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Bo 'n' Louise

A blog about one of our trips

The unprepared round-the-world tour starting 29th of June 2009.
First phase was from USA to South America on motorcycles. We made it, and the bikes are sold.
Second phase was the South Pacific... from island to island in old fashion backpacker style.
Third phase was around and around in Southeast Asia.
In fourth phase Louise went back to Denmark (August 2010) for work, while Bo continued in East Asia.
In fifth phase we were both on work, Louise in South America and Bo in Southeast Asia.
In the sixth phase Louise was in Denmark while Bo was making his way home through Russia.
By November 2010 both Louise and Bo were back in Denmark and an amazing journey has ended - but then there is always the next trip :-)

Pig sacrificing

Indonesia Posted on Tue, July 06, 2010 15:35:18


The area around Bajawa in central Flores is known for Ngada villages. Some places the houses have been switch for modern versions, but there are still quiet a few traditional villages with tall wooden houses. Modern or traditional, all villages still have their parasol looking totem poles and spirit doll houses.

The new spirit house in the village of Bea.

So of course we wanted to see these villages. When we rolled into the first one, the whole community was out and about. Men walked half drunk around, while the women sad on the porches and chewed betel nut. We quickly learned that they erecting a new pole and spirit house. A major event in these parts, which always gets proper celebrated. So suddenly we were the guest of honor in the chief’s house.

Rice wine is always good!

Old granny was bashing nuts all day long.

More village beauties.

Well, someone has to show them how to make hemp rope.

Although all the men had each their opinion about how to make the totem pole, they managed to finish it, so the dinner making could start. Two screaming pigs were brought into the village plaza, legs tired behind their back. A guy stood up, said some words, threw some corns and BAM. Two guys bashed the pigs with a machete right in the forehead. One hit was not enough and one of the pigs almost managed to wiggle away before the second blow came. But that was enough.

Bam!!!

They were very focused to get the brain out while still warm… and they did not trash it.

The easy way to remove hair.

Open air kitchen, only one knife (well, machete) is needed.

Pig cooking… guess where the brain went?

The fatty lumps are considered the yummy bits…

…so of course we were offered those. Actually, it tasted ok… I just did not fancy the brain stuff.

Dinner in the chief’s house.

Louise enjoying a quiet drink of rice wine.

There are of course more pictures on Globe Spots.



Whale hunting and dolphin catching

Indonesia Posted on Sun, July 04, 2010 22:25:19

After several hours of rumbling about in the back of a 4 wheel drive with Indonesian pop music blasting out we disembark in Lamalera, a small sleepy fishing village.

Ikat weaving local ladies

In the afternoon sun it seems remarkably idyllic despite the ever present smell of drying whale flesh. In the previous weeks they have had a lucky streak of two big whales, the proof of which is all around in the shape of big slices of fat drying from thin bamboo poles.
Last weeks whale

Some of the pieces host generous amount of wiggling white maggots and the smell is rancid.

Fishing boats on the beach

On the beach the fishing boats lie side by side, the robes are neatly folded, each with a big, apparently homemade harpoon at the end. A young bloke shows me how it is fixed at the end of one of the long bamboo rods from the pile in the rig over the body of the boat. Then we sit down and draw in the sand, whale, ray and dolphin and he teach me their Indonesian names; paus, pari and lumpa lumpa.

Harpoon ready for action

We head out to sea with one of the boats. There are 8 men aboard – all scouting, at times anyway, across the surface for signs of life. A man is standing on the only little piece of deck in the stern of the boat, staring intensively. When we close in on a bunch of dolphins he grabs one of the bamboo rods and is ready with the harpoon. Every muscle in his body is tense and ready! But only if we get very close in above the animals and if they do not dive or change their direction does he throw himself with the harpoon overboard. Most of the times he puts the bamboo rod back in the rack.
Traditional boats
Two not so skilled whale hunters

The dolphins skip and jump in a great ”Flipper” spectacle when they are at a safe distance. Jumping out of the water and doing back-flips – amazing! The whale hunters do not look impressed…
Airborne and rolling sideways..

But all of a sudden everybody is alert! A group of large animals break the surface up ahead. The man in the front deck takes of his hat and signals for the others to give him a larger harpoon from a coil of robe right at my feet. I try to ask if what we are following is ”paus” – but they tell me it is ”lumpa lumpa”, however it is clearly not the regular ”ikan lumpa lumpa” (fish dolphin). The large buff animals pass close by and the snorting of their breathing valves is audible. Our guy on the front deck readies every muscle and plunge in with the harpoon. But in vain. The group is gone just as suddenly as it appeared. We circle the area for a while but they do not resurface.

And he takes the plunge

A group of dolphins appear and our guy in front has better luck this time and hits a small dolphin.

Our harpoon guy smiles – he knows he hit one

While he climbs back on board the rough hands of the other fishermen have pulled the dolphin in. It is dead before it reached the boat and is easily hailed on board. This is not the case with the following catch which is an older and bigger dolphin. It has a couple of yet unhealed wounds from fights with other dolphins or maybe shark attacks.
One last fight

Another harpoon is thrown at it and it gradually looses the energy to fight. In the end this one too can be pulled on board the small vessel.

A heavy catch
One more try – could be a lucky third

After a couple more tries we head back to the bay and are met by a bunch of kids eager to help get the dolpins ashore.

Back on the beach
The kids are showing us how they would have done it
Sharing the fins

The first things to be cut off are the fins which, it seems, are a delicacy to the local children. The dolphins are split up and divided between the crew of the boat.

Everything is equally divided

We sit and watch and follow the whole thing when an old wrinkled fisherman comes over holding two pieces of pure meat – and hands it to us!
Proud dolphin hunters
Jesus is eith us – on the engine
Back ”home” the meat is cooked and there is enough for everyone. It tastes really nice (not at all like chicken :-)) and we can truly say that we have been to Lamalera.
Yummy – fresh caught mammal

REMEMBER you can check out more pictures on Globespots

PS.
I am fully aware that for a lot of people catching and eating dolphins is controversial. However I can assure you that the way they handle things here is humane and very fair. Every little bit of the animals is used (eaten) and here they do not hunt more than they need and they do it in a very sustainable way that will not affect the dolphin nor the whale populations significantly.



One year anniversery

Indonesia Posted on Mon, June 28, 2010 10:17:18

Yes, we have now been on the road for 365 days – and counting. This need of course to be celebrated with new blog entry, where we reflect a bit over the last year.

We have been to 26 countries (Louise 27).

Crossed 34 borders.

Taken flights 27 times, beside riding 18480km on motorcycles, renting scooters 10 times and car once.

We have been stung/bitten by animals: Bo 1 time (scorpion), Louise 2 times (dog and monkey).

Hit by taxi once (Louise).

And eaten dolphin once (more about this in a later blog entry).

But it is luckly not over yet, for we will keep travelling for while.

It is not always warm near Equator… what you can’t see on the picture, is that I’m wearing shorts – two pairs (all I have).

Louise is enjoying another boat trip.

While I get easy sea sick and therefor stuff myself with tablets and fall asleep.



Diving galore

Indonesia Posted on Thu, June 24, 2010 10:24:10

While Bo was off to far away East Timor I headed out to do some diving – first a single dive at Gili and then I was off. 24 hours of bussing and ferry-riding later I arrived to Labuan Bajo, Flores. From here I headed of on a 3 day diving cruise in the waters around Komodo island. It was amazing!!

My cabin – I could have stayed here soooo much longer


You cannot really appreciate the fact that Indonesia is in fact an archipelago until you see it from out there. In fact there are thousands of tiny cone shaped islands.
Islands, water and one small fishing village

The current can be strong in these waters, which is a disadvantage for a cork like me who takes forever to make it down into the blue… but it all worked out and I got to experience the giant fish, sharks, turtles and crazy pygmy seahorses and so much more wonderful and amazingly beautiful stuff down there…

One happy girl after yet another trip into the abyss

So amazing…

In between dives there was really nothing to do but to relax, sunbathe, drink coffee, read and just watch the scenery… holiday with a capital H!!

The waters around Komodo

Even fishermen here have Gucci towels.. why not..

A local school girl
– the tourist here are victims of English practising.. however it
seldom moves beyond conversations like ”Whats’s your name?” and ”Where
do you come from?” but it always end in a photo with the cell phone.

Kids
in Labuan Bajo are also big fans of the kong fu pose..

View from the bus

Also view from the bus – off course you can take a chainsaw bigger than the bike you are riding..



Lombok

Indonesia Posted on Wed, June 09, 2010 02:41:29

After a short, but not so impressive, introduction to Bali we went to the next in the row, Lombok. In our usual style we rented a crappy scooter and went around the island to seek out… well, what there were.

Always be fashionable on the road!

One of those tropical bathroom so popular with “upscale” guest houses.

A bit of waterfall exploration.

They just love attention.

Fellow road warriors…

and more of them.

Louise is trying to get some directions out of girls… apparently not so successful.

Probably our most overpriced hotel room… 7.50 USD.

A bit of Lombok countryside.

I wish there was some cool story to this picture, but she is “just” another road-side-food-mummy.

Louise and the coastline of Lombok.

Cool fusion style!

Niiice…

Temple-nice.

And finally we wented up on Gili Islands… very niiiice!



Kuta Beach

Indonesia Posted on Mon, May 31, 2010 09:41:47

Bali. Just taste the word. Ah, a pure bliss of swaying palms and gentle waves of bathtub lud water rolling on to a pearl-white beach. The air is full of zen for every stressful soul. No bad, eh?… well, if the place really exists, for it is definitely not Kuta Beach.

Kuata Beach is known by every backpacker who have done an around-the-world, sunhungry swedes and… well, every Australians (we got Costa del Sol, they have Bali).

Two hot beach girls… it was the lady that wanted to be photographed with Louise, not the other way around.

So we were excited about what this exotic destination could offer. The tense situation in Bangkok was behind us and we were on the outlook for some authentic Bali experiences. The taxi driver from Denpasar airport kept asking us if it was ok to let of off in centre Kuta. Sure, how big can a beach town be? So outside KFC we got out. I believe 6-8 seconds went by before a young guy asked “wroom wroom?”. “Eh, what…ah, room room?”. For every step we took we got another yell of something. We had met the famous Bali touts, which unfortunately is a part of any trip to Bali. Where there are tourists, there are touts. Actually, they are not that persistent, aggressive, or even unpolite, there were just many of them and all were yelling something at us. We declined all their offers of and wished away to find our guest house.

The first thing we found was the famous beach itself. A long stretch of white sand, tiny surf, fully dressed bathing locals from Java (Muslims there, while they are mainly Hindus on Bali), beach boys (local boys who’s main goal in life is to score holidaying girls) and, of course, even more touts. The narrow stretch of palms, dividing the sand from the road, was companied by tall signs for American franchises like Pizza hut, Mc D, Hard Rock, etc.

A hotel a tad over our budget…

A small dusty side lane squeezed in between a construction site and shuttle-service-bicycle-rental-dolphin-trip-shop took us into a maze of concrete, kitsch, tattoo shops and infinity supplies of pirated DVDs, T-shirts with the logo of the local beer (Bintang), penis shaped bottle openers and other fine arts that tourists often find strangely attractive. Not a second went by without we got offered some fine things. The lanes got more and more narrow, so big was our surprised when we saw that the microscopic lanes actually functioned as roads for real traffic, and not just dreadlocks wearing surfer dudes on scooters with side-carriage for their surfboards. And not just one-way… no two ways. Small trucks managed to slide by oncoming taxis while pedestrians sought protection in the gutter. We suddenly understood why our taxi driver was so keen to let us off in the centre. Back in Denmark that kind of traffic-Tetris based on courtesy will very fast end up in unsolvable jam. But in the distinctive Asian style, everybody managed to get back and forth without too much hassle.

Pure Zen… a mall on the beach!

So as always, we found our guesthous, got a bed to sleep in, and got reminded that the world rarely live up to our expectations… which is only refreshingly (despite penis-shaped-bottle-openers and overpriced transport).

Not from Kuta, just a friend from Ubud (1:1).