22 Mar
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Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

22 February 2011

Fruitless trek

18th February 2011

If we are unlucky on a wildlife trek and don’t see very many animals, at least there is the pleasure instead of a fine walk in beautiful natural surroundings. Unfortunately in Bali Barat National Park we didn’t see much and the walk was hot and uncomfortable.

Our guide Gede was very good, the same chap that came snorkelling with us to Pulau Menjangan. But the trail in the forest was very overgrown in places, so there was plenty of shoving through undergrowth, and there had been such a lot of rain that the uphills and downhills were inevitably slippery. It wasn’t very challenging, it was just a slog rather than a stroll. And when you only see a few long-tail macaques and a collared kingfisher for three hours of trekking the consolation of a pleasant walk would have been good.

It was a better trek for our other senses, as we heard the local black langurs calling across the forest, the woods were full of birdsong and the peppery smell of lantana flowers was everywhere.

We followed up the walk with a crap lunch at a warung over the road from our resort. Instead of being a place for locals to eat it was obviously there to catch tourists wanting a change from their own resort, and so for the first time we were subjected to nasi goreng and nasi campur that were insipid and flavourless, completely dry and lacking any spice at all. When I asked for some chilli sauce or even just some chillies chopped up to add to the meal, the owner said she had none. A really disgusting example of base opportunism after we have enjoyed four weeks of getting delicious home-cooked food at pretty much any little local warung we care to choose.

The final two treats of our holiday with Tim and Vanessa were rather better. First was a massage at the spa just along the shore from our resort, where for the first time we were asked to undertake it naked. I’m told this is rather less formal than spas in the UK where the masseurs actually leave the room when you turn over from front to back still wearing your undies! Our final treat was a meal at the same spa resort, in a little open-air pagoda with the waves sloshing the shore five yards away and a huge electrical storm lighting up the horizon while the full moon shone down on the sea.

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