A Travellerspoint blog

ROME, ITALY

One day in Rome - Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

sunny 22 °C

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I had only one day in Rome, and not even a full day. My train from Naples arrived at 1:30pm, and my flight to Istanbul departed at 9pm. But in between those hours I kept busy sightseeing. I purchased a metro day pass for 6E, hopped on the B line, and got off at Colosseo. When I exited the metro station and walked outside, BAM, the Colosseum was right in front of me!! No need to go looking for it, as its literally across the street from the metro station!
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Its currently undergoing restorations, but thankfully only half of it was covered in scaffolding, leaving the other half looking nice for photos.
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I was hoping to get some photos taken with some sexy gladiators ... but was hugely disappointed. They were all old guys wearing plastic abs LOL!! So I just took photos from afar when they weren't looking.
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The lineup to get into the Colosseum was LONG! I knew it would be, as I'm sure its everyone's #1 thing to see in Rome.
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I decided to skip the Colosseum and visit the Roman Forum / Palatine Hill first. One ticket of 12E gives you entry to both the Colosseum & the Roman Forum / Palatine Hill.
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Arco di Constantino
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If you don't plan on going inside the Colosseum, then (unless you are really into Roman history) don't bother with the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill. As it turns out (I found out after I had already bought my ticket and spent hours wandering around) there is a free lookout point over the Roman Forum along the road Via dei Fori Imperiali. You can see a bit of Palatine Hill from that viewpoint as well. The part of Palatine Hill that cannot be seen from the viewpoint isn't really worth it anyways. Its huge, but in the end, its a bunch of crumbled walls badly labeled, so most of the time you don't know what you're looking at anyways.

The following photos are from inside the Roman Forum.
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The following photos are from inside Palatine Hill. You be the judge as to whether its worth 12E or not.
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If you opt out of entering, then farther along Via dei Fori Imperiali, is the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument.
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I didn't have time to go inside (I had to head to the airport), but there is an elevator inside that takes you tp the rooftop for 360 degree views of Rome. Its 7E.
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Across the street from Vittorio are these 2 cathedrals.
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I only had time to snap a photo before heading back to the metro. The sun was setting by this time, and Via dei Fori Imperiali was now packed with street vendors, musicians, horse & carriage rides, painters, etc.

I looked around at some souvenirs, and had a quick bite to eat while watching the sunset over the Colosseum, then hopped on the metro and headed to the airport for my flight to Turkey :)
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Posted by ChantelleS 12:26 Archived in Italy Tagged ruins italy rome europe colesseum Comments (0)

BAY OF NAPLES, ITALY

From Naples, to colorful Procida Island, and a castle on Ischia Island.

sunny 22 °C

My next stop in Italy was Naples. I arrived via train from Venice. I just used Naples as a jumping off point though to see some of the islands in the Bay of Naples. There's not too much to see here, so I only spent part of a morning exploring the castle located across the street from the ferry terminal.
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This was my very first castle!! Castel Nuovo was completed in 1282.
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This is the entrance, a 2-storey Renaissance triumphal arch called Torre della Guardia.
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Detail under the arched entrance.
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It costs 5E to enter ... or you can walk under the arch and into the hallway up to the interior and look around (so long as you stay behind the guard rail) for free. This is the view of the interior from the guard rail.
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After checking out the castle, I then headed to the ferry terminal to get a ticket to Procida Island (15E). When I got there I had just missed the 8:35am ferry by 5min! The next one wasn't until 12:30pm! Bah! So I would recommend getting your ticket first, then go checkout the castle while you wait. As I waited for my ferry, I noticed that ferries to Capri were departing every 30min! Boat loads of people headed to the same tiny little island! No thanks! It would be so crowded there! I was sick of crowds at this point, so I'm glad I decided to visit the 2 lesser known/visited islands of Procida & Ischia instead. I like quiet, peaceful, not crowded places. But if you like people and partying, then head to Capri.

The ferry to Procida was about 30min. The ferry arrives in Marina Grande - you'll be disappointed, at least I was, cuz its a bit run down and needs a paint job. But its the village on the other side of the island that is the one in all the postcards. But Marina Grande has more restaurants and shopping.
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From the marina I took a short taxi ride to my hotel - Le Grand Bleu Apartment. Normally I don't bother taking photos of my accomodations unless its extra nice. This was one of those places. It completely surprised me!
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I was expecting it to be crap, as I was looking for cheap, not for luxury. I had paid $104 for a hotel room the size of a jail cell in Venice. This one was even less, only $74, so I wasn't expecting much. But I got a full apartment! It had a bedroom with a queen size bed, a kitchen, living room, dining area, computer and desk, bathroom with bidet, a private patio/terrace, and free wifi!
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My outdoor eating area.
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And there was a rooftop terrace with 360 degree views, with sun loungers, and an outdoor kitchen area for communal use :)
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The island is very small, only 4sqkm, so I walked everywhere. Christine, the friendly owner of the hotel, provided me with a map of the island, and off I went. The streets are VERY narrow and all cobblestone. They are only wide enough for one car to go through. If another car is coming in the opposite direction, they either have to back up, or wait until the other car is fully out, lol!
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There's no sidewalks, so when a vehicle comes I quite literally had to press myself against the building! The vehicles are tiny though, like Smart Car size, and Mini Coopers, and a lot of Vespas and motorbikes.

I found my way to that colorful village that first drew me to this island. It is called Marina Coricella. There are various ways to get here, so just ask your hotel which way is easiest/closest for you. large_IMG_8522-001.jpg
There was a big flight of stairs from the lookout point down to the actual village. That is Terra Murata in the background.
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The village reminded me of Santorini the way the homes were built on a cliff on top of eachother ... with a lot more color though!
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To get to the best lookout point you will either have to go back up to the first lookout point and continue on down the same road (at the intersection head right), or from the village ask a local for directions through the homes. I opted to walk through the homes via all the stairways. They are steep and narrow, theres tunnels too. Not for the claustropbic that's for sure!
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I couldn't resist taking photos of all the colorful doors, handles, peeling paint, etc along the way. Such a photogenic place!
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Keeping walking and you will eventually get to this perfect lookout point! Just look at that view!
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At the lookout point there are also a few canons overlooking the bay.
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I wandered the twisting cobblestone streets and came across yet another lookout point. This one was over the Bay of Naples. That is Mt Vesuvius in the background (located on the right of the photos).
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I headed back down to the village for lunch at one of the cafes along the water.
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I had spaghetti carbonara and freshly squeezed lemonade :)
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There were many hungry kitties crowding around my table waiting for something to drop, lol!
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This cutie placed himself right at my foot and kept meowing until I gave him something. How could I resist that face?!
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On my 2nd day here I headed to the nearest beach ... Spiaggia di Chiaia. You will have to descend 182 steps (there is no other way) ... be prepared to climb 182 steps back up again! Wow, what a workout!
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Spiaggia di Chiaia is a black sand beach. You can see the colorful Marina Coricella in the distance. I was here in late October so it was too chilly to actually hangout at the beach, and all the little food huts were closed for the season. But I enjoyed the sunrise anyways :)
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I made my way across the island, back to the other marina. I just loved wandering the streets here :) It wasn't crowded or touristy at all. I only saw a handful of tourists at the main lookout point, and that was all. That was partly due to the time of year I was here, but also due to the fact that everyone else was in Capri, lol!
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This side of the island has a courtyard, and the big, yellow Santa Maria della Pieta cathedral.
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All ferries heading back to Naples or to Ischia Island depart from Marina Grande. There is a terminal in which you can buy tickets off to the side from where the ferry drops you off. A ferry between Procida & Ischia costs 8E. However I accidentally booked a ticket to the wrong port ... there is more than one on Ischia. I just booked the one that was departing the soonest. If you are wanting to be near the castle that is the main draw of this island, then be sure to book a ticket to Ischia Porto. I booked a ticket to Casamicciola Terme ... a $35 taxi ride away from where I needed to be!

I stayed at Hotel Ulisse ... checkout the view from my room! You can even see the castle in the background!
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It was located only a 3min walk to a Spiaggia dei Pescatori (beach with views of the castle), 10min walk to the castle that I came to see, had 2 pools, free breakfast & free wifi ... all for $63 :)
To get to the castle you can either walk along the beach, or through the town. I did both, I took the beach route there, and the town route back.
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There were many beachfront restaurants & bars. But just a head's up, they all close from 3-7pm!! Around 430pm I was so hungry because I had accidentally skipped lunch cuz I was too busy sightseeing. Everything was closed - restaurants, shops, markets, etc. I asked a local if it was a holiday. He said in Italy the work day is 9am-3pm, then everything closes 3pm-7pm, and re-opens at 7pm. Whereas in North America our workdays are 9-5pm. Closing restaurants from 3-7pm though?! Thats prime 'eat supper and watch the sunset over the castle' time! I was not impressed.
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The name of this awesome castle is Castello Aragonese. It is actually a castle, cathedral, convent, and crypt! The first fortress was built in 474BC! However the rest of the structures were built throughout the 1400s.
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It is built on rock island and connected to the mainland by a causeway.
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A view of the town from the castle's causeway.
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It cost 10E to go inside the castle. This is the entrance tunnel (below) that leads to an elevator that has been added on. The elevator whisks you to the top for awesome views over the island.
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I took a lot of photos of the inside of the castle cuz when I was researching this place prior to arriving, whenever I googled it, only photos of the exterior came up. I had no idea what to expect of it. But I wasn't disappointed! I had a blast exploring this place! There was even a restaurant built at the top.
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The following photos are all of the inside.
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Ancient toilets. Back then going to the washroom was a public thing - no privacy at all!
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The crypt where the family members who used to live in this castle, still had painting on the walls!
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Living quarters
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A church inside the castle.
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Wine cellar
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Olive press
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Some of you would probably only spend 30min here, but I was here for hours! I really enjoyed wandering around the old castle, imagining how people would have live 100s of years ago! There's so many tunnels and rooms to explore :) Afterwards I headed back to my hotel by wandering through the town (and stopping for some Nutella gelato!).
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I relaxed by the pool, and then ended the day with a sunset from my balcony :)
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Posted by ChantelleS 20:30 Archived in Italy Tagged boat village island castle bay europe naples colorful ischia procida Comments (0)

VENICE, ITALY

Wandering Venice's alleys and crossing its many bridges, riding ferries, trying every gelato flavor I could, and gazing down at Basilica San Marco from atop the Campanile.

overcast 17 °C

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Italy!! Beautiful, beautiful Italy! This was my first time to Europe and it didn't disappoint. One of the easiest countries I've ever traveled in. I landed in Rome, found the Trenitalia kiosk in the airport, purchased my one-way ticket to Venice for $127CAD (make sure you know which terminal in Venice you want to arrive in - there is more than one. Stazione Santa Lucia is the terminal that brings you right to the Grand Canal), then hopped on the train from the airport to Rome's main terminal, and transferred to my train to Venice. Sounds complicated, but it was actually quite easy. Jet lag knocked me out for the 3.5hr ride. But when I arrived in Venice and walked out of the train station, BAM, I was right on the Grand Canal! You will see a ferry terminal in front of you. This is where you buy ferry passes. There are no buses, no cars, not even bikes cuz theres too many stairs and bridges everywhere. Ferries are like buses here - they ply the Grand Canal in both directions, all day long, stopping at various points along the way.

Below is a photo of the ferry terminal near San Marco.
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I purchased a 1 day pass (24hrs from the time you validate your pass) for 20E (euros). Single rides cost 7E each, so if you plan on doing any sightseeing, it is worth it to get a pass. There were also 3 day and 5 day passes available. The best way to get to know the area is to hop on a ferry and stay on it for a full circuit, about 1hr, around the whole Grand Canal. Use it as a cheap sightseeing cruise, but also pay attention to where it stops and what there is to see at each stop.

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I had booked a little hotel in the San Marco area. So I took the ferry there, and then walked to my hotel. If you are expecting streets in a grid-like fashion with well marked street signs, think again! Thankfully Venezians are friendly and helpful. Not all speak English, so have the name of your hotel & address written down. If your hotel is located right on a canal, it is possible to hire a very expensive water taxi to take right to your hotel.

The beautiful Doge's Palace in the San Marco area overlooking the Grand Canal
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I spent my first day wandering around the San Marco area, seeing the Doge's Palace, Basilica San Marco, Piazza San Marco, and the Campanile (bell tower).
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This is the view from atop the Campanile, overlooking the Piazza San Marco. It costs 8E for the elevator ride to the top, and you can stay up there for as long as you want. I unfortunately had a foggy day :(
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The huge bell! Being in the piazza when it is rung is awesome!
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View over Venice and the domes of the basilica.
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The Campanile
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Basilica San Marco was sadly covered in scaffolding, plus the fog, so I didn't get any photos of it that I like.
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Once a day the tide comes in and floods the piazza. These walkways are set out for people to walk on without getting wet shoes. But they are crowded and slow going.
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Then I wandered the maze of alleys, canals, and bridges. I tried using a map but its pointless. Just wander. You're never really lost cuz theres always someone to ask, and you will eventually come out at some point on the Grand Canal ( from there just hop a ferry to where you want to go). Venice is made up of 117 islands all connected by bridges! It is such a pretty, picturesque place, with bridges, canals, old doors & windows, cathedrals, and boats around every corner.

All the alleys/streets are this narrow, except a few of the more main alleys, but not by much!
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The canals can be quite crowded, not at all like movies make it seem!
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Overpriced street-side cafes can be found everywhere.
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Delicious gelato can also be found everywhere, and only 1.50E for a small :)
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This one is carmello e amaretto, yum yum yum!
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I stumbled upon the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo.
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I couldn't resist taking a photo of this cutie :)
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The water comes right to the doors. Locals park their boats along side their homes.
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Its such a different way of life here without proper streets and cars/buses. Everything is done by boat! Below are photos of a garbage boat, and a delivery boat. I also saw a boat ambulance!
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Souvenir stands were mostly found in the San Marco area, and Rialto area ... the 2 most touristy areas.
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Then I took a ferry over to the Rialto Bridge. What a gong show! I had to fight for a spot on the bridge to get a photo. Worst place ever, so over-rated.
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View from atop the Rialto Bridge - not even worth it. Even the canal is crowded here!
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Gondeliers awaiting customers. You'll never see a local taking one of these, as they are insanely overpriced and basically for tourists only. Approx $150 for 30min!!!
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Although overpriced, they are very photogenic, as they are Venice's icon :)
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SO MANY PEOPLE! Get up and out the door well before 9am. 9am is when tour groups start arriving in hordes and overtaking the place. Prior to 9am you'll have the place to yourself.
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This is Piazza San Marco at 7am ... peaceful compared to 2hrs later.
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The basilica in the early morning
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The Bridge of Sighs was within walking distance from my hotel ... and the lookout point was ... you guessed it ... always crowded with people taking turns posing in front of it, or trying to capture a photo of a gondola passing beneath it.
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On my 2nd day in Venice I walked over to the Ponte dell'Accademia (the wooden bridge) for this iconic view over the Grand Canal and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
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I took one more circuit of the Grand Canal before getting off at the train station and heading to Naples.
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That's all for Venice! Although crowded and overpriced, I absolutely loved it! No matter what time of year you go there will always be tourists. Why? Cuz its Venice, that's why!

Posted by ChantelleS 19:00 Archived in Italy Tagged venice boat italy bridge canal roman europe Comments (0)

TEMPLES OF BALI - INDONESIA

Tanah Lot Temple and Pura Taman Ayun

sunny 40 °C

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On my last day in Indonesia I visited 2 temples. One very touristy, and the other unknown (my taxi driver didnt even know how to get to it). First, I hit up Tanah Lot Temple. This is probably the most touristy temple in all of Bali. Every tour bus stops here. So if you're like me, and doing it on your own, you just gotta be patient while taking photos ... the tour groups do eventually leave / move on.
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The temple is built on a rock shelf out in the ocean. At low tide only, you can walk out to it.
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Now you probably assume you can walk up the stairs on the temple, and around to the other side like I assumed. But you cant. The 'holy men' guarding it have quite the scam going on. You wade across the water, stand in line, get a flower put behind your ear and a dot on your forehead by the holy men ... and then have to give a mandatory 'donation' to be let in. All 3 holy men were wearing fanny packs overflowing with money! I was about to pay when a guy that had just went in was back already ... apparently you can only go up about 7 stairs around the corner before its blocked off. But of course you can't see around the corner to know this until you've already paid, and they're sure not going to tell you. Its really not even worth it to walk across cuz you cant climb anywhere anyway. The crossing is actually quite dangerous. Strong waves come at you from both sides nearly knocking you over! The whole experience wasnt worth it. But the views from the cliffs across from it are worth it.
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The sand here is golden & black mixed
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Theres a couple trails you can follow along the cliffs for nice views of a natural arch.
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There was a couple getting their wedding photos taken atop the arch! I couldnt imagine wearing a big gown in +40C!!
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Yet another viewpoint ... can you see the waterfall?
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Then I got my taxi driver to take me to Pura Taman Ayun. Not only did my driver not know where it was, he'd never even heard of it. Perfect, my kinda place! After stopping for directions about 7 times along the way, we finally arrived. And there were only 2 other ppl there! Just the way I like it :)
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This absurd sign was posted before you could enter the temple!! No one actually asks, and even if they did, I'm not sure how they'd know if your telling the truth. A bit ridiculous if you ask me.
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Once inside the temple area there are these buildings that reminded me of Survivor's tribal council area, lol!
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That is all. Its small, but nice. I enjoyed it more than the first temple. But that might be cuz the first once was crowded. These photos were taken outside of the temple area.
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Well, thats all folks! Thats the last day of my 32 day trip to Indonesia & Borneo. Thanks for following along on my adventure! I just returned from Italy and the Middle East, so my next blog posts will be about that.

Posted by ChantelleS 20:36 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia temple history asia Comments (0)

LOMBOK, INDONESIA

From my disaster in the village of Tetebatu, to the wonderful resort area of Senggigi.

sunny 40 °C

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I am about to tell you about the worst hotel I have ever stayed in! Ironically I can't remember the name of it, nor did I write it down in my journal, lol! Its located in the little village of Tetebatu, on the island of Lombok (the island next to Bali). Upon arriving the hotel looks nice (pictured above). Cute little cottages overlooking rice fields & Mt Rinjani. What could go wrong, right?
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So like I said, it looked great upon arriving, so I immediately booked myself in for 3 nights. That was was first mistake. Then I went for supper at the hotel's restaurant. Turns out the front desk clerk who is also the bell boy, is also the waiter ... and would be my guide the following day, lol! After supper I headed back to my room for a hot shower. In addition to a nice, hot shower at the end of a long day, I also need wifi (I travel solo and my mom fears for my life when I'm gone, so she demands to hear from me daily or else assumes I've been kidnapped or am dead), and free breakfast in the morning. I already gave up the wifi upon checking into this hotel (the entire village is without internet - so this is a good place to come and relax and get away from the world), and I discovered they had lied about the hot water! It was FREEZING cold!! I cant do cold showers, I just cant! How's a girl supposed to shave when she's shivering and covered in goose bumps?! Later on as I'm laying in bed writing in my journal I noticed big turds on the floor! At first I thought it was a bug, so I flicked it away, only for it to stick to my finger!!! OMG! Then I started noticing those little turds everywhere in my room. What on earth is living in here??!! Was is a mouse? A rat? A gecko? I had no idea! I continue writing, trying not to think about what could possibly be living in my room, when a GIANT moth starts fluttering around my lamp! And by giant, I mean like the size of a bird! I am deathly afraid of moths, and grasshoppers, frogs ... basically anything that jumps at me. I know moths are harmless, but I cant help but freak out! Since I'm traveling solo, I have to deal with this intruder on my own. I grab a flip flop and smack that bastard to death! But now I have a giant moth carcass smeared across my wall, and I know the Indonesian ant army will appear in no time, so I have to clean that hot mess up! Puke. Once again I go back to writing. Now I notice that the toilet is making a noise. So I get up to go check it out, I flick on the bathroom light, and freeze! There, on the shower wall, is the biggest !@%#!! spider I've ever seen in my life! Open your hand ... Its THAT big! (the next day I saw the same kind of spider thats now in my shower and took this photo below)
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Just the body was the length & thickness of my thumb! Its legs were so long it had knees! If it has knees it can jump, right?! I think that spider and I stared at eachother forever, both not knowing what to do! I couldnt let him get away, deeper into my room, so I bent down to take off my flip flop, aka killing machine ... and it scurried across the wall and down the shower drain! Oh thank God! The shower had a bucket of water & a scoop to 'sponge bathe' yourself with, so I quickly moved that heavy bucket of water over top the drain so it couldnt get out! Giant moths, mysterious turds, AND a giant spider?! For real?! I cant even deal with this. I plop myself down on the toilet, head in hands, wondering how I'm gonna be able to get any sleep knowing all of what is in my room (Oh, did I mention there's holes all over my screened windows? Some are 'fixed' with bandaids, but others are still wide open for more giants moths to invade, along with malaria carrying misquitos), when what do my eyes see .... a freaking toad the size of my fist blocking my exit from the bathroom!!!!!!!!!
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HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET IT OUT???!!! I cant smack it with a flip flop or step on it, it would explode all over the place! And I dont want to get anywhere near it, for fear of it jumping at me and sticking to my leg!!!!!!!!!!!! So here I am, on a toilet with my pants down, and a toad blocking my way. I want to cry! I stared at is for so long, and it didnt move ... to the point of me thinking 'maybe its a ornamental door-stopper', cuz it was sitting in just the right place. No such luck. On closer inspection I saw his throat move. Was it sleeping? Do toads sleep with their eyes open? I pulled up my pants , and in one big leap, I jumped over & past the toad and into my bedroom. Phew! It's still not moving. I have come up with a plan: trap it under the water scoop, and use my umbrella as a shield in case it jumps at me. Take a moment and envision this: me with open umbrella in hand, defending myself from a stupid toad, little red scoop in the other hand, like I'm going to war ... with a toad. It was so ridiculous I nearly started laughing at myself. I hesitated over & over again, so worried that I'd miss and he'd jump past me into my bedroom ... then what would I do?! But I needn't worry, I somehow managed to capture it on my first try! OMG I did it! Yay me, lol! But as soon as I had it trapped, it started jumping and trying to make an escape. The water scoop wasnt heavy enough to hold him down! So I put a full 2L bottle of water on top of the scoop and that held it down. But all night long I heard it jumping and bonking its head. Over & over ... all night long. Sigh. Well I guess that explains the giant turds all over my room! Needless to say, I didnt sleep at all. I had my sheet wrapped around my head covering my ears cuz I was so afraid something would crawl into my ears while I slept and give birth. Blech!

Ok, new day. Breath. I awoke with a migraine. Probably from stress and lack of sleep. I went straight to the front desk and complained. The lack of english here is infuriating! They had NO idea what I was saying/asking/complaining about. And remember, I booked in & prepaid for THREE nights!!! After nearly an hour of trying to explain my self in different ways to make them understand, I think they finally got it. I wanted my money back. But they didnt want to give it. Seriously?! I work part time at a hotel in Canada, and if you are unhappy with your room, not only do you get a discount/refund, you get a voucher for a free night. Not in Indonesia. Ugh, lesson learnt. But I at least convinced them to transfer the $ I had paid towards the room, to a guided day hike and a hired car to take me to Senggigi.

Day hike commence. I was first taken through the rice fields and village.
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Rice
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Mt Rinjani in the distance - Indonesia's 2nd largest active volcano!
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Thats not 2 peaks ... its one giant volcano with a crater in the middle!
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This is how red hot chilis are grown
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My favorite part of the hot, sweaty hike that confirmed my lack of fitness, was seeing the locals go about their daily life. Whenever I've gone on an excursion to a village its seems very fake. Like they know tourists are coming, so they are putting on a show. Showing us how to do this, and how to make that. But this was real!
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The whole point of me signing up for this guided hike was to see Black Monkeys. I was expecting it to be like Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali ... monkeys absolutely everywhere. But that was not the case. These were actually wild monkeys, unlike the super tame ones in Bali. My guide had a machete and was hacking us a path through the trees! The problem with that was the monkeys could hear us coming from a mile away. We couldnt get anywhere near them. So after hours of hiking & hacking, all i got was one lousy photo.
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We emerged from the hot jungle at a dam just in time to see all the little kids getting out from school and racing over to said dam, strip down to their birthday suits, and jump in the water, lol!
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Then we headed over to my guide's brother's house for a home cooked meal of chicken, eggs, noodles, rice, veggies, and tempe. These are his boys.
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After the meal he led me down a steep & slippery trail to a waterfall. As my guide nibbly leapt from rock to slippery rock, I blundered along like the uncoordinated fool I am. We came to a 'staircase' of slippery mud and wet bamboo that led through a bamboo forest, before finally arriving at the waterfall.
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After some time enjoyed here, I had to climb that same slippery 'staircase' back up. From there I was whisked away on a scooter back to the hotel. And from there I grabbed my backpack and said 'good riddance' to the worst hotel stay of my life, and got in a car headed to the resort area of Senggigi. I assumed my bad luck had ended. But no, it hadnt. About halfway we stopped for gas, so I bought myself some ice cream. The kind dipped in chocolate and on a stick. I attempted to eat it in the back seat of the car. But its so dang hot at the equator that ice cream melts faster than you can eat it. Chunks of the chocolate shell kept melting/falling off. And since the window was open (cuz the car had no a/c), the wind from driving fast caused the melting chocolate pieces to fall all over me! One fell on my shorts and melted on contact, making it look like I shit myself. Another hit my face and then slid down my chin and fell into my shirt, and continued to melt and slide into my bra. In the meantime I'm still holding my ice cream on a stick and its melting at an insane rate. I have melted ice cream to my elbows! At this point I look like a 2yr old trying to eat ice cream for the first time, LOL! My driver glanced at me in his rear view mirror and just burst out laughing! FML. We stopped somewhere so I could clean myself up & change, and then continued on our way.

The drive along the coast towards Senggigi is incredibly scenic! My driver was nice enough to stop half a dozen times so I could take photos.
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See, I told you! Its stunning isnt it?!
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My driver stopped and bought us a bag of lychee fruit still on the branch ... and full of ants. And all warm & gross from sitting in the sun. Fail.
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The inside of the fruit looks all fleshy & gross, but if you get a good one, they are quite tasty.
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If you dont have a trailer, just pile it on top & tie it on!
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I stayed at the Holiday Resort for the rest of my time on Lombok. It was 700,000 Rupiah compared to only 200,000 Rupiah for the dump last night, but SO worth it!
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It had a pool that didnt end. It just kept twisting & turning throughout the resort. It also had a jacuzzi area & a swim-up bar.
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Upon checking in I was given 2 vouchers for free 'Welcome Drinks'. So I went to redeem them at the pool bar and received Iced Melon Tea. The best invention ever!!!
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I ordered a 'hotdog' at the restaurant and got this thing.
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This resort was great! Clean, luxurious (or was it that I was used to staying in crappy hotels and just finally got a good one?), and beachfront.
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The sand was half white and half black! I've never seen a beach so completely divided 50/50 like that before!
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Here's the awesome view from my resort looking across the ocean to Bali's volcano!
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I went for a walk down the beach. Black sand is HOT people! HOT! Like it scalds the bottom of your feet! I came across this little beach restaurant. I was just gonna buy some cheap bottled water (only 3000 Rupiah here, opposed to 12,000 at the resort!), but ended up staying for supper and watching the sunset over Bali's volcano.
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Table in the sand :)
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For $3 I had this delicious plate of food (not sure why, but Indonesians place a fried egg on top of every meal), 2 bottles of water, and 1 can of Coke! Steal of a deal!
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Amazing sunset :)
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So Lombok started out horrible, but ended well ... thank goodness!

Posted by ChantelleS 17:46 Archived in Indonesia Tagged ocean wildlife beach indonesia monkey jungle waterfall terrace asia lombok Comments (1)

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