A Travellerspoint blog



Orange hair, a black face & huge arms. These are some of the things that make up an Orangutan. Swinging from the trees with its huge arms is what we saw when we stumbled across a feeding platform for the huge apes. They were drinking jugs of milk & eating bananas. I had a great time watching them this morning. We came in a boat acoss the rapidy waters of the Bohora river powered by a man pulling ropes. See you all in 1 week. Bye.

Posted by Garmarshes 21:12 Comments (0)

Iris: Danau Toba

We are in Lake Toba. There's a wharf and a diving board that go into the lake outside our hotel.


Our hotel is called Carolina cottages. In 3 days we are going to Medan. There is a water park there. Apparently it's huge!
It' was Noni's birthday yesterday. We brought her a cake and i brought her a fan made out of flax.


We brought her a massage and a facial and we went out for dinner. We got french fries and pizza.


I can't wait until i'm coming home in about 1 and a half weeks and see all my friends.

Posted by Garmarshes 18:45 Comments (2)

Nico-Boring busrides.

Ahhhggg! So many busrides. Some from 4 to 9 hours, and most of the time i have nothing to do.


Anyway, on the upside, i just found out we're goin to a waterpark. At the moment we're staying on an island surrounded by the blue murky water of lake Toba. I've been told to watch out for ripples coming from big spikes in the water as local legend tells of a lake monster, like the Indonesian version of the Loch Ness monster. Today we saw my sister get sacrificed to the Batak gods. Sadly, not quite, she just volunteered to demonstrate how they would have died when we got guided on a local tour.


Hi all back home, from Nico.

Posted by Garmarshes 05:47 Comments (4)

Ketambe and Berastagi

Orangutans and Volcanoes

We're currently in Berestagi, a cool, high country retreat for the city folk of Medan. Mike and I climbed a volcano today. Great little climb with rewards of a proper crater and heaps of eggy smelling steam firing out all over the place. The kind folk at the end of the trip had installed several hot spring pools so we had a good soak before joining Helen and the kids at a fancy hotel swimming pool where we sipped on beer and fancy milkshakes.


We've been here 2 days now. Before that we spent 5 nights in Ketambe, a small village at the entrance of Gunung Leuser National Park. We had a lovely 4 days staying with a Pak and Mama Mus and 5 of their 8 children. Iris spent most of her time playing Barbies and putting on nail polish with their 6 year old daughter Atus. Their 12 year old son, Salaat, took us bush bashing to see a lovely 30 foot waterfall.


One of the days, Pak Mus took us trekking in the jungle to find Orangutans. It was a full on day but we all coped well despite feeling a bit on edge about all the leeches ( prize for most leeches spotted to Nico, prize for most bloody socks to Helen). We had almost given up hope of seeing an Orangutan that day when we came across a 50 year old male high in the trees at about 2pm. After swinging around in the tree tops, eating fruit in the most gravity deying way, he ventured down to check us out and sat for a couple of minutes staring hard at us. As I looked into his face I could see why they're called people of the forest .

The other days in Ketambe we chilled out a lot in our little bungalows but also took daily walks to spot wildlife. We saw macaques, thomas leaf monkeys and a gorgeous black gibbon. We swam in the almighty Alas river to cool off. A couple of us got sick and recovered quickly.

I continue to be amazed at how cheap it is to travel here. We are alway under budget and have been spending only around $65 a day over the past couple of weeks for the 4 of us.

Love to all at home, Kris

Posted by Garmarshes 05:59 Archived in Indonesia Comments (5)

Mike-Sumatra so far.

We are well and truly in the swing of travelling here now. what was originally quite a culture shock has become easier as we get to grips with (some of) the language and recognising the different food choices available for the vegetarians and chili averse amongst us. A lot of restaurants do food "Padang" style - That is, bringing about a dozen different dishes to your table, from which you can pick which of these to have with rice.


I'd put Sumatra about halfway between Thailand and India on the travel difficulty scale. You really need to speak a bit of Bahasa to get by as not many people here know any "Inglis". Kris has taken to this with great effect. It makes everything from flagging down a Becak(motorcycle with passenger sidecar) to buying a coffe a whole lot easier. Great coffee here, but am yet to try the local delicacy of cracking an egg and adding 4 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to my long black. Generally coffee is served with a third of the cup being sugar.


Pulau Weh was amazing. We had to drag ourselves away after 9 days of sitting round in hammocks, snorkelling and deciding what to order for dinner(insert sympathetic violins here). The kids aren't looking forward to returning to dishes duty. It was a welcome stage of the trip after our big flight over and jamming in the sights of a sweltering Kuala Lumpur. I went for a couple of dives at Iboih where we stayed. Big currents and amazing Gorgonian sea fan coral formations but not much in the way of large sea life sadly. Also about 80% of the coral in the shallows had died a couple of years ago due to an abnormal warm weather patch courtesy of El Nina. Still Nice and the kids had a ball spotting lots of colourful fish, rays and octopus. Iris gained a lot of confidence and would snorkel out into quite deep water with me.

Banda Aceh was full on at first. Big town and staunch Muslim under Sharia law, although the people were friendly and helpful. We went to the Tsunami museum which was a moving experience. It opened two months ago. Every architectural feature had a meaning and the entry was through a narrow descending corridor in low light. Water cascaded down either side of the 10 meter high(the tsunami height) walls and covered you with a fine mist. The local population was left at 200,000 after 230,000 died in the disaster.

We are now in the Gayo highlands travelling south to the Gunung-Lueser national park. Bring on the Orangutans!

Posted by Garmarshes 01:22 Comments (4)

Helen from Takengon

Hi family and friends.
Big day yesterday. Left Banda Aceh at 9.00am on minibus (us 5 and two other women) bound for Takengon. Stopped for morning tea and lunch and then drove into the highlands. Half way up a huge hill (not unlike the Rimutaka) we came across massive road works. Could count 17 different diggers. We walked up to the front and read sign Road closed from 2 - 5pm It was 2.25pm so we sat on the side of the road until 5.00.


It was hot! Fortunately locals had set up shelters where you could buy drinks (warm) and food. People are so friendly and we drew alot of interest when we proceeded to play a game of Monoply Deal. At 5pm we carried on the journey arriving in Takengon in the dark at 7.30pm The kids were great, it was pretty arduous. However Iris crashed and went to sleep before we had a chance to get dinner.


Posted by Garmarshes 21:23 Comments (6)

Iris: Pulau Weh

I go snorkeling everyday here. I see lots lof blue fish.I saw a Lion Fish. I never want to leave here because of the beuatiful water, hamocks and nice people. I have made friends with Diddy, a man at our reastuarant. He sings to us and plays the guitar every night after dinner. lots of love
IRIS xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo



Posted by Garmarshes 02:51 Archived in Indonesia Comments (5)

Nico: Pulau Weh

So far the journey has been long and tiring ... no, not really. It's been cruisy days of lying in a hammock reading my book, sitting eating delicious new foods, and snorkeling in tropical waters.nico


In the snorkeling, I've seen coral, barracudas, lion fish (which are very poisonous) and lots more. We're staying in a seaside bungalow, right over the tropical waters. Hi to everyone back home, Nico.




Posted by Garmarshes 03:37 Archived in Indonesia Comments (4)

- Banda Aceh/Pulah Weh.

I think it must be about 20 years since i last arrived in a new country for the first time. I'd forgotten the shock of not knowing anything about the culture you've arrived to on that first day and all the confusion of speaking none of the local language and knowing none of the local customs. What a difference a day makes though. Day 2 in BAnda Aceh came with new words and understanding and most importantly, having a clue of what to eat! Day 3 in Indonesia saw us journeying to Pulau Weh, a paradise just off the coast from B.A. the living is easy here in our bungalow overhanging crystal clear waters. Some of the best snorkelling i've done in a long while. It's cheap and friendly too. Love to all at home. 100_3555


Posted by Garmarshes 06:32 Comments (2)

Iris: Theme Park!

On Saturday we went to a theme park. I went on this huge ride that went round and round like a merry go round. There was a huge escalator at the theme park and bumper cars. They were really fun!100_3522 (1)

100_3522 (1)

In Kualar Lumpur we went to a really flash hotel called the Novotel. We just got to Indonesia. It's not very flash here. 100_3549


Posted by Garmarshes 21:56 Archived in Malaysia Comments (4)

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