Bali, Gili, and Lombok

It has been a long time since I have been able to update this blog, as I have had such short times in every place I have visited that I was too busy to sit down and take the time to publish this all. I am now settled down in Simons Town South Africa, where I will be for the next month and a half. It is very nice to stop moving for a little while, but it is the moving that has lead me through all of the adventures of the past months. I have so many awesome pictures and experiences to share, but it will take me a while to work backwards through all of it, so expect updates sporadically through the coming weeks. The pictures and stories within this post are from my 10 days in Indonesia, which I spent on the islands of Bali, Gili Air, and Lombok. It was really invigorating to experience a cultural departure unlike anything I had experienced in NZ or Oz, and as is true with almost everywhere I have been so far, I wish I had more time to spend in this beautiful country. Now, onto the photos:

The cliffs of the Uluwatu temple complex. First time ever seeing the Indian ocean!

Hannouman leaps out of the flames and proceeds to kick them everywhere, even almost burning some of the men in the chorus.
Monkey outside the Ubud Monkey Forest. It was great to watch them play around and interact just as humans would, but they could be quite the rascals if you didn’t keep up your guard.
Even more rice at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Reflections over a rice terrace in transition

One of the temples in the Tanah Lot complex, perched over a sea arch

The Tanah Lot Temple, accessible only at low tide.

The archway at dusk

Dancers at a festival down the street from where I was staying in Ubud.

The music was played by lots of boys playing a wide variety of instruments, ranging from a type of flute to different types of xylophone-esque instruments.

A young boy looks onto the festivities.
Water rushes off of the precipice of one of many of Bali’s beautiful waterfalls.
The GitGit twin waterfall, which was in this beautiful alcove complete with a rope swing to get a better view of the falls.

The Aling Aling waterfall, which was actually a string of falls stretching down a river, but this was the largest of the bunch.

Some cool rocks by one of the lower falls.

A kid waits for his friend to follow him in jumping off of the cliff between the falls
Stumbled upon a local volleyball game as I was driving around the north of Bali and they obliged me in hopping in. I surprisingly played well considering I hadn’t touched a volleyball in months, but they were also pretty good players as well. It was an awesome cultural exchange despite my speaking only rudimentary Bahasa (hello & thank you) and most of them speaking about the same amount of English.

Watching the sunrise
The view into the crater

Descending through the fog.
A cave covered in bats in the nearby settlement
Beautiful carvings on the door to a small house on the side of the road that I ordinarily would have passed without a second thought had it not started pouring.

That day I did some of the coolest scuba diving of my life on the wreck of the USS Liberty, an old naval vessel that was sunk during WWII near Bali then washed up right offshore to a small town called Tulamben. The marine life and corals were really healthy and it was so cool to swim around the metal skeleton on the ship.

The beautiful waters off of Gili Trawangan, the westernmost of three islands NW of Lombok
Sunset on Gili Air, the island I stayed on. It was very cool because there were no cars or scooters making noise, so the only loud noises all day would be the roosters and the prayers blasted by loudspeaker from the mosque in the middle of the island.

Taking the horse taxi to get back to the harbour in time for my departure on the boat to Lombok.
One of the three waterfalls in the town of Senaru. It seemed to just flow directly from the plants as it had become overgrown.

Riding in the back of a truck on the way to the starting point of the trek up Mt. Rinjani (to the left)
Starting up through the grassy fields as the summit is draped in thick fog.
After ascending for a couple of hours, we left the fog behind and started to see progress
Inclines
The crater rim and summit finally became visible!
We started off the next morning at 2am to make it from our campsite on the crater rim to the summit in time for sunrise.
The climb was hard but it was an amazing feeling to make it to the top and watch the sun reveal the amazing volcanic scenery around you.
Two guys from the Netherlands that I trekked with admiring the sunrise
The massive shadow of the mountain in the morning light.
A plant clings to life amounts the ever changing volcanic scenery.
The random mishmash of igneous rocks that composed the seemingly solid walls would crumble at the touch.
The fields were even more beautiful from above
The crater as the active centre started steaming early in the morning, which the guide said hadn’t happened since the last eruption, so I was happy to get off of the mountain when I did.
On the way up it was dark, so you couldn’t fully appreciate the beauty of everything around you, but that made the descent a whole new experience.

Most of the ascent was through this rocky sand, which made the descent very slippery, and I would by lying if I said I didn’t have a few spills.

Monkeys hanging out on the rim. Luckily they didn’t give us too much trouble, but they can be very vicious creatures at times.
This woman from Latvia made it all the way up to the crater rim before having a foot infection worsen that rendered her unable to walk, and the porters had to carry her down the whole way. It was so impressive what these men were able to do, carrying loads like the one in the photo over one shoulder while cruising up the mountain in flip flops, while I was struggling through with just my day pack.

In the last hour or so of the descent, the skies completely opened up and the track turned into a rapidly flowing river. I was unable to capture the most torrential moments as I was more occupied with not slipping, but it was probably the biggest rainstorm I have ever been in with no shelter and it turned out to be quite fun. I just felt bad for the people that were just starting their walk up.

 

 

 

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