WAITING FOR THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN PALEMBANG | GRACE FILLED TRAVEL JUNKIE

WAITING FOR THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN PALEMBANG

Feeling exhausted with all these trips I've done lately, I wanted to take a week of traveling break. However, it was harder than I thought. It is very hard to say no to traveling, especially when the offer came with a chance to watch the total solar eclipse in Palembang!
Palembang citizens and tourists on the Ampera bridge capturing the total solar eclipse.
I took a night flight from Jakarta just a day before. After arriving in Palembang at 9, my family and I went to search the hotel we booked a few weeks earlier. We passed a few well known pempek restaurants, but at that time, all we wanted was to get a good sleep before waking up early tomorrow. It was only a few minutes later until we found out that there was a mistake from the booking website we used. It turned out, the hotel we booked wasn't even located in Palembang. 

Quickly my brother made a new arrangement to find a new hotel while short tempered me dialed the booking website to get a refund. The cheapest hotel we could find that night cost Rp 1.500.000,-  for a 2 persons' room. Since it was the only room we could find on that vacation day, we booked it. Hearing this from my brother, I called the booking website that made the mistake to get more than just a refund. That booking website decided to give us a complete refund, 50 USD and an additional 15% discount for my next booking. Even though I doubt that I will book anything from that website again, I took the deal.
So much drama for the night!
Morning starter kit.
Anyways, back to the topic!

I woke up early in the morning, opened my laptop to back up some old photos in my camera, read Steven Furtick's 'Crash the Chatterbox' while listening to a few songs from Panama. I can't wait for to attend their concert this weekend! Other than that, I needed a morning face wash and shave with Garnier Men's newest, Power White. Did you catch that? This face wash can also be used as a shaving foam! What a solution for a light traveler like me. It kicked start my day with excitement to chase for the solar eclipse!
 
As seen on the first picture above, our intended viewing spot was the Ampera bridge. We took a cab for 20 minutes until we ditched it because the traffic was so bad. Cars were parked on the street, motorcycles couldn't even move and everyone was walking towards one direction, the Ampera bridge. 

Soon enough, I found myself in the middle of the biggest crowd I've ever seen. It was simply worse than attending a Korean boyband concert! Still, that wasn't the worst part. After losing my family in the middle of the crowd and pushing my way in the crowd to find a good viewing spot, the sun decided to hide behind the clouds.
Worse than New Delhi's traffic.
City center. On that day, police blocked the entire road from cars.

6.45 AM, the sun was shy.
I could sense people's expectation slowly being crushed away. Needless to say, mine too. I could hear people questioning, "where is the sun?" or "we flew all the way here." Personally, I felt their pain, but there wasn't much anyone could do. Everything was in the hands of the nature.

I remember waiting on the bridge for almost an hour. Kids were tired, men were angry, and probably the women just wanted to go home. Even a few of them decided to head back home and gave up. A battle in my head lasted for another 15 minutes until I gave up and decided to walk off the bridge and search for my family.
"What is going on?"
"Thank God I stayed at home."
"I just want to go home."
As I was pushing my way off the bridge, I heard voices from my back saying that the sun is out from the clouds! In disbelief, I looked to the direction where people were pointing at. With a quick adjustment on my camera, I took this photo below. The opportunity lasted only a few seconds after the clouds came covering the sun again.

Although short, it was still such a breathtaking sight. I was lucky to experience something that rare and to be reminded of an old lesson: nothing worth having comes easy.
Graciously hiding behind the clouds.
A few minutes before the moon parted with the sun.
After being reunited with the family, we went back to the hotel to shower before heading on to the next destinations, which I will cover more later on. The urge to shower was too strong after all the hassles and pushes in the middle of Ampera bridge. 

I bet you had your own hassles and inconveniences this week. Remember to push through! Even if the push is tough, or smelly, it will come to past! Good things happen to those who waits patiently, and pushes!
Some were raising their hand for a photo opp, the others weren't enjoying the smell.

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