844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Go East Young Man (Bali, Indonesia)

For a revised version of this post, go here

March 11th, 2009 - I will finally leave Bali......probably. Miracles do happen. I am heading east to Nusa Tenggara, the arc of eastern islands that stretches toward northern Australia. Lombok will be the first stop. I am hoping to head straight to the base of Mt. Rinjani to begin a 3-5 day climb up the volcano but the beach may thwart my plan.  I am a little skittish about the climb since I've engaged in very little physical activity over the past month. I've gone south.

I am also a little skittish about leaving Bali. The adventure factor is a certainly diminished here but the ease of travel and worry free environment will be hard to beat. As I mentioned these are some of the nicest people I have ever come across. 

In theory the Hindu concept of karma goes a long way toward keeping the less appealing human traits in check. But once I leave here karma may or may not run smack into dogma (i.e. more fundamental elements of Islam). My shiny Harley Davidson-esque motorcycle does nothing to make the transition easier. Might as well as paint a bullseye on my face.

Most of the rest of Indonesia (to include Lombok) is Muslim and I am uncertain as to how Captain America (i.e. me) will be received. For the moment I guess I am Canadian. If that does not work maybe screaming, "Allah loves Barack Obama" will have the desired effect. We shall see.

For the most part my impressions of Bail (Ubud in particular) are positive. I was a bit disappointed at first by the level of development, especially the traffic, but after awhile disappointed turned to lethargic content (fed by limitless daytime naps and short motorcycle rides through the countryside). There is a lot to see, much of it perhaps not so obvious. Time is necessary to get a feel for the place and allow one a chance to see what most others may miss. Still you cannot avoid the tourist trappiness of the island.

This is place is filled with all kinds of interesting people from all over the world. To sit at a dinner table with individuals representing four different continents is commonplace. People come here for all different kinds of reasons. Many are looking to 'find themselves', write a book, set up a business, find a wife, blah friggin blah. So if I were to tell someone that I was thinking of writing a book and looking to discover the true nature of my inner self I think the appropriate reply would be, "Join the club asshole!". Finding one's self is a bit of a cliche in this place (particularly in Ubud). Trying to be original is unoriginal.

And then there is the quirkiness, like when someone decides it is a good idea to a park a vehicle right behind your motorcycle forcing you to lift the back end in order to get out (I never did get a chance to finger the culprit). Or the individuals at Bailmode (my visa assistance agency) that throw the f-bomb around like we are having a contest even in front of clients. (My fault, oops). Also the random PS2 signs I see now and then that let me know I can find a Playstation 2 if I need to get my gaming fix. Good thing. I'm a f***ing monster without my PS2.

Seriously? You can't get any closer?

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'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim