For the sake of closure, I am finally writing an epilogue to this epic blogue. I didn't end up sailing home, but I did go sailing once I got home. Here is proof: I'm sure you can all tell from the photo that it's me.
My visa expires on Wednesday, and nobody needs crew around here, so I booked a ticket to SF on Monday. It was almost free with frequent flier miles and I will get to visit the airports of Bangkok and Frankfurt on a nearly 50-hour itinerary. I could have flown to Singapore or Australia and tried again but I'm getting tired of spending time and money being a tourist, and there simply aren't boats going in the direction I want to go, only boats sailing to Malaysia and Thailand and bumming around. I just feel like going home. I'd still like to try this again in the future, but I can do it any time, and next time I can pick a place where there's favorable wind. So far I haven't spoken to a single sailor here who says they've had more than a day or two of proper sailing. Everybody is just motoring against the current without wind, so what's the point? I've already done plenty of motoring on the ferries here. I spent two nights in Lombok and a day hanging
I'm back in Kuta now, on my own again after a week traveling with Tom. We took a nice three-day motorbike tour up to Munduk, down to Lovina beach, and back to Ubud. Tom navigated with his iPhone, which led us down some rough roads through the island's more remote villages and rice terraces. We passed through a place called Bedugul, which we decided is the perfect name for a comic strip dog. Ubud is all about the wellness. It's full of yoga studios, spas, organic wholegrain fair trade coffee shops, etcetera. I bought some drawstring cotton pants, but I still didn't quite fit in because I don't have any tattoos. Ubud has some beautiful spots but the expats and tourists there were generally some of the most unfriendly I've seen. Many of the women there seem to be off on their own Eat Pray Love trip to find happiness, and are so focused on this goal that they can't be bothered to smile at the occasional stranger. It got a bit depressing after a while so I'
I just spent a half hour writing and somehow lost all my work so I will keep this briefer than it was going to be. I'm in Ubud, Bali now, staying at this guy's villa surrounded by rice terraces. I arrived here last night and will stay a few days while I wait for responses to the ad I posted at the Bali marina. I stayed in karimunjawa for four days, but it wasn't the sort of place where sailboats often pass through. I joined a tour the first day with a group of Indonesian college students and we boated from island to island snorkeling in the coral reefs and feeding fish. I biked around and drank coconuts I found on the way. The village on the main island might have been more peaceful if not for Ramadan, but it was hard to sleep since every night at 2 am groups of kids would parade the streets beating drums to wake everybody for the morning prayers, which would be broadcast over the megaphones for hours. I took the next ferry back to Jepara on Sunday and docked just in
I'm now in Jepara, sitting on the rooftop of a homestay within a stone's throw of the harbor, under the stars, just outside a room where I'll spend the night, for six dollars. (wifi not included, I'll have to find a hotspot to upload this later...) I had an exciting bus ride from Jogja to Semarang. I was told I could find an air con class bus at the station on the east side of town for 40,000 rp, but when I got there I was told there are no air con buses and was ushered onto an economy bus, for 20,000. It was crowded full but not too hot with the windows open. An older man, an English teacher, was quick to sit next to me and ask me for my full name, address, and telephone number so that he could find me when he comes to visit the states. He turned out go be not too creepy though and pointed out interesting things on the ride, like the massive volcanic boulders that had been thrown from Mt Merapi just a few months ago. Deadly, he said, but useful, since the locals buil
Today I believe is the first day of Ramadan. All the prayer halls started broadcasting in unison over the loudspeakers at 4:45 this morning. I woke up to the sound with a bit of a cold sweat from something I ate yesterday, and sat on the toilet watching tiny ants march along the crack of the wall. Yesterday I rented a bike and rode south out of town into the rice paddies. I found a few beautiful quiet spots, but mostly it was hard to avoid the roads and motorcycle exhaust. It was good to have a bike in town at least to get away from the becak drivers, who are everywhere and make it impossible to enjoy a quiet moment in town. I was originally thinking of seeing the Dieng Plateau for a day, but I decided I really need a break from tourist destinations, so I'm going to take a bus north to Semarang after I finish this post. I found a couchsurfer who said she'll put me up tonight, and may even be able to give me a ride to Jepara tomorrow since she commutes there for work. This