Adventures in Asia

by Greg & Francie

Just a month left

Wow.  Francie and I have just under a month left before we return to Seattle. 

I can’t wait to use tap water to brush my teeth!  Trust me, brushing your teeth with bottled water gets old after about a month.

What do we have left?

  • More time in the Gili Islands, Indonesia
  • A hike up to the Mt. Rinjani volcano
  • 10 days in New Zealand
  • About 5 days in Fiji

It is just incredible that we only have days and not months to go. 


September 28, 2007 Posted by | Travel | 6 Comments

Turtle Haven

We have now been on Gili Trawangan for a few days and it is a lot of fun.  There is great snorkeling right off the beach and both Francie and Randall saw a large turtle today.

There is also a small turtle hatchery on the island.  They try and protect the eggs left on this beach.


Crate protecting eggs

They have an area where small turtles are being taken care of–its not state of the art by any means but one of the dive shops was telling us that they have actually released a large number back into the wild.

Today we saw this guy cleaning the baby turtles by scrubbing their shells with a brush.


I am sure this turtle is terrified.

Here are some close ups of fresh water turtles.




Check out his snout!

September 28, 2007 Posted by | Indonesia, Pets, Travel, Wildlife | 1 Comment

My busy day in Indonesia

We haven’t posted in a few days, not because we don’t want to, but because we’re on these small islands in Indonesia where it’s hard to get online, and when we do, it usually consists of 6 people sharing 1 dial-up connection.  But we persevered and finally the photos are updated on flickr so I can tell you about a recent day here on the beach!

 I started out the morning by borrowing a ferry from the Indonesian government and taking Greg and Randall out for a spin.  Here I am behind the wheel:

Francie driving the ferry

Next I decided to go surfing. I’ll have you know that the wave I’m riding is a lot bigger than it looks!

Francie Zurfing

After tiring myself out surfing I was looking for a more mellow activity, so I decided to go hunt around some tide-pools. I found some cool stuff, including this star fish:

Upside Down Starfish

After a few hours of staring at tide pools I had some energy again, so I put on snorkel gear and decided to help a local clean his glass bottomed boat. There were some hard to reach places on that thing!

Francie under the boat

The beach was so beautiful – I had to just lie in the sun for awhile. Meanwhile, Greg fell asleep while working on his tan:


A late afternoon at the beach is best spent building things in the sand, so myself, greg, and randall made this lovely alligator, which is so good that it looks like maybe we didn’t really make it and someone with actual skill at building things out of sand did…


To finish the day off right, we ate some fresh seafood and drank some reedeeculous cocktails. Here is a photo of Randall with his pina colada:


And that was our day.  I wonder what I will do tomorrow?  You will find out soon!

September 27, 2007 Posted by | Indonesia, Photography, SE Asia, Travel | 1 Comment

Francie works on the boat

Yesterday we went snorkeling off Gili Meno.  We rented a boat that had a glass bottom.  Sometimes this can be rather cheezy but I was impressed with everything you could see on the sandy bottom (especially the blue starfish).

We saw some turtles and fish which was great fun.  But by far the most entertaining moment was when Francie went under the boat to squeegee (I love the word squeegee, look at all those eees!) the underside of the glass.  There was a build up of algae that just needed to be dealt with.

Francie under the boat

I made her go back down and do it again after she missed a spot.

Just for the record…the fish can’t see you through the glass–your identity is safe. 😉

September 27, 2007 Posted by | Indonesia, Travel | Leave a comment

The beach at Gili Meno

A few days ago we left Bali and headed over to the Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok.

We started out at the quieter Meno Island.  As you can see, it is another boring, beautiful place with nothing to do.  🙂

Look at the crowds!
Gili Meno beach

Randall strikes a pose!
Randall on beach

This is the old Pier. I bought that boat for four dollars! Now all I have to do is get it through customs.
Gili Meno Old Dock

We did a little snorkelling and saw sea turtles as well as fish. We found these starfish on the beach at low tide.

When you pick one up and flip it over its ‘tube feet’ come out. Don’t worry, we put it safely back in the water with its friend.
Upside Down Starfish

After having fun at the Rust Bar for a few nights (where I met someone who worked on Xbox in the UK and she knew Simon Powell and Kate Wilson) we decided to move over to the bigger island Gili Trawangan.

Now that we have internet we may post even more!

September 27, 2007 Posted by | Indonesia, Travel, Wildlife | 1 Comment

A Day on the Beach

Francie, Randall and I arrived in Bali last night and today we hit the beach. 


Overall, we took it exceptionally easy. You know the drill: rent a chair on the beach, have a pineapple, work on the tan.


Here we are all kicked back. We took some self-portraits.







Then Randall had the nerve to fall asleep (“This is Randall, leave a message!”).


These shells were for sale on the beach.


Someone was walking their monkey and Randall and Francie played with the little guy.



It took a liking to Randall and decided to help groom him–because Randall needs some good grooming.


Finally, here is the nice sunset.


Don’t be jealous!

September 21, 2007 Posted by | Indonesia, Travel | 2 Comments

New Photos

Some of my new photos are now up on Flickr.  I still have loads still to upload so stay tuned.  Here are a few favorites:

A Tibetan nomad:

A serious Lhasa gang:


Young yak wearing earrings:

Crocodile Dundee returns:

Tibetan Nomad kids at Lake Nam-tso:

Tibetan woman with her horse and foal:

At Ganden Monastery, prayer flags and solar panels:

Tomorrow… BALI!

September 19, 2007 Posted by | China, Photography, Tibet, Travel | 5 Comments

Happiness Never Melts

After dinner tonight we headed over to Swensen’s for a little dessert.  The Thai’s do like their ice cream and they have definitely improved upon the old American ice cream parlor (read: add more scoops and chocolate to everything). 

See our gluttony in action!



And I am as giddy as a little school boy!

Remember “happiness never melts”:

At least we skipped out on the Asia favorite: ice cream and corn. There is nothing as good as frozen corn stuck on some vanilla ice cream…yum, yum. Off by 1.

September 18, 2007 Posted by | Bangkok, Travel | 3 Comments

Elephants at Ayutthaya

Today we caught a train to Ayutthaya (an ancient capital of Thailand) to see some of the old Wats.  Randall shot a great video of us riding around on bikes that we will try and get up tomorrow.  During the day we stopped and hung out with a bunch of Thai elephants which may have been the highlight of the day.

Of course, Thailand ‘freed’ all their elephants from ‘working’ (for example, logging) and now many of them earn their keep in the tourist trade.

Here at Ayutthaya the elephants train to give rides and do a few tricks. Unfortunately, they were out of blocks of ice that we could feed to the elephants (it was really hot).

Francie feeding 3 year old Elephant

Randall posing with Elephant

Greg posing with elephant.

September 18, 2007 Posted by | Bangkok, SE Asia, Thailand, Travel, Wildlife | 2 Comments

Phuket Plane Crash

We were very sorry to see the airplane crash at Phuket airport in Thailand.  Obviously we are alright.

It has been raining very heavily in Bangkok and on the west coast (where Phuket is).

September 16, 2007 Posted by | Thailand, Travel | 4 Comments