A Travellerspoint blog

My feet hit the ground running.....Home Sweet Home?

overcast 10 °C
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March 30
Had breakfast, checked out, ready to roll by 9:30 am.....had to get a horse and cart to get me to the port in town. Wandered around and did some window shopping.
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The fast ferry stopped at Lombok but there were no passengers. We then headed to Pandang Bai to drop off more passenger.
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Final stop was Serangan, where I got off.
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Boarded a van to the airport.
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Last sunset in Bali
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When we landed in Hong Kong, we were once again rushed to catch our connecting flight to Vancouver. Final flight was Vancouver to Nanaimo, landing at 12 am.
Upon landing in Vancouver, I received a text from my sister telling me that my mother was not feeling welll. She advised me that if she got any sicker the senior home would call an ambulance for her.

On Friday morning, I woke up to a call from my sister telling me that an ambulance had been called for mom, I got dressed and headed out to the hospital. That was on Friday, March 31....today is April 5 and she is still in the hospital with many many health issues. My backpack is still unpacked, my fridge was empty until my kids came home to see their grandmother, and I have been spending my nights with her in her hospital room.

Here are some pictures from diving in Koh Lanta
Max, dive master and me
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Spotted a dolphin
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4 Island snorkelling tour
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Final thoughts....
I was done with temples by the time I left Cambodia. It's a beautiful country with so much history. I was amazed at how far back they were able to trace back.....so many years!

Luang Prabang was a lovely little town. The. Waterfalls were breathtaking....the clear water, the fish biting gently while you sat in the water, and for meeting lovely Bettina Pardi from Budapest, Hungary.

To have a second chance to travel Thailand was great. I found Krabi and Phuket very busy and commercialized, the beaches were dirty and crowded. However, I thoroughly enjoyed Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. The diving on those two islands were phenomenal and the hotel in Lanta was just beautiful.

I felt like a princess in Ubud, Bali..... I kept pinching myself to make sure it wasn't a dream. Until next time......

Travel is like a giant blank canvas and the painting on the canvas is only limited by one’s imagination.
— Ross Morley

Posted by Samchow58 19:37 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Sharks, stingrays, turtles, morea eels.....

sunny
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March 28
It was going to be a hot day out. I spent a few hours by the pool. Headed out for my 11:30 am dive to shark point. It turned out to be right in front of my hotel.
Met another diver who,had little feet like me
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Saw a white tipped shark
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Turtles, eels, stingrays.....
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Back to the hotel and just relaxed at the beach.
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Beautiful sunset
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March 29
Today is my last full day of my 6 week adventure.
I decided to put in a whole shift at the beach today....just relax and soak up the sun! I've heard from many people that it raining back home!
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I spent most of my day in the floating hammock!

Hotel delivery of food
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I got a bike from the hotel and rode around the whole island.....I hit part of road with only sand, couldn't ride so I had to walk the bike.
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Caught a beautiful sunset on the way back to the hotel
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Tomorrow is going to be a very long travel day...... last blog when I get home!

Posted by Samchow58 06:35 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Gili Trawangan

semi-overcast 26 °C
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March 27
We had a thunder and lightening storm last night...it went on for hours! It was still raining heavily this morning. After breakfast I got a bicycle from the hotel and rode into town for my dive. It was pretty yucky!

Ink, my dive master, getting my tank ready
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We went to Simon Reef for our dive. It was great! Saw a huge turtle, lots of fish...
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It stopped raining by the time I finished diving. I hopped on my bike and rode around one end of the island. I hit sand so I had to walk the bike for a bit. By the time I got to the hotel, the sun was starting to peek out. I showered and headed to the beach to sit in the sun.

Decided to walk into town (the long way) for dinner.
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Locals sell mushrooms and marijuana everywhere.... a road side sign advertising shroom shakes
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A delivery of groceries....the boat that delivered it
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Walking back after dinner, I stumbled on a 3 man band. Great music...felt like they were performing just for me!
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Have another dive booked tomorrow at shark point. My days are numbered....I'll be heading home soon.

Posted by Samchow58 10:38 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Last day in paradise.....

overcast 29 °C
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March 25
How to spend the last day in paradise?
My breakfast view
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Breakfast - Soto Aymi, turmeric and lemongrass soup with a boiled egg, bean sprouts, onions, chili paste, and white rice.
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I spent it around the pool.
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Headed back into town for another lunch of babi guling.
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Back to the hotel in time for dinner and a massage! Ahhh....it was heavenly.

Happy Birthdaynto my dad. He is surely missed.

March 26
It was raining very hard this morning. The bus picked me up at 7 am and took me to catch the ferry for Gili Trawanga. Along the way, I saw a Nyepi ceremony.
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It was a fast ferry and took only 1hour.
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I took a horse and cart to my hotel because Gili T does not allow any motorized vehicles on the island. There were huge puddles from the heavy rainfall earlier.
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I settled into my room and got a free bike from the concierge. I had to ride to the other side of the island to confirm my dive tomorrow. But the roads (if you can call them that) eww all muddy and full of water. The centre of the town was awful....dirty, crowded with so many people and horse and carts. It was not fun at all. I confirmed my dive and headed back to the hotel.
This horse blew a shoe.
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I found the beach and just sat there people watching. There is a swing and hammock in the water at my beach. I watched people pose and take picks all the day long.
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Posted by Samchow58 04:52 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Rice paddy trek....

sunny 34 °C
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March 24
I was up at the crack of dawn....headed up to reception to join in the rice paddy trek. With a guide, we headed up to the village. She explained that each home has little temples where the family prayers daily and performs two ceremonies, usually after breakfast and in the evening. Flowers and rice are placed outside of their homes followed by family prayers. Balinese home are usually decorated with beautiful doors, three buildings.....a prayer room, a room where they receive guests, and their family dwelling.
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We visited an elementary school. The students help clean their school.
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This is the village temple. All ceremonies take place here.
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The village getting ready for Nyepi day
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The rice fields are owned by a co-op. Rice is grown and harvested in 3 months.
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The irritation system is managed by big rocks. A rock is put in place to divert the flow of water.
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A papaya tree
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It was a great way to start the day....a 2 hour walk in the rice paddies!

I spent the rest of the afternoon poolside.
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On the way into Bali, the driver told me to try babi gulping while in Ubud. A restaurant called Ibu Oka, which is arguably the most famous place to order babi guling, Balinese style roast suckling pig. Babi guling might sound like an unusual dish to find in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim majority population in the world (and pork is usually forbidden in Muslim countries), but the predominant religion on the island of Bali is Hinduism. In Bali, babi guling is a celebration meal, served at rites-of-passage ceremonies like, weddings. But it is also available in warungs (traditional roadside eateries) all over Bali. Babi guling is prepared by stuffing suckling pigs with basa gede (a fresh spice paste made of things like shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, fresh turmeric, bird’s eye chilli, black peppercorn, salt, and shrimp paste), rubbing the skin with turmeric, then hand turning them on a spit over an open fire, basting them with coconut water throughout the 6 hour roasting process.

So I headed into town to Ibu Oka for Babi guling.....I was not disappointed.
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Residents of the restaurant
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On the way back to my room, I noticed this gentleman working in the fields. I saw him after my rice paddy trek (around 9 am). It was now 6 pm and he was still working. He's definitely over 80 years old... bare feet. At one point he had to use the stick to pull himself up. He smiled at me and pointed to his back. Sure did out life into perspective.
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Posted by Samchow58 05:04 Archived in Indonesia Comments (3)

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