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Weltreise 2007

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October in Indonesia
04. December 2007, Ingo Froeschmann. On Bali I went straight to Kuta and I do not remember why. Maybe I heard so much about the great surf that I ignored all the other comments about the place: Loud, crowded, congested and full of shirtless Australians riding motorbikes that have two extra bars attached to the side to hold a surfboard.

Kelimutu crater lakes vergroessern (Source: Lilian)

I did enjoy the waves and I also had some quiet hours at Starbucks (yes, the one next to the Bounty Club that got blown up in 2002) learning Bahasa Indonesia. Since everyone speaks English here, I did not have many chances of trying my skills on the locals. Their English was always better than my Indonesian. Frustrating.

I left Kuta a few days later and went straight to the next island to the east, Lombok. The ferry ride for the 30 kilometers took seven hours, making it impossible to reach the beautiful Gili islands on the same day. I had to spend the night in Senggigi, a town that was built up as a major tourist destination just before the Bali bombings. Now it has fancy restaurants and hotels that are expensive and empty.

Together with some other travellers I went to a tent restaurant instead where we had fantastic and cheap fish and an earthquake. Yep, my first earthquake. The tent was shaking a little and the next morning I learned that it was actually a 5.9 on the Richter scale in the epicentre.

The three small Gili islands are to the northwest of Lombok, just a short boatride away. I decided to stay on Gili Trawangan, the biggest and busiest of the three. The locals are a curious mix of farmers, shopkeepers, landlords and local boys who run bars where they sell any drug you can think of. Since there is no police on any of the islands, this is apparently quite unproblematic until you get addicted. I went snorkeling instead to see turtles.

Further east of Lombok are the islands of Sumbawa, Komodo and Flores. I joined a regular tourist boat that sails every week out of Lombok to Labuan Bajo on Flores. The trip was absolutely fantastic. The boat stops at little islands with deserted beaches or volcano islands that have a crater lake filled with salt water because a tsunami back in 1815 washed over the crater wall.

The reason for most people to go on this trip are the Komodo dragons, extremely large monitor lizards that live only on a few islands around Komodo. They are usually difficult to see, but since they like kitchen smells, there are always a few outside the rangers kitchen. Not the ideal of wild animals, but they are extremely dangerous. In recent month they bit a careless tourist who was flown out to Bali where he recovered. Komodo bites are dangerous because of over 100 type of bacteria that thrive in their mouths. A local boy was not so lucky. Picking fruit he was caught by a dragon which was hiding nearby. The boy's friend went for help but when it finally arrived there was no trace of the boy.

Indonesia is famous for being the most populous Muslim country in the world. When taking a closer look, local differences become visible. Java is predominantly Muslim, Bali is dominated by Hindu people, Lombok and Sumbawa are Muslim again and further east the island of Flores is 85% Protestant and Timur is 85% Catholic. Quite a mess but in this part of Indonesia they tend to get on with each other.

I shared a car to travel across Flores to see the beautiful coloured crater lakes of Kelimutu volcano. To get there you travel on one of those roads that never goes in a straight line. The island is 350 kilometers long, but the road that goes from one end to the other is almost kilometers long.

Next I jumped on the opportunity to share a boat with 999 Indonesians to get from Ende on Flores to Kupang in West Timor. The first three hours I actually spent waiting for the ferry, together with the aforementioned 999 Indonesians plus a lot of people trying to make a profit out of the crowd. There was no shelter except a few trees, so most of the people waited in the sun. When the boat finally arrived, I expected it to dock at the pier where everyone was waiting. Instead, everyone rushed forward to catch a small boat to get to the big boat. For some reason, tickets were checked on the small boats which meant crew were literally crawling over passengers to see all the tickets. The whole circus wasted another two hours.

The journey itself was good and I got to see a flying fish for the first time. I probably would have seen more, but everyone on board wanted to know my name and where I was going to so I had a very busy 12 hours.
Quelle: Ingo zur Übersicht...

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Copyright 2004-2006 Raumfahrt24.de Blog für unsere Weltreise 2007 Herausgeber: Lilian & Ingo