It was weird packing up and leaving. The hotel had been our home for the two of us for the longest single stretch of time in almost a year of travelling. Clothes that were neatly stacked on shelves were now squashed back in to packing cubes and the rucksack groaned with all the stuff now squeezed back in to it after a fortnights rest.
Unable to finish off our massive pot of pineapple jam with breakfast we plodded down the road to the bus station. Thankfully near the national museum, we didn’t have to organise a tuk tuk and arrived with plenty of time, giving our bodies a bit of a stretch before the long journey.
The bus stopped several times en route for people to buy stuff on the side of the road and get money from ATMs. It was a fairly non eventful bus journey.
It was the stops that had all the drama. At the restaurant, while enjoying a delicious pre-cooked meal (unusual for a bus stop restaurant), there was a massive bang and a huge cloud of dust. Either one or two bikes had collided. By the time dust settled and everyone came to the aid of the gentleman there was only one rider and a swarm of people taking photos. He seemed OK and had plenty of attention. The restaurant staff got really shitty about the $20 note we tried to pay with. The tiny frays on the side of the note were unacceptable and if we really wanted to use the note he would charge us an extra $2. Scandalous and infuriating we found change to pay him and got back on the bus to calm down. The rain got heavier as we approached the capital and this may have contributed to being almost an hour behind the ETA. We were in no rush. Discreetly asking the staff at the bus company how much a tuk tuk would be, we had the information needed not to be ripped off outside the front door. When quoted $5, we point blank refused, and we think a quick word from another staff member said not to bother trying it on with them. Ha! Months of travelling, we know your game! So, still paying too much at $4 – it’s the principle – we had to shout at the driver to stop as he had passed our guesthouse. We didn’t kick about too long in the room. A free welcome drink in the rooftop bar, pretty decent wifi… we caught up on loads of saved news articles and Facebook posts. Across the busy main roads of the Independence Monument, we went to ‘The Vegetarian’. A restaurant that serves some incredible dishes to the same effect and with three portions of slightly different cuisine we had a chilled out evening. The staff weren’t exactly the most accommodating and I really felt tempted to slap someone on the back of the head for staring at me so intently. Foreigners are sometimes ruder than the locals. We topped off the soirée with a brownie from the infamous Blue Pumpkin chain around the corner and finished watching the last few episodes of Dexter, season 1. A pretty awesome day all round.
Monday 3rd October 2016