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OK, so you managed to navigate away from the first page and the shocking news of Edwards turning back at the airport so this is where the story really begins! Dan and I on Kuta beach.

As a hard core surfer I had to pose in front of my board Early days and I'm still white as a ghost!

August 23rd, 2010
Well, we'd soon had enough of Kuta and so we decided to hire motor bikes and head up the east coast to a place called Amed where there was supposed to be some tip top diving. I just wanted to get out of the south!
The traffic was unbelievable and not only that, I got collared by the police who wanted 2,000,000 Rupiahs off me for some minor traffic offence. I tried to offer them 50,000 but they weren't having it!

We stopped off at a little roadside cafe with the traffic thundering by and these two little kids were messing about in the restaurant area so i bagged a snap!

We checked into this place that I think was the nicest guest house of our entire trip! It had nice rooms, gardens and a cool little swimming pool...very chilled out.

Mark's Journal

We spent two nights in Amed, I went snorkelling while Dan went diving. It was over a WW2 wreck and I could see it clearly. Lots of fish but nothing really big to grab my attention. Cruised around the local area, all very quiet but we found a really nice bay with a small bar on the bluff overlooking it. Edwards was now in Bali so we arranged to meet him up in Batur which meant a long bike ride up and around the coast before going up into the crater rim.

So, on to Batur...The crater rim is now crowded with housing, traffic and there are now two roads down into the caldera.

The pictures above and below were taken from the guesthouse. The volcano at the front and the lake shore came right up to our cabiñas at the back

The sellers on the crater rim were hardcore!

Mark's Journal

Dan and I took the wrong turning and we were on some dusty, truck laden path which was obviously wrong. I turned back but Dan decided to find a way...Meanwhile Edwards was waiting for us and wondering where the hell we were. Luckily we all had phones, so after an hour or so of chasing around we managed to find each other. Every time I tried to stop though, I was harassed by people trying to sell me T-shirts and sarongs! We eventually checked into a guest house (Volcano III) and decided to immediately attempt the Batur climb. For that we needed a guide who led us on our bikes down a dusty track to the starting point and up we went...

Once we made it to the top, and it wasn't an easy climb, there was a little shack with a woman selling cold drinks! Obviously she hauls them up every morning to sell to the steady stream of punters climbing to the top. It was dark going down and we virtually surfed in the volcanic gravel.

The boys posing

Mark's Journal

I could easily have spent another day up there but we had arranged to meet Jason in Kuta before heading off to get a boat to Gili Trawangan, off the coast of Lombok. On the drive back down south we encountered some more rice terraces and stopped for some snaps

Lombok, with the Gili islands in the North West

Mark's Journal

Back into the insanity that is Kuta we met Jason, said goodbye to his wife, Sabrina, who was going back to Taiwan, jumped into our mini van and headed off to Padangbai an attractive beach hangout in its own right. Spent a night eating, drinking and watching some young American do some unfeasibly clever card tricks. Next day was the fast boat to the Gili's and the other three lads popping sea sickness pills like they were M&M's.

Oh dear! Jason had a rotten time of it and was head in bag for a large part of the trip. Calvert was even whiter than normal but didn't chunder while Edwards and I went to the back and got drenched but also grabbed a few valuable rays.

Out for dinner and the night view of Trawangan's main street

Jason, my roommate seen tucking into toast and eggs.

Mark's Journal

We checked in to a reasonable but pricey establishment on the main strip and that evening went out for a very average meal. I was wasn't feeling up for a night on the town but a few sips of Jason's magic herbal tea changed all that and before I knew it I was in another dimension! A long strange night ensued and ended up with Jason and I discovering an Edwards lying on the road just about to be pickpocketed by some dodgy looking local. We got the fella home safely and it was a relief to hit the sack...

After a few days of no exercise, Edwards, Dan and myself decided to tackle the islands only hill. Good views of the other two gili's and the mainland.

Edwards sauntering along the white sand beach

Dan went diving one day and the rest of us took the opportunity to do a little snorkelling. Pretty average I thought especially as I didn't see any turtles....As you can see from this photo, I was beginning to gain a little weight!

This is part one of the Indonesian movie. Fifteen minutes taking you right up to the point where we're heading back to Kuta to meet Jason. More excitement in this 15 minutes than in an entire Tarantino movie...fact

So what thrills and spills awaited us after Gili Trawangan?
Would anyone fail to make the ascent of Rinjani?
Would Jason be in a state of perpetual drunkenness?
Would Reading outdo Edwards in the tanning stakes?
Would Calvert manage to finish his first ever novel?
The answers to this and much more in part 2

Click here for next installment