Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ro and Dunc Visit, Marj Returns, the Gillis and the Boat Trip! is short and the world is wide.

- Simon Raven

Click below to view photo albums: 

Ro and Dunc Visit

Rosie and Duncan, the couple I had met in the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia, had arrived in Indonesia and popped down to Kuta from Ubud for a little overnight visit. They met me at d'Kubu for lunch and Duncan delivered another one of his CLASSIC phrases!

He had gone to look for a guest house while Rosie and I finished up lunch. When he came back, he looked quite traumatized and serious, caught his breath and announced, 'I have seen some THINGS...!!'. Rosie and I thought he had come upon an extra especially dirty guest house? But alas, it was more traumatizing than that. Many of you may know that when dogs mate sometimes well, things get...stuck. For someone who has not seen or heard of this – it can be a confusing scene.

It went something like this - Duncan was walking down one of the Poppies Lanes when he heard a surfer let out a dramatic, disgusted, 'Duuuuuuuuuuude!'. Duncan turned to see what dude was 'Duuude-ing' about and it was 2 dogs running awkwardly stuck together seemingly trying to disengage...I can only picture this in my head and what I see is not pretty!

We spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how this situation came about. Being a cat owner all my life, I had no idea what had gone on, but have since gained the knowledge - I am sure many of you know. For those that don't, here is a more detailed explanation (warning: it is a very detailed and graphical explanation):

The three of us caught up on our travels since we last saw each other in Malaysia and spent the afternoon cruising around Kuta and later watching the sunset at the beach. That night, I took them to Ocean Beach for dinner where we met up with some other friends from the UK they had met prior. We got a great table with cozy cushions and watched a couple of the nightly shows that Ocean Beach puts on – traditional Balinese dancing, fire shows, hip hop, gymnasts etc. After watching the spectacle, we carried on to the usual places – Poppy's, The Bounty and finished off the night dancing at Sky Garden.

The next day, I learned that Marj would be returning from Thailand! This had not been in her original plan so I was surprised and delighted to hear the news. I sadly said goodbye to Rosie and Duncan with hopes of seeing them in Australia or New Zealand, as we were all going to be settling in one of the two places eventually.

Marj Returns

When Marj arrived back to d'Kubu the next day, we went for dinner and caught up on all the happenings over tuna steaks and cokes! We went out and met Levi and Murray and their friends at Sky Garden and danced like crazy women, followed by more crazy women dancing at Paddy’s and Bounty into the wee early morning hours - another STELLAR night.

We decided we would meet the Belgians (Ernesto, Julien and Tom) at Gili Trawangan, where they had gone the day before. We booked our flights and went to the beach in the late aft for we always did, then to Sky Garden for espresso drinking and emailing friends and family..I know it sounds lame but somehow Marj and I had oodles of fun just doing nothing.

Gili Trawangan

The next morning we flew off to the Gillis! The views were stunning - white billowy clouds and a volcano looming in the background. We landed in the Lombok airport but then had to take a taxi to the ferry, which would take us to Gilli Trawangan. Things got a little ugly here, but I won't go into details – no different than any other trip in SE Asia – someone always wanting to 'take you for a ride'!

Marj and I found a guest house and went straight to the beach. The currents there are really strong, so you could float a mile down the beach without swimming – kinda dangerous, but supah fun! Tom started talking about a boat trip they were thinking of taking that included Komodo island and asked if we would join them. Marj and I were up for anything – we both wanted to see more of Indonesia and she especially wanted to see the 'Red Beach', so we booked the tickets that night to leave early the next morning.

Ernesto, Julien, Marj and I walked to the end of the island to watch the sunset and took many photos – we were like a little camera club. Another beautiful Asian sunset shared amongst international friends.

We went off to have a fresh seafood buffet at a laid back restaurant just off the beach – where you could sit on cushions and just chill. The 5 of us had many laughs and shared many stories. I went to bed very excited for what was to come. Unfortunately, Marj and I were kept awake most of the night by loud chanting (was a Muslim holiday) into a megaphone and then a rooster cock-a-doodle-dooing at our front door (T.IA. - This Is Asia)...

The Boat Trip

We met the boys in the morning at the boats to head back over to Lombock and then to the capital of the island, Mataram. We got groceries for the boat and bought our plane tickets to fly back from Flores – our final destination (and found out later that we were each overcharged $50!).

We finally arrived to our home/boat for the next 4 days. This was no luxury boat my friends. It had a common area/deck and above the kitchen was another deck that had a canopy over it – the sleeping area. The only privacy anyone could have was in the bathroom, which was basically a hole in the floor with an enclosure around it. There was no shower, no soap, no faucet, no mattresses, no fresh water. None of this bothered me however I wasn’t too keen on the probability of looking like a hairy mammoth by the end of the trip!

We all sat a little dumbfounded on the deck trying to absorb that this was going to be where we were living for the next 96 hours and that we better well learn to like it if we didn't yet! And then we set forth out into the 'mighty ocean' (as said by the Mango on SNL). The 5 of us hit the front of the boat and took many a photo for there was little else to do!

That night, we thought we would sleep on the bottom deck, while everyone else slept on the top deck. There wasn’t a lot of room upstairs so we thought this was a good idea. It wasn’t. Because we were travelling through the night on rough waters, Marj, who was closest to the bow was getting splashed by each tall wave we encountered and had to move to the top at some point in the middle of the night. We were all a little worse for the wear after our first night at sea but each of us was slowly getting our sea legs.

That day, we docked at a magnificent, isolated island and hiked to a waterfall. Ernesto, Marj and I climbed to the top of it and found a pool of freshwater to go swimming in. Ernesto took pics of us posing and swimming until we got called back to the boat. I could have spent the entire day there. The water temperature was perfect and the pond was surrounded by lush greenery with little sparks of sunlight darting though.

We spent most of the rest of the day travelling to get to Komodo Island with a stop at a huge saltwater lake. Marj and I were a couple of jellyfish for almost an hour giggling, talking shit and telling secrets – it's what we do! It is so amazing to have a friend like Marj who is totally in the moment with you and offers unending support, no matter what.

I made myself at home at the front of the boat with my book and some tea when we got back. Ernesto came and joined me and soon enough we were both asleep in the sun.... until a huge wave came and splashed over us filling our temporary makeshift sleeping sanctuary into a shallow pool. Ernesto laughed very heartily at me as I had not a dry spot on me! It was at this point that I felt what seasick was like but recovered after watching the sea's horizon for awhile. Everybody either read or took naps that whole afternoon.

That night, we all had dinner on the deck – all of us sitting in a circle surrounding the food under a full moon! I wondered where on the Indian Ocean we were and then decided that it didn't matter. There was no other place I would rather be.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

- Mark Twain

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