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Waiting to Leave Indonesia

May 13, 2015 0 Comments

Wednesday, 13th May 2015

Driving in Sumatra has been interesting – usual dodging of bikes, trucks, cars and people. Most villages are the same. People are generally the same – very friendly, backward and have nothing but still smiling.

Our car is going very well and has all we need in it. The work we did on the car before we left has really paid off.

Sumatra Ferry

Sumatra Kuala Tungkai Wood ship ferry to Batam

Three days ago we arrived in a place call Jambi and we were advised to go to a seaside port called Kuala Tungal. Three hours later into the evening on very bad roads we arrived at a hotel owned by a chap who has been helping us get to Batam. Batam is our last Indonesian island and boy won’t that be a relief. 2 nights ago Alan and Lynn loaded their car onto a small wooden fishing/cargo boat along with 50 odd goats and assorted cargo. The loading of the Land  Crusier was an event in itself, with makeshift ramps and crossing a dodgy timber wharf. The car was loaded at about 8pm at night with the assistance of 5,000,000 locals all yabbering on about the event.

Donna and I were supposed to go on another boat the next night, however to our extreme disappointment that did not happen. The police came knocking on our hotel door at 10pm the night before last to interrogate us on what we were doing and asking why we were taking our cars on an unsafe wooden boat. I spent an hour trying to explain our situation, they wanted to speak to Alan and Lynn as well however I had to explain they had already left. That did not please them and asked me to write 2 letters – one for Alan and Lynn, and one for ourselves. The letters had to indicate we would not hold the police responsible for any mishaps and we would not come to them in the event of an accident.

Tonight the 13th May we will try again to get off Sumatra in a boat that is supposed to come in when the tide is right. Then we will load our car and get out of this place. For this to happen however we will have to pay the police off – maybe 1,000,000 RP and pay an extra 3,000,000 RP = $300.00 to the boat owner. I think they all can see we are stuck with nowhere to go and are sticking it into us for more money.

The Hotel owner has been good helping us all the way.

Once we get to Batam, Alan and Lynn should have organised the last ferry to Singapore. Looking forward to the next leg. Indonesia has been interesting and I am glad we have driven it. Don’t think we will be back any time soon though.

We still have a fair way to go to reach the Chinese border by 26th May, however there will be no more ferries and hold ups that we can see.

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