Published: February 6th 2009
December 5th 2008
Whilst suffering from a bad fever, I somehow made the long bus journey down Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo and got a flight to Bali in Indonesia. Here I met up with my brother, Dave, who was on a two week holiday. We originally planned to have a relaxing time on the beach, but, both being the adventurous types, that only lasted a day, and we ended up travelling hundreds miles of trying to cram in as much as possible.
We did some amazing dives in north Bali, where the volcanic sands are strangely black. The USS liberty wreck was a 120m relic of WWII and was incredible to explore underwater: it was full of life, swarming with beautiful fish, and just surreal when swimming inside. We also saw a different wreck at night, armed with our underwater torches where sleeping fish and large octopuses can be seen.
In Java we went to the high plateau and at 2 in the morning started a hike to a viewing spot on a mountain to see the spectacular array of volcanoes for sunrise - 2 of which had huge plumes of smoke billowing from it. Although exhausted and tired we felt we
needed a closer look, and so after descending the mountain we set off on a second hike: to Mt Bromo. We rode beautiful horses on the huge expanse dessert wasteland before the volcano - I got quite good at riding it in the end. We climbed the active volcano (which to our horror was very active and had last erupted only last year!) and walked around its rim. The sulphurous gasses were like a thick fog, and really stunk of rotten farts.
We next went to Yogyakarta, a beautiful and interesting city close to some incredible ruins. One Friday night we went to a huge modern nightclub...only to find it was completely deserted, with only a couple of bored staff members dancing to the defining music. We ended up spending the night in the only bar we could find - in an expensive 5 star hotel where everyone was wearing suits and looked annoyingly rich.
After Dave departed, I went to the small but extremely beautiful village of Cibodas. When I arrived I was surprised to see whole lorries of army soldiers, and police everywhere - apparently the Indonesian president was visiting that day. Nearly all the places
to stay were full and occupied by mean looking soldiers with M16s. I ended up staying here for quite a while (when i eventually founbd a bed) - I loved being the only tourist there, and sometimes having hordes of children follow me down the street all trying to practice their English with me.
I next went to Jakarta, a huge overpopulated concrete looking city, which came as quite a shock after being in the middle nowhere for so long. I soon went back to Bali. Went on a short 3 day motorbike trip in the countryside. Unlike the other countries I have driven in, there are actually rules to the road here. Thinking anything goes I rather stupidly skipped a red on a busy junction to go the wrong way down a one way road. The horns and shouts of drivers were bad enough, but there was a policeman who saw everything and whistled for me to stop. I was preparing to bribe him but he turned out to be really friendly and just practiced his English with me before giving me directions and letting me go.
I ran out of money and headed home in time
I’ve had an amazing adventure over the last 6 months, an experience I will never forget.
There are more photos below