I was up at the crack of dawn this morning and decided to get some filming and a video diary done in the humid morning weather. Dylan soon woke and we attacked the buffet breakfast before catching another van back to the airport where we went through the process from the day before all over again. Only $84 excess was charged – not bad!
The brief 30 minute flight saw us fly in over Banda Aceh and grasp a clear view of the devastation the 2004 Boxing day Tsunami caused. We soon landed and made our way through immigration which we both found out quickly, had no system. It was a free for all and we had to push our way to the front. After collecting our boxes, customs nabbed us a decided to crack the boxes open and check out the goodies inside for 20 mins. After they were satisfied we met with Katie out the front and made introductions. She introduced us to Joel, a young local surfer who ran a number of beach bungalows and Italian restaurant in Lampuo.
After we loaded up the Nissan truck, Joel took us on a private tour of Banda Aceh and showcased the devastation and rebuilding of the coastal fishing city. Both Dylan and I ha to pinch ourselves as we tried to take in what ha actually happened that one day 5 years ago. We came across a fishing boat that had been taken in over 8kms inland and wedged into a house. The boat still stands there and is used as a memorial for the lives lost.
We made our way back to his local village on the beach where we enjoyed a cold drink followed by the re-opening of the bike boxes that ha traveled such a distance. It was time to see the damage created. Dylan’s bike cam out without a scratch. Mine however had literally fallen apart. Every washer, screw, bolt, nut, plate – you name it. Luckily I met a dive instructor named Ramman, and we were both able to put the bike back together in about an hour.
With all the bike prepared and ready to go, we headed for the beach with our new friends and enjoyed out first Indonesian sunset before diving into some beautiful homemade pizzas made by Joel in his kiln. Joel is trying to restart his business and create an income for his village where surfers used to frequently visit. He now employs several orphaned children who live in and run the restaurant. He reckons that in just under a year, the first of his new bungalows will be up and ready to go – we will both be back with friends and can’t wait to check out the surf next time!