An open-ended adventure by Fifi flipflop
Currently traveling
  • Day2447

    Invited to a funeral

    August 10 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Getting up for sunrise has not been a regular occurrence for me as I've usually only just rolled in a few hours earlier but this passed few days I've made an exception, and wow has it been worth it. This morning I wake to the reddest sky and the cotton wool clouds enhance it. I climb out of bed and take a few short steps to a lounger on the beach and set up a timelapse so I can just enjoy it. In the morning I rent a scooter which is pretty much essential here as the beach spans about 7km and as much as I love to walk everything is set on the road behind. My data runs out today but when I arrive at the shop it's closed. The laid back way of life here is means most things don't open till 10 or 11. Back at the hotel Made tells us he will attend a cremation ceremony today and invites us to join. The ceremony is due to start at midday but when we message him it's been delayed till 2pm so I take the opportunity to get my phone sorted and grab lunch with Nico. We ride a little further along the road and there are hundreds of people. 200 souls are being honoured today and members of the family all dress in traditional dress to send them off. Because we are not dressed appropriately we can't go into the religious area but Made tells us to go to the beach. An hour later people start to arrive and down at the waters edge some lay their 'souls' to rest in the water privately The ashes are wrapped in rattan like mats or on big saucer like dishes and thrown into the sea, but further down the beach there is a much larger ceremony which when we arrive Made asks us to join his family. We sit with the crowd and watch as first flowers are placed between the hands and offered up in prayer and then the flowers sprinkled on top of the head where the traditional bandana catches them. Next the ceremony leaders walk through the crowd sprinkling them with holy water. The irony of tourists walking along the beach in Speedos is quite strange and I wonder how the locals feel about this. Next it's time for the placement into the sea. Some families have built big offerings of basket weave onto huge bamboo raft like structures, but as they lift them and head to the sea, none of them make it and end up being edged in on their sides. I've really enjoyed the ceremony and it's definitely another new experience for me. Rather than have the hecticness of driving back with all the traffic Nico and I decide to have sundowners on the beach and we get chatting to a lady called Sue and John. They have a yacht and have come ashore in they're dingy. I'm absolutely in awe as I discover they have spent the last 18years on the boat. I explain its my dream to get experience on a boat and she says she will send me details of connections they have. They actually spent a year in Langkawi during the COVID times, and I'm sure we will have connections with some of the same people. We bid farewell as they have to get back to the boat before it's dark but it's been such a pleasure meeting them. There are not many people who inspire me but they certainly have. The sunset is once again stunning tonight and the ability to find my bike as we head back is much easier. We share a few drinks with Coco a local Nico knows who plays in a band and have a 3 minutes walk back to my room. A perfect day.Read more

  • Day2446

    Sunrise sunset

    August 9 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 25 °C

    I wake up in time for sunrise and as I lay in the hammock watching this marvelous display I'm tempted to do a timelapse but for once I just enjoy the moment. Time here is passing so quickly and I don't really feel like I've explored Bali as much as I should have but to be honest the feedback from places like Ubud and Changu aren't great so I have decided to spend a few more days here and chill. I haven't stopped for the last 7 months and this is definitely somewhere I can just unwind and recharge my batteries. I part ways with Bobby this morning and have shared some fantastic adventures with him but all good things come to an end. I try and book a grab but with no success so Bobby takes me rucksack and all onto my next accommodation. I've booked into a place recommended by Nico and it's half the price I stayed last night and literally on the beach, it's a family run business and the accommodation next door is run by Made's brother. I find it really strange how you are competing with your brother in the accommodation next door but families share everything here. Later in the afternoon Nico arrives so I spend an hour catching up with him before having a massage on the beach and discover the lady giving it to me is Made`s mum. We take a walk along the beach in the evening and stop at a little restaurant where we meet Audrey a French lady Nico knows, Nico recommends the fish MaliMali which is amazing. Every night here they have live music and you ask the locals and they will tell you where it is. It's only a couple of km away but Nico insists on taking the bike so I jump on and when we arrive am delighted to find they have 2 pool tables. I do my usual hustling and thoroughly enjoy a normal size table with normal size balls and cues with tips on as this combination of all 3 together is very rare. All bars here close at 11 and I don't know whether this is a post covid thing but to be honest I quite like it because as I lie here tonight writing this I'm listening to the waves crashing in on the shore and for me there's no better sound.Read more

  • Day2445

    Heading north

    August 8 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    im up at 6 and thankfully I packed last night. When I go to take a shower there's a bloody big cockroach in the room which gives me the biggest wake up call and after chasing him round the bathroom decide to stand in the bath and share my space. I book a grab and shortly after arriving get picked up by my driver Dodi. It's a bit of a nightmare to get round Bali with a rucksack as riding a scooter with something so big isn't really an option and there are no public buses so bargaining and sharing private buses is the only way to do it really. Dodi drives to Ubud where I get out of the car and take a coffee before being joined by two other people for the remainder of the journey. As we drive we pass a temple called Goa Lawah where there are hundreds of people walking along the road dressed in there "Sunday best" , today is the start of Odalan which celebrates the coming of the gods on each anniversary of the foundation of the temple.Inhabitants wear the traditional clothing and women carry the offerings on their head to bring to the temple. Temples are decorated with countless flowers and offerings. After the prayer, water is sprayed on the faithful and blessed rice is distributed. The faithful then apply it on their temples, the throat and the forehead. As we continue driving we pass so many beautiful shorelines and fauna. The hotel is beautiful and I'm glad I have a night here before moving to my budget accommodation. I don't waste any time in dropping my bags and having a dip in the lovely pool. In the evening Bobby and I ride down to the Reggae bar and enjoy dinner and a few beers before getting an early night as I'm exhaustedRead more

  • Day2444

    Day by the pool

    August 7 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    I wake early this morning and take advantage of the inclusive breakfast. I make my plans for onward travel to amed and although I'm missing out Ubud I'm not too bothered as apparently it's really touristy and busy . Travel here is predominantly by motorbike but as I've got my big rucksack id rather pay the extra and share a minibus. I've been recommended a place by Nico so book that as well and I'm excited to get up north and explore. In the morning I take a walk out and it's rained overnight I don't see it coming but a car drives through the biggest puddle and soaks me from the waist down, thank god here it doesn't take long to dry out. A little later Bobby takes me out for a little explore around on the bike and drops me back to the hotel just after lunch before he heads off for central Bali. I head to the pool for a few hours before going down the beach. It's really strange how after being on the islands your back to another way of life with the offerings outside every shop and the numerous kites floating in the sky. At the beach I have a cocktail and the glass comes covered in cornflakes, certainly not something I've experienced before but I enjoy it apart from the soggy cornflakes floating in the bottom as I reach the end of it. I meet Tim and Joke by the pool and honestly we laugh so much especially when Tim tries to explain why corn flakes were invented (trust me Google it) Its definitely my last night with Tim and Joke tonight so we've arranged to go out for dinner and a few drinks. We end up in a reggae bar and they have Arak cocktails which of course we have to sample. The live band is brilliant and me and Joke dance the night away and at one point head to dance in the rain just to cool down. I crash into bed just after midnight setting my alarm for 6amRead more

  • Day2443

    I don't know where im going

    August 6 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    I wake this morning with a hangover from hell. I still need to pack and the taxi is due in an hour. Me Amber and the two girls from Holland are leaving on a jet plane to Bali this morning but the crazy part is I don't even know where I'm headed, I get off the plane and while I sit waiting for my bag I chat with amber and she is going to Sanur to catch the ferry, Tim and Joke are there so I make a decision and decide to go there. We share a cab and as I drop her at the centre I tell her I'm excited at the fact I've booked a place with a bath. As she collects her bag she asks the driver to wait and pulls out a face mask for me. Today is going to be a pamper day. I'm ready for a chill after the hecticness of the past few days and one of the first things I do is go and treat myself to a few new bikinis. The ones I have are starting to look grubby and I'm in the treating myself mode. The hotel is beautiful and after unpacking my essentials I relax by the pool. After spending over a week in a dormitory it's nice to have some private space and paying a little bit more has given me a bathtub with bathfoam supplied. I enjoy a lovely soak and don my facemask. Bobby has messaged and is only 20km away so I've invited him over to share a beer and some food. He arrives shortly after 7 and after a beer we plan to head out for food when we see Tim's friendly face. We join him and Joke for a beer and decide just to eat here. Once again I indulge and order a sirloin steak with a rich brown sauce.They have a live singer in and we enjoy the evening catching up with Tim and Joke before my bed calls me for an early night.Read more

  • Day2442

    A day with the boys and girls

    August 5 in Indonesia ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    We bid farewell to Nico this morning, but I don't feel too sad as I really think I will meet him in Bali over the next few days. Rahman has invited me to go to Rangko cave today and I'm pleased when he invites the girls today as they have never been here before and it's only 30 minutes away on the motorbike. You have to leave after 11am as it's low tide and we arrive to the harbour to catch the boat just after 1. I'm totally with locals today and I love the fact the boat owners kids join us. They perch on the front of the boat for the short ride to the jetty and just before we reach it jump into the water. It's a short trek to the cave but I have to say is so beautiful. The inside has a pool of clear sea water that is tidal as it has an inlet to the rear left of the cave. The children join us and inside climb the stagnalite and jump into the water. We all spend time swimming in the cave and a little later Jan and Luzie arrive. After our time in the water we chill on the beach. It's not great for snorkeling here but I'm happy just chilling. Before long the dreaded water bottle comes out which is never filled with water only jungle juice (sopi) we plan to stay on the beach for sunset but plans change again and it's back to the hostel to shower and change. Tonight is my last night and Rahman has offered to have the DJ on again I eat with Amber Jan Luzie and Victor before we all head up to the bar. We enjoy a really nice night in the bar and I even have a little dance and eventually leave in the early hours. I have to say I've really enjoyed spending time with the locals again it totally changes the whole dimensions of my trip and Ive loved the vibe of labuan bajo, island life is definitely my preference.Read more

  • Day2441

    The last goodbye

    August 4 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Even though I went to bed late last night I work this morning early and am glad to see the girls are still here but they are ready for that flight. This is our last goodbye or maybe not as you find when you travel the way people will meet up time and time again. This morning I've been invited out with the locals and spend the first half of the morning of loading my GoPro before heading over to Warren brothers. When I arrive they have caught a 35 kilo tuna and within half an hour it's cut into pieces and sold on. I'm really impressed at the way this is done has even the last few pieces that are attached to the bones are used for ceviche. I try it and it's absolutely delicious. In the afternoon we ride to Pantai waicicu the ride there is really beautiful and once again I'm so glad to be doing something again today. We enjoy a short time on the beach and Rahman hires a canoe. The really sad thing here is there are so many abandoned boats. When covid hit there were no tourists and the local people could not afford the upkeep of these boats without people paying for them and with the water being unforgiving there are many that are beyond repair just left in the bay. We paddle out around the island and come back to do some snorkeling. I enjoy sunset back at the bar before going back to the hostel to shower and change. Along the promenade the children play every evening on skateboards and fishing with small reels of plastic twine tonight as I walk there is a young girl of about 6 carrying a pair of rollerblades that are way too big for her and on my return to the bar I see her skating in them. Every night as I've made the walk the children swarm around saying hello Mrs , it's really special and they all seem so happy. It's rare that you see a child here crying. Tonight is Nico's last night and I'm glad in a way that the bar is not so busy as it's nice to just spend time with the staff and Nico. We don't have a late one and I really enjoy the fact the girls join us tonight Ica is one of the girls who works here but since I've been coming here I have never really had the chance to sit and talk with them.At the end of the evening Rahman drops me home and invites me to join them for Nico's farewell breakfast in the morning.Read more

  • Day2440

    Let me take your fingerprints

    August 3 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    I wake at 715 and get myself sorted before walking to the main street to get a grab bike to immigration. I'm relieved when one of the local buses pulls up but the journey with the loudest bass music blaring at this time in the morning is not the most pleasant I've had. The guy offers to wait for me and with it being early think it's probably a good idea. Inside immigration I'm the only person there and I wait for 10 minutes as everyone is outside eating breakfast. The process involves taking my photo doing my signature and taking all my fingerprints but I'm in and out in 30 minutes, and glad I got it done here as I think in Bali the process took a lot longer. When I arrive back at the hostel and Bertie and Olivia are here and plan to go to the caves but when I go to reception I find They are doing an island tour today and suggest I will do this. Before I know it I've arranged for 8 people to join and we hire a private boat. Just after midday we are on route with our picnic pizza. Our first stop is the island that we anchored off from on our last day that Cesar and Juan swam to. Once again my snorkel is broken but I persevere blowing the water back out. The fish here are incredible and I'm literally surrounded. I don't stray very far from the jetty and as I move around the side I see more starfish than I've ever seen. Back on the boat we go to kanawa island, I grab a bite to eat in the little shack here and have a snorkel afterwards the water is so clear but I find it hard work on a full belly with a broken snorkel. Our final stop is for sunset but when we arrive at the beach it's been barracaded and on the other side is a private beach with umbrella. There is no way of climbing over so we just snorkel and we get the sunset on the boat back and what a sunset it is . After showering we join in la Cocina for our last supper and end up in our favourite haunt for drinks. There is no live music tonight so we enjoy the evening playing a drinking card game. It's been a really special day spent with the last of the crew and I'm pretty emotional as I say goodbye to them. They leave shortly after midnight as have an early morning flight and I stay on for a few more before thankfully getting a lift back.Read more

  • Day2439

    Splitting up

    August 2 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    The sad part about meeting people when you travel is that eventually you have to say goodbye and today is the day the boat party starts to go their own way. I miss saying goodbye to Naimh Cesar and Elena but manage to share breakfast with Richi. As we walk back we meet Sarah and Olivia who are also leaving. Honestly all the young people I met on the boat have been wonderful which really makes me smile as they are the new generation. In the morning the lady comes from immigration and gets me to fill in my form and take them away, this has been such a bonus as usually it's 3 visits and the only time I'll have to go is to do my fingerprints.Mo Celine and Richard are moving to a new hostel today so in the early afternoon I just chill and try and do some photo editing. When I wander down to the harbour in the afternoon it seems like everything is starting to get back to normal there were a lot of protests yesterday with 80 people getting arrested however today definitely seems a little calmer. I really admire the people here after coming through the pandemic they are still willing to sacrifice money they would make for what they believe in and protesting against a government policy it's not something that would happen in every country. In the afternoon Selene MO and Richard have invited me to chill out there hostel as they have a pool but when I arrive I refused entry. After a bit of sweet talk and a little bit of local lingo I manage to talk myself in. The hostel as much nicer than the one Im in but I'm due to check out tomorrow so really can't be bothered packing and then unpacking. As I leave the hostel there it's a huge procession of young children ranging from girl guides to boy scouts and people wearing traditional dress. I stand for nearly 10 minutes watching the parade go past with children waving and asking for photos. After a quick shower I walked down to the harbor and manage to catch the last of the sunset. I walk to Warren brothers and order food but after 30 minutes no food has arrived and the guys message me to say they are going to the fish market so I agree to join them however as I'm walking there they are walking towards me and tell me it's closed so it's back to warung brothers where I once again enjoy the Barracuda. We spend the evening in here although it's a lot more low-key than it has been for the last few nights and throughout the evening we're joined by various other members of the boat. Later in the evening one of the guys shows me a government video which is the plans for Komodo. The 3.7 million increase is to stop the backpacker tourists and the plan is that they want to build a high end resort on the island. The increase in price was supposed to be to protect the dragons but now I understand a lot more why the protesters are so focused. These plans would bring in a totally different clientele and most of the businesses here would go bust. I see so much of this as I travel where foreign investment takes over the actual places that make local people their bread and butter. Just before midnight I bid my goodbyes as I have to be up early.Read more

  • Day2438

    Protest day

    August 1 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    So this morning I need to get my visa sorted but there are massive protests here and everything is shut. All restaurants hotels. The locals are protesting about the fact of the national park rate as they know it will affect their business massively here. Rahmat from warung brothers has offered to help me and I'm due to meet him at 10am in the bar. As I'm walking there I'm shocked at the amount of police and army presence in the streets it's quite intimidating really . I arrive at the bar but there's no sign of Rahmat but I get chatting with Nico, Tiffany and Logan. 2 girls and a guy who were in here last night. As we're sat here two guys have had a close miss on the road and it really kicks off because a whole group start punching and kicking the one guy, within minutes the police are there and after a bit of commotion both are sent on there way but I must admit I'm quite shocked At midday there's still no sign of Rahmat so I decide to try and get it sorted myself. I walk to the printing shop but it's seriously hot here and as I arrive I get a message from Rahmat so I jump in a gochek like a taxi van and make my way to warung. On route I pass lots of military and police but I think they are just here as a form of prevention. Rahmat contacts his friend in immigration and sends photos of my photocopies and says it will be 2 days but he doesn't need my passport and when needed hell pick me up and take me to do fingerprints. As I'm sat in the bar I spot the fishermen coming from the beach with a huge Barracuda and Rahmat shouts down and before I know it I'm being served the freshest fish I've ever eaten In the evening the lady from immigration comes to warung and I hand her my passport. It's seems a strange thing to be handing my passport to a random stranger in a bar together with the money for my visa but that's the way things work here. Shortly after I head back to the hostel and a young Indonesian guy says hey I've met you before, I spend time talking with him and he was a ranger at Komodo Island it's so interesting and he's such a friendly guy. The young ones have messaged to say they are sat outside a shop drinking beers because literally no bars or restaurant's are open with the protesters threatening to set fire to any place that opens . I decide to just stay in the hostel and chill.Read more