Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Labuan Bajo, diving Komodo, new mateys

My first day in Labuan Bajo, Flores, I won the backpacker lottery when I met hilarious Kiwi  honeymooners Simon and Vanessa.  While they kindly shouted my evening meal and beer towers, I was able to freely and fluently speak my mother tongue without butchering my English down to "Me want bed cheap."  Jumping aboard Dive Komodo's boat the next morning heavy headed, I was in for three days of spectacular and challenging diving.  

A manta winged overhead as we were descending on the first dive, we snorkeled with 10 mantas during a surface interval, sharks, octopus, nudibranches and tiny crabs all said hello as Komodo's characteristic currents carried us around.  A pop in to see the Komodo dragons on Rinca Island - which were curiously congregated under the kitchen hut at the Ranger's station - and I was Bali bound after a chance encounter with Simon and Vanessa at the airport.  Keen to spend more beers together, we booked into the same hotel in Sanur. 

 With Simon and Vanessa - note Beer Tower 1
 On the way to a dive site in Komodo National Park
 Labuan Bajo, Flores
 I'm on a boat!
 Snorkeling during our surface intervals

 I spent lots of time and rupiah aboard this boat
 Komodo style.  Curiously the lizards were congregated under the kitchen hut
 In the wild
 Sunset from my bungalow
 Seaweed drying facility next to my bungalow.  eww
Nusa Lembogan dive site

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gili Air

While Bali hasn't been impressing the pants off me, Gili Air, a mere two hour mini-van/boat combo gets you out of the pricey, busy streets of one of Indonesia's very touristy islands.

 A gathering storm over Lombok

 Day 1 sunset with my new Dutch friend, Mikael (ladies, he's gorgeous  and a doctor in training)

 Just add Bintang

 Turtle sanctuary on Meno

 Ahh, lunch spot

 Where I spent lots of time and rupiah...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Farewell snow, friends, family, lover

I have temporarily left a close-knit northern British Columbia community where back doors are routinely left unlocked, where I didn't receive a house key to my summer rental property for that very reason, where popping out for milk entails running into a minimum of three people you know, where driving is unfortunately still king, where mountains can be seen from downtown, where my social circle could be found - usually walking their dog, stroller or each other - in a 10 minute self-powered radius from my house, where BBQ and fire invites were shouted as you strolled past, where family dinner nights reveal that all our collective university degrees have given us is a fascination with penises (penisi? penes?), where world-class outdoor recreational opportunities were mere hours from doorstep to summit, where I have a man who knows that wool socks are sexier than lace, canoe journeys are foreplay, supports my wandering ways and creates homemade pizzas with unequaled gusto. 

And for what?  A reckless rush into the unknown with others who have similarly left friends, family and lovers strewn across the globe?  A warm winter?  The thrill of returning?  Untold underwater adventures?  Lazy afternoons in a hammock with a novel and crazy big beer?  Some kind of reward for busting my ass this summer?

All of the above?  Regardless, I'm flying into Singapore Thursday morning and have a small question mark (downsized from Big Fat Question Mark earlier) for after the 12 November.  A pre-departure catch up and chat with Robyn in Calgary ought to point in some sort of a direction. 

In the mean time, I have another packing bomb in the basement to diffuse.