Tomorrow we sail into Bali, and for the next three weeks, there’ll be no protocols or transport negotiations just to step ashore. I will slip my feet into sandy running shoes, tuck a roll of cash into the secret pocket in the lining of my shorts, and step, yes step, off the catamaran and run … More Bali, nirvana or neurosis?
Komodo National Park, famous for bacteria breathing dragons and coral reef that blossoms like grandma’s front garden, is located halfway across the Indonesian archipelago. We sailed over 1000 miles to get here from Australia and during that two-month voyage, I’ve rendezvoused with whale sharks, manta rays, tribal chiefs, local mafia, turtles, asylum seekers, dolphins, monkeys … More Komodo Dragon: Domesticated or Fierce?
Dear Stroller, I must apologize for my absence these last few months. I wish I could blame the patchy cell service in Thailand or the phone I lost in Burma. But honestly, I got lazily, got caught up in this privileged voyage and deserted you. I stopped writing with discipline and did it only when … More No, the Boat Didn’t Sink.
A month ago, Lombok was hit with two deadly earthquakes and barraged by aftershocks that crumbled houses and destroyed schools. Tourism halted and the locals were left to rebuild their island without aid from their biggest industry-tourism. With the boat’s guest room invaded by 140 kg of rice, 200 diapers, 15 mosquito coils, two empty … More Elephants and Earthquakes
The Sumbawa Government, in the last year, has discovered 50 semi-permanent whale sharks befriending fisherman in Saleh Bay. Local squid boats, which look more like giant daddy-longlegs spiders than trawlers, attract the sharks by their bulging halls. Nestle between Bali and Flores, Sumbawa Island is that forgotten weatherboard house on a street of flashy mansions. … More In Search of Whale Sharks
The Buffalo Racing World series attracts the biggest and fastest beasts from rice paddies across the island of Sumbawa. Races don’t take place on groomed oval tracks or dirt straights, but in swampy fields, the natural habitats for these farming giants. Sumbawa, unlike its near neighbors Bali and Lombok, isn’t advertised as a travel destination … More Racing Buffalo: Don’t Try this at Home.
Dear Readers, Since last we spoke, I’ve sailed past 10,000 islands, stopped in at a handful and traveled by train, bicycle, plane, bus, donkey, moped, jeep, horse, Segway and elephant across the Indonesian Archipelago. My neglect for you is not due to contracting some rare tropical disease that seized me with night sweats and screams … More Swallowed by Indonesia