OR, ISLAND LIFE, THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY. I had survived my lengthy trip from Jakarta with all its trials and tribulations and arrived in Bunaken and got back from my first fabulous official snorkelling […]
OR, TIMING IS EVERYTHING, MINE WAS PANTS.
Top Tip: However well organised you are things can go awry. There was no way to know that they had stopped boats over the Straight of Malacca to go to Indonesia without having to retrace my steps to KL then fly to Jakarta. There was no way of knowing that a massive and contentious protest was on the very weekend that I was over in Jakarta so many things were closed. Shit happens and you just have to deal with it when you’re on the road solo travelling. This however did weaken me again after my healing time in Kuala Lumpur. This was a real bummer as stress always is a thing to avoid when you’re trying to rebuild your immune system as I explained in a previous blog “How My Troubles Began” When travelling, however much of an itinerary you have, you must take time out and rest up. I tried to squeeze in a lot making up for lost time which never works does it now hmmmm?
After my huge success in fabulous Kuala Lumpur, I got a bit cavalier and decided to go to Malacca which people said was lovely. I really should have learned by then that most tourists are idiots and headed straight onto my snorkelling target on the remote island of Bunaken. Stupid, stupid old bird.
OR, LEAVING BORNEO AND ARRIVING IN KL FOR A BIT OF TLC.
Journal Excerpts and Perfect Timing a continuation from last post!
It wasn’t even in my plan to go there.
OR, GOING WILD WITHOUT A GUIDE IN BAKO NATIONAL PARK BORNEO
Gimme some wild savage land and I’ll show you a happy woman. (Oh and a map that tells you what colours to follow for easy, medium or hard routes. I’ll still screw up but still be very happy!!!)
After ghastly Kuching, I sped along the motorway in a cab at the crack of dawn to go to my pickup point for the Bako National Park. The place is a simple cafe where you grab much-needed caffeine and a life jacket then jump into a boat to go to a remote section of the park designed, in hopefully a foolproof way, for a wonderful jungle trek for all levels of difficulty. The boat ride which lasted about half an hour took us past fabulous rock formations and mangroves leading to dense jungle.
LOSING WEIGHT AND AND STARTING TO FEEL OFF COLOUR AND DISCOURAGED. Alert: There’s a lot of moaning here from a low point in my travels. This is normal as it can’t all be perfect and […]
I JUST LOVE THE JUNGLE IN BORNEO, I JUST DON’T LOVE HEIGHTS.
From the Journal April 2018
After my day with orangutans and sun bears the day before and walking miles just to get to the truly dismal dinner at the ‘restaurant’ then miles back again I said goodnight to Mr Gecko and went to have a wonderful jungle sleep.
OR, RESPITE FOR THESE NOBLE CREATURES.
I had travelled from London to India, then Thailand to the Philippines and onward to the North of Borneo to a remote sanctuary for the now near extinct sun bear, and orangutan, a rehabilitation centre par excellence. It had been a wild journey already to get to this point, a lot of challenges and really living my best life.
I had swum with whale sharks, visited Mogul palaces and forts, gone by horse up volcanic mountains in lake to see the emerald acid lake within that. I had gazed upon the Taj Mahal and other places of such beauty that I had been transfixed. I had had some adventures and laughed later, after the dramas were over. I had eaten a huge array of food and swum in crystal waterfall pools. I had seen art in museums that filled my soul with joy and learnt many things about cultures and ideas previously unknown to me. This trip had already held so much magic that I felt couldn’t be surpassed, nothing could surprise me. How wrong I was. Upon meeting the ‘Old Man of the Woods’ or ‘Wise Old Man of the Jungle’ I was in love. Seeing the insane flora and fauna I was gobsmacked and felt I was in for a roller-coaster of emotions. I was right.
OR, BAD RESEARCH MAKES FOR A SCARY TRANSIT TRIP
After the beautiful posh hotel I had in Kota Kinabalu, (link) I had to downgrade a tad so opted for a beachside cheapo. Well not necessarily the right thing to do as it transpired. I wanted somewhere that I could just hang and prep my trip to the orangutan rehabilitation centre and needed to book flights and make plans for onward movement after.
I had visited the fabulous night market in the centre on my second day after my first day of running all over town for their amazing mosques and quirky museums (link)
The spot I was going for had a famous promontory sunset bar in walking distance, it all looked well and good, but my luck is always hit and miss. I had done no research for this trip as I hadn’t realised that Philippines only allowed you in if you had a flight out which I had had to panically book in the wee hours of the morning two weeks previously. Kota Kinabalu hadn’t even been on my radar. I sketchily thought ‘well I wanted to go over there at some point to go to this famous centre and see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat but never further on than that as I had planned at least three weeks in the Philippines.
OR, KNOWING WHEN IT’S TIME TO LEAVE A PLACE…..
I came across this post of a year ago and it very much fits my mood now. I am sick of it back here in London. To the point of gnashing teeth. I also fling myself down on the sofa and weep. I pace from room to room. I plod up and down the stairs with water for my food terrace. I drink too much and smoke too much on miserable binges. I can’t write. I can’t make art. I’m a wretched mess. It’s well overdue to hit the road but I’m broke. It’s vile for a free bird to be trapped in this way. IT IS TIME FOR ME TO HIT THE ROAD, ANY WHICH WAY!
A year ago to the day I wrote this post and now I remember that fraught time in Oaxaca when I hit a brick wall and knew that it was time to go. It was at the beginning of the end as they were closing a lot of museums and archaeological sites across the more Northern part of Mexico and my mood gradually deteriorated from then as frustration, with the very different Mexico near Mexico City, and the dawning recognition that the Mayan Riviera was a much more chilled place to be with little of the mask hysteria and closing down of places.
OR, OVER A YEAR AGO “THIS IS REALLY HARD MY HOLIDAY ROMANCE WITH SWIMMING DOG IS OVER.”
It’s now more or less one year since I left Punta Allen and my doggy. I’m still homesick for it all there but checked online and the prices are huge in Punta Allen Mexico at the moment. I’ll still to my Turkey plan for the moment. Plans are swooping in and out of my life at the moment as the political climate changes in a heartbeat worldwide and I don’t want to make a mistake and have to come home again. I want another long-term stay somewhere and Turkey so my present baby.
Turkey will nourish my soul for huge swathes of archaeological sites and magnificent countryside, that I have not yet visited. It will offer me fabulous food and incredible vistas, I will look into possibilities of living there to grow my veg and make my art. I will generally get back to my wandering ways and hopefully regain some lost confidence.
So a brief look over my shoulder to the last place I was truly happy, then onwards and upwards to pastures new. Come on old birds let’s rock it again.
A YEAR AGO FROM THE JOURNAL
Alert: Nostalgia and crybaby form most of this post. If you can’t be arsed with a grown woman and a tough old cookie at that, boohooing over a dog just look at the pics!!
My dear old birds this is why you keep moving because if you stay a while anywhere, you form attachments. I am so down it’s beyond belief. The weather isn’t helping nor are the dogs, especially Alkida, who is blissfully unaware of my departure. I’m down, really down. It’s ridiculous I can’t stop crying. Punta Allen has been a huge learning curve and these hounds have been my best friends (apart from Sonia of course).