Thursday morning, Sarah put us on the ferry to the island of Weh, off the northern tip of Sumatra. The town of Sabang is on Weh, and Sabang is said to be a wonderland for snorkelers and divers. The plan was for Sarah to get some work done and to come over on the afternoon ferry and we could all go snorkeling today and tomorrow. We have a bungalow at Freddies.
The ride on the ferry was pretty bouncy but fast, about 45 minutes. It was raining when we got off, we looked for the driver who was to take us to Freddies, he threw our overnight bags into his trunk, we got in his car and off we went. He doesn't speak English, we don't speak Indonesian. I was sure it was just a regular taxi driver, not the driver from Freddies that had been lined up for us. Whenever we're in these cars, it seems our drivers are always competing to be the first one wherever, passing every vehicle ahead of them. We didn't see much of the scenery due to the speed and the rain, but he did get us to Freddies. Freddie welcomed us, told us to have a seat in the restaurant, our room is being prepared. So we sat and had a coffee, looked out the window at the rain, looked at the fish and turtles in the aquarium. Freddie brought some snacks for us to munch on. Soon we were whisked to our room. Our bungalow, I should say.
It kept raining. We came back to the restaurant with books to read, the porch was too wet to sit on and there isn't much space in the room. There are cards and games for the guests to play. We found a deck of cards and realized that neither of us knows any card games...so we made up our own to pass the time and wait for Sarah. We looked out at the sea - the Andean Sea - and I said those waves are too high, the boat won't come. David said it's a big boat, it can handle these waves.
Soon we got a text from Sarah telling us that the afternoon ferry had been canceled due to the weather. Sarah will come in the morning. :( We miss her.
Freddie is not only the owner of this place, he is the cook. Or, I should say, the chef. We signed up for the meals. Dinner last night was an amazing gourmet feast, a diverse selection of foods from around the world, flavors I had never tasted before. Sorry, no pictures due to the circumstances, it just seemed rude to whip out the camera. The food is prepared and set on a buffet. There are four long tables in the restaurant and more than four groups, so we share tables. We sat with a German couple about our age who are traveling for 3 months, going where the spirit moves them. They came to Freddies 2 weeks ago intending to stay a couple of days but it was too nice to leave. They tell us they've been snorkeling right off the beach here and that it's amazing. The sea is so rough right now, it's hard to believe you could just walk into the water and swim and snorkel.
At about 7:30, Freddie welcomed us all, greeting each party and commenting on their circumstances, welcoming people back or asking how their trip into the village had been and then he introduced the meal which started with a bowl of cream of mushroom soup that was unlike any mushroom soup I'd ever had before - it had flavors other than mushrooms! (mushrooms taste like dirt, right Ben?) Next course was tuna steamed in white wine. After soup and tuna, we felt satisfied but then it was time for the buffet! Let me try to list some of the foods, we had to be careful not to take too much, it all looked and smelled so wonderful! A South African Banana Salad that had a sweet brown sauce and onions and some other flavor - this was so yummy and so different! Sweet potatoes, seasoned and baked. Corn, again spicy and delicious. Chicken with ginger and other spices. Green bean dish - NOT like that one we make at Thanksgiving with Durkee's onions! More that I can't remember! Dessert was warm because they say it's cold here now (cold is a relative term), it was baked and sweet and had apples in it... Okay, I'm doing a really bad job of remembering all the dishes. Tonight I will try to take notes.
All this for 65,000 rupiah, which is $7.20. Yes, you heard right. This place, the bungalow for two nights, plus gourmet meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), is costing us 1,060,000 IDR which is equivalent to $117.52.
It's important to know which way to pray. A sign like this has been on every hotel ceiling.
The restaurant is the middle level. I'm told the windows are usually open.
This morning it was raining so hard and the sea was so rough, we didn't know if the ferry would even go. We talked to Sarah and it seemed silly for her to take a bouncy seasick-making ferry over here to sit and read in the rain, so she's not coming. All day it keeps raining off and on. I'm in the restaurant, the cooking area is adjacent to the eating area, and Freddie and his crew are here working on tonight's feast. Soon wonderful smells will be wafting my way...oh, I smell onions cooking now... It's still early though, I think I'll go back to the room and take a nap. Life is good.
Tomorrow morning we get the early ferry back to Aceh. Tomorrow night Sarah is taking us to an Australia Day party. See you later!