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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...

Log entries 21 - 30 of 2205 Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Mar 05, 2019 12:00 AM A long way to Jepara

A long way to Jepara Sometimes local people want to impress the foreigner and they are giving information which is not updated or just false... This was a challenge today: to reach the destination I travelled by two microbuses then by ojek, then by taxi, then low-cost airline and two city buses and finally by car- the local version of Uber. Due to false information (I was looking the bus station in Cilegon which does not exists) the traffic jams and lack of reliable timetables I almost lost the connections. But all is done! It is evening and I am in the little port of Jepara. My homestay is near the little dock, where ferry is landing. There is also a monster turtle in the nearby park, housing aquarium - see picture.
Tomorrow in the morning little ferryboat is leaving from the port to the island of Karimunjawa, I hope to be on board! No ferries on Thursdays - that's why it was so important to reach Jepara today...

Mar 04, 2019 12:00 AM Hati hati! I have been on Krakatau!

Hati hati!  I have been on Krakatau! There are places spread out around the world which are for passionate travellers like the icons. I was reading about Krakatau as a boy... Reading and dreaming... The day arrived only today...
Carita Beach - a popular Indonesian resort with many hotels and condominiums acts like a main gateway to the Krakatau. I found Carita Beach almost empty. Why? On December 22nd 2018 there was eruption of the infamous volcano. High tsunami wave caused by the eruption hits the Carita coast destroing many light buildings staying in the first line after the beach. Some acommodations are not repaired till now, but the other are OK, but stay empty. Why? Because Indonesians are afraid that the next tsunami will come.
I do not scare, so already in the evening I started to search for the the boat and for the group to join. No other dreamers, for single ride they requested 4 mln IDR! Today in the morning after heavy bargaining they accepted 2,5 and we departed at 9.30 am.
It took us 1.5 hours by speedboat to reach the the group of volcanic islands. Yes, I landed on Krakatau beach. But the shape of the island was very surprising to me. Than we were sailing around Krakatau to see yellow boiling water blowing from the crater and the confluence of two color waters - like on Amazon. Ufff... The return sail was very bumpy and I returned wet. But so happy!

Mar 03, 2019 12:00 AM Sunda Strait

Sunda Strait At 7.30 am I was already walking the streets of Tanjung Kerang hunting for the blue minibus do Rajabasa. It cost 5000 per ride. Then in Rajabasa an the poor bus terminal red junk bus heading to Bakauheni was waiting for me. I paid 22000 for 3 hours ride on the bumpy road to reach the end od Sumatra Island. There is huge ferry terminal - ferries to Merak on Jawa departs every hour. 5 lines to the ticket desks in the building. To buy a ticket (15000) cash or credit card are not enough - you have to have to paid money to the local bank, receive the plastic card and go to the ticket desk. Smart clerk seeing foreigner tale a cash (plus 2000 for him) and used his own card. Such a little business. .
Rusty ferry departed with 20 min delay. We were saili g the strait 2 hours. enjoing the views of little, rocky islands. I found new friends aboard :) This side of Jawa Island is hilly with many industrial instalations on the coast...
In the port of Merak, where we disembarked bus terminal is located just near the ferry. Bu no bus to Carita! Young student helped me to use a local.version of Uber. I should be in Carita before dusk

Mar 02, 2019 12:00 AM 12 hours in the Indonesian train

12 hours in the Indonesian train It was raining in the morning when Kamila from my guesthouse was driving me on the ojek (scooter) through two river bridges to the Kertapati railway station. I was completely wet when we reached the station at 7.30 am, but thank you a lot dear Kamila for your free service - in 1,8 mln Palembang theydo not have taxi service!
There are two trains per day crossing South Sumatra to Sunda Strait, I decided to take the day train, not only because it is less expensive, but also because I wanted to meet the people and to see scenery. You have to show your passport to buy the ticket. Seats are numbered and subclass C - like 3rd class cost me only 32000 IDR - like 2,5 USD - for 12 hours journey! What a deal!
The staff in the train wanted me during first hour of our trip to keep the courtains closed (-Because the local people are throwing the stones!) But later I enjoyed in full the landscapes of rubber gum plantations, rice fields, oil palms, little villages with miniature mosques... People in the train were very kind to me - they offered me food, they wanted to have a pictures, they were asking questions (one young student was very proud to translate).
It was 6.20 pm when we reached the final station of Tanjung Karang. Prepared with a good map I found easily my Red Doorz motel.
Uff... What a day! Now it is time to look for my daily portion of nasi -rice and to have a rest. Tomorrow I want to cross thd strait to Jawa!
But the comfort was very little so after 8 hours I became tired (they too)

Mar 01, 2019 12:00 AM Palembang - South Sumatra

Palembang - South Sumatra So why you going just to Palembang? - she was a student. I met her in the light, brand new light train going from Palembang model airport to the city. -Because I never been to South Sumatra and I want to travel out of the beaten track - far from the touristy Jakarta or Bali! She was so nice to show me the way to my accommodation. Thank you Junoretta!
The capital of South Sumatra lies on both sides of the huge Ampera River. There is a bridge - Ampera Bridge with the clock who doesn't work - but the bridge is the icon of the city. The area around the bridge whe colorful barges dock is a paradise for the photographer. People are loadin and unloading goods by hands like 100 years ago. Thers are supply stores in the narrows alleys and a lot of real life going on. Not far from the bridge I found the huge monument with Garuda bird - the museum is in the back side... Garuda is facing the oldest and nicest mosque of Palembang...
Heavy rain forced me to go home. Looking for nasi (pure rice) for the meal I was lucky to meet Jeff. Jeff, in the best of his 50-ties live in Palenbang, but also travel the world and speeks excellent English. We had an interesting talk at the table in the little bazaar eatery. Why you travel alone? -To meet such a people like you! Thank you Jeffrey!

Feb 28, 2019 12:00 AM They cancelled my flight!

They cancelled my flight! The wi-fi connection in my hotel works, but the transmission speed is not imposing and sometimes you must be patient to wait few minutes for the next screen...
Today I found in my e-mail box that my tomorrow's flight to Sumatra is cancelled and they offer instead latter and longer route via Jakarta. Is this how Garuda - the Indonesian flagship carrier works? I immediately chacked the possible solutions and made a call to Garuda asking to send me rather earlier than later. No way! If you cannot accept offered flights we can give you money back! Shame! I took a shuttle to Garuda office in Batam Nagoya Quarter. Ladies there were much nicer and after 20 minutes Ieft the office with two boarding passes for earlier flights.
The area around Nagoya Hill is the best of the best of modern Batam. Wide streets, elegant shops, MacDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken...
But also a lot of flowers, palms and... elections banners. In this area (Jodoh) I found the nicest mosque of Batam - Masjid Baitussyakur - see the picture. It was mid-day and there were peope inside. They were not praying, they were laying on the floor, resting inthe hours of the heat! The foreigners are so rare here, that they alowed me to go inside and to take the pictures.
Just opposite the mosque it is easy to see food stalls, poor and dirty eateries, street tailor working just on the sidewalk... In Indonesia youwill see a lot of such a contrasts...

Feb 27, 2019 12:00 AM Smiling Indonesia

Smiling Indonesia Golden Bay hotel, where I stay together with better aGolden View and Golden Prawn restaurant form here like a fenced tourist ghetto. But is is easy to escape from this oasis to the normal world - turn left after the gate and after 50 m you will be in the centre of the local life - watching the shops where you can buy a bread for 10000 IDR, tryig local food in the stalls... Herds of scooters are filling the dusty street... People are courious seeig you,they smile and despite the language barrier they try to communicate with you. Imagine little girl 8-years old selling fried bananas and tapioca, politely explaining me what she has on sale. Finally she put few samples of her food into the bag and handing me out with the smile "Free, free!" It is Angelina on the picture!
It is Muslim country and many girls like she wear already the scarves...

Feb 27, 2019 12:00 AM Postcard from Indonesia

Postcard from Indonesia Greetings from Batam - Riau Archipelago!

Feb 26, 2019 12:00 AM To Indonesia through the back door...

To Indonesia through the back door... In the early morning we docked in the Singapore cruise port. For me - with carry - on baggage only there was no need to wait for the call - at 9.30 am I was already ashore, to go through the immigration control and to walk thn to the subway station Marina South Pier... Ticket bought in the machine costme 2 SGD - to Harbourfront station. The te were one train change on the way. At Harbourfront shopping center it is not easy to find ferry terminal. Few different lines operates the route Singapore - Batam, you have to check on the monitor about next departure and than find the ticket office of the chosen company - they are on different levels! I paid 25 SGD for one - way trip.
So where I am going now? To Indonesia - using this back door. Most of the tourist are arrivig to Indonesia by air - to Jakarta or Denpasar on Bali. But the northernmost islands of Indonesia are already visible from Singapore - It is Riau Archipelago. And I am just taking this rarely used entry point to travel further island to island on domestic fares.
The trip to Indonesian Batam Island took us only an hour. In the Batam terminal I got without any fees a passport stamp: allowed to stay up to 30 days in Indonesia. Taxi to the hotel booked via cost me 80 000 INR - like 7 USD. And the a/c room with bathroom and TV - 9 USD per night. Funny, isn't it?
Welcome in the cheap Indonesia!
Our ferry (see picture) it was surprisingly small catamaran

Feb 25, 2019 12:00 AM Visa for one day will cost you 40 USD

Visa for one day will cost you 40 USD They will not say you that when you are booking the cruise. But you will see it on your ship's account. Nobody controls your passport or any other document when you go from the ship to visit Sikhanoukville. But immigration officers of Cambodia are coming aboard the ship to stick into your passport Cambodian visa and charge for it 30 USD pp plus 10 USD for them - for the issuance of the visa. People who declare not to leave the ship in the port also pay!
Hut the Cambodians (or Khmers) are nice - see the pictures.
Today we are sailing whole day heading back to Singapore...

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