Archiv der Kategorie: Indonesia

Indonesia – Summary & Pictures

People: Since I visited many different islands this time, people were different as well. Some islands are Christian, some Muslim and Bali is Hindu, some are very touristy (Bali) and some almost don’t have any infrastructure yet (Flores). So the locals were different, but most of them very friendly and always helpful 🙂

Food: The less touristy, the less choice… and at one point I was a bit sick of Mie Goreng and Nasi Goreng. If you were lucky, there was some fresh fish which then was suuuuper delicious!!

Weather: Incredible, but we almost only had hot, sunny weather 🙂 Blue skies, sunshine, heat. Only in the mountains of Flores it was a bit cooler and once it was drizzling a little.

Costs: More expensive than expected, especially due to the many tours we booked. But even accommodation was not that cheap! But I was not counting every cent anymore this time, since I knew this was definitely the last part of my trip… In total I spent about 32€/day.

Accommodation: Most accommodation was not that great and quite expensive for what it was… But that’s how it is once you venture off the tourist trail! 😉

Infrastructure: The further East you get, the worse the infrastructure gets. In Flores, busses took ages for a couple of kilometers, rattling through narrow mountain roads and breaking down here and there along the way! The roads however are actually surprisingly good.

Illnesses: All good 🙂

Safety: All good 🙂

Highlight: Diving in Komodo national park with maaaany reef sharks and huge manta rays! Simply amazing!!! 🙂

Lowlight: The bad offers when it came to accommodation, food and transportation was a bit exhausting sometimes… 😉

Click here for my pictures of Indonesia:

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The end wasn’t quite the end: Indonesia, again!

28.09.-29.09.2013 München – Kuta, Bali

After a few weeks at home, I spontaneously decided to fly away again – to Indonesia. In Munich I boarded an Emirates plane to Jakarta via Dubai, and from there I continued to Denpasar, Bali. This is where I met Mathijs again; we would be travelling together over the next few weeks. In Kuta we organised a few things, had a bit of party time, bought a few things and otherwise simply relaxed. It’s not the most beautiful place to be, but it is a good starting point for a journey towards the east…
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30.09.2013 Kuta – Padang Bai, Bali

At lunchtime, we took a bus from Kuta to Padang Bai. Padang Bai is a pleasant little fishing village that only ever gets animated during the times of the daily boat transfers to Bali and to the Gili Islands. There are innumerable tour agencies offering for example trekking tours to Gunung Rinjani on Lombok, a tour we booked right away. We also strolled along the little beach and enjoyed the calm – a contrast to Kuta.
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01.10.2013 Padang Bai – Senggigi – Senaru, Lombok

What a long travel day! It began early in the morning on a slow boat to Lombok, which was just as slow as its name would suggest.
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Arriving in the harbour, we were transferred to Senggigi, where we were brought to our tour agency and waited for the pickup to Senaru. We finally arrived when it was already dark and we were incredibly tired…

02.10.-04.10.2013 Gunung Rinjani, Lombok

I have to say straight away: The trekking tour up the Gunung Rinjani was the most strenuous hike I have ever done. And another thing: Sadly, I didn’t make it to the peak. We were in a crazily sporty group, and many group members in the front were practically running uphill. This meant that I used up my energy quicker than usual and it was also a little bit demotivating 😉 The landscape was wonderful in the beginning, though. Volcanos have their own charm! 🙂
DSC07428 [50%]The first day was long and tough, but in the evening we camped at the edge of the crater and were rewarded by the fantastic view over the crater lake.
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DSC07454 [50%]The night was relatively short, for we had to get up at 1:30 a.m. to pack up and leave for the peak. The first bit of the way was very tough right away, and unfortunately due to a misunderstanding I lost Mathijs and had to shuffle through the dark alone. I got caught somewhere in the middle – too slow for the fast walkers, too fast for the slow ones. Some 40 minutes before the peak, I had to give up. The ground only consisted of loose scree and I was sliding backwards more than I was advancing. The sun had already risen a while ago, and neither my group nor my guides were anywhere to be seen. All alone, I didn’t manage to motivate myself to carry on, so I turned back. Due to my bad mood, I didn’t take a lot of pictures, even though the landscape was in fact truly beautiful.
DSC07487 [50%]In a different group I would probably have made it to the peak and would have been able to enjoy the morning more. Later the same day, we went down to the crater lake, where it was possible to swim (brrrrr!).
DSC07499 [50%]The hot springs nearby were much more inviting.
DSC07505 [50%]Afterwards, we had to walk back up the whole way we had come down to get to our new campsite next to the crater – and again there was a stunning view of the crater lake.
DSC07522 [50%]The last day, we only went downhill in a leisurely way. This was my favourite part of the hike – I really enjoy going down a mountain!! 🙂 Many people complained about muscle pain, etc. Well, part of me couldn’t help thinking… if only you lot had started off a little slower and not worn yourself out so much! For I myself was feeling just dandy 🙂 But it’s for everybody to decide for themselves how they approach things. The landscape on the tour was really great, but a trip to the edge of the crater would have been enough for me (this is also what many travellers do). 🙂

05.10.-06.10.2013 Senggigi / Kuta / Motorbike Tour, Lombok

We arrived in Senggigi in the evening of 4 October and decided to explore the island by motorbike over the next two days. We went across the island to get to Kuta – for on Lombok there is a beach bearing the same name as the one on Bali. Only much nicer! Still – it wasn’t as great as I had expected.
DSC07537 [50%]So we cruised on along the coast towards the east and discovered some really splendid bays.
DSC07569 [50%]We spent the night in Kuta and the next day we visited Lombok’s southwest. This is where we found the beach of our dreams!! I don’t have much of an eye for distances, but I’d say the beach was about 3 km long – and completely deserted! White sand, turquoise water, simply amazing 🙂DSC07636 [50%]

07.10.-10.10.2013 Kencana Boat Tour, from Lombok to Flores

There are several possibilities to get from Lombok to Flores: You can a) fly, b) enjoy a bus trip of 30 hours or c) go on a 4 day boat trip where you can go snorkelling every day (including sightings of manta ray!!), stop at isolated islands, explore hidden waterfalls and have heaps of relaxing time in-between activities, simply doing nothing 🙂 Guess which of the three choices we went for! 😉
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DSC07689 [50%]We had four wonderful days with a great group of people from all over the world. The highlight was a stint to Komodo National Park. We went to Komodo and to Rinca, where you can look for Komodo dragons during your hikes. We did spot some in the wilderness; although most of them spend their time lazily lying around near the restaurant, waiting for food waste…
DSC07770 [50%]The best moment for me was a little hike up a hill for a viewpoint – simply spectacular!!DSC07711 [50%]The tour ended in Labuan Bajo, where we spent another night with the rest of the group, with lots of fun and drinks.

11.10.-13.10.2013 Labuan Bajo, Flores

Labuan Bajo is one of the ugliest towns I have ever been to. No beauty and nothing to do, expect going on a tour to Komodo NP and scuba diving. As we had already seen Komodo dragons, we rested for a day and then spent the next two days on dives.
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To be brief: Komodo National Park is not without reason known as one of the best diving spots in the world! All 6 dives were brilliant! We saw innumerable sharks, colourful corals, gigantic fish shoals aaaaand about 15 manta rays!!! We had a whale of a time. And most of the time there was a strong current, either prompting us to hold onto rocks or propelling us forward at high speed. Loved it!!! 🙂 Unfortunately, none of the divers took any pictures…

14.10.2013 Labuan Bajo – Bajawa, Flores

We spent this day in a bus. The trip was about 14 hours long, instead of the expected 10. It was long, boring and tiring.

15.10.2013 Bajawa, Flores

Bajawa is a small village in the mountains of Flores. There are some traditional villages nearby, where we went by motorcycle.
DSC07835 [50%]We also wanted to see the volcano lakes at Wawo Muda – but then we lost our way and never actually got there. Nevertheless we had great views and our motorcycle tour was really good: we drove across the land in a real off-road fashion…
DSC07928 [50%]It was fun, but I was also glad I didn’t have to drive myself 😉
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16.10.2013 Bajawa – Moni, Flores

Another long bus journey. The roads on Flores are narrow and bendy, and the buses do not have a lot of horse power. So even short distances can take a while… but we eventually did arrive in Moni!
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17.10.2013. Moni, Flores

Moni is a teeny-tiny village near Kelimutu National Park. Kelimutu is a volcano sporting three crater lakes in different colours. The best time to visit is early morning, for the sunrise. From a viewpoint, you can watch the sun rise behind the lakes – wonderful!! 🙂 Did I mention how much I love volcanos!? Volcanic landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful, time and again.
DSC08046 [50%]Equally nice were the rice fields we found on our way back. A fantastic surprise; while it was still dark, we had passed them without even realising…
DSC08127 [50%]After breakfast, we spent the rest of the day cruising around on our motorbike. Flores has amazing nature and sooo many friendly people live there, who waved to us from the side of the road, shouted “hellooooo”, and children wanted to high-five us. It was fun! 🙂
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18.10.2013 Moni – Maumere, Flores

We were in luck: For the last part of our journey on Flores we found a half-private liftshare, so the trip was short and relatively comfortable. Did I say that Labuan Bajo is ugly!? That was before I saw Maumere. Definitely one of the ugliest towns I have ever seen.
DSC08171 [50%]People here were not friendly, but uncomfortably pushy. Infrastructure for tourism: zero. Restaurant choice: none. We ran into two German girls, though, who knew an Indonesian person half acting as their guide who wanted us to join him for a wedding. Of course we went! It certainly was an experience, but a pretty weird one. The newly-weds were sat on some sort of stage and in front of them there were rows of chairs for the guests, like in a theatre. Bride and groom were accompanied by applause while they accepted gifts, hands were being shaken, many picture poses and extremely artificial pictures were taken. The bride’s smile ended up looking rather forced 😉 Well, it was still an interesting experience!
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19.10.2013 Maumere – Wodong, Flores

We wanted to spend our last days on Flores relaxing on the beach. For this purpose, we rented a motorcycle in Maumere and drove along the coast in the direction of Wodong. On our way we stopped at various beaches and places to stay until we found a perfect beach cabin 🙂
P1130484 [50%]20.10.-23.10.2013 Wodong, Flores

The next few days, we relaxed a looooot.
DSC08371 [50%]One day, we did muster the energy to visit one last volcano. Mount Egon is the highest mountain/volcano in East Flores, but you can drive your motorbike far up on the street and then it’s only a 2-3 hours walk to the crater. And again I was fascinated by the volcanic landscape. Mount Egon is still highly active; many big and small holes seethe and smoke. It is a fabulous spectacle and you feel really small next to the gigantic crater. What a nice ending to our Indonesian volcano experience!
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24.10.2013 Maumere – Makassar – Jakarta – München

On the afternoon of 23 October, we had to leave our relaxing paradise Wodong and head back into my “favourite” city Maumere. We had planned to enjoy a lovely dinner on our last evening together – but in this city, it wasn’t possible. What a pity! The next day we had an early start – a small propeller plane took us from Maumere to Makassar. There, I had to wait 5 hours for my connection to Jakarta and then take two more flights to get back to Europe – my definite return home. Sadly, in Makassar I also had to say goodbye to Mathijs again…
P1120968 [50%]The weeks in Indonesia were a wonderful addition and brought my travels to a pleasant end. I could again feel the special freedom unique to long-term travels. I saw spectacular landscapes and had many amazing experiences. Yes, I’m happy I set out one last time, and it was definitely more than worth it! 🙂

Sulawesi – Summary & Fotos

People: In Sulawesi you don’t meet a lot of other tourists and therefore form a (necessary) group with the ones you do meet quickly. I have mixed memories of the locals in Sulawesi: On the one hand you were a sensation as a tourist and welcomed openly, people were pointing at you, giggling and everyone wanted to take hundreds of pictures in all kind of different family combinations. On the other hand, exactely all of this was sometimes getting a bit exhausting. In addition, people were smoking always and everywhere (even in a closed bus) and the men were sometimes uncomfortably pushy as soon as I was travelling by myself 😦

Food: Food in Sulawesi was nothing compared to Malaysia – there was just not a lot of variety in it. Mostly it was fried fish/chicken with dry rice – these were the two standard dishes. On Bunaken I ate very well in my accommodation – but it’s under German management… 😉

Weather: Unfortunately the rain didn’t let go of me, even in Sulawesi. It often rained for longer periods of time nonstop. Luckily there were also lots of sunny days in between and real heat, for example on the Togean Islands…

Costs: Sulawesi was actually quite cheap, but I did a lot of diving and often had to charter a car with driver together with other backpackers, which was costly. My daily costs averaged at 20€, respectively 31€ incl. diving.

Accommodation: I had everything! A nice beach bungalow for myself, an extremely disgusting mattress which you really didn’t want to touch in a stuffy room smelling of cigarettes… variety was taken care of 😉

Infrastructure: There is not a lot of infrastructure on Sulawesi yet. Even between big cities there is often only one bus a day or even every couple of days. Often it is unclear, when the next bus could go. There are also not a lot of cars on the roads outside the cities – a bit more in the South. That’s why it’s very common (even for locals…for a lower price…) to charter a car with a driver – often the only option to get from A to B. The roads are in catastrophic conditions and are among the worst I have ever seen. Hence, driving times are ridiculously long for even just a couple of kilometers…

Illnesses: Luckily everything was fine – Sulawesi really is not a place where I would want to be sick…

Safety: I never really felt unsafe but the pushy guys were exhausting sometimes!

Highlight: Diving in Pantai Bira! Everything was perfect and I felt really good there 🙂

Lowlight: Everywhere, and I do mean everywhere and ALWAYS you are surrounded by smoking locals – it often stinks soooo much! 😦

Click here for my pictures of Sulawesi:

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