Monthly Archives: August 2010

30Aug2010

Colours of Makassar

blue and pink shack, with green fence and washing lined up outside. Makassar harbour, indonesia.

Makassar, Indonesia. The capital of Sulawesi. A hectic, noisy port city, where even the scuzziest scenes are full of equatorial colour. Even the trucks, parked near the old port where the Bugis sailing ships unload. There are corrugated iron shacks on the dockfront, selling snacks when Ramadan permits, and housing entire families. As pretty, in […]

29Aug2010

6 Signs That Say You’re a Long Way from Home

"ATTENTION. 1. Keep the Museum clean with: - No smoking -No throwing rubbish or feces - No spitting on the floor / room - No eating and drinking in the showroom

1: A helpful guide to museum etiquette. Thanks to all at the museum in Fort Rotterdam, Makassar, for these handy hints on how to behave in places of learning. Next time I am thinking of making like a chimp with my droppings, I’ll be sure to think again. 2: Instructions on how to use the […]

26Aug2010

Turtle Island, Indonesia

Sea turtle grazing amid coral. Pulau Derawan, Indonesia.

Pulau Derawan, a tiny palm and sand island off the coast of Indonesian Borneo, is famous for sea turtles. Now, in general, when it comes to sea turtles, it’s wise to keep your expectations low. Maybe, just maybe, there’ll be a glimpse of a reptile or two sculling in the blue yonder, when you’re diving. […]

24Aug2010

Eight Months, Seven Countries

Giant tree roots grow down over the ancient monastery of Ta Prohm, near Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

As Z and I enter our eighth month of continuous travel, here’s one amazing thing we’ve done in each month of the year. January: Making the Leap! I’d been a home owner for almost a decade when we left in January. Working constantly for longer than that. Between us, Z and I had accumulated piles […]

21Aug2010

Ramadan in Tarakan

Brightly coloured stripey cakes for sale in Borneo.

Bobby’s minivan has a melodic horn, which intones a three note melody. “It is the only one in Tarakan,” he explains, tootling merrily at a cluster of folk on scooters, every one of them revving for a U-turn on the choked main road. “In fact,” he says, gesturing expansively at the rusty interior of what, […]

20Aug2010

Walking Fish & Long-Nosed Monkeys

proboscis-monkeys-11

We were in two minds about whether to stay in Tarakan, Indonesian Borneo, today. But I’m extremely glad we did. Because 300 metres down the road from our hotel is a little mangrove sanctuary. Home to two weird and wonderful creatures. Proboscis monkeys, and walking fish. Ever seen a fish walk?! Us neither. For video, […]

20Aug2010

Walking Fish & Long-Nosed Monkeys

proboscis-monkeys-1

We were in two minds about whether to stay in Tarakan, Indonesian Borneo, today. But I’m extremely glad we did. Because 300 metres down the road from our hotel is a little mangrove sanctuary. Home to two weird and wonderful creatures. Proboscis monkeys, and walking fish. Ever seen a fish walk?! Us neither. For video, […]

19Aug2010

Welcome to Indonesia!

We left Tawau, the port in north-eastern (Malaysian) Borneo, this morning. For Tarakan, on the Indonesian side of Borneo. The boat was late. Terminally late. Clearly an hour or more late, rather than a few minutes late. So I was relaxed when I got off it to buy snacks at the port side, leaving Z […]

15Aug2010

Mr. Confidence

Z, grinning, coming off slide with rubber ring. Poring Hot Springs, Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia.

Sometimes, something happens which makes you look at your child with new eyes. This morning, Z and I were at Poring Hot Springs, the sulphurous waters which seethe out of the jungly lowlands in the shadow of Mount Kinabalu. They function, if not as a panacea, at least as a salve for muscles recovering from […]

14Aug2010

Climbing Mount Kinabalu

sun bursts above peaks on the summit of mount kinabalu, borneo, malaysia

Dali would have loved the summit of Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak between the Himalayas and New Guinea. Granite towers, horns and cowslicks protrude improbably from a landscape of fractured moraines and curvaceous drops, polished clean by Pleistocene glaciers and decked with gleaming waterfalls. And watching the rising sun refract around these surrealist sculptures and […]