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    [post_content] => As my fellow dragons boarded the passenger bus due for Ngu Rai International airport and the States, I waved goodbye from the sunny parking lot filled with anticipation for the next leg of my journey. I am extremely fortunate, and was able to extend my stay in Indonesia, and stuff a few more travels under the old belt. A very special thanks to Jamie for making this possible. So I hit the road and started walking towards Ubud, with my floppy tourist-sun hat, massive back pack and box of cornflakes, a rare and exotic shelf item in the ring of fire. I didn't have a definitive plan of any sort, which I believe was my mom's one request for my travel extension, but I had lots of faith that things would go as they would. I spent my first hours simply walking around, enjoying the new level of freedom I had at my disposal. I walked up to the rice fields where we first stayed months before, and laid out in the afternoon sun straight chilling. Spent the next few days in Denpasar with Pierre, brother of Naldo, one of our guides. Much love to Pierre, his wife and friends for taking me in. I returned to Ubud for passport purposes, and crossed paths cosmically with Jamie as I ran across the street, right in front of her bike. Reggae ensued, as always. I decided to head North, and took a bus to Lovina where I heard there were nice beaches. The beaches there were crap, so I got a ride in a rattly bus full of humble locals that tore westwards through beautiful tropical landscapes to Pemuteran. I got dropped off, and the area was so beautiful..ocean to my left and rugged tropical mountains to my right. Pretty much as soon as I set out walking, I spotted something way up in the foothills. As I got closer and walked through a nice little village, I saw it was a mountain temple. I trekked up, and took in the ocean stretching out to the horizon in front of me, with mountains in all other directions. It was late, I hadn't eaten or drank anything for hours, and didn't have any other place to stay so decided to sleep up there. All was going well until a storm started brewing. I figured it was all part of it, but still getting wet and freezing sucks. I rolled up in my skimpy sorong and hoped for the best. At around midnight I saw lights coming up. I thought it was the villagers coming to rescue me. To my delight it was a gathering of 7 monks who came to to a midnight worship. They asked me if I would like to join as they decorated the temple and lit incense. We all went quiet for a while in meditation, and no sooner did the sprinkling rain and gale force winds stop completely. The leader monk looked at me with a glint in his eye, and told me that we had just stopped the rain. And I believe him.. it was completely still from then on. He then dug deep and somehow told me very accurate things about members of my family, and gave me crucial advice that I was to pass on to them. I was still seeking some more mountain air, so he directed me to an island at the north western most point in Bali, bordering the West Bali National Park. I got there, but the boat to the island was too expensive. Just as I was leaving, a man offered me half price, so I went, and was going to snorkel. I sound spoiled, but we had already done so much snorkeling that I was kinda whatever about the whole thing. Let it be known that the best snorkeling, by far, was right off of that island. I was shocked at the lack of damage, like none, and am very grateful to the monk. Got back to the mainland, and walked west and into the Bali National Park. Around dark I was offered a place to stay with a farm family right on the beach and the mountains..sweet. I ended up staying 2 days while they put all of their energy into making sure I was happy and fed. They constantly brought me coconuts and fruit and fresh honeycomb and drinks and cigarettes until I eventually fell asleep. Then I headed south to a surf town. Sweet waves, but something wasn't right so I left early the next morning. Next came one of my best decisions, which was to go to Lombok. Our group badly wanted to go and hike Mt. Rinjani, and thats what I did. Everyone in Bali says the people in Lombok are sketchy, that they lie and tell you one price then demand a higher one when its time to pay. From my experience, it was no different than anywhere else we visited in Indonesia. The same little markets lining the polluted little streets packed with motorbikes, rice fields, mosques, and the people were no different than anywhere else..some good, some bad. Mt. Rinjani was nothing short of friggin gorgeous. I went on a three day hike which consisted of getting to the rim, going down into the massive crater, hiking to the highest mountain peak on the rim, then back down. We were blessed with good weather on the inside of the rim, which allowed us to get there in the first place. Swam in the crater lake, and while cruising around the lush fields around gorges and misty waterfalls under the sun a voice in my head said, "this is what life is." Blessed again with good weather we were able to climb to the top and set out at 3am. Everyone else had winter gear, which was much needed because it was like 40 degrees with ripping winds up there. I had nothing but a poncho, and I was soooo cold. Luckily I made it back to camp in the morning. There were monkeys everywhere, even way up where we were which was pretty cool. So I kicked around some then went back to Bali, slept in some guys van, then was going to go to Uluatu for my last few days to surf and relax, but had an incident. Some money hungry bemo driver hooked me into going with him, despite my instincts. In Kuta, miles from my destination, he ordered me to get out because the road was too busy. He shouted again for me to get out, and as I opened the door there was this huge thud. It didn't register for a few seconds, then I saw a young woman and her motorbike sprawled out on the highway turf. Shit. She was a sweetheart and gingerly gathered herself and rode away, thank God. The driver then acted all worried and distraught about a microscopic ding on the side of his door..the part that closes flush against the rest of the car, insisting that I pay or he would call the police. So I did, bummed but thrilled that it wasn't worse. I then quickly disappeared, fearing a lawsuit. Uluattu is small, and I feared the driver would contact authorities there to squeeze some more cash out of me, and I didn't want to worry either way so I bit the bullet and bummed around Kuta beach for my final days, drinking mango juice and sleeping on the beach. I spent Christmas Eve slugging shots of sake with locals on the beach where some very funny shinanigans took place. In my own leg of the journey, I was again amazed by the kindness and hospitality of the people. Many nights right when I thought I would have to sleep outside somewhere, or not at all, someone would offer me their home and treat me like a king. It really makes me want to give it back, to get in a situation where I can open my abode to people who need it. Until then, I just try to give and give however I can. I am forever grateful to all of the amazing people over there, and keep them close to my heart. Interacting with them and experiencing the natural beauty of the Islands has changed me for the better, and I intend to take that energy and exert it as I go. So much love to Aaron and Katie, and all the other dragons. And Jamie, I couldn't have done it without you. You are so awesome and have an exquisite taste in music. Thank you and Love.
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2010

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Keep on

Nick Goulet,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2010

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As my fellow dragons boarded the passenger bus due for Ngu Rai International airport and the States, I waved goodbye from the sunny parking lot filled with anticipation for the next leg of my journey. I am extremely fortunate, and was able to extend my stay in Indonesia, and stuff a few more travels under […]

Posted On

02/15/11

Author

Nick Goulet