So, I have two months - eight or nine weeks - to make this journey, and no real plan, just a vague idea that I can travel over land and sea to the Philippines, keeping an open mind to any diversion that may appeal. That's the kind of travel I like - completely footloose for the feeling of absolute freedom, something you don't get when you plan all the details - the less the planning the more the freedom; like a true vagabond, anything can happen.
Carrying just a small backpack aids that freedom; it has everything I need and weighs around 7 kilos. As well as a Frisbee and my cut-down fins and mask for snorkelling, I've packed what I consider basic necessities, a process honed down to a fine art. I've had long experience in travelling light and made a list (Chapter 30) that may be helpful to those who may be starting out; new travellers who are undecided about what's necessary on an extended trip.
I flew to Bali Sunday August 2 2009 and arrived in Denpasar about midnight, and, avoiding the overpriced taxi touts, I walked out of the airport and down the avenue towards the main road in the pleasantly warm night. I got a taxi to Denpasar for less than half the price at the airport, and stayed (as before) at the comfortable, clean and friendly Nakula Familiar Inn (75,000Rp - AU$8.50). I will give prices, wherever possible for the benefit of other would-be travellers.
I stayed an extra day to see some friends and then off to the northwest by bus to the port of Gilimanuk in the northeast of the island, then by ferry to Katapang on the island of Java. I was just in time to board a bus to Banyuwangi and on to Probolinggo, arriving well after dark.
I found a cheap room in the rather seedy Hotel Moro Nyota (65,000Rp $7.50), then walked down the road for a nasi goreng special (fried rice with chicken) and a beer for less than $5, at a warung - a temporary food stall, the type that spring up everywhere after dark in Indonesia. The food is usually better than in the regular cafes, but as usual in Indonesia, the beer cost more than the meal.
Each evening you'll see these proprietors wheeling their carts along the street to their favourite spot on the footpath. They set up their burners, tables and stools against the closed doors of an existing business, and you can just sit there in the dim lantern light and order as you please from any of the separate warungs that may be in the group, each one providing its own specialty.
The journey continues in 'The Travels of the Lincot Man'