Rachel and Matt’s World Tour
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Bali & Lombok

Hello – hope everyone had a great Easter and gorged on chocolate.

We have now been mooching around Bali and Lombok for nearly 3 weeks and after a few more days in Bali we are heading to Java.

Our first stop in Bali was Sanur. The lonely planet describes it as ‘snore’ as it is much quieter than Kuta, but having then gone on to experience Kuta we much preferred it! It has gorgeous bars on the beach for enjoying the evenings Bintangs (local beer).

Kuta was our next stop – the beach is great and full of surf bods but the sea is raging so no good for swimming. We stayed in Poppies Gang I, the main backpacker strip – small alleyways full of the usual stalls and shops. Lots of annoying touts and hawkers ‘transport mister?’ ‘you want massage?’ ‘looking, looking, we have good sunglassses/ sarong/ t-shirt/ necklace/ etc/ etc’. We had an awesome day at WaterBom park which had great slides, but unfortunately too many hairy, eastern europeans in skimps. Think Borat Mankini!

Next stop Seminyak, supposedly the posh end of Kuta. It was certainly more expensive but the beach was not half as nice and there was little choice of bars and restaurants as it is mostly just big resorts there.

We then moved on to Ubud which we both loved. We stayed in Sania’s House where we had a very pretty room overlooking a lush, flower filled courtyard and pool, in the middle of the village. We went and saw a traditional dance performance. It was very impressive but slightly freaky in parts – lots of big, wide staring eyes and double jointed fingers?! Matt being the cultured one describes the music as a bunch of 2 yr olds banging on bin lids.

We also took a day trip to Gunang Kawi, which has 11th century carvings in the cliff sides. It was pretty impressive as were the beautiful rice paddy views on the way down into the valley. The sweltering walk back up the 350 steps was hampered by ‘you look hot mister, we have nice cold drink’ every 10 seconds as the steps are lined with stalls. Very lovely sarongs here are 3 for 10,000 rupiah (60p)! We also visited the holy spring temple amongst others and to a viewpoint of Mount Batur. Please look at the pics, there are some goodies. One stop was at a coffee plantation, where we both tried Kopi Luwak. This is made from coffee beans that have been ‘processed’ by a mongoose i.e. eaten and pooed, then the beans collected and roasted!! Apparently it is a very expensive delicacy and Peter Jones (Dragons Den) sells it for 50 quid a cup in his London cafe!! I just think it’s gross.

From Ubud we took the bus and a very slow boat to an island just off the Lombok coast called Gili Trawangan, aka “party island”. We walked all the way around the coast in an afternoon, it was stunning. Snorkelling was very good, we saw lots of colourful fishies. We watched movies in huts on the beach, ate some very good food, and Matt drank some more Bintangs. And Mum I promise I said ‘no’ to numerous offers of pot and magic mushrooms – one restaurant puts them on the pizzas, another blitzes them in milkshakes. I got ill, so wasted a couple of days in bed. We then moved on to the Lombok mainland, staying in Sengiggi.

The beach here was excellent. It’s really steep so each wave really pulls you around on the shoreline. Great fun for swimming in. The highlight was going snorkelling off the beach and seeing a huge turtle!! Bloody brilliant, although he made a very swift escape when approached. On our last day there, the beach was packed as all local families gather on the beach on Sundays. Lots of kiddies playing in the water, around all the fishing boats, and flying kites. Matt had his hair cut, which included an unexpected and thorough head, neck, and back massage by a very lovely tranny!

We travelled by ferry back to Bali, which was an experience. First hounded by locals selling what looked like home made pork scratchings, we passed the 4 hrs by watching a very violent samurai movie, followed by ‘Death Race’, and then some low budget, blood and gore zombie film. The toddlers sat around us didnt seem too affected.

We are leaving Tulamben today, where more excellent snorkelling included swimming around the USA ship ‘Liberty’ that was torpedoed during WWII and sunk just off shore. We hired a camera so there are some pics for you to look at.

We will probably post next from Malaysia, when my Mum and Dad will be with us!! I’m so excited, I can’t wait to see them!!

Laters x


1 Fiona { 05.02.09 at 1:38 pm }

Hey, those scuba diving pictures are really good! Something interesting happened in Oxford the other day, 5 doors down from my house there was a stabbing! A couple got into a domestic apparently and both had serious stab wounds, now he is being held with attempted murder! Also, have you seen new Transformers trailer, it looks AMAZING! Matt you also look suntanned! X

2 Mum and Dad Doran { 05.03.09 at 7:55 am }

The wait for this latest blog was well worth it. Glad to see you both looking so well. Not too sure about the sarong thing Matt though Rachel looks pretty cool in hers. Why is it that those Balinese dancers look so damn miserable? Not a smile in sight. You both seem to have taken to the snorkling in a big way, not surprising I suppose when there is so much underwater wildlife and wrecks to go diving on.Who can hold their breath the longest? Not so much water on your next stages so get in as much as you can. Love the photos and the up dates. Yes lots are reading the blog . The staff at Bay House are regular visitors and Mum takes paper copies into work as well, so don’t worry. Lots of love Mum and Dad xxxx

3 Matt { 05.06.09 at 3:08 am }

Hello Fee.

I see the stabbing made the BBC website! Did you hear any of it?
Yes, I am gradually getting a tan, but Rach is so far in front now she’s uncatchable.

Rach can manage all of 10 secs underwater. Glad you liked the pics.

4 Mum Doran { 05.08.09 at 3:12 pm }

Thats cheating, eating a MacDonalds in Indonesia!! Although I can appreciate that you would get fed up with noodles every day! Just think of a lovely British bacon sarnie, that will make your mouth water!!
Got your ringits today so Dad will pop over on his bike to Rachels parents and pop your cards thru the door. Have a couple of Cocktails on us. Off to lunch with the Gawns this week end, always enjoyable. Speak soon, keep safe, love to you both.xx

5 Simon Gawn et al { 05.10.09 at 3:25 pm }

We are here with Mr & Mrs Doran and the Dracups – great site – love the vids & photos. San Francisco pics – just like ours LOL.

6 Mum and Dad Doran { 05.14.09 at 6:53 am }

Happy Birthday Matt, hope you are enjoying a good day. Cards are on the way – having them hand delivered!!! No expense spared!!
Fee & Ash off on holiday this week-end, Dad off to WW1 Battlefields trip with Jim on motorbikes – and me – I’m home alone!! shame! Have a super time in KL with Rachels folks. Speak soon birthday boy.xxx

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