22 july 2007
I am working on the last update. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach and in the background the relaxing local music. Rosie in front of me in a hammock. Our hut is made of wood. Six thick wooden poles stuck in the ground. A hammock, table and a relaxing couch downstairs. Upstairs a big bed and a private porch. Palm trees in the garden, while the sun is setting on the horizon. Can you imagine a better place for your last story? I can’t!!
Well, last update… probably the last one from Bali. Our next adventure will take place in cold New Zealand. Tomorrow we go back to Mataram airport in Lombok, from where we’ll fly back to Bali. The last days on the Gili Islands were nice to and our trip.
After a nice hot shower in the cold mountains we went to bed. It has been a long day on the scooter again. Waking up the next morning on he lake was and experience itself. Slowly the clouds moved out of the lake and the sun got brighter. Looks like another nice day! After a nice breakfast on the lake, washing some clothes we went for a walk around the lake. We walked around the lake for a few hours trough the tropical forest with every once in a while some astonishing views of the lake. What a life!
The main road trough Bali, from north to south was a little bit nerve wrecking again. After the somewhat quite roads along the coast we hit the busier streets towards Ubud. This most known village of Bali totally met our expectations we had from it due to stories from fellow travellers and the guidebook. Art art art and more art. Different shops where you could buy woodwork or paintings to the traveller next door who made the most beautiful leather accessories. You could call it a hippy village were everybody made a living of some kind of artwork. Really cool. Mama Jose, you would love it here! And so everyone else who likes art.
After a lot of deliberating, taking money, time but most of all seasickness in consideration we decided to fly to Lombok. The otherwise six hour ferry ride would be a six hour hell for Rosie. Anyone who experienced seasickness would agree. When we arrived in Lombok we met two French people who also wanted to go to the Gili’s. since it was kind of late in the afternoon already we had decided to go only to Sengigi and the next day by public transportation the last part to the islands. But as so many times before this trip we changed plans and the four of us chartered a taxi and a boat for the crossing. In a small local fishing boat we crossed the channel to Gili Trawangan. The sun was setting behind the islands and we had our own private sunset cruise. This would not have happened on the ferry! Once again, a good decision.
One more time we learned new things about checking out a room before you rent it! On these islands the generator doesn’t always work the way it should! So there was no power when we checked. The bed was nice and soft. Toilet worked and was clean. The tap had running water and the would work they said. Ooh did we find out. It seemed like the blades were pointed the wrong way. At 4 o’clock we decided to go the beach to cool off a bit. Unbearably hot! So the moral of the story, check everything yourself! And before I forget. Taste the shower. Yes, you are reading it right. Looking only for water is not enough. Lack of fresh water on these islands make salty showers. Time after time you run in to something else. But hey, it’s keeping us Sharp and it is good for the environment!
Looking for a room where the fan would work a bit better we walked some time along the beach. Across the island there would be a few nice but more important, quite places. Tales such as “hotel is closed, hotel is broken and hotel is full” were all along and we disappointed we headed back to the main busy, touristy and somewhat dirty main stretch. Luckily we managed to get a decent place here anyway and everything was fine! Later that night, both of us, just finished brushing our teeth, mouth still full of foam, we realised, there was no sink! Didn’t we check EVERYTHING???!!! Haha…
By the way Pam and Margot, we want to put you guys at ease! Sharks swim AWAY from you. See the pics! Our die with Blue Marlin Dive was very cool. We took the boat to shark point where we had a nice drift dive! At an approximate depth of 85 feet the guide gave us the signal…. SHARK! With the camera ready we slowly swam around some big rocks and there it was. A white tip, at least 6 feet. Once it saw us it slowly but steadily swam away. But we have a picture! After we saw another two sharks the guide pointed out some other interesting things. Two small pygmy seahorses. About less than half an inch small it could’ve been bought at “Toys R us.” Really cool! Also a lot of turtles, two stingrays and some kind of “leaf fish” if you know the name, please let us know. We forgot to ask!
On the nearby Gili Menos everything became quite again. After a very nice sunset we went bed. Next day we walked about 15 minutes and we had the beach to ourselves. Nobody in sight as far as you could see except the odd person strolling along the beach. It was really nice to spent the day on the beach. Some snorkelling, some sun tanning and a lot of relaxing. Rosie made a super sandcastle and again we had another perfect day in paradise!
Now I’m working on the end of my last story. Gili Air. Our last stop. Getting ready to get some dinner, and arrange transport back to Bali. These last two islands were really nice to finish this trip with. Our time at Bali is about over. We have seen a lot and had many new impressions. It’s a interesting and beautiful country. Happy and fulfilled we’re going to put an end on this trip, but in the meanwhile we’re looking forward to the next part. After spending 2 days in Sidney we’ll leave for New Zealand on the 27th. The camper is taken care of, and again stay tuned because we sill keep you guys up to date with more journals and more pictures.
Big hug from both of us and till next time!
Roos en Chris.
12 july 07
After two days of paradise in Lovina we are now scootering trough the cold mountains of central Bali.
Already another week has passed. Time flies, and again we’ve done a lot! After wandering around Sanur, (and after we had a drink with our Belgium friends) we continued our adventure towards Candidasa.
We choose to take the “road less travelled” and drove along the beautiful Sidemane road. Driving trough this breathtaking scenery of rice fields and mountains, we were the main attraction on the road. Two western people with still a little clumsy way of driving. Sitting in the grass, enjoying our peanut butter sandwich while a few meters further a farmer was washing his (probably only) cow haha.
Next morning in Candidasa we woke up by the sounds of the waves, and the friendly lady’s who were sweeping our front porch. After a nice breakfast and some internet adventure (getting online here took ages) we took off as two real motorbike hero’s (big helmet and sunglasses, sunscreen, long sleeve and pants) in the direction of Tirta Ganga.
Here we enjoyed the nice water palace and another peanut butter sandwich. After this it was on to Tulamben. We heard about a nice wreck down here, and we were looking forward to go diving again. After some bargaining about the price of some rental equipment we were ready to go. Let’s hope we actually find it, because, as stubborn as we are we didn’t bring a guide. No Panic, found it immediately. This US Navy Cargo ship, torpedoed in 1942, found it’s peace at the sea bottom. Surrounded by all kind of (to us) strange looking fish we ventured into the deep. It’s bow was in about 15 feet of water, while the stern rested at approximately 100 feet. On the way back, during our safety stop we proved stingrays are not dangerous as long as you just slowly lay down on them. Oops. Totally covered with sand there was this small stingray taking it’s beauty nap. Without even noticing Rosie smoothly laid down on top of this fellow to do her safety stop. Without being even a bit bothered this little animal swam away and covered itself up again a few meters away from us.
Later that afternoon we got back on the road and in the evening we got to Yeh Sinah. Something we learned not to do again! Driving in the dark itself is already difficult enough, but we noticed that at night, all Balinese trucks hit the road. Big smoking monsters, which we of course don’t dare to overtake as easy as the local people (two way traffic on a road not much wider than a bicycle lane!!) It took us twice the time it should take to get there and totally covered up with exhaust gasses and dust we made it to our hotel in Yeh Sinah.
On arrival we realised the hotel was poorly maintained, and quite dirty. But too tired to keep on going we decided to get trough the night as good as possible. Hoping it would help, we got in our own sleeping bag and tried to fall asleep.
Next morning, still tired and dirty we had enough. We drove up to Lovina to seek a fine, quiet but mainly clean hotel. Luckily we passed some hot water springs on the road where we could get rid of all the dirt. Later that afternoon, after some looking around in Lovina, we found a lovely place right on the beach. It even had warm water and excellent food. Luxurious!
And as I said, after two days of paradise, today we drove all shivering trough the chilly central mountains of Bali towards the lakes of Danau Bratan. But more about that next time!
See ya’ll next time.
Chris and Rosie.
06 juli 2007-07-06
Well….just had a nice shower, laying on my bed now it’s time for another story. It was another very exciting day today. We went from Ulu Watu to Sanur on our "motobike". Driving trough the Bypass road is a real challenge. Sitting on the back was hard enough, don’t get started about the driving. Nice job Rosie! More about this later on.
After hectic and busy Kuta, where they try to sell you everything you can think of, and in any way you can think off ( t-shirts, bracelets, massages, surf lessons, sunglasses up til deadly bow and arrow’s) it was time to get some peace and quietness in our life. (life is hard huh, traveling like this.) So the next stop was Jimbaran bay. More than half an hour deliberating over the price with our cabdriver, he was nowhere to be found next morning. Bummer. I think the price was too good to be true anyways. But no worries, the other taxi’s are lining up already.
Jimbaran. The whole beach, all for ourselves. That’s how it’s supposed to bed. Strolling along the beach, barefooted. The hotels and restaurants are slowly making place for local fisherman huts and their boats. Some is sitting under his boat, fixing the nets, while just a little further two of them are taking all the knots out of the bundle of nets. All of a sudden there’s a boat coming full speed to shore. Seems to be the plan, because as soon as it runs aground, they are surrounded by people. Six man put their shoulders under the boat, and drag it ashore. Beside the big nice resorts and the fancy restaurants you also realize you’re far away from home. Wonderful.
According to the cabdriver, we should skip Jimbaran, and go straight to dreamland. Supposed to be much nicer. Since we liked Jimbaran already so much we were really looking forward to this. Dreamland, as the name reveals, was really nice. A beautiful beach, just a bit crowded. It felt like being on Mambo beach, just instead of the “interns”, there were a lot of Australians. And about three times a day a busload of Japanese people, whom all of them needed to have a picture from the beach. Imagine about 200 people lining up on the beach and clicking away the pictures. Haha. Rosie decided to hide in our little shack on the beach where we slept. She could’ve made good money by the way. Constantly the both of us are being asked to be taken pictures off. Well, blue hair eyes and blond hair we’ll say. Chris rented a surfboard and had a few nice surf sessions. Getting in form for the more serious Ulu Watu surf break later on.
The day we went on to Ulu Watu Rosie was not feeling so well. She has a heavy cold, sinuses, nose, everything is congested. But after some rearranging in the backpack, we managed to keep a small on for her and off we went. When we arrived in Ulu Watu, we had to go down the stairs. I didn’t count it, but believe me, there were a lot! We went for a quick bite after we walked around a bit, looking for a place to stay. This “ozzie” burger we had, was super delicious. Especially after a few days of only nasi goring. Hmmmm. We found a place to stay in the end by “Agus” the owner of “surf camp Maniac.” Chris has been here before with Pieter. Agus recognised him, and asked for Pieter, and what happened with my long hair. Peewee, Agus says HI.
After breakfast the next morning, Chris went for a surf. Rosie, sick as she was by now, still came along. On top of the cliffs in one of the warung’s ( place to eat, leave your stuff, get massages after surf) she has been taking surf pictures. Due to the long distance the pics are a bit fuzzy, but Rosie, you’re the BEST. Awesome that you did that! I can’t imagine myself a better girlfriend than you! After the mellow 4-5 feet waves in Dreamland, these 5-6 feet off Ulu Watu was definitely something to get used to again. But my second session was much better already. It felt nice surfing some real waves again. With all my muscles being sore, arms feeling like noodles, it took me just a few minutes of “Friends’ to fall asleep!
We decided to skip the Gili Islands for now. We wanted to go diving there, but since Rosie was just about to get better slowly, we decided to rent a scooter. We plan on going inland first. Before we left, we drove by the temple of Ulu Watu. Pura Luhur Ulu Watu, is one of the main important temples to the spirits of the sea in the Hindu religion. Built in the 11th century, the main attraction to this temple is the spectacular view. On top of the big cliffs, where the waves crash in to the rocks, you could sit there for hours watching over the vast ocean. Our guide told us a lot about the Hindu religion and protected us from the monkeys who love to steal your sunglasses, or anything shiny. A small downfall on the cool trip is the fact that when we made it back to the parking lot, some monkeys tore apart the seat of our brand new scooter. Totally bummed we went back to Agus, how to explain this?! But, in the end, everything turned out fine. Give and take from both sides, and everything was settled.
We decided to rent a automatic scooter, this would be easier anyways. For the astronomic price of 400.000 rupiah for 10 days (Naf 8/day) we are on our way to Sanur. Rosie drove, and I though it was scary enough \h to sit on the back. Haha. I think I was about just as exhausted as Rosie when we finally made it to Sanur. Car passing from the left, ow-no, the right, uhmm.. wait, no, both sides. Honking their horns they fly by on all imaginable sides. Three people on one scooter, while on the back they are playing with the baby, and the one in from is sending text messages on his phone. Man I’m telling you. This was an experience on it’s own. But hey, we made it safe and sane ton Sanur. We found a nice place to stay where we have the whole topfloor to nour selves. Like I started I’m going to end this tonight. On the bed, just had a nice shower, after going trough some pictures of the day we’re going to daze away into a good night of sleep with some live band playing outside on the streets somewhere. Tomorrow we’ll be strolling up and down Sanur a bit, and we’ll see what the day will bring us tomorrow! Life is beautiful, isn’t it?
Roos and Chris
01 july 2007
After a long journey (about 26 hours) we made it to Kuta (Bali). There live 3.2 million people in Bali, and you can tell! Haha. Scooters, cars, horse trolley’s and salesman appear from all corners and alleys. They all drive like madman on the wrong side of the road!! But luckily they seem to be good at this top sport, we decided not to try this at home!!
Our first guesthouse had a bathtub! A luxury you would say but, they only had cold water though brrrr. The mattress seemed to be filled with sand from the beach. Very romantic, but not very comfortable. The next day we went looking for a different place to stay and we found Berlian Inn. A very comfortable mattress, close to the beach and only 18 Naf per night for two people, including breakfast! So we decided to move.
Later that night we sat on the beach with our new, (but 2nd hand) travel guide about Bali and Lombok. Here we met Bon Java and his gang (see pic’s) and we spend the night singing along with his best Bon Jovi imitations. If felt good to be surrounded by these happy people. The average wage here is between 50 and 100 dollars a month. But even though these guys don’t have a lot, they didn’t ask us for money. So later that night we bough them some real Dutch Heineken beers!
The next day we sleep in. We woke up at about 2.30 pm haha!! I guess we needed this, because afterwards we felt like we were reborn! After “breakfast” we went to an internet café, and tried to update the website. It was quite difficult, but luckily our helpdesk Roderick helped us from The Netherlands. About two hours later we had it! We’re up and running again!
Now we are planning the route for the next weeks. The first week will probably look something like this. (Google along J): Kuta (in Bali, where we are now), Jimbaranbay, Dreamlands, Ulu Watu, Sanur, Lebih, Padangbai. Here we’ll take the ferry and make the crossing to Lombok, to the Gili Islands. There it will be a bit quieter, and we will be diving and surfing here. Chris went surfing to day, and I was glad to see he didn’t loose his skills, because when we are in Ulu Watu the waves are probably going to be a bit bigger.
That’s it for now, till next time.
Greetings, Chris and Rosie