out of the river! Lol! This was Eepul. He was a quiet chap with a perminant grin on his face. We chatted with him about trecking and his past experiences with the jungle and its wildlife. He explained to us how he loves snakes and that the scar on his right ARM was from a cobra bite! I wish I had been rude and asked for a picture if this scar or rather- chunk missing out of his ARM! As it was rank and huge! He showed us pictures of him with snakes some pets, some not. One with its body in his mouth with its head poking out! After some mad stories from this lovely little snakeman Phil told him he would like to do a jungle trek with him, but his price was not to high but too much for one person. See normally Eepul would take several people for trecking and a cook who would help carry equipment and food for the two days, but as it was just Phil he would have to charge him more to make it worth his while. It was a shame as Eepul was ace, and no doubt his trek would have been great but with no other people he had to charge more if he was just going to take Phil. (it had rained a lot over the last few days and no matter how much I love animals which I do, there was no way I was sleeping on a matt on the ground in the jungle with leeches crawling all over me I would rather chew of my own arm) so we bid farewell to Eepul and Phil set about booking the cheaper trip with a lovely danish couple we had met earlier. The next 2days I spent pottering around the village and taking in the beautiful scenery and the wildlife. Emil the danish lad lent me his binoculars so I was very happy bird/monkey watching on our balcony. The wildlife is stunning here, I had a beautiful praying mantis in our room before, and gekos and cool brightly coloured beetles, also stickadoes everywhere singing away. Sleeping here is amazing its like listening to a 'jungle sounds' sleep tape! Several grey macats settled on my balcony eating crackers I had put out to entice them! Just me and the monkeys, oh they were so cute! I really did have to pinch myself a few times! Here I was sat on our balcony above the river making friends with wild monkeys. Phils boxers that were hanging out to dry on the balcony soon became a toy as they pulled them all of, throwing them on the floor then putting them in the bin and then taking them out again and again ! Was so funny! That night I had a few beers and some food in a local resturant/guesthouse called green hill ran by an English woman and her sumatran husband apparantly. I played cards for a while with a friendly local guy, then pottered back to our guesthouse where I then swept up after the monkeys as they'd covered our balcony with the nuts from a nearby fruit tree :-)
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