Fredde

Dec 042011
 

This morning Fredde went up early to catch the island hopping boat to Gili Trawangan to get some cash from the ATM. The life on Trawangan is much busier and it’s not called the party island for nothing. Motor traffic is forbidden on the Gili islands and you either walk or catch a horse carriage.

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Back at Meno we had a nice brunch at Mallias Child.

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After yesterday’s success with the snorkeling trip we were very excited to try it along the beach today. We rented some gear and jumped into the water.

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The snorkeling was amazing – almost as good as yesterday. We saw countless of fishes, both below and above the water. The ones above were small flying fishes jumping in great schools just as we had our own heads above the water. Besides the turtles our favorite sea life we saw was the beautiful yellow and black and white surgeon fishes, they almost looked like angels in the water. Fredde was fortunate to swim together with one turtle for almost half an hour, the turtle almost seemed to enjoy itself before it waved goodbye and went out into open water.

We also found ‘Nemo’ and helped him back to his home anemone 🙂

The ugliest thing we found (besides some dead corals and occasional waste floating around) was a really big moraine lurking in its hole.

We got our own ‘fruit-lady’, Uni, she was really sweet and nice and we couldn’t resist buying mango and pineapple from her. She proved to be quite handy with the knife 🙂

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Like all Indonesian people she carried everything on her head and made it look like the most natural thing in the world. It wasn’t quite so natural for Greet who had to use her hands for help…

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We met a very nice couple from Germany, Silke and Torben. They are arranging everything from here as they go along and they are leaving Gili Meno for Bali at same time as us.

The rain hit us once again at late afternoon. It was a really bad rain that left most of the hotel land under water; only the paved walks were still above water. Later we saw that even a tree had fallen during the rain.

We had dinner once again at Mallias Child together with Silke and Torben. Martine and Kees, who arrived earlier today, joined us all later for a few Bintangs.

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Dec 032011
 

We had a surprisingly good sleep under a mosquito net in our modest bungalow and woke rested when our alarms went off at 7 am. Today we went on a snorkeling trip with a rented boat and guide around Gili Meno. After a quick breakfast we set out to find turtles and beautiful fishes on the coral reefs surrounding our island.

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We stopped at four different reefs and our guides showed us all the different wonders of the corals. The guides were very good at snorkeling and easily went down 10-20m to show different things. It was absolutely amazing, we saw so many different kinds of fishes it’s impossible to try and recount them. We saw flowerlike corals that close when you get near them, different kind of shells and clams, a lobster but most amazing was to swim beside the big turtles. The turtles are very beautiful and gracious under water and it looks like they are flying through the water. We had the fortune to get so close to them so you could actually touch them. At our last stop we saw on old wreck from a boat that probably used to go to Lombok.

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After the snorkeling trip we just relaxed by the pool, it’s basically on the beach…

In the afternoon it started raining and we saw a really big lizard walking over our backyard. We tried to get a good picture of it but it was basically gone before we could get the camera out.

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We went to our favorite restaurant and played a new game called ‘Schotten-Totten’. It was a fun game and we ate a pizza and gado gado and drank a few Bintang 🙂

Dec 022011
 

Today we reached paradise!

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But before we got that nice picture of Gili Meno we had to go through a quite rough speed boat ride… it was bumpy and shaky to say the least. The speedboat stopped at Lombok to let of some Dutch seniors and reached it’s final destination, the party island Gili Trawangan. We took a local taxi boat to Gili Meno and our hotel Gazebo Meno.

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Everything is extremely relaxed here at Meno but before we did any exploration we ran straight to the water!!!

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We had some lunch at a nearby café until the rain hit us.

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During the afternoon Greet caught up on some sleep while Fredde caught up on some blogging. We went to a restaurant by the harbor and had some freshly grilled fish, yummy!

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Dec 012011
 

We got picked up early by Pak (which means sir) Doel whom took us to the market to buy the groceries for today’s cooking course. Doel is Katut’s (the lady that was leading the cooking course) husband and took us first to a small fishing harbor. Here he told us stories about how bad the fishing in the area has gotten, most due to the climate change. Where it used to be beaches there are now only rocks and cliffs. Even though it’s illegal people from nearby small islands come and fish with dynamite and destroy the reefs 🙁

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The local market in Seraya is too small so Doel took us to Amlapura. It was a big market (two blocks) with food, clothes and utilities. Doel went to several different stands to buy the different ingredients; he knew exactly who had the best of each.

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Fredde also found his favorite fruit, mangosteen 🙂 (upper right corner on the picture)

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Back at Doel and Katut’s house we first sat down to have tea and some sweets while Katut started to prepare the ingredients.

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Today we learned how to make Raw sambal, Tempeh, Corn cookies, Fish sateh and Urap; we started out by doing a lot of cutting and grinding.

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Katut taught us a lot about the ingredients and of course how to cook them.

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Afterwards we sat sit down and enjoyed the fruits of our labor for lunch!

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It was a really nice and special day, and very tasteful 😉

Back at Villa Arjuna we could relax a little by the pool until we had to get ready for Hans’ (the owner of Villa Arjuna) mountain tour.

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Together with Martine and Kees we took our seats in the back of the pickup and let Hans take us up into the mountains.

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We soon discovered how well known and popular Hans and his wife are in the area, everybody waved and greeted us in a very friendly and respectful way. Hans and Els Rijks are helping out the people here very much. The views were once again amazing and Hans took us up at least 4-500 meters up the mountain to one of the temples.

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Hans proved to be quite the story teller and spellbound his listeners with facts and tales about Bali and his own experience of this beautiful place that has been his home for 11 years.

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On our way down the mountain we stopped by one of Hans’ friends that wanted to treat us with some fresh coconut juice. With amazing agility and speed she climbed a palm tree and cut down a nice young coconut.

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With a few well-placed cuts of the machete we had very good refreshment!

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Back at Villa Arjuna, Greet enjoyed a very nice massage before dinner. It was an amazing, although little painful at times, massage which took almost 2 hours!

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Villa Arjuna is supporting young girls with scholarships if their parents can’t afford sending them to school. However, one of these girls in need refused their help with money but wanted instead to earn the money by dancing for the guests. At dinner we had a very nice surprise as this girl danced for us. She was very good 🙂

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After dinner it was Fredde’s turn to get the massage, and we could both conclude that it was the best massage that we have ever gotten!

 

Nov 302011
 

After taking a last stroll in the garden of the water palace it was time to check out and let the driver take us to our next stop – Villa Arjuna outside Seraya.

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Villa Arjuna is owned and managed by a Dutch couple, Hans and Els Rijks, and is beautifully situated by the ocean. Once again we were amazingly lucky with the room and got the room with the best view, looking out over the cliffs and the ocean.

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Our room was part of a newly built house and the inside was just as nice as the outside.

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Even from the bed we had a panorama view of the ocean…

Today was a relaxing day by the pool and we spent some time with our Dutch friends, Martine and Kees. We met Martine and Kees in Munduk and they are very nice, even though they have been stalking us since Ubud ;-). It turned out that they had put together an almost identical package at Riksja (Indonesia Online) as us.

Here at Villa Arjuna it’s very nice and relaxed with a very familiar mood where homemade lunch is served at 1 pm and dinner at 7 pm.

We ate an amazing dinner with friends and had such a nice evening! But as always when you are having a great time, time goes by way too fast…

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We ended the day by listening to the waves crashing against the smooth rocks 20 meters below us – a deafening sound, but at the same time so soothing…

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