Although my trip to Indonesia was already half a year ago, I wanna leave a summary of this holiday here for all of you. It was the decisive moment in my life that made me aware of what I will miss, if I don’t go out and experience something. I can say with certainty, that the two months there were some of the best of my life.
Indonesia was the first time that I’ve just booked flights alone and said to me: “Now I wanna try out something new”. First of all I really had luck that my travel period did not exceed 60 days, so I could clarify everything about my visa on the site. I really was naively lucky on the first vacation. This will probably never happen again, that I don’t inform myself before I book flights. Check!
Moreover I was also fortunate, because some of my friends decided to go to the same destination at the same period, so I could sometimes be on the road with some old friends.
But now from the very beginning: on October 27, 2015 my machine started from Munich, on board me, a little bit exited, a few surfers I already met during the boarding and of course other random guests. That I will see the the surfers again after one and a half months in Indonesia was inconceivable for me at this moment. Stopover in Doha, beautiful view on the skyline and the journey goes on. On October 28 I arrived in Denpasar, Bali, in the evening local time, being completely overtired. Of course I flew to Bali, like everybody who wants to go to Indonesia does at the moment. I was only little prepared and just wanted to have a break first. Transfer to the hostel, check-in and then the first surprise. The entire lobby was full of Germans. I realized that I would probably meet Germans quite often on this holiday, which initially relaxed me a bit. I spent three nights in the hostel at Kuta Beach, indeed it really isn’t the nice side of Indonesia there. Meanwhile Clemens, a friend who lives in the same house as me in Munich, arrived on Bali, after he came from Australia. Together with him and Antonio, a chilean magician who also could speak German a little bit, we went on to Ubud. Ubud was a really nice place that really appealed to me. Bustling, as everything in Indonesia seems to be, but not totally overcrowded, with some really nice attractions. A monkey forest, temples, craftsmanship, all we could see there. Highlights definitely were the trips to the surrounding region by scooter, through streets lined with rice terraces, small rural villages and of course rainforest.
After only three nights we went on to Gili Trawangan, where Antonio wanted to celebrate his birthday. Unfortunately Clemens couldn’t come with us right away, because he had to go to the hospital first, after he had received the decompression sickness from diving trips in Australia. Stupid thing, especially if you have to clarify everything with the insurances abroad. So now we have been on Gili Trawangan, the party capital of the Gili Islands. It was awesome! During the Day we shared the water with the turtles around the island, on the sunset we had a beer or two and at night we went out to party.
We endured six nights there, then we decided to go on, since some of us had to leave Indonesia soon. At this moment in our group were Maxi from Germany, Cian from Australia, Lasse from Denmark, Antonio and I. Clemens unfortunately had to go back to the hospital at Bali. Our group went on to Lombok, which was on top of our to-do list. We spent one night in Sengiggi and two nights in Kuta Lombok. In Kuta we once borrowed surfboards and hired a boat, which brought us to one of the famous reef breaks off the coast. I really would’ve stayed longer, but the others had to return to Bali in order to catch their flights. “Never mind”, I thought to myself, “I still have one more month to go”. On Bali we went to Canggu, one of the best decisions we could’ve made. Canggu is really high up on the list of my most favorable places on the world. Perfect surfing conditions, lively atmosphere, relaxed hostel. All in all, I probably spent 20 nights at this place. Even Clemens could spend some nice days there, although still not completely cured, but physically able to travel. From Canggu we made a couple of trips to places like Uluwatu and Padang-Padang, but also a two day trip to the north of Bali.
Only me, Clemens and our scooter, which usually didn’t even make it up the steep roads. But we had beautiful views from the highlands and found the amazing beauties of Balis nature, which are elsewhere largely given to the humans. Waterfalls, hot springs, temples, mountain lakes. Should you ever come to Bali you should add the Highlands and the North to your schedule.
The remaining last week Clemens had in Indonesia we planned to meet Yasemin and her parents, who are also all neighbors from Munich, but this quite didn’t work out for us. So at least we met her parents for a pizza in Ubud and then later again, on the island of Nusa Lembongan. The trip there we just made before Clemens had to head back to Australia and then Germany. Meanwhile i was stuck in authorities stress, cause it was the time I had to extend my visa. Nusa Lembongan was definitely another good decision, as we saw the most beautiful coral reefs I’ve ever seen, nice mangrove forests and in between dreamy, lonely, white sand beaches, which we had previously searched in vain on the touristic sites of Bali and Lombok.
Then it was time to say goodbye to Clemens and also Yasemins parents went on. I stayed a couple of days in Kuta Bali and then travelled back to Gili Trawangan. There I already knew the Indonesian guy Agoung, which we got to know at the first time there. He ran a small hostel there. But besides of that small hostel he also runs a hotel in Changgu, bungalows on Gili Air, he has villas on Bali and in Brazil and just when I arrived there, he invested 300.000 US dollars in a diving school the day before. In short: He wasn’t typical for an Indonesian. Despite his prosperity in a country, which usually has a more simple lifestyle, he was characterized as a very fair, open-minded person whose urge to party, drinking and drugs sometimes ran a bit out of hand. Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun the days I’ve been there. I spent the nights in his hostel, which was under renovation and therefore not even open, let alone reachable. So constantly I had to climb metallic stairs to a balcony without a railing, then enter the hostel through a hole in the wall, but at least I had the hostel for myself. Only Johny, Agoung’s friendly hostel collaborate sometimes came over and wiped the corridor. I spent most of my time with him, what opposed my experience I had from Gili T. so far, cause now I mostly hanged out with locals and got to know their stories. I was shown that in this country with such a strong antagonism the coexistence of the different people still works fine. Agoung then helped me out through his connections to get a good deal for one of the four day trips to Komodo. Four days on a boat, another 13 guests besides of me. Not bad, because usually the boats are designed for 35 guests. In the off season they were running with less visitors. The entire group on the boat was a really pleasant group, the best I got along with Kévin, half from France and half from Madagascar, who was visiting Indonesia from Australia. Four days on a boat aren’t really a cakewalk when you have the cool water always a couple of meters beneath you, but you can only jump into it during the breaks. Armed with books, music, and a good society by the crew and fellow passengers there was rarely boredom coming up. The long time on the boat was really worth it, as the stops we made were amazing.
Beautiful coral reefs, lonely rainforest, waterfalls, small islands with beautiful views and of course the highlight: The Komodo-Dragons on the islands Komodo and Rinca. Those are unique in the world and I stood in front of them! Madness! Absolutely worth the effort.
In addition to that I managed to escape from the main tourist region and collected completely new impressions about the country. At the end of the trip the group has then dissolved again, but with Kévin I’m nevertheless still in contact. You don’t forget nice people and I’m pretty sure we will meet someday again somewhere on the world. I went from Labuanbajo, the capital of the island of Flores, where our trip ended, back on the way to Lombok. Ramshackle Bus, ferry, ultra-modern, air-conditioned Bus; somehow i heave used nearly every transport that is available in Indonesia. When I arrived in Lombok in the morning, it appeared to me in a completely other way than when I saw it the first time. The rainy season has started and where otherwise have been dry, withered or even burnt fields and forests, there now was everything green again. Nice to have seen this change! From Lombok I went back to Gili Trawangan, where i hit on the surfers I met on the plane to Bali. I actually had one more item on my list. Climb the Mount Rinjani Volcanoe. Unfortunately this volcano erupted several times during the period of my stay in Indonesia so the track up there was closed. Well, then I just have to do it when I come back to Indonesia. The last week I then spent in Canggu on Bali to surf and relax, and I finally managed to meet Yasemin after I haven’t seen her in over a year. Buy a few cheap souvenirs and presents and then there came the day of the end of my Journey. At December 23 in 2015 I entered the plane which brought me back to Doha and from there to Munich.
Two months in Indonesia have clearly shaped me as a human. I met so many people from around the world that unfortunately I can’t name them all in this summary. However, you all made this experience to that one I will always be happy about to think back of it. Looking back i would do almost everything the same.