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Tag: Solo

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Ijen Crater


Getting to Banyuwangi


It was still very early in the morning when I clambered into the sweltering bus that was heading to Banyuwangi from the Ubung bus terminal in Bali. Still bleary-eyed from the lack of sleep, I paid the IDR850k for the bus ticket - a rate that seems to have been standardised amongst all the bus services, and included the cost of the ferry from Gilimanuk to Ketapang - and squeezed my way through the narrow rows trying to find an unoccupied seat next to the window. I knew we would be travelling west on the coastal road, so in order to get the views of the coast, I made sure that the seat was on the left side of the bus. Read more

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Cape to Cape Day 06 – Deepdene to Cape Leeuwin

Cape to Cape Index

Ominous Weather


Cape to Cape Track I broke camp at 08:10 that morning and made my way from Deepdene Campsite down the 390 metre trail to the dune blowout. I was greeted by dark, ominous clouds, a sure sign of impending drama. I had had enough of the blistering sun by then and welcomed the brisk sea breeze as I pushed my way onwards with my sights transfixed on the tiny lighthouse in the distance.

I found that stepping in the footsteps of those that had gone before me somehow made the going much easier. Perhaps it was due to the compacted sand or perhaps because less energy was being used to maintain my balance as the soft sand crumbled Read more
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Cape to Cape Day 05 – Conto's Campsite to Deepdene

Cape to Cape Index

The Boranup Karri Forest


Cape to Cape Track I was very eager to get away from the crowds of Canto's Campsite that morning, so I packed up my hammock quickly and skirted the hoards of campervans and oversized (and excessive) tents in order to make my way out of the campgrounds. I arrived at the sign outside the entrance and turned left down the trail, circumventing the boundaries of the massive campsite. The trail was refreshingly thin here and undulated around the bushland for approximately 900 metres or so with views opening up of the beautiful green carpets of the canopies of trees off in the distance to my right. I reached a junction that branched off left back to Canto's (that is how big the campgrounds were!) and right descending into the woods along a firebreak that carved through the foliage as far as my eye could see. Read more

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Cape to Cape Day 04 – Ellensbrook to Conto's Campsite

Cape to Cape Index

A Wrong Turning


Cape to Cape Track I left Ellensbrook campsite a little later than I had hoped, just after 08:00. Realising that I had over 30 kilometres of hiking to do that day, I would need to hike at an average speed of approximately 4 km/h to reach the next campsite before the sun set - a speed that was definitely achievable especially considering that I was now hiking alone. The clouds didn't look too promising though and I caught myself hoping that the weather would hold up. Everything else was perfect - the shade of the trees that filtered the morning light cast everything in a soft, tranquil light, all the shadows long and stretched out. Read more
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Cape to Cape Day 03 – Moses Rock to Ellensbrook

Cape to Cape Index

Wilyabrup Crags


Cape to Cape Track The three of us left Moses Rock campsite just after 09:00 and turned left at the crossroads in order to continue heading Southward. As the views of the coast opened up, the overwhelming power of the ocean immediately became apparent - the initial reverberating smash of the waves against the rocks, the water being powerfully sucked back out to the ocean in the surge that would always follow, and the soft hissing of the suds as they dissipated.

Despite all this, the other two still seemed pretty discontent. So much so that they were entertaining the notion of pulling out at Gracetown and heading to the climbing crags instead. Read more
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Bagan


The Temples of Bagan


I climbed out of the Shwe Mandalar express bus groggily and somewhat curmudgeonly after being rudely awoken by the strident cry of the bus driver just as the bus squeakily rolled to a stop. Despite the lack of sleep, I found to my surprise that the bus ride had been far more comfortable than I had anticipated. For some reason I had expected the eight and a half hour ride to be on a cramped and very crowded bus that was not too dissimilar to the one that I had taken to get to Bromo. This was most likely due to all the horror stories of the road conditions in Myanmar that I had heard, stories that I think are probably only applicable to rural areas and possibly the ride from Bagan to Inle Lake. Read more

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Mount Bromo


Bus from Bangurasih


I had read up a bit on Surabaya prior to the Bromo trip and because it was reputed to be mainly a commercial metropolitan area without many attractions, I had decided to instead head straight for Probolinggo which lies about 45 kilometres from the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park on the North coast of East Java. To get to Probolinggo from Juanda International Airport, I had to board a Damri bus that was heading to Surabaya's Bungurasih bus terminal (also called Purabaya) and board another bus to Probolinggo from there. The Damri bus (pronounced 'bis' in Bahasa Indonesia) just lay outside the airport arrival terminal and the fee only amounted to IDR15k (MYR5). Read more

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Nepal Day 03 - Boudhanath & Pashupatinath

Nepal Index

TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) Card


I had decided to head to the TIMS office as early as possible in order to obtain my TIMS card as my main reason for being in Nepal was to go trekking. I also wanted to get it over with so that I could enjoy Kathmandhu without it weighing on my mind. So after extending my stay in the hotel for another night - I gave USD10 and received NPR170 in change (which would mean that it come up to about MYR24) - and after my compulsory morning coffee which cost NPR30 (MYR1) at my favourite Newa Mo:mo Restaurant, I went in search for a mountain bike to rent. Read more

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Nepal Day 02 - Kathmandhu's Durbar Square

Nepal Index

Bustling Kathmandhu


I woke up early to the noises of bustling Kathmandhu. Fortunately the Annapurna Guesthouse that I was staying in was located off the main road and as such was a lot quieter than most of the other guesthouses. Later on was I to realize that the Nepalese start their day very early (normally around 05:00-06:00) as the sun rises and sets early here at this time of year. The first thing I did after I left the guesthouse was to head to the nearest shop and buy a map of the city which ended up costing a ridiculous NPR500 (MYR17)! Read more

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Nepal Day 01 - Kathmandhu Arrival

Nepal Index

Kathmandhu Arrival


The Airasia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandhu that I had purchased cost only MYR579 (including the airport tax) however the return flight came up to a total of MYR780. This was because I had taken quite some time to finalise my itinerary and as such ended up booking the return flight much later on. The flight itself was fairly uneventful, an Airbus 330-300 that remained between 10000 and 11500 metres with a speed of 780 km/h for the most part. One thing I did notice however that was out of the ordinary was the fact Read more
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