Hey – I’ve finally got my life back after seven months covering for the vacant Exploration Manager position! Yippee!!! The problem was that government regulations insisted that the position had to be filled by an Indonesian and it just took a while to find the right candidate. Trying to manage both jobs was really stressful at times and I ended up dropping most of the fun things I enjoyerd doing in the evenings because I was either too busy or too knackered to do them. Anyway my new boss started a month ago and my life has got a lot easier!
How seven months have flown. There’s no point in trying to cover all the things we’ve been doing so I’ve just pulled out a few photos of some of the more interesting moments. We had an awesome couple of weeks in Europe over Christmas – I’ve never seen so much snow! We went down to NZ in March to check out our two Kiwi girls – Maya and Distant Drummer! Both are in good fettle. We did lots of work on DD and stayed on board which was fun.
We’ve been doing a bit of mountain biking, not as much as we’d like too because it always entails a very early start, like 5am, in order to beat the heat and the traffic. There is lots of good biking around Jakarta but not many flat bits! If it’s been raining the day before that’s when the fun really starts. The volcanic mud gets really slippery so it’s almost impossible to stay upright. The mud also clogs up on your tyres until they won’t move and you have to clean them off with a stick, a soul-destroying task because you know in 200m they’ll be completely clogged again! Luckily we are now well into the dry season so we really should get out there! I bought a new bike after my Trek was stolen from the office (I ride back from work each day). I splashed out on a new Giant with super shocks, disc brakes, the works – we really should get out there!
In December we took a trip to Gili Trawangan, NE of Lombok with Ali and Alexis and Ali’s father David joined us as well. I think Gili T is the best place I’ve yet found to really relax. The island is quite small, just a couple of kilometres across, and there are no cars or motor bikes. People walk, ride bikes or if you’re feeling lazy you can hop in a pony cart. There is many good dive sights around the island, a couple of good spas and lots of restaurants specialising in barbequeing anything they can catch. We stayed at a wonderful resort called KoKoMo and liked it so much we’re going back for my birthday next month – can’t wait.
A couple of weeks ago we joined a weekend trip to Krakatoa. We went with Jim – an old mate and geo who I used to work in Brunei with who showed up again in Jakarta last year – excellent! Krakatoa is a group of five islands which are essentially remnants of a massive volcano which erupted very explosively a couple of hundred years ago. We camped in the beach of one of Pulau Sertung with a great view of Anak Krakatoa which is the new cone which emerged in 1928. She put on a great show with rumbles and smoke, ash clouds and at night we could see spurts of lava and hear the projected rocks hitting the ground. It was very exciting to watch, especially for geos. The next day she was quieter so we climbed part of the way up the cone, ready to leg it back down at the first sign of smoke!
We had a trip to Bali in April for a friend’s wedding. Although Steve’s British, Oki is Indonesian so it was a muslim wedding but in Balinese style. The ceremony was in the early evening in a lovely garden by the beach in the grounds of the Hyatt in Nusa Dua. Definitely a good spot to get hitched! We also caught up with some old mates who live in Bali, both are actually running bars – very convenient!!
We’re still really enjoying life in Jakarta. We’ve been paying a bit of tennis, in fact I had a few lessons until things started getting really frantic at work. I must start again. I’ve taken up yoga again and Neil is coming along too! Yes really!! The world’s most inflexible man can now touch his toes – he calls it a beautiful pain! When we have a weekend in Jakarta there are plenty of reasonable restaurants in town or we have a bbq at home, we’ve been to a few good parties – the photo is from Ali and Alexis’s Halloween party. I went as roadkill, Neil was something from a really bad zombie movie!
Jakarta’s fun! It’s about time we had some visitors – how about coming out for a visit?
Suzy and Neil