Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CENTRAL COAST - Terrigal en Plein-air Painting - 18 june 2011

I was asked by a friend to video local artists that were running an informal competition in conjunction with the Five Lands Walk on the Central Coast.

I spent the day walking around filming and talking to the artists who were located at various points around Terrigal Beach and the Haven.

It was very interesting watching them paint. The style of each painter was very different so it would have been hard to judge a winner.

The artists themselves were very interesting people with a variety of happy outlooks upon life.

We talked about perfection, painting style, colour, techniques, scenery, loves and likes. It was a pleasure to meet these people and hear their views on life.

I have embedded a shortened video version of the day and videos of each individual artist. The videos show the artists painting followed by a short conversation.

A great fun day!

Terrigal Plein-air Painting 2011 – short version of the whole day

Russell Austin

Simon Sawell

Greg Somers

Paul Haggith

Yianni Johns

Pat Carroll

Mike Worrell

Wendy Bills

Greg Jarmaine

Graeme Balchin

Greg Coates

Christine Vanderwyk

Indonesia - Bali - Legian - 21 to 22 May 2011

Saturday 21 May 2011 – Padangbai and Legian – sun

I had an early walk to Bias Tugal beach. The new hotel at the top didn’t eventuate but it has left a scar of bulldozed terrace landscape with quarter finished buildings. The beach and the warungs lining it are still the same. I was early so no one else was there a swim under these conditions was excellent.

I walked back, had breakfast got ready and Nyoman arrived.

We drove to Legian and I arranged an airport pick up for Sunday. I stayed at the Kumala Hotel.

I wandered around and did a bit of shopping which finished on the beach having a few beers and watching a drum performance at sunset.

Sunday 22 May 2011 - Legian – sun

A wandering shopping day today. I bought DVDs, sunglasses, hats, scarves, bed cover, sit hammock and cds. In between this I had a hot stone massage.

I went down the beach for sunset and watched the world while having a few beers, then dinner.  I heard jazz music coming from the cocoon so I spent the last few hours in a classy bar sitting on a lounge by the pool of  the ever changing colours. The music was a fittin end to the trip.

Nyoman was there to take me to the airport. His son and wife were also with him. It was nice to meet the family.

The red tape at airport was quick and painless but the flight wasn’t. I am always amazed how people sleep on a plane. I was awake all night. I arrived at Sydney stuffed but customs was quick and before I knew it I was on a shuttle bus fast asleep and on my way home.

Indonesia - Bali - Padangbai - 19 to 21 May 2011

Thursday 19 may 2011 – Balian and Padangbai – sun, cloudy, rain

I surfed the river rights 1m to 1 1/2m. It was good at first and I was on my own. A few guys paddled out as the wind began to increase and within a short time it was feathery and weak.

I decided to go to Padangbai. I paid my bill which was about 850 000 for five days total. The room was 120 000 per night with breakfast. I shared a car with an Aussie girl to Kuta and continued onwards to Padangbai.

I stayed at Kerta’s as the rooms had improved greatly and it was a good deal for 120 000.

I had to change the sim on my mobile which turned out to be a drama (problem wasn’t sim but receprion). I booked Su’s II in Legian for Saturday and Nyoman to pick up at 10 am.

Friday 20 may 2011 – Padangbai – sun, cloudy, rain
I had an early walk around Padangbai and the local markets.

After breakfast, I walked to Blue Lagoon. The snorkeling was good with heaps of fish and some coral. There were a few stingers in the water. I lied on the deck chair till mid afternoon enjoying the sun and bouts of rain.

I met an Aussie guy who had his wallet stolen on the ferry from Lombok. The crew were helpful in finding the thief but were unsuccessful.  I loaned him 1 000 000 rupiah and left him my address to mail a cheque, probably sometime in July. The exact same story came from a friend of mine (Greg) 30 years ago. Time marches on but the same things happened.

indonesia - Bali - Balian - 14 to 19 April 2011

Saturday 14 may 2011 – Legian, Balian – sun, cloudy – surf 1m to head height

Nyoman arrived with Ross at 6:30am for drive to Balian. We stopped at a few places and arrived at Balian at 9am. We settled into Ayu’s and I got a nice room for 120 000 with a view across the river right hand wave.
We went for surf on the main left and right. It was a metre to head height and glassy though crowded conditions. It was still a lot of fun.

I had lunch then a sleep. I went for an afternoon surf on the river rights. It was 1m to head height with a couple of barrels.

Sunday 15 may 2011 – Balian – sun, cloudy – 1m to below head height

We went for a walk to Mejan Beach but the tide was too high. The conditions were cleaner and so it showed the break had potential.
After breakfast, I surfed the river right with waves 1 metre to just below head height.

I slept in the afternoon and didn’t bother with surf (a bit small).

Monday 16 may 2011 – Balian – sun, cloudy
I had ttwo excellent surfs on the river rights which were excellent and solid.  There with only a few guys on both occassions.

Tuesday 17 may 2011 – Balian – sun, cloudy

I surfed the main break and great waves at the river rights. Good waves 1m to head height.

Wednesday 18 may 2011 – Balian - sun, cloudy

There were waves in the morning but very crowded and no one seemed happy. My virus was stronger today so I stayed out of the water. Most people seemed grumpy today maybe because of the morning crowded surf.

indonesia - Bali - Legian - 13 to 14 may 2011

Friday 13 may 2011 – Legian - sun, cloudy, rain

I got a car at 8am for Tambolaka airport. The drive was uneventful though the roads were windy at first then dry and dusty. The airport terminal was the smallest ever. I went through customs, checked in to flight, and paid tax in a room about 10m by 7m  then sat in the waiting room . I had a 2 hour wait. The flight took just over an hour with Wing Air.
I got a taxi at the airport to Kumala Hotel. I caught up with Ken then we both went to do various organizing.  For me, it was massage, eating and some shopping.

Ken caught his plane and I went for dinner and drink at ‘the cocoon’.

indonesia - Sumba - Tarimbang and Marosi - 2 to 13 May 2011

Monday 2 may 2011 – Legian/Tarimbang - sun

We packed, shopped and drove to domestic airport. The flight was delayed an hour.
Eventually, we arrived at Waingapu, Sumba and got our bags. Now that was an experience. The bags arrive and are put on a table big enough for five bags. The bags keep coming and so they pile up and fall onto the floor. Everyone is crowded around the table and no one will move out of the way so you can get to the bags. I got the boards quick enough as walking with two boards through a crowded area is pretty lethal to people who wont get out of the way. Maaf… sorry…maaf. Ken had a much longer job with the bags even though but because they were first off the plane and on the table. After this event, we drove to Tarimbang but not until stopping at the markets for water and oranges, looking for sate ayam for the driver, visiting the driver’s father in hospital (he had a hernia operation), meeting Cindy (Marthen’s wife – I met her last year and Marthen owns the homestay at Tarimbang) who happens to be the driver’s sister – now I see the connection. Plus one more stop so the driver could say hello and pass a note to his girlfriend, who lived about half between Waingapu and Tarimbang.

We arrived in the evening. There were four people already there – Daniel, Pedro from Portugal and a Swiss brother and sister but they were leaving tomorrow. They were all nice people.
Ken and I had a hut each. The beds and pillows were new and the eating area had been cleaned up and the old furniture removed. This was a relief as the mould the year before was the dominant smell and feel around camp.

Tuesday 3 may 2011 – Tarimbang – sun - 1m to head height surf

We had a good early head high surf. There was a moored boated with a variety of surfers.

The others left after lunch.

We had a walk along the beach and late great surf. We were alone for an hour before the boat returned. No problem though. They even gave us a boat lift to the beach. It is a half hour paddle to the reach the waves longer coming back when you are tired.

Dinner was whole fish and good.

Wednesday 4 may 2011 – Tarimbang - sun – ½ to 1m surf

We went for early surf which was small ½ to 1m.

We went for a walk around the village and stopped and chatted to a few of the locals. One thing about Sumba is that the people are a little shy so you have to initiate the conversation. This applies when you want something as well. That is, you have to ask, if not, it probably wont happen.

Later in the afternoon, we went for a surf but it was too small so we went back and got our snorkeling gear. On the way back we passed by the fisherman who were loaded with fish.
The snorkeling was clear some distance from shore though water was a bit too shallow. The sand covered the coral in the shallows. There were a few fish and Ken said he saw a sea snake.

Whole fish again…yum!

Thursday – 5 May 2011 – Tarimbang and Marosi – sun
The surf was still flat so we organized a car to Marosi 1 000 000 rupiah but the car wasn’t ready till about 1 pm. It was a five hour trip and the driver had no idea where the place was. Towards the end, we did a lot of wrong turns but eventually we got there.

We settled into the room, which was part of a four roomed villa and walked the 10 minutes to the restaurant. It was all pretty civilized, especially, compared to Marten’s.
We met a nice couple who live in Bali and drove to Sumba. We joined tables together and enjoyed a great conversation over dinner.

Friday – 6 May 2011 – Marosi – sun

The fan room -  400 000 per night. I went for an early walk down to the beach. The walk down was about 20 minutes. I met a lot of locals along the way. The beach was nice and I followed a few trails to cross the headland but it was further than I thought so I back tracked.
Breakfast was good.

We sat around most of the day. Ken decided to go back to Bali.

In the afternoon, I sat by the pool and talked with a Swiss couple.

Saturday – 7 May 2011 – Marosi – sun

We hired a car to look at the various surf spots – 500 000. There wasn’t much surf but it was nice looking around the countryside. Ken bought his ticket to Bali.

In the afternoon,  we had the car drive us to the local beach. We had a snorkel but the visibility was very poor. We went for surf but it was tiny and full.

Sunday – 8 May 2011 – Marosi – sun

The swell had picked up. Ken caught his car to the airport and I went down the beach for surf. It looked pretty awesome but the wave tended to switch breaking spots so I got caught inside about five times. Not much fun when you don’t know the waves or break but it was okay. I caught a few waves but I was having trouble working out the take off spot. As it was I was surfing the first section which was about head high. There was a second section much further out but I felt I was out far enough on the first section.

I decided to go to Tarimbang as it felt risky surfing on your own. Ali organized a car for me at 9 on Monday as it was Sunday so the driver was at church – 800 000. I let Marthen know I was coming.
I spent a quiet day looking at the surf and resting.

 Monday – 9 may 2011 – Marosi, Tarimbang – sun, cloudy
I left Marosi mid morning and arrived at Tarimbang mid afternoon. There was no one there. I settled in and went for late surf which was great, glassy, head high waves.

Mark from Scotland arrived that night.

Tuesday 10 May 2011 – Tarimbang - sun, cloudy, rain
I had three surfs throughout the day,the best being in the morning. The waves ranged from 1metre to head high. Long, long glassy fun walls. It was an excellent surf filled day.

Wednesday 11 may 2011 - Tarimbang, Marosi

An eventful day!

The early surf was huge with 10 foot sets. I caught a couple of mid size waves but eventually, I was caught by the sets and held down for ages. I could only get to the surface by standing on my board and pushing hard upwards. The waves were awesome on the sets though short and the water movement was messing up the waves.

I wasn’t happy (near drowning do that to me)so I decided it was time to move on. I organized the car with Marthen but the tyre had to be fixed and we didn’t leave to 12:30 so there was going to be no flight today. On the way to Marosi, we checked the tyres, nearly ran out of petrol, it rained, thundered, lightning. I felt there were greater forces working to stop me getting a flight out today. I decided that I would go with the flow.

There were no flights till Friday so I got a ticket and room at Nautil Resort. I got an air con room where the aircon works but sounds like a jet taxiing down the runway. I switched it during the day but off to sleep.

There were good waves but I was reluctant to surf here again on my own.

There was no one staying at the resort. It was all mine!!! Ha ha hee hee! Time to circumspect.

Thursday 12 may 2011 – Marosi - sun, cloudy, rain
I had a crap of a sleep.

I got a map of the area from Ali and went for a walk. It was suppose to take two hours but it took about 6 hours. I went through villages, down to the river, along a number of beaches, across the headlands, through the jungles, pass barking and angry dogs (do I smell that strange) and rice fields. I spoke to heaps of locals and really enjoyed myself. Luckily, when I connected with the road there was a motor bike there so I got a lift back to the hotel. Lucky again! It poured, thunder and lightning a few minutes after I got back.

Once it cleared, I spent the afternoon around the pool.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

indonesia - Bali - Legian - 30 April to 2 may 2011

Saturday – 30 April 2011 – Berewa, Legian – sun, cloudy

We left Berewa at 10am. I wasn’t feeling well – virus.

We checked into Kumala Hotel and shopped most of the day. Finally, the time had come to end for Jacinta and Chloe and I saw them off at the airport for their return to Auswtralia then I waited for Ken’s arrival.

Ken wasn’t tired and the flu tablets had hyped me up so we went down to some beach bars and sat at cocoons and had a few beers.

Sunday – 1 may 2011 – legian - sun, cloudy
We went down the beach early but it wasn’t looking good and we were tired.

We had breakfast and did our jobs - shop, money and food supplies. We had a hot stone massage which was great!

In the evening we sat on bead bags on the beach and had a beer.

indonesia - Bali - Berewa - 26 to 30 april 2011

Tuesday – 26 April 2011 – Lakey, Berewa – sun, cloudy – 0 to ½ metre waves

We were up early for the car to the airport but the flight was incorrect so we had another hour to wait. We finally arrived at the airport. Merpati wanted 200 000 for surfboard but settled for 80 000 when I produced my receipt from Merpati in bali for my board. The domestic airport tax was 11 000 each. The flight was late and we arrived at Bali at 2pm.
We had KFC, bought 2 tickets for Sumba and organized a driver for 200 000 to get to Berewa. We also stopped to change money which took quite awhile being travelers cheques. The traffic to Berewa was at a crawl and we reached the Legong Keraton Beach Hotel ($105 for double with extra bed) at 4pm. The room had some problems but they got on to fixing them straight way. This hotel is very clean and classy. The pool is worth taking photos of and hotel is located right on the beach where there is reasonable surf. What more could you want. Peter, wife a nd daughter all happy.

We had a swim in the pool and a sunset walk on the beach.

Wednesday – 27 April 2011 – Berewa – sun, cloudy – head height to plus head height waves
I had a great early surf on the reef. Not classic but exciting!

The waves increased in size throughout the morning and I had a surf in the early afternoon but it was doubling up and so it wasn’t very good. Got a few okay waves but the main thing was not to get crushed onto the sandy bottom.
We caught the free shuttle bus to Legian and Jacinta arranged adjustments for her leather jacket. We did a bit of shopping before getting a taxi back to Berewa (approx 50 000 to 60 000)

Tonight was a special BBQ dinner with a Balinese dance performance. Food was okay and the dancing was great. At the end they got the tourists up to teach them to dance. I was up and before I knew it I was finger pointing, swaying and eye extending like a professional dancer. I tried to show her a waltz in return but she freak out a little.

Thursday – 28 April 2011 – Berewa – sun, cloudy – head high plus waves

The waves were messy throughout most of the day. It cleaned up late I the afternoon and I had head high fun waves. The girls sat around the pool.
We caught a taxi to Legian in the evening. Jacinta picked up her leather jacket and bags and we went down the beach restaurants for dinner.

Friday – 29 April 2011 – Berewa – sun, cloudy

I had great early morning surf with head high waves.
I had another surf which was okay but a massive cleanup set eventually washed me right in to shore. I took that as a sign to get onto dry land.

We spent the day around the pool, room and beach.

We had dinner at the restaurant behind the hotel.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

indonesia - Sumbawa - Lakey - 19 to 26 April 2011

Tuesday – 19 April 2011 – Ubud and Lakey - sun, cloudy, rain – 1 metre to over head height waves

We were up early for the drive to the domestic airport (250 000). It took just over an hour but on checking in at the airport, we were told the plane was full for surfboards. Luckily, being first to check in, my board managed to be fitted in. Other guys waited two days for their boards.
At Bima, we were greeted by Mus from Aman Gati, who organized the boards and luggage onto the cars. Advice – don’t let the porters or anyone not with Mus pick up your gear… you’ll be hassled to pay if you do.

The drive took 2 hours pass fish farms, salt farms, hills and Dompu. We checked in but the room wasn’t very good (construction work was our view) but they organized a different room for tomorrow.
I went for late surf at Nungas, which was sectioning and shallow at 1 metre to head height. Harry was there when I got out. Harry is the motorbike rider that pillioned me last year. It was great to see him again has despite our language barriers I consider him a friend. Besides that, he laughs at all my jokes. Yes, he doesn’t speak English much but that is perfect to me.

Wednesday – 20 April 2011 – Lakey – sun, cloudy - 1 metre to over head height waves
I started with an early surf at Nungas at about 1 metre and glassy with a handful of surfers. Soon, it reached overhead and barreling and very crowded.

After breakfast, I went to Periscopes for a surf which was about a metre and fun.

After lunch, I went to Cobblestones for another surf which was over head height with a lot of water movement. Shaun (met him on the plane) turned up so at least I wouldn’t drown on my own. I took some waves on the head but got a few okay waves.
Malaria tablet day.

Thursday – 21 April 2011 – Lakey – sun, cloudy, rain – one metre to head height waves

I had a late start, due to the low tide, and went to Periscopes. It was one metre and fun. The crowd picked up quickly but I still got a few waves. Harry wanted me to see his ricefields after the surf so off we went. He owned two fields and we had to walk through two fields to get to his padi. Harry’s famiy were there sitting in the shade – his wife two daughters and youngest son. His oldest son was somewhere else. Harry demonstrated to me how he works in the fields. Kerja baik – good jod! I was dying of thirst as I had forgotten to bring water with me.

Later, I went out at Cobblestones which was much smaller and fun.

Friday 22 April 2011 – Lakey – sun, cloudy, rain – one metre to head height waves
I woke up and had a walk along the beach and reef to Lakey Pipe. I ran into Jay, who was organizing a boat to Mystery Point.

After breakfast, Jacinta, Chloe and I caught a motorbike to Cobblestones. The girls loved the motorbike ride. There were only three out including myself but that soon changed. Still there were enough waves and it was a fun break.

Back for lunch, we went to he Frenchman’s restaurant and it took an hour to come!
Chloe and I went back to Cobblestones. This time I surfed it by myself in one metre fun waves.

Back at the hotel and after a shower, Chloe and I went for a walk to Nungas and looked around the reef pools. We met a young Aussie couple from Tasmania.

We had dinner (curry) at Dekkis which was really tasty. It is a rickety two storey building with a restaurant on the top floor. It is nothing fancy but the food was so good.

Saturday – 23 April 2011 – Lakey – rain, cloudy, sun – just below head height to double head height waves

I’ve had a virus for the last few days that was mild but on this morning it hit much harder.
Shane and Helen went back to Bali today.

After breakfast, I went with Harry to Cobblestones. It was one metre to head high with long lulls but no one out again. I had great fun waves for 2 hours.
Back at the hotel and I crashed for an hour or so.

We all went for a motor bike ride to Periscopes via Hu’u and the bay path. We had great fun driving along the road and tracks. In Hu’u we drove through the village streets (tracks) and stopped at Harry’s place. The people were so friendly in the village and we got heaps of photos. At Periscopes, the waves were solid and intense with close to double overhead on the sets. I watched 13 waves in a row and only three surfers making it. The rest were crushed to oblivion. Not my type of wave.

We watched the sunset (first to be seen this week due to clouds) Afterwards, We had dinner down the road and later sat on the beach and watched the stars (clear night) and sang songs. We need to know the words!

Sunday – 24 April 2011 – Lakey - sun, cloudy, rain – 1metre to head height
The day started with a beautiful red sky on a mountain backdrop.

Chloe and I walked to Nungas and I had a snorkel in one of the large rock pools remaining on the low tide. While snorkeling I saw a few sea horses. They were straight and moved by curving their body like a sea snake. They also had a dark brown fan at the end of their tails
Chloe and I then caught motorbikes with Jay and Harry to Cobblestones. I had a fun 1 metre surf by myself for the first hour and quarter.

Later in the afternoon, it started to pour and I drove with Harry to Periscopes where there was one metre to just below head height waves. I surfed constantly for an hour by myself before two guys paddled out. We continued to surf for another hour before the tide started to get too low. It was one of the best but intense surfs with heaps of waves, fast walls and three barrels I’d had so far.

We had a great curry down the road for dinner.

Monday – 25 April 2011 – Lakey – sun, cloudy - ½ metre waves
We had a very lazy day today.

We had a walk to Nungas. I went for a snorkel while the girls swam and lazed on the beach. There were heaps of fish. We met and spoke with a group of local ladies from Dompu on the way back.
Later, Chloe and I had a bike ride to Cobblestones and Nungadora. The lefts at cobblestones looked intense but rideable and Nungadora was blown out.

We said our goodbyes to Jay and Harry and paid them 500 000 each for the week of bike riding.

Indonesia - Bali - Ubud - 17 to 19 april 2011

  Sunday 17 April 2011 – Labuan Bajo and Ubud – sunny

Pradha hotel – 450 000 triple air con. Not best value. Not recommended at all.

I woke up for an early swim in the pool. We then packed, had breakfast and took the car to LB airport. Oddly, we each had to stand on the airport scales to be weigh. Strange! The airport tax was 20 000 R. We were pretty early so we spent a lot of time waiting.

The flight was quick and Nyoman was waiting for us. We drove to Ubud (250 000R) and checked into the Prada Hotel. We had a walk around the town looking in shops and the Ubud markets. The sellers there seem to be uninvolved, persistent or rude. Such is life! Anyway, I bought two pairs of Bali pants which will do me for a few years and Chloe saw a dress she liked. There weren’t many bargains or quality items.

We went back to the room and the aircon wasn’t working so we switched rooms. This took a while, and then we had dinner downtown.

Monday 18 April 2011 – Ubud – sun, cloudy
Happy birthday Peter! Bring out the dancing girls it’s time for a wild one! Anyway…

I went for an early walk skirting the edge of the rice fields and river gorge. I walked the track at the end of Jalan Kajeng and at the cross track turned back towards Ubud. It was a 2 hour easy walk. I met a man who wanted to sell me a coconut, dogs that barked and growled, ducks and a few westerners. The views were very beautifully panoramic and with the sound of rushing water I was in ‘walk heaven’.
Back at the hotel and  I rested while the girls went shopping.

The girls then had a facial, while I continued resting.

Later in the afternoon, Jacinta and I walked to and around the monkey forest. It was very calming with plenty of monkeys. (20 000 entry)

We had a crap dinner but at least there was music.

Indonesia - Flores - Labuan Bajo, Rinca, Bidadari, Seraya - 12 to 17 April 2011

Tuesday – 12 April 2011 – legian and Labuan bajo - sunny, cloudy, rain

Car -  legian to domestic airport 100 000
Komodo eco lodge – 840 000 triple air con room with extra bed

We were up early, paid the bill and drove to the domestic airport in Bali.

We checked in for our flight, paid airport tax of 40 000 per person and flew to Labuan Bajo in Flores.
At the airport, we were met by the hotel driver and after a short drive we were settled into our room.

We rested, swam in the pool and had lunch. After that we, hired a car into town 50 000 and organized a boat trip to Rinca Island. We had a beer at the lounge café and hired a bemo for 50 000 back to the hotel.

Other people were now in the hotel. We had dinner at the hotel.
Met - Karen, Jackson and? from Byron Bay - who knew Steve from Ballina.

Wednesday – 13 April 2011 – Labuan Bajo, Rinca, Bidadari, - sunny, cloudy
We woke early, had breakfast and drove to the harbor in LB. We boarded our boat for a day tour of Rinca Island and some snorkeling.
The boat was okay and the engine very noisy. The boat cost 675 000R with lunch for three. It took 2 hours to reach Rinca passing beautiful coastal scenery, then a 15 minute walk to the NP office. We paid the various fees – 50 000 for camera, 20 000 entry pp, 50 000 island fee, 50 000 guide fee – and off we went for a two hour walk. We saw a lot of dragons around the kitchen, two in the wild, water buffalo, some rare bird and deer in the distance. It was hot but excellent.

As we walked we were reminded to beware of the three types of poisonous snakes on the island.
The guide was very informative and explained various aspects of the dragon’s life.

VIPoints –

dragons will eat their young when they hatch or anythingelse.

The hatchlings have to get up a tree quickly.
Adult dragons don’t climb.

Junveniles do climb.
A dragon’s teeth has bacteria whuch causes death eventually once bitten.

Monkeys on the island looked very scared.
Long tall grass is not fun to walk through when monsters live in it. Who cares when you’re hot and tired.

 Back to the boat and after two hours we reached Bidadari Island for snorkeling. The coral was okay but the fish were in great numbers and varieties.
Finally, we motored back to BL and stopped a bemo to get back to the hotel for 30 000.

I rang Francis at the Gardenia Hotel to arrange the boat for Saraya Island tomorrow. We meet the boat at the broken wharf.
Malaria tablet day.

Thursday 14 April 2011 – Labuan bajo and seraya - sunny, cloudy

Seraya island – 200 000 double hut 160 000 for single hut. Boat transfers  free if staying on island.

I was up early as usual and went for a walk along the beach. There were some interesting dwellings along the beach from hovels to big hotels. The beach was strewn with a lot of flotsam.

Next was a swim in the pool, paid the bill and caught a car to the broken jetty. The broken jetty was a broken jetty so it was easy to find and our boat was moored beside it. The trip was fun and it was fun talking with the boat captain who also owned the resort. It took an hour and we landed on the beautiful white sand beach in front of the restaurant on Seraya Island.
We settled into our rooms – stilted, rattan walled huts with wooden floors – which were right on the beach. The beach was white sanded and very fine.

After lunch, I had a snorkel. There were  heaps of fish and a variety of coral. The reef wqs large and shallow and at its rim it dropped off  to the depths below. The clarity was amazing!
After this, the girls rested and I walked to the west hill and bashed my way through knee high grass covering rocks back to the lodge. I wondered how many species of poisonous snakes were on this island???

The fresh water was turned on from 6pm to 8 pm and the lights ran from 6 to 10pm.

Met - Italian girl Adele and Mick from Scotland

Friday 15 April 2011 – Seraya - sunny, cloudy
The bed was a sinker but we still slept.

I was up before the sun and climbed to the highest part of the island for sunrise. There were great views over the various islands and the mainland of Flores.
I got back and the girls were still asleep so I had breakfast and then a snorkel. I followed the drop in opposite direction and once again there were heaps of fish and coral. I spotted a sea snake and followed it for a while until it needed air. I had to get out of its way at this point. Luckily, I can move fast when needed. Also spotted a blue spotted ray and followed it at a reasonably safe distance.

The girls were up and having breakfast when I got out.
I went for another snorkel. It was excellent. I swam near the mangroves which had great visibility.

Later, I went for a walk around the island and through the fishing village. The walk was hard as it wasn’t well defined. There were tracks but some lead to nowhere.
The village was great. I spoke to a lot of the locals and videoed them. They were pretty friendly and gave me the name ‘Mister orang besar’ – Mr big man – it has a catchy ring to it. The walk back was a shocker as the path ended and I had to bash my way through chest high grass this time. I pondered again on snakes while cheering myself up with changing the words of ‘Macho Man’ to ‘Orang Besar Man’. i got back just on dark.

Met - talkative guy from WA and guy from melbourne

Saturday 16 April 2011 – seraya and Labuan labjo - sunny, cloudy
The bed was still bad (as if it would get better  - by the way, chloe said her bed was great) and I spent part of the night sleeping on the beach.  I was awake very early. We packed, had breakfast, paid the bill and motored back to LB.

At LB, I rang for a car and bought some local music.

We spent the day, resting, pooling and eating.

Met - Canadians Dustin Shawn and Sam and Terri plus guy from England and knowledgeable guy from California USA who reminded me of someone who was born to be on ‘myth busters’.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Indonesia - Bali - Balian - 4 to 11 April 2011

Tuesday 5 April 2011 – Balian – rain, cloudy, fun surf

I had early surf with no one out. The waves were okay at head height.

We had our Balian breakfast at the lodgings and it was okay.

We wandered up to the shops on the main road. Jacinta picked up a few supplies and the girls wandered around.

We had an early lunch/breakfast. I surfed and the girls went down the beach and back to the hotel pool.

We went to dinner at Gajah Mina resort. It was a pleasant 10 minute walk and the restaurant was nice and the food good.

Some interesting stories today:

Some places were robbed during the night a few weeks ago. Police response was to look and then go.

Non Balinese must pay money each month to stay in a Bali town.

Tipping either with money or gifts to one person in a hotel causes jealousy and problems. It is best to tip all by putting money in a common jar.

Met – two guys from South Africa and English guy and Irish girl

Wednesday 6 April 2011 – Balian – sunny, cloudy, okay surf.

I went for early surf on the river rights. There were some nice waves from ½ to 1m with no one out.

The girls and Jacinta wandered around during the day and I had second surf on the lefts after lunch. It started off good with three out but after an hour the wind swung to on/cross shore.

We had dinner at Pondok Pisces.

Tonight is Malaria tablet night.

Interesting stories:

Some Balinese problems stem from living for today – getting into debt, rubbish not my problem when off my land.

An American surfer had no waves when he went on a boat trip in Sumatra.

An Australian living in Bali had his car robbed and windows smashed by ex local partner.

Javanese in Bali are given a hard time by local Balinese. Restrictions placed on Javanese in Bali do not apply to Balinese in Java. Do I detect a problem!

Thursday – 7 April 2011 – Balian - rain, cloudy - small to head high surf

I was up early but surf was small and messy.

We had breakfast and wandered up to the village. The girls went to a beauty salon and had a facial for 40 000 rupiah. I bought credit for my mobile and headed back to the beach.

The surf looked better so I paddled out for some nice head high waves.

I and the girls spent the afternoon resting and we had dinner.

Interesting stories:

One of the foreign  hotel owners was sent packing out of Balian a few weeks ago by the locals. Apparently, he didn’t treat them with respect.

Another hotel had staff problems due to lower pay than other hotels and longer working hours.

Foreign owners pay the highest tax while local owners pay the least.

The wages of warong workers on the beach is 400 000 rupiah per month and hotels is 700 000 rupiah plus share of tips and bonuses for ‘good’ months.

Friday – 8 April 2011 – Balian, Seririt, Munduk, Candikunning, Mengwli - cloudy, sunny, rain – head high surf

Car tour all day 650 000 rupiah

I had an early surf on the lefts and rights with no one out. We then had breakfast and Nyoman came at 9 am for day tour.

We drove to Seririt in North Bali passing beautiful rice fields and small villages. At Seririt, we visited the local market which is the largest in north Bali. It was broken into sections selling the same products in each section e.g. shoes. It was fun to walk through. Next, we visited Nyoman’s home and met two of his brothers and mother who is 76.

Next, we drove to the hot springs at Banjar. We did the gauntlet along the street leading to the springs. You buy, cheap price, etc. The hot springs were nice with only a few people. Chloe and Ellen watched.

We drove next through Munduk, stopping for coffee and views of the lakes.

At Candikunning, we wandered around the market and bought some large strawberries for 15 000 rupiah.

At Mengwi, we visited the temple and the monkeys. The monkeys were pretty cool as they jumped on your shoulder to eat peanuts. The place also had bats and a multitude of shops. A guide with a number shows you around. She kept reminding us of her number 114 between informative monkey information… this baby monkey, this momma monkey ,  this boss monkey, pointing at badge 114 and so this was repeated in various order through the tour. Eventually, we discovered the meaning of 114 and the persistence of telling us. 114 was her shop and we only could shop at her shop. We were courteous and spent 30 seconds looking through her shop and farewelled her. We didn’t wait for a reply.

Next stop was back to Balian.

Saturday – 9 April 2011 – sunny – head high plus waves

I had good early morning surf on my own and the late morning surf was powerful and heaps of fun on the lefts.

In the afternoon we did a short walk to the north point though the resort. It is a nice at sunset.

Sunday - 10 April 2011 – Balian - sunny, cloudy, rain – head high plus surf

I had early surf on the river rights in head high plus waves after breakfast. The lefts were a little out of control. The girls went to the resort pool and Jacinta the beach pool.

I had early afternoon surf in head high plus waves but they were a bit too over the place so it wasn’t much fun.

Monday- 11 April 2011 – Balian and legian - sunny, cloudy – head high surf

Kumala Pantai – 860 000 for double room with extra bed

I had an early surf,  which was a lot cleaner than yesterday with only a handful of guys.

We had breakfast and drove to Legian. At Legian, we settled into the Kumala Pantai (The Kumala was full).  I went with Jacinta to get her a leather coat and the girls went shopping. On our return, I had a hot stone massage and the girls were still shopping.  I had a late afternoon swim in the two pools and the girls were still shopping.

We had dinner down the beach and later drove Ellen to the International airport for her flight back to Australia.

indonesia - Bali - Legian - 2 April to 4 April 2011

Saturday 2 April 2011 – Australia and Legian - rain

Kumala Hotel – 275 000 double room standard
We left Terrigal at 12 noon. A friend Barb drove us to the airport in Sydney.

We arrived at the airport and checked in with no dramas. While at the airport we bought duty free alcohol for indo.
The flight seemed to go on forever but eventually we made it. Once outside we were greeted by Nyoman our driver. Straight away Marty (friend from Australia) suddenly appeared. He was on his way back to Australia after two weeks surfing Bali and Sumbawa. Great to see him and he was looking buff as well.

We checked into Kumala Hotel in Legian and I had a swim and we all went to bed.

Sunday 3 April 2011 – Legian - rain, windy, small onshore surf

After a jet lagged sleep, the girls and I had an early morning wander around the streets, down the beach and through a few hotels. I have never seen the beach so covered in rubbish. It was strewn along the low and high tide mark and there were massive piles towards to road end of the beach. Locals said it came from Java but I think it was probably blown back in from Bali as a lot of it was ice cream wraps etc that is mainly tourist-caused rubbish plus the rivers flushing out.

After breakfast, we headed off to a couple of shops, money changing and a sim card for the mobile.
Jacinta and I went to the domestic airport where we picked up our tickets for Flores, while the girls continued shopping on their own.

The girls continued their onslaught with hair braiding, fingernail painting and temporary tattoos.

Massage time. Hot stone massage was great @ 150 000 for 1 hour 40 minutes.
Off to beach front for dinner. We sat on the top deck of beach front restaurant and enjoyed the fire jugglers on the beach and the passing parade of people, all from the safety of above. The meals were excellent.

Monday 4 April 2011 – Legian and Balian - rain, head high surf

I had an early morning walk on the beach. I sat down for about a minute before a hello from behind revealed a girl/boy in a short skirt. He/she was very persistent but amusing. I continued my walk unmolested and safe in my purity.

Jacinta and I had breakfast and the girls went shopping.

Nyoman picked us up at 11am and with a few bakery stopovers we eventually got to Balian. The surf was up so I was out.

Batu Balian cottages – 700 000 per night for four people upstairs with two double fan rooms, sitting room and large verandah. It had good views of surf.
Transport - 350 000 rupiah Legian to Balian.
Met - Frank from USA and guy from Jersey USA


24 MAY 2018 After another cold night, I moved on towards the Capertree Valley. I followed the bird trail when I entered the Capertree Va...