03 Sep Halo to Indonesia
1) Surfing the waves on Kuta Beach – The waves were quite descent at Kuta Beach and there were many people surfing. We hadn’t really surfed before (except for a small session when i was in Aussie a few years back, but could barely stand up), so we got two local instructors to teach us for a couple of hours. I got the hang of it pretty quickly actually and started to ride quite a few of the waves. When you catch a wave, the feeling you get is just so awesome!! The waves gently pushing your surf board towards the beach, just soo much fun. Veron on the other hand struggled a little bit, but bear in mind he’s not a strong swimmer, so he was battling with being in a bit deeper water as well as trying to ride the surf board, but he did stand up a few times and got that buzzing feeling. I would definitely like to find some even bigger waves now and try and surf them.
2) Dodgy Haircut – It was time to get a haircut, so i found a hair dressers/massage place that cut hair. Let’s just say you get what you pay for. A 3gbp haircut.. asking for a simple 2 on the top and a 1 on the sides.. how can you get this wrong. It was definitely shorter than i requested but also a pure distinctive line between the top and the sides.. have they never heard of how to fade the two together.. absolutely shocking! Veron was sitting there pissing himself laughing. That baseball cap was sooo coming out for a few days.
3) Cheap 4* Hotel – The day of arrival to Bali, we checked on hotels.com and they had a special 80% off for this hotel.. it seemed to good to be true, but when we arrived we really was not disappointed. for like a tenner each we was staying in this luxury 4* Hotel with a 10 minute walk to Kuta beach, you really can’t go wrong with that. All about last minute deals if you can hold out to the very last day.. or shall i say on the actual day.
5) Releasing Turtles – As it was hatching season for turtles, every day they would let the public release like 200-300 new born turtles into the ocean. They make it fun by giving everyone a small open container that has one turtle inside and then draw a line and say ready… set… go and you release your turtle and watch it slowly make it’s way into the sea. They are slow, so it does take some time, but once a few make it, the others see the glimmer of hope and start to speed up.
Komodo Island (Another Natural Wonder of the World)
1) Small Ass Plane – We were tight for time, due to the extra days we spent in Seoul, so we decided the quickest way to get to Komodo island was by plane. We booked some tickets with Garuda Airlines. The plane turns up and the propellers are on the outside like an old school plane with the capacity of about 40 people. A little worried about the flight, but all in all the service was great for the short flight time of an hour and the pilot did the plane justice.
2) Private Boat – Arriving at around 9.a.m. near the pier, we hadn’t had anything booked and just was deciding what to do. We asked a few travel agents and as we wanted to see as much as possible in the 2 nights we had at Komodo Island, we opted to take a private boat which takes you to a few places around the national park and you spend the night on the boat. Now after setting off for sail, about 20 minutes in and i tried to talk to the captain. At first i thought it’s just his english is bad so he can’t say much and was doing hand actions and laughing away.. but then after a few more conversations i realised that he couldn’t actually speak properly, so it was a little difficult to communicate with our captain about whats happening and where we are headed, but he tried his best and he was actually a pretty cool guy.
3) Rinca Island – This was the first island on the first day we stopped off at to do a bit of trekking for an hour or so around the island trying to spot Komodo Dragons and monkeys. We were very lucky as it was around 2 p.m. and the guide said the Komodo’s are usually just hiding or asleep at this time. But we walked past this cabin area and there were 6 or 7 Komodo’s lying down. We get a little closer and suddenly they are start to stand up and move around. One of them headed straight towards us and we actually were pretty worried. It was unbelievable how fast these things move considering the size of them.. i mean it was like 20mph heading in our direction, so we took a few steps back and the Ranger got his little stick out and pointed it at the Komodo and then it turned away and sat down again. These Komodo’s look like something our of Jurassic Park. Now that was a bit frightening to tell you the truth, thank god for having a Ranger. We spotted a few monkeys running around the island as well which was pretty cool. There was also a Buffalo and some deer just casually doing their own thing.
4) Overnight on boat Sunset – We pulled up into this bay area at around 6 p.m. and the captain anchored the boat. This is where we was spending the night on the boat, thankfully calm waters as the area was surrounded by marshes and islands. The sun started to set, we cracked open a beer and watched the sunset over the mountainous islands around. This was just magical, silence all around, sitting on boat with calm waters, sipping on a Beer. Just so awesome, most definitely the best boat i have ever been on, and it’s not even the fact that the boat was all that nice, it was just such a cool place. After a few beers we headed down into the cellar of the boat and went to sleep on our beds.
5) Boat Food – The captain and the two teenagers on the boat prepared us breakfast lunch and dinner for the time we was on the boat. Surprisingly the food was absolutely delicious. The perfect amount of spice in the noodle curry, some vegetables which were coated in batter and the fish.. Wow!! sooo delicious, probably the best tasting fish I have had, i think it was just the spices and the way it had been BBQ’d.
The captain woke us up at 6 a.m. to see the sunrise from the boat and then fired up the engine so we could get to the Komodo National Park before other tourists arrived. We arrive at the island and wait for our Park Ranger. The ranger was about the same age as us and actually was from a village just around the corner from this Island. He had been wondering around 30 minutes before and he saw a group of Komodo’s and led us straight there. He actually said to us that the tourists yesterday didn’t get to see any Komodos Dragons, they were all hiding. BUT.. we just have luck on our side.. we didn’t just see a group of Komodo Dragons.. we turned the corner and we see them fighting and tearing into a god damn Deer.. UNBELIEVABLE.. we really couldn’t believe our eyes.. these two giant Komodo’s had each end of the Deer and was ripping it to pieces. What a sight. This was one of those times where you just felt soo lucky to be there at the right place at the right time. Our Park Ranger was a bit of a nutcase and he was taking us right up close to the Komodo’s to get some fantastic close up pictures. I’m not going to lie, he kept on telling us to take steps closer, but we was a bit adamant as these Giant Komodo’s were biting their way through the deer and at any moment could just turn and strike towards us. They do eat people, as a Swiss guy about 20 years back got lost on the tour and all they found was his camera and shoes. After watching these Komodo’s for about an hour eating away, we headed for a short trek. Along the way we saw another Komodo Dragon just lying there. Once a few tourist had passed, our Ranger said to us go closer and pick up the tail.. we was like are you serious?? he said yes, we’re not supposed to touch them, but i have my stick so go ahead and pick up the tail. one by one me and Veron crept close to the huge Komodo and picked up the tail and got a quick photo. I was pretty scared to tell you the truth, because as mentioned before this thing could just turn around and snap away at me. Afterwards our Park Ranger said to us he did this before on a 1 year old Komodo, and the thing turned around and bit him on the leg and his leg was in pain for a few weeks after. If we had known that before, i don’t think we would of got anywhere close to the Dragons.
7) Pink Beach – the next stop was a place called Pink Beach. We was very curious as to why it’s called pink beach as no way could a beach be Pink. As out Captain couldn’t really explain to us the reason, the teenagers with their little English said its because the corals surrounding the beach are pink and they mix with the sand to make it pink. We swam through the clear water for 5 minutes after jumping off the boat to arrive at this beach. Sitting on the sand and seeing the sun glimmer off of the tide, you can actually now see that the beach is lightly coloured pink. I dug my hand into the sand and rub the sand between my fingers to take a closer look at the composition of the sand. And Yes.. the teenager was right.. the sand is mixed with pink coral thats shredded down and that is what makes the beach lightly coloured in Pink. As this beach was soo unusual, there was no one else on it apart from three of us and the sun was glowing across the crystal clear waters, hands down I will say this is the best beach I have ever been to in my entire life, and i’ve been to allot.
8) Crystal Clear Snorkeling – Around the surrounding areas, we stopped off for a spot of snorkeling. The water was just ridiculously clear, I have never seen visibility this good underwater before, even through the various scuba diving i have done, this was most definitely the best place to snorkel. With shallow corals and an abundance of sea life, this is a must place for people who love seeing things underwater. There were hundreds of pinky/orange starfish at the bottom of the ocean and we found Nemo down there too.
9) Budget Bungalow – For our second night in the Komodo Islands area after returning from our overnight boat stay, we found a budget bungalow on the hills that had a great view of the beach. When i say budget, it seemed like it was made of bamboo sticks and we had to sleep inside mosquito nets to prevent ourselves from being bitten The shower was a shocker with a bucket to flush down the toilet, but hay that’s what you get on Budget.