Sunday, November 12, 2006

Long-awaited rainy season clearly arrives as we finally have some rain in Jakarta. This certainly brings risk of floods, horrible traffic jams caused by massive rainfalls, need for an umbrella etc. which all is obviously nothing fun. Fortunately, there are some positive aspects of heavy rains such as less pollution after the rain or cooler weather. Strangely, I've always had strong interest in extreme weather especially strange cloud formations. I'm often amazed with storms that I can observe in Jakarta and I'm pretty sure there will be lots of opportunities to shoot some interesting pictures over this rainy season. I'll try to post it on my blog if I have something interesting.

Anyway, there is something strange about me that relates to the rain. All important events in my life (including my wedding this year) were accompanied by rain. The wedding was especially interesting as hotel already prepared outdoor wedding ceremony at the beach, but frankly speaking I was already sure it will rain for the ceremony, thus I've already asked about the possibility of moving everything indoor if it rains. Not surprisingly, it started to rain just before the ceremony and we had to move everything indoor. Rain can be seen as either a blessing or a curse, and it is up to us to determine which way we will perceive it. Fortunately, in my culture rain means blessing thus I take it positively and simply look forward to see what rain brings me.

Anyway, I browsed through my photos and found one photo that I've been trying to find for quite some time.

I took it at Lovina (North Bali) while swimming around the coast and trying to shoot some photos of Dolphins, which as you can see on the photos below, was quite successful.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Recently I've been on a very short holidays to North Sulawesi, to be precise the Siau island. It is rather remote area as it takes 7-8 hours by ferry from Manado to get there - it is very close to the Philippines. I must say it is an amazing place that offers multiple tourist attractions such as incredible white sand beaches, amazing ocean life, active volcano, hot springs, great seafood and lots of incredible views. Unfortunately, the place is poorly developed and there is not a single hotel available and not a single restaurant. However, it is possible to stay with local family who can offer room and cook meals, yet don't expect air-conditioning or European style toilet. I also have to mention that there are so few tourists travelling to Siau that every tourist who manages to get there becomes local tourist attraction. Fortunately, locals are extremely friendly and very helpful, just stay calm, smile and wave when everyone gathers to look at you. I also have to mention that there are no souvenirs sellers, thus you can truly enjoy your holiday just laying down on the beach and not having to explain every 10 minutes that you already have bought enough souvenirs. Was it worth to travel by ferry 8 hours to get there? Judge yourself looking at my travel photos from Siau.

I had a great holiday and the place was simply incredible. Indonesia is a truly beautiful country.

Note: If you plan to travel to Siau I can provide contact information to families offering rooms for tourists, just drop me an e-mail. I've been staying there with one family and really enjoyed it. I had a fresh fish every day, could go fishing with the house owner, boating around the bay, also the house owner's friend was my driver and tourist guide around the island. Overall the family provided a great service for extremely low fee.

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