Monkeying Around the World

Monkeying Around the World

Lil Dave’s Adventures with Ivan and Jennifer

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Southend

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up around 10 am on September 21, 2009.  We had breakfast. 

We chilled in the house.  Ivan and Jen played the Wii.  I was chatting with my dad telling him about our trip.

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You know people often comment that I look like my dad – but I just don’t see it myself.

Ivan’s mum cooked lunch.  I had a banana and honey sandwich.  Ivan and Jen had some salad, sesame burgers and quorn.

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Ivan’s parents drove us to Hadleigh Castle.  We saw the ruins of an old castle.  We walked around the area.  It’s really beautiful up there, and was a really nice area to walk around.

We had dinner at the house cooked by Ivan’s mum. 

Ivan, Jennifer and I had breakfast at the house on September 22, 2009. 

We had lunch at the house cooked by Ivan’s mum.

I worked on the blog.  Ivan and Jennifer played some games on the Wii. 

Ivan, Jennifer, me, and Ivan’s parents drove around the Garrison.  Its a part of Southend where the Army have a base.

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We walked along East Beach.  It was a nice day out.

Ivan’s dad drove us to the garden center for tea.  I had some banana tea with a banana tea cake. 

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Ivan had English Breakfast while Jennifer had a Chai tea.

We chilled at the house and used the internet.

Ivan’s parents went out for the night.  We walked to the Barn Pub to meet Ivan’s brother Neal.  We had some Rose wine and chatted.  I had banana and chips. 

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Ivan and Jen shared a baked potato and curried chicken nuggets.  Awhile later, we went back to the house and drank some more Rose wine.

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Perfect Sushi

Ivan, Jennifer and I walked into Chinatown on September 19, 2009.  Ivan had some amazing fish asam laska. 

We walked to Nando’s for lunch.  Ivan and Jen each got a tasty chicken burger.  I had a banana and chicken pita. 

We went to the mall.  I watched E.T. on Ivan’s ipod.  Ivan and Jennifer watched the movie A Perfect Getaway.  It was a good movie. 

We chilled in the hotel for awhile.

We got a taxi to Cafe Cafe.  This was our third visit to this great French restaurant.  Ivan and Jen started off with a great Portobello mushroom with ricotta cheese.  I had a nice banana risotto. 

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Ivan and Jen shared the chicken breast and the salmon.  For dessert, we ordered a chocolate cake with a scoop of ice cream.  We had the chef put in a special message in the chocolate.

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The cake was delicious!

We hopped in a taxi headed to the Hilton Hotel.  We went to the Zeta Bar.  Too3K was playing.  This is a great cover band we saw last time we were in KL.  We danced a lot.  We loved that they played I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas. 

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The drinks weren’t as good as last time.  The bartenders would forget to add certain things like the chocolate shavings in the chocolate martini.  Ivan got them to add it.  A bar manager came over and apologized about the drinks and brought us some free drinks.  We had lots of fun dancing the night away.

Ivan, Jennifer and I went to the Saisaki Japanese buffet on September 20, 2009. 

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The selection wasn’t as good as the location in the Sunway Pyramid.  It was really crowded and noisy.  But, we got our sushi fix.  I had tons of banana sashimi. 

We packed everything up.  We checked out of the 5 Elements Hotel.

Ivan flagged a taxi down.  We rode to the airport.  We boarded the plane around 5 pm headed to England.

We slept some on the plane.  Ivan and Jen watched things on the laptop.  The flight was 13 hours long.  The plane arrived at 11:10 pm.

Ivan’s parents picked us up at the airport.  We drove to their house in Southend.  I was so happy to be reunited with my dad Big Dave. We both knew we had so much catching up to do.

Ivan and Jen were getting tired.  We ended up going to bed around 2:40 am.

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KL Shopping

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up at 4:30 am on September 17, 2009.  We walked to wait for the coach that was taking us to the airport.  It arrived 25 minutes late.  The ride to the airport took an hour and a half.

Jennifer got stopped because her name didn’t match her visa.  She wasn’t sure why they didn’t notice that when we arrived in Australia.  The lady asked her what her occupation was.  She said mime and the lady didn’t even crack a smile at all. Obviously Australians have NO sense of humour!

People often ask me what my surname name is. Its ‘Monkey’. First name is Dave – middle name is ‘The’…surname is Monkey.

I slept on the plane for awhile.  Ivan and Jen watched Weeds, the movie Adventureland and a great movie called Mum and Dad.  The 8 hour flight went by pretty fast.

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur around 3 pm.  We got a taxi to the hotel. 

We checked in to the 5 Elements Hotel in Chinatown.  The room is very modern, but the bathroom wasn’t anything special.  We all had a nice hot shower.

We went to Nando’s for dinner.  I got a banana and chicken kebab.  Ivan got the chicken burger.  Jennifer had the chicken pita. 

We got a taxi to the Mid Valley mall.  We shopping for a bit.  We went back to hotel in a taxi.

Sorry for the lack of photos, some of photos got corrupted.

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Ivan, Jennifer and I had lunch in Chinatown on September 18, 2009.  Ivan and Jennifer had noodles with chicken.  I had some noodles with bananas.

We got a taxi to Plaza Low Yat.  We went shopping in there for computer accessories.  It started raining. 

We walked to Sungei Wang for more shopping.  Jennifer got a facial and wax done.  Ivan and I shopped during her facial.  Jennifer got a haircut as well. 

We walked to Times Square Mall.  Ivan and Jennifer bought a few Baby Milo t-shirts.

For dinner, we went to Tamarind Hill.  It’s an overpriced Thai restaurant.  Ivan and Jennifer started off with the prawn and chicken sticks.  They thought it would be kebabs, but they were deep fried in a rice paper wrapping.  The sticks didn’t have much flavor.  The service was super slow here.  It took over 10 minutes to get our drink order.  Ivan and Jen shared the mango and salmon soup which had a nice broth.  I had banana pad thai which was okay.  Ivan and Jennifer shared the pandan pesto chicken and the very plain cod.  The design of the restaurant was nice.  But, we didn’t have good service and the food wasn’t anything special. It was overall a pretty terrible meal.

We got a taxi back to the hotel and went to bed.

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A Cafe and a Brewery Tour

Ivan, Jennifer and I had breakfast in the hostel on September 15, 2009.  We checked out of Calypso Inn Backpackers.  We chilled at the hostel for awhile.

We got the free bus into town.  We all had wraps at the mall.  We walked around town for a bit.  We got the bus back to the hostel.

Jennifer ordered a taxi to pick us up.  The taxi drove us to the airport.  We boarded the plane headed towards Brisbane.  It was an hour and a half flight.

We took the Skytrain to Central Station.  We took the wrong exit out of the station.  Then, Ivan couldn’t find the hostel.  Jennifer and I waited while Ivan ran around to find the hostel.

We checked in to X Base.  Ivan thought the location was really good.  The room was stuffy with bad air conditioning like last time.  So, we got a room on the roof.  It came with a fan but it wasn’t very good.  It got cool when we left the window open.  One downside was walking across the roof to the bathroom. 

For dinner, we walked to Gunshop Cafe.  The restaurant has great design. 

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Ivan and Jen shared the tasty house dips.  I had a banana and chicken dish with a creamy sauce.  Ivan had a great snapper.  Jennifer had a plain gnocchi in a tomato sauce with goats cheese.  Sorry, we had a problem with our memory card so some of the pictures got corrupted.

We walked back to the hostel. 

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There was a nice view walking on the bridge.

Ivan, Jennifer and I walked around the city on September 16, 2009.  Jennifer wasn’t feeling so good.  We took the train to Milton Station. 

We walked to the Castlemaine Brewery.  We were doing a brewery tour

Our guide walked us through the brewery.  We learned about the process of beer making.  We also learned about the ingredients.  Australians add sugar to their beer because of the climate.  If they didn’t add it, the beer would make them sick to their stomach.  At the end of the tour, we saw the bottles on the packing line.  They bottles were labelled and then packed up for shipping.  It was cool to see.  The tour was very interesting.

At the end, we were allowed to get four different beers.  Ivan and Jen each got to pour a beer from the tap. 

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I had a great banana beer.  I thought it would have been a lot better without the beer.  It distracts the drinker from the essential flavors of the bananas.  Ivan and Jen tried some beers, but they couldn’t finish them.  They shared some naughty fries.

We got the train back to Central Station.  We chilled in the hostel and used the internet for awhile.

We walked to Wagamama for dinner.  We all had some noodles.  They were not too bad tasting. After the meal we walked back to the room.

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A Movie and Balinese food

Ivan, Jennifer and I had lunch at Fusion Organics on September 14, 2009.  Ivan and Jennifer each had a sandwich with chicken and avocado. 

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I had a banana, mango and chicken sandwich.  The food was good, but it wasn’t a big portion.

Ivan and Jen watched Funny People.  I watched The Jungle Book on Jen’s iPod.  They thought the movie was interesting and a little funny.  We took a taxi back to the hostel.

We all used the internet for awhile.

We started walking towards town.  Ivan and Jen noticed a Balinese restaurant.  We sat down at Bayleaf Restaurant for dinner.  It was a nice restaurant with reasonable prices.  Ivan and Jen started off with a salad.  I had some banana pepes. 

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Ivan and Jen shared the fish with a lovely sauce and chicken pepes.  The food was great.  Ivan and Jen thought the fish was delicious.

We walked into town.  We stopped by at Gilligans, but nothing was going on there.  We walked to the Wool Shed.  There was an entrance fee of $5.  We didn’t really feel like going in so we walked back to the hostel.

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Cairns

Ivan, Jennifer and I had breakfast in the hostel on September 12, 2009.  We checked out of Absolute Backpackers.  We chilled and used the internet at the hostel.

Ivan walked to Woolworths to buy some food for lunch.  Ivan and Jennifer had the tasty salmon and marinated eggplant again.  I had a banana sandwich.

The Oz Experience bus picked us up shortly after 1:30 pm.  We had a small bus and it was filled with mostly girls.

We stopped at a Crocodile farm.  Most of the group went inside, but some people were boring and decided not to do the crocodile farm.  First off, we saw the kangaroos.  We got to feed and pet them. 

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The kangaroos are used to humans.  They’re really cute!

Next, a guy showed us the crocodiles.  A different guy fed them.  The crocodiles are really big.  The workers feed the crocodiles if they come get it. 

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Otherwise, they don’t get food.  They can last months without food.

At the end, people were allowed to hold a baby crocodile.  It’s mouth is taped shut. 

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Ivan got to hold it.  Jennifer and I didn’t want to hold the crocodile.  I guess we were a little scared.  Jennifer saw that the tape was a bit unravelled.

We got back on the bus headed to Cairns.  The bus dropped us off at Calypso Inn Backpackers Resort.  We checked in there.

We took the free bus into town that is provided by the hostel.  It was dinnertime, so we walked to Fetta’s Greek Restaurant.  We heard there would be plate smashing.  Ivan and Jennifer started off with three dips: takziki, eggplant and hummus.  Ivan ordered the Mousaka Vegetable. 

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Jennifer got the baby snapper in a lemon sauce.  The snapper had too many bones and not much flavor.  I had a greek salad with bananas.  The food was okay. My bananas were a bit bland – not much banana flavour. A waiter kept smashing plates on the floor.  Ivan and Jennifer wanted to smash them as well.  But, I guess the employees were the only ones allowed to do it.  A belly dancer danced around the room. She was going up to random guys and getting them to dance with her – we all avoided eye contact so that she wouldn’t pick us!

We walked to the Wool Shed Bar.  It was too early, so the place was pretty empty. We got a taxi back to the hostel.

Ivan, Jennifer and I went eat at Perottas at The Gallery on September 13, 2009.  Ivan had the smoked salmon panino.  I had a banana and chicken panino.  Jennifer had a tuna panino.  The paninos were rather small and tasted okay.

We went to Movenpick for ice cream.  Ivan and Jen had some sorbet.  I had banana ice cream.  It was really creamy!

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We walked to the lagoon.  We didn’t go in the water since it was an overcast day.  We walked around town and checked out the shops. 

We sat in the park area near the lagoon.  There was a reggae band playing.  We read our magazines for awhile.

In the evening, we went to the movie theatre.  I watched Space Chimps on Ivan’s iPod.  Ivan and Jen watched 500 Days of Summer.  They thought it was a good movie.

We went to the Wool Shed Bar for dinner.  Ivan and Jen had a cheap chicken and potato meal.  I had a nice spaghetti dish with bananas.  The bar was having a Blind Date game.  There was a single man and he three girls to choose from.  He couldn’t see what they looked like.  So, he had to decide if he liked them by asking them questions.  It was pretty funny.  There was another game, but this time it was a single girl.

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Ivan and Jennifer had lots of wine.  They danced for hours.  The music was really good.  A lot of people were dancing on the tables.

We took a taxi back to the hostel.  Everybody was tired, so we went to sleep.

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Mission Beach

Ivan, Jennifer and I checked out of Magnums Backpackers on September 10, 2009. 

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We took a ferry to Townsville at 8:25 am.  Then, we met the Oz Experience bus.  We got on the bus around 9:15 am, but we left around 9:30 am.  Our driver was named Straight.  We stopped for lunch.  We had fish at a cafe.  We arrived in Mission Beach at 1:30 pm.

We checked in to Absolute Backpackers.  We walked to Woolworths to get lunch. 

Ivan and Jennifer went swimming in the pool.  I chilled on a lounge chair and soaked up the sun.

We walked to Nana Thai for dinner.  Ivan got the jungle curry while Jennifer got the hokkien noodles with chicken. 

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I had the chicken and banana pad thai.  Jennifer’s dish was okay while Ivan and I had a good meal.

Ivan, Jennifer and I had breakfast at the hostel on September 11, 2009.  Ivan and Jennifer had cheerios with soy milk and some of my bananas.  I wasn’t too pleased that they used my bananas.  But, at least I still have my emergency banana stash. 

We all fell asleep for a few hours until 2:45 pm.  We walked to the beach to find some lunch.  It’s a shame that we couldn’t find anything.  It was way too hot to continue walking.  So, we went back to the hostel.

Ivan went to Woolworths to get lunch.  I had a bananas with rice and vegetables.  Ivan and Jennifer had tasty wheat wraps with Thai fish.

We chilled by the pool again.  Ivan and Jen swam around.  I ran around the pool and laid down on a lounger.

Ivan and Jennifer watched a movie called Acolytes.  It’s an Australian movie.  It was a bit weird.

We wanted to eat at an Italian restaurant nearby.  But, it was too pricey.  We walked to Woolworths to get food.  I had a pizza with my bananas on top.  Ivan and Jennifer had some yummy salmon and marinated eggplant. 

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Magnetic Island

Ivan, Jennifer and I checked out of Magnums on September 8, 2009.  We walked to the bus station.  We picked up a Premier bus to Townsville.  The bus ride was 3 hours long.

We got a taxi to the ferry station.  The ferry took only 20 minutes to arrive in Magnetic Island.

We got the bus to Magnums Backpackers.  We checked in there. 

We walked to a store to buy some food.  I stocked up on bananas.  Ivan and Jennifer bought food for lunch.

I had a banana sandwich.  Ivan and Jen had tasty veggie patties with baba ghanoush.

The hostel has a nice pool.  I chilled on a lounge chair while Ivan and Jennifer went swimming. 

There’s a jumping pillow available for the kids.  It’s a big trampoline.  We all went jumping on it.  A little girl was on it.  She kept jumping and telling Ivan and Jen to jump more.  I kept flying into the air really high.  It was lots of fun jumping on it – but very tiring as well.

We saw some tame birds in the sitting area.  The birds didn’t seem to mind people and came very close to us.  The lady at the front desk gave Ivan some old sausages.  Ivan and Jen fed the birds sausages. 

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They really liked it! 

We were all tired, so we took a nap.

Ivan walked around to find food.  Unfortunately, everything was already closed at 8 pm.  He bought snacks at the hostel’s bar.  I had two bananas for my dinner. 

That night, we watched tv and then went to bed early.

Ivan walked to rent a moke on September 9, 2009.  A moke is a really small car.  Ivan got a blue moke named Scooby Doo.

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We all hopped into the moke.  Ivan wanted to explore the island.  Ivan drove to a restaurant for breakfast.  I can’t remember the name.  It’s known for having good breakfast dishes.  I had a banana and vegetable omelet. 

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Ivan and Jennifer shared the muesli and an egg and vegetable dish.  It was delicious food!

Ivan drove us around more.  We went to Horseshoe Bay.  We all ordered a smoothie.  The smoothies were alright, a little too thick though.  We chilled on a bench on the beach while drinking our smoothies.

Ivan stopped at a convenience store.  He bought some wallaby food.  We drove to where the wallabies live.  Ivan and Jennifer fed the wallabies. 

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They’re like mini kangaroos.  Most of them are scared of humans. 

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We drove to Banister’s Seafood Cafe for lunch.  Ivan and Jennifer ordered a smoked salmon salad to start off with.  I had a banana and tuna salad.  Ivan and Jen also shared a very good trout and Spanish mackerel along with guacamole and pineapple salsa.  They ordered an extra mackerel since it tasted so good.

We drove around the island.  We covered all of the island in one day.  We had some really great views.

It was time to relax in the room for awhile.

Ivan drove us to Man Friday for dinner.  It’s a Mexican restaurant.  It was very busy.  There were lots of reservations for the night.  Luckily, we got a table.  Ivan and Jennifer got tasty dips for an appetizer.  I had banana and chicken tacos.  Ivan got the chicken fajitas. 

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Jennifer ordered the prawn fajitas in a creamy sauce.  The food was really good.  Ivan ate too many fajitas.

Ivan drove back to the hostel.  We wanted to see the Toad Racing.  We got a good seat. 

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The toads each had a colored ribbon tied onto them.  A man announced each toad.  He said the frog with the green ribbon came from Ireland.  He talked really fast like an auctioneer.  It was really funny.  You could bet on a frog.  The announcer put the toad on the ground to show how fast or slow he was.  One person named a price and people would raise the price.  Once a final price was established, a lady collected money from the winner.  The toad would hop around showing how fast or slow he was.  After all the bets were placed, it was time for the race.

The yellow toad won the first race.  It was fun watching them jump around.  The same toad won three times in a row.

After the races, we went back to our room to sleep.

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One Night in Airlie Beach

Ivan, Jennifer and I had breakfast on the boat on September 7, 2009.  We packed everything up.

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Everybody was taken to an island.  We chilled there for an hour.  Some people went snorkelling.  Ivan and Jen thought it was too cold for that. 

The boat went sailing back to Airlie Beach.  We arrived at 1 pm.

We walked back into town.  We checked in at Magnum Backpackers. 

We had sandwiches for lunch.

I had a chance to work on the blog.  Ivan and Jennifer used the internet cafe.

For dinner, we went to Fish D’Vine.  Ivan and Jennifer started off with the Thai fish cakes.

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The cakes didn’t have much flavor.  I had a fish and banana kebab.  Ivan and Jen each had a Cajun Spanish Mackerel.  They really enjoyed it.

We went back to the hostel to get some rest.

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Whitsundays Trip

Ivan, Jennifer and I checked out of Magnums at 10 am on September 5, 2009. 

Today, we would be headed on a boat to the Whitsundays.  We went to Peter Pans to store our luggage.  This is the company we used to  book our Fraser Island/Whitsundays package.  So, we had already paid for the luggage storage ahead of time.

We walked around the town. 

We had lunch at Fish D’vine.  Jennifer got the spicy Thai snapper.  Ivan got the Cajun Spanish mackerel. 

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It came with a salad.  The mackarel had more flavor.  I got a tuna with bananas.   It was expensive for a restaurant that’s located in a food court.

We walked a long way to our meeting point.  We got to Gloria’s Cafe a few minutes before 1:40 pm.  We signed in.  A few minutes later, we boarded the Atlantic Clipper.  It was a really big sailing boat.  We would be staying on it for two nights. 

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It was nice to soak in the sun on the top deck.  Ivan and Jennifer had an apple.  Ivan ate some oranges.  I had a few bananas. 

The group consisted of 30 people.  Everybody seemed to be chatting with each other.  We kept to ourselves and didn’t really talk to anybody. 

Dinner was ready. We had told them in advance that we were vegetarian with chicken and fish, and that I eat a diet that is heavily banana influenced.

One of the guys on the boat told us the women would be served first and then the men, and then the monkeys.  The dinner was fish, mashed potatoes and salad. 

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Ivan ate lots of tasty fish.  I had a banana and fish sandwich. 

It was drinking time.  Ivan and Jennifer started drinking some goon (cheap Australian wine).  I had a banana and strawberry juice. 

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A little group started up a drinking game.  It didn’t seem to make sense though.  Ivan and Jennifer watched another group play another drinking game.  It seemed a bit silly though.  We drank and talked amongst ourselves.

We decided to sleep early around 10:30 pm.  Ivan was really tired.  Jen stayed up reading the book Cradle and All for an hour. 

Ivan, Jennifer and I were woken up at 7 am on September 6, 2009.  Breakfast was ready.  It was toast and cereal. 

We were taken by small boats to Tongue Bay.  We walked to an overlook.  It was a long walk there.  The view was alright.

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Then, we walked to Betty’s Beach.  The sand is made of silica.  It’s really fine.  One of the crew said it polishes up silver.  Ivan and Jennifer polished up the rings they created in Ubud.  We relaxed on the sand.  Ivan and Jen went in the water.

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The sun was really hot.  The Australian sun seems really intense. 

We got back on the boat.  Soon, it was time for lunch.  It was two different types of cold pasta with wraps.  I had a wrap with bananas and pasta.

Ivan went diving at 2 pm.  People went snorkeling.  Jennifer missed the snorkeling since she took a nap.  Ivan enjoyed his diving.  There was a big groper fished nicknamed Elvis that followed them around. 

It was dinnertime.  We had spaghetti.  Ivan and Jen had it with marina sauce and vegetables.  My spaghetti dish was with bananas and marina sauce.  Ivan and Jennifer really enjoyed the delicious garlic bread.

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There was a game set up by one of the crew.  People had to pick up a goon box with their teeth.  They couldn’t touch the ground with their knees or hands.  If they failed, they got a spanking.  It was a funny game but not a drinking game.  I really wanted to play, but they said it would be way too easy to me as I dont have to bend down much to reach the ground.

Everybody started chatting and some were playing drinking games.  Ivan and Jen drank some goon.  We went to bed around 11 pm.

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