My Indonesia journey was one of very different facets. It all started with about three weeks of intensive surfing on the island of gods, Bali. That I would come here for surfing was already set before I even left home. I just wanted to get some practice and finally improve my surfing which is so hard to do when you are from a country like Germany. That being said, this quest turned out to be harder than I hoped for. The waves were often either too big (and that’s massive), too small or it was too windy to go out. At the same time the crowd factor was insane. Of course, I was there during peak season so what should I have expected. But having been there already once before, it really seemed like surfing has just exploded. Sometimes the lineups were so full, that it even got dangerous paddling out. I was involved in a couple of incidents myself and witnessed a couple of more from close by. So in terms of the surfing itself, my stint on the island leaves me with mixed feelings at the least. Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: Diving
Besides spotting the dragons, another highlight during my stay on Flores was supposed to be the diving. A lot of people i met on the way had recommended diving Komodo so I was pretty excited to go. Komodo is supposed to be one of the richest marine environments in the world and at the same time one of the most challenging dive destinations. I heard rumors of huge schools of fish, large pelagic fish and an abundance of colorful coral. At the same time strong currents were supposed to make the diving the mentioned challenge. Hence a good dive shop with properly educated personnel and good equipment was needed. After shopping around a bit in Labuan Bajo I found Wicked Diving. The shop made a very good impression and after getting to know the team and discussing some details, I was convinced and ready to go. True to the shops motto “No rest for the wicked!”. Continue reading
After surfing in Bali, I decided it was time to leave and go exploring some more remote regions again. In the end, venturing off the beaten path is where my heart is. I remembered that I always wanted to see Sulawesi, a huge island situated right between the Malucas and Borneo. I had heard of remote islands, unspoiled and rugged regions without a lot of tourists, great diving at untouched reefs and difficult transportation. Exactly the adventure I needed after three weeks spent in a rather blissful manner. I had booked the flight to Manado, Sulawesi’s Northern capital and gateway to my final destination Bunaken Island, just a few days before. And that flight was already an odyssey itself with a delay of six hours, arriving at 5 am instead of 10:30 pm, a change of planes and a whole lot of chaos at the airport. A good start of this adventure but what I didn’t know at this point was, that there were other, way more nerve-wracking challenges waiting for me.
Our last stop before returning to Manila was the Island of Busuanga and its main town of Coron. The perspective of some more island hopping but especially some of the world’s best wreck diving made us take the long boat journey from El Nido upon ourselves. What was supposed to be a trip of about 8 hours, turned into a 12 hour odyssey. After 4 hours Dolf and I got sick – not because of the rough sea or the boat being to shaky. No, we figured that we both had something bad for breakfast and it felt terrible. Anxious to arrive in Coron, we noticed that the boat turned around all of a sudden. Apparently another boat of the same company had engine problems and needed to be towed into Coron Harbor. The timing for a maneuver like that could not have been worse.
After our full dose of tropical relaxation on Biri Island, we wanted to keep going and explore some more of the Philippines’ island life. Crossing Samar into Leyte, our plan was to make it over to Biliran Island. Recommended by friends again, the island is supposed to be non-touristy, very beautiful and more importantly, a good jump-off point to some of the smaller islands around.
Biliran Island – Our scenic base for island hopping
After a long journey we arrived on Biliran and went straight to the coastal town of Naval. We decided to live it up a little and got ourselves a nice room with aircon, tv and sea view. Every once in a while you just have to treat yourself. Being pretty exhausted from the long journey and having plans for the following day, we passed the remainder of the relaxing and walking around town for a bit.