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wednesday 28 october

Travel Daze

Experience may be a good teacher. Experience may smooth out a few roads. Experience may even keep you from killing yourself on more than one occasion. But in the end, experience can only remind you there will be travel days like today, and that you just have to delight in the fact that 16 Pat Metheny albums and“Kind of Blue” are loaded on your playlist, and no matter where on Earth you travel there are only 24 hours in a day, eventually this one will end, in a bed (or horizontal surface.)


In bullet point form, the highlights:

·      Rise at 4:45 to pack

·      5:39AM Check out, spend several minutes discussing bill in pantomime, finally pay some mystery amount, only 2/3rds what it should have been

·      6AM Taxi-van pick up, 6:43AM he finally shows… ‘rubber-time’  I’m cool

·      7:10AM You’re not in the taxi-van alone, six others pile-in, you have been driving around for a half hour filling this tin can to the brim — camera pack in lap, driver wanted to tie to roof — NO!

·      8ish AM On the road about an hour jammed into the back right corner over the wheel—every road bump I own.

·      Minutes ‘till 9AM pull onto the dock, the bumpy taxi-van ride from hell is over, unload and recram with taxi-mates, and 30 others, into a speedboat water taxi — refuse to let camera pack be tied to roof (again) so hold in lap next four hours

It took me two years to find this pack - the MindShift Gear Rotation 180 - it is not going on top of vans, boats, or planes!

It took me two years to find this pack – the MindShift Gear Rotation 180 – it is not going on top of vans, boats, or planes!


·      9:15AM Emerge from harbor into a haze laden Java Sea — no horizon, no shore… god I hope the guy driving knows where he’s going

·      9:38AM Visual contact with coastline re-established

·      10AMish Weight of pack in lap and inability to move because I’m crammed in this seat — my arse is in serious pain, buying a seat for camera pack next time

·      10:20(something) Seatmate on left is asleep on my shoulder, snoring, loudly, at least he’s not currently smoking — I can survive snoring

·      11:20AM Leave sea turn up river to destination – Pontianak

·      11:30AM I don’t think my arse has ever experienced this much pain

·      12:01PM Arrive at dock — woops, not the dock, lunch stop, at least my arse can now move, thank god, Buda, alla, and the spaghetti monster

·      12:30PM Re-crammed back in and speeding further up river

·      1:59PM Reach ‘a’ dock… after much very odd non-communication I get off, just me, and the driver for me, who’s name I don’t know and speaks no English, is standing on the dock, we’re off to the airport

·      2:13PM Arrive at airport that was suppose to be 45mins away — driver, to be named later, says “bye” (in English) and drives off

·      2:18-39PM After much, much (MUCH) discussion I can not get on earlier of three flights to Jakarta (complete mystery why not?), head for waiting area to begin 5 hour wait – arse still sore, walk around (in circles) first 40 mins

·      6:09PM Nearly deserted waiting area (everyone left on earlier flights to Jakarta!)

·      7:10PM Time to give my arse a new seat, boarding for Jakarta

·      7:38 Wheels up! Escaping endless missed flights and delays, no more facemask, somewhere in Jakarta there has to be a cold beer!

·      8:56PM Jakarta

·      9:16PM Trying to explain to hotel (that has a shuttle van) I AM at the airport

·      9:39PM I think that’s my shuttle van

·      9:56PM Arrive, the Swiss-Belinn has a bar – BEER! – standing to drink it… the arse

·      10:33PM Posting this, going to bed — have to start over tomorrow — two more days of flying



2015-2016 Global research and reporting on great apes made possible in part through the generous financial support of the Philadelphia Zoo

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