|Map of Bali Surf Spots|
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011, 12:55pm Bali time: Flight Denpasar -> Singapore, arriving 3:30pm same time zone
Friday, November 11, 2011, 7:20am Singapore time: United Airlines Singapore -> Tokyo, arriving 2:50pm Tokyo time, one hour ahead of current (6 hour 30 minute flight time)
Friday, November 11, 2011, 5:00pm Tokyo time: United Airlines Tokyo -> San Francisco, arriving 8:55am PST (same day... weird!), 9 hour flight time
Friday, November 11, 2011, 10:41am PST: United Airlines San Fran -> Denver, arriving 2:15pm MST, 2 hour 30 minute flight time
11/11/11 will last 39 hours for us in our own relative time. Fun date for that to happen! I suppose we'll technically get to make three mega-wishes, two 11:11am ones and one nightcap. Better start brainstorming.
We are exhausted but happy. Morale high, but the onset of the "travel blur" as Adam put it is looming. Pray for expediency (thanks Kads)!
|The Band is finally heading home|
Friday, November 4, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 3:15am (DG time): Fly military C17 Diego Garcia - Paya Lebar Air Force Base, Singapore, arriving 10:15am Singapore time
Saturday, October 29, 8:45am (Sing. time): Board train Singapore - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, arriving 3:00pm KL time (same as Sing.)
Tuesday, November 1, 11:00pm: Board overnight sleeper train KL - Singapore, arriving Sing. next day at 6:45am
Wednesday, November 2, 4:20pm: AirAsia flight Singapore - Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, arriving around 7pm I think
We are about to head out into KL to check out a few quick sites and grab some local chow. Then our hostel is having a Halloween fajesta tonight, so we'll check that out. New currency is Malaysian Ringgits. We will see what the next three days here bring us... nothing planned for now save a list of some interesting places to check out (e.g. Petronas Towers, Batu Caves, orchid gardens) and a courtyard full of people to meet. Let the games begin.
|Hostel beds in 16-bed dorm.. Adam bottom right, me bottom left, James in the penthouse|
|View from rooftop bar|
Friday, October 28, 2011
Where to begin...
fun in the sun after being bumped a day (10/3)
I think that we’ve bragged enough about our enchanted coconut forests, the magical lagoons, daily doses of windsurfing, haunted plantations, the boss crabs with their swag, and the chatty Kathy birds, who apparently don’t go to sleep. So I’ll curb mention of ray chasing by paddleboard, shark scouting from the island depths of Turtle Cove, and feral sterile donkey riding (if you have to ask, you can’t afford it).
Well, it went very, very fast, and in the best ways possible. We’ve basked in the joys of being disconnected from society (mostly – at least no cell phones ringing). Knowing what we were getting ourselves into, we embraced rolling out of bed, fixing a quick cup, and getting out and comfortable with nothing but the milky way lighting the road (and a Jupiter here and there to help out). The shift work was great, and we all took on the duty of DYNAMO balloon launcher like it was our own little experiment. We experienced a good deluge, Seattle-style spray with nothing but grey, and the ever-sought-after blue with as much blue coming from above as from below our feet. And though we usually had the water beneath us, we were ALWAYS thinking about our thesis work, we promise.
hanging out with the Fodies
Many a balloon was launched and many a Pam was sprayed. I think a little explanation is called for here. So, if you go high enough, even down here at hot and humid 7°S, you get to the freezing point – usually around 4 or 5 km up. What happens there (pretend you’re a weather balloon): provided there are rain droplets (AKA cloud), you get iced up, iced up some more, until you become heavy enough that the buoyancy of the helium can’t keep you afloat and you begin to sink back down. But wait, it’s warm down here, so yes, the ice melts off, and finally you can begin to ascend again. We’ve watched at the computer as balloons bobbed around this “freezing level” (clever, isn’t it?) some 5 times before it either harvests the courage to break on through and continue on up or succumbs to the stresses of the cold world above and bursts.
I told you this place was enchanted!
Now, back to the Pam. It was rumored before we departed the department that Pam spray – yep, the cooking oil – could be used for its hate-of-water-ness (hydrophybia) to prevent icing on balloons. Diego Garcia clerk: “No Pam here, Bill of New Zealand.” Bill of New Zealand: “No Pam?! Ouy, let’s try some olive oil. Cheers!” So extra virgin olive oil it was. Starting from early failed attempts of boringly applying with a paper towel (me), all the way to getting down and dirty with the bare hands to “assure that it was completely lathered up like a greased pig” (Gavin), to “I’m just going to try letting the balloon go without the instrument pack this time.” (Won’t name names here, I don’t want to get Gavin in trouble.) We tried it all. We called it Field Olive Oil Deployment (FOOD), and boy, what a delicious campaign it was. Let’s get some professors out here next time for these fun activities!
Carlos earning his Balloon Launch Merit Badge
Well, the newbies are in, and the torch has been passed. All of yesterday was spent watching the new folks rig up the balloons themselves, from start to finish, with us being there only to provide tips. They’re already rolling on their own, and taking care of business. Today was our day of relaxation, which included some racquet ball, ping pong, a special celebratory din-din at the local fine dining spot, and a final goodbye to our good friend Carlos, or Charlos, or Charlie, who many of you will fortunately get to meet in the near future.
a couple of sunrise shots on our way out
Happy to say that I’m writing you from my comfy seat in the skeletal, infamous, surreal USAF C-17, as Gavin and Adam sleep the soundest of soundly to the hum of the engines (find videographic evidence below). It’s 4:45 a.m., our time, so I guess that means I have to start calling tomorrow today.
Now for our highly anticipated backpacking leg of the journey. We’re off to find this restaurant we hear of at the end of the universe. With that I leave you to the soothing sounds of the C-17 and some sleeping beauties.
- Jame’s R, the band (coming to an island near you)
P.S. The bit about the sterile feral donkey riding was just a tease, but we hear it's a riot.