The holiday!!!!!!!!!!! this is in two parts, maybe more.
on Rachel Gates (Indonesia), 30/Dec/2010 03:32, 34 days ago
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Right I am still in Bali but it is pouring with rain, so I thought it would be a good time to update the blog. I am afraid photos will have to wait until I get back to Ruteng, (hopefully on the 2nd of January 2011) flight is booked lets see it it goes according to plan!First we had the sectoral workshop from the which started on the 6th of December for a few days, after that we had the volunteer conference. Really nice to meet everyone, most people I will not see for another year. Which seems very bizarre, but good to catch up to see how everyone's placement is going. Also good to know we all have the same feelings, on are we actually creating any change!! However also good to see how well we have all progressed with our Indonesian. We then had the volunteer conference for a a few days, culminating in a disco night. Needless to day loads of booze, bob doing back spins next to the swimming pool and most of us in the swimming pool with our clothes on before the night was out.Then the next day Anne arrives for our holiday. Looking back now I think we crammed too much into the first week, but we had important engagements!!On the 6th we stayed in Bali and then we went to Gilli Trawangan for two days, I wish we could have stayed here much longer. The Gili Islands really are very beautiful with loads of diving and snorkeling. After this we started our two days intrepid travel overland to get the Ruteng for the party of Anouk and Mark. We set out from Gili at 8am on the 8th I think. Hard to recollect as all my days have turned into one. We then got the little boat over to Lombok, (30 mins) drove across Lombok - for you who have made it to the tourist resorts and the beaches I hear parts of Lombok are beautiful. Unfortunately myself and Anne spent most our time at public, dirty, smelly bus terminals, we also saw loads of random goats wandering down the road, goodness only knows where they had come from. (I think between 3-4 hours) Then we got on a public ferry for the hop, skip and jump over to Sumbawa this I think took about two hours, but we had ventured into the land of where only a few tourists travel. So Anne got a quick introduction to staring, people asking you for money is you are a westerner, and the delights of pot noddle lunches. It's also the ferry where you sit in those hard plastic seats and always have people smoking and flinging ash over you. After this journey we than got on another bus, this was across Sumbawa, and I do not recommend anyone ever does this overland piece of the journey. We travelled across the Island of Sumbawa at night, it took about 14 hours on the coach. The driver was a nutter and on a few occasions I thought I was going to die. What I did not realize is Sumbawa is quite a big Island, and half of the island does not appear to have any road. The most interesting part of the journey, was when he had to stop to collect a motorbike ad five more passengers but there was no room of the bus,. Needless to say did not sleep too well that night. Amazing that there was not more vomit flying around considering the speed we were traveling. I really think the driver of the bus thought he could propel us through the air if he landed fast enough into a pot hole. Bright and the breezy the morning of the 10th we arrived at the port of Sumbawa for the next ferry trip of about 8 hours to LabuanBajo. This was uneventful except for the same ferry experiences of staring, hassle for money and smoke ash flying everywhere. (I think at this point Anne was questioning our friendship and why the had she come to Indonesia to see me) But what was so surprising in this stretch of Ocean is just how dirty the Ocean is. This is much more visible because of it being the wet season but the ocean was literally full of rubbish!! If anyone wants to make a business from waste management I really think here is the place to come. The Indonesian country needs some serious help before all there beautiful scenery and wildlife are destroyed.So we arrive in LabuanBajo for one night only as the next day is the fours hours to Ruteng, so we can get to Marks and Anouks Party. Needless to say we made it to Ruteng, we stayed for two days and during that time it hardly stopped raining. But Anne got to see my house, the pigs next door and we made it to Marks and Anouks Party. The party was great. Drink was consumed, Paul ended up in hospital again, we thought someone had stolen the music system (but thankfully they were looking after it) and the next day we all felt a bit shaky. So Anne and myself had a day off from traveling and instead just meditated in Ruteng to see if a break would happen in the rain. It wouldn't so the next day we left to go back to LabuanBajo, we stayed for four days. Only four hours from Ruteng and we had sun, sea and sand. We had pizza, and I found some really good bacon ;-) Life was good again and it was starting to feel like a holiday. We spent one day out at Rinca and saw the dragons, and all the staff who come ....... you've guessed it.... Ruteng! Apparently the Komodo dragons can run at 20 kms an hour, so needless to say I was on my best behaviour. I could have done without the crazy German who kept trying to make the dragons runs after us, and get us all killed. Considering all the protection you get is a child with a stick from these dragons and they have killed two people in 20 years I would put the German down as a bloody idiot instead of a brace warrior kind. Around Rinca we did loads of snorkeling which has really got me thinking about loosing some weight and improving my fitness as I think I want to do a diving course at Easter.After a few days doing nothing but reading, eating and actually resting a bit we headed back to Bali. We have had some glorious days but unfortunately a lot of rain. But it is that time of the year. I hear you lot had loads of the white stuff falling from the sky.... and I do not mean milk!!!!