A Travellerspoint blog

Loooong update

Day 288 – Tuesday 6th November

Got woken up by the cleaner lady today, as usual she was bitching about me not paying for the room before the 12 cut off, despite the fact that I’ve been here a week now and it’s clear I’m not moving anytime soon. First things first I had to get some cash out, I could only get 10 or 20 quid, so I got 20 meaning I can splash out today and tomorrow morning as the currency won’t be worth anything in Indo. When I got back to the room I checked out cinema times for James Bond, and decided to just stop wasting time and leave, despite the next performance being in about 2 hours, as it was sunny for once. So I got going and stopped off for some lunch, when it started fucking raining! And this was by far the worst storm we’ve had here so far, endless thunder, lightning, and a silly amount of rain. So I took a rain check and hung out in the restaurant for a bit before giving up and going back to the hotel. One it eventually stopped raining I headed back out to the cinema and luckily made it just in time for the next performance at 5. Got myself some salted popcorn and sat down in the cinema and watched the film, which was actually bloody good, it was cool to see him in places like Shanghai and Macau and recognize where he is. Plus the popcorn was so bloody good, been craving that for ages. By the time I got out of the cinema it was dark which was cool as I saw the Petronas towers and KL tower all lit up on the way home. When I got back I sat chatting to this new English couple who wanted a low down on KL, and obviously I’m the worst person for that as I haven’t done anything. Either way all they wanted to do was go out and get pissed, so I just left them to it and got some dinner from this really tasty Indian restaurant down the road, then came back and spent the night relaxing in bed ready for my trip tomorrow. Watched a really fucked up film called Requiem for a Dream, I definitely recommend anyone to watch it, but it really is a bit of a freaky film, it would definitely put anyone off heroin after watching it! Think trainspotting but with a lot more bad shit happening.

Day 289 – Wednesday 7th November

Got up this morning with lots of time to spare as I don’t want to miss another plane. Got myself packed up and went and got some breakfast, before walking to the skytrain station, and went to KL sentral where I got a bus to the airport. Got to the airport in good time, checked in then went and sat waiting around in the gate. This is the first time I’m leaving a country and completely happy to do so, don’t know if a 5 day visa run counts as seeing a country but that’s how I feel, the weather was definitely the main reason for my dislike of KL. Found out Obama won the election as well, which was good to hear, then I got on my plane at 3 and made it to Jakarta in a couple of hours. So nice to be back here being able to use my phone again and paying in Roopiah, although it seems the rain has followed me and there’s a giant storm in Jakarta, fucking great! Let’s just hope Sulawesi and Papua are dry. Anyway, I had around a 5 hour stopover in Jakarta, so I got myself some food then checked in and sat in the waiting room watching some TV on my laptop. Didn’t get on the flight until past 10 as it was about an hour delay, as has been the case with every flight in Indo. I made it into Makassar (capital of South Sulawesi) at 1 in the morning, and after I got out of arrivals I couldn’t get back in to the terminal so I was forced to just set up camp on the street out in front where I managed to get about 2 hours sleep.

Day 290 – Thursday 8th November

Got up around half 5, having had a terrible little nap, pretty unsurprising considering the conditions! Either way I had to wait until 6 anyway to get a bus out of here, so better spent sleeping then sitting outside a dark creepy airport. I got on the free shuttle bus which drives about 5 minutes and just drops you off at the main road outside the airport complex, here I just followed the other people getting off and jumped on one of the public minibuses to Makassar. After about an hour on that with people getting on and off constantly and me being the only one left, the driver eventually asked me where I wanted to go and I said near the beach, assuming he meant where in Makassar, but it turns out we had gone the opposite direction to Makassar and I was now 20km away from the airport and 50km away from Makassar. So I got out and got on a minibus going the other direction and after changing again I eventually made it to the centre of Makassar, more than 3 hours after I left the airport! At least it only cost me 1 pound in transport costs to make that mistake. Once I got off, I got a bicycle rickshaw to china town where he told me I’d found the cheapest hotels, and after walking around for about an hour in the boiling heat, the cheapest I could find was a dorm room for 5 quid a night, more than I’ve ever paid in Indo since I left Bali! Either way I didn’t have a choice and had to stay in this shitty dorm room on the 4th floor with no fan, but at least there were no other people staying there, so it was pretty much my own boiler room. After a shower I went straight to sleep for about 5 hours. When I got up I was completely soaked in sweat, can’t believe they haven’t bothered fixing the bloody fan in this room! Went to get myself some dinner, and then came back to the room and spent the rest of the night watching ‘the damned united’ which was a bloody good film, nice to see Brian Clough portrayed as such a hero, even if he was a bit of a cocky prat.

Day 291 – Friday 9th November

Got up nice and early today to claim my free breakfast, considering how badly I’m getting ripped off in this room I couldn’t miss it. It wasn’t actually half bad considering the usual standards of free breakfast (a couple of slices of bread) I actually got 2 omelette sandwiches and a few cups of tea. After sitting with the owner watching cheaper by the dozen in the living room, I went back up to bed. Due to the unbearable heat it really is the only thing you can do during the middle of the day. When I got up in the afternoon, I decided to go on a little walk around, and most importantly check out Fort Rotterdam, the main tourist site here, I’m guessing it was built during the Dutch occupation of Indo. Unfortunately I had no way of finding out what the place was really about, and nor did I actually walk around it properly, as the second I walked in I was harassed by about 10 different people trying to chat to me. Turns out it’s the afternoon hang out for uni students trying to brush up on their English as it’s the only place in town where there are any tourists. So I obliged and sat down with this group of about 10 and their teacher, who was the only one who really talked to me, as he got a bit too interested. Eventually I told him to shut up and chatted to the group for a bit, but he kept butting in and trying to organize shit for us to do together, like going to visit some island just South of here, and saying we should meet at the crack of dawn to spend the day together tomorrow. I hear this a lot so it doesn’t bother me too much and I just say maybe, but then he mentioned the fact that he had no money (sure sign he expects the white guy to pay for everything) so I just walked away and told him I was busy tomorrow. It was a shame as the students were quite nice, but I hung out there for over an hour, and I really couldn’t be arsed with that guy anymore. On the way out of the fort I got stopped about 50 times for pretty much everyone there who wanted a picture, it was all getting bloody annoying but then this group of about 5 guys just dragged me away (not in a creepy way) and sat and chatted to me like normal people. Turns out they all study maritime at the Fort so they’re all around my age and their English is bloody good due to the fact that they hang around that place all day. We sat around chatting for a while before getting some dinner and then heading down to the main beach where there was a big performance going on. It was a really fun few hours, and the guys are proper funny, rarely do I meet people my age, let alone locals who can speak English perfectly. They’ve also invited me to stay at their halls for the next 2 nights, which is perfect as it will be a lot more fun and obviously cheaper than my current place. We parted ways around 9 and I came back to the room and watched a film and some over shit (downloading 100s of hours of stuff in KL so I’m now never short of entertainment). Unfortunately I just couldn’t sleep tonight, the room is 35 degrees at night (yes it has a thermometer and no fan!) so it’s fucking impossible to fall asleep.

Day 292 – Saturday 10thNovember

Due to the fact that I didn’t fall asleep until past 4 I woke up after 12 which meant I couldn’t check out, the woman here is the fucking devil. That means that I can’t stay with those guys tonight as it seems like a waste of money just to pay for this room and stay with them just to put them out. After getting some food I met up with the guys again, and there were in the middle of an English class which I sat in on. The teacher’s English was actually pretty good, but the grammar he was trying to teach was complete bullshit. I’m not saying I’m a complete expert on the ‘past future tense’ but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist! He kept asking me if what he was writing was correct so I just told him I didn’t know if ‘I will be being a nurse when I will pass the exam’ was correct or not as it had been so long since I studied English grammar. Considering how good the guys are at English anyway, it’s not worth my while offending their teacher as they’re learning English just fine. Once the class was over, there was a huge performance in front of the Fort, I think it must be the anniversary of Makassar’s independence day or something, as there was a lot of anti-Japanese and Dutch propaganda and obviously lots of singing and dancing. I was actually sat next to the mayor, which felt like quite a privilege, until later I found out he was a notorious corrupt cunt. Either way the whole performance was really good and impressive and a good way to spend a couple of hours. Once it was all done I decided to just go back and check out of the hotel and just pay up and stay with those guys as I have nothing to gain from spending another night there. So I packed up all my stuff and told the woman I was leaving and she got all suspicious, something the English teacher told me would happen as he regularly lets tourists from this hotel stay with him, so I told her I had to catch a flight at 2am and was going to spend the night in the airport. After asking me where I was going, and what flight operator and seemingly checking out if my story was true she told me it was ok, but I’d have to pay for tonight. Why bother getting all suspicious if you’re still going to charge me, bitch! After arguing a lot I told her I’d pay for half the day and that was more than she deserved considering how shit the room was, and that I didn’t have breakfast today, and she also ripped me off for doing my washing. She then asked for 3 quarters, so I just took out the exact money of 2 and a half nights and left it on her desk and walked out. Ozil, the guy who first approached me yesterday and the one in the group with the best English, came to pick me up and we went to his halls, where we spent the evening all playing PlayStation, something I haven’t done once since I left home, forgot how bloody fun it was. After they prepared me some dinner and brought me tea on demand we went out around half 10 to do some karaoke. Although it sounds gay, it’s very common out here in Asia and something I’ve avoided with a barge pole up until now, but these guy really want me to come and it’s the least I can do for what they’re doing for me, and let’s face it it could be a good laugh. Unfortunately we turned up at the most popular joint in town and had to wait well over an hour before getting in at 12. The next 2 hours were bloody hilarious, a couple of them were actually pretty good, and a couple were god awful, but it was all so fun. And I got really into it, had such a fun time, I know it sounds gay but it’s definitely a lot more fun than it sounds. You have your own little room with a big TV and a shit ton of songs to choose from, plus its private so you can’t really embarrass yourself as everyone else is just as bad. They did all keep choosing pretty gay songs though, a lot of Westlife and Adele! We didn’t come out until 2 and went back to the halls where me and one of the guys (don’t remember anyone’s name) stayed up for a while longer playing more games before Ozil gave me his bed for the night.

Day 293 – Sunday 11th November

Got up at 1 today, had such a good night’s sleep for the first time in Makassar, as did everyone else as this is their only day off a week. When I got up I had my cup of tea already made for me, and after a shower I sat and played more PlayStation. Not only do I love having a bit of time to game, but they all insist on playing me so I can’t really get off even if I wanted to. After a few games we all decided to go out and check out some other site in Makassar, after some mcdonalds. Due to the fact that my next few weeks will be spent in and around Papua (the most far off place in the world) I thought I should take my last opportunity for some western food. After that we drove around for a while looking for a 5 a side football pitch to play later (‘foosball’ is the national sport here) but as it was a Sunday all the places were quite busy, but we did eventually find somewhere. When we got back on the bikes to go to the port or another fort, not really sure where we were supposed to go, it started raining so we just went back. We hung around for a couple of hours before going to play some football for an hour. And fuck me I almost died playing, it’s probably the first time I’ve played in a few years, and not only that but I haven’t really been doing a lot of exercise in between so I almost had a bloody heart attack! It was all really fun though, but still just a bit too taxing for me, and we lost 12-10 which was a shame. After that we went back and all had much needed showers before having a simple dinner, uni boys all around the world can’t cook seemingly! I can’t complain, free food always tastes good, and these guys have made me feel so welcome, I’d gladly push my flight back a couple of days to chill out with them for a bit longer. After dinner we all sat around chatting playing a bit more, a really nice chilled out night. Forgot to mention that their halls are in a really nice place to relax, overlooking a river on a quiet back road of an otherwise busy city. We all stayed up until around 1 and went to bed ready for a 6am wake up tomorrow.

Day 294 – Monday 12th November

Got woken up by the guys, having pretty much not slept at all last night and after having the customary tea prepared and packing my bag, and having one last chat with everyone we had to go to the airport. UnfortunatelyOzil couldn’t come with us as he had an early class, so I went on the back with another guy and 2 others came for the convoy on another bike. About half way through the drive our bike broke down, and thank god those other 2 wanted to come as we just stole their bike and left them on the side of the road with this broken bike. Once we got to the airport I said goodbye and checked in and waited for my plane (which was delayed again). Not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but now every single flight I’ve taken including the return to Malaysia I’ve been sat in the emergency seats, I’m not sure what it is maybe Asians are superstitious about all that, but for me they’re the best seats on the plane. The flight took around 2 hours and we didn’t land until 1, and with the only boat out of Sorong at 2 I was fairly sure I would miss it. But when I sat down in the arrivals hall one of the security guards approached me and I explained I needed to get a boat to Raja Ampat, and he took the sticker which corresponds to my bag, then came back with it before any bags had even made it to the carrousel, then he took me to a moto taxi and sorted out a fair price and I was on my way with plenty of time. I still don’t have a clue about where I’m going, or where this boat is even going! Raja Ampat is the name for a group of islands, and despite trying to find out online before coming I couldn’t really figure which island I needed to be on, on the boat I found out this was going to Waiego, which I think is the biggest island in the group. Anyway, got off the boat after a couple of hours, and fuck does this place feel off the map, the island is proper jungle and after chatting to a taxi driver he told me there’s only one village here and the cheapest hotel is over 15 quid, more than I’ve ever paid! So he took me to the one he knew as the cheapest and I haggled down the price to around 10 quid a day, then took a shower before having a little walk around to get my bearings. Seemingly this is the wrong island, firstly there’s no beach, there are no tourists and I haven’t seen any dive centres. Not really sure what the hell to do as this is a tiny village and I can’t seem to find anywhere with internet, plus the web on my phone isn’t working (just a bit too far away from civilisation). Either way I’m booked in here until Saturday when dad makes it, and hopefully between now and then I can try ad work some stuff out, but tonight it’s too late to do anything but get some dinner and sit in the room watching a couple of movies, including ‘The Machinist’ a great film with Christian Bale, before going to bed.

Day 295 Tuesday 13th November

Had an epic 14 hour sleep last night, had no idea how tired I was! At least it wasted some time, this place is fucking boring not only is it cloudy but there’s no beach to hang out on and my hotel is completely deserted, plus not one person speaks English here and in my Indonesian all I can do is answer the same fucking tirade of simple questions about who I’m with and where I’m going and shit. After eventually making it to the restaurant having to stop off and shake pretty much everyone’s hand, I’d be surprised if a westerner has ever been here, people only come to these islands for diving, which is something you can’t even do here! Anyway I found somewhere good to eat, and a man came up to me who spoke really good English and pretty much gave me the complete low down on where I can go and where I should be. Long story short there’s a choice of about 3 islands to go to, all of which are closer to the dive sites than here, but a boat to get there costs between 60 and 100 quid, unless you have a lot of people with you (you have to charter a boat as there are no inter island ferries). He also showed me a couple of videos of the diving around here, as his friend does some freelance diving and has done a few videos for TV, and fuck me does it all look bloody impressive, just wish I could be in the right place to at least snorkel or something. Having spent the last 3 weeks wasting time in Kupang and then KL and a few days in Makassar, I always thought as soon as I got here I’d be chilling on white sand beaches, snorkelling crystal clear waters, but no I have to wait another 5 days before Dad gets here and then we’ll get a boat to the right island. On top of that I don’t have a fucking clue what island to go to, it’s ironic that being this close makes it way harder to sort anything, had I just organized everything on the internet before I left the mainland the whole situation would be sorted. Instead I’m stuck here with no numbers for hotels or dive centres on other islands, and absolutely no information, and one internet café which charges a fortune and isn’t bloody working! After chatting to that guy for a couple of hours I just hung out in the room for a bit, fuck all else to do, before going out for some dinner in the evening and spending the rest of the night watching TV.

Day 296 – Wednesday 14th November

Got up bloody late again today and it was completely pissing down, so I couldn’t go anywhere. Rainy season was supposed to finish here a month ago, I hope all this is just a fluke and isn’t going to hang around. Once it eventually stopped raining I went out to get some lunch and check on the internet, still down! After just sort of walking around in circles just trying to waste some time I came back here and spent the rest of the afternoon just sitting around. Eventually it was time for dinner and I went to the same place as last night which did some really good chicken, and while I was there I got approached by a couple of police who started shouting at me. I just played the dumb card saying I couldn’t understand, but the gist of what they were saying is that I needed to be registered or some shit, in order to be in the national park of Raja Ampat you have to buy some £65 entrance fee in Sorong, but knowing this money would go nowhere but the government’s pocket I never bothered trying to pay it. After a bit more shouting I just decided to walk away and luckily they didn’t follow me, but it obviously won’t be hard to find me if they want as I’m the only white face around! When I got back from dinner, I watched The Godfather a film I’ve never seen before, and one which is supposedly the best film ever. And it was pretty good, still can’t believe I’ve never seen it before now, also a good 3 hours wasted! Eventually went to sleep pretty late tonight, ready hopefully for a nice day tomorrow of working internet and good weather.

Day 297 – Thursday 15th November

Got up nice and late as usual, and not too long after got a call from Dad saying he’s made it to Bali, meaning only a couple more days and he’ll be here! After that I wrote a bit more of the blog, just trying to keep it all up to date so that as and when I do have internet it can just be thrown up straight away. Talking of which, the internet wasn’t working again today, plus the phone lines were down all afternoon. Hopefully dad can do some research with the internet in Bali, as I have come up with completely fuck all! After spending the afternoon just milling about having some food and watching some more shit, I went out for dinner in the evening, and saw my first white guy since being here! The guy just happened to be sitting in the restaurant I went to and has been here only one day and has managed to sort everything and is off tomorrow. The bastard only managed to find a tourist information centre (I didn’t even think to ask if there was one in this tiny village, thought I’d seen everything) and there they called up loads of hotels for him, sorted out a boat for him and basically spent 2 hours on a phone doing everything for him, plus they speak good English. Sounds like a paradise, which unfortunately is technically closed all week due to some Indonesian holiday or another. The guy just happened to get lucky and bumped into the girls who work there, so tomorrow it’s now my mission to find this bloody centre and find the girls working there, no more off days for them lazy bastards. After chatting to him for a while about his job in Borneo where he’s a conservationist, I came back to the room and stared at a screen some more. Watched ‘The Descendants’ tonight, that film with George Clooney which got all the good reviews, actually pretty decent as it turns out. Stayed up for a while longer before hitting the hay ready for a potentially proactive day tomorrow.

Day 298 – Friday 16th November

Got woken up by the bloody family downstairs playing some crappy Indonesian music this morning at full volume. After finishing my left over biscuits from last night for breakfast I went out in search of this infamous tourist office to finally get some answers. I went right to where the Irish guy told me to go, but couldn’t find it so I asked a few people including shop owners and one of the hotels and still they couldn’t tell me where it was. I was starting to think this place must be a myth, anyway I walked around in circles for a while just hoping to stumble upon it (despite the fact that it was closed) and had absolutely no luck! So I decided to keep walking and just headed down the coast for a while to keep myself busy. The jungle here is fucking awesome, and you can hear some of the craziest bird sounds, this is one of the few places in the world where you can actually catch a glimpse of a bird of paradise. Unfortunately I didn’t see one, and just sat on the beach for a while watching the waves go by, I also tried to get some internet connection on my phone, but still no luck! When I came back I sat and watched ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ which was a fucking epic movie, really messed up, but really well done, enough said. By then it was dinner time, and I went to my usual hang out, and had some chicken and rice as usual. After that came back to my room, where I must have spent about 90% of my time in the last week or so, and watched ‘Limitless’ actually a lot better than I was expecting from the adverts, and then went to bed ready for a new arrival tomorrow! Just hoping Dad has some info and we can sort out what to do, and either way at least I’ll have some company.

Day 299 – Saturday 17th November

Couldn’t sleep that well last night, probably due to my excitement, so once I got up I had a lot of time to go find this bloody tourist office before Dad arrived on the boat at 4. So far I know he’s made it to Sorong and is just waiting for the boat, which is very good news, unfortunately for him it will be around an 8 hour wait between when his flight landed and the boat leaves. After walking around a bit more in the same place as yesterday, I finally found someone who could tell me where the office was, so there it was all hidden away in the randomnest place in the back corner of a hotel complex, and it was closed! I decided to just wait outside for a while hoping for the women to turn up and open it up for me, but that never came. So I just went back to the room, had a nap, then waited around a bit more and eventually it got to 4 o’clock and it was time to get Dad. After getting one of the guys from this hotel to let me use his motorbike, I headed off down to the port and collected Dad. So funny to see him again after over 6 months since we were last in India, all pale and English looking. We went back to the hotel and he had himself a shower, having not slept or washed since leaving Bali yesterday at midday. Then we went for a little walk around to show him the surroundings, had a quick catch up on life, and one last check on the tourist office where we were told it would be open again on Monday morning at 9, which means we will have to wait around here for a couple more days. Basically not only do we have nowhere to stay on the next island, but we don’t even have a boat to take us there, all we really need is some numbers for hotels that aren’t full and a number for a guy which can take us there, all of which can be done from this tourist office. After that we had an early dinner, and then came back to the hotel where he pretty much went to sleep straight away around 7 or 8ish, so I was left to do the usual of watching a film. Tonight was ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ pretty shit film to be honest, really not as tense as they are trying to make it, and just not that interesting.

Day 300 – Sunday 18th November

Now Dad’s here I’ve got to change my schedule back again, and therefore I was woken up at 10, which was late for him! First things first was to feed the beast as he’d been awake since the crack of dawn and obviously didn’t know where to go or how to order once he got there. So we filled up on some chicken and rice and sat around in the restaurant for a little bit waiting for it to eventually stop raining. After that it cleared up a bit and we rented a motorbike and went on a little drive around the island. Unfortunately, it being such a deserted island full of jungle we were stopped a few times by the roads just running out. We eventually found a long road heading along the coast towards the dive centres on this island, and after a long drive happened upon one which is scheduled to open any day soon. This island is a bit far from the dive sites, and despite this resort being really nice and the staff assuring us it was open we are both set on going to Mansuar island (just South of here) so all we wanted was a bit of info of dive places there, but being typically Indonesian and refusing to help unless it would make them money they said they didn’t have any numbers. So we drove around a bit more before heading back as the petrol started to run out and it started raining a bit. We both then had a quick nap and read for a bit before heading off to have some dinner of delicious barbequed red snapper. After that meal we came back to the room to wind down for the night and hit the hay nice and early ready to wake up early to hit the tourist office when it opens at 9 tomorrow.

Day 301 – Monday 19th November

Got up at 9 this morning and headed straight for the office, where they sorted out everything for us. After looking through a few brochures, and phoning up a few places, we settled on their cheapest place; a nice looking homestay on Mansuar. The place said they could pick us up later today as well, so everything worked out perfectly and I left them my number and waited for the call from the guys coming to pick us up. First we had some food at the same place as yesterday and came back to the hotel where we got packing. Midway through I got the call from the tourist office saying there was a representative from the place who wanted to chat, after rushing down there we found out that she meant the guy was there and ready to go. After convincing the office staff to give us a lift back to the hotel, we finished off packing and settled the bill (where the nice lady gave me a good discount) and went to the boat. The drive took about half an hour, and we made it here around half 12, what a rushed morning, but so bloody worth it this place is pure fucking paradise. We first got dropped off on the West facing white sand beach on its own island pretty much (completely cut off by jungle from everywhere else) and got taken to lunch. Here I bumped into that Irish guy from Thursday who said the place was great, and the owner was a top bloke who could take us diving whenever we wanted and it would be just us, no bullshit crowds from dive centres. After a delicious lunch of fish and vegetables, we spent the rest of the afternoon just chilling out on the hammocks and doing a bit of snorkelling off the beach. After an incredible sunset (reason why I mentioned the West facing island) we had some dinner of more of the same great food and chilled out a bit before hitting the hay ready for some diving tomorrow.

Day 302 – Tuesday 20th November

After a horribly early wake up, I was brought my breakfast of banana fritters, and we headed off for some diving just after 9, after stopping off for some fuel and tanks. The first dive was at manta point, and yes the name gives it away, it was a manta ray cleaning station, they just keep coming past one after the other as you sit and watch these fucking beautiful creatures. Not only are they my favourite thing to see, but I didn’t even see my first one till after 100 dives and that just flew right by, here there were 7 coming past at once swimming all around you, absolutely incredible, despite my gawking I did manage to get a few pictures which was good. But what a way to start the week here! After an hour just sitting staring at these things as if I was watching some 3d TV, we came back here and had some lunch. The food here is absolutely amazing, and it’s all included so I can just gorge on the endless supply of fish, rice, noodles and vegetables, absolutely awesome. Nick (the Irish guy) decided to come with us on the second dive where we got to witness the true reason why Raja Ampat has been put on the map as the number one dive place in the world. The dive was just like sitting on the set of finding nemo for an hour, endless fields of perfect coral (something that you never see nowadays) as well as a ridiculous amount of fish, it’s just incredible how much life is here. Me (with 100+ dives) and Dad (almost 400 dives) both agreed that it was the most coral we’d ever seen and probably the best dive ever, only contending with the dive of the morning probably. Long story short, we’re going to have a bloody good time here! Came back here and spent the afternoon chilling out on the hammocks watching the white sand and clear sea go by, before having another dinner of great food and going to sleep.

Day 303 – Wednesday 21st November

Today we only did one dive as the boss (Raymond) has buggered off with the guests to collect payment, as he only accepts cash and there isn’t an ATM until Sorong. So we got woken up nice and early again having the whole place to ourselves, and went on our dive. Don’t know what more I can say than that this place is just bloody amazing, another dive of an abundance of coral and fish, as well as a few sharks along the way and a turtle. Yeah, it’s all just blowing my mind, every dive is better than the last, and the last is better than any other dive in the world, can’t get much better than that! And then you come back from the dive to your hut on a desert island with a postcard beach, and the best food I’ve had in Indo so far, I can get used to this place! After lunch I had a nap and then we both spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in the hammocks reading. Dad’s shifted some epically long book on me about the history of the battle of Britain; it is very interesting just bloody long, so I’ve got my work cut out over the next few days. Had some dinner of more of the same great food, and then we sat on the hammocks to watch a film. Can’t think of a better place than hanging over the sea with a breeze to watch the King’s speech, plus it’s a really good film that I haven’t seen before. After that we went to bed

Day 304 – Thursday 22nd November

Didn’t sleep great last night, and when dad woke me up at 9 to go diving I just told him to piss off and he went alone as I spent the morning in bed. Once he got back, raving about the dive he’d just done, we sat down for some lunch and after a quick lie down we headed off to dive around 2. As Raymond is gone his brothers are now the ones to take us diving, and they don’t speak a word of English so I couldn’t understand what the name of the dive site was, but whatever it was it was another good dive. The dives so far have involved really strong currents (the reason why there’s so much life here as the currents carry all the nutrients for the coral and fish) so I decided not to bring my camera as it just gets in the way as you fly by. And typically this dive involved no current and the visibility was perfect for pictures! Ah well it’s still good to just see it. After we got back, I just spent the rest of the afternoon cracking on with that book, right up until dinner, where we chatted about China for a while; a subject I fucking love to talk about as no one really knows anyone who’s gone and therefore doesn’t know much about it. Plus I fucking loved the place and it’s nice to just bang on about it for a while. We did the same thing as last night and set up for a film, tonight at the cinema was The Social Network, a film we’ve both seen before and really like, then we hit the hay.

Day 305 – Friday 23rd November

Another early start today, after a quick breakfast of hard banana fritters (they must’ve run out of good bananas) we got on the boat. Raymond was back today and he took us to a really nice dive site this morning, where along with everything else we saw a nice turtle. Once again I forgot my bloody camera, from now on I’m just going to take it on every dive, keep missing some really cool stuff as I assume that the current will be too strong. After that dive he told us he’d be going to Waisai today and that we should come with him to try and get some money out as he’s cash poor at the moment (as are we) meaning we can’t pay for petrol for the boat! After some lunch, we setted off to Waisai, not very nice to be back on the big island again, despite it being a pretty small village, it all feels too much and it’s bloody hot as well. On top of that the bloody atm wasn’t working, and once they managed to get it fixed Dad’s card got blocked after 1.5 million when we wanted around 20. All in all a complete waste of effort and it means we’re going to have to go all the way back to Sorong (the mainland) in a couple of days to withdraw enough cash to pay for all of this. After sitting around on the boat for a bit, the guests who we’d come to pick up eventually arrived and we got going back to the homestay. The 2 guests are an Indian couple, one from England and the girl from the US, who both now live in new York. They’re both pretty nice and it’s good to get some fresh blood around here as me and Dad have been completely alone for a few days. By the time we made it back to base it was pretty much already dinner time, so we all had a nice meal, and then sat and chatted for a while about where they’d been in Indo so far and what not. Then we left them to their own devices and we sat and watched Reservoir Dogs, another film which I really should’ve seen by now but haven’t, to be brutally honest it wasn’t as good as I was expecting, but all the characters were bloody awesome.

Day 306 – Saturday 24th November

Had to get up even bloody earlier today as the best dive site here, Max’s point, has a really tempremental current, and this morning it was supposed to be fine. Unfortunatley the new guy (can’t remember his name) was a bit too fat for all the wetsuits, so Raymond was forced on a long mission to a few dive centres to find one that fit. Could’ve just stayed in bed another hour, fat bastard! Once he was all sorted we eventually got going, and the dive was probably the best so far, don’t want to hang up on it because it’s seemingly all I’ve been writing about of late, but the visibility was awesome, the coral was crazy, and there were so many fucking fish! Luckily I remembered my camera as well and managed to get a few really good pictures. After that we all came back to base for lunch and after a quick rain check of about an hour or so, we headed back out again. The second dive was just as good as the first and there was absolutely no current which meant sitting there to take some nice pictures was a piece of cake, I’ll try and upload a few for you guys to see. When we made it back we were told that there was a group of 25 Indonesians turning up later, considering that we’ve been completely alone up until now that was a bit of a shock to the system, plus there’s only about 4 huts so they’ll all be sleeping on the floor I imagine, and most probably making a lot of fucking noise. They all turned up just before sundown, hanging all over the boat, some on the roof, some off the sides, as the boat is most probably only made for about 10. When they all flooded off there was a lot of the whole ‘hello mister’ bollocks, so I just sat in the room reading until dinner was served. We were forced to eat early today, I’m guessing in order to get out the way of our new noisy neighbours, but after eating the 4 of us just went back to our rooms and spent the rest of the night watching TV.

Day 307 – Sunday 25th November

Today the couple are heading back to Sorong, a pretty whistlestop tour of Indo meant they could only really fit in one full day here, poor bastards as this place is heaven on earth. We decided that we’d go with them in order to save costs on the boat and have some companionship for the cash run we needed to make. As it was a Sunday as well as a public holiday, Raymond was under the assumption that the 2pm ferry would be leaving much earlier than usual as it would fill up quick. This meant having to get up at half 7 and leave on the boat an hour later. Once we got to Waisai it was pretty clear that Raymond had been misinformed, or more likely needed to get some supplies from Waisai in the morning and wanted to take advantage of us as we had to pay to go, and the whole early boat thing was just some bullshit cover up. We were told that the boat wouldn’t leave until 2, what a fucking surprise! So after buying our tickets we had to sit and wait on the boat for the next 5 hours, fucking Raymond! Once we eventually got going, we were joined by a crazy drunk sitting next to us who kept playing Bryan Adams (of all things) on his phone and kept offering me some of his Fanta, vodka mix. He also sat there giving me his whole depressing life story about how he has no friends and no family and all he does is work, and he’d love for me to stay with him in Sorong to keep him company, no easy way to say no in those circumstances as he might have a nervous breakdown. Instead he got too drunk and just threw up all over the floor before passing out, that shut him up! We finally made it in to port at 4 and we all went to this hotel that the couple had stayed in before and recommended, not a bad place with hot water and AC, 2 things I haven’t seen once in my whole time in Indo. Once we’d dropped off our bags me and Dad had a mission to go on to find some ATMs which took foreign cards and rinse them of all their money. After walking around the city for well over an hour, and cleaning out 4 separate ATMs we were still a little short, but we can make that back up in the morning. So we went in the super market and stopped up on treats for our cast off island and went back to the hotel to have dinner with those 2. They’re off to Sulawesi tomorrow, so this is the last we’ll see of them, it’s a shame as they were really friendly and laid back and would’ve been good to maybe spend a couple more days with them, but it doesn’t matter too much. After a very good dinner in a fancy restaurant, we all hit the hay!

Sorry everybody for this being so late but this is the first time I’ve been on the internet since leaving KL, hope no one thought I, or the blog, was dead, and from now on I should be able to keep it more on track. Much Love!

Posted by travellingjoe 17:57 Archived in Indonesia

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This may take a while to comment Joe but I shall in due course. Just wanted to be the first to respond!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GD.

by m.hurry

Well, I would have been the first to respond but I decided to read it first! Brilliant, well done, glad you and Dad have met up - how funny about the cash machines and wow wow wow, the diving sounds amazing.
Good one Joe. (hiya Mike) xx

by elizabethzy

Me too! Liz always gets there just before me!! It sounds fantastic and is actually making me want to dive. Hi! to Mike. Enjoy paradise. Cheers. Ro xx

by Rosemary Hopkin

Great update Joe and a very good read. Tardy response by me as computer being naughty (again). Funny old thing about Mayors'; they're all the same. In it for what they can get out. Good old Boris.
Pleased that you have tied up with your Dad after all the trials and tribulations. Make the most of it as you will always remember this get together.
Hope to see the pics before long. Cheers for now. GD.

by m.hurry

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