zondag 17 april 2011

Week 4 holiday in Asia

Day 22 – 9 April 2011 – Tana Toraja

Arriving in this beautiful country in the south of Sulawesi after 9 hrs @ hotel Pison. Hotel Pison has been deteriorated since my last visit 18yrs ago and the gentle dutch speaking owner already went to heaven. But the service is still friendly & willing, the room primitive but clean. Matrass is very good. Except the bathroom (with bath) looks dirty & damaged but for 100.0000rupiah (8 euro) it’s very good value for the money, read my review.  

It felt good to be back, we went to the center of Rantepoa have some lunch (bami bakso). We got tired, went back to the room and had a sleep till the afternoon.

After refreshing we met Yohanis Uttu (tourguide, speaking dutch) offering his service. He patiently waited till we were awake. He suggested 3 tours & we decided to make a 2 day tour. The next day a tour in the South, 1 day rest and last day a tour in the North. 1 day with him & driver: 500.000 rupiah.

For dinner we went to Mambo restaurant. I choose Piong Kerbau (traditional food) & Natasja ate gamba's.

Day 23 – 10 April 2011 – Tana Toraja

@ 8.30hrs after breakfast we take off with Yohanis to Lemo. The sun appeared and we got much information. Sometimes I had to ask Yohanis to stop talking, while we're also looking at birds. Sometimes we were more busy with birds (taking pics with our Nikon D90 ;) than all he was telling & showing. Yohanis is a gentle, friendly & above all talkative guy you feel sympathetic with. Just ask him to slow down in talking break and it’s all fine with him. He is willing to learn dutch (just started 4 yrs ago by himself) and knows a lot. 

After Lemo & some souvenirs we went to the baby graves in the living tree in Kambira and also to the graves in rock of Tampangallo.

Just after lunch it started to rain heavily and so we decided to go to the hotel. Enough for today!

Day 24 – 11 April 2011 – Tana Toraja

Today is relaxing day. We went to Ranpao center, buy some souvenirs & went back. 

Me busy on the Macbook pro making the videoclip for the song of Anka Decode ‘Thank you’ where I did my drumtrack in Jakarta 26 March 2011. It was nice working with the Mac on the iMovie tool. At last I learned most of the features J
Next to the clip I could write my 3rd week holiday blog.

Hotel Pison has wifi but to slow to upload the clip. But it was all nice to upload at least the blog & pics.

Day 25 – 12 April 2011 – Tana Toraja

@ 8 hrs we took off for a tour in the North of Toraja. This time we visited some traditional village and the ceremony place. Some stones are 700 yrs old. Yohanis told us that when a family want a ceremony at this spot they, at least, need to be able to sacrifice 24 Kerbau (Terdong) otherwise you don’t have no right to do a ceremony there.

Further into the mountain we made a walk through the ricefields what was very nice. Great panorama.

Back home we had dinner in Hotel Pison. We had a chat with the owner (youngest son of the former owner I met in 1993). He just started management from 1 April this year and he was very interested in tips & suggestions to improve his hotel. He told us that after his father died 14yrs ago the hotel got a downfall. Now he wanted to improve.
Natasja & I were dreaming staying here for a year to help him to make his hotel a success again. Elifah is such a nice person he probably meet more people willing & able to help him out. He’s a good spirit like I remember his father.

Day 26 – 13 April 2011 – Makassar & Bali

Our day to Bali. We got a taxi for 1.000.000 rupiah (83 euro) who brought us from Rantepao straight to the airport Sultan Hasanuddin International in Makassar. With plane (LionAir) a small hour to Bali where we arrived @ 19.05hrs and were picked up (free service) by Matahari Bungalows in Kuta.

Bombing monument in Kuta (500 mtrs from our hotel)
Wow Kuta is busy & crowded (shops & locals rather than tourist) and far more than 13 yrs ago. Who’s talking about quiet & no development. I’m already happy I’m not in high season. When entering Matahari Bungalows you leave the busy road & sellers, you enter a peaceful nice hotel.
Our room near the pool 55USD (internet rate, 37,50 euro) a night. After checking in we took a dive in the dark in the swimmingpool. Wow we’ve missed a pool or sea for long time. At the pool cocktail bar we tried several ones.

We had small walk and I went back to some good old places I used to hang out. My favo restaurants still exists. In the end Natasja was tired so we went back & went to bed. It was a long day.

Day 27 – 14 April 2011 – Kuta, Bali

1 whole day relaxing in Kuta in hotel at the swimming pool … but it was cloudy and when ready for relaxing it started raining. So I continued reading my book ‘Norwegian Wood’ while Natasja was swimming. 

Later in the afternoon the sun showed. We felt good.

In the afternoon we went for a walk to the beach to see sunset and enjoyed watching all the surfers. We felt pity we had not more time to stay here. The beach is still as dirty as it used to be as long as I have been to Bali (I’m not so into beaches, rather swimmingpool), so no new news for me.

@ Poppies Restaurant in Poppies Lane I we had a nice ambience and great dinner with white wine (Australian). Natasja took lobster, me the fishbasket.

Satisfied we went back to the hotel.

Day 28 – 15 April 2011 – Lovina, Bali

This day will be the start for 4 days in the North of Bali staying @ Gede Homestay seeing dolphins & do some sightseeing. A place we both haven’t been before. My grandparents have lived there in Buleleng (between Lovina & Singaraya). My uncle Eddie has born there.

Well we checked out of Matahari Bungalows and had a driver for 350.000rupiah for a drop off in the North. By car 2,5hrs.

Arriving @ Gede Homestay Bungalows (200.000rupiah per night with airco, clean & spacious room) it looked good. Warm welcome by the owners which sold us immediately the dolphin tour in combi with snorkeling (300.000rupiah = 24 euro).
I was not that interested in the snorkling. Siladen is hard to beat with beauty & fish. But we only can take this package.
While discussing with Ketut (son of owner) about sightseeing Natasja & I felt to prefer relaxing instead of discovering the rest of Bali so we made a walk to the swimmingpool by neighbor hotel. As soon as we entered the beach all the vendors came on to us keep trying over an over again. Some women start a so called gentle conversation with all the same built up of questions. So with the 2nd woman we play the act till THE question came: Do you want a massage. I must say I’m so relaxed lately I don’t need any massage anymore.
Another tactic they used was telling us about their friends from Holland, so the women told us they have dutch friends and they all refer to Groningen where this woman lives. But for us this interest attack by sellers and massage gave us an unpleasant feel. Next to that the owner of the homestay had from 9 – 16hrs constructors busy for expanding his bungalows. So within 12hrs we were already thinking of staying only 2 days not knowing we would be back to Kuta in Matahari within 24hrs! But heh, DOLPHINS were on the program because this was Natasja’s wish we want to let come true.

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