I have wanted to travel for such a long time but never found the impetus to just get up and go until 1 profound week in March this year when the final chord of disatisfaction struck.
Consequently, I left my job but instead of booking the next flight out I wondered what I should do next. Realising I was wasting my time in England just pondering my future I decided that the time to travel had finally come.
On Saturday 21st June I begin the journey.
December 14th 2008
There is nothing pleasant in arriving anywhere at stupid o'clock, i.e. at some ridiculous hour of the day where the sensible are in bed and the hedonistic are out looking for the next high. Unfortunately, myself, I was doing neither and while I occasionally crave the latter at that moment at 1am in Singapore airport - the bed, the warm room with the curtains drawn tight was the more prevaling temptation. And the image was taunting me as I considered my options. Realising once again that I had lost my hostel booking I made arrangements with the airport to take me to the closest and cheapest hotel in town. Consequently, I ended up in Little India arriving at my hotel in the cold and pouring rain. As soon as I found my bed I sunk into ... read more
December 14th 2008
It killed me to leave Paradise but reasoning put me in the right frame of mind to gather my things together and make it to the boat for the long journey home to Bali, from whence I came. I waited with patience under the shelter with numerous strangers all of them quiet like me, perhaps with the same foreboding I had. Like myself they too were heading to another destination and while I reminisced about the extraordinary time I have had I tried to put the future in its right place. To not think about what was to come but to take it as it came as I have been doing with faltering degrees of succes on my continuing journey. But this time I couldn't help but feel this sensation was somewhat different as I would ... read more
December 12th 2008
I woke up with a jolt the following morning due to not only having a hangover from the night before but mainly due to a memory of a conversation about a boat. The lasting image in my mind from last night was of Yaari behind me on the dancefloor while the Indo boy, who was otherwise my landlord at the time was coming toward me - each wanting a piece of me. Now to the matter of the boat. I was assured that the offer was genuine and in that vein I got my things together with the faith that there would be somebody to meet me at Horizon bar as planned. And, hell if nobody was there the worst that could happen would be my spending stupid money on a delicious breakfast. Lo and behold ... read more
November 24th 2008
This has to be one of the best destinations in Indonesia. Gili T as it is otherwise known is fondly referred to as the party island. But unlike Kuta, which can be ad nauseum, Gili T is a beatifully reflective place. It is one of three islands off the island of Lombok, the other two are Gili Air and Gili Memo which in comparison are not as developed in respect of tourism. And while that word is likely to elicit groans and moans it shouldn't in this case prevent you from visiting. The island has to be seen to be believed. There is nothing particularly overwhelming here in respect of infrastructure and crowds. Instead, it successfully provides its own blend of hedonism in the same square mile as you'll find refined restaurants and quiet beaches. To ... read more
November 15th 2008
I was warned to give Kuta a wide berth on the premiss that it's full of louts and drinkers...younguns looking for hedonism, fun in the sun and all that jazz without any inclination toward the culture of Bali. I did pay some heed to those comments but with only limited time remaining in Asia and with things to do such as booking flights and arranging accomodation in Singapore I opted to go to Kuta. So, I stayed on the bus that brought us on the ferry over from Indonesia. The original plan was to change buses and head to quieter climes for repose and peace of mind. However, I never learn. When I should keep my opinions to myself after having slept for just 4 hours and been awake for 20, instead I spurted forth vitriol ... read more
November 14th 2008
What I failed to say in writing about Java is its unique geological make up making it an island festooned with volcaones. One in particular, Mount Merapi can still be seen spewing out its lava which makes for an awesome sight at night and it's not too far out of Yogyakarta either. Unfortunately, while I was whiling away my time not seeing the sights I lost out on this one and by the time I discovered its presence it was too late. The best time to see the beast is at night and when I was invited to go along it was my last night and the following morning I had booked passaged to Mount Bromo, another volcano. Mount Bromo is sitauated in the East of Java, the nearest village is Cemoro Lawang and the nearest ... read more
November 11th 2008
I am so behind on these blogs that to talk now about Yogyakarta (pronounced: Jogjakarta) when it is so far removed from my present state of mind is turning out to be a hard task indeed. All I have now are images of a time gone. Sweet memories that I can fondly recall at will. My most endearing are the faces of the friends I made. Local people, specifically Batik artists who took me into their homes and shared with me their stories and the ocassional (expensive due to the inordinately high taxes imposed on spirits) bottle of wine. I first encountered Artap while out wandering the attractive backstreets of Yogyakarta, which provided not only a refreshing refuge from the heat and pollution of the main roads but was equally kinder to the eyes. Here you ... read more
November 5th 2008
When speaking to friends on the road about my plans to visit Indonesia I was told not to bother with Jakarta but independent minded as I am I disregarded their advice and booked a flight from Kuching to the great big city on the North West coast of Java. Typically unprepared I landed in Jakarta near around midnight without a place to stay and only a vague location in my head as to where I could bed down for the night. That wasn't the problem however, preferring as I do to take it as it comes. What I did find disturbing was the hands on nature of taxi touts pushing and pulling me this way insisting that I jump into their cab. It wasn't just outside the airport this happened but also inside where I took ... read more
October 29th 2008
With a heavy heart I returned to Kota Kinabulu carrying a cold from my last day in Mabul only heartened by the fact that I would be flying out to Kuching the following morning. I don't have an alarm preferring to rely on my body clock alone which I can tell you has gotten me into some near misses - nearly missing the bus is one thing but the plane! I woke up at precisely the time I should have been boarding the taxi. Running down the stairs of Tropicana Lodge in just my knickers and T-shirt to alert my driver of my presence was alarming for both of us! With just quarter of an hour to spare I threw my belongings into the backpack, gathered my bags and went scooting back down the stairs, jumped ... read more
October 24th 2008
I very nearly didn't make it here owing to those oh so nagging doubts which put me in a bind over whether to return to Ton Sai or keep on going. To think I could have sacrificed the privilege of diving with the grandfathers of the sea i.e. the beautifully graceful giant turtles of Malaysia, which glide through the South China Sea for the comforts of Ton Sai is too much to bear. Not to mention the reef sharks, the shoal of barracudas, eels and perhaps even a sea snake and many, many more crazy, colourful creatures. To get here I had to fly from Kota Kinabulu to Tawau from where I was picked up by a representative from Billabong Scuba and driven to Semporna, a small town on the southeastern shores of Borneo from where ... read more