Saturday, December 31, 2011

Flexifitness Wishes One and All a Happy New Year.

Picture 1 - Ashley Liew - Ends the year with a track personal best time of 4min 21 sec, running solo during the trial.

Summary of Singapore Events
Most probably Mok Ying Ren and Ang Chee Yong will be selected in the Hong Kong Marathon 2012 since they came in first and second in the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2011. This was told by an official of SAA.  

Jonathan Kang would like to do that Tokyo Marathon 2012 on 28 of February and this race is closed for registration for others. 
The SAA cross-country race 2012 is on 21st of Jan and this will be held at Bedok Reservoir in the morning. The Safari Zoo Run 2012 will be held on 5th of February 2012 at Mandai in the morning. Kids between the age of 4 and 8 has to run with an adult, 9 to 12 years will run a 2.8km time-trial. There is a 6km time trial for 12 years and above. Lastly, there is a 12km race for the competitive adults. I hope that people take it as a fun outing and also to support the zoo animals in terms of fund raising. 

Picture 2 - Ashley's only target is to go for it at Gold Coast Marathon 2012 


 Gold Coast Marathon 2012 would allow a more friendlier spectatorship during the race.

Ashley Liew - Hoping to get much faster time for 1500m over time
Ashley Liew and the rest of the Flexifitness sports children ran a 1500m test and did some games on that day. Ashley ran the first 300m in 49sec and kept sustaining the pace and finally did 4min 21sec running a solo run on the CCAB Track at Bukit Timah. It was 17sec faster than the 1500m test did last week, which was a 4min 38sec. With competition, I believe that Ashley would have done a sub - 4min 20sec definitely, from today's performance.

Ashley has an earlier personal best time of 4min 27sec in the past. This was a big boost for Ashley Liew as he is coming out of the earlier performance which was not that good and it was a bad experience to swallow. His resilience has made him to do this time today. I hope that many don't give up and keep at your goal and over time get your goal.

I told Ashley that when I did 4min 20sec, in the past, around 22 years of age, I did 2hr 40min in the 1987 Singapore Mobil Marathon coming in first in the men open at that time. The next race I went to was at Japan, Biwako Marathon or further known as Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon 2012. I hope that many people will see this as an indication and know your standard. 

Wishing all the readers all the best in their endeavours. - 14589 page views as at 12 o'clock mid-night 31/12/2011. Overall pageviews goes to 162969














Flexifitness ended the day with souvenir giving to its members and then we ended with a dinner.  

Picture 3 - A surprise birthday celebration (Photo - Courtesy of Ashley Liew)

I would like to thank the members and wish them all the best and at the same time wish the readers all success in your endeavours. 
 
www.runningcoachsg.com
Picture 3 - Flexifitness Wishes All readers All the Best for the year 2012

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon (Japan) - 4th March 2012

Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

Next Post - The Gold Coast Marathon 2012 route and weather report. 

Picture 1 - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, One of world's flattest marathon routes and has a very enthusiastic crowd ,  all the way throughout the race.


The first overseas international race that I ran representing Singapore was Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon 1988. It was a big race and the organisers used that as a platform to choose two or three Japanese runners for Asian Marathon Championships. In this marathon, the former marathon record holder Zeko from Japan also ran in this race. A lot of photographers were following this Japanese runner by the name of Zeko where ever he was going before the start of the race. He was the idol of many runners at that time. 

From the race, as for me, out of 10 Asian country runners I came in 7th with a time of 2hr 46min. 

My half-way timing during 1hr 17min 07sec. I was elated to see my time. Most importantly, the most impressive race in terms of friendship and warmth, I would say that it is actually Lake Biwa race. The organisers were very friendly during our stay and made sure that we got first class treatment at the hotel, although I was not impressed with the 'alien go that side' sign at airport. The airport authorities asked me and my manager some questions which was not that welcoming. Apart from that, the for the rest of the arrangements made by the Japanese side for officials waiting to look after us was excellent. I would say that the Lake Biwa experience was very good for cold weather running. 

Picture 2 - Map of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon running route

During the race, the Japanese crowd in fact, cheered for me. They even knew my name and called out to me,"Rameshon, fight, fight,fight....". Good sportsmanship shown by the Japanese crowd. Later, after the race, we found out that the crowd know about us through the media. All the way, till the end, the crowd was there to support. 

My only bad experience running the race was running the last 10km where the temperature lowered from 17 degrees Centigrade to 10 degrees. I was literally shivering during the last 10km and I was running much slower because of the weather and completed the race in 2hr 46min. 

I was told to become a non-vegetarian by Mrs Maurice Nicholas in order to run much faster. I stayed as vegetarian all the way even after hearing that. I remember reading, " Meat is for the body and vegetables is for the mind." In fact, I found that in life my mind got stronger through becoming a vegetarian and also eat healthier diet.

The good part of the race is that the race was near all flat. The organisers in fact roll out the course of the run and the elevation so that we are aware of the height of the terrain.

As running the Lake Biwa Mainichi brings memories of the past, like the serene lake and friendly people out there, I decided to write something on it. 

Picture 3- Height elevation of the marathon route





 Contact e-mail for the race.
 mailto:jigyoubu@pearl.ocn.ne.jp?subject=Lake%20Biwa%20Marathon%202012
The Lake Biwa Marathon first fired its starting pistol in 1946 in Osaka and is considered to be the oldest marathon held in Japan. In 1962, the marathon moved to Otsu city which is home to Japan's oldest and largest lake, Lake Biwa. Since this move the race has been renamed the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. The course is comparatively flat and considered to be "a fast-speed-course". Many of the world's foremost athletes have taken part in this race and establishing great records. The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon is held on the first Sunday of March every year. In 2012, the race will be held on March 4.

 

Summary of Upcoming Races in Singapore 2012

 Races that will benefit Singaporeans - For competitive, active runners and non-competitive

It will be good for people to prepare for the upcoming races in Singapore and the region. I have done my best to put these mini-races such that one can aim for a sub-goal which will lead to a major goal.

I hope that this will help one to improve and tune up for upcoming 10km, half-marathon, marathon race.  I have added some details in the www.runningcoachsg.com. It is not full detail, but a summary. By using the race name in google browser one will be able to register for the race.

Case for SAFRA Running Club to function just like MR25 Club

SAFRA Running Club - Massive Crowd Could Join






After talking to Ning Wen Long and the rest of the committee members, I found that it will be a good idea to put some of the runners in competitive races like the SAA Track and Field Series and SAA Cross-Country races.

Competitions like Singapore Open are there and I don't tend to see SAFRA Ruinning Club in the spotlight. It is always the same case. It is the FLASH CLUB, MR 25, Wings CLUB and SWIFT CLUB etc. Others clubs the clubs being mentioned in the previous sentence are not really active enough such that people are aiming to go SEA Games. I remember running for Singapore Masters in 10000m race a few years ago. If I can run for Singapore Masters, I am wondering the possibility of inlcuding SAFRA in the competitive running scene like the competitive track and field races mentioned.

Usually, we see them in Army Half-marathon and Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon. If we could include them into the competitive scene, I believe that we can bring about a number of people who can join SAFRA running club. There are huge number of people waiting out there with not much avenue to join a competitive club. 

Then, again the issue goes back to whether SAFRA running club is a competitive or a casual running club. If you look at MR 25, in order to join the club, one needs to just do 25min and below, that's all. Hence, there is competitive and quite active groups. From my understanding, I found that the capability just like MR 25, SAFRA running club has but there is not much participation in races where clubs are involved. 

This is a move that can be very positive for runners who are out there in search for club. My firm believe is that if authorities can support this, there may be a breakthrough in this. Singapore will have more competition and the vast number of runners can join this club to run competitions. There are many runs coming up in Singapore and I hope to see SAFRA Running Club present. This is just my thought. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Flexifitness' Blog runningcoachsg is going to cross 13000 pageviews/month

 Flexifitness Blog runningcoachsg set to cross 13000 pageviews per month.

This year, I found that there was an increased in pageviews for people reading runningcoachsg. Thanks should go to those who have been reading this blog. Without you this blog will not be a popular blog. This also spurs me to write more on revelant topics to make people to get more motivated to train and exercise or keep oneself healthy.

For the benefit of readers, I thought that things like the vegetarian food that I have taken and the shops that I have consumed during my intensive running days should be featured so that I can share on what food has made me to run faster during my serious running days. Vegetarian Society Singapore has been informing the public on this so that it is easier to know the shops.

As for last year, the highest pageviews read per month was about 12300 and this happened twice. As for this month, for the first time, since the inception from May 2010, the readership is set to cross 13000. Flexifitness (runningcoachsg) would like to thank the readers for the support that has been given. Thanks!

















Monday, December 26, 2011

Meeting SAFRA Runners' Club

SAFRA Running Club - Manned by Warm and Friendly People 

Picture 1 - (Left to Right) Melvin Lee, Ong Say Cheng, Rameshon, Ning Wen Long and Jimmy Chow. We decided to take a photo at  Mt Faber (SAFRA). The SAFRA Committee members were warm when I met them.



Today I did my 10km run with my friend Gorlden. We started from CCAB Bukit Timah, ran to MacRitchie Reservoir and then came back. The day was cooling and refreshing. 

Later on, I proceeded to SAFRA (Mt Faber) to meet the committee members of SAFRA Running Club who are passionate runners themselves. I met four of them. They told me that there are 17 of them together. I will mention the four people that I met. Their names were Ning Wen Long (Chairman), Ong Say Cheng (Vice-Chairman), Jimmy Chow (Special Project) and Melvin Lee (Operation for Sponsor). At present, Wen Long told me that SAFRA running club has no coach and the runners are self-coached and they are a motivated group. 

Later, the topic went from running to Hong Kong 100km Trail Walk event. I told them that SAFRA did well on the trail walker event which was held a few years back. 

Subsequently, they gave me a brief history of SAFRA running Club. I was told that SAFRA club was started by Tony Lam in around 1994, who became the first Chairman (Bukit Merah). It was a recreational and leisurely club at first. Later on, the club had some successful runners who did well in some competitive events like the Standard Chartered Marathon 2011. Now, Melvin told me that the club is more structured as compared to the past. 

I was told that their training days are Tues, Thurs and Sundays. The runners meet at Mount Faber. Once a week or twice, there are interval training/hill repeats. There are 2 runners who came in top 10 in this year's Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon race - 1 for men and 1 for women. In men Open, local section, Ning Wen Long, 34, came in 6th, running in a time of 2hr 59sec. Wen Long told me that he saw Ashley Liew at Marina South. While overtaking Ashley, he told me that he was encouraging Ashley to tag along to the finish. It was nice of him and a mark of a true sportsman to show such expression of friendship, especially during the race. 

There is another runner by the name of Stella Lee, 36, came in 9th in the women open, local section. This indeed is a real achievement. I also come to find out about Melvin Lee and Jimmy Chow's achievement on ultramarathon, which I will feature in my future article. I realised that SAFRA has many successful runners as well and wondered whether that there is avenue for any growth in running the running program. They told me that that is not in the pipeline at the moment. I was wondering that it would be good for SAFRA to expand itself and compete with Wings and SWIFT Club one day. There is shortage of a real running clubs in Singapore. With 230 members in their wings, SAFRA, I hope, could one day be competitive as well as cater to casual runners. 

They told me that they do welcome expatriates to join this club. Ong Say Cheng told me that they even have a person who is 66 years of age. Students who are 16 could also join them for runs before they go into National Service. The registration fee is $32 for a period of 2 years. 

Ong Say Cheng told me that they will do an assessment of the people to test for some form of stamina before joining them. Melvin and Jimmy told me that they do run at Mt Faber, Labrador, East Coast Park,  and various parts of Singapore running routes. 

Melvin elaborated on the perks on joining SAFRA as a Running Club. There is 40% off for New Balance shoes. They also have discounts from companies for compression tights. The runners will get 50% off for running in SAFRA events like Standard Chartered Marathon and Army Half- Marathon annually. 

On top of that, Melvin told me that they have one social gathering per term for team bonding and team cohesion. One of events that they do is celebrating birthdays. Carbo-loading a day before the marathon is also one of the social gathering. These is to name a new of their social gathering events. http://s6203062.wordpress.com/
  
Those interested in joining the club are to contact Ning Wen Long through this e-mail.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Patrick Makau Ratified as the World 30km and Marathon Record Holder

Monte-Carlo - The following World records have recently been ratified

30km Race
1hour 27min 38sec Patrick Makau Musyoki Ken, Berlin, Germany 25 Sept 11
1hour 27min 49sec Haile Gebreselassie Eth, Berlin, Germany, 20 Sept 09

Marathon Race
2hour 03min 38sec Patrick Makau Musyoki Ken, Berlin, Germany 25 Sept 11
2hour 03min 59sec Haile Gebreselassie Eth, Berlin, Germany, 28 Sept 08

Picture 1 - Patrick with his world record at Brandenburg Gate, Germany

Friday, December 23, 2011

Injury - Hwo to stay out of it (Part 2)

Injury - Priority should be identifying the seriousness of the problem first.

There were times when I got this knowledge of injury prevention from books and experience. They were many times that I was able to stay away from injury while training very hard in running. I always remember that prevention is better than cure.



The moment an athlete gets an injury, the immediately thing that happens will be the athlete getting into a depression. The athlete will find this difficult to cope with if he or she has a very big goal to achieve. Hence, for serious runners coping strategies are very important. 

As for my part, I can share with you that injury can be prevented if they are able to observe and be aware. This skill comes if one reflects and meditate more. 

The first line of defence to protect yourself from injury is to see the stages of the injury. 

If the injury is such that it comes and goes as a sensation now and then, it means that the injury is at the first stage. At this stage it is alright to train and watch out. One could may be cut down on mileage or intensity of training if the sensation persist. The sensation may last for  few seconds to 3min. This, from my personal experience, is stage one. Injury comes as sensation first.

The second stage comes when you wake up, the pain comes for a few minute and also persist as sensation throughout the day. this is stage 2. One should do the best to cut down doing 50% mileage, instead of 100% mileage. One should look for improvement from injury status. Once you are back to normal, you can go back to your original mileage gradually. 

The third stage of injury is when you get sensations coming in the morning, when you are just sitting or eating, or even every where you go, you can feel the injury. This stage is point that one must not aggravate the injury anymore. One should learn to do other forms of cardio training like swimming and cycling, or even canoeing to keep the fitness. I believe that one should wait for the injury to go from stage two and to finally to stage one. One should find the road to recovery.


Flexifitness Blog - runningcoachsg - readship reaches more than 150000 pageviews


Flexifitness Blog, runningcoachsg, reaches more than 150000

Table 1 - Top 10 countries reading this blog. 

Finally, after crossing 150000 mark of pageviews for readership of the Blog, we are revealing the figures to the public. 

Flexifitness would like to thank readers for this achievement. We would also do our best to bring up the sports and running in Singapore and world over. We actually revealed this figure after waiting   for Singapore readers to reach more than 100000 for readership. 

Picture 2 - This month's pageview










Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Pick - Best Races for our local Marathoners to run in Year 2012.

 
Picture 1 - Similar to Gold Coast Marathon and Hong Kong Marathon, there are many races overseas which will benefit runners who want to do a sub-3hr or sub 4hrs.

When I used to run races in the past, I used to be very choosy on running the race I want to run. 

I was once selected to run in an international marathon race in Pune, India, in the early 90s. I rejected the offer straightaway as the race was held in a very hot environment, like mid-day weather of Singapore. The then SAA officials were displeased at first. Later on, Mr Lim Jit Imm, the former Vice - President of SAA told me to run in Hong Kong marathon. In the past, Hong Kong marathon was flat and a fast course as compared to now. Currently, beset with a number of highways. I did 2hr 31min for the race and came in overall 5th position for the race. It was the first time I broke the Singapore National Record held by Tan Choon Ghee, Yvonne Danson's husband, which was 2hr 34min at that time.

Later on, in life, I chose races where there were many people doing between 2hr 08min to 2hr 10min. It was more of checking all the statistics of all the races in the world, especially the major ones. I wanted to see how many elite runners can do that time. At that time, I realised that London marathon and Berlin marathon stood out from the rest of the marathon races. Chicago and Rotterdam were my dream races as well but I told myself to run in these shortlisted very important races for improving my timing in marathon. 

In 1993, I did 2hr 29min in London, April, after sitting for my first year exams and then four months later do 2hr 28min in Berlin. I was fascinated with the crowd and the way the races were organised. 

When I raced in SEA Games, Chiengmai weather, I realised that I was going through the dream weather that I actually wanted. I did 2hr 24min and Yvonne Danson did 2hr 34min for Singapore. 

Right now, there are many marathon races in the world that one can take part in. My advice to all is to avoid Berlin and London marathon unless one is in top form to run the race. Or if you like, just enjoy the charisma of the race and run for fun and not to the time. 

I ran the Berlin marathon in 2007 and 2008 and found running in the race not easy. It is too crowded. There was no space for me to run. I did 2hr 54min. I could have gone faster but I had to contain myself not to collide people on my left, right, front and back. I was very tired because of this. I told myself to avoid Berlin and London unless, I aim for a goal to run sub- 2hr 30min. For top runners, this race will make sense and make one to attain a good time. 

I ran London marathon and found the same problem. I came to a conclusion, that if I am an elite runner, these two races will be a very good idea. 

Right now, it is advisable for marathon runners to run races like Hong Kong marathon and Gold Coast marathon 2012 race because of the ability for one to do a personal best time because of not too much crowding. The weather in Hong Kong has been good, except for the pollution from the highway. The water points are very good. However, the challenge is that this route has about 10 to 11 uphills, especially the long highways. One must be well prepared with some hill training.

The other race that is fast becoming popular is Gold Coast marathon. Last year, I saw many runners able to run a faster time because of the flat course and the 10km races were placed a day before the marathon race. At the start line, it is easy to talk to your own athlete. 

I believe that Singaporeans who want to do well should do the Gold Coast Marathon 2012 in order to do a personal best time. The race is also very well organised. 

Picture 2 - Hong Kong Marathon is well organised throughout the year, although the route is very hilly.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In Pursuit of Excellence - Injury Causes, Effects and Remedy (Part 1)

Injury - Part and parcel sports is on how to avoid injury in the pursuit of excellence

Picture 1 - Avoiding injury got the three working partners - from left to right Daniel Ling, M.Rameshon and Dr Ben Tan - to come in first, second and third in 2008 Standard Chartered Marathon .
 
When I was young secondary school boy, I used to get shoulder pains whenever I run. Now I don't. 

Over a period of time, when I was sustaining myself in sports, I got the experience of going through many kind of injuries, like toe pain, ankle sprain, shin pain, shin splint, knee pain, lateral ligament of knee pain, groin injury, hip injury, back injury, heart pain plantar faciitis, achilles tendon injury etc.

In pursuit of excellence, I find that one should know how to identify the injury and do something early rather that wait for things to get worse. 

In year 2008, I checked this with Ben Tan on why people get injury after our Berlin Marathon run 2008. I realised that top runners and sportsman have somehow mastered, although not perfected, the art of avoiding injury, they are able to identify early and do something immediately rather than continuing to train and make things worse. .

Hence, I will write on this in my website on injury on how to identify and avoid it. If you get injury, what to do will be discussed, tomorrow onwards, from 22nd Dec 2011. It is all for the benefit of people who want to excel in sports, not just running. 


Next post on Preventing Injuries at- http://www.runningcoachsg.com/

Picture 2 - Injury - A knowledge of how to avoid injury is paramount in any training.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Krystal Jacob Climbs Mount Rinjani.

Picture 1 - Krystal (left) with Johnson Jacob, 200km Sahara Desert runner (right), on their way up Mt Rinjani.

I met this girl by the name of Krystal Jacob, daughter of Johnson Jacob. She is 15 years of age. I found that she used to run with upper body forming a hunchback, earlier on. Her running also was not so smooth and not aligned at first. Now there is some change in her running and I don't seem to see her running in an hunchback manner. 

Recently, before the Mt Rinjani climb in end October, Krystal ran the 1500m in 8min 36sec. Later on, with consistent effort, she did 7min 50sec around 3rd Nov. Subsequently, she did 7min 37sec and left for Mount Rinjani. Later on she returned back to Singapore. On 13th Dec 2011, Krystal did a time of 7min 25sec for 1500m, showing progression in her running performance. I also found out from the father that she had successfully climbed on top of the Mountain, which is 3,726 metres  . This was very good to hear and I thought of putting this report by her to the public.

About the mountain: Mount Rinjani or Gunung Rinjani is an active volcano in Indonesia on the island of Lombok. Administratively the mountain is in the Regency of North Lombok. It rises to 3,726 metres  (12,224 ft), making it the second highest volcano in Indonesia.
On the top of the volcano is a 6 km by 8.5 km caldera, which is filled partially by the crater lake known as Segara Anak (Child of the Sea). This lake is approximately 2000 metres above sea level and estimated at being around 200 metres deep; the caldera also contains hot springs.

Day 1 (19th November 2011 )
It was a long journey to get to our hotel, and by the time we reached our destination it was late in the evening and we were all tired from the journey to Lombok. We had a nice dinner nearby and headed back to our hotel to prepare for the adventure awaiting us.

Day 2 (20th November 2011 )
We woke up at 5.00am to get ready and do some last minute preparations before we leave the hotel at 5.30am. The sun had already risen and it was really bright as soon as we stepped out of the hotel. There was a cab waiting for us, together with a lady named Bahariah, whom we first thought was our guide, but later realized that she was joining us for the climb to Mount Rinjani. It took us 3 hours to get to our destination..the bottom of the mountain and soon enough, we were at the start of the hike. We met people from around the world, whom joined us for the hike. The first was a couple from Alaska, named Clint & Jen, the second was Ben, who is from London, and lastly we met a French lady named Flore. It was a 7km hike , but we would stop from time to time to hydrate ourselves. When we reached our first campsite for the night, we were all really exhausted ,hungry and wet from our perspiration.  Thanks,  to Dad who carried by bag all the way .It turned dark at 7pm , the porters prepared our dinner, after dinner we headed into our tents as it was clod and windy. I shared the tent with my new friend Bahariah, Wayne and Dad were into one tent.


Day 3 (21st November 2011 )

We woke up at 6.00am and started packing the sleeping bags and had banana pancakes and tea for breakfast which the porters prepared and soon enough, we continued our journey again, but this time, we will be heading to the crater and were told about the lake and the hotsprings.  It wasn’t really tough to hike to the crater, but it was just a little bit steep. When we reached the crater, it had the most spectacular view of a new volcano n the middle of the crater. We headed down to the volcano and Dad, Wayne, Clint and Bahariah were the only ones who swam in the cold lake. All of us couldn’t wait to get to the hot springs to relax, as we did not smell very good. The hot springs was only 5minutes away from the lake.which was 5 minutes away from the lake. We eventually reached the hot springs and we were all excited and relieved that we didn’t take a long time to reach there. The water was really nice and warm and in the corner, there was a perfect little waterfall. After that, we went to a shaded area where our guide and porters were cooking our lunch and we lie there to relax for a little, while waiting for our food to be ready. After lunch, we had to hike for 3 more hours, back up, and spent the night there. It is called the summit campsite.

Day 4 (22nd November 2011 )

We had to wake up at 2.00am to get ready and eat breakfast, and leave to reach the summit to watch the sunrise. It was really cold and the route to the summit was really tiring as there was lots of ups and downs, the small volcanic stones were very loose and difficult to walk on . The last 100m was really tough as it was full of sand and rocks, so every 3 steps that you take, you will slide back down 2 steps .I eventually reached the summit and witnessed the breathtaking view of the sunrise., it was very cold up there . After  a few minutes, we had to get down from the summit and it was tougher than it looks, and it took 1 and a ½ hours to go all the way down to the place where we stayed the night . Breakfast was prepared whenever someone reaches the campsite to prevent the food from getting cold in the wind. After breakfast, we  headed all the way down the mountain and out the forest, a different route from the climb up.  We were told it will take 5 hours to reach the bottom of the mountain.It was still tough though it was just downhill all the way, we had to avoid animal dung too. We finally reached the end of the hiking journey and we were really grateful for the awesome and memorable experience that we had. We had no time for lunch as we wanted to reach Gili Island on the same day, for some rest and relaxation.




Day 5 (23rd November 2011)
About Gili Islands: Arcing away from the northwest corner of Lombok, are three idyllic atolls,
where the sand is still powdery white, the water a clear sparkling turquoise, 
and the sunsets over Bali’s volcano Mt. Agung in the west simply spectacular..

 When we reached one of the Gili Island, named Gili Trawangan, we checked in our hotel (Dream Divers) and explored the island for a little while and had dinner with Clint & Jen at a Mexican restaurant and we had to wait for 1 ½ hours for our food, but the food was really nice. After that, we then headed back to our hotel for some rest. Dad didn’t like the hotel.

We changed hotel to Gili Divers  as the old hotel had no air-conditioner and no toilet doors, the new hotel had a toilet door, air-conditioner and we could even borrow the latest DVDs for free, and most importantly, the toilet was really spacious and clean!  Overall it was better furnished and more lively. We didn’t do much on this day, but we borrowed 2 DVDs as it was raining in the afternoon, we watched Transporter 3, which was really cool. We had a really nice dinner at a market place, which served really nice food at affordable prices, and after eating, we headed  back to our hotel to watch our 2nd DVD, Terminator 4, and fell asleep while watching it as it was kind of boring.
 
 Day 6 (24th November 2011)

We thought of going to the other Gili Islands, which was Gili Meno and Gili Air, but we decided against it because we really liked our current hotel and wasn’t ready to let it go.  Later in the day, we booked a trip for  snorkeling and we took many pictures of the different types of fishes that we saw. It was me and my brother’s first time snorkeling, but at first, I didn’t get the hang of it as I kept choking on the water, but Wayne did really good and snorkeled like a pro! After a few more tries, I got hang of it and realized that it was kind of fun. We saw many fishes of different colours, like fishes with black, white and yellow stripes and fishes with orange and black stripes. It was a really cool and fun experience and I will be looking forward to do it again another time. After snorkeling, we went back to our hotel to bathe and then we went out for dinner at a Italian restaurant with Clint, Jen and Ben, and the food was really great, including our Chocolate Mousse that we had for dessert.

Day 7 (25th November 2011)

We snorkeled again today, opposite our hotel, but we still saw the same type fishes that we saw the day before during our snorkeling trip, and only saw a few fishes that we didn’t see before, and we saw a small blue-ish crayfish! It was really fascinating as I have never seen a crayfish in real life before.

Connect to our Mount Rinjani slideshow for more pictures. Click this link, to view it! J