My apologies for not blogging during the last few weeks. I blame it on the high price of internet usage in Hong Kong and Singapore. Austin, as you all probably know, returned from China alive and flew into Singapore at around midnight on the 27th.
Austin and I finally made it to Batam Island, right off the coast of Singapore. It is part of Indonesia and we were able to get our 30 day visa on arrival. Austin was sure to read over his visa thoroughly. Our lovely host Ted, Mrs. van Leeuwen's daughter-in-law, met us in Singapore and took us on the ferry to Batam. Ted's husband Roel will be arriving from Singapore on the 30th. For all those who don't know, Mrs. van Leeuwen is Sonja van Eijk's mother. For all those who don't know Sonja van Eijk, I feel terribly sorry for you. Sonja is one of the sweetest human beings on Earth, along with her mother.
Upon reaching their home in Batam, we were greeted with a glowing smile and a big hug. Afterwards we sat down for some delicious Indonesian tea and tried to remember the last time we had seen each other. That night Austin and I slept soundly and comfortably in their air conditioned guest room.
Today we went into town to get clothes more appropriate for the climate. The stores were stocked with great clothes for great prices. For about $10 CAN I picked up some nice shorts and a t-shirt. I also lopped off the majority of my hair at the barber for a whopping $2 CAN. It's great to be back in budget travel territory. We were also treated to a sumptuous meal of Nasi Goreng and Chicken Sate.
For now we are relaxing and trying to figure out the next leg of our trip. Our options are Sumatra, with dense forests and friendly people, or Sulawesi, with tropical islands and fundamentalist violence between Christians and Muslims. If anyone knows anything about these locales, we would love to hear your thoughts. We can't decide where to go. They are both so appealing but we only have a visa for 30 days....