Riau Islands Ride. Day 4. Lingga to Singkep.

Today, I’m about to indulge in ‘stealth breakfast’. It’s a first for me.

Ramadhan is in full swing, and on this remote Muslim-majority island, all food establishments are required to close, including non-Muslim ones. No service whatsoever. Which means, no breakfast for us hungry tourers on this fine morning.

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Riau Islands Ride. Day 3. Bintan to Singkep to Lingga

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The tide has receded…all the way out to sea for about 200 metres. All around me is seaweed, limp and lifeless on the shallow, muddy seabed. The sun is up, painting a golden hue on the sky, and glinting off the sea.

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Riau Islands Ride. Day 2. Batam to Bintan pt 2

It’s a full-on downpour now.

I take shelter by the roadside; in a shabby little 6 feet by 6 feet bus shelter, a pre-election handout perhaps by the Golkar Democratic Party. Musn’t forget their generosity. Well, you can’t even if you want to. The wall is totally painted over with the party’s logo.

The rain eases up a bit, and I take to the road again. But soon, it pours again. I find another shelter – the front porch of an abandoned hut. This time I have to wait it out a little longer. In the cool, clammy afternoon air, I doze off….

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Riau Islands Ride. Day 1. Batam and Bintan, Pt 1

The last time that Alvin and gang went below the equator to ride the Riau islands, Firefly flight FY3426 from Subang to Batam, and back, was lighter by a bicycle tourist, a bicycle, and a couple of bicycle panniers. I was supposed to join them but I had fallen sick; couldn’t recover in time from a bad throat infection. Worse than the donation of my hard-earned money to the airline was reading their daily updates on Facebook.

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