Thursday, October 29, 2009


Feeling better now starting to get over the jetlag more and more each day. Downloaded all my pictures but now i think i have a worm virus. Also my computer is still being strange. Taking the computer to the repair man. Sorry to those who are awaiting pictures and more blogs. I plan to update this with pics and more blogs in the month of November.

See ya when the computer is fixed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oct 20 - Gili

Today is my last full day on the island of Gili. I got a sunburn yesterday on my back so i'm trying to avoid the sun. The internet cafe has nice a/c so it's a nice place to hang out. Our room is without power so the fans can't work but i so want to have a nap. Maybe the gazebo outside will be cool enough.

Tomorrow we catch a boat to take us back to Bali. We are heading to Ubud, where we will overnight on Thursday night i will be getting a ayurvedic massage - chakra dhara at Bali Botanical Spa's . Ubud is full of artsy type things and the place is small. think we will get the 5 hour ricepaddy walk in also.

I must say i'm getting ready to get home, been wanting to do a run but it's so hot that i don't even attempt it. Feel it's time to put into action the ideas that have been running through my head.

Well maybe time to attempt that nap now. Would love to sunbake or go into the ocean again but the sunburn and well i told you a little about the ocean coral here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oct 19 - Gili

The island of Gili is a beautiful, tourist, cat filled, small island. (Asked Rachel why all the cats and no dogs, well i guess Muslims hate dogs, hence all the cats) The cats are so skinny and most have the tails chopped off. Most beg for food or are lying around anywhere they feel. As i love cats i feel the need to pet them, but dont as i don't know if they have fleas or other bugs and i don't need that.
The island has the most awful beach water, dead coral is found about 1M from the shore so you can't really go for a dip properly unless you want to walk on corral (my feet aren't tough enough) and i ended up scrapping the top of my toe this morning.

Yesterday we went with our bikes to go around the island. It was a 40-60 min bike/walk - as the path becomes sandy and pedaling is impossible you need to walk the bike. We went to the Sunset Bar (which isn't a bar at all just a slab of concrete with a guy playing music from the speakers) to see the sun set down over Bali, it was okay a little disappointing as the sun just hide down past the mountain and no pretty colors hit the sky. I did get some amazing shots before the sun was completely down. ((insert pics here)).

When i arrive back i will insert more pics and update more pages.

I feel the blog is now taking a backseat, also not much happening right now as we are on an island - eating, sunbathing, going into the water, in room, eating, drinking a little, and relaxing. Last night i watched a movie "into the wild" at the movie theatre it was good except for the need to purchase something that was overpriced, but the choc milkshake was delicious.

Right now it's 330pm and i'm taking a break from the sun, tara's internet is suppose to have a/c but it feels like a fan instead but it's cool and i'm out of the sun. Was in the sun most the morning. Had an early dip at 9:00 then breakfast and back to the beach until 100 for lunch. My tan is developing very nicely, just don't want the burning to occur.

The bungalow i'm staying is nice except for the bathroom. During the night the cockroaches come out and i find them dead upside down on the tile. Today as i was going to the toilet i stepped on one of the dead ones that must have moved in and died from 9 - 1. It scared me as it snapped when i stepped on it. because it's an island, power cuts out and is usually off during the day and cuts in & out during the morning hours. That's why the early morning occurred today as the fans quit working and the sun heats up the room so much you are forced to wake up.

Dean, Lian and Debbie are out on a dive right now. Rachel is probably sunbathing or walking around the village and i'm trying to avoid the sun. The sun goes down at 600 here and then it's dark. not all places have lights out front. The stars are amazing and it's different seeing Orion upside down. I have seen the big dipper but have yet to find small dipper or the "W" Cassiopeia (think that is it's name)

Well that's it for now folks, will have more time to update when i'm in airports on the 23 & 24th so that's the 22 & 23rd for all of you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oct 18 - Gili

Still alive, still hear, went for a dive yesterday, saw amazing things...will go into detail more later but it's midafternoon and the beach calls.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oct 9 - 11 Seim Reap

We arrived into Cambodia on Oct 8 after a long 5 hour train ride. The seats had hardly any padding and not comfy so sleeping was out of the question. Arrived in Cambodia and we took a tuk tuk the driver that dean meet on the train. He took us to a place beside the Cambodian embassy and told us that we do our visa on arrival here and need to pay 1000 baht. Didn't feel right, as the same thing happened to Rachel's bro years ago and from my reading i know that it was done at the border and it was 25US. We denied and told the driver to take us to the border. We were greeted by ?? can't remember his real name but he called himself - Happy guy. A Cambodian 20-something that walked with us and talked us through the process. He actually took us all the way to the bus station where we could have taken bus for 3 hours or Taxi for 2 hours, we decided to wait the 40 minutes for the bus. The bus was a/c again, so glad i had my pants on. As i rode in the backseat of the bus, i had to bend down to look out the window infront of me but when i did i noticed water as far as the eye could see. It wasn't till Dean noticed and commented on the water that we realized it was actually fields underwater. About 5 days earlier Siem Reap had felt the effects of flooding from the cyclone that hit near Siem Reap. It was the last day of the raining season and the Cambodians were celebrating by taking one last swim in the dikes off the highway. Really unreal to see, the people mingled on the highway and the reduced traffic to one lane. Got a pic but not a great one.

The temples were amazing. Oct 9 our Tuk Tuk driver picked us up at 10:00 and we went to some temples. Spent 2 hours at Angkor Wat, 2 hours at Ta Prohm, 1.5 hours at Angkor Thom. We seen the sunset over the Bayon in Angkor Thom, it was pretty.
Oct 10 we decided for a 8:00 start to go to Ban Malea(not correct spelling will fix later) This involved a 2 hour trip in the tuk tuk, the tuk tuk's in Cambodia are different than Thailand. In Cambodia they are motorcyles with a cart attached. So we had a good time at Ban Malea discovering the bombed temple, we paid the guide her money and went off exploring. I tried to stick to main paths but at times was walking over boulders covered in moss. I scared myself a couple times and decided i see the outside of the temple i'm going to walk to the front. As i got there and noticed Dean and Rachel not waiting yet decided to actually walk the path of bridges made of wood, it was neat too as this meant you could actually look more at the temple and not were your next step will be. On our way back we attempted to go to the Lake but when we got close (30 mins to Siem Reap) it started a thunderstorm. All three days in Siem Reap, it rained really hard. This was the most rain i got to experience in my travels so far. We actually didn't get to stuck in the rain at all on the temple exploring. Oct 11 we decided to rent pedal bikes and explore the temples that way. We explored some temples that i can't remember the name of right now. They were so quiet and without people which was nice. We went to Bayon at Angkor Thom again but the tour bus of people got to us and we left after we explored some more in the afternoon sun. We headed down the Angkor Thom as i wanted to check out the Terrace of the Elephants. Got some good shots but had to go to toilet so i missed out on Dean and Rachel's photoshoot. Back we headed into town. by this time i was so tired, my butt was so sore i was hungry and just wanted to be off the bike.

Oct 14 - Bali

Its the 2nd full day in Kuta Bali,yesterday we went to the beach for 3 hours and i burnt. Today is a personal day, meaning we all do whatever we want to do. We will meet up later for supper and drinks. I'm going for a pedicure and then maybe have some sun at our hotel by the pool or in the lounge with my book. Trying to stay out of the sun cause the burn hurts especially on the boob area,i forgot to sunscreen areas like the boobs,shoulders and back and the top of my hips. I might go find a rashi -its a surfer type top shirt that is bathing suit material. So far haven't found a shop that sells them. As i'm on foot and don't ant to get too lost but i think i might be already i have an idea of where the beach is so i will be able to find my way back to the hotel. Today & Tomorrow is a celebration in Bali an not all stores are open.

I know i have a lot of blogs to get caught up on but this internet and keyboard are driving me crazy. The keyboard space bar doesn't work unless you really press hard on it. I'll try to post more pics today.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Oct 6 - Rockclimbing

Today we went rockclimbing. My first time ever, Rachel's 5 time and Dean's countless time. Our Chaing Mai, tour guide "T" hooked us up with a friend, Soeng. He took us to Mae On to rockclimb on the mountain. We went to one area where their was some easier 5B climbs. I know that 5B is the grade of the mountain and if you need ropes to climb. It was fun, a total adrendaline rush and at times, not knowing where to put your feet or hands and other times just going for it and hoping for the best. I know from Dean that you need to use your legs more than your arms and Soeng also told me that get a good feet hold and stand up so that's what i did. Dean says i did amazing for a first time climber. I did 2 1/2 climbs. The last climb i got stuck and gave up, Dean tried to tell me to keep going but i was tired and didn't feel like getting around that part of the mountain. Must say, i love rock climbing. Got to try to beilay (spelling??) that was fun but so tough and made my neck sore, cause i kept looking up at Rachel when she was climbing, finally dean told me feel the tension of the rope when it goes slack then make it taught (tight, how ever you spell that)

Today in Bangkok, needed to overnight cause we picked up Dean Visa this morning and our train doesn't leave till 555 to take us part of way to Siem Reap. Rachel and Dean have warned me that internet connection in Siem Reap might be slow so i might not be posting for a week or so. I've updated some pics to the flickr account today but haven't uploaded that many because of the slow computers i have found today. Will try to upload more in Bali, or you will just have to wait to see more pics.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Oct 5 - Tiger Kingdom

We had a late breakfast today and watched some BBC news, went to post office to mail home some gifts. Went onto internet, then about 2:00pm decided to go to Tiger Kingdom. We heard that you could play with small tigers or big tigers. We got a tuk tuk for 200 baht ($5-$8 Cdn) for the 35 min trip there and back. The tigers were so cute. Rachel and I chose to see the small tigers. They were 10 months old but already so big. Because today is a real hot day all they did was lay on the grass and pant. Sometimes they opened their eyes and looked at us. They had 3 trainers in the cage with us and the trainers took pictures for us too. We got to meet Anikan Skywalker, Edward, and Layla. We had 15 mins in the cage with them and i thought it was just enough time as they were not that playful. We felt the weight of Edward's paw and it felt more heavy than my full grown cat Joey. Dean decided to go into see the big tigers. Dean got got to visit all three full grown tigers in the enclosure also. One of the trainers decided while Dean was in the enclosure to get the one tiger to play, he had a grasstype toy ontop of a bamboo stick that the trainer used to tempt the tiger to chase it into the water and out. The tiger really liked that toy. It was so cool to watch. Dean got an amazing shots of the tiger in midair with droplets of water while he was in the enclosure.

On internet now, i'm organizing my blog posts for more accuracy and details so read back a couple posts for more update on the white temple. Tonight, i went for a thai massage to loosen up my upper body. I had a one hour massage this time, and it hurt, cause my muscles were sore and she wanted to work out my kinks as she was saying "quick quick for a one hour" meaning she couldn't take the time to work out the knots any better.

Oct 4 - Whitewater rafting & Quadding

Today, Dean and I decided on a different adventure package. (hold on this is a long post)
We needed to be at our guesthouse inbetween 830-900am for a minibus to pick us up and take us to the chok chai tours. I woke up for a breakfast and it was a good one, fried eggs on brown toast. It was proper toast that i'm used to and the eggs where pretty good too. That's one thing i need is an western breakfast.

So the minibus drove for about 20 mins and stopped at an orchid farm. The guide told us that we were stopping for 10-15 mins. I used toilet and went into the butterfly area, looked a little at the orchids but i didn't notice what the time was when we we stopped and didn't want to miss the minivan from driving off without me. So i didn't get to see many variety of orchids or take any photos as my bag was in the minivan. We didn't leave the farm until 25 mins later. Drove another 15 mins to the area and then dropped of some other guests in our minivan to the elephant area and rooftop cable sliding. (can't think of the name right now).

We then ventured up the mountain and the roads were bad and the driver was heavy on the gas and heavy on the brake so we would go real fast then he would break when a gap/pothole was in the road. Dean and I felt dizzy when we finally arrived at the whitewater rafting place. It felt like organized chaos when we were up there. The driver brought us our vest and helmets. Then a Thai man, asked us to gather around him and his raft that was on the ground for some instructions. They lasted about one min as he said "when we say forward you paddle forward, when we say backward you paddle backward. As him and anther guide demonstrated. Then they sorted us into rafts, we were the first raft to take get into the river but we had to wait till the other three rafts were also in the Mae ?? river.

Finally we get moving and right into a rapid this first want was amazing, such a rush and i decided right then and there that next summer i need to gather my friends to go on a trip down to Kicking Horse in AB. The whitewater rafting took about 1 hour in full duration and we had about 5 sort of tough rapids. We ended up all 4 rafts floating down the river at the same time. Lots of placed we just floated along and didn't paddle at all. We had fun splashing the other group, but of course the guides started the waterfight. I have a good photo that was for sale by the tour group with a pic frame, decided why not cause it was only 250baht. They were organized in the fact that 2 different photos were taken of each raft and they had them down at the landing/washing off site for sale, they walky-talkyed up to someone for a copy of the photos that all guests wanted. (like i said organized chaos). Found out later from our travelguide that because the river is low the rapids aren't so much.

Now to lunch buffet - it sucked i have had better thai food. It was tasteless and then our minivan drove off to the waterfall with another one of the guests in our minivan with our bags, i tried to talk to the driver before he left but i don't think he understood english. So as we waited thinking our bags would come back with the minivan the other guide - the english speaking one - was telling us the ATV's are ready and we explained how we need our bags for shoes and shirts (well the boys needed their shirts, no i wasn't topless) They started the ATV's and let dean take one around the little yard for a test. They seemed impressed and amazed when he hit a big waterpuddle and made a big splash. (Dean tells me now that he didn't even see the waterpuddle until he hit it) I got on my ATV and he asked me to test it which i did and i thought it was okay, i realized the brakes were hard to press and didn't seem to work but they just said to push really hard. No instructions on how to drive the ATV and no helmets. Really no helmets, we had them for a not scary whitewater rafting but not for ATV's, guess it makes sense cause not everyone on the bikes here were helmets. Thailand is not regulated for helmets i think. Two guides got on a motorcyle, one with a jerrycan of gas. We were told but the english speaking guide not to pass our ATV guides. So we travelled on the paved road, the ATV guides told us to pass them i was hesitate at first but they insisted so i did, we travelled about 10-15 mins, was fun to open the ATV up. I haven't drive a Quad for a couple years, last time was about 2-4 years ago our Cousin's weekend up at Marie Lake, AB. Then we took another side road and right into a dirt path and the crops on each side of us. Banana trees, marigolds, some even seems like grass and a path in between peoples houses. I soon found out when i tried to round a corner at the bush/tree corner that my brakes didn't work so i needed to downshift to get into lower gears. We hit the puddles hard at that one stretch. Once the guides showed us the square area of trails they told us "now you know the area, be smart, remember your trail and be back at 340". We ended up going on the same 2 or 3 trails hitting the puddles hard. We were soaked head to foot with mud. Dean got some videos not sure if they are posted on fb yet. I should have taken a run at the puddle cause it was pretty lame on my attempt to make big splash. Benny (a german 25yo) and Dean's quad kept stalled so it was Dean that had to keep kickstarting it. My quad idled pretty good and only stopped about 5 times. I got it started myself a couple times. We looked at time and decided one more trail and back to the guides, we ended up getting lost as we took a wrong path. we travelled on a cement road for a while and said this was wrong so we turned around. We opened the ATV's up again as we traveled this road, Dean and Benny were ahead of me. I noticed them stopped ahead at an intersection to a 4 lane highway and i quickly downshift 2 times, grabbed brakes and then i started to panic as i didn't want to rearend Dean's quad, so i steered my quad to the right of his and he ended up hitting my quad in the backend with his quad and that was enough momentum to wake me up and sharp turn to the right into the ditch type are front of a restaurant. I'm so glad for that area. Dean was scared shitless so was i, it was an adventure and i'm thanking the Angels and the Universe for keeping me safe.

Finally made it back to the guides as they took us back to the elephant camp/ATV area. We went up to a round about and because dean was first again he decided to do a spin around a tough of grass. The guide that spoke english in the red shirt wanted to try it and the first time he ended up going up on two wheels and falling off the quad, dean showed him again and the next time the guide did it he did it very well. The quides commented to me "You drive really good" really can't say i'm a great driver but i've driven in my teenager years and know a thing or two.

Now to the ATV camp, i didn't tell you it's a sharp steep hill to get down and me with no brakes that was a challenge. I ended up doing a sharp turn at the end and brought the quad up on two tires. The guides and other guides at the area were impressed. Dean thought for sure i was in the river with the elephant.

Oct 1 Relax Day and walk around Chaing Rai

Today we bummed around late into the morning, walked around the city, ate some lunch, hung out in our rooms of the garden of the Baan Bua. Walked around a little more, now at the internet cafe. This internet connection is so fast it's awesome. I am experiencing my first day of a bad tummy. It feels like it's stopped now, hope it's better for tomorrow cause we are doing a 7 hour trek to visit some other tribes and visit another waterfall and ending off at the hotsprings. Depending on the heat of the day and the soreness of the muscles will depend if we go in cause the same hotspring looked very dirty from our first trek. It's like a swimming pool. About half way - 1/3 way up the trek if i am physically exhaused, Noi has arranged that we/i could take a jeep ride to the hotsprings where we wait for the rest of the party. Another guest Jean Paul and his wife are accompanying us, i'm hoping they are of average - low hiking skills cause i need it cause i need breaks cause the uphill climbs are so tough. Tonight going for my third thai massage to loosen the muscles even more, then to get some trailmix and water for the trek.

The camera battery works good but want another one, not enough juice for a two day trek where i take too many pics at the beginning of stupid things like the vegetation.

Tried to pick up another memory card today but it was a card for a cellphone, i'm hoping it will work in my cell back home. it only cost 1 dollar so no big loss.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Followers, please...

Wonder who is following me on this adventure through the blog, could you please comment with your name.

Will post about today's adventure in 7 hours once i get some sleep.

Friday, October 02, 2009


I survived the 5 hour trek in the mountains. I was one of the slow one of the group. We were mostly following a trail that the hilltribe villagers use, but at one area we were right in jungle movie. Grass and plants higher than our height and if we didn't have a guide we wouldn't have found the trail. It was tricky crossing the stream, looking for rocks that are above the water and ensuring that you know where your next step is going to be so that if you lose your balance or the rock moves you can move too. My feet got soaked in the river and in the muddy swamp area. When we stopped at the chinese village, i didn't want to take the shoes off cause i knew i would hate to put them back on. Figured we would be treking the 2 Km up to the Khan Kon waterfall but because of the time and JeanPaul being exhausted, Noi our guide decided it was time to take another songthaew - like a taxi truck with a cover. We walked up the waterfall was which more beautiful than the first one we saw. Think we got some amazing shots but unsure if we do. Well time to sign off for now.