Showing posts from June, 2018

Maumere to Moni & Riung

Maumere/Moni After probably one of the worst breakfasts we have had in Indonesia, we then unexpectedly got a free lift to the airport from the hotel which I guess saved us a few rupiah as it wasn’t that far away. We had booked a flight to Maumere, which is a 2-hour flight over to the east of the island of Flores, and the plan was to work our way back west towards Labuhan Bajo and Komodo National Park, giving ourselves around 9-10 days to do so. We had nothing booked at all for this part of the adventure, apart from 1 night in the first town of Moni, which was sorted via email. There isn’t a lot of accommodation options online for the whole of the island, so we were going there to pretty much wing it and as we discovered, it doesn’t always go to plan! The flight provided us with spectacular views over various volcanos, the Gili Islands, the north coast of Sumbawa, Komodo NP and the 17 Islands of the north of Flores, before landing at Maumere. The plan here was to get a

Ubud & Sideman

It’s only an hour from Sanur to Ubud by car, so we got a taxi to take us up there the following day. Our hotel for the next few days was Nyoman Karsa Bungalows; It only has a handful of rooms set in a beautiful landscaped garden with swimming pool and it’s pretty much opposite monkey forest at the south end of the town.   This means you do get monkeys stealing objects left out on your balcony. The main town hub is set out on a rectangle with a steady flow of one-way traffic – this doesn’t apply to scooters obviously as they can go where they like! Ubud has quite a backpacker / hippy rep so I was surprised to see so many shops selling various beige and white clothes that would have been at home in any M&S/ John Lewis, amazing statement jewellery pieces, hipster funky light bulbs and arty sculptures. I guess these would have been on sale for a fraction of the cost of back home but as I wasn’t buying I didn’t check. The market at the north of town is a rabbit warren of stalls


We headed to Bali today, so we got up early again for breakfast and then booked a Grab taxi the short distance to the railway station, to get the train back to Surabaya. This train was busy for the whole 2-hour journey, and we got off at the station before Surabaya called Sidoarjo, as it looked closer and we hoped less traffic heading towards to airport. As it turned out, it was probably just as bad, and about 1 hour later we arrived. The Grab driver got a ticket on entering the airport drop off area (just passed a tank guarding the entrance), and then proceeded to tell me whilst pointing to the ticket that I would have to pay the 50k IDR for it, to drop us off at the terminal. Fortunately, I had already read about this scam, and on translating the writing on the ticket that he laid down on the passenger seat, I confirmed that the amount shown is the actual fine the driver would get if he lost the ticket, and the entry is free to drop off customers. So, after he dropped us of

Semarang & Probolinggo

After being woken at 6:15 by the morning call to prayer we waited for the Javanese style breakfast we’d been promised the day before. At 7am the tap on the door came and Paul went out to fetch a tray with 2 plain omelettes and a pile of toast with cheese and chocolate on it! The egg was quite nice but the toast was so stale/ toasted that it was now a closer relation to a Farley’s Rusk and cheese with chocolate sauce does not go. The coffee wasn’t much better and we quickly grabbed our things and left before they could poison us further.  We knew we had to get a bus from Wonosobo to Semarang but that was as far as we’d got with our plans, so next stop was the bus terminal. Upon arriving we wandered around looking lost until directed to a small booth. Here they asked where we were going, clarified that it would be a mini van that left at 9, and relieved us of 140k rph, then at 8:50 a guy rushes over to us and gestures that we needed to get in a big 6 seater car with 2 other In

So, where did that 6 months go?

Can't believe we have been away exactly 6 months already, seems to me as if it has flown in! 😯 I just wanted to post this interactive map that I have been using to plot our route so far, it has a point for every place we have had overnight stay or a flight transfer. It's only when I look back over it, then does the time feel slower and I realise it was a long time ago that we swam in the beaches of Goa! Here is a link to some of the stats -  Click here View Full Size Travel Map So what is the plan for the next couple of months and beyond? Well after our 8 weeks in Indonesia, we fly to Ho Chi Minh City and travel up Vietnam, then probably over into Laos and then into Cambodia. Then money permitting, we may go back into Thailand and do the northern part, although we did originally plan to be away a year, it's looking more likely it will be 10 months or so. x

Yogyakarta & Dieng Plateau

After an early morning rise and breakfast, we walked the short distance down the hill to the train station in Bandung for the 07:20 direct train to Yogyakarta. We got through the ticket check and boarded our train with plenty of time to spare, this time we were in what they call ‘Executive’ class, where the only real difference is the seats are slightly wider and can recline back a bit further. The trains here in Indonesia are clean and efficient, probably more so than back in the UK! The journey time was approx. 8 hours, and we were soon out in the countryside passing some spectacular scenery with the hills in the backdrop and rolling paddy fields everywhere. It’s interesting to look at, as we pass through small stations which seem in the middle of nowhere, yet are full of bustling life and the local kids wave as the train goes passed, it reminded me of Myanmar. We rolled into the main station on Yogyakarta pretty much bang on time, and as usual in Indonesia once we entered