The next morning we wake nice and early and get ready for a day of adventure. Quentin and I beg Aunt Kathy and Uncle Peter to let us go for a swim (even though I hate water, I still feel like sitting by the pools edge and dipping my feet in), but they have other plans for the day, what, we don’t know.
We go to the restaurant and have a buffet breakfast. There are eggs and bacon, cereal, toast, sausages, fruit, rice, noodles, everything you could possibly think of to eat. Quentin loads his plate with foot and tip toes back to our table balancing it. Uncle Peter tells him off for being silly and says in future he should only grab one or two things at a time and not waste food. I grab myself two small sausages and some rice, then stare at the jelly and fruit cups longingly. I know Aunt Kathy and Uncle Peter wouldn’t approve of me eating sweets for breakfast, but decide to try my luck and add them to my plate anyway. I spot a watermelon carved to look like an elegant swan, it’s absolutely amazing and I beg Aunt Kathy to take a photo of it for me, which she does while eyeing my plate disapprovingly, but she doesn’t say anything.
After breakfast, we get into a taxi and begin our adventure. It’s nice and cool in the taxi, which makes me realise just how hot it is here in Indonesia. Back at home we were all rugged up in front of the fireplace, but here they’re using air-conditioning to keep cool.
The taxi moves slowly through traffic, there are moped’s and motorbikes everywhere. Some people aren’t even wearing helmets and they’re holding babies, some even have chickens and dogs in cane baskets. The driver keeps honking the horn as he weaves the car left and right through the masses of vehicles. Its really kinda scary. Some scooters drive so close to the car you could easily reach out and touch them. I lean into Uncle Peter as a big truck goes past us, almost touching the mirror sticking out the side of the car. I hold onto my seat belt and double check thats it’s securely clipped in.
After what feels like ages, our hellish car ride is over and I jump from the car and kneel down on the ground. “We are alive. Oh my lord, we are safe.” Quentin laughs at me and pulls a funny face, so I pull one back. When I look up, I see we are at an amusement park of some sort. There is a big entrance with pictures of tigers and monkeys on it.
The four of us get a stamp on our hand when we go through and hop on a tour bus with no roof or windows, instead it has a big cage around it. We sit at the back, where the seats face the wrong way and the driver starts talking to us over a loud speaker. He warns us to keep our hands and fingers inside the vehicle and quentin quickly pulls his hand back in through the bars. We drive around on a dirt track and in no time Aunt Kathy spots a group of tigers on our left and points them out to us. One of them yawns and rolls onto it’s back and we stare at it in awe.
A little while later we drive through a massive puddle of water and it splashes up on us. Quentin gets a bit in his mouth and he pretends to throw up while I laugh at him. All of a sudden a huge Rhinoceros pops it’s head out of the water next to us and starts moving closer to the bus. I gasp and Aunt Kathy tells me to try and keep quiet, so as not to scare it. It slowly walks out of the water and goes over to another rhino and a baby. It’s so much smaller than the other two, but it’s still as big as the full grown tiger we saw earlier. The bus is filled with a chorus of “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” and the sound of camera’s clicking.
We spot loads of animals on our tour, including zebra’s, monkey’s, elephants and colourful birds. Afterwards we get to sit down and hold a baby monkey and get our picture taken. It’s fur is surprisingly wiry and it holds it’s hand out to the carer’s asking for more banana’s. The monkey likes my long yellow hair and grabs onto it and pulls it over his head. The lady snaps a photo while I giggle and try and pull my hair out of his tight grip.
We take another tour on two small canoes. They only hold two people per boat, so I go with Quentin. We travel around a winding river, through curtains of draping vines. Aunt Kathy and Uncle Peter are in the canoe behind us, but we can’t see them. I turn to look for them, just as a splash of water hits us. We are going to sink! I scream and look around to see Quentin is laughing and pointing to an elephant statue that is spraying water from it’s trunk. My heart is pounding and I keep looking for Aunt Kathy and Uncle Peter, wishing I had gone with one of them instead. I’m not a very good swimmer and I hate water on my face. When our little canoe finally pulls up to a stop at the jetty, I pull myself out and crawl back to the grassed area back on land, holding onto it as though my life depends on it. Not long after Uncle Peter and Aunt Kathy join us and we make our way to the exit. Quentin and I both beg to stay longer, but Uncle Peter and Aunt Kathy say it’s time to go.
By the time we get back to our suite, we are all tired and ready for bed, but we make our way down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. The place is lit up, with glittery lights hanging from the trees and all around the tables. Quentin and I both let out a “woah” as we take in the amazing scenery. There are people on the beach letting go of candles in square fabric cases, that lift into the night sky like miniature hot air balloons. Squirrels are climbing up and down the trees near our table and one of them rushes along the cable filled with glittery lights, then begins to climb another tree further away.
We eat our meals while an Indonesian man dressed to look like Michael Jackson sings and dances around the tables. He holds out his hand to Aunt Kathy, asking her to dance with him and we all laugh while she shakes her head and looks away, pretending to be horrified even though she’s laughing as much as we are.
Finally we get back to our suite and take turns in having a shower and getting ready for bed. Aunt Kathy gives us a bottle of water and tells us to use it to brush our teeth, because the tap water here can make us sick. Quentin opens his eyes wide and tells us he has already brushed his teeth using the tap water and he even cupped some in his hands and drank it. Uncle Peter tries to make him feel better by saying a little bit shouldn’t hurt, but I can tell he is still worried.
Before long I am climbing into my carved wooden bed and cuddling into the soft pillow. I drift off to sleep easily and dream of monkeys and tigers and baby Rhino’s.