Indonesia had been on my travel bucket list for years without surfacing to the number one spot. I don’t know why, because Indonesia is a natural travel destination for active backpackers. Indonesia has it all: renowned surf breaks, world-class dive sites, volcano treks, Komodo dragons, rich and diverse cultures, and flavorful cuisine. To top it off, Indonesia is among the world’s cheapest places to travel. The impetus for my trip to Indonesia was a Pulizer prize-winning memoir by William Finnegan: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life. After reading Finnegan’s lucid description of surfing the perfect wave in Indonesia, I wanted to learn to surf there, even though I would be surfing small waves in Bali.
The vast Indonesian archipelago is the world’s 7th largest country in terms of combined sea and land area, and the world’s 4th largest country in terms of population. I started my 4-week trip in Bali, the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia. Traveling by boat from Bali to Flores, I explored only 11 of Indonesia’s more than 16,000 islands. Highlights of the trip included diving a World War II shipwreck in Bali, summiting an active volcano (12,224 feet) in Lombok, and spotting wild Komodo dragons in Rinca. After finishing my boat journey in Flores, I flew back to Bali to attend surf camp, the grand finale of my trip.
Mount Agung erupted three times while I was in Indonesia. On June 12th I watched the volcano spew smoke and ash 2,000 meters above its summit. On June 28th water vapor and volcanic ash from Mount Agung were detected in the atmosphere, causing the closure of Ngurah Rai Airport. Mount Agung erupted again on July 3rd, just 4 days before I returned home, forcing the evacuation of 700 people living near the volcano.
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Lombok on July 29th, followed by four additonal earthquakes. Less than a month after returning home, I watched YouTube videos of damaged buildings and crowds up people waiting to be evacuated from the Gili Islands. Tragically, the earthquakes have resulted in 555 fatalities and 14,005 injuries. You can help the victims of the earthquakes by donating to the Indonesian Red Cross.
The places I visited in Indonesia are mapped and listed below.
|1||Ubud, Indonesia||June 8, 2018|
|2||Sideman, Indonesia||June 11, 2018|
|3||Kedisan, Indonesia||June 12, 2018|
|4||Lovina, Indonesia||June 13, 2018|
|5||Bedugul, Indonesia||June 15, 2018|
|6||Sanur, Indonesia||June 16, 2018|
|7||Ubud, Indonesia||June 17, 2018|
|8||Candidasa, Indonesia||June 19, 2018|
|9||Amed, Indonesia||June 21, 2018|
|10||Senaru, Indonesia||June 23, 2018|
|11||Gili Air, Indonesia||June 26, 2018|
|12||Gili Trawangan, Indonesia||June 28, 2018|
|13||Labuhan Lombok, Indonesia||June 30, 2018|
|14||Kenawa Island, Indonesia||June 30, 2018|
|15||Moyo Island, Indonesia||July 1, 2018|
|16||Gili Laba, Indonesia||July 2, 2018|
|17||Komodo Island, Indonesia||July 2, 2018|
|18||Rinca Island, Indonesia||July 3, 2018|
|19||Labuan Bajo, Indonesia||July 3, 2018|
|20||Kuta, Indonesia||July 4, 2018|
Use the forward link (>) at the bottom of the page to navigate through the trip destinations in order of arrival, or use the dropdown list to jump to a destination.