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 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
On sail day, even if the trip is an hour, I toss the fishing lewer, a purple squid as long as my forearm, off the back of our 75ft catamaran, and sing my fish song. Here, big fishie, come for a snack There’s a squid you might like (mind the barb in its back). I … More The Catch of my Life
I step on stage and look out at 2000-plus Indonesians celebrating their Independence Day. A line of women and men, a halo of seashells and feathers on their head, wave me over and I search for an escape route or a translator. With neither in sight, the only option is to link fingers with callused … More Thank You, Indonesia
We sail away from the trash rivers of Alor in search of coral reefs, white sand, and water that won’t give you fungus. Here, I can take a breath and not choke on rotting fish, diesel or fermented fruit. The last three days, parked in Kalabahi, a “city” with a water catchment functioning as the … More A Sand Island called Kroko, I think.