Thursday, September 20, 2012

First impressions in CopperTown

I left my house at 6am, and after 24 hours, I’ve finally reached Timika via Jakarta, Denpasar and Makassar. And Timika wasn’t even my final destination!

There was a slight drizzle as we made our way down the MD-82 into the waiting coaches. The Timika airport though new was still very small and a sizeable crowd had gathered around the single conveyor belt. After getting my backpack, we (I was with two other customers from Jakarta, E and J) went into the departure side to get our heli ride up to Coppertown - I’ll leave out the actual Indonesian name to make it less searchable Winking smile . We were given the M-3 tickets. I assumed that meant the 3rd copter ride up.

However after awhile, we were told that all copter flights had been cancelled due to the weather. So we were ushered out to the arrival hall again after collecting our bags and had to deposit them at the arrival hall. There, everyone waited for their names to be called and we were packed into the bus ride up.

I made the mistake of being packed into two big Indonesians and ended up having only half my butt on the seat. Big mistake, that was going to be a 2 hours ride up. I can’t be sure, I lost time while trying not to fall off the seat with every bump and corner and was probably the first time I was glad the bus turned to the right and I get to squeeze left against the giant next to me and edge my bump back inside.

The bus is like the one pictured above. One would think that a bus ride going up the mountain won’t be so bad with the view. Wrong! All the windows were boarded up from what I reckon was probably bullet resistance material. It’s white and about an inch thick. Only a slit was available about the plastic boarding to let the wind in. This was in response to the local freedom fighters taking pot shots at the buses.
We finally reached CopperTown around noon. The weather felt really chilly, and since I came from Jakarta, my sweater was packed in the backpack. Since it was mid-day, it wasn’t so bad.
That’s my room door on the left, in the F Barracks. Yeah, it’s like two containers joined with a shared toilet in between. There are rooms below us and their entrance are facing the opposite.

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It’s spartan but OK. There’s a single bed with a comfy blanket, a cupboard, writing table and single plastic chair, heater, sink and the toilet is on the right.
Towel and one single Lux soap was provided and a laundry bag that will be collected every morning.

That’s the shower. Thank goodness there’s hot water! Glorious hot water! Oh many a mornings I just don’t want to leave the hot shower into the cold cold room. Yeah, the heater is quite useless when the room is on ground level and the strong cold wind just streams in from the below the closed door.

That’s the picture taken near my room. On the left are more rooms in hostel style and the Flamboyant staff mess hall where we have our meals.
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This is the other side of the mess hall. Taken from where we wait for our 4WD up. It serves local Indonesian and Western cuisine. There’s also a salad bar, bread area with assortment of jams, butter and Vegemite (yummy!), a few selection of juices/cordials, coffee & tea, soups, cakes and even ice cream dispensing machine. Quantity isn’t a problem and quality is ok - I’m easily satisfied Smile

Sun sets around 6pm and it gets really cold with the wind and the ever present rain or drizzle.

And my thanks to the gods of free Wifi for letting me upload this short blog Smile with tongue out

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