Tour bookings on Koh Samui with Camille

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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Goodbye to September 2014

It's the end of September 2014 and time to look back at the weather end other events during this month.

Starring out with the weather, it was not a great month to enjoy lots of sunshine around the island, Especially the first half of the month was windy and wet! The second half of the month saw more sunshine but we still had occasional showers.
In my book this was just below and average September, it can be better but it can also be worse! On the other hand, if we already had that much rain now, October is unfortunately not looking too good at this moment, but that's for later worries.

Bang Po

The bay in Bang Po, just before the Khao Laem Yai mountain leading up and into Nathon

There was one major event for me this month, the Mount Bromo half marathon in Indonesia, where I came 38th in a field of 644 runners in a much better time than expected at a very, very challenge trail route.
My monthly 'Food on Wheels' contribution came from Surabaya in Indonesia, showing that this is indeed a regional occurrence and is not exclusive to Thailand!


For me it's been a good month, since I got to spend time at home, at last! It looks like I will be home until mid November!
In the meantime, I'm looking forward for October to start and be able to spend it at home!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 30th September, 2014

Today's weather;

There are plenty of blue spots around Koh Samui this morning, however, plenty of cumulus clouds can be observed as well. Current temp at 7am is 27.7C

Maenam

Yesterday I drove by this bird singing contest in Maenam, a Southern Thai, Muslim oriented activity that can be regularly observed around the island

Yesterday saw a cloudy morning followed by a sunny afternoon. Max temp reached 32C

The forecast shows strong wind from Friday to Sunday but rain can happen any day but think along the lines of a tropical shower. Possibly strong but short.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Monday, 29 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 29th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's a mixed bag this morning with plenty of clouds but also some blue spots in the sky over Koh Samui. Current temp at 7am is 26.7C

Old wax gourd

Old wax gourd, a fruit called 'f*ck' in the Thai language, this one is spotted at Hua Thanon market

Yesterday saw a nice and sunny morning but during the afternoon it rained at various times at various locations around the island and the evening saw thunder and lightning. Max temp reached 33.2C
There was also a successful underwater clean up yesterday at Chaweng Beach.

The forecast predicts strong wind and some rain over next weekend, including Friday. It may clear up again after the weekend.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 28th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's a bit hazy over Koh Samui this morning but it looks like the sun will evaporate the clouds soon and it might get very warm today. Current temp at 7am is 27.2C

Four Seasons, Koh Samui


Yesterday saw a fairly cloudy morning and a sunny and hot afternoon. Max temp reached 33C

The forecast is now definitely predicting strong wind and a bit of rain as of this coming Friday. The rest of next week should be mostly nice and sunny.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 27th September, 2014

Today's weather;

When I woke up at 4am there was a strong but short shower, but by 5am when I hit the road for a long morning run of 21km, it was a mixed bag around Koh Samui, just like it is right now. Cloudy but with sunny patches. Current temp at 9am is 28C

Khao Laem Yai

The upgraded and renovated Khao Laem Yai viewpoint, between Nathon and Bang Po on top of the mountain

Yesterday saw a cloudy morning with a little bit of a drizzle at some parts of the island but a very sunny afternoon. Max temp reached 33C

The forecast is predicting some changes towards next weekend when the wind seems to pop again. In the meantime, there may be an occasional shower.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Friday, 26 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 26th September, 2014

Today's weather;

There's a thin cloud layer this morning over Koh Samui and still no sight of the sun yet. Current temp at 7am is 25.5C

Vana Belle Resort, Chaweng

The ocean in front of Chaweng beach as viewed from Vana Belle resort

Yesterday saw a slightly sunny start of the day but during the morning there was also a shower. Max temp reached 31.4C

The weather forecast hasn't changed a lot, a mixed bag of sunny and cloudy days with a possible shower. Next weekend may see some increase in wind and a higher chance of rain.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 25th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's a nice sunny day this morning around Koh Samui with a few clouds scattered about. Current temp at 7am is 27C

100 year old house Pang Ka

100 year old house in Pang Ka near Ban Thale

Yesterday saw a cloudy day with some sunshine towards the end of the day. At some parts of the island there may have been a trace of rain. Max temp reached 29C

The forecast for the next 7 days is looking good, plenty of sunny days ahead of us!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 24th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's been a late update again today, due to an unexpected visit to vegetarian temple this morning at the start of the Vegeterian festival.
It's been cloudy with some occasional sunshine this morning around Koh Samui. Current temp at 9am is 29C

W Retreat

W Retreat with a lovely view towards Koh Phangang

Yesterday saw a cloudy day with a trace of rain during the morning and bits of sunshine in the afternoon. Max temp reached 31.7C

The forecast is looking good, occasionally clouds and some rain but in general a very nice 7 days to look forward to.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 23rd September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's been a busy day, first a did an hour long run between 6 and 7am and than it was straight off to Wat Plai Laem for the Thaa Yai ceremony, from which I just returned.

It's been cloudy all morning around Koh Samui and we even had a minor drizzle. Current temp at 9am is 30C and the sun starts to peek out of the clouds.

Thaa Yai, Wat Plai Laem

Today is Thaa Yai, the dead who have been invited a few weeks ago, are now being seen off again until next year

Yesterday saw a cloudy day, especially during the afternoon and early evening. Max temp reached 34.5C

The forecast is looking good, mostly dry but a shower can occasionally happen and a good mix between cloudy and sunny skies.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Monday, 22 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 22nd September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's hazy again this morning around Koh Samui and it looks like the sun needs some more time to vaporize the thin cloud layer. Current temp at 7am is 26.9C

Silver beach, Lamai

Silver beach near Lamai, yesterday morning just before a dive with my son there

Yesterday saw a very nice and sunny day around the island with a max temp of 33.9C

The forecast for the next seven days; mostly sunny!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 21st September, 2014

Today's weather;

A blue sky is shaping up over Koh Samui, once the sun comes out in full force and burns off the thing cloud layer. Current temp at 7am is 26.8C

Our cats

Our 3 remaining cats, in a by now rare family meet up

Yesterday saw a sunny and warm day, especially the afternoon saw almost perfect clear blue skies. Max temp reached 33.3C

The forecast predicts hardly any wind over the next seven days with mostly blue skies and the possibility of a tropical rain shower.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 20th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's sunny but a bit hazy around Koh Samui this morning, the sun might burn all clouds away though. Current temp at 7am is 26.8C

Chaweng

The two monkeys overlooking a fruit stand at the road in Chaweng between the beach and the ring road

Yesterday was a sunny day and very hot although the quicksilver never got above 31C. Last night there was a bit of rain, surprisingly.

The forecast looks good for the next seven days, hardly any wind, sunny skies and maybe some rain come Thursday and Friday.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Friday, 19 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 19th September, 2014

Today's weather;

The sky over Koh Samui looks great this morning, with mostly blue skies and a few scattered clouds. Current temp at 7am is 25.8C

Maenam walking street

Maenam walking street yesterday evening, mostly a combination of lots of cheap alcohol sales and junk food stands but also with some small places where nice and/or fun stuff can be bought

Yesterday saw a cloudy sky until the afternoon kicked in and the sun broke through. It was very sticky hot though all day long with a max temp of around 32C

The forecast looks good for the next 7 days, mostly blue skies with sunshine to come, hardly any wind and no rain.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 18th September, 2014

Today's weather;

The sky over Koh Samui has lightened up a bit, it's partly clouded but it looks like the sun will be back today. Current temp at 7am is 25.5C

Hua Thanon market

Mixed seafood for sale at Hua Thanon market

Yesterday was a very cloudy day all day long but with surprisingly hardly any rain at all. Max temp reached 30.6C

The forecast looks good again, hardly any wind and no rain predicted for the next 7 days with lots of sunshine. Enjoy.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

12th October 2014, Mad Hatter Hotel Charity run at Chaweng lake

Three big hotels on Koh Samui have come up with a nice variation on a run; the Mad Hatter run, to be held 12th October 2014 at Chaweng Lake at the dark hour of 5.40am. It's a charity run, more on this in a moment.
The three hotels in questions are W Retreat Koh Samui, Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa and Vana Belle.

12th October 2014, 5am, Chaweng Lake

The idea of the run is that all participants are encouraged to wear a fancy hat while in the race. Additionally, there's also a ‘Hat Contest’ after the race for the participants to win many prizes.

Funds raised through the Hotel Charity Run will go towards Wat Bhundarikaram School (Wat Pang Bua) for improving school infirmary, library and other important projects of the school.

The registration fee is THB 300 for an adult and THB 200 for a child (age up to 19 years old). As part of the registration package, participants will receive a participating kit which includes a lucky draw coupon, a food voucher, a marathon t-shirt, and a welcome bag package.

Interested participant can contact:
1. Khun Piyanut (W Retreat Koh Samui) at 077-915 999
2. Khun Narudee (Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa) at 077 960 888
3. Khun Kosita (Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui) at 077-915 555

Or you can apply in person, 11th October 2014, 09:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs at the entrance of Chaweng Lake Hall, opposite of Central Festival Samui.

12th October 2014, 5am, Chaweng Lake

The race is divided into three (3) categories as followed:
1) Fun Run – 2 km
2) Mini Marathon 5 km
3) Mini Marathon 10 km

In each category (except for 2 km Fun Run), it is also subdivided by genders and ages:
A) 12- 19 years old / Male and Female
B) 20 – 39 years old / Male and Female
C) 40 years old and over / Male and Female

I wonder what the route will be, it will not surprise me if the same route as the Samui's Midnight Run will be used, there are not that many options to easily split up a 5 and 10km race in downtwon Chaweng! I'm sure more news will follow.

I'm very happy to see a race being added to Samui's very thin racing calendar and even better to know that I will be on the island and able to participate! See you 12th October!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Food on Wheels; Street food in Surabaya, Indonesia

It's time for the monthly 'Food on Wheels' series addition. This time I would like to show some pictures of street food in Surabaya on East Java in Indonesia. I stayed mainly near the airport in Juanda, South of the city but did venture one afternoon into the downtown area, to visit a big shopping mall.

Nasi goreng in Surabaya, Indonesia

Nasi goreng; nasi means rice and goreng means fried, the classic meal, fried rice. Other option are mie or mihun, two different style noodles, also prepared 'goreng' style. On the left is a another cart, selling drinks

Surabaya is Indonesia's second biggest city and it was really busy, loads of cars and other vehicles moving around. After I got fairly quickly bored at the (massive) mall, I venture out a bit and in typical South East Asian fashion, there was plenty of small food carts, Indonesian style! These carts are small push carts, as can seen in the picture above, the push handles of the cart are on the left.

Soup and fruit in Surabaya, Indonesia

Soup and fruit, the soup is meatball (bakwan/bakso) and noodle, so the vendor is called 'tukang bakso'. Tukang means vendor or seller, so you can call a nasi goreng vendor as 'tukang nasi goreng'

Here are another two very classic street food options pictured; on the left soup is served and on the right you can buy various kinds of fruit, although the options are rather limited.

Noodles in Surabaya, Indonesia

More soup and noodles

The picture above shows another soup vendor or 'tukang bakso', with more options compared to the previous picture. Just along this busy road through downtown Surabaya, there were plenty of push carts to be found and I photographed only a few of them. In a city, big as this one, food will never be far away!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 17th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's very cloudy again this morning around Koh Samui but it's dry. Current temp at 7am is 26.4C

Hua Thanon

A strange looking house near Hua Thanon, it's an art gallery and/or jewelry but unfortunately, it looks closed and/or abandoned

Yesterday saw a very cloudy day all day long with some ongoing drizzle during the morning but no real showers at all. Max temp reached 27.1C

The forecast predicts still some strong wind today but by tomorrow I would expect no wind to mention anymore and more chances of sunshine again.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 16th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's very cloudy around Koh Samui with no sun in sight but plenty of rain in the air. Current temp at 7am is 25.2C

Choengmon

Choengmon road towards Chaweng, the post office is in the building on the left, a bit further down the road where the cars are parked

Yesterday saw a nice morning with a mixed bag of clouds and some sunshine, but around 3.30pm the clouds and rain moved and we had several showers. Max temp reached 31C

The forecast predicts heavy clouds and rain for today and tomorrow, see here, a very nice colorful and graphic display. Come Friday it should start to clear up again and the sun should be out and about again.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Monday, 15 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 15th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's cloudy and not much sun can be found over Koh Samui this morning. Current temp at 7am is 25.7C

Fisherman's Village beach

A not so often photographed beach; Fisherman's Village beach

Yesterday saw a fairly sunny day but there were also plenty clouds out and about. Around 5pm we had a short but strong shower again. Max temp reached 32.7C

The forecast predicts stormy weather conditions, strong wind and rain between tomorrow and Wednesday. After that it should become a lot nicer again. 

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 14th September, 2014

Today's weather;

Due to internet issues, this update is a bit later than planned. Back online though and here we are. 
It's mostly cloudy with occasionally some blue spots around Koh Samui. Current temp at 7am was 27.1C

Ghost road 2014

Ghost road 2014

Yesterday was a nice, warm and sunny day until around 5pm when a short but heavy rain shower with storm like passed. Max temp reached 32.8C

Ghost road 2005

Ghost road 2005

The forecast predicts fairly nice weather today and tomorrow but Tuesday and Wednesday sees storm like conditions with strong wind and lots of rain. Come next weekend it might be nice and sunny again.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 13th September, 2014

Today's weather;

The sky over Koh Samui is a bit hazy but blue this morning and the sun is busy burning it's way through. Current temp at 27.2C

Choengmon beach

View from Choengmon beach

Yesterday started out partly cloudy but soon the sun broke through and evaporated all clouds until around 5pm when clouds moved in again. It stayed dry though and was a very nice and warm day with a max temp of 33C

Tomorrow evening the wind should pick and we should get rain, with a peak on Wednesday. Thursday the wind should have calmed down although it may remain cloudy and slightly wet.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Friday, 12 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 12th September, 2014

Today's weather;

There's a very thin cloud layer around Koh Samui and the sun is about to eat her way through it. Current temp at 7am is 26.8C

Laem Din

Laem Din market in Chaweng, compared to 9 years ago, not much has changed indeed

Yesterday saw a nice, dry day with clouds and sunshine the like. Max temp reached 33.2C

The forecast predicts the wind to pick over the weekend, culminating in a storm like condition Wednesday and Thursday next week, with lots of rain. After the storm it might become nice again.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 11th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's very cloudy this morning around Koh Samui with no sun in sight, it's dry though. Current temp at 7am is 26.7C

Bophud/Fishermans Village

Looking for small shells or 'hoi siap' หอยเสียบ at Bophud/Fishermans Village beach when we had once more an excellent dinner at Juzza Pizza. Koh Phangan can be seen in the background

Yesterday saw a mostly cloudy day but occasionally the sun broke through and it stayed dry. Max temp reached 32.5C

The forecast shows the wind easing up until Saturday, when there should be real strong winds or mini storms coming up with a bit of rain, currently moving into next weekend.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 10th September, 2014

Today's weather;

This morning I brought the children to school and we did some shopping, to stock up at home again. It's partially cloudy this morning around Koh Samui and the sun tries hard to break through. Current temp at 9.30am is 28C
It's good to be back home again and I should be here for about 5 weeks, before the travelling starts again.

Plai Laem

Yesterday at dusk, a view over Plai Laem from the plane

Yesterday saw a partially clouded/sunny day but also a little bit of rain just before we landed around dusk. Max temp reached 32.5C

Bophud

This morning, bringing the kids to school again

The forecast still predicts plenty of wind and plenty of rain after the weekend.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 9th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's mostly cloudy but dry around Koh Samui this morning. Current temp at 7am is 25.5C

It's my last day here in Indonesia for this trip and I just got my race report up of my stay at Tosari and the Bromo half marathon.
Sanur on Bali is slowly waking up and the sun is breaking through. Current temp at 8am local time is 26C

Thaa YaiT

Thaa Yai at Wat Plai Laem this morning, picture by Tassanee lemmens

Yesterday saw rain around the island but not as much as the previous day. Max temp reached 28.7C

Sanur, Bali

Jalan Duyung in Sanur on Bali, Indonesia. This seems to have become my home base on Bali

The forecast predicts strong wind and occasional rain for the next seven days.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Bromo half marathon 2014

It's already two days ago that I was just under an hour away for the start of the Bromo half marathon in Indonesia. Now I'm in Bali and enough time and internet access to post this write up. It was a great experience, from the moment of the pick up at Surabaya airport to leaving Tosari again on Sunday afternoon.

Tosari, Indonesia

The market area in Tosari where you can find plenty of warungs (small eateries)

At the Surabaya airport I met Rani for the first time, the transportation manager and we kept bumping into each other at various locations over the next 4 days. I arrived 4th September and also met Jeff who is from Idaho, USA at the airport, who ended up finishing 3rd overall in the full marathon. By arriving a few days early, I hoped to be better prepared and acclimatized for the race. I do think it paid off. I was also in the fortunate situation that I had the time do so in-between the recent PADI IDC on Gili Air and the start of the race.

Tosari, Indonesia

One of the steep roads in Tosari, part of the 10km run

We arrived in Tosari at 1600 meters elevation when it was already dark, around 6pm and the first thing I noticed was how cold it was! After checking into my home stay I immediately changed into long trousers, socks, shoes instead of flip flops and my PADI windbreaker jacket, I was not overdressed for the party, that was for sure!
It took just under 4 hours with the bus and the last hour to hour and half was just climbing the mountain with an average speed of 20km per hour on very small, winding roads with some serious hair pin curves.

Bromo marathon

A great sign; Watch out, runners!

One thing that immediately struck though was the friendliness of the local people. For all 4 days that I was there, children were constantly yelling 'Hello' and also the adults were all smiles, friendly and helpful during my entire stay.

Breakfast in Tosari

My favorite warung in Tosari, where I ate a couple of times per day

Bromo marathon

The half marathon route

One shocker was that my sim card had no reception, I especially stocked up on my internet credit before I left Gili Air, only to find out that there was zero reception from my provider! Luckily I found an official state run kind of post office that offered internet and Teddy, one of the organizer was friendly enough to let me use his wifi at his home. He must have had one of the very few wifi connections in the village.

Wonokitri, Indonesia

Mountain people in Wonokitri

Mount Bromo is well known and is a fave destination for Indonesians and a few Westerners visit each year as well. Sun rise is the big thing here and you drive in small Toyota jeep at 3am to the actual Mount Bromo to witness sunrise. Despite a few invitations by other runners I met, I declined the invites and didn't visit Bromo. What I was told later and from pictures, it's well worth the trip but be prepared for some serious coldness whilst waiting for the sun to rise. 

Bromo marathon

Dutch-Thai friendship united at the race expo

The two pre-race days were filled with exploring Tosari village where I stayed and which is considered the main village in the hood. On the 5th I went to the race expo in Wonokitri, a smaller village some 3km away from Tosari. This was a very scenic small village and I enjoyed the day there, especially after hooking up with two runners who where also on the bus from Surabaya.
All day long there were shuttle buses running between all the surrounding villages, where all the various runners were staying. A very well set up service!

Race gear

My race gear

What was really nice is that you kept bumping into runners all the time. The amount of eatery options in Tosari is limited, so whenever I went for some food, I got to talk to runners. Mainly runners from Indonesia and most of them came from Jakarta. A very friendly crowd indeed!

Bromo marathon

Before the race

A challenge was taking a shower at the home stay. I had a clean and basic room with shared living room and shower facility. It was not until the night before the race that somebody moved into the other room, a girl from Singapore who also ran the half marathon.
Back to the shower though, it was a big basin like water holder, which you see everywhere around South East Asia. There is a scoop to throw the water over your head and body, so far nothing new for me, except the water temperature, it was ice and ice cold, straight from the mountain. Once you got the courage to toss the first scoop over your head, you were good to go. Three hours after the race, when I made it back to the shower, my body still gave off so much heat that the mirror was all fogged up.

Bromo marathon

After the race 

Sunday 7th September was closing in though and race day was coming up! I didn't know what to expect, I did know it was going to be tough with a 700 meters elevation during the race. However, upon arriving it was more than I had hoped for. The roads were steep, no, not just steep, but serious steep!
This was a lot more than I bargained for! 

Bromo marathon

Dusty shoes, feet and legs after the race

My expectations for the race weren't that great and I figured everything under a 3 hours finish time would be good, considering the altitude we started at, 1600 meters and the elevation during the race, another 700 meters and the thin mountain air, lacking the 'normal' oxygen amount. Did I mention trails yet? Most of the race is on dusty trails, something I never ran before. Those trials were waiting, especially on my Vibram five fingers. 

Bromo marathon Rani

Rani, transportation manager, who ran the half marathon, Here's the two of us before the race

Various challenges were thrown into one race! The biggest field of starters was also in the half marathon, 644 runners participated in the half marathon and it was really crowded at the start but I still managed to get a nice, close enough to the front but not completely in front position. I was joined by Bastian, whom I met earlier at race morning, when we were waiting for the transfer to the race, both of us all nicely and warmly dressed up, both of us wondering about most of the other runners already geared up for the race just sporting race gear. We both changed at the venue and Bastian did well, he finished the half marathon at third palce, well done! It was only his 3rd marathon ever. At 20 years of age, he has a good racing future ahead of him.

Bromo marathon Teddy

Teddy, one of the organizers of the race, in front of his house. We were practically neighbors

Once the race finally started, I ran my own pace but I kept running as much as I could. The first 5km were immediately very steep up and within the first two km's the trails started. I passed loads of runners and at a turn point I found out to my surprise that I was placed around 50th position in the field. I kept running my own pace, but I kept running. There were however a few spots where the ankle deep dusty trails were too steep and everybody had to walk. I passed many runners though and soon found myself around position 35. Between km 8 and 15 it was really hard, steep and dusty. Cars and motorbikes still kept moving around between the villages and caused more dust on the trails! It all added to the experience. Once on top of the ridge, around km 15, we had a fantastic view over the plain in front of Mount Bromo and the valley. Absolutely breath taking! Once the descent started, which is normally one of my stronger points, I couldn't keep up the pace and a few runners were able to pass me. At two km to go I decided to pace up but had immediately to deal with cramps in the last km, which allowed another two runners to pass me by. I could just keep another runner a second behind me at the finish, whilst humping over the finish line with another cramp. My overall time was 2 hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds. Much better than expected and I finished 34th in the male category and 38th all over. I am very pleased with that.
I had to sit down for an hour after the race though! The thin air and the overall effort dictated this.
It was by far my hardest race to date but my I felt great, enjoying a real runners high and I did so much better than expected and I can only hope to be able to join the race next year again or anytime really.

Many thanks to Teddy and Rani for making it such a great event and a big hello to all my new running friends!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Monday, 8 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 8th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's wet and windy on Koh Samui with a current temp at 7am of 23.5C. Boat traffic will be severely affected around the islands due to the current storms.

After yesterdays Bromo half marathon, I'm back near Juanda airport in Surabay in Indonesia, waiting for my Bali bound flight. It's very sunny here, with a current temp at 7am of 23C.

Museum, Lamai

A visit to the Natural museum in Lamai back in 2007. I doubt much has changed since

Yesterday saw rain and hard wind around Samui with a max temp of 28C

Tosari, Indonesia

Cultural event in Tosari in Indonesia, 6th September. Hindu culture on Java!

The forecast predicts hard wind to storms and lots of rain for the next 7 days.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 7th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's raining on Koh Samui on and off all day long already. Current temp at 1pm is 24.8C

Here at Tosari in Indonesia, I just completed the half marathon of Bromo Marathon in 2 hours and 35 minutes, a lot better than expected but it was very hard! I finished around 40th place in a field of 750 runners. It was sunny all day long, the first time since I got here! Current temp at 1pm is around 21C

Near Big Buddha

Low tide morning near Big Buddha, picture by Tassanee Lemmens

Yesterday saw some light rain around Samui during the afternoon and evening. Max temp reached 29.8C

http://samui-weather.blogspot.com/search/label/Big%20Buddha

View on Mount Bromo this morning from Tosari, Indonesia

The forecast predicts lots of hard wind and plenty of rain for the next 7 days, especially on Tuesday there's supposed to be very hard wind, the day when I should arrive back home!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 6th September, 2014

Today's weather;

It's cloudy by dry at the moment on Koh Samui. Current temp at 9am is 29C

Back here near Mount Bromo, in Tosari in Indonesia, it's difficult to find internet, but I managed to get a connection and update the blog. The day started out very nice and sunny but it's turning cloudy and possibly, just like yesterday, fog will come in around 10am. Current temp now at 9am is around 23C
It's a beautiful scenery, but tomorrow's half marathon is going to be very hard, it's all up and down, no flat road in sight!

Tomorrow's update will probably be during the evening, I will race in the morning and during the afternoon I will transfer back to Surabaya.

Laemdin market

Laemdin market in Chaweng, 9 years ago, not too much has changed judging by this picture

Yesterday saw rain around the island during the afternoon. Max temp reached 31.2C

Tosari, Indonesia

Tosari near Bromo in Indonesia, the same picture as yesterday's update, but now with heavy fog in the afternoon

Bromo half marathon

Tomorrow's half marathon route

The forecast has changed again and for the third day in a row, not for the better. The predicted storm has increased in force and duration and now may hold on until Wednesday, after which strong wind can still be expected. And rain as well!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille