Happy Friday the 13th everyone!
Lacy: This same date last year, as we had hiked nearly 400 miles through the Southern California desert’s Pacific Crest Trail, we certainly could not have anticipated that one year later we would be almost half way around the world and enjoying a 26 day stay on one of Indonesia’s most beautiful and cherished islands. Trading in the crunch of dirt and sand under our hiking shoes for the feel of sand between our toes and salt water on our lips as we snorkel. Moving out of our 50×80 tent and into an island Earthship. Leaving behind our gloves and jackets for bathing suits and sunscreen. Yes, we brought our hiking poles as we intend to conquer some Indonesian elevation this summer!
Ever since we embarked on our journey from Dallas to California to begin the Pacific Crest Trail on March 13, 2017 we mark the 13th of every single month and note how long it’s been since we started this adventure together. Today is THIRTEEN months! WOW! During those months we hiked 800+ miles of the PCT (I have hiked well over 1,000 between all our travels), climbed Mt. Whitney, road tripped across the country covering California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, up to the NE and enjoyed every single season along the way to its fullest by being in the right location at the right time. Spring blooms in the Anzo Borego Desert, summer time from Lake Tahoe to New Mexico, experiencing the leaves turn colors and drop in Hunter, NY and finally the magnificent winter wonderland that followed in those same mountains. Opening ourselves up to different places and experiences & following what we felt drawn to along the way directed us to Taos, New Mexico where we fell in love with the Earthship design, it’s promise of sustainability, respect of the environment, and just downright sensibility. Pursuing that knowledge and attending the month long academy program in November gave us the opportunity to maintain and improve the very Earthship we woke up in this morning on the tiny island of Kenawa.
And so here we are, feeling unbelievably fortunate and blessed for where we have been and WHERE WE ARE. Our day today was so special that all 3 of us, Rob, Teri and myself, all commented that we feel like we are kings and living in paradise. The morning started with a 9am boat ride towards Mandiki, also known as Stone Island. It’s not far, but it took us across the west side of Kenawa which we had not previously traveled. We were able to get a closer look at the surrounding islands we have viewed for the last week and a half as Suji helped us learn their names: Pasarang, Belang and yes, we are staring right at Lombok and Rinjani.
That huge mountain is indeed the second highest volcano in the country at 12,000+ ft that we will climb this summer. It’s so big and magnificent rising out of the sea even this far away. It would take an hour and a half to get there in the boat we were in, 2 hours by public ferry. We were all on cloud nine surveying the islands around us from a different view and we hadn’t even completed the 20 minute road to Mandiki yet. Mandiki is basically just the top of a mountain sticking out of the ocean. You wouldn’t get on the tiny thing with one wind blown tree crowning the top, but the snorkeling surrounding it was spectacular.
Rob thinks this tree on top makes it look like a chia pet! Suji dropped us off close by the island so we could take in the coral and bigger fish and just hung out as we enjoyed. I have been a little fish myself here in Indonesia and love being in the water. I’m infatuated with the snorkeling here. Every day is better than the last. I see bigger and different fish each time I go out. Today, the ocean floor was littered with clusters of my blue starfish friends. Very different. I must have seen several dozen. The biggest change here was the force of the current. It was very strong compared to “our island.” I had difficultly swimming against it or staying in one place (which miraculously is never an issue on Kenawa and I can soak in any one image as long as I desire). But the current wasn’t any bother because Suji and his brother just slowly followed us along as we moved with it so we would never be far from the boat if we needed a break. I looked up once and I was the only one in the water still. Rob and Teri were relaxing in the boat but I was far from done. I hung on to the outrigger with my face under the water in the deeper parts feeling the water course over my body as the boat moved to a better part to take in the underwater world. I must have snorkeled there for over an hour before climbing in the boat and giving the OK to start our trip back home. I rode on the front of the boat on the way home taking photos, soaking in the morning sun, the view and loving life. It kind of reminded me of being on the boat we chartered for several days when we were in Hawaii for our honeymoon. Great memories. No question I’m going to look back on this month with a smile in my heart. Right after we pulled onto shore by the house the 3 of us prepared to snorkel even more. It was only 11 and the sun was still raking in through the sea beautifully. Teri went in front of the house and Rob and I walked down the island to hop in at the tip where it’s deeper, the fish bigger and the coral a little different than out in front of our Earthship. Pole spear in hand, Rob tried to get our dinner. I let him know I was going to let the current carry me the 1/2 mile back home. What a difference the current is here. I actually had to help swim part of the way back because it wasn’t strong enough to take me back in less than an hour. Ha! We are so spoiled here. I love it!!! I saw a couple of fish on my float back home that I made a note to tell Rob about.
Today was a great all over work out with the amount of swimming I did. A little work on the cisterns rounded out our day. We watched the sunset off the pier while enjoying a Bintang, looked at the dark sky and the bright stars that filled at while hugging and saying happy Friday the 13th, 13 months of excitement.
I have so much more I could say like how special the sky is at night here with the millions of stars I can see without light pollution, how I enjoyed watching the sunset again this evening while cleaning up the worlds trash off this beach or that the new Florence and the Machine single came onto today to just be the cherry on my sundae, but I’ll end on this note…
Whether we are hiking through the mountains in Southern California or living in this magical snorkel paradise in SE Asia I am blessed because to have my best friend with me. The people you are with ALWAYS make the experience. And I am one lucky girl to have found this man to share all this with. Today was a great day!
Rob: In the later part of the afternoon today a group came by the Earthship. We are getting used to this, so it seemed kinda’ normal. They all introduced themselves, we shook hands and I invited them in for a look around. They were very inquisitive, but in a manner different from regular tourists. They were really eager to chat and I was so proud to help them learn more about why these homes were built here of tires and bottles. It was done by so many volunteers for them and their country to try to literally and figuratively turn the tide from recyclable material floating around in the ocean to building something sustainable and beautiful. I quickly leaned that it was a teacher from Lombok who had brought a handful of his best students specifically to visit the Earthships on Kenawa. We talked about the water collection, solar power and sewage processing systems in more detail than normal. They spoke a lot amongst themselves in excited tones and seemed to be genuinely impressed and inspired. They excused themselves quickly after taking a few pictures and I wished that they had more time to stay and talk. It was so rewarding to help them see something new – a really great part of a near perfect day.