Tuesday, March 31, 2009

They're Getting Smaller

On Monday we travelled to Simeulue another large island off the west coast of Sumatra. Earlier in the trip we had travelled to Nias on a 50-seater Fokker. The plane we flew to Simeulue in made that look like a 737. I’m not even sure what make of plane it was but it was a single engine, 12-seater, with no facilities.

Cabin service was a bun and a small container of water on your seat. The plane had four rows of seats, three in front of the stairway and one against the rear bulkhead.

I was sitting in one of the bulkhead seats and could stretch my legs out - nice. Some of our luggage was lying on the floor by my feet. One of the best things about the flight is I had perhaps the biggest window I’ve seen on a plane – it must have been 1.5’ x 2’ – made for great views when I could see the ground.

The trip started out quite nicely with smooth air, then we got to the mountains… a line of thunderstorms had developed in the early afternoon and although the pilots tried to avoid the big ones they still had to fly through some thick cloud and one heavy rain storm. Suffice to say that it got a little bumpy and cork-screwy for a while. Some of the cloud formations were spectacular. 

The air cleared as we left the coast of Sumatra and the rest of the flight was good. When we arrived on Simeulue and deplaned one of my two travelling companions said he was still shaking. I don’t think either of them will make the afternoon flight again!!

Staff from the local Red Cross chapter picked us up and took us to the hotel and I had to chuckle when I saw the name of the hotel, “Wisma Hallo Mister”.

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