A Travellerspoint blog

Indonesia

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)

Off to the Islands

Karimunjawa, Java

sunny 93 °F

07 May 2017....continued

Flight back to Semarang was a little bumpy but not too bad. Arif had arranged for a driver to take us to Jepara where we stayed the night at the Gecho Inn and then took the ferry to Karimunjawa. (Gecho Inn....$33 per night - breakfast included....very nice.)

08 May 2017

Getting the ferry tickets was a little tricky. We will be staying at Panorama Guesthouse and the owners - Joyce and Sudar- helped...a lot. First we have to fill out an info sheet (on line) and then Joyce would find out if there were seats available. Then we had to transfer funds to "Transferwise" (similar to Paypal). When the funds were received, the tickets would be bought in Jepara by Sudar's brother who would then meet us at the harbour and give us the tickets...Follow??? It actually worked like clock work.

Fast Ferry

Fast Ferry

The ferry from Jepara

The ferry from Jepara


We arrived at the harbour - got our tickets and were on the 0900 Fast Ferry (2 hours) to Karimunjawa.

Tourists.....

Tourists.....

Arriving at the port

Arriving at the port


Arriving at 1100, we were met by Sudar and Joyce the owners of Panorama and Happinezz Hostel. It was a two minute van ride to Panorama, which is their new (about 3 weeks) guesthouse.

Panorama Guesthouse

Panorama Guesthouse

Breakfast being made at Panorama by Farid

Breakfast being made at Panorama by Farid

The View that got me

The View that got me

Bathroom in Panorama

Bathroom in Panorama

Rooms at Panorama

Rooms at Panorama


Karimunjawa is a actually a series of small islands off the north coast of Java Indonesia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karimunjava

New to the tourist route, we found out about it from a photo in Lonely Planet and thought that it would be a nice place to visit. We decided that Happinezz Hostel would be a nice place to stay but when Wayne and Linda were able to make the trip, Joyce suggested we move to their new guesthouse where there would be three A/C rooms.

The island is simple but very comfortable. We walked into the gathering area of Panorama and saw the beautiful Java Sea in front of us and I immediately wondered out loud, "maybe we can stay here a little longer".

The five of us got settled in our rooms. Brenda, Jim and I sat down for a serious discussion. Would we really want to stay a few more days?? A couple of things had to happen to make that work. We would have to get our baggage from Quest hotel in Semarang and we would have to see how we could get to Bangkok for our flight out on the 18th.

Off we went for the 15 minute walk through town to discuss the possibilities with Joyce. Happinezz is a nine room hostel on the other side of town and they also have a small cafe. When we arrived we were all bit hungry but the cafe closed at 2pm and the lady that cooks for them had gone home for the afternoon. Not to worry, if it was simple, Joyce or Sudar would cook for us. That should have been a clue. This lovely couple continued to go out of their way to help us with our plans. Joyce said that there is a flight Monday and Wednesday from the small airport on the island to Surabaya. From there, we could get flights to Bangkok. Regarding the baggage, they put in a call to Quest hotel, which would actually involve a couple of calls but that ended up working out too.

Joyce and Sudar

Joyce and Sudar


The other concern for the three of us was the cost. Bangkok, though not expensive, is more expensive than this small island. So, even with the changes, we might actually come out ahead. I had also planned on doing some shopping in Bangkok. That will not happen here, maybe a t-shirt or two but not really much else to buy.

Lunch was tasty and before we left we asked Joyce to get us motos for tomorrow so that we could explore the island a bit and get to Sunset Beach.

So much for one day had my head spinning. Linda and Wayne headed to the fish market for dinner while Brenda, Jim and I crashed.

Posted by pjburke 22:16 Archived in Indonesia Tagged karimunjawa Comments (1)

More time on the river

overcast

05 May 2017

Pretty good nights' sleep, again Yana's magic with food is amazing - breakfast is great.

Today, the plan is two different feeding stations : Pondok Tanggui and a return to Leakey.

Wayne wasn't feeling well (it happens)... so he stayed behind to recover.

The river

The river

This trip is all about the Orangutans. Each station we went to was a different experience and we saw different animals. One of the highlights was seeing "Carlos" -- currently the dominant male in the area. "Tom" was the dominate male but hasn't been seen for about four months and Arif lets us know that there was probably a fight between the two with Carlos being the winner. So goes life in the jungle!

The current king....Carlos

The current king....Carlos

Salamat Datang.....Welcome

Salamat Datang.....Welcome

Entering Camp Leakey

Entering Camp Leakey

Mom and Baby

Mom and Baby

Mom and Baby 2

Mom and Baby 2

Carlos

Carlos

Silence Please

Silence Please

3

3

Buds

Buds

.hmmmmmm

.hmmmmmm

4

4


Forgot to add from yesterday - while we were at Leakey - all of a sudden a sneaky little Gibbon Monkey decided that he was invited to dinner....He would hang in the trees above our heads and very quickly swing from branch to branch, swoop in and grab some food (bananas) and head back up into the tree to eat. The branches he was on were too narrow for the orangutans so he didn't worry that they would come after him. He was actually very funny to watch.Gibbon Profile

Gibbon Profile

Sneaky Gibbon

Sneaky Gibbon


06 May 2017

Today is our last full day on the river. (After our second day we were all wondering if 5D/4N was too long....it's not. There was no wifi and rarely cell coverage but that was OK. We had the chance to leisurely enjoy this area without outside interference)

After breakfast we make our way along the river - always on the lookout for birds or other primates. Our morning destination is Pondok Kerja where we will have a chance to plant trees that have been donated by Orangutan Applause. The planting area was about 1Km walk into the jungle along a primitive walkway (no OSHA out here) to the base station. This a government run, one man station. The gentleman who works here has the job of separating the seedlings, planting some and assisting volunteers (us) with planting and marking.

Tree lined walkway

Tree lined walkway


Our walkway into the jungle

Our walkway into the jungle


The tree guy

The tree guy


Tree planters

Tree planters

Jim planted an Aru Tree (aka Christmas tree)

Jim planted an Aru Tree (aka Christmas tree)

My Tree

My Tree


Our last feeding station is one that is government run and is the most basic. It also had fewer boats going there and fewer Orangutans. We found it ironic that, at the other camps, the animals are given bananas, mangos and milk and here just sugar cane. I think they know were the best "eats" are.

When going into the jungle on a boat everything for the trip is pre determined. After a hot day in the jungle a glass of beer sounds very good but ..it has to be ordered ahead of time and....well, I forgot to order the beer. We didn't find out until we asked Arif about it on our 2nd day. It wasn't a big deal but if you remember from my previous posting...most reasonable requests are usually granted. Arif came to us yesterday and told us that we'd have beer for our last day. How it arrived was an actual event: There was a large boat coming up the river towards us. They got very close and Arif runs to the front of our boat. They pass over a styrofoam cooler. We thought it food was for dinner....nope...it was the beer. Dessy can do anything!!!!

The beer has arrived

The beer has arrived

The Captain nestled our boat along a reeded area to moor for our last night. Arif had one last treat for the trip. Once it got dark, he brought us all out to the front of the boat and up in the trees were hundreds of blinking fireflies. What a way to end our trip.

07 May 2017

After breakfast we made our way back to the main river and to our port in Kumai where we were transported back to the airport. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye. I doubt that another trip to this wonderful place is in our future but we'll always have such incredible memories......and also.....well, there's always Facebook (lololol)

Our Crew....with sad ..until we meet again

Our Crew....with sad ..until we meet again


Posted by pjburke 00:26 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Our First Orangutan Sighting....

semi-overcast 95 °F

04 May 2017

Our stacked cushioned beds were surprisingly comfortable - though there was the high decibel drone of the two snoring men...and it wasn't the crew.

Bedding before netting

Bedding before netting

Bedding after netting

Bedding after netting


The sun rose about 530am and as we wandered out of our mosquito netting cocoons, we found that our boat was nestled under a very large tree filled with proboscis monkeys. More visible in the morning light, it was fun just to sit and watch. We do realize already that is going to be a HOT day.

Another delicious breakfast starts the day. The boat is underway meandering down the river with no expectations. Arif never made promises about seeing animals. What was really nice was that when we did having sightings, he wasas excited as we were. All of a sudden....oh...look ....Silver langur monkeys (aka silvery lutung). At times, they seemed to stop and pose for pictures.

Silver Langer

Silver Langer

We continue further down (or maybe up - I'm not sure) the river. Our destination is the first feeding station....but wait....the sharp eyes of Arif spots something. Could it be??? An Orangutan...a wild Orangutan!!!!

Our first wild Orangutan sighting

Our first wild Orangutan sighting


We were excited at the possibility of seeing Orangutans at the feeding stations (which means they are wild,not contained at all.) The Orangutans are very intelligent and they do know that each day there will be food twice a day if they choose to come eat. Arif tells us that at this time of the year, there is so much foliage that they don't "need" to feed at the stations. Other times of the year when food is not as plentiful - more Orangutans show up....but I digress.

Arif quickly gets on his walkie-talkie and tells Captain Limon to stop the boat. There he is - sitting up in a large tree....it was incredible. We sit quietly and watch him...take photos - of course. After a while, he gets bored with us after a while and swings away and we are off to our first feeding station. A little more info ...if you care to read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orangutan

Our day proceeds to more monkey spotting....lunch and then on to Camp Leakey which was started in 1971. More information on Camp Leaky: https://orangutan.org/our-projects/research/camp-leakey/Linda ...on a mission

Linda ...on a mission

Our Fearless Leader - Arif

Our Fearless Leader - Arif

Instructions to Feeding Station

Instructions to Feeding Station

Salamat Datang.....Welcome

Salamat Datang.....Welcome

Entering Camp Leakey

Entering Camp Leakey

Even though it was raining, we couldn't tear ourselves away. Arif told us we could stay as long as we wanted which ended up being 60-90 minutes ....just watching their feeding and interaction. It was fascinating.

Coming in for a bite to eat at Camp Leakey

Coming in for a bite to eat at Camp Leakey

Hangin' Out

Hangin' Out

Big Guy

Big Guy

Just Hanging Around

Just Hanging Around

Would His Mom Approve???

Would His Mom Approve???

Camp Leakey Feeding Station

Camp Leakey Feeding Station

Borneo

Borneo

Feeding time was up and we had no choice - it was back to the boat arriving to a mug of hot ginger tea and banana fritters.

Dinner for the trip was usually about 7pm. During that time, Captain Limon and Sonny set up our sleeping accommodations and we would wonder to bed when we were tired...falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle that surrounded us.

Posted by pjburke 21:42 Archived in Indonesia Tagged organutans Comments (3)

Welcome to the Jungle

Kalimantan, Indonesia

overcast 89 °F

02 May 2017

Off to Indonesia.....

Leaving Singapore almost started on the wrong foot. For some reason, I thought our flight was at 11am but it was at 10am. I also wanted to get there early, as I thought there was a typo on my ticket. As luck would have it, traffic was light to the airport and when we checked in with Garuda, even though the "Burke" was left off my documents, it was correct in the airline computer. No one in line to check in, so it was a breeze.
We hadn't had time for breakfast before we left the hostel but we did at the airport. Chinese noodle soup tasted quite good but as soon as we got to our gate...a cup of coffee was even better.

Changi Airport Singapore

Changi Airport Singapore

This flight (or rather these flights), Singapore to Jakarta and then on to Semarang came off without a hitch. Arriving in Semarang, a driver from Quest Hotel was waiting for us.

This is the point, where we are meeting up with Wayne and Linda, friends from Jim's early 70's Peace Corp days. We spent time with them last August, visiting them in Logan, UT, when we were in Park City. At that time, we told them about our plans for Borneo. Not an 'easy go" to get them to Indonesia but they arrived safe and sound after traveling in eastern Java for about 10 days.

We finally met them at the hotel and caught up over a beer. It was then off to dinner. Our choices were the hotel or small warungs down the street. We opted for the warung. I think we might have been some of the few westerners they've ever had grace their cafe. Food was basic but good.

A quick stop at the local "IndoMart" (Indonesian mini mart) proved to be a fun stop indeed. We needed to stock up on a few things: snacks, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. But as we were leaving, the staff decided they wanted to take photos of us. Cell phones came out and we also got pics of them. It also took a trip to Indonesia to learn the "share" function on my smart phone....obviously it is smarter than me.

Indomart Employees

Indomart Employees

Semarang is a transit stop. Nice room, comfy bed and a hot shower before we take off for the jungle. Quest Hotel ($37 per night)

Our group

Our group


03 May 2017

All five of us head back to the airport in the morning for our flight to Pangkalan Bun. Small turbo prop but the flight is smooth, which was very agreeable to Brenda who, though she doesn't let it keep her from traveling, really doesn't like to fly.

Our Air Chariot

Our Air Chariot

A trip to Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), has been in the planning stages for a long time. We tried to make it happen when we left our teaching gig in China back in 2014. Issues with the company we were working with and Jim's adverse reaction to Doxycycline prevented those plans from coming together...but this time it was a go. We picked a date, contacted Brenda and she was "all in" and then we asked Wayne and linda if they might be interested. They were up and down but finally were able to make it happen.

I've been working with a local company in Kalimantan since last year - Orangutan Applause http://www.orangutanapplause.com/. Dessy and her husband Arif are the owners with Dessy being the main contact person. We'd had so much contact over the internet that when we met at the airport, it was like meeting an old friend.

Airport in Pangkalan Bun Kalimantan Indonesia

Airport in Pangkalan Bun Kalimantan Indonesia

Brenda Meeting Dessy

Brenda Meeting Dessy


Pangkalan Bun is a pretty small airport. Upon arriving, we wandered, in no particular order, from the plane towards the arrivals building and into the baggage area. The baggage area being a little bigger than our living room led into the reception area where drivers waited for their charges. Dessy was waiting with a huge smile and a hug. With luggage collected we were off to the boat. We did find out that the airport is actually on the Air Force Base, so all taxis (or in Indonesian taksi) are regulated. No private vehicles are allowed. A sea of blue sedans await their riders and after we're all situated it's off to the harbour.

With five people and Dessy, we're split into two groups. It's about a 20 minute drive. Along the way we notice large concrete warehouses and try and understand what our driver is trying to tell us. My guess was the closest.They are very large bird houses - swifts to be exact. It's quite a lucrative business. They build their nests inside these building with spit and then once built the nests are sold, mostly, to China. It's a delicacy that is extremely expensive - up to $2000 per kilo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_bird%27s_nest

Swift House

Swift House

We finally arrive at the harbour and it seems like a dream... Our dream come true! We are greeted by Arif (Dessy's husband and our guide for the trip). This trip with be 4nights/5days adventure on the back rivers of Kalimantan, visiting Orangutan Feeding stations but also observing the jungle animals in the wild. Because they are wild, it's never guaranteed that there will be sightings but we are hopeful.Our home in Kalimantan

Our home in Kalimantan

Brenda and Linda excited about the trip

Brenda and Linda excited about the trip

Arif giving instructions to his new guests...

Arif giving instructions to his new guests...

Arif with his ever bright smile

Arif with his ever bright smile


......and we get very lucky. First off, we settle in and our boat leaves the dock heading towards the Tanjung Puting National Park, the Sekonyer River and its various tributaries. Before much else happens, lunch is served. It was quite a feast.

The first of many feast prepared by the lovely Yana

The first of many feast prepared by the lovely Yana

Feeling fat and happy, we all find comfortable observation areas and keep our eyes peeled for any sign of life. And...there it is...we see a whole tree of proboscis monkeys ( big bellied, flat nosed monkeys). As we make our way along the waterway, there are more proboscis monkeys, which are always ready to put on a show - jumping from tree limb to tree limb.

Proboscis Monkey - posing

Proboscis Monkey - posing

More Monkeys

More Monkeys

....and more

....and more

The sun sets and after dinner about 7pm - it's an early evening for us. The staff (Captain Limon and our deckhand Sonny) set up our bedding for the night. Our seating during the day, turns into our beds at night. Two doubles and one single sheeted beds with their own individual mosquito netting cages fill the floor of the boat. With the sounds of the jungle animals (and a little snoring) we drift to sleep.....I think I might have even heard Tarzan...

Relaxing after a hard day :-)

Relaxing after a hard day :-)

Posted by pjburke 17:47 Archived in Indonesia Tagged organutans Comments (8)

Bali

The final leg of our trip

The view from our balcony at Permana Cottages

The view from our balcony at Permana Cottages

02 – 09 October 2013

Flight out of Darwin was late coming in, so it was late arriving. As planned Mr. Blue or rather Mr. Blue’s beautiful daughter was waiting for us …right up front with Mr. Blue close behind. We were surprised to arrive at the new airport terminal. When we left three weeks prior it really didn’t look anywhere near ready to be open. But…there is always a “but”; Bali was holding the APEC Conference this week. There were signs all over the arrival hall for VIP’s and Diplomats!!! I’m sure they wanted to show off their beautiful new facility even if it was only half ready.

On the one and a half hour ride up to Ubud, we caught up with Blue and talked about our schedule with him for the coming week.

Arriving in Ubud around midnight – it seemed like a sleepy little town which would be very deceiving. We knew that our guesthouse was off Jl. Bisma but were not really sure how to get there. Blue directed us down a gang (alley), around a corner, up some stairs and then down a bricked walk along the rice fields to arrive at Permana Cottages. As tired as I was, I couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning to see what our view would be.

I was not disappointed……Soooooooooo beautiful. Coffee waited for us at the table on our balcony and I couldn’t take my eyes off our view.
Path leading to Permana Cottages

Path leading to Permana Cottages

Permana Cottages - from the rice field

Permana Cottages - from the rice field

Rice field view from our balcony

Rice field view from our balcony

View from bed - doesn't get much better!!!

View from bed - doesn't get much better!!!

Our week in Ubud was a quiet one. We checked out some new (to us) restaurants, some on Bisma, some off. We also made our way back to one of two of our favorites: Bubu’s (in Penestanan where we stayed in 2012) and Ibu Oka (which has relocated due to construction) for little trips down memory lane. The food was a good as ever.
Ayam Pangdang BuBu....

Ayam Pangdang BuBu....


Ibu Oka.....ask for the Special

Ibu Oka.....ask for the Special

We definitely indulged (in an economical way) this trip on one of our favorite pleasures….spa treatments. Massages, facial, etc. in Bali are really inexpensive. Really inexpensive!!! The most expensive treatment I had was a 90 minute hot stone massage for 190K Rp ($17USD). It’s hard (for me) not to have something done every day – I settle for every other day. Our “go to” place in Ubud is Putri Bali. Nela and her staff do a wonderful job. I was also able to get a recommendation for a haircut (which was way overdue) after one of our visits. She sent me down the street to Nelly’s – good cut and pretty short but that’s what I wanted. 90K for a cut!!!

Saturday - When we are visiting other countries, one of our goals is to learn more about the culture of the country we are in. The lady at the corner market told us that there would be a cremation ceremony that weekend and that we should see it. The cremation would be on Saturday. We thought that it was being held early afternoon. When we walked the street and saw nothing we thought we had missed it but, back in our room, later that afternoon; we heard some commotion behind our guest house. Unbeknownst to us, the cemetery was just past the rice fields behind Permana.

We walked through the rice fields to observe this interesting ceremony. We found out that the deceased was a young man from the community who had died in an accident in Java. His body was returned for his cremation. The atmosphere was both sad and festive. There were small children with balloons and gamelan players and a large crowd of both locals and tourists.
Family and friends gathers to pay their respects

Family and friends gathers to pay their respects

Community staging the cremation

Community staging the cremation

Festival atmosphere of the cremation ceremony

Festival atmosphere of the cremation ceremony

Cremation Vessel

Cremation Vessel

Sunday – One of the things we really wanted to do that we didn’t (for some reason) when we were Ubud last year, was to take a walk up into the rice fields north of the city. It’s a simple walk along a foot path from Jl Raya, following the signs towards Sari Organic (a local café). Along the path and just past the houses that squeeze along the main road way, the rice fields rise like a velvet green patchwork blanket. As you walk the path, which is paved and then not and then paved again, you pass small cottages, large homes, rice field huts (ponduks) with the sound of rushing water that irrigates the rice fields and squawking ducks splashing in the fields.

There are a number of paths in this area and it was our loss that we had not done this walk before.
Rice fields north of Ubud

Rice fields north of Ubud

Local boys joke with passing tourists

Local boys joke with passing tourists

The rice fields are a sea of butterflies

The rice fields are a sea of butterflies

On Monday, we were off early for a day trip with Mr. Blue. We’re always looking for new places, so we asked him to take us to the north part of Bali. We headed out early and the sky clouded up but the air got significantly cooler. We visited a waterfall, the temple in the lake, the hot springs baths and stopped for some beautiful views along the way. Lunch was along the dark sand beach in Lovina. We especially enjoyed just spending the day with Mr. Blue. We love his sense of humor and always come away with more insight into the Balinese culture.
Near the 200 year old banyan tree a village prepares for Gulungan

Near the 200 year old banyan tree a village prepares for Gulungan

Beautiful rice field in Northern Bali

Beautiful rice field in Northern Bali

View of the mountians in Northern Bali

View of the mountians in Northern Bali

Twin lakes in Northern Bali

Twin lakes in Northern Bali

That night, for dinner, being a little tired, we decided not to venture far for dinner and tried Umah Pizza (on the recommendation of Trip Advisor) which was just across Bisma from our gang. It turned out to be a great choice. We were up for a little western or rather Italian and decided on a garden salad (more than enough for two) and pasta – both our choices hit the spot.

Tuesday – Our last day in Ubud. A bit sad for us. We really like Ubud and our one week seemed to go so quickly.
We started the day back at Putri Bali for massages and ended it with dinner at Ibu Rai.

Regarding Ibu Rai, when we were in Ubud before we thought that it was a bit too expensive but it really isn’t. It’s not the least expensive but definitely not the most and after lunch there earlier in the week – we found the food much to our liking.
App at Ibu Rai - Yummy mini samosas with a tamarind ginger sauce

App at Ibu Rai - Yummy mini samosas with a tamarind ginger sauce

Black Cod with a soy sauce at Ibu Rai

Black Cod with a soy sauce at Ibu Rai

Pandamus dessert with toasted coconut at Ibu Rai - heavenly!!!

Pandamus dessert with toasted coconut at Ibu Rai - heavenly!!!

Enjoying our last night in Ubud

Enjoying our last night in Ubud

My handsome hub!!

My handsome hub!!

Wednesday – our last morning. I spent extra time over breakfast, (I think I forgot to mention- breakfast is included with our 400K per night at Permana. Each morning with our coffee, we were served, on our balcony, fresh fruit, fresh fruit drink, and either a veggie omelet or banana pancake.) I lingered more than usual to take in the beautiful view wishing we had more time to spend in this lovely area.

Posted by pjburke 19:04 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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