There was a little incident on a boat trip while we were in Donggala. One of the German guides was to accompany us on a day trip to two dive sites across the bay. Paul was a tad disappointed it wasn’t one of the Indonesian guides because the German tended to get quite cross with him, for example, for failing to provide a running commentary on his air supply. Her mantra was “The dive is my responsibility, I am the guide” and when it’s said over and over again in a German accent it can get a bit tedious to a fairly experienced diver (particularly as he seemed to be unfairly singled out for this sort of treatment – he is neither reckless nor irresponsible). And anyone that knows the Wooky will know he doesn’t take too kindly to being told what to do by anyone. Ever. Me, I was tolerating a lot of hectoring, given my novice status, happy to accept any advice thrown in my general direction.
We jointly (and severally) made some rookie mistakes when packing what we now deem to be useless items or simply too much. We also harboured what we now realise to be pretty unrealistic ambitions as to what our current capabilities are. Not to put too fine a point on it we have had a reality check.
Our plan was always to spend a couple of weeks at our favourite dive resort in Central Sulawesi (Prince John Dive Resort, Donggala) but it’s popular so we were thrilled they had room for us at a time that fit in with our, as yet, vague itinerary.
The visas are in the bag (60 days for Indonesia), Dawn has finished work and bade a bittersweet farewell to friends and colleagues amidst a haze of alcohol (twice); the flat has been emptied, cleaned and vacated, and the last long and seemingly endless journey from Melbourne to Adelaide has been endured.
The email we had been waiting for with baited breath arrived last Friday night at about midnight. I was in bed, asleep. For months now my nights have been spent hovering on the threshold of sleep with one eye open on my inbox. I was exhausted. But, as had become my nocturnal habit, in the early hours of Saturday morning, I roused myself fully awake and checked my email.
Sitting there in my inbox were two emails we had been waiting for since the end of June. One from our lawyer and another from our agent both advising contracts had been exchanged with completion set for a week later. I drowsily muttered something to that effect to the Wooky, then turned over and promptly went back to sleep.
A few weeks ago I arrived home a little tipsy after a work function in the city. I found the Wooky sitting on the sofa drinking vodka (not beer) with a determined look on his face. I listened while he informed me he had decided enough was enough and he was cutting down on pies and cake and beer (hence the vodka). He also announced that he thought we should join a gym. I needed some of his vodka to process this information.
This was a vaguely contentious issue between us which has been largely resolved. The Wooky was an old school traveller and his mantra is “we’ll just turn up and see what happens”. Before we set off in August 2012 he argued that once we headed off on our journey we no longer needed the tools to be connected. We didn’t need a phone or access to the internet. We could send the odd postcard home (like that was ever going to happen) and, clutching the latest copy of whatever guidebook you consider your bible, turn up at hostels ad hoc and get a room. Basically make it up as we go along.
When heading off to strange lands it is sensible to give some thought to keeping safe and retaining your cash and belongings. No-one wants to fall foul of the latest scam, have the misfortune to be the victim of a mugging or a pickpocket, or find themselves involved in an accident while attempting to travel from A to B.
The Wooky’s Story
In February 2013 we went on a snorkelling trip in the Con Dao Islands in Vietnam. We shared the boat with a couple of divers who surfaced from the deep with tales of an amazing underwater world of huge fish and amazing coral and the Wooky decided he wanted some of that.
Several weeks later he had embarked on his PADI Open Water course with a German outfit in Sihanoukville, followed by the Advanced Open Water which he combined with a liveaboard trip (which we liked so much we went on a second a few days later).
The Wooky then proceeded to jump in the water with a tank on his back at every opportunity and another obsession was born.
But it wasn’t easy… Continue reading
It is the middle of September 2015 and we are reaching the limits of our patience.
The house was put on the market in May and we are at the mercy of that uncertain process. We cannot make any firm plans, book flights, enrol on courses never mind hazard a guess at when we might land back in the UK for a whirlwind visit before heading off again. We remain in suspended animation until we exchange contracts.