Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tour of Indonesia 1 : Sumatera - Part 07

Back to the point of origin...

We packed up our gear, folded the bikes and waited.
And it was one helluva wait.
The time was set at 10:30am, we were still waiting.
I have a back-up plan, but we are holding on to the words of the man whom we paid IDR 50,000 two days earlier.
A phonecall from our driver sealed the deal.
We loaded up the bikes, and drove to the outskirts of Pekanbaru.
Just 10km into the journey, the driver stopped, rushed into a bush.
He took a dump and told us that he had been having tummy ache.
Well, when you have to go, you have to go!

Taking the "easy" option back to Dumai
We have about 210km to cover and each time we pass a small town, I was amazed that we actually rode past them.
Little by little we found ourselves past Minas and Kandis.
The plan was to take a break at Duri.

The happy camper
Halting at a hilltop

Our ride to Dumai
 Different scenarios.. 

If we would have cycled back to Dumai, we had to leave really early.
Sunrise is at 06:00am and we only have about eight hours or so to cover this distance and break our journey in Duri.
That's 110km and roughly about 11hours or more on the road with an average speed of 10km/h barring any delays on the road.
Give and take, the 110km ride would chalk up even more time.
But, we have to be in Dumai on Thursday no matter what.
So, the cycling part was off.
Mohd Radzi felt that it was best to head straight to Dumai without stopping. And do the rest of the cycling there.
By 02:00pm, we reached Duri.
The driver pulled along at a Rumah Makan and we had a decent lunch...

A nice nasi padang restaurant
The guy who served us food, glorious food!

My simple lunch
Lunch at Duri costs us IDR 52,000 (RM13.80) and that's for three persons.
That's dirt cheap compared to some places we've been to.
I shared some dishes with Mohd Radzi and our driver had a piece of chicken and a plate of rice all to himself.
This was a real satisfying experience.
Next on the list, was a trip to Mandau City Mall.
We wanted to get more Batik Shirts!
I found a nice Blue-coloured Batik and enjoyed 30% discount for the garment.
Later we went down to the supermarket where I bought some corned beef. These would go well with my instant noodles.
After a good time at the Mall, we herded back onto our chartered car and shot off to Dumai.
From Duri, we have about 74km to cover.

Matahari Mall in Duri

My awesome Blue Batik Shirt! 

Big spenders enjoy double the discount...
Nearly half the day on the road.. 

With Duri in the distance, we drove past Bukit Kapur, and reached the outskirts of Dumai.
It was already 04:30pm.
We have yet to check-in at a hotel in this town.
From my Google search, there was Comfort Hotel near our ferry office.
Our driver was professional enough to take us there.
The rooms were fully booked.
Why? There was a coast guard exercise.
Even on a weekday, rooms are scarce in this small port town.
The receptionist at Comfort told us to check out South Asia hotel on the end of the road.
This one was directly opposite some fuel farms. Once I saw it, the red flag was raised.
It costs about RM45 a night. Mohd Radzi was really pleased with it, but I told him to check out the room first.
It turned out to be a Roach motel. Fuck the RM45/night deal.
I remembered a hotel near the police station when we rode past it.
The driver took us there and as we went past Palapas hotel, there was a new place called Komala Hotel beside it.
They only had a Junior Suite at IDR 699,000 (RM186) which is the only choice we had. 
I had my stash and told Mohd Radzi that if we would stay two more nights in Sumatera, it would be in comfort. He agreed and we went down to a goldsmith in the town area to change our currency.
I tipped the driver before parting ways with him and while Mohd Radzi was sorting out the room, I had a chat with the hotel's General Manager. He told me that the prices were at promotional rates.
"You should go to Bukit Tinggi," he urged.
I asked him if he is from Dumai, "No, I am from Pekanbaru..."

Burning vegetation in Dumai
Komala Hotel, Dumai's latest accommodation

Taking a walk downtown
Dumai walkabout

After checking-in, we took a walk. 

Mid-way reaching the police station, a trishaw guy started asking questions.
"Kamu dari mana?," he asked.
The man was persistant, he wanted to "show us around".
I told Mohd Radzi that the last thing we want to do, is to be taken to a dark alley and get robbed.
The trishaw guy followed us for another 2km.
We wanted to get some information about the ferry to Pulau Rupat off Dumai.
I asked an elderly man about ferry services, he said it's next to a bridge and the ride would cost us IDR 100,000 each (RM26.70).
That sounded rather ridiculous. We walked down the road and decided to cross the street and found a place to eat.
It was some ayam bakar Mas Mono outlet that just opened for the crowd.
The food was below average and service at this "fast-food" outlet was agonizingly slow.
We continued walking until we reached a supermarket.
Here, I bought some instant noodles.
Mohd Radzi thought that the ones that found in the room were free of charge.
I told him that if any of the beverage and instant cup noodles were consumed, it would be billed to our room.

Dumai at dusk

The Mas Mono Ayam Bakar outlet

An absolutely horrible dinner
Bir Bintang to soothe my thirst...
A room too far...

For a Junior Suite, I'd expect at least a mini bar and a fridge. And a decent sofa.
Being the older dude, I offered the whole King-sized bed to the greenhorn.
It's courtesy.
Later, I got down to the receptionist to ask for another key card.
Then, I went across the street to the Alfa Mart to grab two cans of Bintang Beer and some drinking water.
At the lobby, I asked for some ice cubes.
The restaurant's waiter charged me IDR 20,000 (RM5.34) for a bowl of ice. That's fucking ridiculous. But what the hell, the beer needs chilling.
I sat down in the room, had my beers and got onto what's app to tell my wife that everything was okay.
Then, it was time to hunker down. Sleeping in a small cramped sofa. I had suffer another night, well, so be it!

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