Travel Stories Week 52
What's your favourite place you have visited?
Ohhhh what a tough question! I would have to say Kuching in Malaysian Borneo was my favourite place to visit. There are so many beautiful rainforest areas so close to Kuching and it was the perfect jump off point to immerse myself in nature. I was able to see Orangutans the ethical way at Semenggoh Nature Reserve which was so amazing. I spent overnight in a run down wooden bungalow in Bako National Park, saw the wild endangered Proboscis Monkey and trekked around the secluded forest. I found an abandoned bus covered in trees near Damai Beach. And the food was incredibly tasty!
What’s the best thing you have seen while travelling?
Definitely the blue flames inside the crater of the active volcano Mt Ijen in Indonesia. I started my trek at 12:30am up the side of the volcano. It was pitch black, incredibly steep, and was the hardest thing I’ve put my body through so far. It was dangerous going down into the crater because the path isn’t wide, it’s very rocky and I had to wear a gas mask because of the toxic fumes but I wasn’t going to give up! I had a guide who was an ex sulphur miner and was so kind and helpful. I learnt so much from him as to how the miners work, what they go through and how little money they get from such labour intensive work. It was a life changing experience. I also watched the sunrise at the top of the crater which was so emotional for me.
What’s your best travel story?
I was trying to save money so decided to get this local bus from Denpasar in Bali to the Gilimanuk ferry that would then take me over to the island of Java, oh what an experience it was! Haha.
I got myself to Ubung Bus Terminal on the back of a motorcycle from Ubud and found what tourists called a “chicken bus” which is just a small mini bus primarily for local people.
There were no seatbelts, the door stayed open the whole way, people smoked and I was the only tourist for the entire journey. The driving was all over the place and he overtook cars on bends that we wouldn’t even dare to do back in Australia! I feared for my life a few times haha. Passengers got on randomly along the 4 hour journey with cages of roosters and chickens, I saw a cage of budgies get on too, there were elderly women, families, single men, it was wild but everyone was so friendly! No one spoke English but there was always the universal warmth of a smile. An elderly lady got on the bus and said hello to me, then she got off the bus and said hello again. How adorable! It was the only English word she knew.
I’ll always remember that bus journey and thankfully I’m still alive to tell the tale!
Tell us about your blog
I started my blog, Nat Wanderlust, only this year as people kept on asking me for tips on places I’d been. I’m an Australian female solo traveller who’s vegan and loves DIY travel instead of organised tours. So if you want to know how to get from A to B in primarily South East Asia, I can help you!
I love climbing active volcanoes, exploring abandoned hotels and abandoned theme parks, seeing the local wildlife, being alone in foreign rainforests and getting off the beaten track.
My Instagram account I’ve had for much longer as I love photography and documenting what and who I see on my journeys.
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