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Indonesia


Officially REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA, Indonesian REPUBLIK INDONESIA, country located off the coast of the Southeast Asian mainland in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is an archipelago that lies across the equator for one-eighth of the Earth's circumference. Its islands can be grouped into the Greater Sunda Islands of Sumatra (Sumatera), Java (Jawa), the southern extent of Borneo known as Kalimantan, and Celebes (Sulawesi); the Lesser Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara) of Bali and a chain of islands that runs eastward through Timor; the Moluccas (Maluku) between Celebes and the island of New Guinea; and the western extent of New Guinea known as Irian Jaya (formerly Irian Barat). 

The country is the largest in Southeast Asia, about 752,400 square miles (1,948,700 square kilometres) in area. It is composed of some 13,670 islands, of which more than 7,000 are uninhabited. Almost 75 percent of Indonesia's area is included in the three largest islands of Borneo, of which about three-quarters, or 212,000 square miles, is part of Indonesia; Sumatra, with 186,000 square miles; and the Irian Jaya portion of New Guinea, with 162,000 square miles. Nearly all of the total land area is accounted for with the addition of Celebes (75,100 square miles) and Java and the Moluccas (83,400 square miles).



From Turkey we went over to Bali for some well deserved rest. Bali is supposed to be some island paradise that is more or less pretty touristy but mostly confined to the southern part of the island. The collapse of the rupiah means that this could be a fairly inexpensive 2 weeks.


Indonesia/Bali & Lombok Information Links

Bali Online - A site that actually discusses budget Bali - read the "Bali for $3 US a day"
Travelling in Indonesia - Cultural information, travel information and links.
Indonesia Tourism - A bunch of links that get you information on whatever you are looking for.
Lombok Online - Tourism Information specifically for Lombok


TRANSPORTATION

We will most likely rent motorbikes for a little while because it's pretty cheap, and this is a fairly small place. Public transport is even cheaper (less than $0.50).


Budget Accomodation

Check the link above for budget rooms around Bali. We have been told that finding cheap accomodation isn't hard because private rooms are readily available and can have some great views.


December 1, 1999. KALIBUKBUK, BALI, INDONESIA.

Yes, we are still here, we find it easy to get sucked into these sort of places, plus there are three irish couples and an englishman that we've been hanging out with and having a great time. We'll all be in Sydney for New Years so we're going to plan a little reunion. Alas, we will be heading out tomorrow though, we figure it's time we saw a little bit of the rest of Bali, not looking forward to the drive though, I thought Turkey was bad! Driving here is probably one of the most uncomfortable and frightening experiences, it takes about 3 hours to 100 km. too and with no a/c that can get tedious! We had some bad luck with the dolphins though, we went out and about 30 minutes after heading out the motor on the boat broke, stopped and would not work so we had to get a push from another boat back to shore and didn't get to see anything, supposedly there were like 200 of them frolicking about. So, we went out the next day and it was really rough water, really windy and we didn't see anything. I got absolutely soaked with salt water from head to toe, my lips and face tasted like salt water all day so I was not a happy camper. The guy tried to get us to go out again the next day, but two days of getting up at 5 am was enough, we weren't up for a third and figured it obviously wasn't in the cards for us to see them here anyways, we'll just have to wait until we get to Australia and New Zealand.

We've decided to totally change our plans around now and are considering skipping Thailand and just checking out parts of Malaysia and then going down to Singapore. With only three weeks between flights and them being from Malaysia we thought to see anything worthwhile in Thailand would take too much time in travelling so to make the most of the time we'll focus on a smaller area. This makes Rocky really happy anyways because it was what he wanted to do originally but I wasn't that interested in Singapore. But, now I've heard some really great things about it and I'm curious to go, it sounds very picturesque and exceptionally clean which will be a nice change!

Did some shopping the other day, and I'm now starting to get requests for things! I'd love to buy so many things here, surprise, surprise! They have beautiful wood carved stuff, unique hand made tables for $100 and stuff - it's unbelievable but I have to try and not make the parcel home too big. Well, I've been on the internet long enough now, I should head off, plus for not really having down much this is a pretty long entry - I'm sure Rocky will laugh at me! Heard they're starting to get snow in Canada - ha!ha!

November 28, 1999. KALIBUKBUK, BALI, INDONESIA.

It's been a long and strenuous time here in Bali. But luckily we've arrived at Lovina Beach and been having a fantastic time doing absolutely nothing. But first, the last few days.

UBUD - We ended up spending about 3 days in Ubud (the cultural capital) but did not see anything other than the Monkey Forest. Yes, we got to see a monkey. Actually, lots of monkeys. But I digress. We booked into a little inn with a double room and fan and kind of relaxed. Unfortunately we both ended up with insomnia. Not a lick of sleep all night. The next day we tried to walk around ended up with sever dehydration problems. Luckily we picked up some Re-hydration sachets and dealt with the problem for the rest of the day. If you are keeping score, that is 2 days down with nothing accomplished. That night we once again could not sleep and ended up moving to an upscale bungalow type place with a/c to possibly relieve the heat stress our bodies were under. It didn't work. We ended up getting on a bus to Lovina the next day (day 3 in Ubud) and trying to sort it out here.

Otherwise the people of Ubud were much less of a hassle than the Kuta people. Also a lot of the handicrafts and wood carvings were very beautiful but "overpriced" (so to speak). If you have the patience to barter in the market then you might be able to strike some sort of bargain. Unfortunately their prices start at about double the price of any of the shops selling the same thing. We plan to head back to Ubud to do some shopping (Sarah is excited about that) and catch one of the Balinese dances. We caught a glimpse of one and it looked quite fascinating.

KALIBUKBUK - As soon as we stepped off the bus in the Lovina area we were assaulted by hotel touts trying to drag us to see one of the many hotels here. Since we are now naturals at the bargaining game (Thank you Turkey) we ended up getting a ride to right where we wanted to go and picked out own hotel/bungalow/resort place without any pressure. It was a pretty simple decision actually. The prices were quite reasonable and we decided to shell out the extra $2 for a lovely a/c room. As far as we're concerned this is as close to paradise as we've been so far. Last night while floating in the pool with a beer I (Rocky) spoke one of the best noble truths of my life: "I sure feel good about all those people in University that worked hard and studied and got better grades than me. I wonder how work is going for them?" (aside, Imagine if you will, floating in a lovely pool with a brilliantly clear sky full of stars above you, with palm trees surrounding you and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO CARE ABOUT. Yeah, what are grades worth anyway.)
Besides all the doing nothing that we've been doing, I have achieved a mild sunburn on my frail Canadian skin. But nothing to worry about. Last night I went fishing with an Irish guy and a local. We caught nothing. But we did get to see the sunset over the mountains that turned the sky... I can't even begin to describe it. But we stayed out for quite a while in the dark anyway. Sarah thought we had drowned since we returned about 2 hours after we had expected. But the local guy was really nice and we have decided to go dolphin watching at dawn with him tomorrow (yes, yes, yes, life is unbelievably difficult, I know). So that's that ladies and gents. We'll be thinking about all of you tonight as we once again sit relaxed under the canopy of stars that keeps us smiling.

Dear Sarah's mom. Sarah forgot to put this in her email and I reminded her a few times but she "WASN'T THINKING". (God I love hearing that). Of the pictures that you like the most could you scan them at you-know-whos and possibly email them to us so we can put them on the page? That would be great.

November 22, 1999. KUTA, BALI, INDONESIA.

Well, after about 20 hours of travelling time, we've finally made it to Bali, and there's only one thing to say - It's damn HOT!!! We aren't used to this weather so we are planning to take things pretty easy for awhile until our bodies adjust, therefore, the big sucks that we are, we have a room with air conditioning and a pool. It's a rough life isn't it. Well, there's not much to say as we've been here only a day and so far have slept for most of it! Internet is super expensive here so the updates may be slim and few between, but chances are it'll get cheaper outside of Kuta (a huge resort town, feels like Miami or something - hormones raging). We will most likely be out to Ubud tomorrow if we can brave the heat and lug our backpacks some more. Hope it's snowing in Canada - that'll make me feel better and not complain so much about the heat. Ha!Ha!
 

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