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My last entry.....Finally!!!!!!

06 May 2012

No better time than the present......(06 July 1012 - or two months later. My procrastination continues.)

One of my goals, when we got back from our trip, was to finish my on line journal. I don't think journals, per se, are ever "finished" but I wanted to complete our "2011/2012 Asia trip" journal.

Another cliché ....life got in the way. We got back home and into our routine, days passed and as I'm known to do - I procrastinated.

Then life threw us a big curveball. We found out that John Korzick, our group leader from HUST, passed away on April 1st. John was bigger than life and we were lucky enough to become friends with him and his wife, Mary. John this last entry will be dedicated to you.

John and Mary Korzick

John and Mary Korzick

.......REWIND FOUR MONTHS.........

Saturday 18 February 2012 - Nusa Lembongan

Hard time getting to sleep last night. We opted for the room with no A/C, so it was a bit hot and sticky but it did cool down so once I got to sleep, I slept well. Until, of course, the rooster decided what time we should get up.

Off on a snorkeling trip today with Big Fish (the dive company at our hotel).

The day started out pretty cloudy and for a while went downhill. Our boat headed for Manta Cove and the sky above became darker and darker until the skies opened up. There were the two us, the dive master, driver and 10 other divers. As the rain pelted the boat, we all huddled under the meager canopy, trying to stay dry but not really succeeding. Fortunately, as we entered the cove, the rain started to abate and we glimpsed one ray that was playing on the surface of the water. Divers went in first, then Jim and I followed. The ray quickly decided to find another swimming hole. We snorkeled the cove - some tropicals but not a ton.

Back on the boat and we head off to pick up the divers and to anchor off Nusa Penida (larger island next to Nusa Lembongan) for lunch. A tasty Nasi Campur served local style, wrapped in banana leaf served in our own personal paper bags, was on the menu. Actually quite yummy!!

The second snorkel site was much better. A bit of a drift swim but we saw TONS of fish. Some I'd never seen before - yellow trumpet fish, a spotted box and a lizard fish - very cool.

Back to shore and the hotel, shower, beer and a nap and then off to Scooby's for sunset. I brought the netbook with me and found out that I was able to download photos very quickly. Something I had not been able to do on Bali. Yeah!!!!

Sunday 19 February 2012

Breakfast at Scooby's and I downloaded tons of photos. Teio and Gaeli stopped by. Teio was heading to the ferry for his trip back to Bali and then on to Canada. Glad we got to meet this nice brother and sister.

The rest of my morning spent downloading photos.

Weather was really warm but with blue skies and a gentle breeze Jim and I wandered to the other side of the island (Mushroom Bay) and hung out in a sandy tidal pool for a while. Very relaxing and we were the only ones on the beach.

Jungutbatu, Nusa Lembongan

Jungutbatu, Nusa Lembongan

Heading out tomorrow, so we decided to get packed before dinner.

Gaeli met us at Scooby's for sunset and we were going to have Thai for dinner but it started to rain so we ended up eating there. We were joined by a guy Jim and I had met at lunch - we nicknamed him Crazy Zac. I think "too much island time" for him.

Monday 20 February 2012

Breakfast and good-byes and we're picked up and transported in the back of a small pick up for our ferry ride to Gili Air. Ross and Emily (from the UK) are already in the truck and we end up talking with them the whole trip over. They're staying in Gili T (Trembangan) so they head off to find a guest house and we caught a smaller boat that took us to Gili Air. (Gili Air is one of three islands off the northwest coast of Lombok - not too big, not too small...just right) Even after just a short wait for our boat, we decided that we were glad we decided on Gili Air - not to impressed with Gili T.

Short boat ride to Gili Air, a horse cart ride to our hotel (Juliantos by the Sea) and we already know we've made the right decision.

Transportation in Gili Air

Transportation in Gili Air

Our room is on the second floor (only two stories), nice sized with a beautiful ocean view!!

Lunch at our hotel...really good. After that a leisurely afternoon - nap, walk, beers and then dinner at one of the small cafes on the beach.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Good breakfast (included)....We made ferry reservations for our return to Bali with the staff at Juliantos.

We were going to rent some bikes but decided to walk instead...made our way almost all the way around the island. Don't think I mentioned actual size but Gili Air....not too big!!

As we were walking, who walks by us but Ross and Emily. Apparently, after just a short walk around Gili T, they decided it wasn't for them either. They grabbed the first boat to Gili Air and decided to take their dive classes there. We made a date to meet for sunset drinks..

With recommendations from one of the other couples staying at Juliantos we ended up at the Chill Inn for lunch. Really good!! Also, Jim bargained for some clothes with one of the hawkers (pants, 2 t shirts and a sarong for me).

Afternoon swim (our hotel has a pool) and then off to meet Ross and Emily. Beautiful spot on the beach at the end of the dirt road (ok...all the roads are dirt). They filled us in on their plans for the next week or two. They also showed us the bungalow that they had found for 215K Rp ($24USD per night ) including breakfast but no pool vs. the 450K ($48USD) we're paying...but we have an ocean view, bigger room and a pool. We're really happy with Juliantos but it was good to see another property. In fact, we liked it so much, we were already talking about how we can make it back here sometime in the future.

Sunset from Mirage bar in Gili Air - Mt Agung (on Bali) in the background

Sunset from Mirage bar in Gili Air - Mt Agung (on Bali) in the background

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Up early to the chanter from the Mosque in the village west of us.

We headed off for a snorkel trip after breakfast. Great weather, tons of fish and turtles. We stopped over at Gili Meno (the third of the Gili Islands) for lunch. Food was good and Jim ended up doing a hat exchange with one of hawkers. He really liked Jim's hat but I actually think Jim got the better hat in the deal.
International Hat Exchange

International Hat Exchange

Thursday 23 February 2012

Down day...not our mood but our activity level. Read, swam, Jim snorkeled....nice!!!!

Friday 24 February 2012

Breakfast and then we both headed out for an early morning snorkel. Now we know why we don't see more people snorkeling early in the am. Tons of tiny little jelly fish and I got bit by a few.

Too much excitement for me, back to more relaxation.

The sun is setting and it was our last night in GA so we head back to one of the beach cafes for fresh fish and tumpy tumpy ( a fried potato dumpling like dish that we absolutely love). Nice way to end our time on GA.


Saturday 25 February 2012

Back to Bali. We ended up taking the Ocean Star Ferry - one hour for 350K Rp ($37USD) which included our van ride back to Ubud. We could have taken a ferry that was a little cheaper but this was the fastest.

We arrived back at Villa Kembali and Upik was waiting for us. :-) He looked as happy to see us as we were to see him. I'll miss Upik when we go home.Me and Upik

Me and Upik

Late lunch at Bayu which ended up being dinner too and a quiet night back at our little Balinese an home.

Sunday 26 February 2012

Off to the market for a little shopping: some clothes for me, a mortar and pestle and spices for Jim and some souvenirs. Lunch at Alami...so good.

For dinner, we met Barbara and Henry at their home and walked to Yellow Flower Cafe. Yellow Flower's Sunday buffet is sooooo good. It was great to catch up with our Myanmar travel companions but also sad to say "good bye".

Monday 27 February 2012

Our trip is winding down. Today will be my belated birthday present to myself: a full day at the Spa - massage, body scrub, rose pedal bath, facial, mani, pedi and hair treatment (which was a head massage)...all for about $60USD. Jim also had a massage and a facial - he enjoyed his treatments but I don't think as much as I did.

Our final dinner in Bali was at Bubu's. Food, as always, was great. As we said our good-byes to the lovely ladies of Bubu's all they wanted to know was when we were coming back - hmmm????

Tuesday 28 February 2012

We had a very early morning flight so we said our good-byes to Upik on Monday. Really no reason he had to get up that early to make us breakfast. Blue was right on time and off we head to the airport. Again, more sad goodbyes (but as I told Upik and Blue....not really good-bye - just "until we meet again".

We flew to Bangkok via Singapore and made it to our hotel without a hitch. We stayed at the same hotel we stayed at in 2009. The location was better than the hotel we stayed at in December but the food was not - live and learn.

Wednesday 29 February 2012

Since we had a late evening flight, we were able to pay a nominal fee for a very late check out at the hotel. We didn't need to head to the airport until about 8pm so we decided to head into the city for the day. It was an easy trip taking the shuttle over to the airport and then we caught the train into downtown Bangkok.

Lunch was at the food court in Siam Paragon Mall and then headed up to the 5th floor to catch a movie. We decided on Hugo. We really didn't know much about it but it had just won a couple of Academy Awards and we could see it in 3D. So glad we did....it really was great!!!!

After the movie, we did a little shopping at the Paragon grocery store on the first level. It is a combination of an upscale Wegman's or AJ's on steroids. There were samples being given out at every corner, from cake to small lettuce wraps to coconut candy samples. I don't think we'll need dinner.

We caught the express airport train back and then grabbed a taxi to the hotel. Traffic was a little heavier than we anticipated so we had just enough time to grab a shower, repack our bags with our little treasures from the grocery store and catch the shuttle to the airport. Only about 30 hour trip ahead of us - always the hardest part of the trip!

Enroute back to the States

We were both feeling very conflicted. If I had just given the word, Jim would have cancelled the flight and we would have kept traveling. I was ready to head home - at least for a little while. :-)

Posted by pjburke 11:23 Archived in Indonesia

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Thank you so much for sharing you fabulous journey. You made the trip come to life and I feel so fortunate to have taken it with you. You really should write a book about your trips - you write so very well. You certainly made many new friends and wouldn't it be great to see many of then again - you probably will. Again, thanks so much. Barbara

by Barbara Smith

Thanks for providing the enjoyable story-end of your trip as I drink coffee this morning in beautiful Glacier Park. It was great to follow along on your trip via this journal...what a fabulous trip! I agree with Barbara, you are a gifted writer, perhaps a new career awaits in travel writing?

by Linda Slocum

Enjoyed every part of your journal--the text and the photos. It was great that you shared this great adventure with all of us. Vicariously we were there with you. Thank you! You are the best of diplomats--you gave others a good picture of the "beautiful American." Thank you for that, too! Much love to both of you! Rosie and Bob

by Bob and Rosie Hughes

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