Monday, 23 June 2008

23 June 2008: Padangbai Round Up

It's our last night tonight in Padangbai. We'll be sorry to leave the
Kembar Inn and the village as we've made so many friends – Wayan and
Komang who've prepared breakfasts, Nyoman and his wife who've
organised our tours and the whole team (another Nyoman and Komang) for
making us feel so welcome here.

The people of the village are so friendly, even the hawkers such as
the old man with his 'magic' cigarette boxes, the man who sells the
wooden harpoon equivalent of an AK47 and the white hat sarong lady -
we've upset everyone else for not buying from them. We've had good
fun bartering for our next trip to Rinjani and liked Dekwi very much.
He was very forgiving when I lost one of his snorkels this morning.
After eight nights here, a lot of people recognise us and it's very
hard to do anything quickly – we stop for a 10 minute chat every 10

Today, we went to the post office to send Japan stuff home and my
Gran's birthday present. It took an hour, many spurious forms and the
cost almost bankrupted us. We're convinced that nothing will arrive –
the envelopes are so thin, the addresses will rub off and the post
office man confused Finlandia with Irlandia. Fingers crossed!!!!

Whilst 99.9999% of our stay has been really lovely, we were both very
saddened to see the state of one poor dog, barely alive and lying in
the main road – seriously malnourished and with terrible wounds. Most
people care for their animals very well but this was a disturbing
exception. No-one seemed to do anything about it either, and when we
asked if there was anyone we could contact, we got looks of
incomprehension. A massive cultural divide and feelings of guilt that
we were unable to help the poor dog.

Tomorrow, we leave for Rinjani on Lombok, Indonesia's second highest
peak. It's a four day trip (three days walking) with guide – and
porter this time too. Full board and accommodation provided. Stay
tuned for more details.

Expect no contact until Saturday at the earliest. That's when we'll
arrive on Gili Air island, which is rumoured to have 'walking speed'
internet. With dial up here in Padangbai we're finding it hard to do
much more than update the blog intermittently. Thanks to everyone
for your emails though. They are greatly appreciated, and we hope the
blog is enough to keep you going in the meantime.