於是只好發展出自己的 Tramping Menu！
每日平均 $7-$10 (每一餐不到 $3！)，絕對夠我每趟旅程都吃得飽，又吃得爽！
習慣了這套 Menu 後，就不再花費多餘的心力在這上面了！
透過Te Araroa (The Long Pathway) 來體驗南到北的風景，
(雖然後來並沒有全程走完，but that's another story)
(雖然後來並沒有全程走完，but that's another story)
It seems that most people don't really know the Bali other than the one with its beautiful smooth beaches and vacation villas.
I had no idea that Bali was in fact such a mountainous island, consisting of 17 volcanoes, the highest being Mt Agung! (meaning "Great Mountain") at 3031m, that is already as high as the 100 peaks in Taiwan!
|[Bali from the sky! Now I recognize so many of the mountains, including Mt Rinjani of Lombok!]|
Over the past week, I've had the honor to attend a lifetime long friend's wedding in the Island of the Gods - Bali! I had no idea what to expect when I agreed to go. All I had in mind was that I was to be there for her on her special day. After everyone left when the wedding ended, I took a couple of days to explore the island by myself. Never did I imagine that I would experience such different Bali's:
There was the Paradise Bali.
The one with the beautiful and elegant wedding, with its opaque blue infinity pools, elegant contemporary simpleness, with dimly lit candle lights and soft dreamy music. The one with smooth black sand beaches and its perfect waves, laying under the equatorial sun with a glass of cocktail on a colorful beanbag chair. The one designed and constructed to live up to the paradise behind-the-desk people dream of having their vacation of a lifetime.
Then there was the Backpacker Bali.
The one with unpaved streets, roosters running wild, with its scattered temples of intrinsic stone carvings, its prayers and sacred offerings and traditional dancing. And I don't mean just its distinctive Hindu culture, there were also the Muslim villages and everything else "Indonesian". The one with its mountainous landscapes, godly volcanoes and reflective lakes, its lush jungles and its fisherman coasts.
Just for fun, I wanted to compare the pictures of my two very different journeys throughout this dynamic island set so uniquely in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago. It's just so interesting to see how different it gets once you leave the Paradise Bali in the south and head towards the Backpackers Bali everywhere else!
Finally, it has come to this day! Today is officially my last day in the North Island!!! I will be taking the bus from Hastings to Wellington tomorrow and finally crossing the Cook Strait to the South Island!
After a night of rest at an awesome holiday park in Harewa after departing the Taranki, today we stopped briefly at Stratford, saw the glockenspiel on mute (they say that there are sounds usually, but for some reason it wasn't performing right today), and took off on the Forgotten Highway - SH 43.
At the moment, I'm sitting in a beautiful house surrounded by fields and dense vegetation, somewhere in Kerikeri. Phil and Asia's place is just lovely!
I love the huge windows with the afternoon sun pouring in, all the birds singing somewhere near the house, the cool breeze coming in through open doors, the vibrant colors and cute little items, such as cups and teapots all around the house. This impromptu office I've set up for myself today is just too ideal!
Today is a day off after a few days of adventure since we left Whangarei, and I will be preparing to be on the road again tomorrow, exploring the rest of the Northland!
The last days in Whangarei were of relaxation and experimentation (in the kitchen), jumping in pools, taking long walks, playing with kids, watching movies, and just a lot of conversations!
But all these beaches! All these coasts and bays and pools and cold beer!! Whangarei has me believing that summer is just around the corner!
Finally, after weeks of working in Auckland and random exploration of places outside of the city, I have finally left the place behind, and have spent the last few days in the beautiful Whangarei district in Northland. Here I will try to catch up filling you in of everything that has been happening ever since I arrived in New Zealand! Starting with what's been happening this week in Whangarei!
Today marks the last day of my stay here in Singapore. Some would think that ten days here is too long for a holiday, others would think that it takes a life time to truly get to know this island-country (as with every city and every country).
It's truly been an amazing time for me here, especially since this is the country of my childhood, where I established my perspective for this world, where my values for the connection between urban life and the natural environment were built.
Throughout these few days, I've gotten to see the "typical" Singapore, the "past" Singapore from my memories, as well the super new cosmopolitan eye-blinding bling bling modern Singapore! I was SO amazed when passing the CBD district and Marina Bay for the first time after already spending an entire week here! How well my friend had me tucked away in the REAL Singapore, away from all the lights and buildings!
However, I may have been hanging around the "typical" Singapore environment, I have not been around "typical" Singaporeans. My friends have made this experience so much more unforgettable than I had ever thought.
I feel so blessed and lucky to have chosen to come to Singapore right now, when they are holding their SEA Games (already winning EIGHTY-TWO gold medals as of today!) as well as celebrating their SG50. It is also considered the rainy season now I think, so it's not as blazing hot and scorching everyday, but cloudy with a comfortable breeze all the time.
Here I'd like to list my own insignificant observations I've made over the past few days, however minute and probably only interesting to my own self. This is my idea of Singapore in 2015: (criticism and responses are welcome!)
[village in the clouds]
[on our way to Yaya Q-Parung]
It's been quite a while since I've given thought to the spiritual, at all, but being in what they call "上帝的部落", (or "Village in the Clouds"), I could feel the presence of a different kind of energy that draws visitors from far away, as well as the energy that their people is bound together by.
“For the sake of a few lines one must see many cities, men and things. One must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the small flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings which one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents that one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and one did not grasp it (it was joy for someone else); to childhood illness that so strangely began with a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars-and it is not enough if one may think all of this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labor, and of light, white, sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, one must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves-not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them.”― Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge