During our first week in Kuta on the island of Bali we got very. very drunk with some of the local lads. They were very friendly and introduced us to the traditional Indonesian drink of arrak. It is pretty strong, and you can see the results here. We had a great time, and after Tony went back to Vietnam (lovesick puppy.....again!) Roy spent quite a few evenings in the company of arrak!!!
Arrak Attack Photos
We arrived on Bali after an overnight stop in terribly expensive Singapore (nuff sed) and spent a couple of weeks based in Kuta, which is a bit touristy, but very, very cheap!
We rented a motorbike and expored the island for a couple of days and also booked four dives in the beautiful east side of Bali. Here the corals are wonderful and the fish amazingly multi-coloured.
Tony then announced that he wanted to go back to Vietnam to spend more time with his new girlfriend Thanh, and we hastily rearraged our schedule, cutting a couple of months out of the time we'd originally planned to spend in Oz (feared to be expensive).
So, Tony buggered off to Vietnam leaving me alone on Bali. Selfish bastard!!
I (Roy) immediately caught a bug of big proportions at both ends ...again! Well there was only one thing to do; I got very drunk for a couple of days (to acclimatise of course) and then it was off to Lombok and some lovely islands off the coast.
Lombok is a pretty island and bigger than Bali, although a lot lot poorer.I ended up on the Gili´s off the coast of Lombok and took the time to improve my diving skills. I reccommend these islands for diving, as the current is very challenging and the sea life simply wonderful. Drift diving is the thing here and after a week of intensive diving I qualified in a couple of extra speciality courses; Underwater Naturalist and Peak Performance Bouyancy. I also took a Ticket To The Moon on my return but thats another story!
After a week I took a boat to see more of the south Indonesian islands, more of which you can read in the next couple of sections.
Bali & Lombok Photos
I figured the best way to to see some other Islands of Indonesia would be by boat! Now I´m sure this was the right thing to do but.... perhaps a bit more research would have been a good idea!. I booked a boat on the Island of Lombok (bad idea). Lets just say that the safety precautions on the boat were errr... nil!
No radio, no lifejackets, no GPS, no beds, no chairs, no galley and the loudest engine you can possibly imagine! For 12 passengers, the liferaft was a dug out bit of wood (holds two, presumably the captain and the guide!) The boat was, I found out afterwards, licenced for 8 including crew.
Hey! being a game kind of chap (and having paid a non-refundable fee already) I thought it would be good for the soul to experience life on the open waves.
We set out with a very good itinery which changed repeatedly and hourly! We passed dozens of islands on the first day and countless more during the night. Without stopping at any of them, you understand!
On day two we finally stopped at an island, at this point it began to dawn on the passengers that there was no jetty. So it was with great rancour that we swam to the island. I should mention that not too many photo´s exist of these islands as our camera never learned how to swim!.
This went on for most of the next two days during which we had a minor mutiny where an American threatened to throw the crew overboard due to the non existant itinery, a bible basher spent a lot of time reading the bible (whilst wearing his own lifejacket). A storm arrived on the 3rd night and as there was no hatch on the hold a few nervous hours were spent while the crew (one) bailed out the hold! The sail was badly damaged during the storm and was repaired using our blankets!
I must mention the toilet arrangements, namely a hole at the back of the boat. Now this may seem ok, but with no rails or seat and a door 3ft high, not to mention a choppy sea, nobody took advantage of this quaint facility. For three days.....
So when we stopped at a barren island with a hill to climb (god knows why) a scotsman and I refused, nicked the liferaft and spent a happy half hour fertilizing another island much to the annoyance of the other passengers who had climbed the hill. Another mutiny took place while they all took turns visiting what we fondly now refer to as Poo Island! (Watch your step)
That night the third mutiny occured. No meat for three days and only one vegi amongst us meant that the chickens so lovingly cared for aboard had to be sacrificed to our hunger, whether the crew liked it or not ("Bugger the Komodo dragons" one passenger was heard to say - I worry about him, really I do.... ).
Unfortunately the chickens had spent the past four days in a small box directly above the Diesel engine!!! This did not make for the best of flavours but was certainly interesting...... besides none of us had seen a chicken sacrifice before (check out the photo´s below)
The islands of Komodo and Rinca made it all worthwhile, as seeing these islands and the Komodo Dragons in thier natural habitat was superb. Nonetheless I returned to Bali on an aeroplane.
Boating Hell Photos
Mutiny on the Boaty
The boat finally arrived at Komodo Island. Home to the Komodo Dragon,the largest lizard in the world.We walked around the island with a guide and on the way back to the village acme accross the first Dragons....... Wow! you have to be near them to appreciate the size and the feeling of slipping down the food chain!These creatures are now protected and there are approx 850 spread between two islands.Komodo Island is the main tourist island and the dragons are a bit fat and lazy but awsome all the same.
I also took the opportunity to do a couple of dives in Komodo whilst there, excellent!
Komodo Photos & Movies
Ah Dragons again i hear you say but these are no ordinary Dragons these are more of the wild variety and you can both see and smell (at least i did)the fear on of the poor trapped water buffalo as the Dragons calmly wait for his strengh to fade.... He keeled over while we watched and knew that nature was taking her unforgiving course.... dish of the day; water buffalo.
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When I returned to Bali the wonderful, beautiful, caring, happy love of my life, Abi, came to make my life complete! (at least for a few weeks)
We spent the first week in Bali getting Ab used to the weather and introducing her to all the friends I had made. Of course that also involved toasting them with more Arrak (shame)
Abi and I then travelled to Gili Trawangan where we spent a lovely week relaxing and catching up with some other friends I had met previously! It should be mentioned that the sunsets were lovely and also very romantic.(Awwww!)
We returned to Bali and did the tourist thing and scatted around all over the island, unfortunately the camera became very ill at this time, so ask Ab and i´m sure she will show you the photo´s.
I should mention the girls in the beauty salon in Kuta who are all lovely. They work 15hrs a day seven days a week ALL year round and still remain cheerful and happy .. Amazing !
Well all good things come to an end and it was finally time for Ab to return to Blighty and as my visa had run out I slunk off to Australia. Of course goodbyes have to be properly said (with Arrak) and it was with a heavy heart and an even heavier head that I left Indonesia.
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Australia, next stop