Komodo Indonesia, Indo-Siren & Amed

Here we are home from another adventure.   We drove to Vancouver then took Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, from Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific to Bali.  Then a one hour hop from Depensar to Bima.

We then were on our way to the Indo Siren, our liveaboard boat for 10 days.  This is without a doubt the best dive boat and operation I have been on in ten years.  The Indo fleet is the biggest dive fleet in the world.   The owner of the boat is Frank Van Der Linde from Worldwide Dive and Sail.  He and his daughter were actually on the boat with us this trip.   He is a great guy and his boats and staff are top notch.

You get three full meals a day on the boat, plenty of snacks, tea, coffee, water, and booze.  The sodas and beer and water and sparkling waters are all included in the price of the trip.  The wine is very expensive but that is because it is so hard for them to get.   But you are fully taken care of.  You can even get massages on the boat.  There is place to hook up your music.   The cabins are big and comfortable.   You will not be disappointed in this operation or these boats.

WP_20170808_18_27_37_Pro

We had a friend with us this time.  He got SCUBA certified about 2 years ago and now he is Brads dive buddy.   He said he could not have had a better time.  The diving was incredible and they had a wonderful time.

Brad and Shawn

SCUBA diving in Indonesia. Indo Siren.

The dive sites are Bima Bay, Sangeang Island, Gilli Banta, Gili Lawa Laut, Current City, Rinca Island, and Komodo Island.

At each place there were at least four dives a day.  One in the morning, then breakfast, one in the afternoon, then lunch, one after lunch and one in the evening.   Most people did all four dives each day.   But that is a lot of diving so for some they would skip the evening dive.

We actually got to get off the boat and walk on Komodo Island and see the Komodo Dragons.  They are spectacular creatures.  Very dangerous.   We had several guides.  But if you ever get to see them outside of a zoo, you will be fully impressed.

_BWW7743

After the dive boat we took a flight from Bima to Bali.   Then we took a 3 hour drive to Amed.   We stayed in this incredible Villa.  Villa Candi Matahari

This place was spectacular.   The owners Paul and Staci were such gracious hosts.   The rooms are large and comfortable with outdoor showers and amazing beds.   There is an infinity pool that you wont ever want to leave.

pool

You get breakfast included in your stay.   There are several restaurants around the Villa where you can get fantastic food.  Fresh seafood, steaks, salads and wines to die for!

Indonesia is one of our favorite places in the whole world.   It takes a while to get there, but once you are there, you wont want to leave.   Your dollar goes very far here, things are very inexpensive, even the everyday living.   The locals are kind and easy going.

If you are thinking of taking a trip here, and dont know where to start, reach out to me and I would be happy to help you figure things out.

Cheers and Happy Traveling!

Argentina, Chile, Patagonia region and Antarctica 2016

BWW_3930

 

Well hello friends.  Its the end of another great year.  We met some amazing people, had some grand adventures and saw some amazing sites.  And I still cannot believe that I set foot in Antarctica.   If you have the chance to see it, do it soon.  Especially with the US current administration who does not believe or support climate change, Antarctica could be gone before you know it.  And what a colossal disaster that will be.

We flew American Airlines from Seattle to Buenos Aires.   We had a 15 hour layover there, so we decided to get a hotel room, to freshen up and sleep before we had to get up and catch a 3:00 am flight to the Domestic airport where we caught our next flight.

This adventure would have a lot of hiking, and seeing the country side.   Everyday we hiked new mountains and stayed in great lodges along the way.   We ate amazing food and got to know some people from around the world who were also traveling with us.  We hiked in both Chile and Argentina.   We hiked all over Patagonia and the mountain region Fitz Roy:

That is the region that you see on all your Patagonia clothing, that is the mountain that we hiked and the areas around it.   The weather was cool and sometimes windy, but really beautiful.  We saw icebergs, and animals, and water falls and flowers for miles.  Its was really incredible.

The hiking is tough in some places, lots of hills and tons of rocks.  You really need to be prepared and a pretty experienced hiker to enjoy the hikes and not get too tired.  Its hours of hiking each day.  I did most hikes each day.  There was one that I simply could not finish.  I knew that if I went all the way to the end, I would not have enough energy to make it back to our lodge.

There are many sites that can show you the hikes we did, this one shows pretty much every adventure we took on that trip.  Hiking

*NOTE: You need to have a very good pair of hiking boots, great wool socks that dont rub, a light jacket and a heavy one, both should be able to pack well in your backpack.  Hat, gloves, scarf, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a good bottle for water.   You will also need to pack protein bars, fruit, nuts, protein sticks.   Your hikes are long and hard and some days you get very hot.   You will not want to be stuck on a hike without the proper food and hydration.  I of course always recommend electrolyte tablets for your water.   These are the ones we take, Nuun.

Then we were off to Antarctica.   Most of the people that were on the tour with us were also going on the boat with us, the Polar Pioneer.   This is the same boat we took through the high Arctic and Norway in 2007.   It holds approximately 50 guests.  Its a great boat, with an exceptional Russian crew.  Three meals a day, prepared by chefs, snacks all day, coffee, tea, juices.  There is also a full bar on the boat with every kind of liquor, beer and wine you might like.

The hardest part of the journey is the 40 hours through the Drake Passage 

It is some of the roughest waters on earth.   I never get sea sick but coming back through the Drake on our journey home, even I was sick one afternoon.

dsc_6274

Antarctica 2016

*NOTE: On this trip they provided us with a very nice coat, it was part of the package.  But you will also need scarves, gloves, hat, very good wool socks, waterproof and windproof pants, they need to be warm.  Wool undergarments, and sheep skin lining for your boots (they provide the boots) also I HIGHLY recommend hand and feet warmers.   If you are in the zodiac for a long time with the cold water and wind you will get very cold.   Be prepared.   Be prepared to get in and out of a zodiac, walk in the snow, over slippery rocks, in water, on land, etc.   You will also be walking in a lot of animal poop.

Seeing Antarctica was an incredible experience.   Once in a lifetime thing.  I highly recommend you consider this adventure.