Asia, Australia and Oceania · 11 Days · 49 Moments · November 2017

Ken's voyage in Indonesia

4 December 2017

It’s all over! We arrive at Melbourne 11 am safe and sound. A very comfortable flight and a very easy exit out of the airport. What an amazing experience this whole trip has been :)

3 December 2017

One of the best decisions made of the trip. 7 hours overlay and making the most of it at Singapore airport. Moving from Terminal 1 to 3 by skytrain, visiting the cactus, sunflower, orchid, and butterfly gardens. Finishing off with a free movie and a couple of games of street fighter at the entertainment centre. Winning.
Success! We’re on our way to Singapore! Our decision to purchase early flights home with scoot paid off as we see Jetstar flight after flight get cancelled. Impromptu trip to Singapore airport anyone?
Arrived with many hours to spare. When we first enter the airport we notice how dead quiet it was. Not a good sign. All the morning flights have been cancelled so far but it looks like ours is still scheduled to Singapore. Crossing my fingers.
Poolside views from the Ubud accomodation.

2 December 2017

Last beautiful night in Ubud. Stroll the streets one last time, eating finally at the Dirty duck. I ate the spicy duck - Bebek Bakar, which really gave me the hot sweats and cleared all my sinuses. Lastly, A few drinks at a nearby rooftop bar to end it all.
A bit of last minute shopping for the touristy part of the trip. I always leave knowing that I’ve been absolutely ripped off, but at least they appreciate the few extra bucks lost more than me. Passed a few monkeys using the powerlines to cross the road and a couple of interesting looking temples.
Now for the last day of the tour, seven days with some of the friendliest and funniest people I have ever met. I can safely say that there wasn’t anyone that clashed in the group and that everyone all got along really well. We wake up early to say our goodbyes to those not heading to the white water rafting. I must say, they should have asked for the feedback after this trip because it was most definitely the highlight. I wish I could have taken my phone down because the views were fantastic. The green vines covered the huge walls surrounding the river, there were water falls on every bend and beautiful dragonflies and butterflies scattered the entire river. The trip was a total 2 hours, with a bit of team work needed to dodge and weave through the rapids. At times it was necessary to get out because the path ahead was too dangerous.
Last bender with the topdeck crew. Few drinks with a live band.

1 December 2017

Stunning views of the Tegalalangs rice fields. I can’t get enough of that green.
Started to drizzle down, so we each dressed up with our ponchos and sarong to visit the Tirta Empul hot springs. Here they bless themselves with the holy water downstream from the spring. There’s a couple of rules detailed, some of which may be viewed as obsolete for this day and age.
Beautiful views for lunch at Kintamani, where an active volcano can be seen (last time erupted 1994). You can see where the larva has spilled out.
Next we visit the Kopi Luwak plantation. Keen for some coffee beans. We sample an array of different sorts of coffee, chocolate and teas such as mocha coffee, cocoa coffee and mangotine tea etc. Aaron and I purchase the famous kopi luwak coffee made by the mongoose digesting the beans. It was actually tasty, but it makes you wonder how they found that out.
Visit to a traditional family home. Made explained the marriage and ceremonial situations, but I honest can’t remember. All I listen to was his love life. He had a girlfriend for three years, but because he came from a farming family he was too poor so the girlfriends family wouldn’t allow him to marry. In the end he broke up on the spot and six months later he married someone else. Told us she was prettier than his current wife and that six months wasn’t enough to mend the broken heart. Weird conversation. However, he did finish with that he learned to love his wife and continues to do so. Asking to marry her every 10-20 years. So Sweet ending.
Barong and Kris dance at stage Chandra Budaya
Butik in the making, coming to you live!
Today has been the absolute highlight of the entire trip so far! So much to see and do jammed into one day. We start off early leaving at 8am to visit a centre that makes batik. Made explains how traditionally the wife makes the batik while the children sleep and that it takes up to three months to make. They are usually only paid when the product is finished. However, nowadays most of the products sold at markets are made in China, and the people here at the centre are paid per day. We move on to watch a traditional dance, the Barong and Kris dance. A play about good and evil spirits. Actors danced to traditional, well I’m assuming traditional, Indonesian musical instruments. There were drums, a wooden xylophone lookalike, and a gong. I know these are poor descriptions, and I apologise. A pamphlet was necessary when the show started, that explaining the story. It was little hard to follow, especially when the prince was played by a female actress. All in all, fucking great!

30 November 2017

Exploring the markets for tourist goodies
Stop for lunch! I really have no clue where we are but it’s pretty
Apparently a result of the ash of the volcano, but who’s to tell it wasn’t like this before
One of the first no smoking signs. A rarity.
Waiting for the ferry to arrive!

29 November 2017

Our last day in Gili! Sad that this part of the journey is all over but excited for the next instalment. Since we had a very late night, we decided on a chill day resting by the pool soaking up the sun while reading. The sun was intense, and a majority of the crew harboured an extreme sunburn. SPF 50+ did not live up to the standard. We took a bike ride around the island and stopped at the swings built on the ocean shore. As the sunset, we enjoyed the warm colours and took adorable photos by the swings.
Another two more attempts to take Aaron’s life today. Matt from Africa offered a few peanuts for fun, which Aaron happily declined. But the funniest attempt of murder was Made our host, offering the same peanuts to Aaron. Not a good sign when the host accidentally nearly kills one of his clients. Not sure I’m willing to give him a 5/5 on trip advisor

28 November 2017

Another big night at Gili! After a day of relaxing, a combination of pool and napping, we headed out as a group for dinner. The place was huge, made completely out of bamboo with two storeys. We tried some of the Balinese delicacy, but Aaron’s nut allergy proved difficult. Obvious bits of nuts covered were decorated around his meal and the trust was lost. Aaron went hungry tonight. The night continued with a live band at the reggae bar- Same same, smashing out all the hits such as Vance joy, Journey, pink Floyd etc. Aaron was a little worse for wear at the end, but finished off with a corn cob. I would say the best decision of the night. On the walk back, trips to the moon and back were offered by the locals in the form of mushrooms. There were some subtle advertising and others a lot more blunt. Since we both already did 5 years of equivalent jail time, we didn’t think it was appropriate to risk another.
Time for some snorkelling! We set at round 8:30am, leaving few members behind. The efforts of last night left them incapable of making both the breakfast and snorkelling trip. Three destinations were planned for us around the island. One of which had statues submerged in the ocean with school of colourful fish surrounding it. Another two destinations had more school different fish, parrotfish, butterfly, clown etc. The highlight of the trip was the sea turtle! We swam all around him/her before the depths of the ocean made it impossible to follow. The only problem was slight stinging sensations in the water leaving welts and blisters on some. Unsure what it was, whether it was jellyfish or sea lice. The tour guide told us it was “plankton” but I’m not believing it at all.

27 November 2017

The night markets! A little smaller than I expected and the sanitary nature of the food made it difficult to convince to have a try. When we found that the price of the food was actually more expensive than the restaurants surrounding it, we gave it a pass.
A two hour walk around the island of Gili. Nasigoreng and sangria halfway around the island. We were told that some locals have been here for life. It’s amazing that some locals have never lived off of this island!
Gili welcomes us with some delicious fruity drinks at the hotel. Two pools, a pool bar, chess games scattered throughout the resort, table tennis table and pool table. I don’t think we’re gonna always have something to do here. Plan is to visit the night markets tonight for some street food, and continue on the drinking
Good bye Lembongan! A 8:00 start taking the ferry to Gili islands. An estimated 2 hour ride, we took precautions and had some sea sickness tablet. In addition, masks were provided to us by Topdeck because of the recent eruptions. It does look a little ominous
Found a fault in my authentic Raybans. Hope the street vendor takes refunds.

26 November 2017

Stroll to pass the time in the night!
Scenic views from the cleverly named, “Yellow” bridge.
Volcano trying to ruin our trip. We were slightly concerned when the tour guide walked around with a ventilator mask. But there’s nothing wrong with a bit of volcanic minerals in your system, right?
After arriving at the hotel and smashing through a feast, we rest up in the pools. A couple of bintangs later (a very common theme at this point), we observed a fellow comrade with a watermelon dacquiri in hand dissed hard for his beverage decision and his masculinity questioned. Not to leave a comrade behind we join with a Pina colada each. At 4pm, after lounging in the pool adding to my sunburn, a tour around the island was arranged. Each of us jumped into a tuktuk exploring a couple of scenic spots of the island. In particular a spot where the waves hit the rocks and a mist sprays out from the intense pressure. To top it off, we observe a few sea turtles chilling at this spot without a care in a world.
First day of the top deck tour, we meet up at grandmas hotel at 7:00am. An early start that wasn’t made easier by 7 hrs of day drinking. When we all meet up, not surprisingly, we notice that the Australians take up the majority. The “fast boat” takes off at 8:00am, but apparently time is described as “rubber”. Flexible, and elastic. I think... he never really clarified. There is slight language barrier. We arrived in the middle of the ocean near Lembongan island. A variety of activities included, banana boat, a slide from the top of the boat, snorkelling and scuba walking. Scuba walking involves a heavy rectangle head gear that allows you to kinda scuba in the water. It was neat seeing all the different fishes, butterfly and parrot fish especially from up close. They provided fish feed to squirt out from a canister to get real close to the school of fish. It was all pretty cool, and probably the most touristy thing ive ever done. But the fumes and the rubbish made it disappointing

25 November 2017

Beach front views, couple cocktails in hand , we are truly living the high life. Starting to get more adventurous with our decisions, we start drinking Bali Long Island ice tea, Nona’s colada and more. With the way things are going, We ain’t moving anytime soon
Potato head. Arrived around 11 and already full to the brim. Just one look and we knew we’re spending the whole arvo here. No found regrets... so far

24 November 2017

We lived a poverty life, till now. After a much needed feed, we headed to another location to booze it up. Mostly to justify the continuation of consuming alcohol. As we arrived at kudeta, we are overwhelmed by the luxurious display of the hotel. An obvious too extravagant premise at home, but completely different in Bali. Unfortunately, I was stopped at the door. Apparently, my casual wear of a pink and blue tank top was pushing the limits. However, they were happy to loan me a black shirt of their own. It seems like this is not an uncommon occurrence. We continue together, sucking back a couple more bintangs, and espresso Martins in my new KDT merchandise. Even as xxxL I feel quite big, which is a lovely stroke of confidence.
Scooters. All terrain vehicles.
Bali crunch at Bali wacko provides the much needed Spice in our life. The chili to kill the alcohol poisoning we induced ourselves with this arvo
Wacko, food for the best.
Actual first day in Seminyak was a bit of a slow start. Jetstar, being the prime airline it is, proved slightly difficult and uncomfortable experience. Thus, the next morning we awoke with slight back pain and muscle aches. With a 9:30 start we opted to explore Seminyak to see what it offers. Aiming for double beach, we toiled the streets resting at the beach. Calling it an early day, we end up back at he hotel with bintangs and cocktails. We each found absolute bliss, spending countless hours wading the pools and sucking back lychee cocktails, margaritas and classic bintangs.
More drinks and shenanigans.
Making the most of those rays
To the first bintangs. A little late but we ain’t rushing.
A “sunny” morning perfect for a little Balinese breakfast.

23 November 2017

Day one. Keen as mustard. As I weighed my luggage at 9 kgs and Aaron’s at 11 kg, there’s a possibility that I have packed a little short. But who cares. All I can think of are bintangs, beach and finding my inner self. Mostly the bintangs A few hiccups at the start of the trip. We had a few lightning strikes, a forecast of showers on the other side and Aaron starting off with a couple of coffees causing him to start getting restless. As we land we are greeted by hordes of keen taxis drivers, ready to rip us apart.