Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Airport Fest '09

Yesterday was the beginning of what I have now come to call "Airport Fest '09". Airport Fest '08 was quite the ordeal. I was not allowed to board my flight in Seattle, spent a night in the Sea-Tac Airport, and had a 24 hor layover in Seoul, South Korea. This year I think we have it beat. Yes, it really is an all star line up. It all began with a flight from Maumere, Flores to Denpasar, Bali with a half hour layover in Sambawa. Next, 7 hours in Denpasar which, with delays turned into 9, waiting for a connecting flight to Jakarta. Arriving just past 7:00pm, I had planned to stay in a hotel near the airport, my next flight not being until noon today. However once at the Jakarta airport I learned all the flights were fully booked except for the Hyatt. I don't think I need to explain that this was a little out of my price range. I ate dinner at the airport, thinking about my options. They were as follows:

1)Stay at the Hyatt-not really an option.
2)Go into Jakarta and stay on Jalan Jaksa, the backpacker strip.- The only way to get there is by taxi or bus. With a taxi from the airport, you are garenteed to get ripped off, and not just a little. A lot! The bus, at that time of night, takes 2-3 hors to get there. Jalan Jaksa isn't bad if you meet some people to hang around with, which takes a couple of nights. Flying solo as a woman there, you are subjected to non-stop harassment by local men.
3)Sleep at the airport-This involves...well. sleeping in the airport.

Guess which one I opted for? I like to make my life more difficult than it has to be. That's right, I slept at the airport. Not so much slept, as sat starring aimlessly at the ground for hours upon end. It was unpleasant, to say the least. I did save myself a nights accomodations though. There are about a dozen doughnut shops, so finding a cup of Jo to keep me awake wasn't so much a problem. It also gave me a chance to catch up on some reading. Today the events of APF '09 continued with a flight, once again delayed, to Singapore. This is where I am now, Singapore. Tomorrow will be spent packing up Fred and preparing for the next long haul. The one that will end at home. First it's off to Tokyo, an hour layover, then off to LA, California. 5 hours later I'm off to Calgary. Home sweet home! Just a side note to my family, please remember to pick me up.
The more I think about it, the more I'm looking forward to being home. To seeing my family and my friends, and to enjoyiong all the creature comforts. Seeing as I can't be there just yet, Singapore really is the next best thing. I've been here so much that it feels almost like a second home. It's good to be back here.
Many airports have internet access. If I can I'll try to post durring the rest of Airport Fest '09. If not, this is likely to be my last. It's been a slice. I'd like to thank everyone who followed along. Being that I'm back in Singapore I've been able to post a lot more pictures. If you click on the slideshow it should provide you with a link to my picasa albums.
Goodbye everbody, and to those at home I'll be seeing you in a few days!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

So Concludes My Trip To Indonesia...

Well, I'm at the end of my Indonesian Adventure. One more day until I fly back to Jakarta, and one night there until I'm back in Singapore. I guess, more than just ending my trip to Indonesia, I'm more or less done with my travels all together. It's been a good trip. I'll be sad to leave it all behind, but at the same time I'm about ready for a sleep in a clean bed and a home cooled meal.
Right now I an in a Internet Cafe in Maumere, Flores. This has to be the most boring city on the face of the planet. That's saying a lot, because I've been through so,e pretty mind-numbing places. I made the mistake of coming here a couple of days early thinking, being the biggest city in Flores, there would be some thing to do here. Boy, was I wrong. The most exciting thing here is the Internet Cafe, and now that I've found that I don't know what I'm going to do. I wish I could pass the time reading, but I'm out of reading material and there doesn't appear to be a book exchange in sight. My crappy little guitar has come in handy. It's been the only thing keeping me sane.
Flores has certainly been the most beautiful part on Indonesia that I saw on this trip. On the coast of the island are white sandy beaches, in the middle are towering mountains and lush jungles. It actually reminded me a little of Laos, only with the addition of the ocean. It was a lot colder than I had anticipated. The evenings get down to about 3 degrees. Again, it was another parallel to Laos, which is the last place I experienced anything that could be described as cold weather. Needless to say, I was a little regretful about throwing away my 3 in 1 pants in Singapore (Laugh it up. They may not be pretty but they are practical). The Thai fisherman pants weren't quite cutting it. It made me wonder how on earth I'm going to deal with being back in the Canadian climate.
One of my favorite things in Indonesia was Mt. Kelimatu. It is a big volcano just outside of Moni. At the top of the mountain are three large craters, and in each is a lake. The lakes change color depending on the light. If you catch it in the right sun all three lakes can be completely different colors at the sane time. The surrounding area is nice as well. It's in the mountains, which I always like. The nearby forests are great for wondering around and exploring waterfalls, hot springs, and all the other marvels of nature. The town of Moni is quaint and quiet. It's a great place to just relax. Upon thinking about it, I probably should have just hung out there for a while longer instead of coming here.
The people of Indonesia are a little difficult to explain. They are really nice people, and eager to help you in any way they can. However, there constant sales pitches and the never ending advancements from men grow really old, really fast. Sometimes it leaves you not even wanting to leave your hotel. There is no escape from it. Even at your hotel, the only way around it is to stay in your room.
So, four more days and I'm off. Until then...