Category Archives for Indonesia


Photo Essay: Bau Nyale in Lombok, Indonesia

Actors perform the story of Princess Mandalika.

Once a year in Kuta, Lombok, Indonesia, the palolo worms that live in the reef come out to spawn, and locals celebrate with the Bau Nyale festival. Child jockeys come from Sumbawa and East Lombok to race horses on the strand. Like Firman, 7, from Bima in Sumbawa. Who fell, horrifically, yet cried not from […]


Different for Girls

HDR motorbike by Bev Goodwin on Flickr's Creative Commons.

There comes a time in every woman’s life when you realise that travelling just IS different for girls. For me, this little epiphany happened en route to Lombok’s Bau Nyale festival. Because I’m cheap, I took the slow boat. Because I’m an incompetent fucktard who shouldn’t be allowed within miles of a child, I switched […]


In Which We Visit an All-Inclusive

Beachfront at Grand Mirage Resort Bali.

Barely two weeks into our period of settling down, and I’m thoroughly in need of a holiday. So we decide to take up an offer of a jolly to not one but two all-inclusive five stars down in South Bali. Neither of us have ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort before. But… hey! It’s gratis. […]


Home Sweet Home? Ubud

Women processing to a ceremony in Ubud, Bali

New Year’s Day seems an appropriate time to head to Bali and start a new life – and, let’s face it, getting on a plane somewhere and not getting off it for another few weeks is an easier resolution to stick to than, say, giving up smoking. The plan is to head to Ubud, which […]


What is Ubud Like? A Few Perspectives

Flower seller at Ubud Market

Embarrassingly for someone who writes for a living and has spent months in Ubud, I spectacularly failed the other night to answer the question “What is Ubud like?” Because the answer really does depend on your perspective. So here are a few perspectives on Ubud, the Balinese town where Elizabeth Gilbert found the “love” in […]


Bali — A GREAT Place to Lose a Child

Flower-filled pond

When it comes to places to lose a child, I can confirm that Bali beats the hell out of Bulgaria and the UK. It’s not that I make a habit of losing children. Admittedly, I did once misplace someone else’s in the course of a sleepover. And I once inadvertently left my own child on […]


The Friday Photo: Ready For Some Beach


The beaches in Kuta, Lombok, where we learned to surf, are some of the prettiest I’ve seen in Indonesia — even including the wonders of Pulau Derawan and Morotai. But the Middle East, where we’re headed next, has some amazing beaches, too. And, right now, I need me some of that.


Comedy Highlights Of Motorbiking Asia With A Child

Z on our motorbike in Indonesia.

I have a bunch of funny motorbike stories from our trip across Indonesia and Timor Leste that I never got time to write up. Here’s a few of them. The Time I Drove Our Motorbike Into The Hotel Bar On arrival in Dili, Timor Leste, we were kind of knackered. There’s something about a challenging […]


Our Last Hurrah

Flying Fox Ijen

All of a sudden, as we load up the bike and bump out of the coffee plantation and over the waterfall bridge, it feels as if we’re in a hurry. We’ve been meandering across Indonesia and around Timor Leste at a more or less leisurely pace these last few months. We’ve covered well over 5000k […]


More Adventures in the Ijen: Escape from the Toxic Lake

Adventures in the Ijen

Before we can escape the lake of farts for the coffee plantation, there is, as ever, the little matter of our motorbike. After our ordeal getting up here, it is a) low on gas and, b) as I discover, with the assistance of a small-to-medium crowd of helpful chaps, almost completely out of oil. A […]