Chopsticks and kung fu kicks!

Leaving on a jet plane …

Gili Trawangan April 25, 2010

Filed under: Indonesia — esacc @ 12:02 AM

We arrived on the fast boat to Gili Trawangan and were immediately mesmorized by the scenery of endless blue ocean lapping the sandy shores. And off in the distance in nearby Lombok, the view of endless mountains was increible.

Off the boat we headed straight for Manta Dive to sign up for our open water dive course. From their they suggested a place to stay – Pondok Lita- where we quickly settled in. The first afternoon on the island we spent watching the instructional DVDs for the dive course. The next day was pouring rain so we were happy to have a full day planned for the course. The morning included some skills in the pool and then in the afternoon we took our first dive in the ocean. It was pretty scary at first and I found myself to be very tense but we had an awesome instructor so he did a great job of keeping us calm and breathing. Despite my adiment fish phobia, I found myself largely distracted by my breathing and the sheer beauty of the under water world that I quickly shed the fear and replaced it with respect and admiration. Who would have thought that a girl who would refuse to go in the ocean at the first sight of a fish would voluntarily enter their world.

The second day of the course included so more advanced pool skills and again another dive in the ocean. The current was really strong so we found it challenging to find our neutral bouancy as we dove around a sunken pier but eventually we just rode with the current and it was far more relaxing.

That night was maria’s birthday so her and our new Autralian friends/neighbors, Stinky and Shaun, (brothers from australia) had some dinner and drinks in honor of her bday.

The next day proved to be a challenge getting out of bed for us and our scuba instructor so together we decided totaled a day off and resume the following day. The rest of the day made for incredible beach weather so the four of us took full advantage of it and did some swimming and tanning. That night we all, including the owner of our guest house, ventured down to sunset point to watch the sunset. Then it was dinner time and card time! The ozzys picked up euchre very easily so we spent the rest of the night playig cards and this set the tone for the remainder of the week.

Th next day included our third and fourth dives needed for our open water course and the test writing. On our final dives our instructor brought down a digital camera and took some great pictures for us. On our last dive we saw a nurse shark and a sting Ray! So cool!

The last day was spent again on the beach and playing cards with stinky and Shaun and packing up for our departure. This morning we said goodbye to our friends and the owner of the guest house and we are now on our way back to Kuta for the day to wait out the time we have before heading to the airport for our flight to Darwin tonight!!!!!

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Bali Bali April 22, 2010

Filed under: Indonesia — esacc @ 9:47 AM

Bali was a pretty interesting place. We flew in early evening and eventually found a place to stay near Kuta Beach. Budget accommodation is pretty hard to come by but for about 7 dollars a night each (including breakfast) we shared a bed and a stinky water hose for a shower for two nights. Kuta beach is beautiful and constantly bustling with surfers and wannabe surfers. We spent a couple hours on our tans and spent the rest of our time parusing the shops.

From Kuta we took a van to the infamous Ubud (the city setting of the novel, Eat Pray Love) where again budget acommodation was tough to find. We decided to splurge a little for a nicer place with a warm shower and pool – and again, breakfast included. We slept like queens!

During the day in Ubud, we rented bikes and rode around the town making our way to Ketut Liyer’s home. The 99 year old man read my palm and told me my future. He also wished that one day I would meet his great grandson and with his positive words we were on our way. Basically I’m going to meet good man, be very rich and healthy and have a good life. (wink wink)!

After the appointment with Ketut we wanted to embrace traditional Ubud so we hired a driver and set out for the rice paddies. Since it had freshly rained everything was soooo green! On the way back into town we stopped at a small village to watch the white herons return to their nests. After watching some locals play soccer, the herons – hundreds of them – returned home to their nests. It was a pretty unqiue sight.

We spent two nights in Ubud where we spent a fair amount of time browsing the endless art galleries that fill the streets.

From Ubud we took a van and a fast boat to the Gili Islands off of Lombok where we got sitauted on Gili Trawagan for six nights. This place is so peacful and quite possibly the nicest place we’ve been yet.