Day 197: Planning Ahead

Tues. 26th February 2013

First photo subjectThis is the longest we have stayed in any hotel during our trip and we’re contemplating extending by at least a day (to make a total of 6 nights). The main reason is that our plan to continue east to Komodo and Flores is going to be difficult. As far as we can work out, we can buy tickets to get from here to there either all the way by boat or by bus and ferry. But what the ticket guys do not tell you, unless you quiz them is that the boats are not currently running but are expected to start again on 3rd March. I still think this is wishful thinking as the weather forecast is rain, thunder etc. for at least the next 10 days. The weather pattern is fine and sunny in the mornings (enough for me to burn yesterday) and rain in the afternoon easing off by evening. We could fly to Flores but that means flying back on ourselves to Bali first and then flying over both Lombok and Sumbawa to Flores.

Definately rainingWe can (and are planning to) stay until 18th March in Indonesia, when our 30 day visa runs out, although it is apparently easy to extend if need be. We are not due in Kuala Lumpur until the Grand Prix on 22nd – 24th March. I am sure Dave could easily stay here diving every day but we both agree there is so much more to see in Indonesia. The current thinking is to head back to Lombok and spend a few days there before checking the ferry situation and if still not running fly west back to Bali and then on to Java and explore there.

Yep still rainingAs well as contemplating the next three weeks, I said I would start planning how we are going to tackle Africa as all we have booked is arriving in Johannesburg on 27th April and then nothing more until we meet the boys in Arusha, Tanzania at the beginning of July.

Hang on the sun is outSo what do I do today? I read a whole trashy novel on my Kindle and spend an hour taking photos to understand how my new camera works. Dave set me a challenge of taking 50 photos in an hour – it was one of the exercises when he did a photography workshop. I end up with a few shots I’m quite pleased with, such as the bicycles on the lead photo and the pots, below.

In the morning Dave has his last of five dives to get certified – as an advanced open water diver I mean of course.

It was the Deep Dive module in my course today down to 30m – where the pressure is 4x that at the surface. No underwater photos, which is a shame as we did some exercises to show the effects of pressure including breaking open a raw egg and batting the yolk, which stayed intact, among the group of us. The thing I found most striking though was how little difference it made to how I felt – stay comfortable and relaxed and just do the things you’ve been trained to do. Take care though as at that depth you have to start to worry about Nitrogen Narcosis and Decompression Sickness. Janet had a glance at that section of my coursework and it just re-affirmed to her that she didn’t want to go diving

Row of pots make a good subject tooAfter lunch and toasting Dave’s new qualification, we do put our minds to our planning and confirm that we will stay here until Friday and then spend two nights in Mattaram, the largest town on Lombok while we investigate whether we can get further east. We then book ourselves on an Indonesian cooking course for tomorrow afternoon, which includes eating it all for supper. We have enjoyed Indonesian food and hope that we’ll come home with some new additions to our repertoire of meals.

In view of all the Indonesian food we are eating, we settle on the Irish bar for supper and I have a Chicken Wellington with Dauphinoise Potatoes and mashed carrots and something similar to swede – very British! Dave goes for pizza which comes with a free beer, they tell us after we have already ordered and started two large beers!

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One Response to Day 197: Planning Ahead

  1. Sara Mayes (Churchman) says:

    Re Africa, we did it a few years ago. Went to Mala Mala which is next to Kruger, less frantic, 3 days is enough for a safari otherwise it becomes a ‘not another elephant’ tour. Garden route we did Port Elizabeth to Cape Town which is the reverse to most of the coach trips (which also whiz across there in 4 days). Stellenbosch is a must, obviously!!

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