A Travellerspoint blog

November 2008

Bali

not all fat tourists you know.

As it turns out I uploaded a lot more photos of mucking around on boats and looking at dragons than I thought. As such they bear no relevance to this blog but having waited for a n hour to upload them you are damn well going to look at them.

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Now this may sound rich coming from bloke with a handle bar tash but you have to admit Geev looks very in touch with his feminine side in that last one. Almost disturbing but there will be no censorship here. Only the truth. And if I repeated some of those from previous then tough titty. In a rush and have a headache. Bit grumpy so don't start. Anyway to the meat.

Well after the explosion of weird and wonderful animal and marine life we flew back to Bali. The Island is pretty big and fiarly culturally diverse. Please avoid Kuta and Semanyek though. Good if you want to get hammered close to a beach with a lot of drunken white people but you can do that don the road and Indonesia is a 14 hour flight. Your call though.

Anyway, spoke to a few people and headed to Ubud. Its a beautiful village in the middle of the rice paddies that seems to cater for female shoppers. There must be 4 or 5 hundred clothes shops for women, spa treatments available every 20 yards. Weird place. Some local ojek driver took us on a tour of the nightlife. Not outstanding all told but we did end up at a knocking shop in the sticks. Most weird set up. Ditched. Being a sex tourist is such a cliche these days. The last thing you want is to get home and look through your snaps and realise you were sitting next to Gary Glitter for 4 hours in some seedy establishment. Fan of 'My Gang' or not. So, raise your arms to the skies and witness Ubud.

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And its assorted temple action / which is significant.

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And now I cant find all the pictures I am supposed to put on the blog. Gone they are. Pissed am I. Well sod it. Its not like you pay to see this stuff is it. I shall embrace the disaster and just put on what I can.

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Random that.

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Sod this I'm off.

Hope all is well - hopefully more organised effort to follow but I wouldn't bet on it.
Lid

Posted by lidster 21:09 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Giant Carnivore Lizards

for crying out loud.

sunny 36 °C

So the Gili's were very sweet and definitely worth a visit. Chilled is good I have decided. Anyway, time is in relatively short order and as such it was important to get cracking with the rest of the trip. To Bali for the night. Stayed in Kuta. Think costa del sol but more expensive and no copies of the Sun available. Unappealing. Took a flight to Luaban Bajo. Geev insisted on calling it Loban Banjo but close enough I suppose.

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We wanted to get to Komodo and less time means more cash so we threw some dollars at it and got ourselves a boat.... and 2 cases of beer. Just in case. 48 hours in the middle of nowhere with 2 dudes who speak no English. What can you do? Well we saved the beer for later and slept, ate and chatted about the copious numbers of photos we took. To that in a bit. We got to Rinca after a few hours and we went trekking off in search (and I quote Geev's dad in the title) Komodo Dragons.

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They are apparently the source of the Chinese fascination with all things dragonlike. The actual story is that ths ancient chick gave birth to a son and a dragon. You have to bear with this for a second but the mother was some sort of virgin goddess (for those living in the UK where such occurrences are thin on the ground think the virgin mary with a tan and extra arms - I made up the extra arms bit to make it easier to differentiate) . They were separated at birth and one day the man came across teh dragon in the wild. He raised his sword/spear/shotgun - i forget which - at which point his mother appears, explains the ties of kith and kin and all is well. From this point the men and women of Rinca and Komodo lived harmoniously on the islands. The degree of harmony being debatable as the humans don't kill the dragons but the inverse is not so true. Any way, please hold onto your beverages, put your tray table into the upright position and clench your... teeth. Behold, the 8th wonder of the World, I give you......Giant Carnivore Lizards!!!!!

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Which I feel you will agree is pretty damn cool. They are not too friendly and you are lucky to see any on Komodo but on Rinca about 20 metres down the path there were a couple of females fighting each other one defending and the other attacking a nest. If you bent down it was like Godzilla. We soon realised this was not a great idea as they run like the wind and bite like, well, fucking big lizards. They also have a pretty cool tail whip action which you wouldnt want to be within reach of.

Geev got some video of said events but all I have with me are photos compressed to the smallest size possible so they can be transmitted onto the interweb, cloud thingumyjig for you to not really see properly. Technology truly knows no bounds.

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Hit Komodo the next day but really saw all the action on Rinca. Gets to be about 40 degrees in the middle of the day so we went and did some snorkelling to cool off. We figured it would be cool but had no idea it was going to be cooler than the dragon stuff. We managed to swim with Manta Rays. Proof available below:

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Well a picture of one at least. No waterproof cameras so you'll have to take our word for it.

All for now. More to follow.
take care

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Posted by lidster 00:49 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Sorry for the delay. Been busy hanging out doing nothing.

semi-overcast 32 °C

Well its been a while. Only a few months have passed and all hell has broken loose. Financial turmoil across the globe. Black fella in the White House. Liddington sitting around in the pub. Where will it all end?

I took a break from the travelling to seek potential gainful employment in the financial sector. This co-incided with the credit crunch, freefalling share prices as well as bankruptcy and nationalisation. You know the most important thing about comedy??......

Timing.

So end of the world? New World order? The death of capitalism? Winter of our discontent? No more 600 pound internet addicts with massive credit card bills being carried naked from their trailer on a tarpaulin by 12 concerned looking firemen? Tough to tell. Certainly all potential scenarios best observed from afar. Preferably in a place with a beach and happy hours from 4pm to midnight. Theres no point in wallowing in self pity, although to be fair what else could you do with self pity apart from wallow in it. Come to think of it you could swim in it, moving on to drown in it should you so desire and if youre not one for watersports you could stay dry and choke to death on it but (and I have an inkling you will agree) none of these sound overly attractive so I skipped the whole step and moved on, booked a flight. Random selection really and arrived in Jakarta on Saturday. Step in the right direction. Or at least 24 hours of planes and layovers in the right direction. But, and in summary for those not paying attention, definitely in the right direction.

Indonesia has the same land mass as the US and a larger population. Some 260 million people. A hundred or so dialects. It is also the largest archiapeligo in the world. Islands, volcanic stuff, midgets in tuxedos. All a bit James Bond. Quantum of Solace is wank by the way. Watch Casino Royale or one of the Bourne films and you'll have a much better evening and save yourself some cash. I digress.

Colonised by the French and the Dutch originally who must have fucked it up as the Brits got called in for a bit of Empire extension. It still amazes me that the Brits used to run the world. What was everyone else thinking? We can barely run a rail network (although tfl do a fine job Dave) these days and could not even have pubs and restaurants open regularly without the help of a million Polish people. Anyway, no such labour shortages here. Everybody seems employed although it is often difficult to ascertain what exactly they are doing. Pictures:

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Jakarta is on Java which has 120 million people on it. Grand total for the country is about the same as Europe. Lots then. Each island has a mix of Hindu, Muslim and Christian with some Buddhists thrown in to chill everyone out. Some places predominantly one or the other and some a decent mix of all 4. A few people mentioned they thought Indonesia was some sort of breeding ground for radical bus bombers. They seem to be getting on fine at the moment. For the most part.

Say hey to Geev. Taking his second holiday to come and join, did some of central america last time so Asia a good place to meet up.

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So Jakarta was crap and they had just executed teh Bali bombers so we decided to head south and see if there was a fuss.

Lombok. Then onto Gili Trawangan. Rainy season and the Australian government travel warning for Indonesia means that most places are quite quiet but the good news is that there are not many chants of aussie, aussie, aussie at 4 am. Swings and roundabouts.

Gili is cool. A lot of this going on.

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Apparently the mushrooms are halucinogenic. Magic they say. 'One way trip to moon no transport required'. Madness really. Can't imagine why anyone would bother. Irresponsible behaviour. Although it may explain the dude Geev and I met who insisted on talking like a pirate the whole time.

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And the guy who insisted I was the monkey king and danced around like a loon rubbing his head and jabbering. Or they may just be loonies. Such a fine line these days. Does make the early morning beach scene quite lively.

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Due to the size of the place the only way to get around if you are in a rush is to fly.

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Thats a picture of Geev after we had been told to get off the plane as there was a problem with the landing gear. Gathering our bags we heard a loud noise and then this local dude appeared with a satisfied grin on his face, went to the cockpit and the pilot announced that all was actually now fine with the landing gear and to take our seats. Not sure if you have ever jumped out of a plane but there is that moment as the doors open and the cold air rushes in when your brain issues - in clear and simple terms - an instruction that you should really reconsider such a rash course of action. Not sure why but this auto-response is physically communicated to you through your sphincter clenching to such a degree that you expect to shit diamonds in the morning. We stayed on board. No diamonds I'm afraid but we did land safe and sound.

The real way to get around - if you have time - is to take a boat. The water is clear, turquoise blue and its a stunning place to chug past.

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3 days on Gili and off to Bali. Supposed to be shite but thats just the crappy resort bit at the south. Not staying long in any case. Off to check out some wildlife. Updates to follow.

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Cool eh? Monkey king walks on water. Ooohoohooh.

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All the best from me and G. Be well troops. Hasta la revolucion siempre. Although maybe wait til it stops raining.

See you in the morning,

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Lid.

Posted by lidster 19:34 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

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