Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First day Club Med Bintan.

First lovely day Club Med Bintan.
After a good night sleep we both awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to explore and have fun in this beautiful place. We were off down to breakfast quite early for us. I went straight over to the omelet man and made friends with him. He was making giant size omelets and cutting them into pieces for everyone to share, but I asked him to make my mushroom with a little cheese omelet just for me, and he did a nice small size just for me one. Together with hash browns and a pile of bacon that was my breakfast every morning, though I quite often added a bowl of fresh pineapple and papaya as well.
We spotted the nice young couple Scott and Rafaella at breakfast and stopped by to have a chat, we are sure to run into each other again. They had been out early for a nice run along the beach before it got too hot in the sun.
After breakfast we wandered over to the list of activities for the day and discovered there was a Nature Walk in about half an hours time, so we raced back to our room and put on some walking shoes and a hat and the camera and joined in with about a dozen other on a delightful walk through the jungle. We saw very little of interest animal wise, as we were all talking too much, but we saw some birds and a squirrel then one of the walkers found a huge monitor Lizard in a ditch so we did get a photograph of some wild life.

On the walk we stopped by the sign on the main highway and posed beside it. The temperature is so hot and humid we couldn't walk for long in the hot sun, but it was very pleasant in the jungle.

After the walk it was about lunch time so we decided to have a quick lunch then go for a lovely swim in the ocean.
Lunches, in fact all meals at Club med are hardly quite, there is just so much variety of interesting food; you can't rush the selection or the eating of it.
Afterwards we changed into swim suits and headed for the lovely white powdery sand beach, secured a sun lounger with umbrella for a bit of a laze, before we dashed across the hot sun for a great swim in the warm water, it was just lovely a great beach with gently lapping wavelets and shallow water for some distance. After the swim we wandered up to the Beach Bar and ordered ourselves a yummy cocktail to drink on our sun loungers while we read our books and watched other swimmers.
Soon we thought it would be a good idea to head back to our nice cool room for a lie down before dinner and all the entertainment we have heard about.
We actually slept as we were still jet lagged from all the traveling we did the last couple of days.
We got dressed a little for dinner apparently anything goes, but it is quite nice to dress up a bit. had a most wonderful dinner, with several staff members joining us. They encouraged us to be sure and go to the big Comedy Show that some members of the staff put on. It was so funny hardly and words were spoken it was genuine comedy and had everyone laughing. There are so many languages spoken around here a mimed comedy is the best option. it was late by time we headed back to our room.
Good first day, it is very hot here and humid, but we are going to love being here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our long day finally ends.

Our long day finally ends.
After talking to the kind receptionist at the Club Med desk about our need to have a closer easier to get at room, like not half a mile away from everything, mainly because as I had pointed out we were ‘old and feeble’ well not quite! but certainly we were much older than 9 out of 10 of the other people staying there. We walked back to our room and took the receptionists advice, had a lovely shower and a lie down on the super king size bed, even napped a little before the phone rang, it was the nice lady from the desk offering us another closer room, would we care to come have a look at it and see if it would suit us better. Does a duck like water??
We were taken to a nice but small definitely not superior room with 2 single beds, it was on level 4 a ground floor room and close by the elevator, reception, free internet and the nice Panorama Bar in fact all of these were on the same level, couldn’t be better, we took it instantly. The big Waterfall Restaurant was just 2 floors down by the lift, we didn’t need to walk in the rain at all. A major consideration because it rains hard here on Bintan Island every day at some stage, sometimes all day!
We settled into our new room and immediately lay down for a little rest before we thought about dinner.
Dinner at the Waterfall Restaurant was quite an eye opener, except we did not have our eyes very open we were still extremely tired. The amount of food took our breath away there was sections of Indonesian, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Japanese, Italian, English food every night, plus often other countries food too. Almost too much selection to choose easily what we wanted! We were given a large table and soon 3 other people joined our table, all staff at Club Med, it surprised us that the staff dined with the guests, though we soon got to enjoy having company at meal time, this first night we were just not in the mood to make small talk, we just wanted to have a meal and get off to bad. The food was so good we enjoyed our meal immensely and a couple of glasses of wine with it.
We traipsed back to our new room and collapsed into bed about 8.30pm.

On our bed there was this wonderful doggie made out of towels to welcome us. photographed on our balcony.

Finally our longest endless day was over. We think the day lasted 35 hours, but was probably longer if the time differences were taken into account.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Longest Endless Day

The longest endless day.
Three months just flew by with volcanos in Chile spewing clouds of volcanic dust and dirt into the sky, closing airports in many countries including New Zealand, for a time it seemed we could find ourselves grounded too, but just in time the cloud dispersed and all airways were open and working again.
On the 4th August we were up early all packed and ready to go on the Ferry to Wellington, but first, at 8.30 am, we had to drive 30 km into Blenheim with our cat Porsche to put her into the Cattery for her 2 weeks holiday, and back again to Picton. Our kind neighbour drove us to the ferry with our luggage on a gloriously sunny calm day, the sailing was likely to be smooth and pleasant, which is just as well as I am not a very good sailor on the ferry as Cook Strait is a very rough stretch of water. We were so lucky the sailing was pleasant and I did not feel at all ill. We arrived in Wellington Harbour on time and so should of have plenty of time to catch the shuttle we had already paid for to the airport, by 6pm. But, the ferry suddenly stopped in the middle of the harbour and there was an announcement to tell us some other ship was berthed in the ferry dock and we had to wait til it was removed before we could get off the ship! So by the time we finally docked and got off the ferry we were told there was no way we could get to through peak hour city traffic to the airport by 6pm. As we came off the gangway Erle spotted a taxi pulling on the wharf quite a some distance away, he yelled over his shoulder, you get the luggage and I will try to get that taxi, as he ran like a hare down the wharf. How lucky was that, Erle came back with the taxi as I collected the luggage, we jumped in and told the driver, to the airport, fast as you can, we need to be there by 6pm. Taxi driver said he didn’t think he could do it but he would give it his best shot. He drove fast but competently through the traffic and got us there by 5 past 6pm, I leapt out and ran into the check-in waving the tickets, leaving Erle to pay (and tip) the driver and drag in the suitcases. We had made it with 5 mins to spare as the travel agent had added 10 mins to the time to make sure we did get there in time, bless her.
We caught the plane to Auckland then had a long wait til our flight to Kuala Lumpa which was nearly 12 hours long where there was another wait til we boarded our flight to Singapore, next we had a bus trip to the ferry terminal in the harbour, another long wait before boarding the ferry.
But we were so lucky, the lady behind the desk at check-in sort of conned us and some others into taking an Emerald Class ticket at extra cost. This proved to be wonderful as the Emerald Class lounge had free coffee and tea and soft drinks, air con, comfortable sofas and free Internet. We were able to rest up for a while. Finally the call to board the ferry, in the best seats too, the trip was as smooth and comfortable as possible, with free nibbles and drinks on board for the Emerald Class passengers. By now we had started to make friends with another nice young couple who had also come from NZ with us and were also going to Club Med, things were looking great, it is so pretty from the ferry passing all the big ships and the skyline of Singapore in the background and the first sight of Bintan was also pretty with a tiny island at the point..
There was another bus trip out to Club Med, where we were welcomed in wonderous fashion which is apparently a Club Med tradition, but one we had never seen before, all the staff were standing waiting waving and singing a welcome with cool towels and drinks waiting for us, how nice. It was now about 2.30pm local time;.... 29 hours had passed since we started out! on our journey We were so tired, almost sleep walking, we were assigned our room and a girl led us to the very most furtherest distant block of units, up 3 flights of stairs and then right around the building to the other end where we found our truly lovely superior room! We wanted to collapse on the bed, but no, the girl told us now we must go immediately to one of the restaurants that was putting on a special welcome lunch for us. The Terrace Restaurant was at the other end of the huge complex, the other most furtherest distant building, and walking about half a mile, out in the open under the extremely hot humid sun in our hot long trousers still, it’s a wonder we made it at all! The meal was very nice and revived us a little, but both Erle and I were very red in the face and hearts were racing, we were not at our best. The other couple were younger and seemed to be managing better than us but were still a bit worn. We decided we would have to do something about the vast distance between our room and the restaurant, like what if it rained; we would be saturated getting there. One or other or both of may well have a heart attack or a stroke too; so on the way back we stopped off at the reception and asked to be moved to a less distant room, in my most unraveled frazzled mode.
Because it was Club Med the receptionist ladies graciously and gently said madam you go back to your room, have a shower and and a lie down while we attempt to find you a room in our already fully booked resort
It is still only 4pm.

Where in the World is Bintan

Where in the world is Bintan.
During the summer while my Husband was having his hair cut at the barbers, he overheard the man next to him talking about the wonderful holiday he had just had on Bintan Island. When Erle got home he asked me to put Bintan Island into a search engine to see just where in the world Bintan Island was.
Turns out Bintan Island is a small Indonesian Island about 20 km off the coast of Singapore, hot and humid, it has beautiful palm fringed white sand beaches and an interesting history and culture, just the type of place we love to travel. S we visited our usual travel agent and asked her to look into travel there. She told us Bintan is not a usual travel destination for New Zealanders, she herself had never been there, nor had she ever sent anyone there, but she would look into what accommodation was available and how best to get there.
About a week later the travel agent rang us and said, you wouldn’t believe it, but a flyer has just been put on my desk from Club Med Bintan. It has never happened before; the deal is for 7 nights. For us that was too short a time to go so far, so we requested to ask for a 10 days stay.
Another week went by before we heard from the travel agent again, she said Club Med had given us a very good deal for 10 nights in Club Med Bintan and one free night in Kuala Lumpa, but there were 3 conditions – firstly we had to pay for the whole trip there and then, we had to fly Air Malaysia and we had to leave on 4th August. She then surprised us by telling us all food and all drinks sports and entertainment were included in the price! Anything can happen in 3 months so we were a little anxious about paying so early, but right from the first time we heard of the Island we felt we were meant to go there, so, we just wrote a cheque out and suddenly 4th August was all on.

Friday, August 05, 2011


The Bintan ferry waiting at the wharf for us.
We have arrived in Singapore, are now at the place the ferry leaves for Bintan Island, we have a 2 hour delay so we upgraded to Emerald Class where we get a lovely lounge to rest in with free coffee and biscuite plus free internet..... when I was able to et the kids off one of the computers, they were all playing silly games which was fine as long as they shared some time with others..... eventually they did.
Everything looks so lovely from here, can't wait to get on to the island with its white sandy beaches.

There is another couple from NZ going to Bintan Club Med with us a Brazilian lady and an English man both are very nice and I hope we get to see more of them while we are on the island. The ferry trip will only take 55 mins we are told, I shall have my camera at the ready, but will not be able to upload any pics till I get home.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Bintan Island

We are leaving tomorrow for a lovely holiday on Bintan island in Indonesia. This island is not a usual tourist destination from New Zealand we only heard of the island at all by chance. My Husband overheard a man talking about Bintan while at the barbers and came home to ask me to look it up on the computer. How wonderful is Google for just that!
The island is quite close to Singapore, we are to take a ferry over to Bintan from the Singapore port. We both love sea voyages so are glad to be going to be out on the ocean for a time. it will break the 3 long air flights we have to take to get there.
For the very first time we will be staying at Club Med, I rather think it will be a real different experience that we will thoroughly enjoy. We are looking forward to some nice peaceful sailing in small yachts, swimming in warm waters, visiting the market for tropical fruit plus ofcause shopping for souvenirs.
I am sure to write up all about it when I return.

The secret to a long happy marriage. lol