A Travellerspoint blog

Indonesia

Quick stopover in Bali

9 September 2013

My goal for our last day in Jogya was to get totally up to date on the website and I succeeded!!!! Yeah!!!.

Our last dinner was at Bladok – a nice way to spend our last night.

Jim's 63 cent haircut

Jim's 63 cent haircut

10 September 2013

0415 came too soon and by 0500 we were off to the airport. Check in at the airport was a breeze and then off to the waiting room but not before a 35K Rp charge per person. I found that a little strange. The flight in from Bali was a little late so we were 30 minutes late leaving for the 50 minute flight. Our driver was right outside the arrivals gate. Since the airport is under construction, there is a bit of a walk to the parking lot but the hotel van was close by. It was a late request on my part but yesterday I had contacted our hotel (Quest Hotel Tuban) regarding airport pick up and was pleasantly surprised on two accounts, one was their quick response to my email and secondly that transfers were free.

Our hotel was just about 5 minutes from the hotel – we can see it from the top floor of the hotel. For $38, it is a lovely room overlooking the long infinity pool and it includes breakfast.

Quest Hotel Tuban Bali

Quest Hotel Tuban Bali

Relaxing afternoon in Bali

Relaxing afternoon in Bali

This is the life!!

This is the life!!

We did decide that “you know you’re in Asia too long’ when it’s a treat to have a bathroom where the shower and toilet do not share the same space. Just sayin'......

There aren’t many choices close to the hotel but we found Pawon Pasundan just a short ways down the street. It turned out to be a great choice. They are known for Gurame Bakar “flying fish” – Jim had a version in a tamarind sauce …sooooo good.

Wonderful Gurame Bakar

Wonderful Gurame Bakar

Enjoying lunch at Pawon Pasundan

Enjoying lunch at Pawon Pasundan

Our afternoon was spent enjoying the pool and the spa facilities. My reflexology foot massage and Jim’s massage Services were not as inexpensive as some places in Ubud but still a great price: a reflexology massage and pedicure for me and an hour massage for Jim - $45.00 total. I was so looking forward to having pretty feet again.

We didn’t have high hopes for dinner as we wandered outside our hotel. But, as we rounded the corner at the end of our street things changed. We noticed a small warung that was full – there were a lot of westerners but they looked pretty happy and after our dinner…so were we. Jim had a fried (stir fried) seafood noodle dish that was good but I ordered a deep fried sweet/spicy squid dish that was awesome. It’s been a while since we’ve had squid so tender…we picked a bad time to leave our camera back at the hotel. Thanks to Warung Segarrrr in Tuban for such a great meal.

11 September 2013

Breakfast at the hotel was pretty good. It’s time to repack our bags and get ready to head off to the airport. On to our new adventure in Australia!!!

Even though we're off on new adventures, the thought of friends at home and the 12th anniversary of September 11th weighs on our minds. With all the other strife in the world our thoughts are at home.....may we never forget!!!

Posted by pjburke 18:51 Archived in Indonesia Comments (4)

Cooking and Dancing - two of my favorite things!!

sunny

Note: if you get a chance, please take a look at the photo gallery. There are additional photos in the gallery that are not on the web pages. Enjoy!!

7 September 2013

Cooking class today!! We made our way down to Via Via which is south, about 30 mins by becak from our GH.

We met Made our instructor and our two classmates – James and Alex from the UK. Luckily, they also have adventurous palates, so the two dishes we decided on were a little out of the norm.

Our menu: Rendang Chicken, Aubergine (eggplant) with Sambal, Coconut Rice, Fried Morning Glory (aka Asian Spinach) and Fried Tempe with spicy Caramel sauce and Krupuk.

Off to the local market to pick up some items we needed: chicken, eggplant, spices, spinach, tempeh, raw krupuk and also some treats to have with coffee before we start cooking. Our treats were purple sweet potato muffins, sticky rice with chicken inside and small, yummy green coconut treats.

Market in Yogya near Via Via

Market in Yogya near Via Via

Ladies at the Market

Ladies at the Market

Lady at the Market

Lady at the Market

Purple Sweet Potato Muffins

Purple Sweet Potato Muffins

Steamed Rice with Chicken inside

Steamed Rice with Chicken inside

This class was a little different from other classes we have done. It was half demo, half participation but with a small kitchen, only four of us and family style serving, it worked out great. Alex and James, it was great sharing class with you.

Made and James in the kitchen at Via Via

Made and James in the kitchen at Via Via

Cooking - first we've done it a while

Cooking - first we've done it a while

Tempe with Caramel Sauce

Tempe with Caramel Sauce

Caramel cooking with chilies, palm sugar, lime and a little salt

Caramel cooking with chilies, palm sugar, lime and a little salt

The feast - Rendang Chicken, Coconut Rice, Eggplant and Sambal, Spicy Spinach and Tempe with Spicy Caramel Sauce

The feast - Rendang Chicken, Coconut Rice, Eggplant and Sambal, Spicy Spinach and Tempe with Spicy Caramel Sauce

With James and Alex our cooking partners - enjoying our feast

With James and Alex our cooking partners - enjoying our feast

After class, we made our way back to the GH but this time we took two becaks – it’s up hill most of the way and with the two of us …it’s just not fair on only one.

No dinner tonight, we were still full from lunch. We did do some travel planning for AU though.

8 September 2013

Finally was able to SKYPE with Brenda this morning. It’s been difficult to get in touch with the fourteen hour time difference.
More website work…almost caught up.

While I was working on the front porch of the GH, Sammie told me that a friend had free tickets to the International Ramayana Dance Festival at Prambanan that evening. Would we like to go?? Of course…that would be wonderful. His friend owns one of the local tourist businesses and
when his friend dropped off the tickets, we were also able to arrange to have one of his drivers for the evening.

Penny, a lovely, older lady from the UK, who is also staying at the GH will be going also.

545ish, our driver arrives and it’s off to Prambanan! The traffic was a little crazy but we got there in plenty of time. We found great seats in the area our tickets designated and enjoyed a wonderful evening of international Ramayana dancing. The festival is actually a four night event. Tonight we were treated to dancing from Malaysia, Laos and my favorite, Philippines.

Entry way to the Ramayana Ballet Theater

Entry way to the Ramayana Ballet Theater

Ramayana Theater stage area

Ramayana Theater stage area

Dancer from Malaysia

Dancer from Malaysia

Lead Male Malaysian Dancer

Lead Male Malaysian Dancer

Malaysian Dancers

Malaysian Dancers

Dancer from Laos

Dancer from Laos

Philippine Dancers at the Ramayana Dance Festival

Philippine Dancers at the Ramayana Dance Festival

Philippine Dance Group

Philippine Dance Group

Ramayana ballets are not unique to Yogyakarta. This ballet company is one of many to use dance and drama to tell the epic Hindu story of Ramayana. I must admit that I am not up on the complexities of this story but it seems to have all the issues of life and relationships.

Posted by pjburke 01:01 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

More adventures in Jogja

sunny

5 September 2013

Pretty quiet day. The Bird Market is on the tourist route so we thought we’d go see what it was all about. Well….glad we went so we don’t have to go again. There are tons of birds – if you’re into birds. Nan, you would have HATED it here. There were also two huge pythons, caged bats and some large geckos. It was a little creepy for my taste, though some of the birds were very pretty. It was sort of like my thing with monkeys – one or two are OK – when there are hundreds – not so much!!!

Yellow birds at the bird market

Yellow birds at the bird market

Cages and cages

Cages and cages

Large geckos at the Bird Market

Large geckos at the Bird Market

Birds and more birds

Birds and more birds


We made our way back for our afternoon massages – very basic location but this lady had great hands!!! After our long ride to Dieng, this massage was a welcome relief and yes, an hour for $7.

Dinner at Bladok Resto, which has turned out to be one of our favorite places. The food is really good especially their veggie fritters.

6 September 2013

Up early so that I would be on time for my batik class. For breakfast, we got an order of gudek to share – it was very tasty.

The art studio/losmen lobby across the gang was the location of my class, everything here seems to be multi-functional. I met Eddie, who will be my teacher for the day. To start, I picked out some basic designs and combined a few to make my own on my piece of white cotton cloth. I traced a little bit and a little more was free hand though I will never profess to being an artist. I worked for a few hours, becoming more proficient with the tjanting (instrument used to apply the wax) the more I drew. When all the outlining had been done, I applied the color – trying to balance the complete piece. It was now time for lunch at Bedhot Resto (which was included in the 180K Rp price).

The beginning of batik class - wax is heating

The beginning of batik class - wax is heating

Wax and then color and then more wax

Wax and then color and then more wax

Upon my return, the piece had been washed and Eddie had started the next stage of “wax on”. Wax needed to be applied to all areas that already had color, so that we could then add the background color.


My piece was submerged into a chemical mixture, and like magic,the background color appeared. The piece next needed to be boiled to remove all the wax – all in all, I was very pleased with my finished piece.

Where the magic happens

Where the magic happens

Wet final batik product

Wet final batik product

While I was exploring my artistic side, Jim decided it was time for a haircut. Sammie recommended a local place around the corner – so for 7,000Rp ($ .63) Jim should be good til we get home.

Street sate again for dinner –God, her peanut sauce is really good!!!

Played some cards….a quiet night.

Posted by pjburke 00:22 Archived in Indonesia Comments (2)

Dieng Plateau

all seasons in one day

4 September 2013

Another early day but not as early as Borobudur, but it was to be a much longer day.

0700 and the driver picks us up to start our day tour of the Dieng Plateau area. Winnie (woman from Hong Kong) was already in the van when we got in. From there we picked up Annie (from Jakarta) and off we go. After about an hour, we end up back at Borobudur where we pick up Owen who joined us for the rest of the trip. It will be a small group compared to the eight of us on Monday.

It was a three and a half hour ride up the bumpy roads to Dieng with our first stop at the turquoise blue water lake at Telaga Warna. With 45 minutes to visit the lake, we made good use of it by hiking around the lake. It felt good to get out and stretch. From there, we stopped at the crater area with its bubbling, smelly sulfur pools.

Telaga Lake

Telaga Lake

View of the volcanic caldren

View of the volcanic caldren

Steaming sulfur caldron

Steaming sulfur caldron

On to the temple area and to what I thought was going to be more of a hike. It turned out to be a short walk to the complex and then it was back to the van to start our ride home.

Dieng Complex

Dieng Complex


Lady farming near the Dieng Complex

Lady farming near the Dieng Complex

Finished for the day - farmer heading home in Dieng

Finished for the day - farmer heading home in Dieng

Our driver asked if we wanted to stop for lunch, but being already 3pm, and with three more hours to go, we opted to continue driving back to Yogya. It turned out to be a good decision.

On our trip up in the morning, the low cloud cover totally obstructed our view of Mt. Merapi, but on the return we were treated to the beautiful mountain to one side and a fantastic sunset on the other.

Mt Merapi

Mt Merapi


Indonesian Sunset

Indonesian Sunset

Actually, I'm not sure if I had it to do over, if I would do (or recommend) this trip but the views of the countryside and small villages did give me a better feel for the real Java.

Below I’ve included a little info on the Dieng area:

Dieng Plateau is a marshy area that forms the floor of a caldera near the small city of Wonosobo in Central Java. Dieng's misty location, at almost 2,093 m above sea level and its poisonous effusions and sulfur colored lakes make it a particularly auspicious place for religious tributes. Often referred to as "Dieng" by Indonesians, it means "Abode of the Gods".

The Plateau is the location eight small Hindu temples. It is unclear when they were built, but it is estimated that they were built from mid-7th century to the end of the 8th century AD. They are the oldest known standing stone structures in Java. It is thought that there were originally 400 temples but only the eight remain. The temples are also believed to have been named after the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

Posted by pjburke 23:58 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Borobudur and Prambanan

sunny 87 °F

2 September 2013

One of the reasons we ended up in Yogya is because of Borobudur. If you ever happen to wonder how we decide where we visit, well, Jim happened to find an article indicating that this was one of the most visited sites in all of Indonesia, so – decision made.

Our day started VERY early with a 0400 wake up and 0500 pick-up but not without a cup of coffee and some toast at our guesthouse. From what we had heard, we expected hordes of people waiting to enter the temple but after our 90 minute ride we were pleasantly surprised to find that we wouldn’t be sharing Borobudur with too many people.

Where are the crowds

Where are the crowds

A little background on Borobudur thanks to Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borobudur

Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside a perforated stupa.

Candi Borobudur ( Borobudur Temple)

Candi Borobudur ( Borobudur Temple)

Map of Borobudur

Map of Borobudur

Our first view of Borobudur with early morning mist

Our first view of Borobudur with early morning mist

Ancient carving at Borobudur Temple

Ancient carving at Borobudur Temple

Close up of some of the many statues

Close up of some of the many statues

Orignally inside each domed shaped wat was a Buddha

Orignally inside each domed shaped wat was a Buddha

Morning mist seen in the background from the top of Borobudur Temple

Morning mist seen in the background from the top of Borobudur Temple

Landscape view of Borobudur Temple

Landscape view of Borobudur Temple

We had about 2 ½ hours to tour the temple on our own and that was just about right, leaving a few minutes to grab a 2nd breakfast before being on to our next stop.

fresh coconuts

fresh coconuts

On to Prambanan, which, before arriving in Yogya, we were not aware even existed. It is much smaller than Borobudur and is at varying stages of reconstruction, especially after the major earthquake in 2006 and volcanic eruption of Mt Merapi in 2010, that damaged both Prambanan and Borobudur.

Attached is some information on Prambanan from the UNESCO Heritage site: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/63

Built in the 10th century, this is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia. Rising above the center of the last of these concentric squares are three temples decorated with reliefs illustrating the epic of the Ramayana, dedicated to the three great Hindu divinities (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) and three temples dedicated to the animals who serve them.

Our first view of Prambanan

Our first view of Prambanan

Prambanan from a distance

Prambanan from a distance

Warning due to earthquake damage

Warning due to earthquake damage

Required headware for this one temple

Required headware for this one temple

Prambanan

Prambanan


3 September 2013

Today is a recharge day: Breakfast at Mi Casa, lunch at Bintang Resto and dinner over on Gang 1 at Superman which was very good. In between, I was able to finish my postings for Koh Samui and Penang.

Posted by pjburke 22:12 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Gang life – Indonesian Style

A peek into Gang 2.

sunny 94 °F

Gang in Indonesian is the word for alley, definitely not what Americans think when they hear "gang".

Even when I think of an alley, I think of a dark, deserted, scary place. “Our” gang couldn’t be farther from that description. From our very first glance, I knew that Gang 2 would shortly feel like home.

As you walk along the narrow (maybe 5’ wide), well worn, herringbone, grey brick lined walk, you would think of it as more of a neighborhood which in Indonesian is kampung.

Entrance to Gang 2

Entrance to Gang 2

One after the other, on each side of gang 2, there are small guesthouses, restos (cafes), losmans (private homes, some with an extra room or two that are rented), internet cafes, a mosque, small art galleries, internet cafes and warungs frequented by local Indonesian families and International travelers alike. No motos are allowed to be driven in the gang, so you’ll see helmeted people, pushing their bikes down the gang that are then parked along the walk.

FYI  in gang 2

FYI in gang 2

More of gang 2

More of gang 2

A little further down the gang

A little further down the gang

Entering Gang 2

Entering Gang 2

Gang 2

Gang 2


Indonesian people tend to rise early and many seek out the local lady (Miss Gudeg) who arrives as early as 0600 to set up shop. It seems that some people will buy her little bundles for breakfast and will stand, talking, maybe discussing the news kampung, while others take theirs away for a nosh later in the day. One morning, I observed this lovely lady, while serving those that came to her, also make extra packages – which she carefully counted and bagged. As if right on time, a helmeted man arrived, paid for the bag and was gone in a blink, obviously a regular customer.

The lovely Miss Gudeg in Gang 2

The lovely Miss Gudeg in Gang 2

Street Gudeg

Street Gudeg

Neighbor girl talking with with Miss Gudeg

Neighbor girl talking with with Miss Gudeg


Throughout the day, people traffic is steady up and down the gang, backpackers looking for a place to sleep, children off to school, men heading to the mosque are among the many. Later in the afternoon, again is if on cue, another lady sets up her wares and the smell of sate (skewered meat) cooking entices people out of their losmans.

Sammie chatting with the sate lady in Gang 2

Sammie chatting with the sate lady in Gang 2

Sate prep station

Sate prep station

Gang 2 Sate - yummy!!

Gang 2 Sate - yummy!!


In the evening, the laughter of children permeates the area. As children do everywhere, they are seen running, teasing and playing games until it’s time for their Moms to call them in.

As I write this, Jim is having a massage for the lady who I was so fortunate to also have had a massage with earlier today. There is a slim, elderly man washing his moto in front of our guesthouse, a man selling fresh fruit from his wheeled cart and another selling ice cream makes his way along the path.

Just another day in the gang!

Posted by pjburke 02:43 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

sunny 92 °F

31 August 2013

Yogyakarta (aka Yogka or as the locals call it Jogya –pronounced Jog ja)

Our flight from KL is off on time for the two and a half hour flight to Indonesia. We got our Visas at the airport (VOA – Visa On Arrival). The flight had very few people who needed visas so the line went quickly. All that was needed was our passports and $25US for each of us. We pick up our bags and get in line to have them x-rayed as we leave the airport - I guess there are things that they don’t want coming “into” the country.

The taxsi (Indonesian spelling) stand and 60000Rp ($6) gets us to our guesthouse – Andrea Hotel. The hotel is very cute and our room is small and clean with a comfortable bed.

Andrea Hotel - Gang 2

Andrea Hotel - Gang 2

We're Millionaires....even if it is rupiah

We're Millionaires....even if it is rupiah

Room #2 - Andrea Hotel

Room #2 - Andrea Hotel


We chose the resto next door, “Mi Casa et Su Casa” for dinner – good food.

Beer of choice in Indonesia

Beer of choice in Indonesia

Java Chicken

Java Chicken

Over dinner, Jim and I looked at our schedule and did some planning but not before checking with Sammie (the hotel owner) to see if we can stay until the 10th. Which we did…all is good.

01 September 2013

Kind of a lazy day! We got up early, have breakfast and took off to investigate Jogya.

Our little alley leads into the busy main streets lined with becaks (pedi cabs – which are bikes attached to rickshaw type seats that are used as public transportation). As we pass, most of the drivers ask “transport?”, “where you go?”, “Hello”.

Jim’s goal was a few post cards and moments after he mentioned it, as we were passing a magazine stand, a lady asks “post cards?” That stop changed the course of our day. Jim joked with the lady, as her brother told us about the right place to go to for batik and it wasn’t any of the places along the main street. We were warned that as soon as you wash those they lose all their color but that there is a shop that is associated with the Art University ¬¬– only open on Saturdays and Sundays. Ok, we’ll bit!! He gets us a becak (and told us how much we should be paying) and sends us off. The Batik Art Group Is off a side street, filled with beautiful batik and yes, it was only open on weekends and the prices were incredibly fair. When we were in Bali last year, I took a batik class and though I am far from an expert, the class helped me recognize quality work. We left with a few souvenirs from Indonesia.

The rest of the day was spent at the Sultan’s Palace, having lunch at a little street Warung and then it was back to the hotel on our becak. The poor guy pedaling looked like he was about to have a heart attack by the time he got us close to home.

Interesting views in Yogya

Interesting views in Yogya

Yogyakarta Train Station

Yogyakarta Train Station

One way of getting around in Yogya

One way of getting around in Yogya

View of the main market

View of the main market

Working transporting durian

Working transporting durian

Interesting art along Malioboro

Interesting art along Malioboro

Traditional dancers at the Sultan's Palace

Traditional dancers at the Sultan's Palace


Posted by pjburke 02:16 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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.
Tumpy-Tumpy

Tumpy-Tumpy

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 Comments (3)

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