Welcome to Hotel Kerobokan.
Written by Kathryn Bonella, the co-author of Schapelle Corby’s autobiography (Schapelle Corby was convicted of smuggling 4.2kg of marijuana into Bali in her boogie board bag in 2004, which she insists was planted), this book paints a very vivid, mad, sickening picture of real life behind one of Bali’s most notorious prisons.
I anticipated a story of filth, violence and dark stories attached to mad prisoners trying to pass the boredom of their days in jail, but nothing could actually prepare me for this book.
In a country where drug-related crimes are taken seriously enough to warrant the death penalty, I was beyond shocked at the drug-fuelled inside of Hotel K. Those that ‘checked in’ clean were soon walking around in a smack induced haze, due to the availability and necessity of drugs in this jail. The corruption, violence, and twisted existence that is painted of the inside from the true stories of its’ inmates is almost unreal. Money rules above all else, and even with it you can be screwed over time and time again. It’s an unjust and cruel existence. There is no order. Everyone is in the same hell, from rapists to junkies to holiday makers having been set up for a drug bust. It is unnerving to say the least.
As disturbing as it is, I couldn’t put it down. I had to read each and every story and continue to be shocked by the goings on inside Hotel K. It was incredibly well written and so honest, I felt like I was there (except I could escape by putting the book down for a break!).
I’m glad it’s over. And I’m glad I read it. I am so grateful for my life and freedom and also COMPLETELY TERRIFIED for my upcoming holiday to Bali. I reckon I’m going to pack only a few bikinis in my hand luggage and sleep on it, just in case. Parents, make your teenagers read this book – they will never touch a drug or commit a crime in their lives. Guaranteed!
10/10, what an excellent book. I’m so happy to put it away and go outside to smell the lavender bushes and spend an hour in the bath and breathe in all the fresh air in the world, while hugging all my friends and family at once. Sheesh.
This was hands down one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Given some time to reflect in the stillness of one of the most spectacular sunrises, listening to the birds sing in the bushes around me, I can only marvel at my life decisions so far that have taken me to this specific moment. If there ever was an inspirational moment in life, this is it.
Botlierskop Private Game Reserve has recently launched a specialised 5 star luxury equestrian package for experienced riders and you can imagine how ecstatic I was to discover this. There are not many places which offer horse riding experiences that are more than a mindless walk/trot over the same trail that the poor pony has been trundling along for years. The quality of horses at Botlierskop is like no other – strong, sturdy, vibrant Boerperds with minds of their own – these are no trail “mules”.
I’m still wondering if this was all real or just a dream. Words cannot explain…
*Note: It really has been created for experienced riders only. The terrain is intense and the horses are not dumb trail ponies. They do also offer beginner/novice trail rides, though.
I have been known to suffer from carcolepsy myself…
*I have no idea where these images came from, but they’ve been shared all over the interwebs by various sources…
(Taken at Pringle Bay)
So Vital Health Foods has just brought Voost South Africa into the country and as part of their launch, they treated a few of us bloggers to a full Cape Town adventure day on Saturday and this was the agenda:
- Sand boarding in Hout Bay
- Visit to the Penguin Colony in Betty’s Bay
- Zip line tour in Hermanus
- Quad bike trail amongst the vineyards and olive plantations in Hermanus
In between was some beautiful coastal road driving and a hearty lunch in Hermanus… all in one day! They could not have picked a more perfect person for this adventure, if I do say so myself.
But this blog post is not to tell you about what I did that day, you probably don’t really care. It is to tell you that you can do it too, with an early rise, minimal planning and a whole lot of energy for the day.
Here’s a few pics of the day and what we got up to:
SA Forest Adventures were our guides for the day, so you can arrange something similar directly through them. (Ask for Eddy in Hermanus if you want the best time!)
How much can YOU fit into a day? (Hint: The answer is “however much you want to).
Inevitably, I needed a bit of Voost vitamin energy the next day to get out of bed, so well played Voost, well played…
*Side note: If you’d like to follow the other ladies who took part, see their Twitter handles below.
Let me take a quick break from exploring and adventuring to chat about life, quickly. (I suppose that is an adventure too, right?)
I have found myself recently in an Agony Aunt situation a lot. I am grateful that my friends think that I have my shit together enough to be the person that they come to when they need advice, someone to listen to their rants and to give them some no-bullshit truths. The truth is that I don’t really have anything new to say each time and I get it wrong most of the time too, but perhaps what I have to say is worth something to you. Maybe you have a light bulb moment too and change those things that keep niggling at your happiness…
You are your own worst enemy.
You try to convince yourself that doing what other people think you should do is the acceptable solution to a problem. You think that being alone means that you’re lonely. You think that someone else is going to fix you. You are afraid of yourself. You let people make you feel less than what you are really worth. You accept mediocrity. You take on others’ issues instead of working through your own.
Fuck that, dear readers, fuck that…
If you are unhappy, change something. No matter how small or unassuming you think it is, do something that just might change things. It might not, but there is only one way to find out. You are stronger than you think you are. You are more important than you think you are and you deserve to be happy, but you need to help yourself first.
Do what makes you happy, don’t care what other people think, keep working on yourself and make yourself better (you can quote me on this – I expect to see motivational posters of this all over Instagram tomorrow).
Well this is a fun concept! I was chatting to a friend the other day who loves online shopping because it feels like a surprise gift… except she knows what it is so it’s all a big FARCE.
Well, my pretties, Macaroon Collection has come out with just that concept to surprise gift yourself, for real: The Pretty Box. (I suppose you could gift it to someone else, but hang in here with me.)
This was my February box and I absolutely adore all of the goodies!
It’s good to spoil yourself sometimes.
Thanks Macaroon Collection, what a fun concept 🙂
If you follow me on Instagram, you are well aware that I have a pretty little (big) horse with whom I am utterly in love.
She is a ridiculous animal who manages to pull off a certain amount of elegance in her ridiculousness that I envy. I’ve had her for just over 2 years and have only recently gotten myself into the position to be able to play Pony-Pony with her almost every day. It’s amazing. And I’ll tell you why in this post.
The first thing that people ask you when they find out that you have a horse is “so what do you do with her; do you race, show jump, what’s that thing with the fancy jackets and fancy walking?” No. None of the above. Having a horse is more than participating in competitions where you jump over poles or do that fancy walking (it’s called dressage, by the way, and is actually a form of training that was developed into a competitive sport). It’s like having a really big, really expensive puppy that you can ride and explore with.
It’s a wild animal with the ability to perform at levels of far more intelligence and power than other animals and the ability to bond with humans (and other horses) on an emotional level (which is probably why it’s fairly female-dominated, due to us being the more emotive and nurturing of the sexes… side note).
Here is what this silly big creature has taught me about being a better human:
- Patience. Working with horses takes time. They have their own emotions and their own brains. You can’t rush them into behaving a certain way – you can only do what is right for them, taking into account their own baggage, and wait for that moment when it sticks.
- Dealing with frustration. You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make her cross it. Some horses are scared of water and mine happens to be one of those. She is stabled along a river, so we can’t really go anywhere until I figure out a way to get her to go near the river. Sigh. Getting angry doesn’t help. Thinking out of the box does. I’m on it.
- Unconditional love. A horse doesn’t care what you look like or what you’ve done in your past or that you really just want to run away from your desk and learn to surf in the middle of the day. She just doesn’t care. She loves you even if you’ve got a massive volcano pimple on your forehead and are wearing a holy T-shirt that you slept in.
- Leave the ego behind. Being a wild animal, she doesn’t have an ego. She doesn’t care what the male horse next door thinks of her running up and down the fence trying to get to him – she wants his man-bits and is not ashamed to show it! A new mare comes into the yard and she will chase her away if she gets too close – she runs the show there and is not afraid to say so.
- Getting dirty is the most fun. It’s more fun when you get sweaty and dirty. Proven fact.
- Keeping fit is essential. You just need to leave a horse unexercised for a while and see their physique get saggy and their behaviour change for the worst. A grumpy horse is no fun and also dangerous. So is a grumpy human. Exercise is essential to a healthy body and mind.
- Trust. When you’re riding an animal that weighs at least half a ton, you learn to develop a trust relationship. If you don’t trust your horse, you will never be able to do all the fun stuff and will land up just walking her around while sitting on top like a sack of potatoes, waiting to be thrown off. If your horse doesn’t trust you, she will never have the confidence to do the fun stuff either, and you’ll likely be thrown off and land on your pip.
- Honesty. A horse cannot lie. It’s the most honesty you will ever find in this world.
So no, I don’t race her, I don’t jump her over poles in competitions and I don’t make her do ‘fancy walking’ in return for a ribbon. I work with her every day to teach her something new, to teach myself something new, to love and be loved unconditionally in return.
It’s been far too long since I’ve blogged, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing fun stuff, I’ve just been struggling to find more hours in the day to fit it all in and then blog about it too! It sometimes feels like I need to get out of the cage a bit and who am I to deny my own self its’ freedom? Right.
One of my recent adventures has been to Crystal Pools in Steenbras Nature Reserve (near Gordon’s Bay). It’s a short hike (under and hour and quite an easy one) and you are rewarded with crystal clear natural pools straight out of a National Geographic magazine.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, there are quite a few rocks that you can jump off into the pools. You can start off with a 3 metre one, just to test the waters so to speak and then progress to higher ones until you reach your fear limit.
The highest jump is 30 metres, but be careful as anything higher than 20 metres can be really dangerous, even fatal, if jumped incorrectly! I stopped at 8 metres so that I don’t damage my already problematic back. The fear is real, people, even at a safe height, it’s a mind-over-matter battle. Quite ridiculous, really…
These guys below are standing just below the 30m jumping spot… whose keen?
You’ll need to buy a permit beforehand at R60 before they’ll let you in, so email your name, group size, contact number and date you wish to visit the area to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to obtain these. You’ll have to print it out and take with you on the day.