A Travellerspoint blog

The Beginning of Time

Darwin's Galapagos Islands

75 °F

08 Aug 2017

Only one word................................Galapagos!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We're heading off tomorrow. Two nights in Quito and then traveling with Uncruise to the magnificent islands of the Galapagos!!

I'm not counting on good internet service but I promise some great photos when we get back!!!

Stay tuned...................

Posted by pjburke 21:02 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

....Until we meet again!!!!

But - never "good-bye"

sunny 95 °F

14 May 2017

Happy Mother's Day to all my favorite Moms...

Quiet Sunday here, so we decided to check out a new beach. Josephine told us that there is a resort on the east side that for a small fee (100K - $7) you can hang out at their nice little beach, get a lounge chair (under a palapa), towel, soft drink and also use snorkel gear and/or a kayak if you wish...sounds like a deal. It's a little to far to walk so we rented one moto. After finishing yesterdays blog ...we took off. Breve Azurine Lagoon Resort was pretty easy to find. There was actually security (2 young men) at the front gate. We just told them that we wanted to go to the beach and they let us pass. We were waved into the main reception area of a beautiful dark wooden structure and were warmly greeted. When we told their manager where we were staying, he knew that Joyce sent us.

We enjoyed the small beach and tranquil waters for the rest of the afternoon. The lunch menu was simple but tasty and reasonably priced. We had the whole beach to ourselves until about 3pm when another couple wandered down.

Breve Azurine Resort

Breve Azurine Resort

Looking south from Breve Azurine

Looking south from Breve Azurine

Beautiful turquoise waters off the east coast of Karimunjawa

Beautiful turquoise waters off the east coast of Karimunjawa

View from the end of the dock

View from the end of the dock

Seaside warnings

Seaside warnings

Lovely place to spend the afternoon

Lovely place to spend the afternoon


A lovely afternoon spent swimming, reading and just talking...about?? "Where will we be off to on our next adventure??"....of course!!!

May 15 2017

Quiet morning....but we did notice on Friday and Saturday,a large number of Indonesian travelers.

Brenda made her way back from Jepara, arriving at 11am on what proved to be a very rocky ferry ride. While waiting for her to get off the boat, we observed more than one person getting off who looked like they had had better days. Brenda told us later that it got so rough that they were handing out sickness bags to everyone as a precaution.

Also, arriving with Brenda were our bags from the Quest Hotel. With the help of Sudar's brother, they had made their way from Semarang.
We sat for a bit and got the highlights of her trip (with Linda and Wayne) to Borbodur and Jogya. It was time to head towards the coffee shop where the 1pm English classes were to be held.

The first day and first groups of the Hello Karimunjawa classes where a little of everything...and everyone. There was a small group of adults, a few local teachers and a small group of children. Since these lessons are being aimed at working adults, children were not expected. BUT...what can you do?? Being the teacher's teacher, Brenda didn't hesitate. The next thing I knew, she had jumped in with both feet and there I was right along with her. For the next hour and a half, it was numbers, basic English words, colors and A, B, C's. The group of nine little girls were like little sponges...they soaked it all in.

Hello Karimunjawa

Hello Karimunjawa

Children participating in English Class

Children participating in English Class

Enjoying English Class

Enjoying English Class

Village children enjoying their lesson

Village children enjoying their lesson

With the interest shown from the children, Josephine and Joyce are going to work with local teachers and try and keep this also in their program.
I'd forgotten how tiring teaching can be, especially in the tropical heat and humidity of Karimunjawa. A quick late afternoon nap came as no surprise.

Since Brenda had not eaten at Eat and Meet....and we had also met one of the owners (Butz) at the English Classes (Eat and Meet is one of the sponsors) we headed back there for dinner. While eating dinner, we saw Sudar who told us that Joyce and Josephine were at the coffee shop. The evening classes were scheduled for 730pm and 830pm so Brenda and I wandered over to see how things were progressing. It was encouraging to see two good sized groups. One was a chatty group of high school girls and the other, a slightly more serious group of adult learners but in total about 30 people. For the first day of class, a good turn out.`

May 16 2017

Today will be our last full day in Indonesia. It's about this time in a trip that I start to get antsy. It's not only our last day in Indonesia but the last day of our six week trip. We're pretty much packed and we've made sure that we've paid our bill at Panorama. Joyce did ask, if she could get lobster, would we be interested in grilled lobster tonight. We were both totally in, but Brenda's belly is not so great so she opted out.

Packing has been a bit of a project though. Our flight out tomorrow is on a small twelve seat turbo prop with a free baggage limit of 10K (22.2lbs). I think we'll be ok...not sure about Brenda....

The "Hello Karimunjawa" class started again today at 1pm, with Brenda opting out I made my way down the quiet lane to the temporary classroom area. There was a small group of adults BUT the group of children had grown to about 20. I asked if it was ok if I taught today's lesson and started where we had left off yesterday. Continuing with letters, numbers and colors, I moved on to body parts and a rousing rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes....evoking laughs and giggles from all the children and a couple of observing adults.

Dinner tonight was very special - fresh spiny lobster in an incredibly delicious chili sauce, enjoyed by a small group: myself, Jims (which is what Jim has now become known as- combination of James + Jim), Brenda, Josephine, Joyce, Sudar and Auguste.

After giving Joyce and Sudar good hearted grief from our first day regarding their map, Jim was presented with a first press edition of their new and improved map.

With my heart feeling very full, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made this trip the absolute joy that it was. It all started with a return visit to Focal Local in Bangkok, continued to Sri Lanka and the special people we met and sites that we experienced, kept going as our adventure took us into the jungles of Kalimantan for our, long awaited Orangutan tour and culminated in the little island of Karimunjawa where I learned to ride a moto, took some time to relax, met some wonderful new friends and hopefully helped a few in the process.

I have a very hard time saying good-bye. There are "always" tears...so I'll just say ......"until we meet again" with every hope that we will meet again in the not too distant future.

Posted by pjburke 06:05 Archived in Indonesia Tagged hello karimunjawa Comments (1)

You always need a little down time....

sunny 95 °F

11 May 2017

The power went out (all over the island) sometime during the night. About 4am, I heard a knock on our door and it was Brenda. She was not feeling well at all. One of the things I always pack in our first aid kit is rehydration tablets. We grabbed a bottle of water, added the tablets and got her settled out on the porch. which is much cooler and has a nice breeze. Always, always remember when out on the water...Hydrate!!!
It took a while, but B finally started feeling better. She was a bit concerned because she was scheduled to leave for a two hour ferry ride, but, all turned out well.

Wayne, Linda and Brenda left for the boat about 1130....our power was still off. Feeling a little cooped up, Jim and I took a walk through the village. No power anywhere and the village people were outside just trying to stay cool. We ended up by the harbour at Ebu Ester Warung for lunch. As long as you have a fire, you can still have food. Lunch was tasty and the breeze from the water very cooling.

Later in the day, after a lazy afternoon, as we were walking to dinner, we saw Joyce and she let us know that something major (not sure what) had broken at the power plant and they were bringing the parts in from Jepara. No ETA for power. A few places had generators, one was Eat and Meet so we ended up there for dinner. I'm a little "riced out" so Pasta Puttanesca and pizza sounded really good ....and they were.

By the time we got back to Panorama, Sudar had secured a generator which gave us lights, a fan and.......wifi. No A/C but the whirling blades of the fan were a welcome sound. Shortly after we went to bed.....tah dah....we had A/C. Yeah!!!!

12 May 2017

We woke up to full power restoration. I'm sure I'm not the only one that is happy. I know that on weekend the island gets very busy and both Happinezz and Panorama were almost totally booked.

My plan for the previous day had been to catch up on my blog. I did the best I could until my netbook ran out of power. With power restored, I was able to post the rest of Borneo. I did realize that there are so many pics of the Orangutans that I want to post. I'll do that on Shutterfly when I get home.

Dinner was a Fish BBQ over at Happinezz. Joyce and Sudar set this up for guests each Friday night...as long as they have at least 6 people. I think there was more than 12. Auguste was the fish cooker, with his wife, Iga and Kana (cook for Happinezz) working the kitchen. It was delicious!!!!!! We chatted with Sally (a travel writer) who we met on our first day. We got some great hints for future trips.
http://www.thehappinezz.com/

Happinezz.....

Happinezz.....

Auguste and his grilling masterpiece

Auguste and his grilling masterpiece

Guests waiting for BBQ at Happinezz

Guests waiting for BBQ at Happinezz

13 May 2017

What to do today??? Not much...but that's ok. It feels like we've been going, going, going for the last five weeks. I continue to work on the blog..which I thoroughly enjoy. We talked with Josephine about a beach close by and got a recommendation, which I think we'll do tomorrow.

Note:Joyce and Josephine (who we met on the ferry over) with the help of a Dutch bank (both Joyce and Josephine are Dutch) , donations from friends and family, local businesses and the support of the community, have developed a foundation that will help teach English to the local people - concentrating on those in the tourist industry. In the last few years, tourism has taken off, so there is definitely a need.

The first informational meeting will be Monday, May 15th. When Brenda and I heard about this project from Josephine, we let her know of our teaching experience in China and "if" they needed extra English speaking bodies, we were more than willing to help. Joyce and Josephine have wisely learned that you never turn down volunteer help. Brenda will be back Monday morning in time for the meeting. There classes will continue but the only one we will be able to help with will be on Tuesday (we're leaving on Wednesday). I think we've even gotten Jim on board...we think!!!

We're excited to be able to help with their project. Check out their website: http://www.hellokarimunjawa.com/en/home-2/

Dinner: Jim was craving some western food so it was back to Eat and Meet. Don't know who their chef is but the Spaghetti Bolognese was delicious and Jim said that their Veggie Burger was probably the best he's ever had....that is saying something.

A few photos from our wanderings:

Local Children

Local Children

Local Fruit Market

Local Fruit Market

Sunset from the roof of Panorama

Sunset from the roof of Panorama

Sudar!!!

Sudar!!!

Unusual treehouse

Unusual treehouse

Even she's too young to drive the moto....a couple more years to go

Even she's too young to drive the moto....a couple more years to go

Grandfather babysitting

Grandfather babysitting

Neighbor

Neighbor

Side view of Panorama from the sidewalk

Side view of Panorama from the sidewalk

Local Mosque

Local Mosque

Jumping from the fishing boat

Jumping from the fishing boat

Fishing boats moored in the harbour

Fishing boats moored in the harbour

Karimunjawa village from the end of the pier

Karimunjawa village from the end of the pier

Local Flower

Local Flower

Interesting construction

Interesting construction

Drying rice

Drying rice

Drying Fish

Drying Fish


Posted by pjburke 19:35 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

One Fishie...Two Fishie,...Three Fishie...Four....

Snorkeling on Karimunjawa

sunny 95 °F

10 May 2017

Our snorkeling trip should have started at 0830 but a couple things slowed us down. #1 - our trip details changed and #2 Wayne and Linda had also changed their travel plans.

Linda's 99 year old Mom has had some problems and they have decided that they need to get home a bit earlier than planned. They will be leaving this Sunday from Surabaya. But, they also wanted to get down to Borobudur in southern Java.

Due to a power outage, they've been working over the phone and it's been time consuming.

While Joyce was helping us, our snorkeling guide came in - his grandmother had passed away and she would need to get another guide.

Also....With the change for Wayne and Linda...Brenda was invited to go with them. We'd been to Borobudur a few years ago and it's definitely worth the trip. Decision was made, they will leave on Thursday, take the ferry to Kendall (near Semarang) and then a car to Borobudur, then on to Yogyakarta( Jogya) and then they will head to Surabaya and Brenda will come back here on Monday and we will all leave on Wednesday to Bangkok and then home on Thursday.......

It was time to head to the harbour to get a start on our snorkeling trip. For $20 per person, we got our own private boat, snorkeling gear, guide and a grilled fish lunch on the beach.

We stopped two different places. The first stop had sooo many fish and the second - so much coral. Although there is some coral bleaching in the this area, much less than we'd seen in Sri Lanka.

Tons of fish

Tons of fish

More fish

More fish

Linda, Patty, Brenda and Jim

Linda, Patty, Brenda and Jim

Wayne, Linda and Jim enjoying the ride

Wayne, Linda and Jim enjoying the ride

View off our lunch island

View off our lunch island

A group of young men from Jakarta on holiday

A group of young men from Jakarta on holiday

Enjoying our grilled fish lunch

Enjoying our grilled fish lunch

Coral

Coral

Our last stop...the deserted island

Our last stop...the deserted island

Our boat

Our boat

For dinner, we all went a few doors down to Cafe Amour. The service was very good but I really like the squid at the fish market better....but...All in all it was a very good day.

Posted by pjburke 02:24 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Moto time.....

sunny 95 °F

09 May 2017

Up early - great night sleep!! Breakfast and it was time for Moto 101. I've really wanted to learn how to ride a moto but most islands are just too busy. Sudar took me down the small dirt road to the main road and showed me how to start, stop and go. It's pretty simple though turning around proved to be my nemesis. Brenda, Jim and I all had our own motos and Linda and Wayne rode together. Before the beach....we had to get gas. The benzine (petrol) station was just up the road and there was a long line of motos to fill up.

Moto Mama 1

Moto Mama 1

Moto Mama 2

Moto Mama 2

That done and we were off. We knew the route should go past Happinezz but when we go there, there was a wedding at a house down the road which blocked the whole road. That would never happen at home. So it was turn around, then left, left and another left and we were off. We found the turnoff but the road up the hill had two small cement lanes which proved a little difficult for first time moto drivers but we made it.

Finding Sunset Beach made it all worthwhile...one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Strange to say, since we live in the desert, but anywhere on or near water is my "happy place". I was happy here. We spent the morning swimming along the beach. Lunch was ordered from one of the half dozen warungs. A little more swimming and it was time for JIm and I to head back. I had to make sure I don't get too much sun.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

Good words to live by

Good words to live by

Beach Boat

Beach Boat

Lunch spot

Lunch spot

Photo Bombed.....

Photo Bombed.....

Lost in Thought on Sunset Beach

Lost in Thought on Sunset Beach

On the way back, we checked with Joyce and found that the flight out on Wednesday had three seats available. Book them!!! 320K Rp - about $25 plus extra for baggage over 10Kg. But..the tickets can't be bought online - only at the office at the airport and only when the office is open. Island time....

Before we had to turn in the motos, Wayne and Brenda headed back to Sunset Beach for some "Sunset" photos.

Swing near the water

Swing near the water

Sunset from Sunset Beach

Sunset from Sunset Beach

For dinner, with Wayne and Linda's recommendation, we headed towards the Fish Market at the harbour Around a large field, people set up small stalls to sell and cook fish. Behind each stall, on the field, they set up their own dining area: Large plastic tarps with long low tables.

Jim and I had Squid Karimunjawa (recommended by his nephew Joe Burke)....it was delicious. We also tried some Ayam Satay (chicken). Brenda had a fried banana and Wayne and Linda had snapper and a type of lobster.

Good Satay

Good Satay

Fish Market at the harbour

Fish Market at the harbour

Squid Karimunjawa

Squid Karimunjawa

Fish Market Dining Area

Fish Market Dining Area


Our plans set for the next day....snorkeling.

Posted by pjburke 01:22 Archived in Indonesia Comments (2)

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