Well sod me. Last night I arrived in Belawan, the port town at the north of Sumatra where I was suppossed to catch a ferry to Malaysia. All going good apart from losing another glove, another hat and being forced to pay a fortune for a room for a weird hotel where neighbours kept me up all night.
Then this morning the ferry port. “No ferry today”, the man says. Poo, my visa expires tomorrow and he says another one’s not due til Tuesday. Another man arrives. “Yes there is one today”. Great. But it’s a passenger ferry and they don’t normally take motorbikes. Another man arrives, he speaks bits of english. “No problem” he says, just take your panniers off and drain your petrol and they’ll let it on.
So I do all that, scraping every knuckle unbolting my box and squeezing every drop from my tank and giving it to the guys who were helping. Ferry arrives, captain takes one look at it and says “No way, you cannot bring the bike on the boat.” Great, and now the man who’d been ‘helping’ and milking me for free food and coffee as a sweetener disappears. I have to refit my box and panniers and they all laugh when they realise I have no petrol. Haha you to$$ers I actually say to them, lifting the seat and showing them the second tank they’d not spotted. I ride off and am now back in town trying desperately to figure out a way to get out of this hell hole. I’ll say it again, I don’t like this place very much and I’ll be glad to leave it behind. But something tells me it’s going to get very expensive to do so.