River rafting

Bali Travel Blog

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mike, take note...
Today was me “day off” �" as a ship's doctor, one works every single day. However, one is allowed time off during clinics and if that particular day is a port day, one may disembark the ship.

We arrived in Padang Bay in Indonesia this morning and I have signed on for white water rafting . The port is unfortunately too small for the ship to dock, so we needed to take a tender boat (small boat which holds approximately 100 passengers) to the harbour.
At the harbour we were greeted by locals wearing beatiful garments in cotton and silk with gold and silver thread. Some of the woman looked suspiciously masculine and after visit to Thailand a few years ago, I wonder if this is some form of Eastern trend. A friend of mine Mike was quite popular with the lady-boys back then, so Indonesia might be destination he would prefer to avoid in the future.
en route to river rafting


A bus trip with local guide drove us through the city of Bali, past rice fields and into the outskirts of town. Indonesia has certain similarities with Thailand. The climate is similar and the towns have an analogous feel, in that there seems to be a form of organised chaos. The guide told us that corruption is rife and that the country generates most of its income from tourism, which comes as no surprise should you decide on doing any shopping (more on this later).

We arrived in a wooden lodge, where our rafting tour was to begin. We were kitted out with safety gear and escorted down a winding and slippery path of a few thousand stairs down to a rapidly flowing river. It was raining, but the temperature was very pleasant.
this is where it starts!


After a short briefing by the main guide “when I say bum bum, it mean you hold tight, ok?”, we were on our way down the river. 6 passengers and 1 guide were piled into 6 rubber ducks and were armed with short oars. The rapids were relatively tame, grade 2 and 3, but the combination of the refreshing water, picturesque scenery, a few bum bums and more than occasional water attacks from enemy rubber ducks made this one of the most enjoyable outing I have experienced in a long time. Granted, I do not get out much in general, but take my word on this one.

On the way the to the restaurant, I was accosted by locals wanting to sell various items. I was offered a T-shirt for 1 Dollar (US) and thought it was a fair price. However, once I started the actual purchasing process, the price suddenly was $15.
the enemy vessel
It transpired that it was a $1 to look and $15 to buy. (Luckily I did not look too often). In any case, after refusing, the lady said “ok, ok, ok, ok, come back”. Which led me to believe that she now had a new proposition for me. However, the price did not change. This happened about 4 times at which point I wondered whether she was an idiot for not changing her price or if I was an idiot for repeatedly thinking that her plea to renegotiate would result in a lower price.
I eventually escaped.

Rafting was finished off with a traditional, as well as western lunch in a bamboo hut restaurant with a view of the rice fields. This was simply a marvellous experience and I possibly overdosed on the peanut sauce :)

On the way back we were taked past a jewellery store �" yes �" in these countries there is always a catch! A few passengers did some shopping.
lunch after a hard days work
Their husbands stood outside muttering, with one remarking: “she'd buy the bloody bus if she could”.

Back at sea and after a rocky and sweltering (passengers arguing about whether the window should be open or closed) ride back, I am feeling tired after a busy day.

I experienced some motion sickness yesterday, but I seem to have found my sea legs today �" I hope they grow long and strong....I actually consulted the resident acupuncturist on board (not wanting to take any motion sickness medication, the side effect of which is sedation). She suggested sticking needles in my ears, stomach and wrist. The thought of that suddenly dissipated my sea sickness. I can highly recommend her.
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mike, take note...
mike, take note...
en route to river rafting
en route to river rafting
this is where it starts!
this is where it starts!
the enemy vessel
the enemy vessel
lunch after a hard days work
lunch after a hard days work
man overboard
man overboard
rice fields...
rice fields...
on the tender boat
on the tender boat
Bali
photo by: mr_shanet