Day 308. 35km. Batam – Pakning

Posted: February 13, 2016 in Cycling, Indonesia
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‘Wortels. Bloemkool. Boontjes.’
I stood there thinking to myself – learning Indonesian is going to be easy. Any non-local vegetable has the Dutch name.
‘Boontjes,’ I laughed. The old lady laughed heartily, showing her half a dozen teeth. Then the whole crowd laughed – mothers, fathers, children, babies – everyone that had congregated around us, mobile phones in hand ready to catch the moment. I feel at home here.

Modern technology

Modern technology

Photo with the family

Photo with the family

The family

The family

We entered the boarding hall for the ferry, deafened by the amazing racket of people hysterically calling out the boat destinations as if their lives depended on it. We were ushered to the booth to pay the 30 cent departure tax, and then made our way to the boat, where I watched uneasily as my fully laden bike was hoisted onto the roof of the boat.

Inside the boat we froze. The airconditioning was tossing the Chinese new-year lanterns around in the breeze – and the breeze was straight from the north pole. Clement and I sat huddled in the warmest clothes we happened to have with us, watching the young Chinese singing stars performing love ballads on the television in front of us.

Cold in the ferry

Cold in the ferry

Sumatra is beautiful. The road is a quiet, passing through the low-lying marsh lands, lined with little houses nestled amongst the palm trees. And the people are so lovely. ‘Hello mister!’ cries come from all directions, and we are stopped every kilometre for photos.

Beautiful landscape

Beautiful landscape

We are camping in the grounds of the local school. My hammock is set-up, and I’m all ready for an early night.

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