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Michael Turtle

With everything on his back and all the time in the world... travel writer and beer lover

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Articles posted by Michael Turtle


The orangutan family of Kalimantan

11 December 2012

For the first seven or eight years of his life, Fred Galdikas had a best friend called Apollo Bob. Like most friends at that age, they would play together outside. And like most children at that age, their differences seemed immaterial. Kids have an ability to look beyond race, religion, or language and just see a friend for who they are. That was probably lucky for Fred. You see, Apollo Bob was an orangutan. Thirty years ago, when Fred was born, his mother was living deep inside the jungles of Kalimantan in Indonesia. Dr Birute Galdikas ha

The Kecak Dance at Uluwatu

12 December 2012

“Chark-a, chark-a, chark-a, chark-a”, and on… the chant goes. Almost hypnotic, trance-like, the thirty or so barechested Indonesian men sway with the rhythm. They’re sitting on the ground in a circle – and in the middle the drama is unfolding. Two young princes; a demon king; a damsel in distress; a mischievous monkey. They all play their parts in the ring of unceasing cantillation. The nightly performance is very popular here at Uluwatu. Buses bring the tourists from the resorts of Bali down to the southern tip