Indonesia Visa Trip V
Visa trips are about escaping Shanghai to check out a new country. (If my boss is reading they are about renewing my visa.) My goal was to go to a new country every time but sometimes you have to break the rules. In 2013 I took a two week trip to Indonesia after I had finished a semester abroad in Australia. Fast forward exactly 2 years later and I end up staying next door to where I was staying in 2013. Getting there this time wasn’t so easy. It was a long visa trip so I’m just going to share the highlights from my trip to Indonesia.
Volcanoes, Layovers and AirAsia Oh My
Two days before my flight, Mt Rinjani in Lombok decides to erupt. The Volcano is spewing ash and has halted all fights in and out of Bali and Lombok. I was pretty bummed but I decided I wouldn’t stress about it. Our flight was from Shanghai to Lombok with a layover in Kuala Lumpur. By the way I am traveling with my friend Christian and his girl friend who both live in Shanghai. As I feared our flight to Lombok was canceled once we got to KL. We were put on a flight for the next day but we were pretty sure the flight was gonna get canceled again because there was no end in sight for this volcano to stop spewing ash. So I got a room at a hotel close to the airport and hoped for the best in the morning.
The next day we woke up to news of yet another canceled flight. At this point we decided we had to figure out a way around this volcano. We went to the airport and there were a bunch of other people in the same situation as us. Some of these people had been stuck in Kuala Lumpur for four days or more. Since we had only been stuck for one night we considered ourselves lucky.
We talked to the people at AirAisa and they were kind of helpful. Overall they are a budget airline who could care less about getting you to your destination. Even on their receipt it says “AirAsia is strictly a point-to-point carrier and shall not be responsible for any connecting flight arrangement which you may choose to make.” Basically it is a big fuck you, were not gonna help you if your connecting flight gets canceled because of a volcano and were also not going to pay for your accommodation while you are stuck in your connecting location. (End rant) After a while of trying to figure it out with AirAsia we got them to change our flight to Surabaya that afternoon. It was a big relief to finally know we weren’t stuck in KL anymore and at least on our way to Lombok. Once we had locked down our flights we shared the news with other people stuck in the same situation as us. It was pretty funny actually. Once all was said and done we had met some cool people who were on there way to the same place as us. All’s well that ends well.
So we land in Surabaya at 01:00 and we have our flight to Bali at 09:00 so we got a hotel really close to the airport to get some sleep. The airport in Surabaya was pretty rough and we didn’t want to pass out there with all our stuff on us. Surabaya was a pretty rough area. If you’re not familiar Surabaya it’s located in east Java directly west of Bali. We didn’t do much of anything in Surabaya besides sleep so I can’t tell you much about it except for the ride from the hotel to the airport in the morning. I was pretty relieved I wasn’t spending any time there after that ride. The streets were super run down. We took this really cheep flight, about $15 USD from Surabaya to Bali and once we landed in Bali we met up with Alex. (Alex from the trip to Hainan.) He had been in Bali for the past week not affected at all by this Volcano. We wasted no time and got a taxi to the port where you could take a boat to Lombok.
Once we got to the port of Lombok, Christians friend Jo came and picked us up in this old 4X4 Toyota. Pretty rad car. Jo knew we were itching to get in the water so he brought us directly to Mawui beach and it was pumping. Soon enough we were in the water and the hassle of traveling was all worth it.
Lombok is part of Indonesia. It directly east of Bali and at a glance looks similar but after some time spent there you can feel the differences. I first came to Lombok in 2013 after a short stay on Gili T. There are a bunch of islands know as the Gili Islands and Gili T is the one I happened to visit. Both visits to Lombok I stayed in stayed in Kuta which is on the southern coast. Something worth noting is that Lombok’s dominant religion is Muslim with 95% of locals practicing. The Muslim religion is also the dominant religion of Indonesia. However Bali is unique in that 95% of its locals are Hindu while only about 5% of its locals are Muslim. When you compare time spent in Bali to Lombok you notice the differences in culture. Both islands are very similar in terms landscape but Lombok has not been worn down by decades of intense tourism. Lombok is still flourishing while travelers who were in Bali 30 years ago say Bali doesn’t feel as natural any more.
Bottom line: Lombok is cheeper then Bali. We stayed in one of the better hotels Kutamara and paid $20USD per night. For $20 my friend and I split a room that had two beds, AC and all shown in the pictures. Pretty good deal, but if your trying to stretch your Rupiah you can get as cheep as $4USD a night if you want to rough it.
Our own little patio. The hotel was walled up and had security 24/7. No worries leaving your board out.
View from the patio. Not to bad.
One more for good measure.
If you didn’t get lost on a trip you played it too safe. If you found yourself getting driven to the local hospital you might have crossed a line. There’s a happy medium of scaring yourself a little and being safe that one finds when traveling. While surfing was the main reason I took a trip to Indonesia, exploring and seeing something new was up there.
CAUTION: WATER BUFFALO X-ING … said no sign ever in Indonesia
Dream spot turned reality.
Mowie Break, Lombok
I was in Indonesia from Sunday the 9th to Monday the 16th. We scored.
This spot is called Seger Beach. I never actually surfed it but it was a great spot to come watch the sunset. Quick hike up this cliff to get to this vantage point. Coral shot was taken here as well.
The setup on my way to go surf / skate at Grupek Bay.
I had some board issues over the course of the trip. First ordeal was finding a ding in my swallow tail after unpacking my board. Luckily I had board shaping master Alex from Idol Surfboards to take care of it. Most prepared guy ever. Expect a post about backpacking travel trips in the near future. This guy opened my eyes to some very innovative ideas.
The second bit of drama happened one day surfing Mowie. My fin caught my thigh and ripped both fin plugs out with the fin. I considered myself lucky as the fin could have dug deep into my thigh instead of breaking out. That ended up costing me 350,000 Rupiah to get fixed. About $20 USD.
Unfortuantly I have no photos of my self surfing this trip. I never ended up buying the photos they shot of me at Grupek. However heres a edit of clips from my trip to Indonesia in 2013 as well as some photos below. Beat by Estoric
I make an effort to turn any negative experience into a lesson. I’m learning to take responsibility for my actions and not let others influence my behavior. I used to blame others for “making me” feel a certain way. At the end of the day no one can force you to act a certain way.
This isn’t a play by play of the motorcycle accident itself. This is a reflection of what led to getting in this accident. I was upset because I thought my surfboard had been stolen when really my idiot friend decided to play a joke on me. I lost my shit because I thought my board was stolen. After I got it back, I drove off in anger. It was reckless. In the midsts of it all a dog ran out in the street, I clipped it hind legs and hit the ground fast. The locals rushed over to me and noticed I was fine. I got off easy with scrapes and bruises. They said I was lucky to be alive. They told me they had seen people die crashing the way I did.
Crazy enough, in the aftermath of the crash I was furious. I had all this adrenaline and I was still angry about the board situation. Actually the first thing I did run over to my bike to check on my board. It was miraculously unscathed. In my mind I was blaming all of this on my friend for stealing my board. I thought that If he had never stolen my board I would have never gotten angry and if I had never gotten angry, I would have never crashed my bike. But that logic is bullshit. Its a cop out from dealing with your own problems. Later that night I had time to reflect while recovering. I understand now no one can ‘make you’ act a certain way. You are responsible for your actions no mater what.
“Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.”
A L E X
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