Thursday, July 10, 2014

Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

It's been a while since my last post. 
From Yogyakarta I traveled by train to Jakarta a seven hour long but pleasant journey and then things slowly turned to custard for me. The next day I went for a walk to Merdeka square felt a bit light headed, walked back to my hotel and promptly fainted in the hotel lobby. This was probably more traumatic for the hotel staff then me and I came too again within seconds. So spent the remainde of that day and all of the next in my hotel in the air conditioning and started feeling a bit better. I did go out again after that but still feeling pretty weak most of the time. Then last Sunday I left Jakarta for Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, had an ordinary flight, breezed through customs and immigration and promptly got pick pocketed on the way to my hotel. They worked in a team and I immediately realised what had happened but by then the doors on the train were closing and they were off down the platform. Welcome to Malaysia!  
On arrival in my hotel I cancelled my credit cards and rang Mum to transfer some money via Western Union, I leave money in her account for exactly this type of emergency. Then spent way to much time and money ringing Visa to get a replacement card, but to their credit it a arrived within 48 hours. 
Now I'm back on my feet but feeling a little more weary of fellow men. 

Sunny Jakarta, where the air is fresh, Not!

Friday, June 27, 2014


I don't really feel like writing but as an explanation the pictures below are all taken at the Borobodur the largest Buddhist monument in Indonesia between six and eight in the morning. As you would expect there are a lot of Buddha statues here including in stone lattice cupolas. The last picture is Mount Merapi just coming clear through the clouds. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Solo Batik Carnival

While I was wandering around town I came across a large commotion of people

A gentlemen conveniently selling cold drinks

And this contraption. The little carts move by a chain and lever arrangement that the proprietor drives with his feet just like a bicycle. 

And then there were the costumes. Absolutely stunning and hundreds of them. 

Here is a small sample. 

And here a large one. 

And some of the spectators. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014


I've been a couple days in Solo now where I'm staying at the Indonesian equivalent of Fawlty Towers. Not sure if they haver ever ran a hotel before. That said they're friendly and cheerful and the room I have is nice enough. I'm the only guest though. 
Anyway I went for a look around town and had a look at the Kraton, which really only functions as a reminder how not to set up a museum. Dark and dusty glass cases with no descriptions. And a collection of carriages including this hearse that were being consumed by woodworm. 

Outside was far more interesting, everywhere in Solo rickshaws are still in full use and in this photo I managed to get a ninja in the background as well. 

I love the colors of all the stalls. 

And the lights once they setup at night. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The long ride in retrospect

It was a long ride and I do take badly to them. I got picked up half an hour late in a Microbus that had seen better days then we drove for a couple of hours through Bali's gorgeous countryside until we reached the outskirts of Gilimanuk where we were rather unceremoniously dumped at a petrol station and told to wait. Wait we did and I took some snaps of the passing traffic. 
This kept entertained till the sun started to set and our next bus turned up. This one was a bit bigger, better and slightly more comfortable.  This one took us to the ferry terminal where we waited some more but eventually we got on and set sail. 
The passage itself is less then an hour and was uneventful the women and children sit inside and watch a DVD of a monkey on a leash that rides a motorcycle and when he comes to the end of his run gets turned around by violently yanking his chain. Which everyone thinks is hilarious. WISPA would have a fit. Outside the man hang around and smoke. 
Then we go on again. The bus driver is a maniac he can hardly see over the steering wheel, holds a cigarette in one hand, sends text messages with the other while playing chicken with the oncoming traffic. I do like his style but doubt he'll reach retirement this way. At least it's entertaining. 
Twenty hours after I set off I reach my hotel in Solo. I haven't slept a wink. Time for some R&R. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The long ride ahead.

I'm leaving my island paradise and heading for Solo on Java.  All being well the bus will leave Lovina around two thirty this afternoon and arrive in Solo less then 24 hours later. Not looking forward to it but still prefer it over flying. 

So here is a final pictures for Lovina just to remember it by. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lazy days.

I have arrived at the Adirama hotel in Lovina and that's all that I've done so far. My daily routine has extended to a walk to the reception but no further. I haven't been of the property and so far that's fine with me. I swim in the pool, eat and drink in the sea side restaurant and that's about it. 
Maybe I'll gather the energy to walk a bit along the beach today. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

On the move.

I left Ubud for Lovina on the other side of Bali today and along the way stopped of in Bedegul to have a look at the lake temple.

Oh and a stop at the obligatory waterfall. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Some more photos of Ubud

Everywhere I go there seems to be something or someone worthy of a photo. I don't get half of them but never the less here are some of the ones I did. 

Just wandering around town.

I have been walking the highways and byways of Ubud the last few days and these are some of the sights that caught my eye.

Another full moon.

I've been fascinated by the full moon here on Bali. This is a shot of it covered in cloud shimmering over Ubud Palace

Thursday, June 12, 2014


This is a short clip of a Kecak dance that I attended last night. I have a lot more footage but it's probably going to take me a few days to edit something coherent out of it. 


I have been taking a few shots of the full moon last night and really liked these two. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cooking at CasaLuna

This morning and part of the afternoon I joined a group of fellow enthusiasts and cooked some traditional Bali recipes. Cooking is probably a bit of an overstatement as most of that was done by the staff but the discussions were interesting, I picked up a few more tips on Asian cooking and result was a delicious lunch. 

The donkey work

Some progress

The hard grind

A fellow trainee

The professional 

The end. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014