March 28th 1:30am NY time we began our multi-day endeavor half way across the world to spend a month living in and maintaining an Earthship on the island of Kenawa, Indonesia. Our 15 hour flight to Hong Kong was smooth, both having slept about ten hours of it. We agreed that we would easily fly Cathay Pacific again. Great service and surprisingly good airplane food. Another 5 hour flight to Jakarta and we were officially in Indonesia and you would know it by the blast of heat and humidity you feel as soon as you walk out of the airport. Like a wet slap in the face. Intense! Reminded me of my ten years living in Houston during which I often felt like I was wrapped in a wet blanket. It didn’t take long for us to get a feel for just how friendly the people here are. As we fumbled with our money in the airport to buy 2 bottles of water to quench our dying thirst, the local man next to us bought our bottles for us. So sweet and we were very thankful as we chugged them down quickly. As we waited in the Jakarta airport for our third flight to the neighboring island of Lombok, I finished a slice of pizza my dad packed me in NY, half of which I ate in Hong Kong. That slice of pizza really got around! Rob enjoyed a very spicy local dish after which he consumed an entire bottle of water to subdue the heat and initiated some laughter from the locals nearby.
We would have loved to look out the window as we flew from one island to the next, but we both slept hard for the entire 2 hour flight. We had traveled almost 2 entire days and while things went amazingly smooth it can be exhausting. In Lombok we retrieved our luggage, took a short cab ride to a nearby hotel and finally soaked up the success of our travels and cheered over Bintang (the local beer produced by Heineken) to the fact that we made it halfway across the world with all of our luggage and smiling!
We looked up at a near full moon, I put flowers in my hair and we savored the moment before enjoying sleeping in a bed rather than an airplane before waking up early to take our 4th and final flight to yet another island. Keep in mind that Indonesia is comprised of 17,000 islands!! We were woken up at what we thought was 4am to a very loud call to prayer. We laid in bed a bit before getting up to enjoy our included breakfast before catching our 6:30a shuttle to the airport when the phone rang in the room. The hotel was alerting us that it was indeed 6:30a and our shuttle was waiting. What?!? Trying to conserve data on our new prepaid Indonesian SIM cards we had turned our location services off and our phones never updated to the one hour time change between the islands. Oops! We had showered the night before so we quickly got dressed and looked longingly at the dining room as we walked to the shuttle. This next flight was to the island of Sumbawa and was delayed an hour and a half (would have had plenty of time for that breakfast!) which gave me time to read some of my new book on Indonesia and enjoy some very broken conversation with two ladies sitting next to us. People LOVE to converse here and take any opportunity to do so. It’s a very social culture. We are definitely back in the land of the squat toilet and I don’t mind it. When I lived in Nepal I decided I really liked them and want one in my own house eventually. Now…Rob may not be on the same page so it’s looking like I will have a “private squat toilet 😉” while he enjoys the western 🚽. By 10am we were on the island of Sumbawa (which is like a gorgeous jungle with huge mountains and volcanoes) and ready to hop on a boat ride to Moyo Island where we would be relaxing for the weekend before heading to Earthship island aka Kenawa. We planned on taking the public boat but unfortunately it wasn’t running. Luckily our cab driver knew EVERYONE! He hooked us up with his friend, Madhi, who has a “speedboat” for hire who also happened to know the owner of the hotel we were staying at. See the photo of the boat and you will understand the quotations, but hell, we wanted to get to our final destination already. Madhi, his wife and 4 year old son welcomed us into their home by the water while we waited an hour or so for the boat to arrive and fuel up. We were starting to get a feel for how the locals live and to say “modestly” would be an extreme understatement. While the scenery is gorgeous the amount of trash all around and shack-like homes in this area are reminding me of Nepal. Rob showed Madhi’s son Gizmo and I just about died when his son tried to make Gizmo’s arms move “when he talks.” Oh, the tales of Gizmo!
We finally hopped on our 2 hour boat ride and Rob was beginning to transition from travel-mode to pure excitement. He loves boats and even though it was a bumpy ride we were both grinning ear to ear the entire time. I enjoyed sitting on the bow and deck of the boat as we approached Moyo and my jaw dropped when we docked at the jetty and I could see EVERYTHING below the water because it’s so freaking clear. Wow, what an introduction to Indonesia. Dangerously beautiful, indeed.
Stay tuned for part 2 by Rob complete with stories from Moyo and our arrival to Kenawa…it only gets more beautiful from here🐠🦀🌺☀️🌊🌴💓