Notes by yeyette on Sunday, June 8th, 2014 under Bintan
The ferry will depart from Singapore at 10:30AM from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. I went out at home at 8:45 and took a train going to Tanah Merah station. Take note what happens next…
I arrived at the station at 9:05AM, went down right & took bus no. 2 GOING to Changi Ferry Terminal. I was early and I was glad. I head down to the Pengerang and Pulau Ubin Terminal. I was wondering why the terminal was different from before. I’ve been to Bintan almost one and a half years ago and me and two of my friends took a taxi to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, so there was no fuss. I went down and asked an officer where is the terminal going to Bintan. He gave me a perplexed look and said, “You are in the wrong place”. My mind says, “I knew it!” He told me to go out and take a taxi to TMFT (Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal) because there is no direct bus from here. I said thank you and hail a cab.
I told the driver to go to TMFT. He looked at me, smiling, and said, “You get lost?” I meekly smiled and said, “Yes.” He asked me if I took a taxi to Changi Ferry Terminal or bus. I told him I took a bus and he said because if I took a taxi, the driver will bring me directly to TMFT. Well, no matter how confident you are in your plan, people still make mistakes. I arrived in the terminal just on time and the good thing was that, even though there are a lot of people going out the country, the officers still amazed me of their fast service.
Bintan is only an hour from Singapore. When we arrived at Bintan Terminal, I went directly to Indorent. I asked the receptionist how much for a round trip to Mutiara Guesthouse. She said SGD65 which was the same as what Mr. Thalmann told me. I asked her how much in IDR (Indonesian Rupiah) and she calculated and showed me the calculator which was IDR598,000. I changed SGD150 to IDR in Singapore. SGD1 is equal to IDR9,000. So, if we calculated SGD65 x IDR9,000, it will be only IDR585,000. IDR598,000 minus IDR585,000, I lost IDR13,000 which is SGD1.45. Very small amount, but still money. So next time? Better pay in Singapore dollar because of their lower exchange rate.
I chatted with the driver and asked about his life. He said he is 30 years old and from Bandung and just married for 3 months. He is working in Indorent for already 5 years. I asked him why he came in Bintan and he said Bintan has a good opportunity than Bandung. I also asked if he wants to work forever, he said not but he has no money to start a business. I told him putting up a business does not necessarily have a huge money to start so I told him about real estate which he can loan in a bank. He was listening well. Looking at me from the side mirror, I can see that he was thinking. He was silent and asked me if I do real-estate in my own country. I don’t know if I will say yes (I have two properties which is still a liabilities because the first one is for my parents while the second one is pre-hold. Meaning, I am paying while the construction is still on-going). What did I say to him? “No, but I read.” But then I feel that I owe him an explanation so I told him I have two but don’t have an income, yet.
I also asked him regarding the beach in Trikora if it is nice. He said Trikora beach is natural. I wonder what kind of natural is he talking about. I asked him between Agro (which I was there before) versus Trikora. He choosed Agro but in myself, I don’t like it. Let’s see when we get to Trikora. We are in the middle of our journey when suddenly it rains.
I asked him if it always rain in Trikora and he said not always, only today. I smiled and wish that it will stop but it pours out heavily. I was worried if my tent can survive this heavy rain even though it states that it is waterproof. A few minutes later and we arrived at Mutiara. By the way, the travel from ferry terminal to Mutiara is 45 minutes to an hour. He drives slowly and carefully to put us to safety due to the heavy rain.
The receptionist greets us with a smile and brought an umbrella. He gave me a welcome drink of water or soda, I don’t know, hahaha, with cucumber. It was refreshing and I emptied the cup. I want to ask for more.
Oppssss.. sorry, I cannot wait to drink it and now, it’s gone! haha. It was raining really heavily and the manager told me to wait until the rain stops before he will bring me to the campsite. Because I was hungry and it was lunch time, I ordered Nasi Goreng Mutiara SGD7.20 and fresh coconut SGD2.50. The taste was good.
I been waiting an hour before the rain stops. Then the manager approached me and brought me to the campsite which is facing the beach. I don’t have a hard time setting up my tent because it is automatic. I chose a place far from coconut tree because I’m scared the fruit will drop on my tent, haha.
After I set up everything, I asked the reception if there’s a market and he said go out and walk to my left. It will be around 10 minutes. I wanted to buy a sarong or do a little bit of cheap shopping. I walked a bit far but I didn’t find a market. What I found are kiosk.
I want to go further but I only saw road so I went back to the kiosk and bought two bottles of 1.5L water which is only IDR20,000 (SGD2.22). They spoke to me in their language but I’m glad I understand their number because I have Muslim friends in the Philippines as well as in Singapore. I went back to the resort, change my bikini and hit the crystal clear water. I totally disagree with the driver. Trikora is beautiful! Mutiara has only a few cottages so there’s not much tourist. It was way better than I expected.
I stayed outside the tent until 6PM. You cannot stay inside or else you will be drenched with sweat. It’s hot inside the tent maybe because of the material of the tent. I was hoping that it will be cold at night. I went to shower and settle myself at 7PM inside the tent. It’s colder now and I heard thunder and it worried me a bit. I prayed that it won’t rain heavily just what happened this morning ’till afternoon.
I was reading something when one of the staff called my attention and asked if I want to order something for dinner. I politely declined and back to my reading while enjoying my box of peppero and granola. Life is perfect inside the tent alone. And oh, we are already three campers, one tent for a couple nearer my place while the other was farther from us.
That little travel light was a big help inside the tent. Remember that there was no light outside so it was totally dark. There was a lamp post but only in the footpath away from the campsite.
9PM and I was already sleepy. It’s 10PM in Singapore, Bintan is an hour late. So, I turned-off the light and closed my eyes. I heard crickets and the waves of the ocean and it was a great feeling listening those sounds at night. It puts me to calm and I sleep peacefully.