Indonesia is an amazing country. Its history, environment, and cultures alone are so comprehensive, as visitors, we can only hope to try and scratch the surface of the complexity of it all. The life of Indonesia is a complex tale of discovery, oppression and liberation. It is the world’s largest archipelago with over 17, 500 islands and a population of 245 million. The landscape is a varied terrain of peaks and valleys, with some of the largest peaks being snow-capped all year round, but in most areas the skyline is dominated by volcanoes. It served as a crossroad between India, China and beyond, a convenient midway point where cultures crossed over and merchants met and exchanged goods. However, as a result of the seas and rough terrain, travel within Indonesia was restricted and thus resulted in the nation’s distinct cultural entities.
So many cultures, religions, ethnic groups and languages, and yet the one thing that unites them all is an openness and friendless I haven’t experienced anywhere else in the world. They are a truly beautiful people.
Escaping Kuta, we traveled west to a surf break an hour away, staying in a local losmen overlooking rice paddies, and a black sand beach with a fun right hand break at the river mouth. Watching the sun rise over this scene was stunning. There was a serenity that seemed to hover alongside the morning mist, bringing a calm that I haven’t experienced in a long time.
Returning to Kuta to catch a flight to Sumba, we discovered the plane “broke” and we had to change our plans. The first lesson of traveling… go with the flow, and enjoy what presents itself!