This lagoon is so clean, as well as, being pristine in most sections. I saw two pieces of rubbish during the whole kayak.
There were a number of birds but the highlight was the water level, which was high. A lot of land area was inundated with water so there was a lot of kayaking between trees and over reed areas. Heaps of fun.
distance - 4.83 km av. speed - 3 km/h time - 1h 40m
I drove to Brisbane Waters National Park and parked near the
speed camera just down from Staples Lookout.
I’ve done this ride a number of times. The solitariness,
quietness and bush scenery is quite an attraction for me.
I rode down the service road to the quarry. At the quarry, I
rode around over the rocky paths, pools of water and soft sand. The various
surface terrains were a challenge to cycle over.
I then rode along the service road and took the turnoff onto
Tommos Loop. This was another service road. At times the road surface was hard
sandstone with rivulets of water intersecting the rock. The views over the
bushland were amazing. It just seemed so untouched and endless.At one stage, an area of the road had been
blocked as a large Australian Aboriginal rock carving had been unearthed by the
The track ended at a gate and the main road. I rode downhill
back to the van.
distance - 7.52 km elevation range - 71m average speed - 10.8 km/h max. speed - 45.9 km/h
I drove to North Avoca and parked at Avoca Lagoon,
officially named Bulbararing Lagoon. I launched into the lagoon and paddle west
between the mainland and the island (Bareena Island) in the lagoon.
The water was glassy reflecting the sky and foreshore. A
light mist hung above the surface of the water. The kayak cut across the water
causing a small wake which rippled solitary across the surface of the lagoon.
There were a number of birds on the lagoon. Some birds were
foraging for food in the water or on the lagoon edge and others were roosting
on the overhanging tree branches.
The skies were clear and blue and the temperature warm.
Jacinta and I drove over to Avoca and parked in Avoca Beach
carpark near the surf lifesaving club.
We walked along the path then down the rocky path to the
shore platform around Avoca Point. It was a bit slippery in parts with a few rock
pools. The rock formations were interesting. The cliffs were staggering high
when up close and personal. The thought of rocks falling were very realistic.
Just where the platform ended there were a few steps at the base of the cliff
around a narrow bend. A small cave was gouged into the base of the cliff by
wave action and rock falls.
I went for an early morning walk at Terrigal Haven.
I parked in the Haven carpark and walked down the boat ramp
and onto the rocks. I followed the rocks around to the small cove next to the
Skillion. The colours were amazing with the early morning light giving a fiery
life to the sandstone cliffs. The waves were also doing there part by smashing
into the rock platform, exploding into the air and cascading gently to the
Next, I walked up the Skillion. The view is awesome looking
back towards Terrigal or towards Avoca on downwards onto the rocks. No whale
I launched the kayak at the car park at Terrigal Lagoon with
the sun radiating over the lagoon at a horizontal angle.
I paddled under the bridge towards the west. There were a
number of birds wading in the water searching for food or pruning
themselves.I couldn’t venture too far
as the lagoon had been emptied (the council does this when the lagoon threatens
to flood houses on the shoreline) making the water shallow.
Backtracking, I paddled under the bridge which was
reflecting the water patterns its concrete base. Looked good
I also paddled around the northern end which was a mixture
of bushland and residential properties.
It was a pleasant and fun paddle with reflections and birds.
It was a beautiful and sunny day on the Central Coast.
Jacinta and I drove over to Patonga for a walk and lunch.
We walked along the beach to Patonga Creek. Small waves broke gently along the shore. The
white sand rose at a sharp incline to the vegetated foreshore.
The foreshore was covered in wildflowers. We sat amongst
them where someone had placed seating and a table
Further along the beach, the sand veered out towards the
ocean at a crescent where Patonga Creek exited. It was very pretty looking at
the vegetated sandstone cliffs or back along the beach or out into Broken Bay.
The pier jutted out to deeper water. It looked inviting for
a swim or snorkel
I left Balian for Legian after a fun but red stinging
I settled into the
Grand Kumala Hotel and slept most of the afternoon as the stings had made me
The next day, I had breakfast with Scotty at Legian. It was
his last day!
After that it was shopping day – Tommy’s for leather bag, t
shirts, hats, singlets, music. It didn’t take long and I returned back to the
hotel and back my bags then went for a few drinks at the Spider Bar.
I had a massage and wandered around the beach and went down
Kuta for a few beers and the Espresso Bar. The Espresso Bar was packed so I
opted for Paddy’s and sat near the front and people watched for ages – 3
fights, two guys fell off a motorbike, tourist got into hassle with group of
Indo guys, a couple argued for ages then kissed and made up at the end.
The last day!!! Usually, I sit somewhere quiet and think about
the trip. This time I booked a car for Tanah Lot and had a great time wandering
around. After that, it was a rest, dinner and then I had to go. Before you can
say ‘Saya harus pergi’ I was at the airport. I had a lot of gear so I used a
porter. I think I will use one from now on as it does make it heaps easier. I
checked in at Jetstar business class as I had upgraded my ticket earlier for
The flight was more comfortable and I slept a little bit. In
the morning I was back in Australia and waiting for a shuttle bus to the
Central Coast. The weather was warm and sunny.
By lunch time I was home and dazed! It was good to be home
and at the same time I was missing Indonesia.
I think I’m always like that after a trip. I like what I’m
doing wherever I am but I also miss what I am not doing elsewhere.
Anyway, here I am and there I was! The words of a song drift
through my mind ‘they say in the end it was the blink of an eye…’
I was up very early for the morning flight from Maumere,
Flores to Bali. The airport opens at 6am.
I arrived in Bali then settled into Grand Kumala Hotel. I
had a massage and walked along beach in afternoon. I ran into Chooka from
Balian while I was walking along the beach. After that, I dropped by to see old
I didn’t feel like eating out so I got a takeaway pizza and
ate in my room. First time in the whole trip I ate in my room.
For some unknown reason I couldn’t get to sleep and kept
waking up periodically.
The next day, I was pretty tired so I read a book and
I change my flight date for return to
oz and upgraded to business class.
Later, I walked down towards Jalan Padma and had a haircut
and good massage. Then I bought a bag for Jacinta from Tommy’s and ordered
another bag to be made.
On the way back to my hotel, I had a few drinks at the
The next day, I was tired again as I slept poorly. I packed
my gear, booked a car and was off to Balian.
Lion Air direct flight Maumere to Denpasar – 1 399 000R - there
is also an afternoon flight via Waingapu, Sumba
Car/driver airport to ankermi 150 000R
The bike ride from Moni to Ankermi’s in Flores was long but
I stopped frequently so I was able to do it in one hit.
Just before the airport turnoff at Maumere, I saw a travel
agent and was able to book a ticket back to Bali the following day.
I continued on in the hot blazing sun towards Ankermi’s.
I settle into the room, had a swim and rested. Checking my
gear, I realised that I had left my kindle at the Bintang
Hotel in Moni. I rang and Billy organised a guy to deliver it to me at Ankermi’s
for 250 000R. Later, I had a late afternoon snorkel with lots of fish and
At dinner I met two dive instructors, who just came back from
Rote which they said was flat and crowded. At about 8pm, a guy arrived from Moni
with my kindle. It took him 6 hours – bus then ojek (motorbike taxi).
I woke early, had breakfast and then a car to the airport,
which doesn’t open until 6am.
I had my own bike but transport locally in Moni to Kelimutu
After the early morning swim at Paga Beach, I rode off on my
motorbike in the direction of Moni. The day was clear and the road easy. The
road shortly began to rise steeply giving a great view back along the
Continuing onwards, I came to the turnoff for Koka Beach.
The road quickly deteriorated to a narrow walking track with piles of gravel
stacked every few metres providing an obstacle course as well. I eventually reached
a sandy parking area and settled my gear in the middle of the beach. The scenery
and water colour was amazing. The water was various clear shades of blue and
the two beaches joined together to form a short sand spit to a rock island. I
went for a swim and then was approached by an old, finger-thin local fisherman
for the 2 000R parking fee. It was a bit annoying as he kept hanging around
after I paid. Gradually, more appeared and joined in the look at me and I look
at them scenario. I left Koka beach, returning along the ‘road’ until I reached
the Trans Flores Highway again.
The road soon started to rise and it kept rising into the
mountains. Along the way, there were great aerial views across the mountains
and down to the sea, a number of small villages, some road works and the odd
avalanche. The people were friendly along the way with ’hello mister’ the catch
It seemed a very long time that I was riding along the steep
and curvy roads until I reached Moni. At first impression, I was disappointed
as there was a traffic jam of bemos and bikes with abundant exhaust fumes. Navigating
through these obstacles, and up the hill, I reached the Bintang Hotel. I met
Billy the owner and was soon settled into my room.
I now had a chance to soak in the awesome mountainous views.
Billy provided me with info and after food and rest I hiked up the hill to the
At the Rainbow Café, there was a track leading down and into
the jungle. I soon reached the waterfall and a rickety bamboo bridge. I crossed
the bridge thinking I was going to fall off and climbed down the rocks and
waded into the waterfall pool. The water was cool and the waterfall about 30
metres high cascaded in a single drop into the pool. I swam and then rested in
the mountain sunshine.
I eventually, continued along the track to a small village
and stopped at the Agnes Restaurant for a bite to eat. Later, I continued along
the path which soon became a concrete road and passed through another village
then turnoff onto another road and back on the main highway. From there it was
a short and uphill walk back to Moni.
The next day, I was up early. I organised myself then
started the ride uphill towards the turn off for Kelimutu. The ride was great
but very cold! I stopped for a while watching the sunrise over the mountains,
passed though the outskirts of a few villages and wounded my way up the
mountain. I reached the ticket office and paid the fees and continued along the
180 degree curved road which was lined by steep jungle.
The end of the road was a large car park that was virtually
empty. I parked the bike and walked up the steps and along the path to the
craters of Kelimutu.
The crater lakes were amazing. The sides of the cones were
90 degrees steep and very deep. The water in the lakes were of three different
colours – black, turquoise and dark blue. The path meandered along alpine
vegetation leading to a number of vantage points over three craters.The end of the path was the highest point
with an obloquie on the top. I climbed that and had a great view of the three
craters and the surrounding mountains that were shrouded in clouds with the
peaks exposed – magical! I sat there for a long time!
I followed the path back and rode the bike back down the
volcano to Moni.
I rested through the middle of the day then set off again on
the bike to find the convent in the direction of Ende. I didn’t find it but I
had a great time just riding along pass rice fields and stopping in small
villages for short chats. I did reach the turn off for the longer way return to
Maumere. I t looked good but isolated. On the return, I took a turn off to a
traditional village and was given a tour for 20 000R. It was very good and I
learned that the centred of the village was a graveyard which I wasn’t allowed
to enter and the coned thatched roof wooden houses encircled the graveyard.
I met some nice people at Moni. Everyone seemed to be in
pairs – French Canadian couple who needed to find an ATM, Dutch couple from Utrecht,
two very young German girls to name a few and of course, Billy who was very
friendly and helpful.
The following morning I was up early, paid the bill and was
on the road again back to Maumere (if possible) in one hit. I followed the same
road back as accommodation the other way seemed limited or non-existent.
I left Ankermi’s at Maumere by motor bike after an early
morning snorkel. I had the smaller day pack around the steering column and the
larger backpack on my back but with the weight totally on the bike seat. I
arranged the angle of the pack so it was like a back rest so the ride was quite
The road stated off long and relatively straight to the
junction just before Maumere city. The road then started to rise passing a
number of seminaries and churches. I stopped at one but it was closed to the
public. I continued onwards towards Moni and stopped where there was a nice
view or where I felt like a rest.
The traffic was good with cars and bemos and other bikes
passing safely. A few people drove a little close with the ‘hello mister’. The
‘hello mister’ was all along the road with bright, white teeth smiles adding to
the magic of the journey. It was easy to keep a smile on my face and return the
greeting with a ‘Selamat pagi or selamat siang’ as the day progressed. The road
continued up and down large hills until I reached Paga Beach.
I pulled into a guesthouse on the beach side of the road. I
looked at the beach, I thought that this place was definitely a place to spend
the afternoon and night. I checked out the rooms which were basic, right on the
beach but a little mouldy. Across the road, there was another homestay with
basic but clean rooms upstairs for 100 000R. I loaded my gear in the room, had
a nasi goreng lunch and went down the beach.
The beach was excellent with white sand, safe swimming and
shady tree spots along the length of the beach. I chose a nice quiet place to
sit, read and have a swim. Anyway, that was the plan but it was Sunday and
groups of school aged kids and adults began wandering the beach and I was an
obvious target as the sole ‘bule’.
It was fun though as most people wanted to practise their
limited English and it was good practise for my limited Indonesian. The
swimming was good but I wasn’t alone there either. Back on the beach, I did
manage to read a few pages.
I walked along the beach to a break wall at the east end.
Strange, I couldn’t work out why such a solid structure was built. There were a
number of these groynes further east.
Towards the west end and the headland, the walk became very
interesting with overhanging rock formations and evidence of recent rock falls.
Further around the headland, was a small bay with the potential of good surf if
any swell managed to hit. The rock area around the small cove was dotted with
people searching for edible shellfish under the rocks. I sat there for a long
time quietly, contemplating their simple but hard life while enjoying the shade
provided by the headland cliffs.
That night at dinner, I was approached but a couple of the
high school girls – Erica, Nasa, etc - who were part of the homestay family to
practise English. It was a lot of fun with all of them dancing to the ‘hokey
pokey’ while I sang and showed them the moves at the end of the night. A good
I was up early the next morning to a beautiful clear sky. I
walked down the beach along a dry sandy track for a sunrise swim which was cool
and refreshing. Watching the sunrise from the water was relaxing and dreamy,
especially with me singing in my head ‘Morning of the Earth’.
Back to homestay for a saltwater mandi. Soap would only
lather due to my persistence. I had breakfast and continued my bike sojourn to
Moni and Kelimutu.
Ankermi Homestay - 350 000R with great breakfast Snorkel trip – for whole boat - 450 000R per boat including
lunch – shared amongst 4. Motorcycle - 75 000R per day Flight Denpasar to Maumere - 2 000 000R Car Maumere airport to Ankermi - 150 000R
The flight from Bali to Maumere was slow as it was a
propeller plane. The airport at Maumere is small and easy. The car from the
airport to Ankermi was there and after 45minutes I was at Ankermi’s which is
approximately 45 kilometres east of Maumere.
The room was good and simple with a small balcony
overlooking the ocean. The grounds of the guesthouse was really nice with lots
of ponds and places to sit and relax. The restaurant had good food which takes a
while to prepare as it was freshly cooked. There is a beach to the west of the
hotel which was good for swimming. There was also good swimming off the pier at
high tide and fun snorkelling at any tide.
There were three other guests from Barcelona, Spain. They
were very friendly and nice. I joined them after dinner.
The following day, we had a snorkelling trip on the boat to
the reefs at Palau Besar and Palau Babi. It was a great trip with 3 snorkels
and a walk along two white sand deserted beaches. Under the sea, there were
corals and lots of small fish. My highlight was two lion fish.
The next day, I hired a motorbike and rode to Blidit hot
springs, which I didn’t find. I continued along the ‘road’ driving through wilderness
and the occasional village. The kids in these villages ran away like their life
depended upon when they saw me and then they would hide in the jungle until I
Eventually, I came to a cross road, where I chatted with
some few locals on cocoa, sound speakers and directions. The house I stopped at
had 12 enormous speakers thusly the sound speaker topic. I continued towards
Doreng and Bola beaches.
Doreng Beach was very ordinary with nothing to offer. The
tide was low and the water was about 500 metres away with reef in-between the beach
and the ocean. I continued to Bola which was much nicer with some good swimming
spots and shops.
The road was much better from Bola to the Trans Flores
Highway. It didn’t take long to reach the other side and make my way back to
The next morning, I had an early morning snorkel out the
front of the homestay where there were lots of fish and the early morning light
illuminated the rocks so it was like a maze. I had breakfast, packed my gear
and off I went in the direction of Moni.
Car/driver – Balian to Legian – 3 way share – 150 000R
Taxi to domestic airport – metered – 60 000R
Grand Kumala Hotel – standard room 375 000R
I had a fun surf at Balian in the morning then I made a last
minute decision to go to Legian as there were two guys to share a car.
I slept most of the way, settled into the Grand Kumala Hotel
and walked up to Cevin tours to price domestic flight tickets.
I decided on Maumere Flores, so I bought the tickets.
The next day, I visited my friend, Peter, who was staying at
Kuta. It was good to catched with him as we have been friends since high
school. After that, I bought a back pack, cashed money and had a massage. In the
afternoon, I packed my new backpack for a Maumere/Moni motorbike trip. It was
heaps lighter compared to what I usually tow around.
The next morning, I caught taxi to the domestic airport then
I was off to Flores.
I settled into Ayu’s guesthouse in a fan room – 150 000R. I
caught up during the day with Scotty, Chooka, Daniel and Marty, who were here
on my last stay. I met Russ from England and walking down the road, I past
George, who I knew since high school. We sat down and chatted for a while. It
was good to see him as George is a nice guy!
I had heaps of good, over-head waves everyday for the whole
of my stay on the lefts, outside and inside rights with the last day being the
best but plagued with red stinging jellyfish.
On one day, I had a long walk down to the far right point.
The waves looked so good but difficult to in and out of he water. Definitely,
need a surfing buddy and booties.