Monday, July 16, 2012

CD Diary: Aras Napal to Medan, Sumatra (Day 3/4, part 2) - Out of the Wilderness

28.May.12, Monday.
By 3:45PM, we sat ourselves in the sampan and hightailed out of the field station of Aras Napal.

Shame about leaving the yummy Indonesian home-cooking...

... but I was so glad about one night less of this:


The boat ride took a little shorter this time, at about half an hour. The same driver that took us to the river (2 days ago) had been waiting for us, and it was going to be another 3.5 hours to the city of Medan.

Two hours into the drive, the sky dropped and it poured.

As if vehicles and roads decided to stop for the rain, our supposed 3.5 hour drive turned into 5 hours.

Cars and trucks stood still for the longest time -- we didn't know the reason, neither could we see one.
Motorcyclists, on the other hand, seemed to have had better luck on the sidewalks and curbs, but everyone seemed on edge, and if you were kind, you weren't going anywhere.

Inching closer to the city centre, we witnessed the lanes and directions of traffic change as drivers, on a whim, drove as they pleased. One or two trucks that stalled in the middle of the road created this massive traffic jam (along with people positioning their vehicles as they pleased, and resulting flared tempers).
The rain and flood? Not so much the cause.

By the time we got out of the flooded roads and got alighted at the hotel, it was well past 9:00PM and we were all hungry.
A quick check-in at the counter and shower in the nice rooms, we decided it was best to remain in the hotel for a bite. Luckily, there was a hotel restaurant; we found ourselves at the ‘Edge’ restaurant of Grand Swiss-Belhotel before they had their last order.

Did we have a good sleep, that night -- proper sheets and duvet. And no bugs.

It was then that I realised, in my haste earlier, I left behind a clean bath towel and 4 pairs of brand new socks. Lesson learnt: I should never hang things behind the door.


  1. Oh Juanita, what a trip! I've been really enjoying keeping in (vague) touch with your travels. Thanks for your comment. I can tell you're a bit uncertain about the things I've said that sound a bit un-complimentary about the French! In fact, these are things I'm happy to talk about with my French friends and language students, and they're happy to discuss them, so I guess that my French readers will be too. Carole, who asked if she could use my list in her lessons, is French...

  2. clean and reliable swiss quality ;-)
    Your pics are just great !


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