My aim is to travel from the UK to Brisbane for one of my best friends' wedding. Plane travel is so environmentally damaging so I am looking for another way. I also think that by travelling over land and sea I will be able to understand our world better as I will connect with the people and landscapes and not just look at the departure board in the airport. Any tips gratefully received!! Departure date 1st September.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Depression and Happiness in Bali

I have to say I am now sure that flying is the most souless and crap experiences maybe I am biased but.... After crying my way to the airport on the shuttle bus (which I am pleased to say was full!) and being invited to go to Noosa on holiday instead with a pisshead whose wife had just dumped him - tempting! I brave the airport. I have not had any security checks to speak of all trip, only one small glance in my bag when I arrived in Australia, so perhaps I was a bit naive but carrying matches and a fork in my luggage as well as trying to photograph the planes 'Security!' were not too clever! They let me through though to sit in the departure lounge - bad lights, uncomfortable chairs, expensive food, no one talking except the obligatory loud and crass tourists! We finally board and I am scared silly (did I mention I am actually terrified of flying too!) luckily I got some disgusting food to take my attention for a while as the lady next to me clutches her rosary beads - crikey! I have to admit the view as leave is particularly beautiful and I have a bit of time to reflect on my wonderful Australian adventures and all the wonderful folk I have met - so then I cry a bit more! It is raining as we arrive in Denpasar, Bali which is apt. It was such a rushed decision in the end that I only have the plane journey to plan my next move. I decide to find the nearest, quietest, cheapest place to chill and reflect for a few days. This takes me to Legian (near Kuta of surfers and bombs!) and I am thrust back into Asia with a jolt as we are back to 'you want transport?' 'sunglasses 1 dollar' etc... I can't cope with it so I stick with sleeping and mooching in the pool at the beautiful Adys Inn hostel, which is highly recommended. Slowly I get back into the swing of this adventuring lark - I learn a few words of Bahasa Indonesian it is quite easy really. I try the speciality Gado Gado (steamed veg and peanut sauce and cracker!) and try not to get too pissed off with the hawkers. Legian and Kuta really are a bit gross and touristy so I head to Ubud in the hills. Here I find a mecca for alternative folk, with THREE organic cafes, Bali Buddha, Kafe and Sari Organik, an organic food shop (parmesan pasty anyone!) an organic flower shop, organic soap shop and two organic markets! Wow. Mostly they are set up and patronised by 'ex-pats' and tourists but most of the staff are local and there is a seachange within the area forwards to a sustainable community. I met some of the people who are pioneering these businesses and am inspired by their enthusiasm. One particularly exciting project is the Sari Organik experimentation and education centre and cafe (bubbling liquid manure - Peter Harper eat your heart out!) out in the serenely peaceful rice paddy fields. I was lucky to get the guided tour by Oded and was especially excited about his heritage rice seed experiments! I wish him luck with his project - I think he needs help if anyone is interested. I am delighted to see there is recycling and water bottle refilling service here too. I also attended the Kecak performance which was mainly based on the Ramayana and an amazingly musical performance with no instruments but the voice. Onwards to Lovina pretty quiet and there is a desperation in some locals to sell you anything and I feel awkward, I can't buy everything! I try to wait and ponder as I know that in each destination the initial uncertainty has always been replaced with something good or positive. Sadly I end up giving up, after chatting to a few nice locals, and decide to get the bus to Java. What a bad idea that was. After a local freaked me out totally by saying I was going to drown if I get the boat today, begging me to stay and he will pay for my ticket I don't know what to do. I can't change the ticket and the weather looks ok and it is only 30 mins so I go for it, but in my worried state I end up getting bitten by a dog!! I freak even more about rabies but as no one can speak English I just get on with it and cry and worry all the way to Yogjakarta in Java. Here I see a doctor who thinks I am fine and there is no foaming at the mouth so I am quite positive. One of my scariest moments and interesting to think about whether to listen to local advice or not and also going with your instincts.......


At 9:50 am, March 05, 2007, Blogger Marie said...

Was it some crazed street dog or a pet? Was it foaming at the mouth? These are things to keep in mind. Try googling symptoms of rabies in dogs. It's pretty rare.

Yogya is nice. Relax and take your time and recover from the disappointments. From here all the way home, there are no more insurmountable obstacles. Only buses, bikes, ferries, and trains ahead of you.

At 4:56 am, March 07, 2007, Blogger Shaun said...

Hi Babs

well I woke up early, like 4.00am, to news of a plane crash on Java. That's after yesterday's news from Sumatra of a severe eathquake! You do choose the most hostile of places to visit.

I hope things are going good for you now. I have not been to Indonesia but follow the news from there related to H5N1 and its likelehood of becoming a human pandemic. Now you get bitten by a dog Babs! You should have a rabies jab anyway whether you feel OK or not.


At 2:05 pm, March 10, 2007, Blogger Steve in the UK said...

Hi Babs

Glad you safe and apart from the dog bite? are still keeping well. Surprised they let you on the plane after finding the fork and matches.

Hope people haven't been leaving mean messages on here

Did you know that not only are Australia and New Zealand banning incandescent bulbs but the EU has just announced that it will be banning the sell of then by 2009, there's a link to a short news report about it

I know it's not going to help you feel any better about having to fly but at least governments around the world are starting to do something now, personally I think it's down to the publicity that you have been getting and getting them thinking about what they can do. OK there may be other factors but its nice to think that you played your part.

Anyway, have a great time on this leg of your journey and don't worry , your friends will never forgot you, and as for your caravan, I'm sure all the hedgehogs are having a great time chilling out with all the spiders

Loads of Love & Luck and watch out for dogs

Steve XX

At 2:09 pm, March 10, 2007, Blogger Steve in the UK said...

Hi Again Babs

Sorry, should of said, I couldn't get Google to let me log in as LimeandPulp, so have had to sign in with my other account, Just in case you wondered who the last comment was from

Lots of Love & Luck and keep safe

Steve XX


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