With great sunny weather and high temperatures, it seemed like summer started early this March. So, we felt like having some days off after enduring the long, bitter winter and we decided to go on a roadtrip. There are many car rental shops around the town. We normally prefer to just walk in and handle things with cash (that's usually the best way to negotiate the price) but here, they prefer to have their bookings done online by a third party. We found holidaycars.com to have the best prices. We didn't take the cheapest car, but we took one that was a little bigger (a brand-new Škoda Fabia) so we'd have more space for sleeping. It cost us € 115 for 8 days (the cheapest car … (Continue reading)
In the late April we started our Eastern Europe trip. The challenge is to travel all summer long in the cheapest way. Already in the first week we felt that this summer is gonna be an unusually cold one. This may influence our idea of camping in the wilderness. We will be able to relax for some nights until we start our next mission: catsitting in Prague.
In our last week, we spent new year's eve in Ubud. All the big festivities would be organized in Kuta but it would be impossible to get into town with all the traffic. Besides, we wouldn't be able to drink before driving back. The expensive hotels had their own parties but there didn't seem to be much going on outside until we found the big temples in the center. People there seemed to be waiting for something. It was almost midnight and we found a second floor of a small restaurant where nobody else was sitting. We didn't have to wait long for the fireworks to start. We had the best view from the terrace – the fireworks exploded right above us. On our last day … (Continue reading)
Today, adults get into a hurry, while meeting the preparations for the big celebration in the eve. Today, children eyes sparkle in expectation of the presents they will receive. Today, Christians from different cultures, in different parts of the world gather with their families and friends to ignite the spirit of Jesus' birth. Today, we hope and pray that love and peace surround all those who are involved in Christmas festivities – in private as well as in public places. Today, we want to spread the light and be the light for all the religious minorities, fearing to live their religious believes due to harassment, persecution and violence. Merry Christmas, Selamat Hari Natal Although Christmas is celebrated only by a minority of Indonesians, the public interest is big. Christmas decoration in shopping malls, like Lippo … (Continue reading)
Finding a scooter rental for a decent price as a foreigner on Bali isn't as easy any more. Prices are going up a lot. For Australians it's very cheap to fly here; for them everything is cheap and they are willing to pay the price. Salesmen will often translate the price – "Only 5 Australian dollars" to rent a scooter for a day. Especially when staying for a month, this is not cheap. Luckily, we got a decent price: around € 2 a day, although it would be possible to find it even cheaper. We got it through a friend who doesn't normally rent to foreigners. "They drive like crazy." This is one thing you will recognize, especially in the Kuta area. Drivers cutting people off, … (Continue reading)
Religion is very much integrated in Balinese society. In no other country in the world than in Indonesia so many religions live side by side. All the world's major religions are represented – some more than others: Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims celebrate and pray daily in churches, temples and mosques. Space for prayer and meditation can be found anywhere in Bali. Prayers and rituals are practiced early in the morning. There is no need for an alarm clock for those who live next to a temple or a mosque. Although such a parade can be annoying to late risers, it can be a powerful new day call to others. Sometimes you can hear beautiful melodies, which can make it easier to get up in the morning. At … (Continue reading)
We have finally started our trip. After we hitchhiked home from Portugal, we took a bit more time home planning stuff than we expected. Our first stop: Bali, Indonesia. After a long flight, we finally landed in Jakarta. It was quite a relief to leave the European winter weather behind and to land in warm Indonesia. We just had one more flight to Bali, just 2 hours away. Before we even left the airport, we were constantly surrounded by taxi drivers, shouting "Taxi, yes?" or "Transport?" Some kept following us. We didn't feel like taking a taxi but we couldn't find a bus and walking seemed a bit too far so we asked for the price. "One hundred pipty tousand", every one of them said – "is … (Continue reading)
I heard some meowing early in the morning, but couldn't see from the window where it was coming from. When the sound kept repeating in the evening, we decided to have a look. There had been some construction going on for a while and since some days a fence was built around the area behind the apartment building. Passing dirty, old clothes, a rotting skull and other trash, we found a little kitten completely alone, somewhere behind the fence. I managed to squeeze myself under the fence to pick up the kitten. It was very loud but could barely crawl or see. At home we made a little bed for it and gave it a bath first. The water turned brown; it was full of sand. … (Continue reading)