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Entries about rain

Chapter sixty seven - Krabi

Let's give it another chance...

rain 27 °C

Day 244: Krabi Town, Thailand 30/05/2012

Arrive in Alor Setar at about seven in the morning, naturally stopping to write some postcards as you do after fifteen hours travelling. Following this we have a bit of trouble finding the best way to the border (this journey was not so well planned) and after getting a cab to the Malaysian side, we troop through no-man’s land with our stuff, get through Thai immigration and in keeping with the rest of the journey to this point, realise we have no idea where to go next. A quick (one hour) drink in McDonald’s and a consultation with the Lonely Planet enables us to decide to give Krabi another chance. We are soon on a very tightly packed minibus destined for Hat Yai.

Hat Yai proves to be remarkably like Kuantan in its worryingly high percentage of unhelpful people and we eventually get ourselves on a coach for Krabi. We take the opportunity to grab a bite to eat (Pad Thai always welcome) and are soon aboard our fourth vehicle of the day. Dropped in Krabi Town around sixish and the fifth vehicle of the day (pick up truck) drops us right in the centre. Hunt for a nice hotel (needs to be a good one after twenty six hours on the road). Caught in a huge thunderstorm so dive into a place for tea, fashion a rain cover for my bag using my fashionable rain jacket and eventually check into a very nice hotel room. A great documentary on Fox Movies – ‘Who Killed the Electric Car’. Yawn.

Day 245: Krabi Town, Thailand 31/05/2012

A very good night’s sleep before we get our stuff together and move into a another (cheaper) room around the corner. Take a quick walk around Krabi Town, which proves to be quite nice (definitely nicer than Ao Nang) with a lot of friendly locals and amazing chicken salads available roadside. Find ourselves watching some more breakdancing at the local shopping mall. Later in the day we meet a bald man with his head tattooed (ouch) and as the clouds gather another tropical storm is imminent. We head to the bar at our place, play a bit of pool and watch the rain bounce a full six inches back off the pavement from the relative safety of the pool table.
Brave the weather after a while and head to the nearby night market for some seriously good food, a bit of fruit and some delightful nice little cupcakes. Early night.

Posted by tevs 08:57 Archived in Thailand Tagged rain thailand krabi Comments (0)

Chapter fifty three - Bukit Lawang

I have been lugging how much around in these backpacks, miss a zero and you're screwed and did you know it rains quite a bit in the rainforest?

rain 26 °C

Day 200: Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia 16/04/2012

Up nice and early and a quick breakfast at the Chinese cafe sees me go healthy with the muesli and toast option. Bagel for Gem. How civilised. Get a nice early sweat on walking with the bags to the bus station. Check in at the airport easy enough, but surprise surprise the bags are too heavy at 43kg. A nice extra charge to set Indonesia rolling...Easy flight and land in Indonesia for around midday.

Get some cash out (more on this later) and treat ourselves to that most traditional and archetypal Indonesian dinner, the humble KFC. We then manage to catch the correct minibus for the bus terminal and on our way to the rainforest we calculate that I have indeed taken out about thirty quid, not the intended wedge I thought I had on me. Turns out I missed a zero off the 'amount required' at the ATM (there are over 14,000 Rupiah to the pound). Bus stops for a while in a small town and I run to try to get cash from the cashpoint. It seems that no cashpoints in the area accept either Visa or Mastercard and the joy of a three mile jog in the tropical rain leaves me feeling a little damp in both spirit and body. Oh well, a nice clammy journey to the rainforest awaits.

We arrive in Bukit Lawang for around 6pm and also the start of the most incredibly vicious and torrential tropical thunderstorm I have ever witnessed. 'Welcome to the jungle' we are told as we climb into what can only be described as a pram attached to a moped with a small plastic sheet over for rainproofing with all our stuff, which then proceeds to break down after two minutes. It turns out that incredibly the driver forgot that he needed to put petrol in it to keep it running. We arrive in the village after dark, soaked but feeling flush with well over twenty pounds sterling worth of Indonesian Rupiah in my pocket to last the next few days. Needless to say there is no ATM helpfully sunk into the trunk of a massive tree. We eventually flop into a nice three pound room for the night attempt to dry out and congratulate ourselves on a successful few hours in Indonesia.

Day 201: Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia 17/04/2012

Despite the jungle party happening outside our door we sleep pretty well and wake up to a good breakfast. We look for an internet cafe (a surprisingly good choice of them given the surroundings) and sort out a ticket into the National Park to see the orangutans. Also manage to change our remaining Malaysian currency so at least we now have [i]some[i] cash.

After watching the entertaining monkeys (they never get boring) in the trees we head back for our raincoats (more clouds a-brewing) and try to find the orangutan area. Eventually find the canoe needed to cross the river and after some uncertainty as to whether the feeding would go ahead due to the impending weather we find ourselves climbing the slick, steep sides of the heavily forested mountain and before long we find ourselves face to face with a mother orangutan with her baby. Such huge, magnificent, graceful creatures and though the park rangers understandably want the animals to keep a safe distance from us, we end up very close to them. Before long a huge male orangutan arrives on the scene hungry for bananas and posing for our photos like an experienced supermodel. He is absolutely massive, weighs one and a half me's and has a very shaggy auburn coat, with the face of an old man.

One of the orangutans is not satisfied with the rations given by the rangers and takes it upon herself to grab a ranger's rucksack (full of fruit of course) and scurry up the nearest tree into the canopy with it, surely never to be seen again! All in all an amazing, unforgettable experience in the jungle and at about three/four pounds for the experience a bargain to boot! Upon crossing the river back and taking off our muddy footwear I discover I have been bitten by a leech and bled everywhere. Eat well and sleep dreaming of Harry and the Hendersons for some reason...

Posted by tevs 02:26 Archived in Indonesia Tagged rain rainforest indonesia orangutan buki_lawang Comments (0)

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