from jessi rae:: For the last three months we have been traveling as an eclectic group of 4 women all bringing a different background and flavor to create the mixture which has defined the women of wanderlust. Mithra was a late addition to this trip but made a wonderful difference. Today she left us for home and now we are down to 3 and things will not be the same without her. Love you Meech and we’ll be missing you til we join you back in Cali.
Author Archive: Brandi Rolfe
from desiree: ”"To get to Malaysia we had to take a taxi to a bus station and then a bus to the train station and then sit on an 8 hr train! We found a really good Mexican restaurant in Kuala Lumper.. Another exciting food find for us! We ate there twice in the short time we were here. We went to a huge birdpark and got to hang out and hold birds all day. Then to an aquarium were we saw lots of fish that we had actually seen in the ocean when we got our dive certification.
It was coool to spend some time in big citys after being on remote islands in Indonesia.. But we are all super anxious to get back into the remote areas of Thailand after a week In this city!”"
and now it’s off to the long anticipated journey in THAILAND !
i’ll start off with the crazy laws that are still in effect to this day in this incredibly clean place on earth:
it is illegal to posses, chew, or sell gum within the country. a first time offense can cost up to $500 ($395 U.S. dollars).
If caught littering small items such as receipts, cigarette butts or wrappers, you could receive a fine of S$300 ($225 U.S.).
a couple other fines that tourists are likely to incur while visiting this beautifully clean kept country..
Chewing Gum: S$500 ($395 U.S.)
Littering: S$300 ($235)
Jaywalking: S$500 ($395)
Smoking in illegal area: S$200 ($160)
Pack of Cigarettes not declared: S$500 ($395)
Spitting in Public: S$500 ($395)
Eating in a public bus or MRT: S$500 ($395)
from desiree:: We stayed at The River Inn hostel. The first night on Singapore we finally had a delicious sushi dinner!! It has been months so we were all super excited! We did a city bus tour the first day.. It was a double decker bus so we sat on the top and got an amazing view of the city. It was also hop on hop off so if we saw something we liked we could get off and check it out and then wait for the next bus and get back on. They also had headphones you could listen to to learn all about Singapore and it’s history. It was a really good thing to do in a city like that.. Otherwise we would have been walking for hours or spending lots of money on cabs. It has been one of the more expensive city’s we have been too. We spent a few hours one day walking around the largest orchid farm.
It was soo pretty.. We saw more types of orchids then I even knew existed.
We also went to the Red Sea gallery where we got to see artwork by Salvador Dali! So awesome.. I have now seen art by my two favorite artists.. Banksy and Dali! The architecture in Singapore was also amazing!
and now it is off to malaysia..
…it’s where the girls are residing at the moment – one of the 18,000 islands of indonesia, located just east of bali.
unfortunately, i discovered a couple of days ago that the gps tracker on desiree doesn’t work over there. they are surrounded by too much water and not enough land. the last track i received is right before they hopped on the boat to leave bali. you can see on map image two – the boat route that they took to get to lombok. they were taken from their rental in southern bali, to a small town called kekeri. [see map image one] this trek consisted of an hour car ride, a hop on the back of a locals motorbike to a boat and then a two hour boat ride till they arrived on the island. upon arrival – one of the girls told the people where they were staying; they looked extremely confused and said they’ve never taken tourists to that part of the island to stay… scary but exciting, right?
the highlands of lombok are forest clad and mostly undeveloped. the lowlands are highly cultivated with rice, soybeans, coffee, tobacco, cotton, cinnamon, cacao, cloves, corn, coconuts, bananas and vanilla. they have had quite an incredible time in this part of their trip. staying in some of the most beautiful air bnb rentals and meeting wonderful people.
i don’t know if you guys are ready for these next images.. they tugged at my traveling heart strings and almost made me throw in the towel. from two dollar avocados the size of your entire hand, to a carton of eggs for a buck fifty – these ladies are livin large for the next couple of weeks.
the location they are in right now seems to be mostly inhabited with natives to the island. in fact the girls are almost positive some of these locals have never seen a tourist on their island before, let alone an american girl. what a beautiful thing to be a part of. in the beginnings of their exploration – they were walking to get food and a kid pulled up on his motorbike and asked where they were going. he spoke english which was a big surprise considering the main language there is bahasa indonesia. his name was abraham. and he has been heaven sent for these ladies during their stay. as you can see from the images, he has shown them so much beautiful back country. he is a native to the land and was more than willing to show the girls around this gorgeous island. he dropped his motorbike off at his aunts house and walked with them which was extremely helpful since they really had no idea where they were going. he took them to get food and snacks to keep at their current rental. on the way back he took them by his aunts home to buy some bananas from her and she insisted they stay for tea. everyone from the village went to look at the four white girls sipping tea with auntie and abraham. there were at least thirty people crowded around them and the kids would walk up to them and then scream and run away. or they would laugh and hide if any of the girls spoke to them. it was their first encounter with americans. the natives were in awe of these four beautifully colored bright smiling women. when it was time to go, all of the children followed the girls out on to the street and waved them on like they were celebrities. and celebrities they were here on the island of lombok.
but i want to jump back to australia for a quick minute. i just got updated on one of their adventures – sailing!
via desiree:: We left from Arlie beach and got in the tongarra sail boat. There were 23 total backpackers on the boat plus the skipper Mick and Henry who made all of our meals. We sailed out to whitsundays which is made up of 74 islands. We sailed for a few hours.. Just laying out in the sun on the boat. Then it started to get stormy! It was so bad we had to pull into a cove and anchor the boat. They have tents they put up so we can all sleep outside on top of the boat but it was sooo rocky and poured rain all night that no one really got any sleep. The next day we went to white haven beach. The sand was amazing! It was really stormy so we didn’t get to spend that much time there but it started to clear up when we made our way to what they call “the aquarium” We all got to go snorkeling and it felt like you were In an aquarium.. The fish are everywhere! And they surround you.. It was so awesome! Then we played hilarious team games. Lauren Mithra and I were all on a team with 3 other people. The teams all had names and outfits to go with it. Our team was 6 grandmas one cup and we had to wear grandma pajamas. Jessi was on a different team called golden showers and they wore shower caps and huge grannie panties. Jessi’s team won and we came in 2nd. We got to sleep under the stars that night and it was much more enjoyable without the storm. The next day we went snorkeling again and saw a bunch of cool coral and then ended the trip sailing back to Arlie beach.
it’s goodbye australia and hello to indonesia. the women of wanderlust thoroughly enjoyed the previous four weeks they spent experiencing some of their wildest escapades. i wish i had a little more to close out australia with but the girls have been caught up in traveling to the next place and some mishaps you will see about below.
“you couldn’t call that australia – but then one man can’t bite off a continent in a mouthful, you must start to nibble somewhere.” d.h lawrence – kangaroo.
bali is an island and the smallest province of indonesia. the girls have began their experience here with a bang. they were smart enough to put all four of their bags into ONE single large bag [see above] because the baggage fees are outrageous. however, the airlines we’re not smart enough to keep track of this one large piece of luggage containing everything these four girls own. so the next couple of days they’ll live in the clothes on their backs and pray for a safe arrival of their bag(s). upon arriving at the ngurah rai international airport they were directed towards a “taxi” cab that would take them to their air bnb they reserved. unfortunately the driver did not know the address they gave him so after driving around for a bit they decided to have him leave them at a random hotel in hopes this place could get them to their destination for the evening. mind you it’s the middle of the night at this point. talk about being watched over – this random hotel just happened to be the same one they had made a reservation with and their villa was just a couple blocks down. what a relief that was, until the guy at the front desk tells them they will have to get to their villa one at a time on the back of some guys motorbike. say what…? mithra draws the short stick and goes first while the three girls wait for an empty motorbike to return for the next. thank goodness for that tracker desiree is forced by me, to have on her at all times. in the image on the left, you can see they have landed in bali, indonesia. and in this image you can see them (her) transporting to their first destination.
i was able to video chat with desiree yesterday and she gave me a tour of their home for the next couple of days. it’s the most incredibly serene place. and at $10 a night each, you can’t really beat that. asia’s money exchange rate is outrageous. $1.00 USD = $11,389.80 indonesia dollar. this $2,000 bill is just .20cents in indonesia. so there’s no change like we have here in the states. no pennies, no nickels and dimes. just paper. which is something we are quite sure the US will take part in eventually.
here are a few images from their beautiful place in bali that i would gladly reside in for the rest of my time.
i will get back here as soon as they receive their baggage or something else exciting happens.
but before i go i must inform you all of a few indonesian laws the women of wanderlust need to be aware of as well.
number one – masturbation = decapitation.
number two – flush the toilet, or serve the time.
via jessi rae:: Just had the most exhilarating day in my Australian experience! Right now there’s a cyclone hitting the coast but we were already scheduled for a sailing trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Although the boat almost didn’t go out at all, we were excited since we found out that we were already booked for scuba diving when we thought we were just getting to snorkel. What started out as a terrifying feeling trying to breathe under water turned into an amazing experience of exploring reef and sea life deep below where I’ve ever been before, thanks to some incredible lead divers refusing to let me give up. After relaxing for a bit at the Green Island we started the long sail back and this is where things took a turn. The sky was storming and the massive waves were knocking our sailboat in every direction. So where are we during all this…riding the front of the boat like a bunch of mad people holding on for dear life as the waves crash upon us!! It was an incredible experience unlike most. Where most people’s version of sailing the reef is calm and relaxing, we made the best of this dramatic weather and I wouldn’t change it if I could!
(no photos due to the possible capsizing of the boat!)
if you read the previous post you got the details of their most recent adventure to fraser island. here are all of the images that streamed in today for our viewing pleasure.
i don’t know about you but this looks like one of the most beautiful places they have had the opportunity to spend time at. from every account the people sound incredibly friendly and more than generous. oh to spend three incredible days on a small island – doing nothing but soaking in a fresh water ocean, hiking across sand dunes to an alluring lake and cooking food over a campfire with beautiful strangers.
desiree typed up this email to me as quick as she could to update us all. i wanted to share with you directly instead of rewriting. as i read this i could hear the glory in her voice. they are where they belong and having the time of their lives. meeting incredible people and seeing some of the most beautiful places in the world. as soon as more photos stream in i will do another post so we can all pretend we’re right there with them.
“Sooo we just got back from Frasier island. We stayed one night at Dingos on Rainbow Beach. Got up early in the morning and got assigned with 2 other couples from England… Kirsty, Steve, ALan and Kailey. They are ages 23-27 which is awesome because most people are super young here. We got assigned a 4 wheel drive car and had a group of 4 cars that drove to a beach and drove right up on a ferry that took us to the island. We drove along the 75 mile beach and a lot of it was intense 4 wheel driving.. super fun! Our first stop was Lake Mckenzie. It was the freshest water ever! It made all our skin soft and our hair smell really good =) and it was soooo blue and the sand was sooo white and soft. We got to hang out there for an hour or so and then we drove to the campsite. they have an outdoor kitchen area and fire pit. They have all your tents set up for you. Compared to the gagju bush camp we were at in Noosa it was a 5 star campsite. All of our guides are super awesome too. Our guides name is Brett-o.. he has been doing the frasier island tour for 18 years. He was hilarious! They provide all our food we just have to cook it.. it was fun to cook all together and eat almost like a big family. There are over 180 backpackers at the campground every night. They have an outdooor dance floor and eveyone can play their own music. The 2nd day we got up early and drove to see the ship wreck that crashed there when the japanese bought it and were towing it back to japan when a hurricane cut the tow rope and the ship crashed on the shore. Then we went to the champagne pools.. natural salt water pools.. it was beautiful! Then we hiked up to Indian Head and got the best view of the island. Came back and had dinner.. played card games and drank Goon (backpacker drink that is like boxed wine but stronger and cheaper) The last day we hiked 40 minutes to a sand dune with a lake in the middle of it and then got back on the ferry and came back to rainbow beach. We are here for a few hours and then we get on a bus to Arlie Beach..”