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Covering new territory

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large_5550_14695038515032.jpgMy four sectors on the plane replaced a very long bus journey which probably isn't possible in one hit.
I woke at 0330 even though my alarm was for 0415. Flight departure to somewhere new and exciting, (Banjarmasin, was 0630 so I left the hotel by taxi booked for 0445. It was five minutes late but I still got to the new airport terminal with plenty of time.

Check-in desks were not properly signposted on the monitors. I asked around and joined the queue which was eventually indicated by the monitor.

Once airside, the monitors indicated a 40 minute delay. I got a coffee and pastry but once I got stuck into it, they made a boarding call. I downed my cinnamon roll and took my coffee along for remote gate boarding by bus.

We left only 15 mins on an old ATR72. It took four sectors to get to Banjarmasin [Banjarmasin-travel-guide-861250] via Ketapang, Pangkalanbun and Sampit.large_5550_14685733855868.jpgDayak tail on Kalstar ATR (pronounced Ah Teh Eerrr, here).I was in the first row opposite the crew jump seat so I aksed how many sectors they were doing today. It was a big fat 9, as opposed to a maximum of 12. That’s pretty horrendous with the first flight being 0615 and finishing at home base Surabaya [Surabaya-travel-guide-870617] around 1430! But yesterday they only had three sectors out of Surabaya overnighting in Pontianak. My NZ domestic crew friends would faint.

Despite being a less well-known airline and probably on the EU blanket blacklist, the crew gave excellent emergency exit briefings. This was done only in Indonesian (until some Dutch came on board). They actively sought nods to confirm passenger assistance to help with opening the exit too. Safety briefings were also only in Indonesian (until the Dutch boarded for the last two sectors). Lifevests were only demonstrated for the first flight which had a bit of overwater I guess.

The 3h15 including three stops went quickly. We were given water and chocolate for the first and last flight but that was enough to stave off hunger and thirst.

The Dutch, Simon and Karen, had been to Tanjung Puting. They thought it was quite highly touristed and had slept in kelotoks (boats). They have their arrangements all made with a guide and we are covering some similar ground (Banjarmasin and Derawan) at the same time.

They offered me a seat in their transport to the Victoria Hotel (subject to space). Their guide wasn’t there so we waited. It appears she must have just missed us as we found her at the arrivals exit holding a sign some time later. The taxi wasn’t big enough so I made my own way for IDR130K which was reasonable for the 45 minute ride.

I had lunch in the quiet food hall attached to the hotel after securing my stuff in the room. It was a quiet place and I always feel uneasy eating food in quiet places for fear of food not being fresh.

My priority was to organise a boat for tomorrow’s excursion to the floating market. There was the possibility of going with Simon and Karen but I hadn’t heard from them. After ringing a few guides, some actually picked up their phone. Price was a standard IDR350K for a minimum of 2 people. That’s a fair whack for one person. I allowed some time for Simon and Karen to get back to me, and took a rest to recover from the early morning wakeup. At about 1800 I gave up waiting and confirmed with one guide.

Guess what, about 10 minutes after, Karen WhatsApped to say that I could join them. They had internet problems. I felt really bad and rang the guide back to cancel and he was very understanding.

The restaurant across the road was closed for dinner. There didn’t appear to much around and I didn’t feel like venturing too far. I ate in the hotel restaurant and ordered a delicious Rawon. That really hit the spot!


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Indonesia

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