Two weeks around these beautiful islands.
Saturday 28 August 2004 - Saturday 11 September 2004
This was the second section of my Asian trip and was arranged by Intrepid, an Australian company specialising in small group trips.
Saturday 28 August - The flight from Bangkok was okay but 90 minutes late. The taxi ride to Ubud was fast to say the least. Met the group in the afternoon (after a dip in the very nice pool) and went out to the night market for dinner.
The Artini 2 hotel in Ubud.
Sunday 29 August - We had a morning walk around the Ubud area with an informative guide. There are lots of rice paddies and fields and is very scenic. I had a lazy afternoon again by the pool whilst some of the others went rafting. We went to a traditional Balinese temple after dinner to witness the celebrations. Cocktails at the Dirty Duck restaurant. Great setting and great cocktails.
A road side chapel near Ubud.
An upmarket hotel near Ubud.
Monday 30 August - A bit damp to start with as we took bicycles from Ubud to the Monkey Forest in the village of Bukit Sari. It was a reasonable ride, with only a couple of hills. But very hot and sticky. This is a very old temple with lots of monkeys all wanting food. After lunch we drove to Sideman. The hotel we stayed was a great little place with views out over the paddy fields and the river. There was traditional dancing after a traditional feast. Everyone participated in the dancing (even me!) Great fun.
Balinese kids saying hello as we cycled past.
The temple complex next to the monkey forest.
More of the temple complex.
The polaroid seller, Ross, Anna and Narumi.
Fiona and friends.
"I'm bored with this lot. Let's find some more tourists to climb on."
The leader asking Ross to dance.
The gamelan orchestra.
Tuesday 31 August - It hammered it down all night and that delayed our morning walk around the area. We eventually walked up the hill near Sideman to another old temple. Superb views from the top and friendly local kids. After lunch we drove to Batur, near Gurung (Mt) Batur.
The main gate to the temple.
Typical Balinese temple architecture.
They still plough the rice paddies with oxen.
The town of Kedisan, lake Danau Batur and Mt Batur hiding under the clouds to the left.
Wednesday 1 September - Pre dawn climb of mountain (for everyone else that is, I gave it a miss due to a dodgy knee). I walked to the village (Toyah Bunkah) to meet everyone as they came down and to have breakfast. After a dip in the local hot springs, lunch at a restaurant near the crater rim, we had a long drive along the northern coast to Banyupoh.
Thursday 2 September - We spent the morning on the island of Pulau Menjangan. It has lots of good snorkelling. Afternoon drive back to Lovina. Managed to get a few chores done, had a good dinner across the road from the hotek and watched some football with Oscar from Spain.
The boat out to the island. From left, Anna, Ross, the crew, and David the tour leader.
Snorkelling on the island.
More of the island.
Road works in the town of Seririt.
The pineapple seller in Seririt.
Friday 3 September - We drove to Munduk for a walk around the village and to the Gitgit waterfalls. From there we went to Banjar hot springs to relax. Dinner was at the house of one of our drivers, with superb food being served right on Lovina beach.
The scenery on the way to Munduk.
Drying cloves in Munduk.
The Gitgit waterfall near Munduk.
Saturday 4 September - We drove through the centre of the island to the lakes. We stopped at Bedugal and Candikunning to see the most photographed temple in Bali. It is very touristy but we approached from the lake by boat so avoided some of the crowds. We got back to Ubud in time for lunch at the Dirty Duck (the duck was very poor indeed). A lazy afternoon by the pool and we said goodbye to a few of the group.
The lake of Danau Bratan.
The mosque at Candikuning.
Our transport to the temples.
The meru at the Hindu temple.
The Hindu temple.
Sunday 5 September - We had a partial change in the members of the group. We drove to Padangrai and caught the ferry from Bali to Lembas in Lombok. We had a new van (very small and rather cramped) and new drivers. We drove to Kute and had an afternoon in the swimming pool.
View of Lombok from the ferry.
Monday 6 September - A busy day, firstly visiting villages of Rembitan and Sade. Secondly, a visit to a totally undeveloped beach at Mawan. Thirdly, after lunch we drove to Tetebatu via Pringgasela to see traditional weaving.
Houses in the village of Rembitan.
Traditional weaving in Pringgasela.
Tuesday 7 September - A morning walk around the rice paddies in Tetebatu and a view of Mt Rinjani. From Tetebatu we caught local cidomos (horse drawn carriages) down the hill to the another village and market selling all sorts of stuff. We drove to Sapit, where the others had an afternoon walk around another village and waterfall. I, on the other hand, had an afternoon off, entertaining the kids at the small hotel, playing cards and reading.
Tobacco fields and rice paddies at Tetebatu.
The cidomos used for local transport.
Wednesday 8 September - A drive over the mountain to the north coast, with a stop at Senaru to visit the waterfall. From there we went to Bangsal for the boat ride out to the island of Gili Meno, dodging both the cidomo riding and bag carrying mafias. An afternoon siesta followed by a great seafood dinner.
Roof riding over the pass near Mt Rinjani.
The waterfalls at Senaru.
Thursday 9 September - A day of doing very little on Gili Meno, except walking the entire island in a couple of hours. Yet another afternoon siesta followed by a yet another great seafood dinner.
The jetty on Gili Meno, with the moon up and Lombok in the background.
The neighbouring island of Gili Trawangan.
Our bungalows on Gili Meno, just 20 yards from the water's edge. Nice.
Friday 10 September - The siesta continued and after lunch we caught the boat back to the mainland and then drove to Senggigi. Last night dinner.
Saturday 11 September - Flew back to Denpasar, where the trip ended.
The trip was very well organised. Dave the tour leader had everything under control. He looks like a typical Aussie surfer dude, bleached blond hair and so on and spoke very good Indonesian. The places we stayed were pretty good. The ones on Lombok are a bit more isolated but still more than adequate for us.
From there, I flew back to Bangkok and then onto Phuket, where I had a week at my favourite little hotel.