Page 4 of Sophie and Dale Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan October 13th 2009

The Sungai Kinabatangan was yet another place we only learnt about on our travels.. we don't do much research until we arrive at a place so only get set on going somewhere if someone highly recommends it.. which is exactly what happened here. This is basically a natural reserve located alongside the Kinabatangan river where you have the opportunity to spot Orangtans, Pygmy Elephants, Probiscus Monkeys, Macaque Monkeys and a whole host of other birds and wildlife so we were keen to go and see if we could see anything ourselves. We'd been recommended the Sakuru Greenview B&B so after hitching the remaining 42km to Sakau from the main road because the minibuses were ridiculously expensive, we checked in and immediately booked ourselves on the afternoon sunset boat trip along the river. Our wildlife spotting started ... read more
proboscis Monkey
Proboscis monkeys
Sophie going up the river

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Mabul October 11th 2009

We hadn't heard of the islands Sipadan & Mabul when we were in the UK planning our trip but as you venture out to this part of the world then you will often be asked the question "so have you dived at Sipadan?" The reason for this is that Sipadan has been voted one of the world's best dive spots and is famous for it's huge limestone drop off that is crowned by the island itself. Here in this area you find huge shoals of fish, sharks and turtles and a whole host of other marine life you probably won't find elsewhere. Access to Sipadan and the other islands in the area is via Semporna, a very rough around the edges town on the South East side of Sabah state in Malaysian Borneo. After coming across ... read more
Dale and the starfish
Us on the beach
Mabul

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Derawan October 4th 2009

This blog is about a beautiful island towards the top of Kalimantan where the sand is pure white, the sea is crystal clear, turtles play around in the surf every single day, the coral is pristine and if this isn't enough you can venture out to visit jellyfish lagoons and manta rays gangs in neighbouring islands.. and best of all you have it all to yourself as there are no other tourists there to take away your pleasure.. pure bliss! From our scariest bus ride in our previous blog we will now announce our new top worst bus ride leader.. even beating the Worlds 2nd Most Dangerous Road bus ride in Bolivia... The bus ride from Sangatta to Berau is a killer and definitely one that would have put a stop to all other bus rides ... read more
Baby turtle
Derawan locals
Sophie on Kakaban beach

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Sangatta September 26th 2009

The bus ride to Bontang was officially our scariest yet.. yes we know we do go on our about transport a lot but it plays such a huge role in travelling it's hard not to! The bus driver really did seem to want to scare the bejesus out of us and literally flew round corners virtually on 2 wheels, this was bad enough in daylight but a million times worse when it was pitch black and he was flying down the equivalent of narrow country roads back in the UK with a constant flow of oncoming traffic. We always use the locals on the bus with us to judge how bad a journey is.. if they don't bad an eyelid then you can assume it's normal, but on this occasion even they were closing their eyes ... read more
Chameleon in Borneo
Tarantula in her hole
Dale & the tarantula house

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan September 24th 2009

After a reasonably nice trip on the Penli ship, with the only drama being Sophie getting locked below deck for a few hours while tickets were checked and being subjected to a million questions by the locals who surrounded her while she waited, we docked in Balikpapan, Borneo at 3am keen to discover this island that seems so undiscovered from back home in the UK. We were still with Tamil & Marusha thinking that staying in a group would lead to a better deal than just the 2 of us (something we would come to regret) and were all agreed that we'd hot tail it out of Balikpapan up to Samirinda as soon as we could because this was the first day of the Muslim Idul Fitri holiday and things were going to start closing for ... read more
Flying monkey in Muara Muntai
Long Bagun high street
Longhouse detail

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi September 19th 2009

We travelled up to the Togeans with Tamil & Marusha via Poso & Ampana on the way. This was the second time we were to travel though an area that has seen sectarian violence in recent years so we were a little concerned but there was nothing to worry about, and we were greeted with the usual hello's and waves as we walked around the towns. What we hadn't anticipated was how long it would take to get up there from Tana Toraja.. it doesn't look that far on the map but it took a full 2 days travelling to get there and we were glad to be boarding the ferry across to the islands after a restful night in Ampana town (again where there is nothing to do!) The ferry ride was an uneventful one ... read more
Sunset
Turtle in the pool
Boat on the beach

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja September 11th 2009

In keeping with tradition our journey from Flores to Sulawesi was.. err.. interesting to put it mildly. Like we said in our last blog we'd decided to make use of the Pelni Ferries that travel all across Indonesia to get between the 2 destinations. We had no ideas on what it would be like but when the ship pulled up we got quite excited. We'd joked about it being like a cruise liner and it really was... well the ship was... the journey itself was probably as far away from a cruise as you could be without being on dry land! Although there is the option of 1st - 4th class on these boats there was no way we could afford 1st class (around $US80 a ticket) and the 2nd - 4th classes are separate sexes ... read more
Carving up the meat
Carving up the meat
Fallen graves

Asia » Indonesia » Flores » Rinca September 6th 2009

Our great bus ride ended abruptly when we got to Sape in Sumbawa, this is the port where you catch the ferry across to Labuanbajo in Flores. We'd read that there was a ferry at 8am so when all the people told us it had already gone when we pulled up we thought it was the usual scam of trying to get us on their private boat so brushed them off. Finding anyone from the ferry office was quite difficult and all the time we were being told the ferry had gone, after about an hour of waiting around we found someone in a uniform who confirmed our worst fears that the ferry had indeed gone at 5am and the next wasn't due until 9pm.. or 8pm.. or 3pm... no one really knew for sure! In ... read more
Komodo Dragon posing
Desolate Rinca
Sophie in the National park

Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Gili Air September 2nd 2009

After having such a bad end to our week in Bali we really hoped that things would improve for our time on Lombok. We had been told from quite a few people that the locals on Lombok were much more friendly and not so greedy so we were quite looking forward to a more relaxed time not having to argue over every Rupiah. In our haste to leave Bali we'd picked a really rubbish ferry time, this meant that not only did we get no sleep for the 3 hour journey across the water, but we also arrived at around 2.30am which is a really bad time for onward transport. Of course we were approached by the usual taxi & bemo divers as we ate out curried egg and rice breakfast (strange how good it tasted ... read more
Gili Air Beach
Boat on the beach
Sophie sleeping on the terrace

Asia » Indonesia » Bali August 27th 2009

Our time in Bali was one of love and hate.. at first we disliked it.. then we loved it (well Sophie did) and then we left hating it and vowing never to return to this island ever again... We caught the bus from Probilinggo to Denpasar which was an easy overnight journey and one that actually left Probilinggo 2 hours early! This meant that we got to Ubung bus station at around 2.30am which is a really bad time for finding accommodation. We sat around for a while considering our options then decided to quit our losses and get a taxi to Kuta in the hope that it's a 24 hour kind of place and we might get a room. Kuta is indeed a 24 hour kind of place but finding a room wasn't that easy. ... read more
Working in the paddy fields
Legong and Barong at Ubud Palace
Dale at Dreamland




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