Our Family Blog

St. Stephen’s Day diving

December 28th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 10-Indonesia - (3 Comments)

As the diving was so good on Christmas day we decided to go again on St. Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day).  With Zoe being a dive instructor we were allowed to hire the equipment and tanks ourselves.  Much to the amusement of the locals, we hired a moped to carry the equipment saving on transport costs.  Both were off the shore so we didn’t need to hire a boat.

The two dives cost a mere £14, an absolute bargain and the sites themselves were the best that I have done.  Our first was a Japanese ship wreck starting at 5m and with its deepest at 15m.  The visibility was superb and the coral was amazing, which you’ll see from the pictures.

Our second was close to our hotel starting at 6m and a coral wall dropping to 80m.  Again, the visibility was amazing even when we dropped to our maximum of 30m.  The coral wall was beautiful but damn scary, all you could see when looking down was complete darkness.  Having assessed my diving and buoyancy skills, Zoe has assured me that the PADI Advanced Course will be a mere walk in the park.

There are many more beaufiful pictrues on the pictures tab no.50.

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Christmas Day

December 28th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 10-Indonesia - (0 Comments)

After a 15 hour bus ride from Mount Bromo we arrived in Denpasar, Bali, and choosing not to camp in Kuta – the tourist mecca – we jumped straight in a cab and headed for Amed, a sleepy village on the north east coast of Bali.  We arrived at 3am (total journey 18hrs) and all was closed so we camped on the beach until the following morning (Christmas eve).

As expected, there wasn’t a hint of Christmas in Amed other than a piece of tinsel rapped around a Buddha in the entrance of our hotel. We relaxed and toured the area most of Christmas eve and booked two dives (a wreck and coral) for Christmas day, as there was nothing else to do.  Sam chose to snorkel rather than dive to save herself the pain of another ear infection over the Christmas.

We dived early in the morning and although visibility was only around 10m the dive itself was top class and was my first wreck.  I dived to 25m for 50mins which was a new personal best.  The stern of the ship was at a shallow 5m so Sam was in her element snorkeling too.  With the poor visibility we didn’t get many good photos as you’ll see below.

Christmas evening we went off for a drive on the bike sat and watched the sunset and had many beers back on our hotel veranda with Zoe.  Zoe presented us with a handmade kite as a Christmas present, a very thoughtful jesture especially as she doesn’t celebrate Christmas.

It was a strange day overall and we did miss our families and the Christmas dinner but we had some great company which made it somewhat easier.

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Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park

December 28th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 10-Indonesia - (2 Comments)

A package tour from Yogykarta in Jave to Denpasar in Bali included a quick stopover at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park.

A pre-dawn trek (starting at 3:30am) to the viewpoint to see the fume-belching Gunung Semeru, Java’s largest mountain (3676m).  We waited about two hours in minus temperature for the sun to rise – which was absolutely beautiful – but it was too cloudy to get any postcard pictures.  The cone blew every 15mins and each time the damn clouds covered our view, we did manage to get one photo which we have included below.

Having warmed up with a few hot cups of coffee it was into the jeep and onto the smoking cone of Bromo. As we climbed up the steps the sulphur choked us and left us breathless at times, but having reached its perimeter we could see the steep walls plunging down to a vast flat sea of lava and sand, somewhat surreal.  The desolate landscape had a distinctly end-of-world feeling.

After a half hour on the top it was back to the hotel for a measly breakfast, a quick shower and pack for our tour bus to Denpasar, all a bit rushed but worth it!

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December 28th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 10-Indonesia | UNESCO World Heritage Sites - (0 Comments)

Ranking with Bagan and Angkor Wat as one of the great Southeast Asian monuments, Borobudur is a stunning and poignant epitaph to Java’s Buddhist heyday (Lonely Planet).

Constructed in the early part of the 9th century, the temple consists of six square bases with some 1500 narrative relief panels illustrating Buddhist teachings and tales.  On the upper circular terraces there are latticed stupas which contain 72 more Buddha images.  Covered in volcanic ash by an eruption in 1006 and only rediscovered in 1814.

Billboards display photographs of its entire re-construction (not sure what year)from just a mound of ash to what we have today – a real credit to the team – and they are still restoring parts of the rear section.  We were unable to confirm whether there is an actual inner temple.  The monument is so large it is hard to believe that are no tunnels or an inner chamber.  We talked with many of the workers and stone masons but they all just seemed to ignore or shy away from the question.  Maybe there is but off limits to tourists.

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Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 10-Indonesia - (1 Comments)

Just a quick post to wish you all at home a merry Christmas.  We love and miss you all and will be thinking of you as you unwrap your presents and tuck into the turkey.  At times like this we do get a little homesick.

We arrived at Amed, a small sleepy village on the east cost of Bali, from Mount Bromo at 4am this morning.  As there were no guest houses open we had a comfortable sleep on the beach (pikey style).  We have since checked into a lovely hotel right on the beach (with swimming pool) where we will see out the Christmas.

There isn’t a hint of Christmas celebration here so we have booked ourselves 2 scuba dives for the morning and will hopefully meet up with some other guests for a meal and drinks in the afternoon. If not, I’m sure we will will make our own party.

We have no phone coverage in our hotel so we will find the nearest hill to climb in the hope that we can get a signal and phone our nearest and dearest.  The nearest internet shop is a half hour on a moped (which you have to rent), so updates will be non existent for the time being. 

You can try your best to contact us on our Indonesian mobile number which is:

0062 81280359686

The phone is fully charged with about 6hrs of talk time, so get calling .

Or, phone our hotel on:

 0062 36… (ask for room no.2)

We are 8hrs ahead so no drunken calls to reception at all hours in the morning.