10/23/17 S 27 26.49 E 153 04.16 Brisbane
10/24/17 S 22 25.10 E 151 26.35
10/25/17 S 20 19.23 E 148 56.59 Hamilton Island
10/26/17 S 18 35.48 E 146 47.78
10/27/17 S 16 55.56 E 145 46.84 Cairns
10/28/17 S 12 31.15 E 143 25.49
10/29/17 S 10 43.90 E 138 47.59
10/30/17 S 10 41.54 E 132 50.83
10/31/17 S 12 28.33 E 130 50.77 Darwin
11/01/17 S 11 10.40 E 126 07.95
11/02/17 S 09 43.58 E 121 41.73
11/03/17 S 08 54.69 E 119 00.47 left Komodo at 1400
11/04/17 S 08 53.50 E 114 50.00 Denpassar, Bali
11/05/17 S 13 50.50 E 114 50.60
11/06/17 S 19 03.27 E 114 26.84
Last time I wrote, I kind of forgot to add our locations! Getting the locations is part of our routine in the evenings: get the data points, open the door to get the delivery of ice and hors d’oeuvres, pour martinis! Then off to the Mix bar to meet friends and then to dinner.
After our Darwin adventure we headed to Komodo Island after two sea days. I’ve been looking forward to Komodo and the dragons since we first thought of doing this trip. Even though I wasn’t looking forward to trekking through the bush in 95/95 temp/humidity, I really, REALLY wanted to see wild Komodo dragons.
Komodo Island is a tender port (not my favorite thing, getting on tenders to go ashore!)—let me explain: The ship has four tenders, AKA lifeboats, that hold 75 as tenders and 150 as lifeboats. You do the math: the ship holds about 1500 people, roughly 2/3 want to go ashore (just a guess, but judging by the pushing and shoving and sheer volume of people, it’s probably pretty close). So, 1000 people wanting to go in the tenders that hold 75 at a time, the trip takes 15 minutes plus embark and debark time and we all want to go ashore NOW. So we hang in the theater (holds the most people!) waiting to get tender tickets.
The morning of the Komodo trip we got there at 7:50 for an 8:00 tour departure and finally got tender tickets at about 9:00—the standard excuse is that the “officials” have not “cleared the ship.” Our tour guides were waiting patiently, however, and really did a great job of herding
cats, uh, us and 75 of our closest friends around the area before starting out. Our guides took us (our group was very small, only eight) to a small house that was sort of off the track because they knew there were dragons there. Randy and the rest continued on the three kilometer trek and I went back to the ship (I’d seen three dragons, so what else is there?). When Randy came back he said I had made a great decision, it was a long, hot walk; no shade; and not many more dragons.
Back to our shipboard routine of listening to lectures, going to classes, sitting on our balcony reading, etc.
Bali was our next stop and I had arranged no tours. We got off the ship and just hired the first taxi driver we saw and headed off to see whatever we would see. He of course took us to shops but I really wanted especially to see some wood carvings so it wasn’t all bad! Lots of temples—you should see Randy and me in the mandatory sarongs. Yes, even the men have to wear them!
The really fun part was a tea and coffee shop. Well, more like a little zoo/arboretum where we got to taste seven teas and six coffees. They were all good and we bought a few to bring home, including “poop coffee.” Yes, the coffee the animals eat and poop out the beans which are then roasted. Didn’t ever think I would drink that, but I couldn’t be there and not at least TRY it. Tastes like really good coffee!
On to a waterfall (in the rain) and the experience of driving in the afternoon traffic jams. I believe there are more motorcycles than cars and I think all the motorcycles were on the road with us.
A day of rest, then Exmouth.