A Travellerspoint blog

Ubud, Bali


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Ubud has been a fun and relaxing place to spend a week in Bali. We are lucky that tourism is a bit down this year, even though it is high season Ubud is not completely crazy. Even so - after Flores, Bali seems like Disneyland – so accessible, developed, packaged, and crowded. The saving factor is, of course, the Balinese. They handle waves of pushy tourists with a calm and grace that is remarkable.
Highlights:
• Kintamani Volcano and Lake Batur by moto
• BAWA Dog Rescue in Ubud
• The Monkey Forest with so many cute monitos
• Balinese calm and spirituality
• Beautiful Flower offerings everywhere
• Gorgeous accommodations
• Brilliant balinese massage
• Beautiful rice fields and green everywhere

Taggalang Rice Terraces
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Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave Temple)
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Nice Bungalows at Uma Sari
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World's Longest Bar in Hong Kong?
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Posted by mjschrum 23:49 Archived in Indonesia Tagged goa uma ubud sari gajah kintamani Comments (1)

Selamat tinggal Flores

After returning elated and exhausted from our incredible boat trip, we enjoyed our last two days on Flores relaxing, rejuvenating with local traditional massages, some of the best massages we've ever had, and appreciating the sea and sunset views from our balcony. Tomorrow we're off to Ubud, Bali. Flores is sublime, she will be missed.
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Posted by mjschrum 04:17 Archived in Indonesia Tagged flores labuan bajo Comments (0)

Komodo Natl Park - Dragons!


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We visited Komodo National Park to see the dragons on our way in from diving. Our great guide for the trek had been bitten by one this spring and had to spend a week in the hospital.
We were amazed at how incredibly beautiful they are. Their size, power, and coloring were stunning.

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Info: This endangered species has existed for millions of years, but their existence was unknown to humans until 100 years ago. They live in the harsh climate of a handful of the Lessor Sumba islands.
Heaviest reptile on earth
They average 3 meters in length and 150 kg (10 feet long, 330 pounds)
They can run up to 18k (11mph)
Will eat almost anything, including carrion, deer, pigs and even large water buffalo and humans
They use their sharp claws and serrated, shark like teeth to eviscerate their prey. If an animal escapes their jaws it will usually die of blood poisoning within 24 hours as the dragons' saliva has over 50 kinds of bacteria. The dragons calmly follow the escaped prey for miles until the poison takes effect. A Komodo dragon can eat 80% of its body weight in a single feeding.

They bury and incubate their eggs for nine months. The mother sits on them for the first three months, then leaves and the babies have no parental care when they are born. We had the luck to have a rare siting of a baby in a tree. The first time we passed, we could only see the body and the second time we could see just the tail and the head. We also happened to be there during the mating season and saw a courting ritual in which the male ambled over and approached a female and sat there, smelling everyone around with its giant forked tongue.

Posted by mjschrum 03:02 Archived in Indonesia Tagged dragons komodo rinca Comments (0)

Komodo Natl Park Liveaboard - Batu Bolong


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Batu Bolong The most exciting dive of our lives! A pinnacle dive at the confluence of the Indian and Pacific Oceans where big fish are everywhere. We put our divemaster Valerie's species notes to give you an idea.

50 minutes, 29.4m, 27C
Sharks x many
Giant travally x so many
Huge dogtooth tuna x 3
3 kinds of sweetlips
Turtles x 3
Napoleon wrasse (big green and white)
2 x green moray
Golden speckled moray
Angel fish
Flabolina nudibranch
Yellow leaf scorpionfish
Lionfish (3 kinds)
Potato grouper
Big pufferfish
Orange, purple, and red anthias
So Beautiful!
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Posted by mjschrum 16:55 Archived in Indonesia Tagged park national batu komodo bolong Comments (0)

Komodo Natl Park Liveaboard - Manta Point Dive


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Manta Point is a long flat seabottom where Mantas gather to feed on the rich plankton mixing from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is a slow drift dive with the current and very exciting when we saw Mantas. They are intelligent creatures and when they noticed us they move in closer to check us out.
Factoids: size: largest 30 feet wing span, average 20 feet wing span. Largest about 3000 pounds.
Food: Plankton, small fish and crustaceans. They have no teeth.

Manta Point x 2
1- 70 minutes, 17.6m, 28C
2- 68 minutes, 16.4m, 28C
Mantas (duh!)
White tip reef shark
Moray eel
Turtle
Mantis shrimp
School of lined sweetlips
Giant sweetlips

Watch a vid of our manta dive!

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Posted by mjschrum 01:49 Archived in Indonesia Tagged park national point manta komodo Comments (0)

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