The fish was good in Padang bai 

We arrived in Padang Bai on the 31st of December. The plan was to stop for the New Year’s Eve and have a rest before moving further to Gilli Meno island. 

What was supposed to be short and sweet (2 nights) become a little bit of a nightmarish situation. When we booked this villa (Sukanta) , in theory, on Booking – looked ideal for two days. However, (socoteala de acasă nu se potrivește cu cea din târg)  this was not exactly what we imagined. Better yet, not only we we’re out of our comfort zone but out of any comfort.  

The villa – a traditional establishment looks indeed very traditional and it is situated literally in the open air. 

The bedrooms and restrooms protected by the roof and some basic walls that are not up to the ceiling but half way – we were literally out in the open, with the little companions, a bit like camping but less protection. The beds, true, they have the curtains to protect us from the insects but how well you imagine that works? There is even a pool. Yey.

Lacking basic conditions and being in the middle of the jungle more or less (40 minutes walk to the harbour) –  not having any sort of transport – walking in 40 degrees heat with bugs and maybe more.

We decide to make the best of what we have – we booked a liltle dinner for the night at the local diving establishment (resort they call it) to pass the night between the years, nothing fancy or sophisticated but that was exactly what we we wanted and there were no expectations. The people gathered there for the night, part of the staff of the diving club, had a blast and they seemed pretty high to me. The manager – a histerical lady with a strong Eastern European accent seemed to be the boss of the place (!) summoning the poor local girls like slaves. Pretty sad image. 

Around 11 we decide this is not our party and we need some sleep. I, particularly, started to feel very sick – muscles and head hurting, temperature and cold, frissons and all that. I managed to walk all the way up to our place where I collapsed in one of these beds in a delirious state of mind, hearing and seeing untrue things because of the fever. I was sure I have malaria and I will die there in the middle of the jungle. I didn’t have malaria nor died. 

For Kathrin and Andrei the fun just started, the electricity stopped working and they tried to fix it for couple of hours. Of course, without electricity – other basics, such as water, are lacking. Finally they give up, after few hours,  to fix it. 

In the morning, we get into a discussion with the owner of the place, he is very hostile and we are already fed up with all this. One more night here and we will be gone in the morning. Next destination: Gili Mena Island. We managed to arrange with a local mafia guy ( at least this is what he looked like) tickets for our boat tomorrow and also a ride from the middle of nowehere to the port. It sounded reasonable but you can imagine this was not the whole story. In the end, I could read in these people eyes that we are some sort of money walking machines and not other humans. 

The experience in this little port/ village left us with a bitter taste but, hey, what an interesting beginning of the new year we had! 

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