The day before we were due to leave Yogakarta, Siska (the lady I had used to plan the trip) asked me to put about £1,500 cash into her bank account!! This is a lady I had never met, and although I understood exactly why she wanted the money (she had booked & paid for our flights) I suddenly felt uncomfortable. After a lot of research checking her out and speaking to her on the phone, we (14 of us) decided to pay the money. This meant that the next morning I would have to take a lot of cash to the bank which was only a 5 minute walk from our hotel. I had 13,000,000 local currency and $750us, it was so much it would only fit in my handbag if I took everything else out!! I was under a time constraint as the night bus was leaving for the 22 hour trip at 12 midday!
! I left at 9.30am and decided not to walk but to take the rickshaw that was always parked outside the hotel. I told him the address and he smiled sweetly and said 10,000 (about 60p) so I got in and enjoyed the ride. This was until I realised that he was going totally the opposite way than I had expected. He took me to the Sultans Palace!! Someone came running towards us apologizing and asking me where I wanted to go as my driver spoke no English!! When I told him I wanted to go to the bank, he offered to take me to an ATM. I explained that I needed a proper bank as I had cash to pay in (big mistake!!) He then explained that it was a long way and I would have to go on a motor bike!! So I got on the back of a motor bike and sped through the streets. I had given the driver a talking to before I got on the back and he was fab!! However, if you imagine I am in a city and all of a sudden 20 minutes later I am in the countryside, the driver knows I have cash……… My mind works overtime and tears begin to start as I really think I am in deep trouble!! I had made the decision that the next set of traffic lights I would jump off. I asked him how much longer (because remember I have a bus to catch ) and he said just round the corner, he turned a corner and much to my delight a huge white marble 'Bank of Central Asia' faced us!! He agreed to wait and I asked him to take me back to the hotel, told him the name and he smiled and said yes. Ran into the bank to an enormous queue but asked at the information desk where luckily the only person who spoke any English happened to be and was told did not have to queue and she even filled out all the paperwork!
! Left the bank at 10.30 and the motor bike driver asked me where the hotel was!! School girl error, no hotel card!! In my defense, remember I had left with the rickshaw man who always sits outside our hotel. On the way back, there was a rickshaw parked up at the side of the road with a police man standing in front of it. ‘Oh dear, I wonder what he has done??’ He was sat very relaxed, holding onto to the umbrella and as we passed I turned to see what was going on. He was only young but very dead with a huge puddle of blood on the ground beneath him. My return trip to the hotel could have been a disaster but I started to recognized things and got back safely!! I was delighted that Sam, Larry and Rob were walking along the road and saw me on the bike and even took a photo. They were very surprised to see me on a bike!!
Going to cut now to the trip.
We were collected from our hotel in Bali at 6.30am and driven to the airport. We had a fab flight in a Bae 146-200 and landed on Flores to be met by our wonderful guide, Cardys. We had a coffin on board with us that was dumped in the arrivals lounge. Travis slept at every opportunity as it was the morning after Australia day & as an OZ celebrated hard in Bali. We were locked into the airport until the plane had taken off again which was a little odd
. A blue bus then took us to our boat, which was to be our home for the next day and a half. It was perfect. We had a fantastic group of people, the weather was perfect and the cook on the boat was very talented!!
We arrived at Komodo National Park and were given a talking to by our guide, things like what to do if you are bitten, how to run if chased. Basic but important stuff. We were also reminded that the temp while walking would be about 41 degrees!! We saw lots of Dragons and they were as impressive as I had hoped. Check out the photos.
After the walk, back on the boat and we went for a snorkel at a very small island in the middle of nowhere. We saw a vast selection of fish and corals. The boat left so that we could watch the ‘Flying Foxes’ fly off at sunset. We were so excited when we stopped and these thousands of bats flew over. We all ran to get our cameras but no need to panic as an hour later we still had thousands flying over. It was an unbelievable sight and something I will never forget. The crew served us a fab meal with an amazing selection of dishes and we all went into our bunks for a good night’s sleep. The next morning at about 5 the bats returned and what a noise!! I got up and sat on the roof with some others and we watched the bats return and the sun rise
. We were being taken snorkeling before our return flight. After breakfast, we went to Angle Island where the sea was crystal clear and the fish were as good as I had seen in The Maldives. Did not want to get out but the crew had made banana fritters so I got out!! We got our return flight and all agreed that it was the highlight of the trip so far!!
Did not expect to see something as special as this while away…….
Thanks mum for the Christmas money………..
I really wanted to visit the Komodo Dragons as we were so near so I got the info and asked if anyone else would like to go. In other words I organized the trip!!