Ram in Paradise

Ram, long time no see Ram

Ram's first time in Asia. It was very good to see her, especially given the time apart. Very glad she came
Ram’s first time in Asia. It was very good to see her, especially given the time apart. Very glad she came

Ram shining love with lust in her eyes

Romance returned, love not lost, back on track.

1st time in Asia

1st time out of Europa

A necessary selfie. We don't have many
A necessary selfie. We don’t have many

From a world of snow and ice and cold to 30+C & 80% humidity

Thomas Homestay, Padang Padang, Bali

Pantai Padang Pandang from Thomas Homestay. It's quite a view, with the rooms enjoying it uninterrupted. The surf providing the lullaby.
Pantai Padang Pandang from Thomas Homestay.
It’s quite a view, with the rooms enjoying it uninterrupted. The surf providing the lullaby.

View to die for, looong swells rolling in, surf rumbling, sunsets galore

One of them sunsets over Padang Padang
One of them sunsets over Padang Padang

No sink in the bathroom, water often not on, facilities pretty basic

Welcome to a Bali-style nearly all gone

replaced with 5-Star resorts with all the trappings.

Ram’s not a swimmer.

Bali’s not for swimming

Bali’s a surfing paradise

them long swells rolling in

The same view. It's worth a second look
The same view. It’s worth a second look

some of the best waves in the world

A little intimidating if you can’t surf

impossible if you can’t swim

Padang Padang beach we enjoyed

Pantai Padang Padang up close. Finding shade is a necessity.
Pantai Padang Padang up close. Finding shade is a necessity.

but the surf

well alone we leave

Hers and His Bintangs
Hers and His Bintangs

Refuge in Balangan Sea View Bungalow

Part of Tez’s global empire

along with Singapore and the UK and countless places in between

Balangan Sea View Bungalows. Ours is the one dominated the pool
Balangan Sea View Bungalows. Ours is the one dominated the pool
We shared our bungalow at Balangan with a cute brood of mom & puppies
We shared our bungalow at Balangan with a cute brood of mom & puppies

Three nights or was it four

Differences little

Differences large

European icon or Indo inovation

This is NOT lime flavoured Absolute. It is fire-water, for scooter's thirst not ours
This is NOT lime flavoured Absolute. It is fire-water, for scooter’s thirst not ours

Enjoying the swimming pool

the sunset beach views

Famous Balangan surf rolling in during a beautiful sunset
Famous Balangan surf rolling in during a beautiful sunset
Tex (far right), Phil, me and (a bit of) Ram as we enjoy watching a Balangan sunset
Tex (far right), Phil, me and (a bit of) Ram as we enjoy watching a Balangan sunset
Surfer coming right into shore at Balangan Beach
Surfer coming right into shore at Balangan Beach

chilling chatting catching up and reconnecting

Exploring foods and fruits

The delights of Asia; rambutan, mangosteen and (very tasty) bananas. Ram had never tasted such fruit before and the difference between local Indo bananas as the woody Chiquita one's bizarrely favoured in Europa was stark.
The delights of Asia; rambutan, mangosteen and (very tasty) bananas. Ram had never tasted such fruit before and the difference between local Indo bananas as the woody Chiquita one’s bizarrely favoured in Europa was stark.
The tasty end of mangosteen
The tasty end of mangosteen
Rambutan expose
Rambutan expose

Local Warung delights

Indonesian makan, from a Warung. A true culinary delight
Indonesian makan, from a Warung. A true culinary delight

Planning our next moves

Ram chilling inside a mosquito net cocoon.
Ram chilling inside a mosquito net cocoon.
Me outside doing some stretching
Me outside doing some stretching
Me, trying to get into Selfies. Ram, making it look easy
Me, trying to get into Selfies. Ram, making it look easy

Come the time

a plane we boarded

for lands and shores even more exotic

Rinca, as we descend towards Labuan Bajo
Rinca, as we descend towards Labuan Bajo

Labuan Bajo, Flores western

Welcome to Komodo Airport, Labuan Bajo
Welcome to Komodo Airport, Labuan Bajo

Gateway to Dragons, fierce currents and amazing diving

Puri Sari, luxury on the beach

In there, somewhere, is our hotel room ...
In there, somewhere, is our hotel room …
RamMaxX selfie on 'our' beach at Puri Sari. For the most part we were alone on the beach
RamMaxX selfie on ‘our’ beach at Puri Sari. For the most part we were alone on the beach
Ram and 'our' beach at Puri Sari
Ram and ‘our’ beach at Puri Sari
Another of Ram and our beach at Puri Sari
Another of Ram and our beach at Puri Sari
There are zillions of small sand crabs on all the beaches. Fast buggas!
There are zillions of small sand crabs on all the beaches. Fast buggas!
Puri Sari sunset
Puri Sari sunset

Only, we didn’t plan the public holiday

Evicted after just two nights out of four

Homelessness here is but a parable

there’s always somewhere to stay

Selini Homestay, hillside perched, overlooking Labuan Bajo

Selini Homestay. Ours is the middle bungalow on the top row. The building lower right is the restaurant/bar. Only, there's no food there. After ordering someone heads to the town to get the food. And the beer is also brought up from below. Warm by the time it reached us. The cost did not reflect this quality
Selini Homestay. Ours is the middle bungalow on the top row. The building lower right is the restaurant/bar. Only, there’s no food there. After ordering someone heads to the town to get the food. And the beer is also brought up from below. Warm by the time it reached us. The cost did not reflect this quality

Azan rings out, the muezzin calling the faithful in

haunting and beautiful

but at 0400 a tough call

Still, we’re on holiday

we lie and listen and

when it’s finished

fall asleep again

Labuan Bajo from our Selini bungalow
Labuan Bajo from our Selini bungalow
Works of art really.
Works of art really.
The bungalows at Selini Homestay are magnificent. Beautifully presented. The airconditioners barely cope, so we opted to open all doors and windows and enjoy the warm
The bungalows at Selini Homestay are magnificent. Beautifully presented.
The airconditioners barely cope, so we opted to open all doors and windows and enjoy the warm
Downtown Labuan Bajo from our bungalow at Selini
Downtown Labuan Bajo from our bungalow at Selini
Selini sunset
Selini sunset

There be Dragons

so we’re told

Our boat to Rinca on the trail of Dragons
Our boat to Rinca on the trail of Dragons
Rinca, land of Dragons.
Rinca, land of Dragons.

Komodo, Rinca and a few other

Islands

paradises

Rinca as we chug past on our boat. It took near 2 hours to get to Rinca. Very pleasant chug between islands small, with currents and clear waters.
Rinca as we chug past on our boat. It took near 2 hours to get to Rinca. Very pleasant chug between islands small, with currents and clear waters.
Mooring a boat Indo-style. We were not the first at Rinca and so had to gently maneuver our way to the jetty.
Mooring a boat Indo-style. We were not the first at Rinca and so had to gently maneuver our way to the jetty.
Rinca's colourful harbour
Rinca’s colourful harbour

but paradises lost if you tread wrong

Our own boat

Our own Guide

No point in taking chances

Dragons be fickle

Dragons be hide

I took a L O T of photos, even if they were not really putting on an 'active' show
I took a L O T of photos, even if they were not really putting on an ‘active’ show

If you’re gonna case Dragons

handy to have a Dragon Guide

Me and our Fearless Leader. He did an excellent job with some pretty fussy tourists who didn't want The Usual fare of some trek up a hill. Instead we said ... Dragons! Fuck treks, show us Dragons. And he did. We gave his a big tip
Me and our Fearless Leader. He did an excellent job with some pretty fussy tourists who didn’t want The Usual fare of some trek up a hill. Instead we said … Dragons! Fuck treks, show us Dragons.
And he did. We gave him a big tip

Hikes are offered

treks long hard hot and wide

“What would you like to do?” asks the Guide

“We be here for Dragons” answer I

“Treks we can do many-a-place

but Dragons we can do but here”

Two hours’ long

Two sisters. Apparently. At a bit over 1.6 meters, 'small' in comparison to the males lounging around, which were about 2 m. The sisters had a sort of synchronised lounging thing going on
Two sisters. Apparently. At a bit over 1.6 meters, ‘small’ in comparison to the males lounging around, which were about 2 m. The sisters had a sort of synchronised lounging thing going on

two hours too short

we followed our guide

not on a hike

on a Dragon hunt

Lookin at me?
Lookin at me?
Impressive feature. Each one has different markings on its face. I reckon they could name the. Like: Henry, Sue, Charlotte ...
Impressive features. Each one has different markings on its face. I reckon they could name the. Like: Henry, Sue, Charlotte …

George had a lance

Our guide has a stave, forked and strong

Dragons be lizard, apparently

Forked of tongue

Huge of weight

Sudden of temperament

Fast of foot

Large of teeth

and venomous to boot

Flat out. Literally
Flat out. Literally
Not really scales. Like other monitors - Varanus - the have skin rather than scales. Quite rough skin
Not really scales. Like other monitors – Varanus – they have skin rather than scales. Quite rough skin

Don’t fuck with a ‘lizard’ that outweighs you two to one

can run faster than thou and strip flesh from your bone

leaving poisoned death behind.

For the most part they hang around during the hot time of the day, well used to people. The are more active early in the morning and late in the afternoon
For the most part they hang around during the hot time of the day, well used to people. They are more active early in the morning and late in the afternoon
Hard life being a Star Attraction.
Hard life being a Star Attraction.
There's a latent potential you don't want to diminish with a 2 m Komodo Dragon. They look languid enough, but ...
There’s a latent potential you don’t want to diminish with a 2 m Komodo Dragon. They look languid enough, but …
Our teenager roused from hunting eggs in a nest due to the arrival of a noisy group (talk about bad timing), checking out what all the fuss is about
Our teenager roused from hunting eggs in a nest due to the arrival of a noisy group (talk about bad timing), checking out what all the fuss is about
A teenager. An active one too. Found her digging up bird's nest looking for eggs. Our 'discovery' coincided with a tour group who don't quite get the 'be quiet' approach to wildlife viewing. We had to wait until the group left and we could follow the Dragon under calmer circumstance
A teenager. An active one too. Found her digging up bird’s nest looking for eggs. Our ‘discovery’ coincided with a tour group who don’t quite get the ‘be quiet’ approach to wildlife viewing. We had to wait until the group left and we could follow the Dragon under calmer circumstance
Teenager going to ground as she checks us out
Teenager going to ground as she checks us out
Ram getting into the whole 'It really IS wam and wonderful here' thing, as we faithfully follow our Fearless Leader
Ram getting into the whole ‘It really IS wam and wonderful here’ thing, as we faithfully follow our Fearless Leader
Lounge Lizard in semi shady spot.
Lounge Lizard in semi shady spot.
Ram and I and The Komodo National Park sign.
Ram and I and The Komodo National Park sign.

Came out on the boat

Ram

as I went diving

the only person close to me

who’s ever seen me dive

Prior to getting ready to dive. It does take a bit of huffing and puffing to get ready. So much equipment involved
Prior to getting ready to dive. It does take a bit of huffing and puffing to get ready. So much equipment involved
Pretty much prepared up and soon to go ...
Pretty much prepared up and soon to go …

 

Standing on The Edge awaiting The Signal

Standing on The Edge awaiting The Signal

Signal given, stepping off into The Blue
Signal given, stepping off into The Blue
Not long now. In fact, very soon we dive
Not long now. In fact, very soon we dive
Moving away from the boat before diving
Moving away from the boat before diving. We also had to avoid the strong currents by swimming closer to the lee of the islands
About to dive. That's me at the top left
About to dive. That’s me at the top left
And dived we have. I had great dive companions and guide. So much different that Divine Divers on Gili Meno. Here they knew how to dive and expected me to know too. Which I enjoyed. Muchly
And dived we have.
I had great dive companions and guide. So much different that Divine Divers on Gili Meno. Here they knew how to dive and expected me to know too. Which I enjoyed. Muchly
Resurfaced.
Resurfaced.
Happy Diver
Happy Diver

Taking on currents

called rivers in lesser lands

spectacular

world class adventure

corals and fish, turtles and sharks, waters warm waters cool, current strong

The powerful currents can be seen tearing past the edge of a small island. At least 10 knots and possibly much more
The powerful currents can be seen tearing past the edge of a small island. At least 10 knots and possibly much more

 

I needed this

Would do more but can’t waste days underwater

with my diving widow watching

bubbles on the surface

we’ve but days to make up for a year

apart

diving’s great

bur Ram’s greater

Next time though

I’ll do a liveaboard and live the wonder

Selini Homestay

Great view, beautifully worked rooms

But the price two times too high

No bar no restaurant no pool

But pressure from an aeroplane impatient

not time to argue

but the receptionist put in the wrong numbers

got a 50% discount afterall

Bali, Legian, the Puri Saja

Puri Raja's green corridors lead to the rooms and facilities.
Puri Raja’s green corridors lead to the rooms and facilities.
Lobster Claw or false bird of paradise. A famous flower of the tropics, for good reason
Lobster Claw or false bird of paradise. A famous flower of the tropics, for good reason
Orchids abound in Puri Raja's gardens.
Orchids abound in Puri Raja’s gardens.

luxury on a beach

we didn’t see

but from the breakfast table

Them looong swells

them surfing breaks

and that sun

them beach touts

a pleasant beach-day a-not make

better for the pools

Margaritas. Of course. A necessary, if expensive, luxury.
Margaritas. Of course. A necessary, if expensive, luxury.
Margarita by Pool. Hmmm ... I could get used to this ;)
Margarita by Pool. Hmmm … I could get used to this 😉
Ram footsie ... over Puri Raja's pool. Am sure she could get used to such lounging too
Ram footsie … over Puri Raja’s pool. Am sure she could get used to such lounging too

languid days

chilling and chatting

thinking of futures to do

1st time outta Europa

1st time in Asia

Frozen worlds are well sterile

There’s nothing there to infect you

Tropical Asia is not

A world alive and thriving

Ram did well

really

before some Asian cold

finally got her

Reduced to 5-Star bed and TV dining

Crook Chook Ram-selfie, abandoned by me, as I'm probably down at the pool. Or maybe hunting food for her
Crook Chook Ram-selfie, abandoned by me, as I’m probably down at the pool. Or maybe hunting food for her

Makan brought in

from street stalls

charming tasty and exotic

With Ram laid up with a cold I scoured Legian for authentic foods, returning with her favourite of ayam satay (chicken satay)
With Ram laid up with a cold I scoured Legian for authentic foods, returning with her favourite of ayam satay (chicken satay)

Puri Sari staff extremely helpful

and understanding

But the shops and life

of Legian and (infamous) Kuta

must wait another time

Legian street-side view from one of the few warungs left in Legian's main drag(s). The pressure of kitsch tourism - clothes & souvineer shops + bars and up-market restaurants - force the original Indo warung ever deeper into cheaper areas. Which is a major shame, since that's where the taste of Indo really lie.
Legian street-side view from one of the few warungs left in Legian’s main drag(s). The pressure of kitsch tourism – clothes & souvineer shops + bars and up-market restaurants – force the original Indo warung ever deeper into cheaper areas. Which is a major shame, since that’s where the taste of Indo really lie.
Awaiting espresso and juice at Legian Beach. Getting a good espresso was hard. Australian's have no idea what a good espresso is, which has corrupted the locales who sell espresso. And cappuccino. Here, though, we managed to get one. At Euro prices too
Awaiting espresso and juice at Legian Beach. Getting a good espresso was hard. Australian’s have no idea what a good espresso is, which has corrupted the locales who sell espresso. And cappuccino. Here, though, we managed to get one. At Euro prices too
Now ... the fresh juices available in Indonesia/Asia should be standard globally. Just sooo nice to have a fresh juice. Mind you ... tidak gula ... no sugar ... you need to enforce this otherwise EVERYTHING will have sugar in it.
Now … the fresh juices available in Indonesia/Asia should be standard globally. Just sooo nice to have a fresh juice. Mind you … tidak gula … no sugar … you need to enforce this otherwise EVERYTHING will have sugar in it.

Finally

after two weeks of rediscovery

enjoying being together

in a world far removed

from Northern Scandinavia

Ram a big silver bird

with stiff wings

and a sullen roar

disappeared back North

And I?

Returned with a Bike in a Box

to red lands

hot and dry and sweaty and humid

and above all vast

to ways wandering

the go-slow approach.

 

Max

Bali, 13 May

2 thoughts on “Ram in Paradise

  1. We’ve had no internet for nearly three weeks, so a bit behind on your adventures till now, (27th). I read once Val Taylor saying Komodo was the best diving she’d ever experienced in the World. What’s your call?

    Like

    1. It was fantastic. On one dive we didn’t know where to look at the sharks, the vibrate reef life or the many turtles. The Philippines, 25 years ago, were even more dramatic with less current. Unfortunately one of my dive companions in Komodo had just come from diving in the Philippines. He said to keep my dreams, the diving is now shit.
      So, yeah, the Komodos are the best diving I’ve experienced in the last 10 years at least.

      Like

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