I’m still in Indonesia but we’ve moved from Bali to Lombok. We’ve based ourselves on the north of the island on the coast and we’re dialling up the relaxation a notch.
I captured the sunset a few moments ago, looking out towards the Gili Islands.
We will head over to the Gilis on Thursday and see if we can snorkel with the giant turtles here.
I climbed Mount Batur again this morning to watch the sun rise.
We set out from our accommodation in Ubud just after 0200 and arrived at the base of Batur just over an hour later. Our ascent took less time than it did last year, but it definitely felt more challenging. Our guide was a 19 year old Balanese guy called Dede who was working as a mountain guide to fund his studies in Denpasar and sometimes ascended Batur twice a day. Perhaps some of his energy transferred to us and encouraged us to make the ascent faster than we would have done.
We climbed to the top crater this year – we didn’t make it to this level last year – and we sat waiting for the sun to rise over Bali. The sky was wonderfully clear and we were even able to see Mt Rinjani on Lombok from our crater vantage point.
Once the sun had risen, we climbed up and around the crater rim. This climb was mainly on hands and knees and the exposure managed to turn a few other crater climbers back – the crater rim is steep sided and steam rises gently from open vents in the inner crater wall making the narrow track damp and slippery in places.
The descent was just as challenging as our ascent, sharp volcanic rock rolled underfoot as we slowly picked our way down through the narrow channels created by the hundreds who make the journey to the summit of Batur every day.
We are currently travelling in Indonesia.
Last summer we climbed an active volcano on Bali, Mount Batur, from the top of which we saw an incredible sunrise. This year we will return to climb Batur once again.
Yesterday we visited a few temples around Ubud. I always like to find places that are remote and that attract few tourists; I’ve always been this way. Finding places like that in Ubud is pretty challenging, but sometimes it’s the journey to the places rather than the places themselves that are most beautiful.
A very good friend of mine pointed out last week that I’ve not posted anything to my blog since 2016, so this one is for you Gav.
I’m back in Wales at my parents place for Christmas. It’s always nice to come home and to see family, especially around this time of year.
I have brought my camera with me and have decided that I want to take on a photography project whilst I’m here, the idea for which came to me a few weeks ago when I went to see Kris Roe from the Ataris play in Kingston, London. If you’re familiar with the Ataris, you’ll know that many of their songs focus on growing up.
I’ve decided to visit the many places that I used to hang out when I was growing up and take photographs of these places at different times throughout the year. I’ll then put together a short slideshow that I can share with the friends that I had the pleasure of growing up with.
Watch this space…
Sunset over West London
I’ve been experimenting recently with capturing the sun setting near my home in London. We are lucky to live close to the Thames on a lovely reach of the river between Barnes and Chiswick. As the sun sets to the west the Thames path is bathed in a beautiful light. Here’s one of my favourite shots to date.
As part of my “procrastinate less” theme that I wanted to put into play this year, I went out and bought myself a new camera, and with it rekindled my love of photography. I went for a Canon 6D and paired it with a 24-105 L lens – I’m very pleased with it so far.
Yesterday was a wintery Saturday, cold blue skies and just enough cloud to provide interesting views for shooting. I went for a walk up a hill not too far away and tried to capture the best of colours offered by the afternoon.
I don’t know where January, February and March went.
I’ve been busy travelling, getting engaged, fixing my damaged shoulder and getting our new apartment straight, so haven’t had a chance to write much. Instead of getting into a long post here, I’ll make this first post of 2014 a round up of the things I think are pretty cool right now:
Sitting at a desk all day sucks. I mean it. It really sucks. What’s more, it’s killing us. I like my job, but I don’t like sitting down all day. I never realised how much damage sitting was doing until I started strength training with some conviction. I have tight hamstrings and hip flexors – the implications of this are when I try to perform a loaded movement, for example an 70kg back squat, the potential for injury is significant because my movement patterns are not as they should be.
I managed to tweak my knee a few weeks ago just by squatting. I bought Becoming a Supple Leopard by Doctor of Physical Therapy, Kelly Starrett a while ago and have spent a lot of time reading through it recently. I bought myself a foam roller from My Protein and a couple of lacrosse balls from Again Faster and I’m using them to work on loosening off muscles and fix my areas of tightness.
I’m also a lot more conscious of how I’m sitting at work and at home and am making a real effort to “get organised” – you’ll need to grab yourself a copy of the book or check out some of Starrett’s videos to see how.
I’ve been reading this book on the way to and from work. I look forward to my commutes just so I can read a bit more. It’s full of fascinating insights into how and why we as a race will overcome challenges of the future.
Ridley takes an in depth look at how we’ve arrived at where we are today and presents his ideas with clarity and meaning.
A very good read.
As part of my ongoing conquest for increased mobility and my interest in gymnastic movements, I recently bought the GB Starter Pack from Gymnastic Bodies. I’ve only worked through the first few progressions, but I’m very pleased with the purchase so far. The course is delivered entirely online and includes both videos and photographs of what “mastery” looks like. Well worth a look.
Until next time.