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Bali & Lombok stories / Pribehy z Bali & Lomboku

How we swam with sea turtles on Gili Air and climbed the second highest volcano in Indonesia Mt.Rinjani. / Ako sme plavali s morskymi korytnackami na Gili Air a vyliezli na druhu najvyssiu indonezsku sopku Mt.Rinjani.

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Upon our arrival in Bali we were emotionally drenched and not in the best physical condition. First we were charged an airport tax of 200 000 rupiah each (14 euro) in Medan, Sumatra which in our humble view is an official government corruption as taxes are already included in the tickets. Anyway, this was followed by a horror-like stopover in Kuala Lumpur. We honestly feared we will die that day. There was a storm over the KL airport and the aircraft suddenly fell down some 10s of meters. Instead of landing, the pilot started increasing speed again and lifted the plane up into the air filled with thunders beside the plane. We turned around and prepared for the second attempt. The wheels were out and we saw the runway from the window 100 meters below when the situation repeated itself and we had to fly straight back into the windy gale. During the third landing attempt we had our hearts in the throat and visualized our lives flushing by. But we made it. Unfortunately we had another flight two hours later to Bali, so you can imagine the terror with which we boarded that plane. Everything went well until we arrived to immigrations, where we were told that our 30-day Indonesian visa was actually single entry and we had to pay 30 $ each, again. Anyway, we were glad to be safely on land and went straight to our hotel. The room we were given hasn't seen a cleaning lady for a long while. So we asked for another room which was obviously more expensive. We didn't have any more energy to argue and fell asleep exhausted shortly after midnight...

Tobi didn't feel well the last days on Sumatra and had high fever upon our arrival in Bali. That is not a good sign in any tropical country, because malaria and dengue fever have the same symptoms as a normal flu. And so we spent the first day at a clinic going through blood tests. After a few stressful hours Tobi was acquitted and results were negative, to his great relief. We stayed in Kuta, the tourist capital of Bali for a couple more days until Tobi recovered. It is an incredibly exploited place full of Australians with a Bintang beer in their hands. There is no chance to escape the street vendors that offer anything you might need - taxi, massage, Bali boy, marihuana, opium,... We were the happiest people in the world when we finally left Kuta and discovered Amed on the far east coast. It was like an oasis of peace and relaxation hidden under the 3000 meters high volcano Mt.Agung. This was Bali as we imagined it to be: black volcanic sand, fishing villages, Hindu temples and traditional clothing. We spent a beautiful recovery week there doing yoga every morning and eating fresh fish all the time. At the Good Karma guesthouse in Selang we could snorkel straight off the beach and admired colorful fish and shining coral. We also rented a motorbike (as usual) and drove on a discovery trip to Tulamben where the USS Liberty shipwreck from the WWII is sunk. A true holiday!

When we finally had enough of doing nothing we considered it's time to move on - this time to the paradisiacal Gili islands off the coast of Lombok, Bali's neighbor. Think white sand, turquoise water, no motorized vehicles and sea turtles :) Of the three islands we chose Gili Air, a good place to relax but still with enough entertainment options. After sunbathing and long walks during the day we spent the evenings in a beach cinema. One day we decided that we needed more action and signed up for a 'Discover scuba diving' course. I was a little scared because of my ear problems in childhood, but all was good. Our French instructor first explained some theory and then we practiced basic exercise in the pool. After 2 hours we were ready to get on a boat to the dive spot of the day: Turtle heaven. Wow, what a place! We dived 14 meters deep to see a good dozen of sea turtles swimming elegantly around us. We also saw Nemo and Dory and many other fish whose names I can't remember :(

In the last days on Gili Air the owner of our apartment was trying to convince us to do a 3-day trek to Mt.Rinjani (3722 m), the second highest volcano in Indonesia. We knew it was a very difficult one but finally we gave in. Our 8-members group gathered in Senaru the evening before for an initial briefing. It all sounded great and we had no idea what we were actually into. The first day was all right, it took us 7 hours to climb up to the elevation of 2600 m, to the crater ridge. We enjoyed breathtaking views of the huge crater lake at sunset. We slept in tents and the night was very short and nerve-racking for us. The alarm clock was set to 2 am so that we could start our final, 4-hour long climb up to the top to be there at sunset. This was a mental fight, which brought us to the verge of surrender. We had to climb a slope with a 40 % incline on volcanic dust and loose pebble stones. The last 500 meters were the worse, with every step we took we slid down again and although we saw the summit, it seemed unattainable. When we finally reached it, all the pain was gone and we could enjoy stunning views of the surrounding islands Bali and Sumbawa. The way down was easy and carefree and we ate our well deserved breakfast down on the ridge at 9 am. What followed was a looong day because we still had 5 hours of hiking ahead of us. First we descended to the crater lake where we jumped into the hot spring and relaxed our muscles a little bit (it was also our only shower in the 3 days, yuk). And then followed a 3-hour ascent back to the ridge...we tried to distract ourselves by chatting and step by step hiked up. We arrived totally exhausted and as soon as the sun set we fell asleep in our tents. The third day was fortunately just a 5-hour walk down to Senaru, but the muscle pain was pretty bad and Tobi's knees hurt so badly that he had to help himself with a walking stick. We survived. It was tough. But it was worth it (what else can I say?!)! We'll be happy to share the details with anyone interested ;)


Na Bali sme prileteli rozcarovani a nie v najlepsej kondicii. Najprv nam v Medane na letisku nauctovali 200 000 rupii (14 eur) "odletovu dan". Nasledovalo medzipristatie v Kuala Lumpur, pri ktorom sme sa bali o holy zivot. Nad letiskom bola burka a lietadlo tesne pred pristatim prudko spadlo. S vysunutym podvozkom potom pilot zacal nahle zrychlovat a stupat. Otocil lietadlo a nasledoval druhy pokus o pristatie. Uz sme mali pristavaciu drahu na dohlad a zase vysunuty podvozok, ked sa situacia zopakovala. Na treti pokus sme pristali s zaludkom v krku a srdcom tlcucim o preteky. Bohuzial nas v ten den cakal dalsi let, na Bali. Ten uz bol nastastie bez problemov, aspon v lietadle. Na letisku nas nechali zaplatit druhy krat indonezske viza, pretoze tie nase su sice 30-dnove, ale bohuzial jednovstupove. Po tychto vsetkych prekazkach sme sa zaviezli do hotela, kde nam dali tak spinavu izbu, ze nam to nedalo a museli sme ju vymenit za inu (samozrejme drahsiu). Asi o polnoci sme zniceni zalahli a odpadli...

Tobi posledne dni na Sumatre chytil nejaku virozu a mal teploty. To nie je v ziadnej tropickej krajine sranda, pretoze to moze byt zaciatok malarie alebo horucky dengue. A tak sme prvy den na Bali stravili na klinike na krvnych testoch. Po dost stresujucom dni sme si vydychli, pretoze vysledky boli negativne. V hlavnom turistickom centre, Kute, sme zostali, kym sa Tobi nevyzdravel. Je to strasne prevarene stredisko plne Australcanov s pivom Bintang v ruke a poulicnych predavacov s plnym sortimentom - taxi, masaz, Bali boy, marihuana, opium. Boli sme velmi radi, kde sme konecne mohli vypadnut do krasneho Amedu. Vychodne pobrezie este stale je to Bali, o ktorom turisti basnia uz 30 rokov. Cierne plaze pod upatim 3000 metrov vysokej sopky Mt.Agung, rybarske osady, hinduisticke chramy a tradicne oblecenie. My sme si dali relaxacny tyzden v malych bungalovoch na plazi Good Karma. Kazde rano sme zacinali lekciou jogy a zivili sme sa cerstvymi rybami. Mali sme nadhernu snorchlovacku rovno z plaze - koraly a rybicky bolo krasne vidiet v priehladnej vode. Samozrejme nemohol chybat vylet na skutri, tentokrat do Tulambenu, kde sa nachadza vrak americkej lode z 2. svetovej vojny USS Liberty.

Ked uz sme uznali, ze by bol cas na presun (Tobi sa medzitym kompletne zotavil), nasadli sme na motorovy cln na Gili ostrovy. Su to 3 male klenoty na brehu Lomboku. Predstavte si biele plaze, tyrkysovo-modre more, ziadne motorove vozidla a morske korytnacky :) Zvolili sme Gili Air, kludnejsi ostrov na relax, ale stale s dostatkom aktivit. Okrem kupania a prechadzok sme kazdy vecer chodili do plazoveho kina - premietacie platno a tulivaky na piesku boli dobrou bodkou na konci dna. Rozhodli sme sa tu aj konecne vyskusat potapanie a prihlasili sa na zakladny kurz. Asi hodinu nam francuzsky instruktor vysvetloval teoriu, potom sme si skusili par dychacich cviceni v bazene a sup naostro. V ten den sa islo lodkou na miesto zvane "turtle heaven", teda korytnacie nebo. A naozaj, po pomalom zostupe do hlbky 14 metrov sa to korytnackami len tak hemzilo! Plavali vsade okolo nas, elegantne a bez namahy. Okrem nich sme videli aj Nema a Dory a vela dalsich ryb, ktorych mena si bohuzial nepamatam :(

Poslednych par dni nas lamal majitel apartmanu, v ktorom sme byvali, aby sme isli na 3-dnovu turu na Mt.Rinjani (3722 m.n.m.), 2.najvyssiu sopku v Indonezii. Nakoniec sme sa nechali nahovorit, i ked sme vedeli, ze to bude velmi narocne. V predvecer vystupu sa nasa 8-clenna skupinka zhromazdila na "skolenie muzstva" o priebehu nasledujucich 3 dni. Znelo to vsetko fajn a zatial sme netusili, co nas vlastne caka. Prvy den sme zvladli v pohode, za 7 hodin sme vyliezli na okraj krateru a mohli sme sa kochat prvymi pohladmi na obrovske sopecne jazero uprostred. Noc bola velmi nervozna a kratka. Uz o 2 rano sme mali budicek a slapali sme 4 hodiny na vrchol. Tento usek bola skuska nervov. Liezli sme v sopecnom prachu a kamenoch po svahu so sklonom 40 %. Poslednych 500 metrov bolo najhorsich, clovek uz videl vrchol, ale pri kazdom kroku sa smykal dole. Ked sme konecne dosiahli vrcholu, vsetko vycerpanie preslo a dostavila sa obrovska euforia. Videli sme Bali aj Sumbawu a samozrejme nemohla chybat povinna vrcholova fotka :) Cesta dolu bola uz rychla a bezstarostna. O 9 sme si dali dobre ranajky a...cakalo nas este dobrych 5 hodin turistiky. Najprv prisla ta prijemna cast, 2 hodiny dole k jazeru a k horucim pramenom, ktore boli vykupenim pre unavene svaly. Obed. Slofik. Zatial by to slo. Ale potom prisiel zaver dna, trojhodinovy vystup naspat na okraj krateru, kde sme stravili druhu noc. Snazili sme sa kratit si cas rozhovormi s clenmi nasej skupiny a poctivo sme ukrajovali cestu krok za krokom. Vycerpanie bolo vidiet na vsetkych a so zapadom slnka sme aj my zapadli do stanov a zalomili. Treti den bol nastastie uz len zostup do dediny Senaru, ale to uz Tobiho tak boleli kolena, ze zatinal zuby od bolesti a opieral sa o drevenu palicu. Prezili sme. Bolo to narocne. Ale stalo to za to! Zaujemcom radi zdelime dalsie detaily ;)


Posted by zuzana.zav 04:30 Archived in Indonesia

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Well done on getting to the top of the mountain!

by D.

Super. Super. Super.

by Rado

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