Whale Sharks in Donsol, Philippines

Perhaps diving and Whale Sharks (or “Butanding”) are the compelling reasons for visiting the Philippines. I’ll know if I have managed to capture the excitement of snorkeling along with these graceful fish (some eight metres in length) when I develop the film from my disposable underwater camera. Manila is a noisy busy city in complete contrast to the quiet calm of the coastal dive resorts.

Jeepney transport in the city of Manila

Jeepney transport in the city of Manila

Cock-fighting in the Philippines

In Donsol there are Whale Sharks!

100% genuine pictures of parts of Whale Shark as I try to keep up with them:

Whale Shark Head

Whale Shark Head

with fish entourage

with fish entourage

and mid-section

and mid-section

General Purpose Donsol Boat

General Purpose Donsol Boat

and the pace of life slows down…
Local Delivery in Donsol

Local Delivery in Donsol

relaxing with a large shoal of Jack fish.

Twin Rocks Dive Site, Anilao, Philippines

Twin Rocks Dive Site, Anilao, Philippines

Diving VIDEO

Lombok Diving, Indonesia

I have decided that blogs with photos are the modern form of sending postcards. If you feel its cold in the northern hemisphere why not come down south, to sunny Bali? My visit to Indonesia was essentially a diving trip, from Bali to Lombok to a tiny island about a mile across called Trawangan. I’m writing from Kuta, where the shops cater to all backpacker and holiday makers’ needs, staying between “Poppy 1” and “Poppy 2” alleys near the site of the Bali bomb memorial.

Dive Boat off Trawangan, Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia

Dive Boat off Trawangan, Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia

This form of volleyball using feet may be popular across Indonesia…

Keep-it-up volleyball

Keep-it-up volleyball

I had time to circumnavigate this small island,
A short walk around Trawangan, Indonesia

A short walk around Trawangan, Indonesia

and walk along Kuta Beach, Bali.
Art along Kuta Beach

Art along Kuta Beach

Now just to use up my remaining Indonesian currency on delicious food.

Gorillas in Uganda

I entered the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (because there are paths!) in the South Western part of Uganda. It does make a difference seeing them in their natural habitat. Various named groups of gorillas are visited daily by a small number of tourists and after sheltering in the rain for six hours it was great to see them. (I’ll add some of my images and movies but at the moment my camera memory card seems to have corrupted with a formatting error which a few hours of googling and downloading tools should hopefully allow me to recover my valuable images).

The golden rule of transport in Uganda seems to be that it can only function when completely packed – and it takes longer than expected. The Bodo-bodo or motorcycle taxi is cheap and great for point-to-point jumps through the dusty and busy streets of Kampala.

I’m writing from Padangbai on the eastern coast of Bali, Indonesia in 31 degree C heat ready to take the ferry to the little islands off the coast of Lombok for some scuba diving. A hotel room here with bathroom and breakfast included for four British pounds is amazing value.

Update: here are my promised shots…

gorilla with baby

gorilla with baby

Playful Siblings

Playful Siblings

Streets of Kampala

Streets of Kampala

Butterfly on my Boot

Butterfly on my Boot

Playful Gorillas VIDEO

Here’s the plan…

Happy New Year!
world map route

World Map Route

From London to Uganda, Lombok (Indonesia), Philippines, SE Australia (Sydney to Brisbane), hopping to Tonga and a stop in San Francisco to break up the time zones. The complete journey in a quick two months.

Just Upgraded

Just upgraded to latest WordPress and am working through the differences and incompatibilities (some characters in old posts don’t appear correctly). What prompted this change was wanting to use the latest spam blocker plugin against all the rubbish I was receiving.

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