A Travellerspoint blog

Day 19

traveling

sunny 25 °C

Have you ever driven through the tropical mountains of Flores? Let me tell you all about it. Huge patches of unpaved, bumpy roads that twist and turn on a dime.Cliff edges that drop as far as the eye can see off the sides of thin, spiraling roads. Cars and motorbikes speeding past in an attempt to get in front of you before oncoming traffic whips around the corner. Banana peels everywhere. One song, that can only be described as leisurely 80’s video game music, on repeat. For. Seven. Hours. I felt like I was in a real-life version of Mario Kart. All this driving brought me to the town of Bajawa.

On the way we stopped at a home where they make Arak, Indonesia’s traditional alcohol. They gather juice with buckets from cutting the flower off a coconut tree. Then they boil it and the steam collects and runs down bamboo tubes into empty water bottles. It’s about 50% and tastes like rubbing alcohol smells.

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I went to another traditional village. This one specialized in weaving. I had a guide so it was a bit more interesting. While talking about the village he pointed out that some of the wood looked black. I run my hand along the dark timber. “Don’t be fooled, that’s not paint, it’s ox blood.” Of course it is.

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Todays challenge; Flowers. I guess this is just one... does it still count?

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Posted by traveling_paj 20:20 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 18

So what's malaria like?

sunny 30 °C

I’m in the town of Ruteng. It took 5 hours of driving along roads winding up and down mountains. Surprisingly I didn’t have to use any of the motion sickness medication I brought (and still yet to use any of the diarrhea pills either, I’m invincible!) On another note, I didn’t take any preventative malaria medication and I’m in a high risk area with no travel insurance (sorry Dr. Westlake) So far I have 17 mosquito bites. And the countdown begins…

I stopped at a traditional village and these rice terraces on the way here. The rice fields were special because in this region they look like spider webs.

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I’ve updated the older challenges I’ve missed and here’s todays challenge; Friendship. One night, almost 10 years ago, a couple friends and I (Becca, Darryl and Ken) went to see the movie Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. We then invented a disgusting drink with the same night and drank them until we were sure to be hungover the next day. Well tonight I'm drinking this Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang for you three <3.

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Posted by traveling_paj 05:07 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Day 13 - 17

Sailing to Flores

all seasons in one day 30 °C

I had one rest day before I went on a 4 day/4 night cruise to Flores. I briefly stopped in a small museum which talked about the history and culture of Indonesia. The next morning it was up bright and early to take out money (although the bank had frozen my card) and wait for the bus pickup (it was over two hours late).

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An hour and a half transport through winding roads and over mountains and I was at the ocean. I spent the next three nights and days sailing from island to island, snorkeling, climbing mountains. I slept, ate and spent most of the day on this boat, which ran almost 24 hours everyday. Even now that I’m off the boat I still feel like I’m swaying back and forth.

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I saw wild dolphins swim along side us a couple times and visited Komodo Island. There were a few monkeys, although they were not as sweet as the ones in Bali (A couple tried to attack me because i refused to give them my shoes...)

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Finally I’m in the port town of Labuan Bajo. Tonight I’ll be having one last dinner with the crew and passengers. Our captain (Captin Yo-yo) was really funny and friendly, I’m looking forward to seeing him let loose.

Challenges;

Day 13; Where you slept.

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Day 14; Looking down.

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Day 15; A smile. Here's four!

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Day 16; Love. There were these brother and sister pair from Montreal. They were so sweet. ...Colin (my brother) would never sleep on my lap.

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Day 17; Infatuation. It was either this or a picture of pizza...

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Posted by traveling_paj 06:22 Archived in Indonesia Comments (2)

Day 12

I'm lovin' it

sunny 30 °C

A short boat ride in the sun (which felt like eternity with this sunburn) and non-air-conditioned bus ride (I thought for sure my back was going to stick to the leather seats and peel off when I sat up) and I am in Mataran, Lombok. This island is Muslim, unlike Bali, which was Hindu. It’s a fairly modern city compared to the places I’ve visited so far, but I’m staying in a $5 motel so there’s no internet, shower, toilet paper or flushing toilets. It’s okay though, those of you that know me know I don’t use most of those things anyways.

I visited a couple temples today. People here really enjoy speaking English and I was greeted by almost every person I passed on the street with a “hello” or “good morning”. A couple of cute kids were following me around at one of the temples until they were scolded by their parents. I wish they weren’t, I was enjoying their company.

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I’m currently at a McDonalds with a pile of snack wraps sitting in front of me. Makes me think of my friend Jamie Burke who always said I had the worst diet. These snack wraps are for you Jamie. All $10 worth.

Todays challenge; On the go. This is a photo from the back of a horse taxi I was in.

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Posted by traveling_paj 00:56 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 11

Snorkelling

sunny 31 °C

Today was the perfect day to go snorkelling. It was raining in the morning, but had totally cleared up by the time I’d made my way to the boat. The boat had glass bottom panels, which was neat. We spent about half an hour at each location which was just enough time for me to get completely sunburnt on the back half of my body. I saw some fish and got to test out my GoPro underwater.

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I was planning on staying in the Gili a bit longer, but since the only things to do here are water/beach activities and I’m so sunburnt I decided maybe today would be my last day.

Todays challenge; Somewhere quiet.

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Posted by traveling_paj 00:18 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 10

Off to the Gili Islands

rain 27 °C

After several calls to UPS (who told me I had to call my bank), my bank (who told me I had to call UPS, who then told me to call UPS Indonesia) and UPS Indonesia (I’m not sure what they told me), I finally received my card. It was almost sent back to Canada because my bank provided the wrong postal code, but I finally got it! Remind me to change banks when I get home.

A quick bus/boat/horse ride later and I’m in Gili Trawangan, a small island to the east of Bali. It’s beautiful here. The weather forecast said it’s supposed to be raining the next couple days, hopefully it’s wrong.

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Todays challenge; Sunset

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Posted by traveling_paj 01:16 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Day 9

Climbing Mt. Ganung Batur

rain 28 °C

With an hour of sleep I was up bright and early at 2am this morning to climb Mt Ganung Batur. We were dropped off at the base of the mountain at a coffee plantation. It’s one of those places that has an animal eat the beans first and then poop them out and then they make coffee from the poop beans. Ernie says this type of coffee is popular in the States. Gross.

Upon arrival the tour guide gave us 5 different types of coffee/tea to drink (no poo coffee tho, that was extra). As I’m sitting there, sampling all the different miniature cups of liquid, I see this shadow on the wall slowly descending. I look at it for a second. It’s a huge spider. I look up and there is a spider the size of my hand lowering itself into the cup I was drinking out of. I lost it in front of a room full of people I’d never met at 2:30am. Good start to the day.

It took us two hours to reach the top of the mountain. It was cloudy so we didn’t get to see the sunrise much, but there were wild monkeys. The guide made us banana sandwiches for breakfast, but a monkey straight up stole mine. Why would you serve banana sandwiches on a mountain that has wild monkeys on it? That just seems stupid. It’s actually a volcano so there were lots of holes that had warm steam coming out of them.

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First big storm rolled in today.

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Check out these imitation kitkat bars they have here tho….

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Today's challenge; sunrise.

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Posted by traveling_paj 07:07 Archived in Indonesia Comments (2)

Day 8

Look what I made!

sunny 30 °C

Well I’m still not sick, which is sweet because I never bought travel insurance. I don’t know how long it takes to get sick in a country though. Should I still be careful? *Drinking a pint of tap water*

Today I took a silver class. Making things out of silver is much harder than expected, but the results are worth it. The entire class took a few hours. I wish the teacher told me to try something a bit easier for a beginner level…

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Today's challenge; something you made.

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Posted by traveling_paj 20:21 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 7

How am I so tired on vacation?

sunny 30 °C

Today I didn’t want to wake up. Opening my eyes was painful. I’m sunburnt, my butt still hurts from biking and I'm covered in bug bites. I went to some galleries and temples in the morning, but the entire time I was fantasizing about napping.

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At one of the temples there was a cockfighting ring.
Man: “do you know what this is for?”
Me: “… gambling?”
Man: “no, blood sacrifice …but we gamble too”

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After lunch I took a two hour nap and then we headed to watch a dance performance.

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Today’s Challenge: Something red.

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Posted by traveling_paj 17:17 Archived in Indonesia Comments (2)

Day 6

jungle trek and crispy skin

sunny 32 °C

Bank card update; so my card is currently in Hong Kong. By the time I receive it, it’ll have more stamps on its passport than I do.

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My forehead is the colour of a freshly cooked lobster. It’s so embarrassing, being a grown, 30 year old woman, and having a sunburn. People must think, “oh, poor girl, she forgot how the sun works…”

I got this sunburn from walking around to different temples. The route to the last temple on our list was through the jungle and rice paddies. A man offered to take us for $5. I’m really glad he did. It was a trek up cliffs, scaling along the sides of waterways on cliffs, through back allies and rice fields. We would have been lost for hours if we didn’t have help. At one point he showed us a cliff where they mine sand stone.

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They don’t have big gas stations here. They sell petrol in recycled glass bottles.

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Today's challenge; A kissing photo. :D

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Posted by traveling_paj 18:12 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

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