Knowing it was a bumpy forty minute drive over the island to our destination we splashed out and opted for a car rather than a tuk tuk. This probably consumed the saving we'd made on the ferry ticket, but it was well worth it as we cantered over many steep hill and vale, missing monkeys and beeping at children driving mopeds to reach Gapang beach. Our driver was so keen to show his Lewis Hamilton skills that he ran over a cockerel on route. He was a big fella and we thought he'd stop to compensate the owner but just laughed 'ayam goreng' ('chicken with noodles' or maybe he meant the chicken is noodles?!).
Arriving at the Lumba Lumba dive school we were well welcomed by Christian. To our surprise Guliian, our Dive Master from our time in the Pernetian Islands, Malaysia back in March was here also.
We studied the local dive books and became enticed by the deep water and macro sites on offer. Maybe three days here won't be enough to see the wide range of underwater worlds around the island.
Our small bay was deserted by 8pm and we ate a filling and delicious local prawn curry with rice, and fish curry with noodles - both very fresh, with two bottles of water for £4, including tip. As our body clocks were still adjusting to the time difference we were hungry!
In hindsight we could have shared one fish and rice/noodle dish between us. We both agreed, following this single experience, that Indonesian food is much taster than Malaysian (sorry)!
The cheapest room here is more than adequate and the shared bathroom even has a western toilet - luxury! Two puppies seem to have adopted us and sleep on our door mat, Chris gives them lots of attention, especially after he steps on them in the night.
The rice fields outside Banda Aceh surrounded by volcanoes and their remnants
Good old Tuk Tuk transport!!