Tag Archives: travel

Another country, another view

Down towards the antartic near the bottom of the south island is a small valley tucked away on the edge of Dunedin harbour. My brother’s house is perched on a steep hillside

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Just down the hill from the house is a railway track running through the valley…. not too many trains,  tho in the dark of night they rumble along with huge long loads of containers carrying them off to who knows where.

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The roads up into the valley are steep and narrow….. the houses picturesque,  the vegetation lush, luxuriant and mostly green.

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The views of the harbour in  constant flux…..

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All in all a very fine day for a brisk walk …….with lots of gazing out into the harbour  mostly to catch one’s breath!!!

Flores labuhanbajo dan pulau Rinca circa 2003

This post got inspired by a fellow bloggers’ trip to Flores this year and looking at the photos I  thought wow I remember this place….beautiful. They asked whether it had changed and id probably say not much…….maybe busier sedikit (a little bit in bahasa indonesia) And so dug out some photos.I was pleased that I was able to lay my hands on them after 10 years..hurray for cds!

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View from the hills behind Labuhanbajo Flores

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The harbour at labuhanbajo

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Pulau Rinca national park entrance…..

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Komodo near the jetty to greet us. It has a name on its back. I wonder if its still there?

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On our walk…..kering sekali our guide said it hadnt rained for 5 years! This komdo was huge and quite intimidating . Both our guides had big sticks to fend them off…. luckily no need!

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A kerbau or water buffalo nestled in the muddy cool water. I remember it being pretty hot.

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Near where we stayed at Labuhanbajo… ssoooo beautiful and peaceful …..salam hangat!

Miscellaneous

Today is cold and gloomily overcast, the wind squeezing through the smallest opening, the clouds drizzling sporadically…. at a loose end ….browsing through my photos…

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Palms growing on the edge of Sekonyer river….

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What an amazing plant this is….the pitcher plant – a small nest of them deep in the rainforest.

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A domestic  duck enjoying the afternoon sun

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And a happy cat…. for thoe of us who are fond of cats and who acknowledge the dilemmas in doing so…

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Gorgeous floating butterflies  that refused to settle …..ahhhh!

All of these photos were taken somewhere along the sekonyer river in kalimantan.

A fleeting visit to Ubud

There is a part of me that feels like I am coming home when im in Ubud. I never seem to tire of seeing the beauty in things everyday …

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Like the sawah

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Gunung agung early morning from my balcony

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Peaceful dove on the edge of my balcony….

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Sculptures for sale down a small gang

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A small ular wrested from the sawah (rice fields) in front of my eyes while walking in the rice padi…

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In a small warung set amongst the padi…

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Dewi…goddess….

Journey up the sekonyer River Kalimantan

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This morning we set out from Kumai on our kelotok with the captain, our guide , an assistant and the cook ( with her son 4years old). The sun was already hot as we clambered on board about 8:00 this morning. We were welcomed by our captain with coffee , snacks and smiles . We had a farewell cuppa with our family on board before they headed off to work and we headed up river.

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The breeze was a great relief ….though its not supposed to be monsoon season, it sure is acting like it. The humidity is fierce as the clouds build up during the day.

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The turn off into the national park from the Kumai river

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The Sekonyer river is permanently a dark chocolate colour, mainly from the gold mining that occurs  further upstream. It is an enormous waterway which is able to accomodate large ships and barges. As we move off from the town and into the Taman Nasional Tanggung Putih,  it is bordered on both sides by a dense layer of palm trees, the branches and leaves  used for roof  thatching. 

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As we move up the river it is like an unfolding story with a changing kaleidoscope of vegetation both on the edge and further inland  with the occassional waterway branching of to the side with glimpses of small villages perched in the swamp jungle.

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As we get further into the day the humidity continues to mount and by the time we arrive at Tanggung Harapan it was hot, tho the odd gentle breeze eased this somewhat.

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Here we rested and looked over the plant nursery and the medicine plant area. We marvelled at the butterflies  and the number of medicine plants there were…. finally  the heavens opened. The rain was welcome, the humidity lessened. Lunch was delicious kangkung, omelette, rice and sambal. It was accompanied by a welcome rainstorm which cooled things off for a time. ( I seem to have a metabolism, where I loose almost as much water as there is rain, an exaggeration of course but you can imagine, and then add glasses to that steaming away haha)

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While we were having lunch tied up at the jetty,  a steady stream of kelotoks began arriving….hoolie doolie! We have to share this idyll with others?
Indeed we did…by the time we had walked through the lush green tropical rainforest we found a crowd of eager people clicking away on their cameras and this isn’t high season!

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The orangutans ( oranghutan – man of the forest in indonesian) were just amazing! My viewing  of them was  somewhat conflicted….tinged with sadness because of the knowledge that their habitat is daily being decimated in search of the $, filled with awe that we humans are descended from them,  awe at how closely we resemble them, yet at the same time how different we are, filled with joy and laughter at their capacity to play, take care of their young…

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A slow leisurely walk back to our kelotok  through the forest…..

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An early night tucked up in our mosquito netted beds. To be cont.

Bukittinggi – Western Sumatra

A few hours drive from Padang in western Sumatra is an area called Bukittinggi. Its high above sea level and incredibly rugged. The road from Padang to Bukittinggi  is narrow and constantly in the process of being fixed up. The traffic load is immense with many large trucks coming and going from the highlands. It is possible for traffic to be held up for hours as a result of accidents which are common .

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                                                                                                                        Danau Atas

There are four incredibly beautiful lakes which were formed as a result of past  volcanic activity,  which is ongoing today, and the movement
Of  the tectonic plates which meet under Sumatra.

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                                                                                                                         Danau singkara

The land is intensely cultivated with vegetable gardens, rice padi, cinnamon, clove and tea plantations. The soil is fertile and of course there is  a surfeit of water so everything grows. Wherever you look there are plots of tomatoes, spring onions, shallots, chillies, cabbage and cauliflowers.

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                                                                                                                               cinnamon tree- kayu manis

Here also you will find the famous durian. Its durian  season and there are durian everywhere. It is definately an aquired taste and durians can taste vastly different ! I have yet to discover one that I can say, ‘ yes this is amazing ‘. A work in progress for myself!

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Oh yes this is perfect!

Lake Maninjau is famous for its incredible views of the mountains…..glorious does not describe it!

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The town or city of Bukittinggi also has its attractions: wonderful padang food, beautiful views, markets that sell everything  and their very own version of   Big Ben.

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The food was amazing and indescribably delicious!

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The buildings are distinctive. This is a picture of the hotel where we stayed. Notice the roof line. Its a classic Sumatran roofline designed to represent the horns of the kerbau ( I think in english its ox. Maybe someone knows ?)

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