Sleeping with the fishes

Everything is fine, just fine.

fishy fishes

Big wavey thing.

stuff in water


Was it something he said?



A magic eye or a scorpion fish?

more things in the sea

having a lovely time... with eels that come out of the ground

Nemo, and that one what is in the fish tank at the dentist.


two fish

Darling, it’s better, down where it’s wetter.

So, today we went diving. Deep sea diving. It was incredible. We are hooked. We are coming to Bali again. We are going diving again. Just like looking at monkeys and whatnot, our expectations were low. Noony didn’t think she would enjoy it. She was wrong.

We went to the dive centre that John, the guy we met randomly on a boat in Malaysia, owned. Lonely planet called Eco-Dive, “the best place for beginner divers.” We had two dives, the first being an introduction to sucking air through a hosepipe. Andrea mentioned her asthma and they suggested she sees how the intro dive goes. Her chest tightened, panic ensued and she resurfaced. I had no idea she had left as I was far too busy thinking how bloody amazing everything was. Noony said she was about to panic and leave but our guide, Antoine, our amazing guide, held her hand and she calmed down. I had no idea she was about to panic as I was far too busy thinking how bloody amazing everything was.

The first dive was fabulous. We swam to the sea shelf and there was a huge drop and followed the coral along the sea bed where thousands of fish swam. Think the start scene of Finding Nemo and you are not even close. This dive doesn’t matter though. The second dive was to the wrecked World War Two cargo ship turned artificial reef. As Andrea couldn’t do the dive they said they wouldn’t charge her and gave her snorkelling gear and said she could see the ship from the surface. We slowly sunk towards the vessel and swam through the broken hull. Legally, as beginners, we were allowed to go down 12metres. Antoine thought we did really well so took us to the wreck floor at 17 metres although he only told us after. Good lad. I cannot begin to describe what we saw. We had a Balinese instructor with us who took underwater photos. He burnt them to CD to give to us so as we are iPad-bound we can’t upload them. He did email us the first photo of us just under the water.

Five days to go…


Bali – the last frontier

Well, our trip has 13 days left out of about 165. The thought of coming home causes flames of fear to rip through us. I’m sure they will fade to smoky embers on our horrendous 30 hour trip back to Heathrow. Having to both find jobs and accommodation should work out but our contingency plan of winning the lottery is what we are really pinning our hopes on.

For now though we are in our final new destination, Bali. We have been shacked up in a two bedroom suite in the south of Bali for seven days enjoying the pool, DVDs, and horrific midday sun. We thought that as the pool was surrounded by a high courtyard, the two hours of sun the pool gets is safe enough not to use suncream. The cool water also deceived us as to the intensity of the sun. In the evening, steam was rising off our skin and nearby lobsters were jealous that we were redder than them. I faired better than Noony, who woke up the next morning in agony, unable to perform basic human functions like moving. She forgets the fair nature of her hair and has been chastising the sun ever since.

We are moving places tomorrow where internet doesn’t exist so let me tell you about our firm and strict schedule day by day. There is a waterpark nearby that has a ride called climax (insert inappropriate joke here). You step onto a manhole cover that flips open, you fall vertically so fast that the ride loop the loops and ejaculates you over the pool. (too much?) Andrea is convinced she will go on it. Noony has discussed in detail that a suitcase of substantial money presented to her in advance for her to count isn’t enough for her to step onto that trapdoor.

A few days after that we are travelling to the north-east tip of Bali to what is considered the best dive site ever: the wreck of a World War Two cargo ship turned coral/1000 species masterpiece. When we clean the saltwater from the camera circuit board and have found a spot of Internet we will endeavour to let you know that it was pleasant.

We were planning to travel to Komodo Island, or one of the smaller uninhabited dragon islands, but the small danger factor of having to cross one of the strongest water currants by a rickerty boat, being the only people on an island of bloody terrible lizards that hunt in packs and watching Jurassic Park only confirms my fears that I will die.

Anyhoo, I need to get back to sitting down and enjoying doing nothing. In two weeks this dream will end and we will have to do normal things like getting up at 7am, putting on a shirt and moaning obscenities into a bowl of coco pops. That said, I am yearning tragically for a glass of milk. True story.


We have decided not to say too much about Borneo. With Japan an’ all that happening it doesn’t feel right to splurge hyperbole (as hyperbole is the antichrist) so we will keep it brief and tease you with a few snappy snaps instead.

Without a shadow of doubt, going to Borneo has been our greatest experience ever. Ever. We knew it would be good, but didn’t expect to leave feeling a little devastated that we may never go back. Conversation then turned to when we’d go back.

We sailed through the jungle on our wooden houseboat by day, dragonflies following us like dolphins. By night, fireflies lit up our path like trees on Christmas Eve. We slept under a canopy of stars and showered with river water. We were fed four times a day and doused in coffee and water.

We saw our first wild orang-utan after 30 minutes into our 4 hour ride up to camp. Our guide, Jenie, said this was an excellent omen. He was not wrong. We saw crocodiles, gibbons, proboscis monkeys, macaques, kingfishers, birds of paradise, hornbills, flying foxes, snakes, ants the size of thumbs, cuckoos, 10 inch butterflies and a wild cat.

Oh, and some orangutans. We were incredibly lucky as we read the guest book and saw some disappointing entries saying they only saw 1 primate in 3 days. We saw over 30 orangutans. Our guide had spent his whole life with the orangutans so his knowledge was encyclopaedic.

Universal Studios

Singapore – Jakarta – Borneo. Part I

We left Kuala Lumpur after a long wait for the 11pm night train. It was similar to our first one in Thailand; clean, but 2 inches too short to be completely comfortable. Again, we didn’t sleep but we saved on a night’s accommodation and that’s all that matters in life. We arrived in Singapore at 7am to a row of soldiers with sniffer dogs. The sign behind them had a skull and crossbones and said, ‘Death to drug traffickers’. Even though that didn’t apply to us, you couldn’t help but feel you became a drugs mule as you were sleeping and that you would pay for someone else’s sneaky crime. We passed with flying colours, (Noony got given a ‘I’m drug free and loving it’ badge to wear.)

The transport system in Singapore is undoubtedly the best we have ever been on. To start, it is driven by robots. Any secondary reason like horrific punctuality, air con and lightning speed to destination is moot. Not one person tried to sell us a taxi ride, accommodation or their sister’s womb. This is a first. Well done Singapore. We arrived at our budget hotel which, to our surprise, was very comfortable. Our first adventure was to find our own way all the way across the city to the museum. 5 minutes later, we arrived. We were given yet another robot with headphones that spoke to us and told us about all the things in the museum. The robot asked us to call it our ‘companion’. It even made a move on Noony, but she is very loyal. Explaining how good the museum is to you is like trying attach tyres to a tomato – a bit useless. So we shall move swiftly on to other topics.

The malls made for a good place to hang out. Those Americans did have it right. Prices were completely western so no token purchases were made. There were 7 malls, all connected by long underground tunnels, which you have to walk, escalate, hover or crawl to. Richard O’Brian would sometime pop round the corner and play the harmonica.

After a day of window shopping, we thought it best to go to Universal Studios, Singapore. To those that don’t know, it is a film based theme park. Our particular themes were Madagascar, Shrek, Jurassic Park, Waterworld, The Mummy as well as obvious places like Hollywood and 1930s New York. It was bloody fantastic. The best ride was the mummy ride where you plummeted underground and took the entire ride in complete darkness apart from moving images of Imotept SCREAMING at you,”You’re going to die!” Noony wouldn’t have seen it as she had her eyes closed from just before joining the queue. I had to force myself to laugh as I went round to stop myself from being scared and mainly from vomiting onto Noony’s eyelids. I still don’t feel quite right.

The next day, we an exciting opportunity to visit the airport. We planned to get there early to warm up the brass band but as we didn’t realise that Singapore airport is so big it has its own metro system, Andrea arrived before us with a direct flight from Heathrow. She came here as a child and so wasn’t as shocked by the lack of white people and Asian mannerisms like were on our entry to Bangkok, although I still profess to this day that Bangkok is mental.

As her time was short in Singapore we gave Andrea a choice of what she wanted to do. We couldn’t in our wildest dreams have guessed what she wanted to do. She wanted to go to the Zoo. And to the Zoo we went. Considering that we are going to Borneo in a few days, all I will say about the Zoo is that at the animal show called “The Rainforest Fights Back”, the tribes people walked around the packed arena with their shields and spears eyeballing the crowd. I smiled at one of the actors which I still regret. He handed me the spear and I became the SOLE audience member dragged on stage. They then pointed at my t-shirt and pointed at their naked, toned, perfect torsos, then looked at me. Feeling the ‘naked’ dream crash through the crowd into reality. I suddenly felt incredibly body conscious, wanting to explain in native tongue that I didn’t normally look like this and that 5 months of not eating much causes me to be two stone lighter than normal. After a lot of subtle persuasion from the hunter/gatherers I took off my top and continued to tense my torso for the duration of what they made me do. They wanted me to copy their exaggerated war chants, tribal moves and sexy dances. Noony filmed it all and whether we leak it onto the Internet or not is a matter for the future. I look bloody skinny.

The next day we headed to Jakarta, Indonesia.

The only cheap hostel we could find online for three people was in the south of the city. We touched down at 5pm, on a Friday, in rush hour, on one of the biggest cities on the planet to find a taxi driver who didn’t know where he was going. Over three hours later the taxi found its way to our most unusual guesthouse yet. The 15 foot metal gates swung open to reveal a mansion set amongst tropical gardens. There were antiques donning every table, there was a well in the hall, a stuffed tiger opposite the gold stitched chez long and three 60″ TVs in the lounge. They had a power cut in the evening so we sat by the pool by candlelight and caught up with friend news from back home.

The next day we flew to Borneo, home of the orangutans…