Friday, September 30, 2011

Pasar Oleh Oleh, Bintan, Indonesia

Half day trip to Pasar Oleh Oleh with Rafaela and Scott.
After our usual big breakfast we headed down the beach for a lovely refreshing swim in the

ocean. Followed by a lesurely cocktail enjoyed under the shade of the trees, we made our way back for lunch.
After lunch we decided to take our books to the Panarama bar and sit in the sun while sipping on a cool fruit juice. When we got there we found Scott and Rafaela were also doing the same thing, so we settled down together for a quiet read and a bit of a chat. Scott said they had a taxi booked to go into the village of Pasar Oleh Oleh would we like to come along too, would we ever!
So it was a race back to our room to collect sun glasses and hats and money which we had not had to think about at all before on this holiday at Club Med as everything is already paid for.
The taxi was a nice big comfortable car with plenty of room for us all. Funny thing here in Bintan, you can not hire a car, there are no rentals to be had, sure you can get a hire car but it comes with a driver, tourists are not allowed to drive at all. So it is cheaper to just get a cab.
The cab driver didn't speak a lot of English and besides we had been told he was just a driver NOT a tour guide, he would take us where we asked but would not explain anything or offer advice. No problem to us, we were having such a great time together it was very noisy with laughter and chatter in that taxi, pretty soon the driver couldn't resist talking to us and explaining what we could about the countryside. It was only about a 20 minute drive to Pasar Oleh Oleh though a lot of mangrove swampy land with dense forest and some small cleared places, not many houses and only a few tiny village shops here and there. What we noticed was the enormous number of motor bikes and scooters everywhere hardly any cars, but I think every man and his dog must own a motor bike!
We got to the small town and the driver said he would be back to get us in an hour for the homeward journey.

Rafaela and I went straight into a souvenir shop to buy up lots of gifts for family, I liked all the colourful puppets in there for sale, many different types, but we didn't buy any of them. Scott and Erle wondered around looking at various machinery things outside amusing themselves while we ladies shopped.

Then we crossed over the road and wandered around in the pretty courtyard areas for a while.

We noticed this strange building and wondered whether it was a water tower or whether it was sentry box type of thing, it was the feature at the end of the short main street and sort of on guard.

Rafaela decided she just must buy a native dress as there were some lovely ones in the shops and I thought I would have a foot massage, nothing much I like better that a good foot massage. It was a young man who did the massaging, or rather he did lots of flourishing with hot towels and purfumes and lots of gentle rubs and strokes but it was not quite what I had been expecting, however it was still lovely and relaxing. He spoke quite good English so we were able to have a chat.

It is Ramadan time in Muslim places and Indonesia is very much a Muslim country so i asked him if he was observing Ramadan and he told me to my surprise that he was a Christian, and all the workers in his shop were. How nice as we also are Christian, Erle and I had a nice chat about that too. More lovely perfumes were poured upon my feet, so when I left I smelled very oriental.

Met up again with Rafaela and Scott and we all headed back in the taxi, on the way we passed a big statue to the Javanese Rhino and the driver stopped for us to take photos.
Rafaela and Scott then headed off to have a game of badminton while we went for a nice lie down with our books before dinner and another great show in the evening, Club Med is a great place.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The day of the elephant.

The day of the elephant.
We read on the activities board that there was to be an Elephant coming to the resort for the day, wow, I just love to ride elephants I will be there I thought. And I was!
Right after our wonderful breakfast buffet with my specially made omelet, we headed out on to the soccer field to find the elephant. Many others specially with children had already made their way to the field so I stood in line in the hot sun with them to await my turn. When my turn finally arrived I was told the rides were really only for the children and their Mother, I was very disappointed and offered to borrow a child, in fact many offer their children to me for the ride. But in the end the Mahout agreed to allow me to ride with him by myself. So I climbed up the stairs and clamoured on to her back and had a lovely ride. The elephant was so quiet and gentle and the mahout treated her very gently too, she had no torn tattered ears from being ‘trained’, when the mahout wanted her to turn or to lift her feet on lie down, he just gave her a gentle tap with a stick with a marble on the end. So good to see the elephant was treated with kindness.
Most of the morning had drifted by as we watched the elephant so it was back to the dining room for a lovely lunch.
We took the camera down the beach with us when we went for a swim, there was a native fishing boat catching fish quite close in, near the rocky point where the fish are regularly fed, they should have got a good catch!

We really enjoy swimming in the warm clean clear waters of this bay, we often saw pretty fish swimming with us. After our swim we wandered over to the beach bar for a cocktail to drink while we watched all the other people swimming and sailing. Such a very pleasant way to pass the time. We noticed a table set up under the trees with lots of lovely snacks, set out for everyone to nibble on, all free as is everything, all the food and the drinks, it does make you indulge quite a bit more than you usually would, I have to say.
Stopped by the elephant with some grass I had plucked along the edge of the lawn and fed the elephant, she liked that and so did I as she gently lifted the grass from my hand with her trunk.
We retired to our nice cool room for a relaxing siesta and reading our books. We noticed a cute little squirrel on the balcony, it was very much smaller than I expected, hardly bigger than a large rat, with black fur and a lovely chestnut coloured tail, we decided to put some crumbs of cake out for it so I could take a photo. A really bad naughty thing to do, we are not supposed to encourage the wildlife by feeding them.
Met up with Scott and Rafaella again for cocktails before dinner and to watch the sun go down and have a great chat about nothing much; very enjoyable!
Dinner was just as good as last night, though every night there are changes to the menu all the food is so good we struggle not to make complete pigs of ourselves! Again we were dining with a couple of the staff members, they also have to watch what they eat, all of them say they have put on weight since they have been working here.
After dinner we all went to the big Show, this time it is Michael Jackson Night and very well done, moon walking right across the stage while singing and there was plenty of great dancing. All in all a great show, rather noisy but that was ok. A quick latte and off to bed.