Home arrow Trip Emails arrow Indonesia
Indonesia

These are the emails we sent to friends and family as we travelled from New Zealand to England in 2008. The section from Bangkok to London we did overland through South-East Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia and Europe.

Image

We flew out of Auckland leaving behind a long, hot summer, our house to be tenanted, most of our possessions and so many friends. Our first stop was an all-too brief stop in Sydney overnight with Ange's good friend Kara, before heading out to Indonesia the following day. We caught up with my dad at Sydney airport. He would come with us as part of the first leg and we would shout him a trip to Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo to see the orangutans as his 75th birthday present.

Image

Bali was my first introduction to Asia when I was 7. We stopped off for a week as we emigrated from England to New Zealand. Bali smells like nowhere else, mostly a good mixture of cloves, incense and flowers. The smells took me straight back to the last time I was there, nearly 9 years ago.

From the airport we headed straight up to Ubud, avoiding the festering sore that is Kuta and it's surroundings. Ubud, while still touristy has nature and greenness everywhere, and was a good place to unwind for a few days and catch our breath from the hectic few weeks prior to leaving. It is also the centre of Balinese performing arts, including the eye-darting dances, shadow puppets and the obligatory gamelan orchestras.

Image

Bali has many many many Hindu temples. Most villages have at least 3. The photos above were taken in the Saraswati temple in Ubud (see below) with it's walkway surrounded by lotuses and frangipani (plumeria) trees.

Image Image

Unfortunately, it's the rainy season in Indonesia. The good news is, that it's always wet diving, so we headed across to Tulamben so I could dive the USAD Liberty. The Liberty was hit by Japanese torpedoes during the war, but the crew managed to run her aground and salvage her cargo. During the '60's she sank off the beach and into the sea when Gunang Agung, Bali's largest volcano erupted. She's now covered in all sorts of colourful critters and surrounded by schools of fish. Excuse the shots as my dive camera is in need of upgrading. The top shot is of a huge school of Big Eye Jacks and the bottom shot is of a nudibranch crawling over the hull of the ship.

Image Image

We headed back to Bali's southern tip. I get very bored lying on the beach, but I managed to hold it together for a few days as I found things to do, like visit the spectacularly located Ulu Watu temple, get up and see the sunrise most days and so on.

Image Image