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Chapter sixty one - Kuta

Paradise to hell in one foul swoop

overcast 25 °C

Day 227: Kuta, Bali, Indonesia 13/05/2012

Up at 7am with heavy hearts - we don't want to leave the Gilis! Bloody visas. After a quick breakfast we were on the beach waiting for the shuttle boat across to Lombok for the ferry across to Bali. Funnily enough we are on the boat with an Aussie couple that arrived on the same boat across to Gili as us (though they originally succumbed to the horse and trap con). However, wise to the horse and cart trick, we walk to the bus point with them.

Messed around a little bit - bumped from one minibus to another (seems everyone is being pissed about to be fair). Wait for the ferry with about a thousand other travellers taking the same route, with backpacks, surfboards and suntans aplenty. The ferry ride across is eventful with everyone flocking to the back to watch a huge crane being loaded onto the boat. Rough seas saw motorbikes parked on the lower deck falling over and the crane rocking violently from side to side. Cue a man straddling the crane - with no regard for health and safety - tying it down with a seriously big rope. Meanwhile, a little boy playing around the sleeping Gemma is sick in her hair and the fourth minibus of the day to take us to Kuta. We arrive about eightish and check in online for our Air Asia flight. Eventually track my family down on skype and find a beautiful, overpriced, grimy shithole to stay in for the night.

Posted by tevs 04:49 Archived in Indonesia Tagged beaches hotels bali indonesia gili_trawangan Comments (0)

Chapter fifty eight - Denpasar

Having a lava in Java

sunny 25 °C

Day 218: Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia 04/05/2012

A very, very early morning (ten to three) is our reward for yesterday's slog and we are out before three, with our trusty poundland head torch, for the walk up Mount Bromo for sunrise. The very early morning is accompanied by a very steep walk and before long we arrive at a very dark and desolate plain to cross to reach the volcanoes.

'Which one is Bromo?' Gemma asks as we are confronted by numerous peaks, and I point confidently at the one dead ahead. So up 'Bromo' we go, struggling in the dark and with the distinct lack of footpaths. After trying and failing to ascend this mountain, and me falling flat on my back down a ravine, legs kicking like an overturned turtle, and with the sun starting to peak over the horizon, we look up to next volcano to see trekkers casually strolling up to the summit laughing and in good spirits. It appears that I was wrong on my assessment of which volcano was for us...

So we arrive at the top of Mount Bromo just in time for sunrise and despite the few, ahem, technical hitches we enjoy the spectacular spectacle of the sun rising over this prehistoric landscape, with Bromo's menacing, smoking, smouldering crater nicely contrasting the stunning views around. Glancing across at 'the one that got away', it becomes clear this is a near impossible climb given the steepness of the sides and the softness of the terrain. Still, a bit of ambition never hurt anyone...

Hitch a lift back to the hotel on a motorbike, shower then hijack a nice minibus back to the bus terminal out of town, before boarding a bargain bus to Bali. An easy journey up until the ferry, a relaxing journey on the water (like crossing the Mersey) and a truly terrifying one once on Bali, with oncoming lorries, blind overtakes and manic speeds causing the most distressing journey since India. Eventually arrive in Denpasar (after being pulled by the police twice) and have a bit of difficulty finding a room, before settling down to some spicy chicken and Eddie Murphy's Coming to America.

Posted by tevs 04:39 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia java volcano bus sunrise ferry journey bromo Comments (0)

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