Australia, Indonesia · 15 Days · 14 Moments · April 2017

Holiday to Perth, Bali & Borneo

18 April 2017

We got home yesterday afternoon. Pretty tired as it was an overnight flight, followed by a 5 hour wait in Melbourne for our flight to Devonport. We then rushed to the kennel to pick up Bazinga before it closed, so our little family is back together. It was an amazing trip, but it is nice to be home :-)

16 April 2017

Yesterday was pretty uneventful. We headed off for a 7am trek organised by the hotel, but when we got there realised it was the same trek we did the day before, so we just headed into town for a while before heading back to our villa for a swim and some relax time. Back to town for dinner in the evening, where despite not having the food we ordered and giving us white wine instead of red, was actually quite nice. This morning, we chilled in the villa till lunch when our driver (Mr G'day Bali Tours!) arrived to take us to Kintamani to view to Mount Batur. On the way we saw some of the famous rice terraces and another ceremony (it's ceremony season). On the way back we stopped at an art gallery and bought a small painting, a jewellery makers for some earings, and a quick look around a temple. We then headed to a beach restaurant in Jimbaran for sunset before heading to the airport for our red eye flight to Melbourne. Home tomorrow afternoon...

14 April 2017

We went into Ubud for breakfast and ended up out till 4pm! Most of the time was a very hot walk along a ridge with rice padis, it was very pretty, but pictures don't do it justice. Late morning, whilst sitting in a cafe in town, we here someone calling out to us, look around and Liz and Clare who were on our Orangutan trip drove by. They got their driver to stop and they joined us for a drink which was great! They are staying near Seminyak, but were doing a day tour to the area. As soon as we got back to our villa, it was straight into the pool to cool off. We then both lay on the outdoor day bed reading until they came around the resort with some sort of smoke machine to get rid of the mozzies, so we retreated inside. We'll head back into town soon, hoping to have dinner at a place called Kafe which sounds really nice.

13 April 2017

Yesterday we just wandered around Ubud and looked for some rice padis. Had a lovely lunch at Bali Buda and then back to the hotel for a 3 hour spa package which was very relaxing. Back into town to a lovely little bar where we planned on having just one drink and then looking for somewhere to have dinner, but it was such a cool place that we ended up staying and having a bit of food there. We have no plans for today, so we'll see what happens...

12 April 2017

Yesterday afternoon we arrived in our fantastic pool villa overlooking the rice padis, it's awesome! We received a complementary foot spa poolside upon arrival. We then cooled off in the pool before heading to the hotel restaurant for dinner. On the way back to our villa we passed a ping pong and pool table so we played (very badly) for a while. Today we're off the explore Ubud.

11 April 2017

Yesterday was another travel day, back to Bali. Most of us went to the hotel rooftop pool for sunset, then we all had dinner together and a few cocktails at the bar. Today the tour is officially finished and we're left to our own devices. We have a few hours in Baranu (Kuta) and then we head to Ubud for a few days. This part of Kuta is surprisingly nice compared to the stories we have heard about It!

10 April 2017

Today we were granted very special access to the orangutan clinic run by IAR (International Animal Rescue). We learnt about the work they do to rescue, rehabilitate and release orangutans. They also have some slow loris rescued from the pet trade. We participated in providing enrichment foods for the baby orangutans and watched them come back from jungle school in wheelbarrows, they are incredibly cute. We also each provided the clinic with lots of medical supply donations. We then headed to the beach for sunset drinks which was beautiful. It's the last day of our tour, tomorrow we travel back to Bali and have our last meal together.

9 April 2017

So, yesterday after our jungle trek plans had to be cancelled, we were instead taken to have a look at "the enemy", a palm oil plantation. Lorinda (POI) gave us a talk about the land clearing, peat draining, etc. required to grow the crops and how after 60 years, the soil will be devoid of all nutrients and basically become a wasteland. We got to feel the palm fruit and how greasy it is and which bits get used for what. In the afternoon we went to the local "palace", a run down bright yellow (coz they like eggs) and green (Malaysian colour) wooden building. It was a bit, we finally get to go to International Animal Rescue, where they rescue, regabilitate and when possible release orangutans. This is the bit I'm most looking forward to.

7 April 2017

Yesterday, we flew to Ketapang in West Kalimantan. We has lunch in the hotel and then off to the City Forest, which is used for local education. We saw more Proboscis Monkeys and a couple of Macaques and sat by the river for a while watching the world go by. We went for a lovely massage and then it was already time for dinner at a pizza place. Dinner took a long time as they only made 2 pizzas at a time and then ran out of pizza dough. Service here is "interesting" :-) Todays plans to go on a jungle trek have unfortunatly had to change due to permission issues following a change of village/area leader, but there are a couple of alternative plans in place.
We headed back to Station #2 for feeding, the only Orangutan who showed up was very distressed by our presence, calling for us to leave and even throwing a stick. The reality of the stress of feeding platforms really hit us and we refused to go to the next one. We were glad to see a few other people on the tour thought the same and we had a great discussion about it with Leif. In between, we also each planted a tree in Pesalat Plantation to regenerate the forest and visited the village of Tanjung Harapan. We had our last dinner on the boat, moored alongside some fireflies. We then headed back to Kumai and on to our hotel at Pangalan Bun. Throughout the day, we saw loads of monkeys, birds, a snake and some crocs.

6 April 2017

Today we got back on our Klotok and headed to feeding station #2 (Pondok Tanggui) and then to Camp Leaky; quite a few Orangutans came along to feed at each area, but we also saw a couple along the river, as well as other monkeys and birds. The feeding stations are not good for the Orangutans for various reasons, but the main ones are that they depend on them for food, but it also forces them into very close proximity to each other, which is not good and the stress of it was visible, especially at the first stop, however it still all seemed to go fairly smoothly. I asked Leif why we are brought there if it isn't a good thing, and he explained that it is still important to see it to understand why it isn't good and compare it to "real" reintroduction places in the next few days. In the evening, we got another great talk from Leif and spent the night on the deck of the Klotok. Chloe, one of the girls in our group turned 18 and the crew decorated, made cake and sang!

5 April 2017

Today was a lot of travelling: 3 flights to get from Bali to Borneo (Denpasar to Surabaya to Semarang to Pangkalan Bun). We had a 3 hour wait it Semarang, so got a great talk from Leif Cocks the Orangutan guru about the history of Orangutans. From Pangkalan Bun we got a taxi to our Klotok (river boat) in Kumai and spent a couple of hours cruising on the Sekonyer River in Tanjung Puting National Park through the jungle to Rimba Eco Lodge. On the way we saw lots of Proboscis Monkey, Silver Leaf Monkeys and Maquaques as well as our first Orangutan :-). We had dinner on the Klotok and a Talk from Lorinda who founded POI (Palm Oil Investigations).

4 April 2017

We finally made it to Bali after a 3 hour delay. We were too tired to do anything last night, so just stayed in our hotel on the outskirts of Kuta. This morning we explored Seminyak. Had a lovely lunch at "La Luciciola" on the beach. It started pouring with rain as we got there, so stayed quite a while and then headed to "Potato Head Beach Club" for afternoon drinks when there was a slight gap in the weather. Lots of people getting very drunk in the Pool. Jumped in a taxi to head back to the hotel with a driver who told us he knew exactly where our hotel was: nearly an hour and several detours later, we finally made it to the hotel to meet the group of people we will be travelling with to Borneo. Tomorrow is a 4.30am start, so off to bed early.

3 April 2017

Little stop off in Perth on the way to catch-up with Friends. Now on our way to Bali.