Batam Trip: Strange caterpillar, treacherous stairs, dirty pool

I don’t like resorts. I don’t like the sea. I don’t like massages. I don’t like getting wet. But I had such a grand time in Batam over the weekend, I think I could be persuaded to change my mind.

It was a last-minute thing. We only decided on the trip two weeks before and managed to find a date to accommodate most of us. Only Morte couldn’t make it because he’s in a new job and didn’t want to take leave.

That was a shame because Morte is our club president (some say mascot) and we really missed having someone to club.

Club Morte

We met at Harbourfront at 9 am on Friday to have breakfast and wait for the ferry, which was crazy because we were all terribly sleep-deprived after a week of gaming and partying.

The first photo I took that day was when we arrived at Batam.

The moment we cleared immigration, the smokers zipped off to buy cheap cigarettes while others wandered off goodness knows where. Minou and I were the first to greet our hotel transfer.

The next photos I took were of the “scenery” while our mini van drove us up a hill to our resort.

For a while, I kept seeing people squatting at the side of the road at random spots. Some were in small groups while others were alone within long stretches of maybe a couple hundred metres. They didn’t look like workers. They just looked like normal people squatting in the middle of a deserted hill trail for kicks.

We checked into KTM Resort, a humble beachfront resort which looks more like a kelong because part of the resort hangs over the sea. And there wasn’t really much of a beach.

The restaurant is huge, like a kelong seafood restaurant. In this picture below, it occupies the entire platform in the background:

While Kerr and Minou were checking in, the rest of us wandered around and camwhored.

We decided to share a two-bedroom villa. All seven of us. Haha.

We thought it would be more fun. And it was, although it’s a little hard to sleep when there’s free surround sound snoring.

The sitting room:

The master bedroom:

The other bedroom:

The perimeter:

The balcony:

The views from the balcony:

Very modest living arrangements, but nice enough. I love how there are many connected log paths and stairways in each villa compound. Gives a kind of adventure feel to the area.

We found a very unusual caterpillar.

Its coat looked like suede, almost velvet. Some of us wanted to touch it but no one dared. It looked poisonous. And it just sat there, unmoving.

We left it alone and tried not to step on it.

Here’s the stairway that leads down to the main lobby compound from our villa:

It’s very steep!

The second half of the stairway:

Looks like it was carved off a giant tree. Very treacherous!

There’s a sea salt water jacuzzi pool at the base of our villa but it looked sad and dirty on Friday. We only found out the next day that they only clean it out and turn on the jacuzzi during weekends (or by request).

After everyone had had a chance to settle down and do some cursory exploration, we crowded onto the balcony to split our amassed fortune.

Damn smokers. Always littering my photographs with their damn cigarette packs.

Lounging at the balcony was nice. It was windy and I’d only had two hours’ sleep the night before. I felt like just sitting there for the rest of the day.

But we had stuff to do! We had to eat lunch, shop for snacks, go for a massage, then have dinner!

Kerr arranged for a mini van and driver to take us around for the day.

Our land transportation for the two days, including hotel transfer, only cost S$90, which came up to S$12.80 each.

Okay, this post is getting too long and I still have tons of photos, so I’m going to continue tomorrow.

I should stop taking so many photographs. I had actually planned to have minimal photographs, just enough to record a few highlights of the trip because I wanted to rest and relax!

But I ended up taking more than 300 photos. After deleting no-goods, I still have 245 photos.

This is one of the NGs I decided to keep after all:

I decided it’s quite funny. I was posing for a wide-shot photo between three villas (ref. 10th photo from top) when the Goonfather sneaked up behind me and gave me a scare by suddenly grabbing me by the waist.

Hrmm, okay. That’s all for today. I need to go complete my Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two. Bye!