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This is all I took on this
I went to Australia to attend the International Carboniferous
Congress-Permian in Perth with two of my daughters. Afterwards, they
returned home and I
traveled through Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The
composed of my daily journal entries and photographs taken during the
(please excuse the tedious and poorly-written nature of the journal).
Or you may rather go
through my thumbnail catalog (pages N, O, P, Q, R).
31 July 2011, Sunday
I woke up at 5, but got up at 7. I took a shower and went for
breakfast. I had coffee and pineapple pancake with honey and side of
fruit (they were out of bananas or I would have had banana pancakes). I
then walked to an ATM to get cash for Lombok. Lombok has very few ATMs
or money exchangers. I finished packing and gathered with the group.
The missing Dutch woman showed up, so our group is complete now. [I was signed up for Intrepid's Bali/Lombok combination trip; or one could sign up for just the Lombok part.]
loaded the vans and headed to the coast. We stopped mid-way to see how
coconuts were husked and used. The trip to the ferry took about 1.5
At the ferry landing, at Padang Bai, we boarded a large metal ferry
carried passengers, motorcycles, cars and ladened trucks. We stored our
luggage in a row of seats and then went to the top deck. A nice breeze
was blowing which was welcomed. The day is partly cloudy but could get
hot without a breeze.
The ferry crossing takes about 4 hours. We pass through the
famous Wallace Line (Wikipedia entry)
named for Alfred Russel Wallace (Wikipedia entry) a co-developer of the
Evolution and colleague of Charles Darwin. He noted that from Lombok
and south-eastward, the biota was of an Australian type and that from
Bali and northwestward, the biota was Asian. We passed over the Wallace
Line in the Lombok Strait and I took a photo of it. We had a
banana-leaf lunch that Andy had
We arrived a little after 3 and loaded onto one smallish bus. We have a
2.5-hour drive to our hotel in Tetabatu
called the Green Orry Inn. We
made a couple of stops, one to get ice cream, another to look at a
roof-tile factory. They use coconut husks and hardwood slabs for
firing the tiles. We stopped and bought rambutans and longans which we
ate on the bus.
- husking coconuts
with sharp spike, video, another
- on the pilot-house
deck looking aft, the bow
and dock, pilot
house, the Padang
Bai port, ferry
building, the harbor,
small beach, Bali in the
background, next to the pilot
splash at bow, the Wallace
Line (Lombok in the distance), another view, Lombok Strait, video, Bali
and Agung volcano
in the clouds, Lombok
in the distance, taking a
Mataram, closer view,
(must not be any sharks), more
We arrived after dark. I have a single room tonight
(there is an odd number of males, one has a wife, the other, a son with
him). Ramadan starts very early tomorrow. Lombok and most of Indonesia
is Muslim. Only Bali is Hindu.
at one of our stops, another
(and small bag of longans), another
- tile-making shop,
clay blocks, stamping machine to
make tiles from clay, damp
tiles, the kiln,
fired tiles, coconut husks for
kiln, another view
We went to dinner at 8 in the hotel restaurant. I had chicken and
vegetable curry over steamed rice. It was very good. We all sat around
after dinner and talked. Ramadan activities have started and there have
been constant prayers and chants since we arrived. I went back to my
room before 10 and filled out my journal. I hear men chanting for
awhile, then men and women, and right now, only women. A gecko just
outside my door made it's peculiar "gecko" sound as if someone had
stepped on a squeeze toy. It's going to be a long night, the mosque is
right next to the hotel.
1 August 2011, Monday
I heard prayers and chants from about 3 or 4 AM on. I got up before 7
and took a cold-water shower. Others had a hot shower last night (the
water is solar heated).
I had banana pancakes and coffee for breakfast and took a couple of
photos of Mt. Rinjani (Wikipedia entry),
an active volcano that had completely blown away its
top in the 13th century.
After breakfast we had a local guide and we spent a couple of hours
walking up the rice terraces on the slopes of Rinjani.
for three rooms, truncated Rinjani
volcano, another view,
orb weaver, Rinjani and spider, hotel walls, hotel entrance and
from dining room, another
view, yet another
view, view framed
through window, dining room
We then boarded
the bus and rode a short distance to the Gunung Rinjani National Park.
We walked about a half hour to another tall waterfall, the Jeruk Manis
waterfall. I went swimming
in the pool and the water was pretty cold. After the others saw me
about six also went swimming in the pool.
- nicely-tended garden,
tobacco, chilies, walk along the paddies, guide talking about
rice, another view,
more chilies, another view, several paddies, guide and banana tree,
paddy, Gertrude and vine, rice drying, lean chickens, another view, young rice plants, threshing rice, video, closer view, another view, yet another view, closer view, overview of farms, another view, father and son, black and white sea eagle
(looks like bald eagle), overlooking
drying, family compound,
kids, village video, scarecrow, bamboo bridge, crossing the bridge, video, another crossing, three ladies with
harvest, another view,
closer view, another view, paddies
on steep hill, hillside paddies, more
We drove back to the hotel for an hour break and then rode the bus to a
weaving village. We had lunch there and made a village tour looking at
the various weavers. We went back to the shop and I bought four scarves
for my daughters.
for the Mt. Rinjani park, another sign,
from path, the Jeruk Manis
waterfall, video, another
view, closer view,
deposit?, another view,
deposits, closer view,
base of falls
We got back on the bus and drove to a pottery village. We watched a
lady turning a pot with her feet, although she didn't throw it and turn
it as we would. It was built up as she went. We went to the showroom
and some people bought some small items.
- bas relief
at weaving center, entrance,
inside the shop,
variety of Indonesian food,
better view, another view, Chris
with men's sarong,
Holly with red sarong,
father and son,
- dying threads,
video, weaving on backstrap loom, video,
bucket of dye,
another weaver, another view, yet another weaver, another view, different weaver, another view, cute little girl, cute kids, another view, more kids, boys, another kid, more children, another view, two kids
We went to the city of Masbagik. I went to the ATM to replenish my cash
after purchasing the scarves. I then walked around while the others got
airline tickets for the end of the tour. As the sun went down, there
was another call to prayer at the big masjid (mosque). People can break
fast this time of day and the streets are busy with people going to
meet others for food and celebrations.
- ball of damp
clay, video of turning pot, turning
the pot, another view,
the lip, finished pot,
pots drying, kids watching, another view, cute little girl, another view, yet another view, and another, hand-made ceramic stoves, pottery shop, another view, more pots, even more
We got back on the bus and drove to our hotel by 6:30. We ordered our
meals for the 8:00 dinner and then I went to my room and took a warm
shower. The water is solar heated so there is a limited time for warm
We learned today that the reservations for our hotel in Gili Air (Air
Island) had been dropped for some reason. Andy had made reservations
weeks ago, but for some strange reason, they lost the reservation and
now the hotel has no vacancies. It was the only hotel big enough for
our group. Andy will have to leave tomorrow night and travel to the
island to look for new places for us. We will probably have to split up
into two or more groups for two or more hotels. We will see how it
At 8, I joined the others in the restaurant. I had Tom Yam Seafood
which was like a Tom Yum-style Bouillabaisse with chunks of seafood,
tomato, etc. It was excellent. I would definetly order it again. After
dinner we all talked awhile and the I went to bed at 10, as the Ramadan
2 August 2011, Tuesday
I got up at 7. There had been chanting and prayers from the adjacent
mosque during the night. I packed and went to breakfast. I had my
favorite, banana pancake and coffee. I bought a packet of dried vanilla
beans that I will give to my family as souvenirs (if they are not
blocked at customs). We put our packs in the reception area and I paid
We got on pony carts, two to a cart (three of the big guys had one cart
apiece). We rode to a market place that was very busy and walked around
examining the produce, tobacco and other items.
We rode a short distance to a bamboo-weaving shop. We saw ladies
weaving baskets. One lady wove a bamboo ring for me which I'll take
home as a souvenir. We gave our drivers a tip and they left.
We got on the bus and drove for quite awhile till we got to a
black-sand beach. We had picked up our lunch earlier and, here, sat in
covered porch and ate our lunch. We had steamed rice, curried beef,
fried chicken, vegetable dish, and fired tempeh with bean curd.
- the pony carts,
the road, jerky video, view
from our cart, another view,
the cart behind,
at the market
the crowded market,
and snake skin fruit, produce
in the shade, chilies,
beans and lentils,
fish paste?, chicken, Andy with broom, brooms, prepared foods, vegetables, home-made slices, water spinach?, beans, small dried fish, soybeans, peanuts, roots, dried fish, more fish, snake skin fruit, vegetables, processed tobacco, another view, yet another view
- bamboo weaver,
start of a
basket, weaving basket,
video, slicing bamboo strips,
the bamboo weavers,
making baskets, another view, making strips, weaving
a ring, another view, basket maker, another view, close-up, making more strips, another view, adjusting the ring, another view, my ring, another view, mother and children, close-up
We got back on the bus and drove 1.5 hours to the village of Senaru and
the Pondok Senaru cottages. This area is on the flanks of Mt. Rinjani
and most of the treks start from here. It takes three days to reach the
top and get back. We are not doing that. We could see a nice waterfall
from the hotel and also the ocean in the other direction. Its a little
cooler here, about 80-85 degrees F, but humid.
- our small bus,
yet another view,
another one, our group on the
beach, black sand,
garden area, palm-leaf thatching, close-up
At 4, we all met in the parking lot where Katnee (I don't know how to
spell it), our lady guide, took us for a 3-hour walk through the
mountain villages. These villages are separated by foot paths. The
compounds are multi-family and there is a chief and an elder with each.
The huts are wood framed with woven bamboo walls, and thatched roofs.
The people don't speak Indonesian, but are of the Sadek culture. We saw
their plantings, fruit trees, rice, manioc, tobacco, etc. I took lots
of photographs. It was dark before we got back. The bus picked us up at
the end of the walk and took us back to the hotel.
from hotel (top of Rinjani obscured by clouds), another view, Sendanggila waterfall, video,
slope of Rinjani, same view
from hotel, sign
for hotel, hotel office
and dining area, trekking replica of Rinjani
crater, my room,
closet, bathroom, view from room, next cottage, cottages, my porch, path to dining area
I tried to take a much-needed shower, but there was no water available.
No one else had water either. I decided to take a shower later when the
water pressure builds back up. I went to the restaurant and we all had
dinner together. I had Gado-Gado, which was a noodle dish with
vegetable and a peanut satay-like sauce. The electricity went out about
After dinner I went back to my room. I tried the shower again but the
shower head didn't work. I had to use a dipper and cold water from the
sink to take my shower. I was completely lathered up when the water cut
off again and the lights started to flicker, but after a minute
it came back on and I was able to finish my "shower." I then went to
bed by about 9:30.
- tethered cows,
tray, another view,
rice?, puppy, another view, guide
with roasted coffee,
closer view, cotton, cotton plant, goats, another view, lady with tobacco, chili plant,
woven sides, swing set, thatched house, elder's house, another view, sweeping the ground, chewing tobacco, several houses, water bottles, chicken
cages, compound, our group, kitchen area, closer view, home-made guitar
to next village, skyline,
man smoking, another view, grandmother, village lady, mother and child
3 August 2011, Wednesday
I got up at 7. There were periods during the night when there was
chanting and prayer. I didn't have any water again this morning. No
toilet, no faucet. I went to breakfast and had a nice banana pancake
and sediment coffee.
At nine we met our guide Kanji. He took us on a walk through the
jungle. We had to clamber through roaring creeks but after 40 minutes,
we arrive at a high and robust waterfall, the Tiu Kelep waterfall. We
got into our swimming
outfits and everyone got into the pool. The blast of wind and spray was
intense and very invigorating. After awhile the guide led us behind the
falls where the blast was also intense. Taking pictures close to the
falls is impossible without a water-proof camera.
After 30 minutes or so we clambered back to the path and walked to an
irrigation tunnel. We floated down a short section in front of the
tunnel then we walked quite a ways in the tunnel with fast flowing
water to our knees. I heard several screams as bats flew near our
heads. We emerged and continued our hike along the outside of the
irrigation tunnel. At the end, we arrived at the road, loaded onto our
bus and rode back to the hotel.
I went for a shower, but there was no
water or electricity again (nor toilet). So, I went for lunch. I had
fried noodle (mie gorent) with chicken, vegetable and egg. After lunch,
I paid my bill.
nice path, irrigation tunnel, steps to aqueduct, walking across aqueduct, downward view, path along channel, Hibiscus, another view, dam, sluce gates at dam, interesting vine, the creek, video of path, taking a break, another view, rapid creek, video, Holly with hibiscus, another view, boulder climbing, crossing the creek, wading, wet Chris, steep gorge, flat plant, white flowers
- Tiu Kelep
view, video, wading
to the pool, video, another view
- ready to float
down the aqueduct, video, the tunnel,
in the tunnel,
- view of gorge
from path, monkey
in tree, another tunnel,
papaya tree, farms,
closer view, another view, yet another view, rice paddies
We loaded our packs onto the bus and took off by 1:30.
We have a very congenial group and I enjoy talking to all of them.
After 1.5 hours or so we arrived at a sort of port. We loaded our packs
onto a long and narrow boat and headed for Gili Air, which means Air
Island. I don't know what Air means in Indonesian. After about a
20-minute boat ride, we disembarked onto a beach and walked about 1/2
mile to Lucky's Cottages. We had reservations for two night at a resort
called Hotel Villa Karang, which had swimming pool, TV, air
conditioning, restaurant, hot and cold running water, toilet paper, and
electricity. However..., they ignored our reservations made much
earlier. I'm guessing that another tour group bribed them with more
money to cancel our reservation. Never trust this hotel.
I got a cottage at Lucky's. There was a trickle of cold, brackish water,
occasionally electricity, no TV, no air conditioning, no swimming pool,
no toilet paper, but it was fine. We were all pissed of at... Hotel
Villa Karang... and would certainly never stay there in the future.
At 5:30, we went to the beach and watched the sunset. I looked at all
the life at the tidal pools. I saw lots of brittle stars (ophiuroids), some crawling
over my feet. There was an interesting variety of invertebrates and
algae along the strand. Others came down and looked too.
- long boats,
boats, our boat,
series of islands,
our beach landing,
- reception area
of Lucky's Cottages, my
cottage, my bed,
Mr. Lucky's bed,
my room, another view, bathroom, shower
After awhile, we all walked along the sand road to look at the
restaurants, bars and shops. We stopped at one place for cocktails and
we placed our orders for drinks. The electricity went out and we had to
leave. We walked on to another restaurant and had a tremendous seafood
banquet. We were all very pleased with it. After lots of discussions,
we walked back to our cottages in the dark (we had flashlights). I went
to bed with the sound of generators in the background.
at front of hotel, tidal
flat and distant surf at coral edge, another view, broken coral at beach,
(Cowrie, true limpet, snails), another
view, strand line,
horn coral, another view, yet another view, brittle star, video, another video, Lucky's boat, Gertrude and Holly, another view, yet another view, another one, and another, still more, John and Sarah, another view, sunset, another view, yet another view, sun going down, almost gone, boat and beach
4 August 2011, Thursday
I woke up at daylight. Well, actually, I woke up all through the night.
The bed had one sheet and so I slept on it with no cover sheet or other
covers. All through the night, something kept jumping on me. It felt
like a large insect. I brushed it off every time and finally turned on
the light to see what it was, but it vanished. So, I left the light on.
After a few minutes, I woke up to see a mouse right in front of my
face. It quickly vanished when it saw me looking at it. I call him
"Lucky," or "Mr. Lucky." It was impossible to sleep with Lucky and his
friends trying to get on the bed. I went out on the porch and slept on
the bamboo settee. So when the sun came up, I was up. I decided to take
shower. I opened my pack to get a clean shirt and when I did, a mouse
(perhaps Mr. Lucky) ran out of the pack. I guess he thought it was a
good place to live. I took a cold-water (brackish) shower (no towels).
Oh yes, and
no toilet paper. You have to bring your own.
We went to the Hotel Villa Karang for breakfast and I had two fried,
over-easy eggs and two pieces of toast and a cup of sediment coffee. We
were late getting service because of all the hotel guests (who had
taken our rooms) came all at the same time. We were served after them.
At about 9:30, we boarded our outrigger boat, got our snorkel gear and
proceeded to Gili Meno (Meno Island). The boat also had a glass bottom.
We snorkeled at four places there. We saw turtles at several places and
I touched two who were swimming around. I also saw lots of crinoids
(black, red, green and yellow) nestled in the coral. I rubbed my hand
across them and I could feel their tube feet sticking to my hands.
After snorkeling we landed on Meno and walked along the sand road
amongst the shops and cafes. We went to Bolongs Turtle Rescue (gilimenoturtles.com)
the tubs of baby sea turtles.
We walked back down the sand road and sat in two shaded platforms
overlooking the water. We ordered lunch here. This is a restaurant
called Mallias Child. I ordered a Mallias Child pizza. It had salami,
chilies, tomato sauce, cheese and a few other things, and it was wood
fired. It was very nice. After the meal, it was very relaxing to sit in
the shade with a gentle breeze.
After lunch, we got back on the boat and returned to Gili Air. I tipped
the boat operator and walked back to our cottages. I took a cold water
shower and air dried. I sat on my bamboo settee on the porch and filled
out my journal.
and Rinjani volcano, another
view, our boat,
view of Rinjani
at Bolongs Turtle Rescue, another
view, one turtle,
yet another view, video,
turtle rescue, another view,
T-shirt, another sign, found items
from lunch stop, another
view, view of the other
islands and volcano on Bali, close-up, view toward Lombok
At 5, I went to the beach strand and looked at the shells. I found a
nice sea urchin (almost a sand dollar) and gave it to Chris. After a
few minutes the group had gathered and we walked to Scallywag's
restaurant. I had grilled mahi-mahi and fries, which was very good.
Most everyone had a fudge brownie with ice cream, but I was too full. I
was starting to get very sleepy. A group of us left and we used
flashlight to get back.
I let Mr. Lucky and his family have the bed and I slept on the hard
bamboo settee again.
5 August 2011, Friday
I was awake at the first hint of daylight as the roosters a few feet
away crowed. At about 7, I took a shower and filled out my journal. I
walked to Hotel Villa Karang and had two fried eggs, toast and several
pieces of watermelon and pineapple, and to drink, a cup of sediment
After breakfast, I walked back to my cottage and packed.
there is nothing scheduled, so we are all on our own. We all walked to
Scallywags. Some sat on the beach and others in the shade (I was in the
shade). Several ordered lunch but I was not hungry and had a Bintang.
At two we left and went to our boat to take us back to the mainland of
Lombok. After 20 to 30 minutes, we arrived at the beach, disembarked
and loaded our packs on the bus. We rode for about an hour across the
very scenic coastline. This is the most scenic coastal segment in
We got to our hotel in Senggigi,
Puri Bunga Beach Cottages about 3. This is a nice
place and they have everything that you'd expect... pool, shower, hot
cold water, TV, air conditioning, towels and toilet paper. I got a
single room again. It was very warm and humid and I decided to go for a
- boat ride back
to Lombok, another view,
Andy, another view, our boat, another view, Lombok
and my sandals, Lombok shore, a catamaran, preparing for our
landing, Andy, another view
- view of bay
from overlook point, linear
features in the beach rock, windy
point, view of Gili
Air from point, video, another view
of point, another
At 5:30 we met at the reception area and Andy took us for a walk along
the beach track. This is a fairly touristy area but was not crowded. We
went to one beach bar and had a Bintang and then walked to our
restaurant. I had Lombok spicy beef with water spinach and steamed
rich, which was very good. This was a farewell dinner and people passed
me money (tip money) to give to Andy. I gave a brief talk praising Andy
and the tour participants. This usually is the part for the old men to
do, but I was happy to do it (come to think of it, I guess I qualify).
in front of hotel, hotel lobby,
dining room, another view, steps to
my room, my door, my bedroom, another view,
yet another view,
Andy then took us to a karaoke bar. They pushed me to get up and sing
"Born in the USA," which I was vaguely familiar with (I would have
picked something else to sing, more in my register). Others from
Australia did "Land from Down Under," and the UK people did the "Mull
of McIntyre," among others. We briefly went to a blues bar and listened
to two blues songs before the band quit for the night. I talked to the
head blues player and found out that he was from Australia. I was
tired and decided to go back to my room early. I walked several of the
ladies back as well.
I caught up in my journal and went to bed. Tomorrow, I do a lot of
6 August 2011, Saturday
I woke up at daylight but didn't get up till 7:30. I went down to
breakfast and saw the early risers. I had an Indonesian breakfast and
two fried eggs, toast and coffee. I said farewell to the four that left
for the airport early. I went to my room and had my first warm shower
in a long time. I went back to the restaurant and the rest of the group
We got two cabs for seven of us. The ride to the airport in
about 20 minutes and my share for the ride was 10,000
rupiah, about one US dollar. I went through airport security and then
to the Garuda airlines counter which was closed. The security agent
said that it would open around noon (it's 10:30 now) and said that I
could sit on the luggage rollers at check in. So I did and took the
opportunity to fill out my journal. It will be a long wait.
After an hour several other people came. Some of the latecomers even
pushed their luggage in front of mine. I could see that people were
jockeying for a more advantageous position in the checkout line. One
was especially aggressive about getting ahead of everyone. I asked the
counter lady if I was at the correct counter and she took my
information and gave me a boarding pass. I beat the fellow who thought
he would be first, though I saw him second in line and in front of
I board at 1:55 and I land at the domestic airport in Jakarta. I will
have to get on a shuttle bus to the international terminal in Jakarta
and check in all over again. The original ticket had me arriving at the
international terminal. I hope it all works out. To get in the waiting
area (in Lombok), I had to pay 25,000 rupiah departure tax (about
US$2.50) and I had to go through another security checkpoint.
Eventually a mob of people gathered at the gate, our boarding passes
were checked and we walked to the plane.
I had a window seat on the left
side (port) which was lucky. The plane flew westward and I could see
all the volcanoes out of the left side of the plane. There must have
been 25 or 30, all in a row from Lombok to Jakarta. I took photos but
I'm not sure the camera could focus through the haze. We'll see.
We landed in Jakarta and were at the terminal by 3. This is a big,
modern airport. I didn't have to change terminals after all. The lady
in Lombok check-in was wrong. It saves me a lot of grief. I checked in
at Garuda International check-in, only one person was ahead of me. I
got my boarding pass and paid my 150,000 rupiah international surcharge
(about $15). I went through immigration which was quick too. I went
through another security checkpoint and walked to my gate. I had one
more boarding pass and passport check and then I sat down in the very
nice and modern lounge. It's air-conditioned too. Looks like I might
get to Singapore today after all.
I'm preparing to leave Indonesia. Based on my experiences on Bali and
Lombok (during Ramadan) I wouldn't hesitate to come to Indonesia again.
And now on to my next travel experience, Malaysia.
- Mt. Agung
on Bali, another view,
yet another view,
close-up of Agung,
yet another, Agung again, Batur and the caldera lake,
distant view of eastern
view (Baluran has small cloud circle), volcanoes Raung
in the back and Ijen in front, another
view, low volcano Baluran, closer view of Raung, Baluran in foreground, point near Mangaran (east Java), Argopuro (Java), video of volcanoes, Semeru, island northwest of Sampang, another view, volcanoes of central Java, another view, two from central Java, distant view of volcanoes from western Java, coastline at Rembang, two from western Java, four more, more in the distance
I boarded the Garuda Indonesian flight to Singapore and had an onboard
dinner of fried rice with some ginger chicken, shrimp crackers, bread,
little bit of fruit, some kind of dessert that is hard to describe (a
jelled chocolate thing) and a small cup of Sprite.
The rest is continued at the following link.