I arrived a couple of days ago in Banda Aceh. I traveled from Lake Toba to Meulaboh and spent the night there. Supposedly the tsunami had hit the area but I didn't see much damage south of Meulaboh. When I got there though, about half of the city is gone. I spent the night there and started up the road towards Banda Aceh. I took the road that was destroyed by the tsunami. If I had known how bad it was going to be, I might not have tried it. It used to be a 250 Km trip that would take around 4 hours by bike. As soon as I left Meulaboh though, the road ground to a slow pace.
Sorry for the long wait between updates. I was in places where there was no internet access for a long time.
I was in Lake Toba which is a beautiful lake with an island in the middle. There are almost no tourists there even though it is a great place. It has fallen out of favor for some reason. I would highly recommend anyone to go there. Very amazing. I climbed the central mountain on the island and went around and explored the area for a while. Then I left for Meulaboh.
After 600 KM of bike rides, Randall finally arrived at lake toba. he said the
place is beautiful and he enjoyed it. Now he's on the way to Meulaboh, which
was hit by the tsunami.
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Bukkit Tinggi is a backbackers dream destination. It is easy to get to (two hour bus ride from Padang) and packed with things to see and do including an old fort (what's left of it), a zoo, war museum, cultural museum, huge clock in center of town, tons of cheap hotels, lots of great Padang food all within a short walk around town.There are also great trecks to villages, mountains, volcanos and lakes all around. I wish I could stay longer. I want to come back with some friends and spend some more time here. They even have a fast internet cafe!
I made it to Padang which was a 550 Km trip. Took over 10 hours including one spill off the side of the road. Not to worry though, I only have a small bruise on my leg, a fixed headlight and a slightly wobbly front wheel. That will teach me not to try and read signs while I'm going around corners. Padang wasn't so great. It was just an industrial city that smelled like dried dog food. It is a portal to much better places including some great islands (which I might come back to some other time) and Bukit Tinggi, where I am now.
I'm in Bengkulu right now. It is on the west coast of Sumatra a days journey south of Padang. I've spent the day laying at the beach and sightseeing. Everything is going well and I will leave for Padang early tomorrow morning. The drive through the mountains from Muara Enim was terrible and slow all morning but good in the afternoon. Tomorrow the road is supposed to be good and straight. We'll see. I'll post more when I can.
Hi, i am posting an update for Randall.
got an sms from him that he was hold up by rain in Bogor area, which is an hour away from jakarta. then he made it to Merak (ferry to Bandar Lampung, never been there so can't give more details than that) Last night around 9 got another sms from Randall, that he made it to Lampung and staying in a hotel there. will be updating again, once i receive more news from Randall
I've decided to postpone my trip for a couple of days until I'm ready. I won't be leaving this saturday but instead will be aiming more for tuesday. I'm also going to be trying to take a ferry part of the way although that might be a little tough to do.
On a side note, I'm going to be having a friend, Arvin, updating this website for me if I am not able to so you should always be able to find out what is going on.
Tuesday also happens to be my birthday.
Today is the last day for exams. I've finished grading everything, taught my last class and proctered my last exam. Now all I have left is field day tomorrow and then I'm officially unemployed. I've really enjoyed these last three years teaching but at the same time I'm ready to go do something else.
Tomorrow is kind of special for me because it will be the first time in 21 years that I will not be involved in education. I'm excited. There are some interesting prospects opening up too. I'll let you know more when I do.
We had another poker night after graduation. For the first two hours things didn't go very well for me. I litterally didn't win a single hand. I ran out of money and had to buy back in. My luck changed pretty drastically after that though. I ended up coming back and winning with the largest stake of the take in the end. That is almost enought to offset losses due to the stock market last night.
Our graduation was really cool. We had 12 seniors graduating this year. Of them, 8 were honors graduates with a GPA above 3.5. All of the seniors had a GPA above 3.0. That gives you an idea of how good of a class they were.
Here is a breakdown of the nationalities of the seniors
Today is a big day for several reasons.
1. It's my mom's birthday! Happy birthday mom!
2. It's another teacher, Heather's, birthday. Happy birthday Heather.
3. It's the other computer teacher's son, Travis's birthday. Happy Birthday Travis.
4. It's graduation day for the senior class. Congratulations seniors.
5. It's donut day!
Wow, so much happening I can barely contain myself.