Part family treat, part birthday present for Mom, my sister and brother in law booked us into an Indonesian island resort for the long weekend (Bintan Lagoon Resort).
We arrived Thursday via ferry and stepped off into an even hotter place than Singapore. It is stunningly beautiful, with tropical vegetation too thick to see through on all sides of the road leading to the holiday resort. We stayed in a private villa with our own pool approx. 50m from the sea. We had a bbq at the villa for dinner with ingredients provided by the resort, finished with a swim in the warm water of the pool under the near-full moon.
On Friday we took a trip to a nearby village which proved to consist mostly of shops for the tourists. It was lovely (if hot!) and I bought a few trinkets - and Steve bought a curious instrument that makes what is called "thunder music", which he is driving us mad with. Dinner was the resort buffet restaurant and was supposed to be a selection of local dishes to sample but the brochure in the bedroom fails to mention the "themed evenings" - and just as my luck would have it Thursday night was seafood night. For those who don't know, I'm allergic to shellfish. And by association I'm not that fond of most seafood. I ended up eating Rendang curry off the a la carte menu which I have had many times in SA and the UK because all the exotic local specialities I'd like to try had prawns in. Very dissappointing end to a lovely day.
Saturday started with a big buffet breakfast as usual, followed by some miniture golf - however it was extremely hot and not as enjoyable as it could have been. The course is adorable though, complete with little roughs, bunkers and (not so well kept) greens. Being very hot the rest of the family headed straight for the pool at the villa but Steve and I wanted to try the hotel pool. It is beautiful, with turquoise water and palmy islands in the middle of it. Oh, and of course the bar which you can just swim up to and order a mango smoothy margarita. We eventually dragged ourselves away because we had a snorkle booked for the afternoon but our plans were slightly delayed by a tropical storm. We spent the time playing board games instead and caught the later boat out. The snorkling was very good - if very, very salty - and I cannot believe there are so many different colours of coral! It was like sticking my head into a HD National Geographics program. Dinner was another, more elaborate bbq at the villa for my brother in law Louis' birthday (the following day) followed by divine chocolate birthday cake.
Today we had one last breakout breakfast - anywhere that serves noodles and chicken curry alongside their pastries and scrambled eggs is good by me. Then we took the ferry back to Singapore and rushed in to watch the Super 14 Rugby final from last night we recorded. My poor brother in law, Louis, had his team loose on his birthday but none of the rest of us could muster too much sympathy for him, as our team was crowned the Super 14 champions. Again. Go you Bulls!
I'll upload the photos once we're back in South Africa.