Indonesia - Bali : The Cursed Island day 2

Bali trip - July 2014

Day 2 (Monday)

I was looking forward to today's itinerary but I did not see the super bad jam coming. The horrible traffic jam was the only impression imprinted deeply in my mind. Not sure if I was unlucky or what.. 

"Hey, how was your Bali trip?"
"Not good. worst traffic jam ever in my life"
"Jam, jam, jam, jam, jam."

Probably this is the real curse that separates couples.

My #ootd

*hehe.. It is similar to Malay's henna which only lasts for a few weeks.

We have engaged a driver to fetch us to four destinations but we only managed to go half of our itinerary. =(
Lake Bratan 
Tengalalang Rice Terrace + Ubud market centre (missed)
Catch sunset at Tanah Lot 
Dinner at Kudeta (missed)

I would very much appreciate people inform me of the traffic jam beforehand but nobody did. 
Per google map, from my hotel to Lake Bratan takes maximum 1hour20minutes. We took estimated 2 hours to reach the destination at around 10.30am.

Morning weather was unexpectedly freezing so we bought pashmina from the nearby stalls. The sky was a little gloomy too.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

The awesome sun was hiding behind the gloomy sky. 

We were very lucky as it only drizzled for a short while. Otherwise, we were not able to continue our tourist itinerary in peace.

obligated jump shot

Morning mist..

We left Lake Bratan and supposed to head to Tengalalang rice terraces and Ubud market center. However, the driver advised us to change our itinerary due to the terrible traffic jam so not to miss the sunset watching at Tanah Lot. Unwillingly, we accepted the driver's suggestion and let him to decide for our lunch. 

He brought us to an alternative place where we could oversee rice paddy field. We were jam for another 2 hours. Lunch at around 1.30pm.

While waiting for our lunch, Bf went to explore the field.

Soto ayam Rp35,500
Crispy duck Rp95,500
Smoked duck Rp115,000
Watermelon juice Rp25,500

We finished our lunch as fast as possible as we did not wish to miss the sunset. The sun sets around 6.30pm. We set off from the restaurant around 2pm and hoping we can go Ubud market center to shop for awhile. The driver again told us that there is a similar Balinese night market at Tanah Lot where it sells exactly the same stuff at Ubud market center.

It seems like the traffic jam was never ending. We stuck in the jam for another 3 hours and finally reached Tanah Lot at 5pm. We were super early for the sunset.

my favourite grilled corn!

Grilled corn at Koh Samui still the best la~

You will have bad luck if you accidentally step on these offerings on the ground.

yays, we were finally going to watch sunset off the famous rock formation in Bali!

The temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. Visitor are able to walk on the shore towards the temple only on low tides. Otherwise, visitors can look down from a cliff at the magnificent temple on the left and to watch the beautiful sunset on the right.

Low tide!

For a small donation, visitors can be blessed with holy water by priest and able to walk around the side on a path that eventually leads up to the temple.

Pirate-ship kite

The sunset was a little disappointing though.

For the record, we watched the sunset together at Tanah Lot! #fingercrossed

We left around 7pm and thought it was too late for our dinner at Kudeta. We were physically tired of the traffic jam so we decided to head back to our hotel and have dinner near our hotel. We stuck in the car for another 2 hours and paid extra for overtime.

For total of 13 hours, we have been stuck in the car for 9 hours. ~.~" 

The road back to the hotel was very dark with no streetlights and filled with trees on both sides of the car which made the road even darker and quiet. The only light on the 2 way streets was the cars' headlights and brake light. Our car passed by one private house on sale and I vividly remember that it was very secluded surrounded by big trees and the sign wrote "Happy Valley on sale". My bf saw me turn my head back to the front with no special facial expression so he asked me to look at the house again. I saw nothing. He paused for awhile and asked me if I see a mannequin standing upright on the advertisement board. I shook my head and we remained silence for the rest of the journey. Until we reached town area and I asked "How could a mannequin manage to stand on the thin advertisement board?"

Video: Adventures in Enthralling India

Shot over a five-week period in India, this video takes us on an adventure that spans the entire country, from the Andaman Islands to the Himalaya. It features beautiful imager of a country that has a dizzying array of landscapes, and a culture that is rich with history and tradition. If you watch closely, you may just see the exact point when the filmmaker destroyed his Canon 600D camera by dropping it into the Indian Ocean. Ouch!

Adventures in INDIA - Sand To Stone from Basti Hansen on Vimeo.

Video: The Joys of Birdwatching

In terms of people who are passionate about their outdoor pursuits, it is tough to find a group that is more dedicated than birders. They'll often go to great lengths to enjoy their favorite activity, and will often travel the world to visit amazing places with unusual bird species to spot. This video is a wonderful introduction to birding, and comes our way via mountain guide and filmmaker David Anderson. Dave is an avid birder, and his love for the activity shines through in this great little documentary. While not as "extreme" as some of the other activities I cover with regularity here on The Adventure Blog, birding is never the less a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors, and pass on that love to a younger generation. I hope you enjoy this short film.

Birding from David E. Anderson on Vimeo.

Video: EpicTV Looks at the Three Weirdest Climbs of 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, it is always fun to look back on the year that has just passed and reminisce about some of the amazing, wonderful, and just plain strange things that went down. In the case of this video, that means checking out the three weirdest climbs of the year, as decided on by our friends over at EpicTV. Check out their choices below and see if you agree.

Gear Closet: 180s Foundation LED Gloves

With winter now firmly set in, the cold temperatures and short days sometimes make it a little more challenging to get outside and maintain our normal workout routines. But if staying warm and visible are your goals, than an innovative pair of gloves from 180s is about to take away all of your excuses. The new Foundation LED gloves cleverly integrate a bright light right into the design, providing comfort and convenience in one great package.

Made from comfortable and durable  QuantumHeat fabrics, the Foundation gloves provide a snug, yet non-restrictive, fit that feels great on your hand.  They are also a surprisingly warm considering how thin and lightweight they are. If I were simply judging them based how they perform as gloves, I would give the Foundation LED's high marks for protecting my hands from the elements, while still allowing me to accomplish basic tasks that require manual dexterity. It is refreshing to have a pair of gloves that allow you to tie your shoes while out on the run, without having to remove them from your hands.

As with most of the gloves from 180s, the Foundation LED's also feature ALLTouch technology. This allows the wearer to interact with his or her touch screen devices – such as a smartphone or mp3 player – while still wearing the gloves. This is another handy feature to have when the temperatures turn cold, and you don't want to take the gloves off just to select a new music track or respond to a text while running. The snug fit of the gloves also helps to ensure accurate use of the touch screen as well.

The feature that really sets these gloves apart from the competition however is the integrated LED lights that provide quite a bit of illumination without adding undue bulk. Each glove has a small lightbulb stitched into place just above the forefinger, with an on-off button situated on the wrist. When turned on, the two lights give the person wearing them a set of headlights that not only make them more visible in the dark, but also allows them to illuminate their way while running, walking, or taking part in any other outdoor activities.

I am very impressed with how much light the tiny LED's in these gloves manage to put off. During the day, or in a well lit room, they don't seem all that impressive, but out on the road in the dark, they are very effective. So much so that I wore them to my weekly running group one evening, and had several members comment on them and inquire as to where they could get a pair. It was immediately apparent to my companions that this was a very useful piece of gear that could make an evening run much safer.

It is clear that 180s has put a lot of thought into the design of these products, and that they had outdoor athletes in mind when they created them. The Foundation LED gloves will impress you with their integrated lights of course, but the fit and feel of the gloves will be what keeps you wearing them. The fact that you can interact with your tech gadgets without having to take them off is simply the icing on the cake.

If you're looking for a great pair of gloves to wear on your outdoor workouts, I can't recommend these gloves highly enough. They are warm, comfortable, and dare I say even stylish. The addition of the integrated LED lights is perfect for those evening runs, helping to keep you safe out on the road. 180s has priced the Foundation LED's at $55, which is a price I find to be fair considering the level of performance they provide. At the moment, they also happen to be onside for just $22, which is an incredible bargain. Take advantage of this bargain while you can.

Winter Climbs 2014-2015: High Winds and Extreme Cold on Denali

Just a very brief update from Alaska today, where Lonnie Dupre has been waiting for the arrival of the New Year, while preparing for his major challenge ahead. His plan is to make a solo-summit of Denali in January, which is when that 6168 meter (20,237 ft) mountain is at its absolute coldest. This is his fourth attempt at this expedition, and Dupre is already being reminded of why this is such a difficult goal to attain.

Since his arrival on the mountain a few weeks back, Lonnie has been shuttling his gear up the route, and building a series of camps that will be well stocked for when he eventually makes his summit push. This is not only a good logistical move, it is also helping him to acclimatize. A few days ago, he reached an altitude of 11,200 feet (3413 meters), where he had intended to stash some gear, and then descend 600 feet (182 meters) back down the slope for a rest day. High winds and very cold temperatures have hit his location however, forcing him to take a second consecutive rest day simply because it was unsafe for him to climb in the whiteout conditions that had developed. Reportedly, winds were as high as 60 mph (96 km/h), and temperatures plummeted with their arrival.

Just how cold does it get on the mountain? Have a look at the photo attached with this blog post. That's Lonnie inside of a snow cave that he dug for protection on his 2012 expedition. As you can see, the frost is forming on his boots and pants, and just about all the rest of his gear, due to the temperatures. These are the kinds of challenges he is facing as he presses ahead with the climb.

Tomorrow marks the first day of 2015 and of January. That means the clock is now officially ticking on the expedition, and Lonnie has 31 days to complete his quest. The weather forecast calls for improving conditions over the next few days, so he now plans to descend a bit lower, collect some more gear, and bring it back up to 11, 200 feet. From there, he'll begin scouting the upper sections of the mountain and start placing his high camps in anticipation of an eventual summit push. The next few weeks should be prove very interesting.

Elsewhere, the teams on Nanga Parbat should be gathering in Base Camp now as well. Expect reports on the progress on that mountain soon too.

Video: Drones in the Mountains of Brazil

The combination of a GoPro camera and an aerial drone have given amateur filmmakers a set of tools that simply haven't been available in the past. As a result, we're now seeing some amazing videos that simply weren't possible a few years ago. Case in point, this clip that was shot in the Sierra Fina region of Brazil, where a series of mountains rise above 2500 meters (8202 ft). The landscapes are captured in a truly beautiful fashion thanks to the use of drone. This looks like a beautiful place to visit, and we get a wonderful three-minute tour of the place that is simply tantalizing.

DRONE DA MONTANHA - Alto Capim Amarelo - Brasil from DRONE DA MONTANHA on Vimeo.

Video: Epic Snowmobile Drops Caught on GoPro

Shot in the deep backcountry snow near Steamboat, Colorado, this video captures a couple of massive drops off of high cliffs by a snowmobiler who happened to be wearing his GoPro camera that the time. The first drop is scary enough, but the second is even more impressive. Fortunately, there was plenty of soft powder to help cushion the fall. Don't try this at home kids!

Video: BASE Jumping Fisher Towers in Moab

Just in case you're in need of another healthy dose of adrenaline today, this video will certainly provide it. It features Miles Dasher, JT Holmes, and Andy Lewis who traveled to Moab, Utah where they BASE jumped from the iconic Fisher Towers. The stunning and dramatic landscapes that Moab is so well know for are on display here, as we follow the boys up, and then off, of the Towers. Enjoy!

Adventurer Plans to Walk the Length of the Congo River

Over the past few years we've followed Ed Stafford as he walked the length of the Amazon River, and Levison Wood as he attempted to hike the Nile River from source to sea. Both men spent months on their respective journeys, as they explored the two longest rivers in the world on foot, while simultaneously inspiring others with their efforts. Now, another British adventurer is planning to take on a similar challenge, when he attempts to trek the 4700 km (2922 mile) length of the Congo River in Africa.

The expedition is currently still in the planning stages, and isn't set to begin until the spring of 2016. That is when explorer Toby Storie-Pugh will launch his attempt to Walk the Congo, an expedition that he believes will take roughly 12-14 months to complete.

The journey will begin at the headwaters of Chambeshi River in northeastern Zambia – the very source of the might Congo River itself. From there, the river descends into the Bangweulu Swamp, before merging into the Luvua, and eventually the Lualaba Rivers. Storie-Pugh will continue along that route until he reaches the village of Kisangani, which his where the Congo officially begins. That town will mark the halfway point of the journey, with the toughest section yet to come.

From there, the route will lead into an 800-mile (1287 km) stretch of thick jungle and flooded forestland that will be incredibly difficult to pass through. That same section of the river passes along the equator, making it an incredibly hot and humid region. If Storie-Pugh and his team successfully make it through what will undoubtedly be the toughest part of the trek, they will reach Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo. From there, they'll have to make one final push to the end of the river at the Atlantic Ocean.

In terms of how much water flows along the river, the Congo is second only to the Amazon. It is also the deepest river in the world, reaching depths of more than 220 meters (720 ft) at certain points. Combine the massive size of the river with the incredibly tough terrain that surrounds it, and you have a challenge more akin to Ed Staffor's walk along the Amazon, as opposed to Lev's Nile excursion.

Toby won't be completely alone on this expedition. He'll be joined by documentary filmmaker Simone Bazos, who will be documenting the project along the way. He is also taking applications for an expedition co-leader to join the squad and help see the project comes to a successful end. You can check out the qualifications for the position, and see that application by clicking here.

Before he begins training for the Congo, Toby will first head to Nepal in the spring of 2015 to attempt to climb Everest. Once that expedition is complete, he'll then turn his attention more fully on walking the Congo. If all goes according to plan, he will set off on the journey sometime in the spring of 2016.

Find out more at

Gear Junkie Looks at the 110 Greatest Outdoor Ambassadors of All Time

The Gear Junkie, working in conjunction with Wigwam, have come up with a unique project to celebrate that company's 110th anniversary. Over that period of time, we've seen a lot of amazing people do a lot of amazing things in the outdoors. So, to that end, Gear Junkie and Wigwam are compiling a list of the 110 Greatest Outdoor Ambassadors of All Time.

Regular readers of this blog will recognize more than a few names that have earned a spot in the line-up. Some of the men and women who are part of the list are outdoor athletes, while others are explorers, conservationists, gear designers, and so on. Each has made an undeniable contribution to the world of outdoor adventure, and while not all of them are household names, they each are very deserving of this honor.

Some of the people who made the list include polar skier John Huston, inventor and adventurer Ray Jardine, polar explorer Eric Larsen, adventure racer Mike Kloser, and mountaineer Conrad Anker, just to name a few. Some of the outdoor luminaries that are part of the project are still active today, others are historical figures from the past who left their mark in some very unique ways. These men and women are climbers, skiers, endurance athletes, filmmakers, and so much more. Over the years, they have inspired us, encouraged us, and most of all, they have certainly lived up to the title of "Outdoor Ambassador."

One of the best elements of this list is that it isn't quite complete yet. At the moment, it ends at number 73, who happens to be our friend Dave Cornthwaite of Expedition 1000 fame. The Gear Junkie and Wigwam are asking us to help fill in the rest of the list by suggesting more names to add. In the coming weeks, they will continue to expand the number of men and women who earn the honor of being included in this hall of fame based on the suggestions that we provide. For instance, I've suggested Ueli Steck as a candidate, and think that he is very deserving of being one of these ambassadors as well.

Who do you think should make the cut? Have a look at the full list here, and then add your suggestions here.

Video: Capturing the World Before You Wake Up

This short video takes us out into the wild with photographer Janez Tolar, a man who makes it a habit to be up well before sunrise so that he can capture images of the world around us as it wakes up with the dawn. His persistence and patience are an admirable trait, as he goes to great lengths to get photos that are breathtakingly beautiful. Aspiring photographers will deficiently appreciate this one.

Before You Wake Up from Nejc Miljak on Vimeo.

Video: Technical Mountain Bike Freeride in Squamish, British Columbia

If the holidays have left you bereft of an adrenaline fix, perhaps this video will be of assistance. It features professional mountain bike rider Aaron Chase as he screams down a fairly technical singletrack trail in Squamish, British Columbia. Captured using a helmet cam, it gives us a great idea of what it is like to ride these amazing trails, with much of the route not meant for your average rider. This one is guaranteed to get your heart pumping.

Video: Summiting Solu Hidden Peak in Pakistan

This video will take you to the summit of Solu Hidden Peak in Pakistan, a 5850 meter (19,192 ft) mountain that challenges climbers in numerous ways. Follow Harvé Barmasse and Daniele Bernasconi as they take us all the way to the top of this impressive mountain. Watch for the moment when they are using ice axe to crawl through snow that looks like it is about about chest deep. The GoPro camera they are using to capture the footage really gives you a sense of what it is like on a climb of this nature.

Winter Climbs 2014-2015: Teams Gathering in Pakistan

Just a quick update on the winter climbing expeditions that are either now underway, or are preparing to begin. With the new season just over a week old at this point, most of the teams are still making their way to the mountains following the holiday season last week. While they are in transit, the climbers are mentally and physically preparing themselves for the challenges ahead on what will likely be the most difficult expedition of their careers.

As mentioned last week, the planned attempt on the North Side of K2 has been scrubbed following the denial of a climbing permit by the Chinese government. This has left Denis Urubko, Adam Bielecki and Alex Txikon on the sidelines this season after they had been planning their expedition for months. As you can imagine, the team is disappointed by this turn of events, but they have vowed to try again in the future. Chinese officials cancelled the permit after terrorist activity in the region picked up in November. They have already invited the climbers to reapply for a permit when conditions improve and it is once again safe for foreign visitors to travel in the Xinjiang region.

With K2 now off the table for this winter, all attention will now turn toward Nanga Parbat, the only other 8000 meter peak that remains unclimbed in the winter. There are no fewer than three teams attempting that mountain, including Daniele Nardi, who arrived in Pakistan on Saturday and is now making his way out to Base Camp. He'll climb with Elisabeth Revol on the Diamir Face, and now expects to be in BC by January 1.

That duo will be sharing Base Camp with Tomek Mackiewicz, who spent a few weeks acclimatizing in the Rupal Valley before the arrival of winter. Tomek should already be in BC at this point, where the is scouting the route and already preparing to make his solo attempt on the mountain.

The Russian team of Nickolay Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo, Serguey Kondrashkin and Victor Koval arrived in Pakistan in time for Christmas, and wasted no time in getting to work. They were in and out of Islamabad as quickly as possible, and arrived in Base Camp on December 27, where they report that all is okay. After a few days of getting settled, they will begin the first preliminary steps of heading up the mountain, while they begin to acclimatize to the altitude and cold weather.

Finally, we leave the Karakoram behind to check in with Lonnie Dupre on Denali. He is busy preparing for his attempt to summit the tallest mountain in North America in January, and has already been very busy establishing some of his higher camps. He has already climbed up to 11,200 feet (3413 meters) where he has started to get a taste of the weather that the mountain is so well known for. Wind speeds have already been in excess of 50 mph (80 km/h), and temperatures are well below zero. Still, he is happy with his progress thus far, and will take a rest day today before continuing to shuttle gear up the slope. Once January 1 arrives, the expedition will be officially under way, with Lonnie hoping to become just the 4th person to stand on the summit during the coldest, darkest, windiest month of the year on Denali.

That's all for today. I'll post more updates as the teams start to progress.

Antarctica 2014: Frédérick on the Home Stretch, Others Press Forward

It has been another busy couple of days in the Antarctic, where the teams of skiers continue to press on towards their goal despite difficult and trying circumstances. The South Pole has now seen several visitors this season, but others are still heading towards the bottom of the world as quickly as they can.

We already knew that the trio of Are Johnson, and Stéphanie and Jérémie Gicquel had reached the South Pole in time to celebrate Christmas. They arrived at 90ºS on Christmas Eve, and after spending a day recharging their batteries, the team has already struck out on their return journey to the coast. They have an additional 1100 km (683 miles) to cover on their way back to where they started, so while they were happy to reach the Pole, it was only the halfway point of the expedition.

Since resuming their journey Are, Stéphanie, and Jérémie have encountered poor surface conditions, with lots of soft snow, which has made for tough going. Additionally, they received a resupply at the South Pole, so now their sleds are very heavy once again. That said, the return journey should be an easier and faster one, as they will be traveling down hill, and over ground that they are already familiar with. Still, they are feeling the physical demands of the expedition more than ever, and it is going to be a long, slow haul to get back to the coast.

Canadian kite-skier Frédérick Dion also reached the South Pole, arriving at that point on Christmas Day. It took him nine days to travel the more than 800 km (500 miles) from the Pole of Inaccessibility to 90ºS, and while he was happy to add another milestone to his journey, Fréd isn't quite finished yet. He has already started on his journey to Hercules Inlet along the coast, which will be his final destination for what has been a long and difficult journey. He hopes to wrap up the final leg of the expedition in just five days, which would put him at Hercules by tomorrow. The winds will need to be working in his favor for that to happen, but even if he doesn't nab that record, there are several others he has the potential to set, including the fastest traverse ever. We'll have to see what his final numbers will be, but it looks like he'll wrap up the expedition later this week.

Fellow kite-skier Faysal Hanneche continues to press on towards the South Pole as well, although he hasn't found the winds to be quite so helpful as Frédérick. It has been slow going for sure, and often he is reduced to skiing without the use of his kite. Faceless last dispatch came on December 24, a day during which he only covered 6 km (3.7 miles). Frustration and exhaustion seem to be his biggest challenges, and with a long way to go before he is done, it isn't clear yet whether or not he'll actually reach 90ºS. Hopefully the winds will turn beneficial once again, and he can start covering longer distances at last.

Solo skier Newall Hunter is closing in on the Pole, and should arrive there sometime within the next week. As of yesterday, he had just 150 km (93 miles) to go until the finish, and since he is covering approximately 25 km (15 miles) per day, that would put him at the Pole around January 3 or so. It won't be easy covering those final miles however, as he too reports soft snow, which is making it harder to pull the sled. Still, he is just 34 days into this journey, and making great progress. Reaching the end in about 40 days would be an impressive accomplishment for sure.

Ian Evans and his team crossed the 88th degree this past weekend, inching them ever closer to the South Pole. He reports that the 60 nautical miles (111 km) between the 87th and 88th degree were by far the toughest of the journey. Not only did they continue to climb up the Polar Plateau, but they encountered plenty of sastrugi along the way. These hard ridges of packed snow and ice are obstacles that must be overcome by the skiers, as they make progress incredibly difficult and slow. Still, they hope to reach the finish line in another week or so as well, provided everything continues on schedule.

That's all from the Antarctic for today. More updates coming later in the week.

Video: Nomadic Asia

If you're starting to look for inspiration for travel destinations for 2015, perhaps this video will put some adventurous ideas into your head. It follows a group of travelers as they head into a remote region of Mongolia and the Altai Mountains, where they encounter nomadic herders and trading Eagle hunters. The landscapes are breathtaking and the setting is fantastic. Just the kind of destination  we all hope to find in our travels.

Nomadic Asia from Sibweek on Vimeo.

Video: Introducing the Matt Prior Adventure Academy

Have you always wanted to go on a grand adventure, but just didn't know where to start? Do you have an epic journey in mind that you would like to embark on, but keep finding excuses to put it off? Than perhaps you'll be interested to learn about a new program designed to give you the skills necessary to start your project, while on an adventure of a lifetime.

That is exactly the premise behind the Matt Prior Adventure Academy, an innovative new approach to adventure travel that will allow participants to not only visit a fantastic destination, but earn valuable skills that will allow them to travel more confidently on their own in the future. The Adventure Academy will begin offering "courses" in 2015, giving would-be adventurers an opportunity to get out their front door, and start pursuing their passions more fully.

The Academy is the brainchild of Matt Prior, an adventure from the U.K. who has circumnavigated the globe in a London taxi, rode a motorbike through Patagonia, taken a Rickshaw from the southern tip of India all the way to the Himalaya in Nepal, and taken a road trip from London to Mongolia and back. In short, he doesn't lack for experience in the adventure travel realm, and now he wants to share that knowledge and experience with you.

Personally, I think the idea behind the Adventure Academy is a good one. I know plenty of people who say they would like to live a more adventurous life, but they have a hard time just getting out their front door. This program is designed to take away the excuses, and give participants the valuable skills necessary to show them that they can do amazing things if they just set their mind to it.

The video below will give you more of an idea of what Matt has in mind. It is endorsed by none other than Sir Ranulph Fiennes as well, so you know he is on to something. Find out more at the Adventure Academy Facebook page, follow the Academy on Twitter, and sign-up here for more details. A full-blown website will go online in January.