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Catching Up in Indonesia

LONG AND BOREING BLOG ALERT!

I can't believe my last entry was the 6 October and it's now 13 November! Times just run away, but a couple of you have asked what's happened to my blogs, so here's another one:

As you will have seen from my photos and facebook check-ins I've been to a few places and met some nice people over the last couple of weeks. I'm not going to try and catch up on everything here, or you'll be reading a book - so just an overview to get myself back on the blog track:

Khlon Klen - Thailand: I adored this little student town, which remains undiscovered by tourists and wish I had allocated more time to spend there.

Bangkok - Thailand: Second time there and I didn't like it any more this time than last time. Didn't help that it was raining the whole time I was there mind.

Krabi - Thailand: Nice little town with a lovely beach and lots of restaurants along the front. Good place to catch boats to the Islands. Shame about the haze from the fires in Malaysia

Railey and Tonsai - Thai Islands: Amazing place! stayed in Tonsai which is only accessible by walking/climbing over rocks or if the sea is out far enough paddling around the point. All this with our backpacks! To this day, I'm still not sure how Hayley made it there in one piece, nor how Danny made it look so easy! Enjoyed nights out on both parts of the island. I think Tonsai was my favourite. I loved that there were so few tourists and just a handful of reggee bars. Also enjoyed our nighttime boat transfer from Tonsai to Railey courtesy of The Band. I'm quite adept at wading and climbing into and out of boats now - never know when you will need such a skill again!

Phi Phi - Thai Island: Not sure we did this island justice but first impressions weren't positive. It appeared to be set up for party goers and a bit contrived for me. Highlight was seeing Richelle and would have been nice to spend longer with her.

Patong - Thailand: Stayed here, thinking it was in Phuket, it isn't! Had a nice couple of days although night is very rowdy and focused on sex industry. Eye opening!

Phuket - Thailand: Went there with Hayley for the Vegetarian Festival and to see Wayne and Leila again. We didn't have long with Wayne as he had a flight back to South Africa :( Somehow, we managed to miss the festival parade, so on the advice of lots, we caught a bus and set off to 'catch it up'. Hour and a half later, we realised we had no chance and we were lost in an amazing little beachfront resort so spent the rest of the day there instead :). Back in time for dinner with Leila and then Danny turns up from Tonsai with the very lovely Kat. Fun times :). I fly to Kuala Lumpa where I'm meeting Kate, Perro and Feli (yes!!) but..... Have to say final goodbyes to Hayley and to Danny who's making his way back to America after almost six weeks of adventures - without a doubt the worst bit of travelling

Kuala Lumpar - Malaysia: So, So happy to see Kate again :). Did all the touristy things including the Batu Caves but spent most of my time hanging out with friends (Kate, Feli, Perro, Sam, Alyson and of course Hayley, who decided to come to Kuala Lumpa after all). One of my funniest moments, is seeing Perros face, posing for photo after photo in Jonny Rockets, priceless! I also can't not mention, I bought new (expensive, for me!) trainers - purple ones!!! I so nearly went for black but am delighted I didn't. Kate will have to be my new partner in crime in all future shopping trips lol! Oh, and the amazing, delicious food we had in the Vietnamese restaurant that Sam and Alyson took me and Hayley to on our last night.

Melarka - Malaysia: First Kate and I went here on a day trip from Kuala Lumpa and loved it. Yes, you can see the highlights in a day but I felt I wanted to see a bit more. Once Kate left Kuala Lumpa me and Hayley went and stayed on Malarka for a couple of days and really liked it. Chilled out days and reggee nights, bit of a theme developing.

Kuching, Borneo - Malaysia: Very pretty, small town centred round a lake. Got to see the orangutangs which are amazing! We couldn't go too close as they are wild animals but close enough to see their human like features and behaviours and to get some great photos. We also visited a tribal village and stayed overnight in a longhouse. OMG.... I don't think words can capture this experience. Firstly the tribes manner is not friendly, even if they are your hosts. No smiles in response to our hellos, at this stage we weren't even sure if they can smile. All very intimidating, especially as we know the tribes are known for head hunting and displaying skulls - last ones being in the 70's. Somehow being there I can believe it.

Anyway it turns out they not only can smile, but can also laugh hysterically. They put on a tribal dance for us. As me and Hayley were the only guests, we felt a little awkward about the efforts on our behalf. Little did we know, it wasn't entirely for our benefit. After watching the dancing for around 40 minutes along with about 70 other people we realised we were to take a turn. Anyone knowing me, will know I am the least coordinated person ever. That was until I met Hayley! So the two of us doing a tribal dance resulted in mass hysteria from the crowd. We ended up doing about four dances, or attempts to do tribal dances and had to be clear about not doing any more, as I'm sure they would have had us continuing all night.

Semenyak - Bali: Lovely balance of town and beach. Found an amazing vegetarian restaurant and had many more lazy beach chilled days and nights. Hostel had bed bugs! Yuck!

Ubud - Bali: Nice little crafty feeling town. First time on my own for many weeks. Miss everyone, but really nice to spend some time alone, although didn't quite manage all day and night on my own as every evening whilst out for dinner, I met people who were also travelling solo so we ate together. Had a great last day doing a bike ride from the volcano down through the beautiful Bali countryside. I can't put into words how beautiful it is.

Gili Air - Indonesia: One of the three little islands making up the Gili Isles. Still on my own and enjoying the tranquility. I keep on extending my stay here, almost on a daily basis it's so nice. Originally I had planned on visiting Gili Air, Gili Trawangan and Lombak. I've now decided against Lombak, mainly because the volcano is active so many of the usual sights are closed. I'm aiming for Gili Trawangan in Sunday now - we will see. The main reason for me going there is to see Hayley and Catherine and to meet Olivia. I also probably need to rejoin the land of the living at some stage. Either way my time here is running out, as I fly back to Borneo next Thursday.

I promise I won't leave it so long until I next write and that it will be less bland than this update!

Posted by ClareRoach 21:18 Archived in Indonesia

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