Posts Tagged ‘snorkeling’

Return to Roatan, Honduras

Posted in Honduras on August 20th, 2011 by Vagablonding – 4 Comments

I’m back in Roatan, the largest of the 3 Bay Islands off the north coast of Honduras. I was here with my mom and sister at the end of last March / beginning of April earlier in the year, and now I’m here with Ryan for 2 weeks. We’re staying at Las Rocas, which is on the northwestern end of West Bay Beach, not far from Foster’s, the place I stayed during my last visit. Our ‘Value Bungalow’ room at Las Rocas has a queen bed and a single bed, a mini fridge, wireless internet (for a flat fee of $35 per stay), and a bathroom. The bathroom sucks: the hot water in the shower smells really strongly of sulfur, like overpoweringly strong, and the toilet is constantly running. On the plus side, we have our own porch with a hammock and breakfast is included. Breakfast consists of unlimited coffee and a buffet of cereal, yogurt, pastries, and fresh fruit, plus a hot plate that changes daily (so far we’ve seen scrambled eggs with sausage, ham omelets, baleadas, pancakes with bacon, and the tipico plate – fried plantains + beans + white cheese).

The food at the Las Rocas restaurant is pretty tasty, and they have some good deals, like $7 margarita pizza, $7 fish quesodillas, an $8 chicken sandwich with fries, and a six pack of Salva Vida, the local beer, for $8 during happy hour.

Besides spending a lot of time lounging around Las Rocas and reading in the hammock while Ryan works, I’ve been sunbathing and swimming daily.

West Bay, Roatan, Honduras

West Bay, Roatan, Honduras

We also went snorkeling one afternoon. I’m hoping to get diving certified while I’m here, if possible.

Snorkeling off West Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras

Snorkeling off West Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras

Snorkeling off West Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras

Snorkeling off West Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras

Snorkeling off West Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras

It’s been very hot here. Internet weather sites say there’s a heat index of 105, but I don’t think it’s quite that hot. The evenings have been stormy, with thunder and lightning.

Lightning - West Bay, Roatan, Honduras

We haven’t seen any super great sunsets yet (I think the sunsets on Gili Air spoiled us), but we got some cool pictures anyway.

Me on Foster's Dock - West Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras

Foster's Dock - West Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras

We made friends with a derpy momma cat, and have been feeding her daily. She’s very sweet and has the cutest tiny kittens.

Cat at Las Rocas - West Bay, Roatan, Honduras

There have been some reports of crime while we’ve been here. The other night 3 girls were robbed while walking between West Bay Beach and West End. The next day, a bartender/chef in West End was shot, but we don’t know how that played out.

Oh, also I got baptized. Yep, you read that right. I saw some other people getting baptized in the ocean in front of Foster’s and figured I may as well. Why the hell not, right?

Getting baptized in the ocean - West Bay, Roatan, Honduras

Getting baptized in the ocean - West Bay, Roatan, Honduras



Snorkeling and swimming in Roatan

Posted in Honduras on March 31st, 2011 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

We left San Francisco at 1:30am on Tuesday, March 29th, and touched our toes to West Bay beach around noon the same day. The journey, hazy in memory, consisted of 3 flights and 2 very brief layovers in San Salvador, El Salvador, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras. There was also airplane food french toast somewhere in there.

Upon checking in at Foster’s we found that we had been upgraded to a 2 bedroom, 3 bed unit with lots of stairs (we were upgraded because the gentleman who booked this room couldn’t do stairs and needed our single level cabana.)

Our room is on the second floor, has lovely views of the ocean from both the master bedroom and the upstairs loft bedroom, plus a full kitchen which is currently housing only my beer and protein bars, but may get some use if we happen upon a grocery store. The beds are comfy, there are lots of fans and 2 air-conditioners, the shower is hot and strong, and there are cute bats that live outside under the overhang of the roof. The very best part is, of course, the hammock on our deck. I’ve already logged a couple hours reading in it.

We had lunch at Foster’s when we arrived, I had a quesadilla for $6 and a lime margarita for $5. After lunch Elena and I spent an hour or 2 swimming down the beach quite a ways and walking back. The beach was really crowded with cruise shippers, who usually swarm the place from noon until 3 or 4 pm. When they’re gone it’s really quite peaceful.

When the crowds left we sunbathed for a bit then had 2 for 1 drinks at Foster’s before turning in early.

West Bay Sunset Roatan

On Wednesday, March 30th, I woke up at 7 and took some pictures before having breakfast at Foster’s. I split a veggie omelet with mom for $6, and had coffee with refills for $1. The omelet was really good, full of spicy veggies and cheese, and came with potatoes and toast.

Fosters West Bay Roatan

Fosters Dock West Bay Roatan

There are cute stray kittens here, we fed this one some of Elena’s breakfast.

Stray Cat West Bay Roatan

Mom and Elena rented snorkel gear from Anemona Divers for $10 each. Anemona Divers is affiliated with Foster’s and they offer a 10% discount to Foster’s guests. We snorkeled for a long while at the southwest end of the beach. We got in the ocean in front of Infinity Bay Resort, but the best snorkeling was by the rocks beyond the southwest tip of the beach. I saw a lot of beautiful coral formations and some interesting fish that were new to me, but all in all the snorkeling was better on Gili Air.

Snorkeling West Bay Roatan

This fish was as big as my torso!

Snorkeling West Bay Roatan

Snorkeling West Bay Roatan

Snorkeling West Bay Roatan

Snorkeling West Bay Roatan

At one point I was swarmed by a school of fish for 3 minutes, very cool!

Snorkeling West Bay Roatan

Snorkeling West Bay Roatan

Snorkeling West Bay Roatan

Snorkeling West Bay Roatan

After snorkeling I lunched on a protein bar and a lime strawberry margarita ($5) at Foster’s, then relaxed in the hammock and read while mom and Elena napped. The backs of my legs started to feel irritated and when I looked at them I discovered a sunburn 🙁

Back on the beach I bought 3 imperial beers for $5 from a man with a cooler who called me pumpkin. His deal was 2 for $5, but I promised to be a repeat customer if he gave me 3 for $5 and he did.  The people here are all very sweet and friendly.

Back to the hammock with my beer and book while mom and Elena snorkeled again. I wanted to go with them but no can do with a sunburn :/

When they returned from their second snorkel trip we went to Las Rocas Resort’s restaurant for dinner where they give you one free teeny tiny cheese pizza slice from 4-5 everyday, plus 2 for 1 cocktails! 2 cocktails and a tiny piece of pizza is plenty of dinner for me, so it was a good deal.

West Bay Sunset Roatan

Tomorrow we’re going to check out the town of West End, and on Friday Elena and I are going scuba diving!

Sihanoukville Island Trip

Posted in Cambodia on February 27th, 2010 by Vagablonding – 2 Comments

We had an all day island boat trip on Thursday, February 25th. At 8:30am we boarded a little boat and cruised for 1 hour to Koh Preaus. There we snorkeled a bit, but it wasn’t very good. There wasn’t much to see plus the mask provided was very scratched up, and I kept getting stung by jellyfish so I gave up after about 20 minutes.

Gulf of Thailand - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Next we boated for 30 minutes to Koh Ta Kiev. This island is blessed with a beautiful deserted white sand beach and a waveless ocean like a bathtub that is still waist deep even 60 feet out.  We spent about 2.5 hours here swimming and sunbathing.

Beach - Koh Ta Kiev, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Boat - Koh Ta Kiev, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Beach - Koh Ta Kiev, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Lunch was included on the island. There was  grilled tofu for me, grilled fish for everyone else, rice, salad, baguettes, and coke in a bottle, yummy!

Coke - Koh Ta Kiev, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The boat ride home took about 1 hour 20 minutes. From the boat we got a good view of some other islands and of Otres beach. It’s a very long deserted white sand beach. I would definitely check it out if I had more time here.

Cambodia Island

Mom and I had sunset drinks on Ochheuteal Beach (aka Guilt Beach). The cheap $1.50 cocktails and $0.50 beers are sort of the only reason to go to this beach, besides that it’s the closest to most hotels.

Sunset - Ochheuteal Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sunset - Ochheuteal Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sunset - Ochheuteal Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Tomorrow we are heading back to Phnom Penh and having our final dinner with our Intrepid group. Mom is going home in a couple days and I’ll be staying in SE Asia until March 15th.

Sunrise, sunset, the days melt away on Gili Air

Posted in Indonesia on July 5th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

Friday, June 26th, 2009

We went snorkeling again in the morning but since the waves have picked up again the visibility wasn’t that great and the current is getting stronger. It was still fun though!

For lunch we went to (you guessed it,) Munchies again where I got Urap-urap with tofu. I am really going to miss this tasty food.

urap urap tofu

We did some more reading and bumming around for the rest of the day before watching another beautiful sunset and hitting up Munchies for dinner.

gili air sunset

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

We skipped snorkeling today because the visibility was so bad yesterday. After watching sunrise and bumming around we spent most of the afternoon shooting the shit with our buddy Rouling at Munchies. He’s a 19 year old surfer kid, born on Lombok and now living on Gili Air trying to make enough money to get by. Like most people here he works from 8am till closing at around 10pm and only gets 2 days off a month. He’s a good kid, just living life and hoping he someday finds true love.

gili air bathroom

In the evening I bought a fresh mango for 10,000 to eat for lunch tomorrow, then we watched the sunset and went to Munchies for dinner. Wash, rinse, repeat… this is the life!

gili air sunset

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

After breakfast I bought a pack of peanuts from Ozzy’s store for 5,000 and inside was a 1,000 bill taped inside one of the peanut shells! Later I learned that it was part of a marketing contest, apparently I was the lucky winner of approximately 10 cents!

gili air beach

gili air beach

We spent the afternoon chilling at Munchies again. There is a momma cat and her 3 kittens that live there so we played with them and talked with Rouling for a while. In the middle of the day it was super hot so Ryan and I had an impromptu water fight to cool off to the delight of the Munchies crew who thought it was a riot. I borrowed Rouling’s bike to go buy our Perama boat tickets back to Ubud which cost us 335,000 each after the 15,000 discount we got for being repeat customers. We’re leaving on June 30th, but we really don’t want to…. On the way back from buying the tickets I rode through some of the village on the interior of the island. I wish I had more time to explore this place!

gili air road

gili air sign

At night we went back to our favorite place for dinner and beers with Rouling.

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Today is my unofficial birthday because we are traveling all day tomorrow, June 30th, which is my real birthday. We had breakfast brought to our room where we ate and watched the sunrise before heading into the ocean for some snorkeling. The visibility was much better today but the current is getting super strong! It’s fun to just get in in front of our hotel and be able to float along the the sea wall in the current.

We went to Munchies for lunch where I got iced coffee for 6,000, large Bintangs for 25,000 and a mixed lassy for 10,000. We chilled there for a while and took pictures with the Munchies crew.

gili air munchies crew

Later we watched the sunset and then I got a half hour massage by the beach for 50,000, it was lovely. We also gave one of our flashlights to the lady we bought necklaces from a few days ago as a gift. We gave her the manual recharging one so she won’t have to buy batteries. It’s interesting the things people have asked us for here; so far people want our flashlights, extra clothes, and Ryan’s sunglasses.

We headed to Munchies again for our last dinner and beers on this amazing island. I got my all time favorite Indonesian dish, Gado-gado for 13,000, and of course, Bintangs. We stayed until they closed and then asked Rouling to walk back to our hotel with us. We talked along the way and then gave him some money as a gift. It was a small amount for us but we really hope it will be a help to him. We promised him that when we come back we will all climb Mount Rinjani on Lombok together because it’s something we really wanted to do but didn’t have time for, and it is a dream of his to make the trek. Rinjani is considered a sacred mountain to Lombok’s people and making the 3 day trek to the summit is important to them.

We’re not ready to leave this beautiful island, but we are nearing the end of the trip and we must get back to Bali to fly home.

Goodbye Gili Air, you are by far the coolest place I have ever been, now back to Ubud, Bali!

Gili Air aka Paradise

Posted in Indonesia on June 26th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 4 Comments

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Our complimentary breakfast at Kaluku Bungalows consists of fruit salad, toast and coffee. Not as much as we have been accustomed to eating but I for one have been packing on the pounds so a dietary change is in order anyway.

We walked around island, started heading north. We found a sweeto deserted beach in the southwest that we chilled on in the shade for a while enjoying the beautiful view. The other island in the pictures is Gili Meno, and the mountain in the background is on Bali.

me gili meno from gili air

gili meno from gili air

One the way back we went to Munchies for lunch. I got Urap-urap (a Sasak dish containing boiled veggies with grated coconut and spices with rice) for 15,000 which was AMAZING! This and Gado-gado are my favorite Indonesian foods so far. I need an Indonesian cookbook so I can make this stuff when I get home.

urap urap

Later we hung out in the pool at Blue Marlin Dive shop next door to Kaluku and read all day. We ate dinner at Munchies again, I got really yummy iced coffee for 6,000.

Ryan used the internet at Ozzy’s where you can use their moderate-speed connection for 400 a minute.

At 9:30pm I went to a “big” party at the Blue Bar on the south end of the island where I met a few travelers and lots of locals, most born and raised on Gili Air, but a few from Flores, Sulawesi, and other Indonesian islands. We hung out, drank a few Bintangs, listened to the DJ spin some rave-y music, and I spun fire poi with the locals! Afterwards I headed home and slept in a hammock outside under the stars, it was lovely.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

I woke up to the Muslim call to prayer at 5am. I think it’s a pleasing sound to wake up to. Went back to sleep for an hour and then got up to watch a beautiful sunrise with Ryan.

We packed a daypack and headed to the southwestern beach we discovered yesterday, stopping to trade books and have a lassy and iced coffee at Munchies on the way.

On our trek to the beach we took pictures of these super sketch huge spiders that are all over the trees and bushes. Important warning: don’t wander off the main roads and go tromping through the bushes on these islands, you WILL face plant right into these palm-sized fuckers, they are everywhere. Ugh, gives me the creepy crawlies!

gili air spider

We spent the day lounging on the beach, soaking up the sun and reading. We found a huge pile of seashells and when they started moving we realized most were inhabited by hermit crabs. There were lots of fisherman out, some with nets and some with poles. I dig how this guy has a pack of smokes strapped to his hat.

gili air fisherman

When the tide got really low we waded into the water. Gili Air looks beautiful from a few hundred feet out in the ocean!

ariel gili air

Ryan also had an excellent photoshoot with this crab.

gili air crab

On the way home we stopped at a restaurant on the south tip of the island where they had baby sea turtles that were sooooooo cute!

baby sea turtles

We grabbed lunch at Munchies (now our go-to place because of the cheap lassies we are addicted to) where I got Tempe in a thick spicy tomato based sauce with rice that was fantastic! This was also a Sasak dish.

spicy tempe sasak

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I woke up to a bright pink room and looked outside to see one of the most vibrant sunrises I’ve ever seen. We went out to watch and then I walked along the beach and gathered seashells.

gili air sunrise

gili air sunrise

In the late morning we snorkeled along the southeastern part of the beach. The current was incredibly strong, it just sweeps you along so the best way to do it is get in on the northeast beach and drift down to the southeast beach.

In the evening we watched sunset over the water from northwest side of island.

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Got up early to watch sunrise again. It’s so beautiful every morning and it’s a great way to start the day.

gili air sunrise

At around 10:00am we snorkled getting in in front of the Abdi Fantastik bungalows a few steps south of Kaluku. We floated down to around Manta Dive, then got out and walked along the beach back to where we started, stopping to play on the swings along the way.

gili air beach swing

We did this twice, and we saw turtles! The visibility and reef are much better in the morning. The only downside is the ruthless jellyfish. We’re both covered in little welts from their stings.

Ate lunch at the Green Cafe where I got a vegetable and fruit kebab with a carrot and cabbage salad for 30,000. The kebab was delish but there are tastier things for the price. Green Cafe is right next to Munchies so Ryan ordered a lassy and they brought it over to him.

We watched another beautiful sunset on the northwest side of the island before heading to dinner.

gili air sunset

gili air sunset

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

After breakfast we snorkeled again, getting in in front of our place and floating with the current down to Munchies. We saw turtles again and a giant spotted eel!

Ate lunch at Munchies where I got Pelecing (water spinach with coconut and a spicy tomato sauce) which I had tempe added to, costing me 18,000 all total. It wasn’t bad, but not my favorite.


Later we tromped on some central trails to get the the southwest side of the island where we watched the sunset over Gili Meno.

After sunset we bought necklaces from a primary school teacher named Mustafa. He teaches ages 6-12.

At 10:30pm we went to the once-yearly Dark Moon Party at Legends Reggae Bar on the north tip of the island. There were mostly locals there and it was very rave-y. We drank Bintangs, talked with our buddy Rouling from the Munchies crew, and I spun fire again. There are lots more tourists here now, and, surprisingly, Americans. The island is getting noticeably busier and it gets into peak season.

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

We woke up late and went snorkeling a little later than we planned. We got in the water in front of Kaluku at 11:30am and floated south for an hour. The visibility wasn’t as great as previous days because the waves had been kicking up the sand all morning.

We had lunch at Munchies before walking back. We chilled at Kaluku for a while and then went on a new book hunt. We ended up buying one book from Kira Kira Cottages for 15,000, trading our Stephen King book for a 2008 copy of Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a Shoestring (such a steal! this book is $26 at home) and trading 2 of our other books for Obedience by Will Lavender. I’m currently reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, the 4th book I have read on this trip (the other three were Stephen King’s The Dead Zone which I liked, How to be Good by Nick Hornby which was a quick and light read, and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown which was not good at all.)

gili air fish seller

gili air street

We watched sunset on the northwest side of the beach again, then headed to dinner at Munchies where I got a traditional Sasak fish dish called Ikan Parapek for 30,000. I thought it was pretty good, untill I found out that “fresh fish” means “caught sometime in the last month, maybe.” In fact the local joke is to say “Fresh fish, caught tomorrow!”

ikan parapek

I have gone mostly vegan here (had to give up lassies!) since dairy is hard to come by and I was already vegetarian anyway. So far I don’t really miss it and I feel great.

Yum, Lassy! To Gili Air by Perama boat

Posted in Indonesia on June 21st, 2009 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

The only noteworthy thing about today was our discovery of the lassy, a ridiculously delicious drink made by thoroughly blending fresh fruit, plain yogurt, and ice to a creamy smooth texture. It’s like a cross between a milkshake and a smoothie. We’re SO making these all the time when we get home.

mixed fruit lassy

Oh also we goofed off with my underwater camera in the pool.

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

After breakfast we scrambled to get ready to leave for the Gili islands. I bought a sarong for the beach for 25,000, we changed some US dollars for Rupiah because there are no ATMs on Gili Air, and we bought snacks and tickets for the Perama boat ride to the islands.

bali atm

padang bai beach

Goodbye Padang Bai, you were a pleasant place to be sick in, now on to Gili Air!

Gili Air is the middle of the three Gili islands when it comes to land area and busyness. It has the largest local population, it’s the closest to Lombok, and it’s not too busy, not too quiet. Gili Trawangan is the largest, most developed, and most expensive island, and is generally just one huge drunken party day and night. Gili Meno is the smallest, quietest, and least populated island. It lies between Air and Trawangan and has a salt water lake.

The Perama boat ride to Gili Air lasted about 4.5 hours, cost 300,000 each, included dinner onboard, and made everyone pretty seasick. It was very cool seeing Bali, Lombok, and the sunset from the boat so we alternated lying down with taking pretty pictures.

perama boat to gili

sunset from perama boat

We arrived on Gili Air after dark and got a ride on a cidomo (horse drawn cart) to get to the Coconut Cottages. The ride cost 20,000. There are no motor vehicles allowed on the Gili islands so the only way to get around is by foot, bike, or cidomo. It’s not much to walk though; you can get around the perimeter of Gili Air by foot in about an hour.

We stayed at the Coconut Cottages for one night in a fan room for 250,000. After we got settled in our room we went out and got pineapple juice at Lombok Indah for 6,000 before going to bed.

Friday, June 19th, 2009

For breakfast at Coconut Cottages I ate toast with pineapple jam, fruit salad, and Lombok coffee in the company of a super cute cat.

gili air cat

We walked around and looked at a bunch of different places to stay, most are along the East side of the island. We decided on the Kaluku Bungalows next to Blue Marlin Dive Shop which we got for 300,000 a night (down from 350,000) for an air conditioned room with a tv, minifridge, lovely open air bathroom with hot [salt] water shower, and a pool. The pool is a huge plus because this place is HOT.

gili air kaluku bungalows

We tried to go snorkeling but the visibility was terrible and the current was strong so we gave up and sunbathed on the beach instead. We’re told that the ocean has been rough lately and that it should settle down in the next few days and when it does we plan on doing a day long snorkel trip around the three Gilis.

ariel gili air beach

The power went out on the whole island sometime mid-morning and stayed out almost until sunset. For dinner we went to a place called Munchies where Ryan got some tasty chicken curry and we both got mixed fruit lassies.

gili air road

gili air beach

Passing time in Padang Bai and a trip to the BIMC

Posted in Indonesia on June 16th, 2009 by Vagablonding – Be the first to comment

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

We went straight to the Hotel Puri Rai in Padang Bai. We stayed in a nice air conditioned room with a large bed, but our hot water didn’t work. They have 3 swimming pools and a decent breakfast included. It cost us 400,000 for the night.

In the afternoon we wandered around the 2 road town in search of some food. When we found a place I got my usual Gado-Gado and we were entertained by the 3-4 year old daughter of the workers with songs and drawings, and not a bit of English though she enjoyed hearing Ryan say the word “monkey”.

ariel and a little balinese girl

After lunch we hung out near the beach and then walked to Blue Lagoon, a popular snorkel spot 10 minutes from town.

For dinner we went to the Kerti hotel restaurant where I had a fruit salad with yogurt and honey for 15,000, and Ryan got a pizza for 40,000.

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

After breakfast at Hotel Puri Rai we went snorkeling for an hour at Blue Lagoon where the visibility was great and the reef wasn’t bad, but the current was very strong, and we saw a sting ray!

We rushed back and checked out of our hotel at 11:00am so we could move down the road to an equally nice but much cheaper place called the Padang Bai Beach Bungalows where we paid 220,000 a night for an air conditioned room with a super comfy big bed and use of the brand new infinity pool.

We walked around town in search of lunch and a convenience store. We ate at the Kadek Cafe where I got Gado-Gado again for 15,000 and a chocolate milkshake for 15,000. We found a convenience store and I jumped up and down with excitement when I saw that they had my new favorite thing, COFFEE SODA!!! We shared a coffee soda and Ryan got an ice cream to sooth his swollen tonsils. His tonsilis aren’t getting better or worse, and since he’s been taking antibiotics for a few days now we are a bit worried and aren’t sure what to do next. Stay on Bali where the hospitals are in case it gets worse, or throw caution to the wind and head to the Gilis? Hopefully time will help us decide.

We spent the rest of the sunlight hours hanging out in the super sweet infinity pool. For dinner we went back to the Kadek Cafe where I got corn flakes with plain yogurt for 15,000 and a coffee for 5,000. Afterwards we went to the Topi Inn and used their wifi for a few hours to research what else we can do about Ryan’s tonsils. They charge 200 per minute for use of their wifi. We hear they have great food but it’s pretty spendy so we haven’t eaten there yet.

Monday, June 15th, 2009

I’ve come down with a cold so today was spent sleeping in, lazing about in the pool, reading, visiting the convenience store 3 times for coffee soda and ice cream, and going to bed early. Tomorrow we are going to the Australian-run Bali International Medical Clinic (BIMC) near Kuta to see what can be done about Ryan’s tonsils.

padang bai

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

We got a ride to Kuta to go to BIMC. Our driver was a local guy who charged us 300,000 for the ride, waited outside the hospital for us for the hour and a half we were there, and took us to the supermarket afterwards so we could buy peanut butter and jelly. People here are so nice!

At the clinic the doctors took Ryan’s vitals and asked him questions that were obviously designed to find out if he had swine flu or not. Then they got to asking about his tonsils and decided to prescribe him a 3 day course of a different kind of antibiotics, throat lozenges, multivitamins, and ibuprofen. The doctor wouldn’t give him an antibiotic injection because he doesn’t have a fever, but we tried our hardest to convince her. Oh well, hopefully these new antibiotics will fix him all up.

We’re planning to move on to the Gili Islands either tomorrow or the next day, depending on how the antibiotics work.

Three days in peaceful Amed and Sanur is a Sewer

Posted in Indonesia on June 12th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 7 Comments

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

We left Ubud for Amed at around 11:45am with our driver from the Jalan-Jalan tour company. The drive was through some lovely scenery on some not-so-lovely windy roads so we both got a little carsick. We went through the rice fields and small town of Sideman, then up to Amed on a road between Mt. Agung and Mt. Seraya. The drive took about 2 hours and cost us 250,000.

We found a hotel quickly, mostly because the first place we went was so nice and also I had to pee really bad. We stayed at Kembali Beach Bungalows in a one room bungalow with a big comfy bed, a nice open-air bathroom with a western toilet and hot water shower, and a deck with chairs, right on the black sand beach, all for 365,000 a night.

Kembali Beach Bungalows

In the afternoon I went for a solo walk down the East end of the beach to the bay of Jemeluk. On the way down and back I was met with hordes of local kids trying to sell me hand made baskets of salt and little wooden boats. At one point I had a group of 8 of them walking down the beach with me trying to sell me stuff while I distracted them with questions about what they were learning in school and how old they were. They’re very sweet kids but they are incredibly poor so I didn’t mind them hounding me for money, though I didn’t end up buying anything.

Amed, Jemeluk bay

For dinner we ate at the Three Brothers’ Restaurant and I had some delicious vegetable curry for 18,000. Ryan had the Nasi Goreng Special for 17,000 and we split a large Bintang for 23,000. We talked with a drunk aussie guy who was there on holiday with his mate and their Balinese dates.


Thursday, June 11th, 2009

We got up early to watch the gorgeous bright orange and pink sunrise, then we went to the complimentary breakfast at our hotel Kembali where we both had toast, scrambled egg, fruit, and of course, a pot of Bali coffee.

After breakfast we went for a walk around the one street very small town which consists of little hotels, restaurants, dive shops, and one small convenience store, where we bought Coffee Soda, a delicious concoction that I wish we had at home!

coffee soda

We arranged for a driver to take us to the Japanese shipwreck that was 20 minutes away for 150,000. Our driver was a nice young looking guy who has one kid and said this is his first job. The snorkeling was fun but the visibility was so-so to start with and just got worse the longer we were there. It was the first time I had snorkeled around a shipwreck and swimming down to touch the ship was a cool experience. I let Ryan use my fins so I was extra tired by the time we were done.

We went to lunch at Three Brothers’ again and this time I had Gado-Gado which was also very tasty, though it took them about an hour and a half to bring us our food. That’s a pretty good example of how time goes on Bali: no one is in a hurry and you shouldn’t be either, so plan your stay loosely.

In the evening we talked with three local boys for an hour or so who were walking the beach selling stuff. We talked about what they were learning in school and looked over some of the English lessons they had written in their little torn up notebooks. They asked us questions about America and Barak Obama (he lived in Indonesia for a while, you know) and about the airplane ride that we took to get to Bali. We didn’t want to buy anything from them but they said they were hungry so I made them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and brought them water.

Ryan’s throat and tonsils look like they are getting infected again like they did at home a few months ago, so he started on a course of antibiotics today. Because of this we decided to go to Sanur instead of Padang Bai (we were planning on heading to the Gili Islands off of Lombok via boat from Padang Bai). Sanur is a larger beach resort town with a pharmacy and doctor on call, and it’s right next to the big city of Denpasar and the airport, so we figured it would be smart to hang there for a few days and see if his throat gets better before heading off to the middle of nowhere on the Gili Islands where we would be a day’s boat ride and a long drive away from medical help.

Friday, June 12th, 2009

We got up early so we could go snorkeling in Jemeluk bay which is just a short walk along the coast from our hotel. The visibility was much better and we had fun chasing fish with my canon camera with the underwater housing for a couple hours.  I got stung by a jellyfish but we were having so much fun we just kept going.

Goodbye Amed, you were a peaceful break from the pace of the city. On to Sanur!

We hit the road at 11:30am on our way to Sanur. The drive was pretty and the drivers we shared the road with were crazy! Giant tour busses passing each other on these narrow windy roads while motorbikes dart between them. I would not drive here. We stopped at Candi Dasa for lunch on the way. We paid 250,000 for the ride and we’ve been tipping our drivers 50,000 in addition to the fare (which we usually bargain down first).

Shortly after we entered Sanur we nicknamed the place Sewer. It’s a boring town with no charm, a sub-par beach, and over priced dismal places to stay. We’re staying in a place called the Swastika. Yes, you read that right. Comically only a skip away from the German consulate, and filled with blonde haired Germans… The rooms are dark and dismal with annoying fluorescent lighting, stains on the bed and walls, and one of the worse bathrooms I have seen in a hotel, all for 300,000 a night. They do have free wifi and a decent pool, though.

To pass the time in this crappy town we decided to go get massages, which were lovely. Ryan got an hour long foot massage for 30,000 and I got a half hour back and half hour foot massage for 50,000.

The only other noteworthy thing about this town was the multi-level Hardy’s supermarket we visited that had a nasty fish smell to it. I bought a pear, a snake fruit, peanuts and gum for myself, and a tub of neapolitan ice cream for Ryan which was promptly devoured outside the store. The best thing about this supermarket was the girl giving out free vodka samples!


This town is lame so we are leaving tomorrow to go to Padang Bai, which we wish we would have done in the first place. Ryan’s throat isn’t getting better yet but we figured we should at least be in a place we’re enjoying while we wait to see if it’s healing.

Goodbye Sewer, on to Padang Bai!