Bintan, Indonesia, February 2011

What I did…

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We arrived at Bintan after a 2 hour ferry from Singapore. Me and Brogan went our separate way from Jase and found a taxi for a cheap price to take us to Trikora Beach. After about 10 minutes in the taxi the driver pulls over to the side of the road and starts asking for more money. I told him no and to take us to where he said he would. He offered to take us to a cheap hotel at a different beach, “I don’t want to go anywhere else, I want to go Trikora!”. Brogan could not be bothered with the argument and just said take us to a cheap hotel on the beach. We eventually reached a beach resort, that turned out to be Trikora! Who knows what went through the guys head but we made it to the beach but now had to find a place to stay. The 1st place was too expensive, the second place was full and the 3rd place was too expensive due to location. We stayed in the 3rd place as we were too tired to keep looking.

So we found our beach hut in the location that we wanted and it was amazing! At high tide we were almost in the sea. You can see the view from our bed through the front door and also a shot from the balcony. It was paradise. The hut itself though was a very basic, well, shed. Bed, toilet, cold shower, mozzie net and that was it but that was all that was needed, it had character. As we were 2KM away from the next resort and there were only a handful of huts at Shady Shacks we ate most of our meals there. The food, although much the same was amazing.

Rice, fish, chicken, calamari, anchovies in peanut sauce… and that was just one meal! We stuffed our faces with everything they threw at us and then had a few beers to wash it all down. We spent most of our time on the beach topping up the tan only stopping to eat or drink. Breakfast was same same everyday and by the end of it I never wanted to see an egg again. In one day, ONE DAY we ate 7 eggs and that was a pretty much reoccurring pattern for the week.

On the second night lying in bed we heard a squeaking noise coming from under the hut, at 1st I thought we had bats but after an inspection with the torch saw nothing. Off to sleep and the following morning Brogan saw it run up the wall, past our mozzie net and out through a hole. It was a giant rat! Well that’s what she says anyway, I never actually saw the rat but I believed her once Id seen what had happened to my peanut biscuits! To keep them away from the ants on the floor I double bagged them and folded over the wrapper. The next morning the rat had chewed its way through to bags, through the wrapper and ate the edges of all my biscuits! All of them… it did not eat one full biscuit but just ate little bits of them all! That night, armed with my Birkenstock in one hand and a torch in the other, I went rat hunting. It sure was a sneaky one as I could hear it, but never saw it! Biscuit thief! Shady Shacks need to invest in a cat, because as you see from the pictures below the dogs are just plain lazy!

We hired a bike twice during the week to go and use the internet at the nearest place 5KM away. The second time we went for our ‘Mock Valentines Dinner’ as Brogan was off home on the 11th and we would not be together on the 14th. In true romantic style we both had a burger, to break up all that egg, and slopped it all round our faces. We are a classy couple, no doubt about that! I did get her flowers so romance is not completely dead! I also rang my gran to wish her a happy birthday, but in true style was out living it up!

After a few days on the beach and pretty much doing nothing we headed back into the town, Tanjung Pinang, where the ferry port was. We were pretty much, let me rephrase that, we were the only white people there and everyone wanted to say hello and introduced themselves. When we went to the travel agents to book my flight to Jakarta the girl wanted a photo with us both (See photo below)! We hired a bike off a very trusting guy for 2 hours and went off to find, ermmm, something. There was nothing in the town that’s worth mentioning apart from it had a KFC. We had a strawberry cake that was then fried for some reason but that was about it.

For our last supper we had a huge KFC and then hit the hay as we both had an early start the next day. I was flying to Jakarta and Brogan was going on an epic journey back home. From Bintang to Singapore, to the airport, then to KL to fly back to London. All in all we both had an amazing week and I would not hesitate doing it all again.

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