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Carlsberg don't make beautiful tropical paradise islands, but if they did, then they'd probably stick them in Indonesia.

Kuta Bali Dude.

Kuta Bali Dudettes.

"Oooh... No - you go first..."

 

My kinda waves.

Pretentious reflection photo, Kuta, Bali.

 

Beach fishing on Lombok obviously turns into an impact sport for the locals.

After an afternoon of torrential rain trekking up Mount Rinjani, the clouds finally parted. Thing is. Lynneth and myself were dressed like we'd just taken a wrong turn on the way to the beach. We were still wet 2 days later.

Beware the mythical Rinjani low flying pineapple.

Monkey Bastard.

The guides cooked up some surprisingly good food. If you like instant noodles with ketchup.

Mohammed, our porter. Officially the hardest man in the world. As we whinged and wheezed our way up and down the Godforsaken lump of rock, he happily skipped ahead in his flip-flops carrying our camp and 20 kilos of crap for us. Embarrassing. 

And he was on 40 a day.

The clouds cleared enough in the evening to get a great view of Gunung Agung over on Bali. I'm still not convinced that buying a postcard isn't the better option though.

Rinjani crater lake, Segara Anak. Stocked with carp and tilapia apparently.

Wilko at the rim.

But down in the crater, the locals had set up camps all over the shop.

And they stay at the lake for up to 2 months at a time fishing. Carp anglers: the same the world over.

And crap everywhere, the ground crunching with scales and bones. Stinks too.

I took a rod and bread cos I thought I might have a dabble, but found out that Indonesian fish don't like it! It was only when I did a "hooks for bait" deal with a local carp angler that I found out that sweet potato was the way forward. Good job they aren't as secretive as back in England.

The Hardest Man In The World off collecting firewood for our camp.

And getting it sparked up as the clouds receded into the crater.

Finally one of the peaks nudges through...

And even the lower trees eventually become visible...

The clouds finally wisp away from the spooky mountain tops...

Leaving a clear moon rising above the very summit of Rinjani.

 

But at the end of the day, I f**king hate hiking. I f**king hate arthritic knees. And I f**king hate volcanoes. Never again. We'd forgotten Australian Dave's words of wisdom from back in Guatemala: "Listen, an extinct volcano is just a f***ing big hill". I won't forget it again.

A pretty bit of conviviality before the nine hour hike down in the morning.


Sweaty perv.

The pretty harbour in Sape on Sumbawa Island.

And the sun slipped down as we eventually left the harbour on the 8 hour ferry trip over to Labuan Bajo on Flores.

After a 1am arrival and a night laid on the concrete floor of a restaurant, it was a relief to see the sun come up over Labuan Bajo.

The clearest, bluest sea ever; Komodo National Park.

Early morning floating among the plastic bags of Labuan Bajo harbour.

 

Komodo and loving it.

Which coincidentally is where the Komodo Dragons live, believe it or not, and they live by eating horses, goats and buffalo and drinking out of the toilets at the ticket office.

The bit they spit out.

Sunset over the Komodo islands. Nice.

Tiny Seraya Island, an hour off Flores. We found paradise again.

Barefoot on the the beach. No better feeling.

Carrying that much petrol? Open? On the back of a truck like that? A terrorist offence anywhere other than Indonesia.

Oh. A couple of old deers come face to face on the beach. That Nasi Goreng is clearly trippy stuff.

Paradise it may have been, but it didn't stop the place being netted, long-lined, cyanide fished, dynamited and generally shafted anywhere not encapsulated in the boundaries of the national park. This just about left only small Trevally and Mackerel to occasionally nag our lures. Even the local fish market held only baskets of 4 inch long shad, and the restaurant couldn't guarantee fish on the menu. Very sad.

Our local boat taxi driver (NOT a fisherman...as I found out after a couple of trips driving in circles with a bewildered look on his face), Mr P. Herring, with a freaky Trumpetfish that somehow impaled itself.

Marco from Holland with a cute little Coral Trout which seized his Rapala.

All aboard the Skylark. Pugwash and Seaman Stains look out cos I'm at the helm. Interesting to steer, cos you had to start turning the wheel ten minutes before you actually wanted to change direction. It got even more interesting when the wheel came off in my hand.

I kept telling Marco, no matter how far I held this out in front of me, it's still pathetic.


Stunning place- pity about the fishing. Next time I visit I' hope I can pay someone with a nice big boat as much money as I can muster to go for some fishing within the national park - which, trust me, would be awesome.

Independence Day, and the Indonesian Marines join in the celebrations with unsurpassed levels of pomp, ceremony and dignity.

Back To Northern India Part 4

Onto Vietnamese Pictures

Onto Malaysian Sailfishing

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