Category Archives: Travel – Journey

This category contains all the different adventures and places that I have gone to as a holiday, weekend trip

Indonesia – Island hopping … Rain, Hail or Shine !

So its rainy season here in Indonesia ! If you plan a trip to one of the islands its a gamble as to whether its going to be good or bad weather on that day. The best way to fix this problem is to simply not care and go anyway HAHAHAHA ! Take the good ole Aussie approach. “Yeah she’ll be right mate” …. :)

Rain hail or shine, if you plan to go on a trip be happy no matter what the weather is and your going to be sure your trip will be SCHWEEET ! :) I guess the only consideration you need to take is to ensure that its safe and that you aren’t putting yourself or anyone that relies on you in danger. I was somewhat worried about that because there were some new guys on our trip that might have had issues if the boat capsized but it wasn’t as bad as I thought and the weather and ocean was pretty good to us. If it was just me and mark, I could imagine that if the boat capsized we would have started laughing and started taking pictures LOL, then only after 2-3 hours if someone didn’t come get us we would probably start getting just a little worried (just a little :P )

The swell was big on the way to Pulau Harapan so we had to stop for about 1 and a half hours to avoid the big waves but other then that slight “waste of time” mishap it was fine. We had some chop on the way to the smaller islands but for the most part the small nelayan boats held up good.

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So the group this time was bigger then just the BUMS (me and mark) and it was fun having a slightly bigger group. We had Rafie join us, Widdy (Rafies work mate) and Vero (my work mate). We went to the usual dive locations but this time because of the choppy seas the silt was kicked up from the ocean bed and it made the visibility pretty bad and this did put a slight dampen on our expectations but … it didn’t matter cause we were in the water and some locations were much better then others and did have some slight visibility.

So in the group we had 2 light skinned guys Widdy and Vero and 3 dark skinned guys, Mark, me and Rafie. So as the 3 of us went black, Widdy and Vero got red. The biggest standout was Widdy, it looked like he had a red mask and vest on HAHAHA ! Thanks for being a good sport mate … hope you are now recovered and its not peeling to bad.

My skin started to peel after a day and I looked like two-face from batman, people at the malls probably thought I had a skin disease HAHAHA WHATEVER … The sun burn mostly occurred on the first day because the sun was out and strong. Come the second day it was a totally different story.

That night after we got home all painful and burnt we had dinner then played big 2 … yeah big 2 … I don’t really wanna talk about it LOL … dumb game … had to many issues with the cards I was being dealt so didn’t do too well (plus maybe i’m just shit I don’t know)

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So on the second day it was a completely different atmosphere. The weather was gloomy and it started to rain as well. When we woke up the rain was pretty strong .. BUT .. it didn’t matter. We went out and to our surprise pulau perak (where we went diving on this very rainy day) was still very nice and relatively clear. We were able to still have some fun, see some fish and rafie was able to practice his dives and managed to reach the first double digit mark of 10m which is his PB and only second time in open water training.

The boat ride during the rain is actually very different, the water splashing on you and the large waves moving the boat side to side makes for a very different experience. Either way it was fun and a change from the normal boat rides I have experienced when I went to pualu seribu.

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So … yeah … another successful weekend in one of the most awesome and cheapest countries to go for weekend trips I must say. Check out the video above to see a summary of our weekend !

… And thanks for coming to the new guys, hope to see you on the next outing :)

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Back In Sydney …

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So I am back in Sydney and there is a bit of mixed feelings to be back. I miss Indonesia, my family, my friends and just the general atmosphere of the people BUT I am happy there is no more traffic, almost no pollution and I am just minutes away from the beach. I am also happy that the Sydney summer is to be upon us very soon. I feel like I have three hometowns, Jakarta, Bandung and Sydney and they are all special in their own way.

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I flew back to Sydney at 10:45pm but got to the airport at about 8 and was at the gate by 8:30 so it was a long wait until the flight and as usual, I get there early, sit nice and comfortably by the gate and it changes in the last 45 mins :( bit of a walk to the new gate but whatever, this always happens and im used to it so … all cool :)

Flight was nice and easy because I slept most of the way and was really looking forward to going straight to the beach that morning. When the plane landed I had a quick checkout, no customs checked my luggage, because I had nothing to declare and it took all of about 20 mins.

I called up my mate Damir and he was already waiting near by. First thing we did was to go straight to the beach. I wanted that cold water on my skin, i wanted to get wet with the ocean water and feel that cool refreshing feeling that is at least a two hour boat ride in Indonesia. I didn’t have a towel but I had everything else. I took my clothes of in the car park and put on my shorts and and was ready to go. No wetsuit … need to get used to the cold water climate again !

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IMG_1091I started by doing some warmups by the rocks next to the water and then went straight in once I was done ! The water was 19 degrees ! Warmer by our standards here in Australia but freezing by Indonesian standards. I thought it would take some time to get used to it again but once the water hit my skin, i remembered the feeling and was in the water for 4hrs with only small breaks in between.

After the dives I was freezing, the wind was strong and my legs were sore because I couldn’t get back into shore from the normal diving ramp which was closer, I had to swim all the way to the beach because the seas were rough and trying to get out from the ramp would definitely mean cuts and bruises as you got banged onto the wall by the heavy waves. It’s quite dangerous at times and this ramp is probably lacking some hand rails to keep it safe for people getting in and out.

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After our swim Damir prepared the best meal ! Roast chicken marinated in soy sauce and apple vinegar over night, with the freshest salad. So filling and very healthy (nice tasting too).

As i stared out onto the water and smelt the sand and salt in my nose whilst getting hit by ocean spray it occured to me … Ahh yes, this is why I also love sydney :) And why I can call Sydney home too.

After the beach I went to darling harbour and just layed down on the road like a BUM at the warf. People were looking at me but who cares :) I was comfortable and the weather was nice. If they thought I was weird for lying on the road like a bum thats just fine with me :P

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I’ll be going back to Indonesia soon to continue working on our business, but for now, whilst I am here, I am going to make the best of Sydney’s summer and remind myself about why I love sydney and why i felt lucky to be brought up here

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The sun, surf, beaches, water and weather, so close to where I am …. yep thats why I love sydney also.

Explorers Event “Temu Pejalan Bandung” @ Bandung – Hosted By Eiger Adventure

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So I had to travel to Bandung to do a few things with my family just prior to going back to Australia this Thursday and it so happens that at the same time I am supposed to be in Bandung there was an event for backpackers, Adventurers and travellers hosted by Eiger. Eiger is a retail outlet that basically has all the outdoor gear any backpacker, hiker, Adventurer or traveller could need from shoes, to bags, watches and other utilities and essentials. They sponsored the event so it was located in their Bandung outlet.

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I was told about this event by the top guys from Bandung Freediving whom I have trained, travelled and joined up with here in Indonesia. I thought whilst I am in Bandung I should go and see what the larger travelling and adventure community was all about and in attendance were groups from

Each of the groups gave a really good background of what their focus was and what they set out to achieve within their communities. The Bandung freedivers created a cool video that nicely represents what freediving encompasses in terms of equipment and disciplines but away from all the seriousness the video also showed the kind of fun that happens during the training sessions and when everyone is out on the open water.

Found the Way from Backpacker Bandung on Vimeo.

What I enjoyed most about the talk sessions were the videos that were created as the culmination of a months travel by members from backpackers & Bandung freediving that clearly shows the rich and beautiful landscape that Indonesia has to offer. Scenes from high mountain tops viewing the clouds in the cool air, to Free diver’s hovering above shipwrecks deep within the indonesian seas through to walking amongst the trees really shows the diversity of the indonesian landscape when you decide to travel a bit out of town.

The phrase from the video by Christian Morgenstern “Home is not where you live but where they understand you” is what I have also felt to be true since I was very small, hence living in Australia for over 20 years should make it home and it is in many ways, though there is something just not quite right and I always need to be back in Indonesia to feel completely at home … yes traffic sucks, yes there is a lot of pollution etc etc & bla bla bla but it still feels like home to me because of the people that I know :)

Credits to this video go to : Desah, Rida for editing & backpackers Indonesia (Bandung Region) for filming !

Adventures, travellers and divers all usually have one thing in common and that is, they want to spread the love and share their experiences travelling with their friends and family. Sometimes friends and family may have difficulties travelling the unbeaten path as a result of health issues or maybe want to know what is out there but would rather experience the unbeaten path from the comfort of a couch viewed all on a computer screen (which is fine also, not everyone can travel :) ).

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So that we travellers are able to share our experiences with others who would much rather see the world from a screen (whether in the form of images, videos or writing) there were also talks on how to write more effectively which for me really helps as from time to time I like to write and hopefully not bore the readers :)

There was also talks about how to take those special pictures that are prize winning and capture that special moment that tells a story from just a single shot. Finally, there was an interesting talk about how to create documentaries and WHY we create documentaries. I have always had an interest in creating documentaries and actually have a few amateur ones myself on this blog, so taking tips from professionals was a nice surprise addition to cap of the nights presentations.

Presentations were done by :

It was a great session and since my indonesian isn’t perfect I had to really listen and pay attention to understand what was said but I understood all of it and will try to implement what I learnt in my writing, videos and pictures when I can :)  The night really showed me a different side of what I am used to here in Indonesia as I have been more a part of the city scene. If only I knew about this side of things when I was stationed in Indonesia as an expat 4 years ago, how things might have been different ;) .

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Also got a great little phone pouch out of it from eiger so this will definitely come in handy. Great job on all the organisers from Eiger & Backpackers Indonesia Bandung Region” and hopefully will see meet on the unbeaten path on land or in the WATER !

Documentary – Pulau Harapan (Free Diving Trip)

So last weekend I went away again on a nice trip to Pulau Seribu. This time however I decided to plan my trip exactly as I wanted it. By this I knew that what we wanted to do was go to all the different islands in the area. We didn’t want to do any banana boating, or sight seeing on the island its self. The main goal was to jump in the water and dive !

The way I arranged the trip was I told our organiser Pak Wawai that all I needed was accommodation, food for the two days and boat rental that could take us to anywhere we wanted within the area. Usually the packets they have include many other activities but we were not really interested because wanted to spend +8 hours in the water.

Pak Wawai was a great host and organised everything for us with a really nice boat driver who did a bit of free diving with us also. So in total this is what the packet included

  • Ferry ride from Muara Angke to Pulau Harapan (via Pulau Pramuka)
  • Accommodation at a pretty decent place in Pulau Harapan (decent as in it had showers, AC and bed :P ) if your expecting 5 star accommodation you will be disappointed :)
  • All the food and water for breakfast lunch dinner for the first day and then breakfast and lunch again for the second day. Dinner also included normal dinner and a BBQ with fresh fish.
  • Boat hire for 2 whole days to go where ever we wanted

For two people 2 days 1 night this whole arrangement cost $59 AUD which would be about $57 or so USD and Rp600,000. This however was for only two people and the price radically decreases as you add people to the trip. With a group of 4 it could be around Rp450,000 – Rp500,000 depending on what you do.

Day 1 of the trip 

The trip as usual started in Muara Angke and stopped of at Pulau Pramuka before docking in Pulau Harapan. We then didn’t waste any time through our gear into our cabin and jumped straight onto the boats.

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From there we just went island hopping and went diving around the whole area. The water was really nice in comparison to Pulau Pramuka and was really much cleaner, bluer and had much better wild life. We managed to capture big schools of fish, turtles and other wild life all around.

After all the diving was completed we went to an Island called Pulau Pasir which is basically just a sand island right in the middle of the ocean ! It was beautiful, we made it there just in time for the sunset and was watching the sun go down whilst sitting in warm clear waters waist deep ! It was magical and awesome and freaking cheap too ! In the middle of the island there was a small stall where we could get some snacks and drinks :)

At night we were toasted because we were at a dance party on the Friday (Dj Tiesto party) and just danced the night away till 4 and headed straight for the island at 6 (yeah insane) diving like this is dangerous BTW so we didn’t force ourselves to much. So that night we crashed really early. At about 10 Pak Wawai woke us up to tell us that our BBQ dinner was ready. We ate it half asleep and zombie like then headed straight for the sack right after and slept nicely from about 11pm – 5am. Best sleep ever !

Day 2 of the trip 

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Day 2 of the trip was simple ! We got our gear at 6:30 jumped on the boat again and spent the whole day in Pulau Perak. We stayed there for about 4-5 hrs and then had to leave to go back to Jakarta.

One of the highlights is on the way back to our ferries there are lots of little kids swimming in the beach and they ask for coins, so we throw them coins and they dive down to get the coins. Maybe there are so future freedivers being cultivated here :)

We finally arrived back in jakarta and had to use the usual tuktuk vehicle which is a motorbike front end connected to a passenger cabin at the back. We where the only two passengers and all the people who knew the driver was giving him a hard time because of it LOL :) It was a great trip and I learnt that up north the islands are so much nicer and much better for diving.

I will probably explore Pulau seribu a few more times to get to know more of the remote areas and do some camping but once I have done that, it will be time to explore other parts of Indonesia’s great diving sites.

Catch you guys till then :)

Free Diving – Pulau Perak in Pulau Seribu – (Silver island @ thousand islands) – Indonesia

I am reaching my last few days here in Indonesia and managed to get one last new visit to the thousand islands. My good mate Mark had a free weekend which got opened up due to relatives not being able to visit on their planned date. When this happens and you have a free weekend what do you do ? Naturally where else would you go other then Pulau Seribu :P It’s perfect , its cheap and its fun !

I will describe the actual trip, the logistics of how to get there and the location we were at in a later post when I create a mini documentary about the whole trip but in this specific entry I will just talk about Pulau Perak or (Silver island) and the free diving experience there :)

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There are many ways to reach Pulau Perak depending on which island you reside on. In this particular trip I stayed at Pulau Harapan or (Hope Island) and would boat to all the different islands in the location. Pulau Perak looks to be an uninhabited island accept for a small hut right on the shore. I asked our boat driver if we were able to camp on the island and he said it was possible. In the future when I come to the thousand islands I might bring my camping gear just to spice it up. This way we can catch our own food and cook it on the open fire in a beautiful oceanic, natural island setting.

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The diving site was just of the coast of the island. We boated a little past the island and continued on into a sandy patch right in the middle of Pulau Perak and another island. Along side the sandy patch there was lots of great coral and the wildlife was alive and busy. Whats sad is because it was morning the angle of the sun didn’t penetrate the water as it would during the day so the pictures (accept those taken right on the surface) don’t do the underwater scenery justice.

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We basically started in the middle of the sand bank and made our way to the steep ridge drop offs which seemed to have the most life and best looking coral. As a customary dive I usually try to dive to the bottom just to gauge the depth. On the first dive I went all the way to the bottom of the ridge and it seemed to be about 17m – 20m in depth. The water had about 10m visibility so it wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible either. For camera work though, it doesn’t turn out to great at anything past 10m.

As usual the water was above 26 degrees Celsius and just completely warm for my standards. I was thinking about putting my wetsuit on but when the guide told us its not jelly fish season yet I didn’t bother. Having the water on your skin just feels so great and without a wetsuit you just feel more free to move. We did however get stung a couple of times by some tiny jelly fish but whatever … it wasn’t to bad so we just ignored it and kept diving throughout the day.

This was the second day of our trip so we could not stay to long as the boat was about to depart from the docks at the main Harapan island were we stayed at 1:00pm. We got up at about 5:30 that morning to check out the sunrise and arrived on the Pulau Perak at about 6:30 after having something small to eat and packing our gear. This allowed us about a good solid 4hrs so we were happy.

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Mark had done some training and was looking to try to get to some depths this time and managed to get to what looked like about 5-6 meters. Not to bad and it seemed most of the things people have issues with such as kicking down (and not floating up all the time) and equalisation was not a problem. I think a bit of breathe hold training (Not in the water on your own mate) is enough to get some good depth :) After this we can do some real exploration down the depths :P

Freaking great weekend and the weather was perfect ! Next time I visit these islands might bring camping gear. It will reduce the cost of the weekend dramatically from $60 AUD to probably $15 AUD ! A whole weekend of fun in an sunny island setting, with white sands, blue waters and perfect weather for $15 – $60 AUD ? Where else but Indonesia !

Love my country, love the people and I hope you enjoy the video !

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Pulau Sangiang – Indonesia

I am currently not yet back in Australia yet so I have taken a second weekend trip out of Jakarta to visit more of the beautiful remote islands of my AWESOME country … Indonesia.

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Pulau Sangiang lies in the Sunda strait (or Sulat Sunda) right between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. The way to arrive to this island is to leave of the coast of Anyer by boat. Anyer is about a 3 and a half hour drive from the main city of Jakarta so you need to find your way to the docks in Anyer to board your boat to the island. It’s a much less crowded nicer boarding area then what you will find when you travel to the “Thousand Islands” in Muara angke.

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So what happened on Day 1:

The boat ride is about 2 to 3 hours depending on which part of the island you want to land on and what you want to see on the island.

As the boat sailed along the coast of the island there were lots of coral reefs to be seen and many steep cliff drops with caves down below were the water would break and swirl around. It was an awesome site and something I haven’t seen before. When I travelled to Pulau seribu the islands didn’t ahve high or steep cliffs, they had shallow coral slowly receding into sand so this was something totally different.

We passed a few boats and many people on the boats had wetsuits on so it seems that there were many different diving sites that we passed along the way to our main location. When we finally arrived at our location we took the boat for a detour down some mangroves and looked at where the ocean meets the rivers. What I found interesting was the transition of water colour from the clear blue, turquoise colours to the green muddy colours as we got further inland.

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After we made some rounds in the mangrove area everyone just couldn’t wait to get wet and jump in the water. The boat turned around and we headed straight back to the ocean !! Yeaaaaaahhhh. I was already in my wetsuit ready to jump in and enjoy the ocean. As a result of our little mangrove detour i was already sweating big time in my suite … honestly, it felt like a freaking sauna under the hot sun and everything zipped up :P

When we were at the spot I took my GoPro into the water, washed my mask, cleared and rinsed my snorkel and jumped in. After about a few minutes of taking some warmup dives I was ready to start recording on my GoPro.

Freaking disaster, I saw condensation in my GoPro and I couldn’t turn it off, the camera seemed to be non responsive. It seemed to be stuck and it was probably because of the small amount of fluid that got in. Fuarrrr … is my GoPro stuffed ?! I got out of the water, took it out of its case and left it out for a while. When I rechecked the GoPro everything was fine so I had a feeling my case wasn’t sealed tight. As a result of this I had concerns taking my camera in the water so I left it out for the whole weekend. I did many dives through some really awesome coral but didn’t capture it on video. Would rather keep my GoPro live another day and wait for a new case then risk taking it in again :)

It didn’t matter though not having the GoPro allowed me to dive without having to hold a camera and allowed me to enjoy the water without having to be concerned about whether the shot came out good or not. Sometimes you just need to get into the water to just be in the water and enjoy the feeling, not think about recording or anything else.

The water was nice, i swam down the steep ledge to about 10 meters and just enjoyed the peace and quite whilst looking at the fish and coral, I lay on my back for a bit and then slowly floated up …. beautiful feeling. After spending some time away from the group, I noticed that some of the other guys where dropping a line and taking photo’s so I decided to join them and do some line work.

We took turns using the line and budding up with each other to make sure we were all safe going down and coming back up. Safety First ;) :P During the day we moved to various different locations around Sangiang island to experience the reefs and enjoy the diving. Some reefs were very shallow then veered steeply into a very deep trench, these were pretty nice locations to practice depth as we didn’t have to move to far from shore.

One of the best parts of the trip was the sunset, it was an absolutely awesome view and something I hope to see again. I’ll be prepared with a proper camera next time. I wont write to much about it but you can see the trek up to the beach where we viewed the sunset in the video above.

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Three of the divers were also avid spear fisherman and managed to rack in some nice fish, we had some grupers, sting rays and an assortment of other fish as well as some chicken, rice and tempe prepared for us. The fish was grilled on an open fire and some nice chilli sauce was added to it … such a great dinner !

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The worst part of the trip was the sleeping conditions ! Because i slept late i had to sleep outside. Most of the time I have no concerns about sleeping outside but in this case the mosquitos were out in flock and they were taking out big chunks from my feet. I had covered up with long pants and had long sleeves on and the only exposed part of my body (which was my feet) was taken advantage of by the mosquitos. It got so annoying i went inside, told my cousin (who also came) to shift a little so I could also sleep indoors ! :P

So what happened on Day 2:

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On day two we trekked out to one of the caves and looked into a cave that stretched from inland out towards the open ocean. Waves would come into the cave from the outside straight onto the island. This particular cave is infested with bats and reeks of bat crap BUT there are also sharks swimming in the water ready to pluck and eat bats that fall in. Joining the sharks there are also large lizards taking its own fill of bat :)

After we took pictures and explored the area we went back to the main cabin location, had some coconuts and departed on our boat. We headed to one last dive site where we took some turns on the line and I was explaining to one of my friends how to equalise by going feet first down the dive line. One of the difficulties with teaching this method is if you want to pull UP on the rope you need to find a place to tie it down. Looking for a big rock was difficult but eventually found one and was able to go up and down the line easily.

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This time the spearo’s did well and managed to get about 7 fish all up. There were some really nice ones (can’t remember the names). Some were fried and some where thrown on the open fire and once the fish was cooked, everyone would dig in like a pack of hungry wolves … (hey its understandable .. diving does that to you, it makes you dam hungry)

After lunch we had our final trip back by boat to the Anyer where we initially departed from. The boat trip back started of pretty smooth but then got really really rough. I (as usual) was on the roof of the boat and was rocking around all over the place, at one point it did get pretty scary and I had to hold on but after a while the seas got smooth again.

We finally landed back at Anyer, had a shower, loaded our stuff onto the bus and left to go back home. Such a totally awesome trip and something definitely different then usual. I’ll try to get back to Sangiang again if I get the chance and take some proper underwater pictures of the nice coral there.

Until next time …. have a good one !

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Free Diving – Pulau Pramuka meaning (Scout Island) – Indonesia

It’s been 2 long months since I have been in the ocean again to swim let alone do any diving and it has been a long wait.

Finally I had a chance to visit one of the islands of “Pulau Seribu” or “Thousand Islands” as its called in english. Its a collection of islands in Indonesia right of the coast of Jakarta and is still considered part of Jakarta even though it stretches a vast amount of water which would take about 2 – 4 hour boat rides if you travelled the islands on a standard ferry. My good mate, seasoned traveller and fellow bum Mark from Hong Kong joined up in Jakarta and we both headed to Pulau Pramuka to get a dose of sun, wind and water.

So how did the trip to the island go ?

  • We caught a taxi to Muara Angke where the ferries are docked. Muara Angke is where fisherman offload their catch and have it cleaned, cut and shipped throughout jakarta, possibly even other parts of Indonesia. This place absolutely reeks. The taxi driver had to open the window to ask questions and the smell that came rushing made me feel sick, so I just  *held my breathe* … I had people tell me before my trip, why not go from pluit and use the long (billionaire style) speed boat, BUT Me being a bum and knowing Mark to be the same thought WTF, NA , we would rather use a $5 ferry.  Anyway it was an experience worth remembering partly because of that smell :P
  • After we finally got to the docks we boarded the ferry, which in its self was another experience, Boarding the ferry required us to jump between other ferries to get to the one we were scheduled for. This isn’t so bad but let me tell you … if any of your stuff fell into the water it would probably melt and disintegrate because the water right on the docks of Muara angke was so polluted that the water was literally brown in Color and had rubbish everywhere. Sad knowing that this dock could be so much cleaner and possibly even a tourist site like circular quay in sydney.
  • Then this was followed the boat trip to the islands, which was totally awesome. Mark and I sat on the roof of the ferry like boat people trying to get from Indonesia to the coast of Australia :) But because of this we were able to see the ocean, and from a distance spot and see flying fish jump out of the water and experience dolphins swimming by the boat, such a beautiful site.
  • The boat stopped of at Pulau Pari (Pari which in Indonesian means manta ray) and picked up a few additional passengers along with also dropping of a few passengers before our final stop to Pulau Pramuka. Pulau Pari is apparently known for some good diving spots too so it will be something I will checkout later if I get some time :)

What happened on Day 1 ?

Accommodation was pretty basic, room, bed on the floor, aircon and kinda running (hot water) LOL. It’s good enough though, we aren’t there to enjoy the room, we are there to enjoy the island, the great out doors, the sun and the water above and below. The first activity was to go snorkelling so we went with the rest of the group out on the boat and went to the snorkelling site.

The reefs and coral at this particular site were pretty much grey and dead but they had interesting shapes and there was some depth, the water would go from 1.X meters to 15-20 meters pretty quickly. In many of my dives i followed the ridge down and before I knew it when I looked up the snorkellers would be points in the distance, nerve racking but awesome at the same time simply because as you follow the ridge down you just don’t realise how much deeper your going where if you follow a line down you know your going deeper and be conscious of this fact.

After the snorkelling area we went to a place called samak daun which sounds like “Smack Down” as one of the fellow Indonesian travellers told us :) Samak Daun is a really small island with beautiful shallow waters, nice coral and relaxed waters. No diving here really, just put on our vibrams and walked around and enjoyed the water and coral. The water color was turquoise and just something I hadn’t seen in a while, it was really beautiful to see and the sun was perfect, not hot but just right.

After Samak Daun we went to a shark/large fish cage, nothing to see, pretty boring actually and I think a time waster, we walked around, saw how much a beer was Rp 35,000 (which is about 3.50) complete rip off knowing that a beer usually costs $1 AUD so went back to the boat and just waited to head back.

What happened on Day 2 ?

I had asked the tour organisers what was going to happen on day two and they told us we would be visiting some fish parks and a few other DEAD boring things so I asked if we could replace it with another snorkelling session. They said we could but we had to add Rp125,000 which is about ($12.50), $12.50 Aud ? For a boat of our own so we can go to all the reefs and coral that the island had to offer ?! No worries mate ! Lets dooooo iiiittt.

So on day two all we did was go diving/snorkelling all day on our own boat, this was the best decision to make and we saw some great locations, awesome dive sites and just really enjoyed the day. We were out in the water for about 5hrs and got to see the some of the best the island had to offer.

Next time I visit any of the islands of the “Thousand Islands” I will definitely be customising my trip and not just going with the standard packages :)

We had a great time, took some great videos and some great pictures displayed right here in this post. I will definitely be back to visit some of the other islands here, sum suggestions are

  • Pulau Matahari
  • Pulau Sepa
  • Pulau Macan
  • Pulau Tidung

Don’t know which one to visit next …. lets wait and see ….

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Indonesia’s Beautiful Scenery …

So on this trip to Indonesia I plan to manage my time between making sure all my work gets completed (on time and on budget) and also to enjoy parts of Indonesia I haven’t had a chance to see. Most of the time, when I have visited Indonesia the only places I visit are Bandung, Bali (Kuta, Ubud, Seminyak and Sanur) and Jakarta’s most common locations.

So far, on this trip I have visited Tulamben, Amed and will be visiting various islands from Pulau Seribu just of the coast of Ancol Jakarta. I have also gone to Majalengka which is a small city between Bandung and Cirebon where most of my original family from my dads side has come from.

Looking out through the window I can’t help but think how beautiful and amazing the landscape is. The rice paddies, the mountain ranges, the sunsets and the cool dewy air when we start to travel further and further up away from Jakarta or when your closer to the top of the mountains anywhere.

Stopping by for a coconut muda (young coconut) or having some mie by the road and just chatting to all the local guys is something I really enjoy. Sometimes you have to slap on the mosquito repellant (because for whatever reason I think these little pests love the taste of foreign fed blood) but other then that you sit under a home made kiosk that is put together from bamboo’s by the river and just relax and chill.

There are lots of really awesome fruits that you can get for really cheap in comparison and its really hard to stop eating them. The only thing preventing me from eating a whole bunch of mangosteen on my own (in the car after buying them) is I don’t know where to put all the rubbish from the skin and seeds and it gets annoying when your hands get all sticky and red and there is no water close by :P

I sound like a complete tourist when I write like this don’t I ?!  :)  But the truth of the matter is, I have always loved coming to Indonesia since I can remember . As a young kid 8-13 I loved it because I could get access to the craziest firecrackers known to man and light them up with my cousins or buy pellet guns that looked like real guns and pretend to be a gangsta after watching (dangerous minds) :P Now it just feels more and more like home and I just enjoy the atmosphere of certain places that I just can’t get back in Oz.

There might not always be hot water, it might be boiling hot in some places, the toilets may not always be up to scratch, air conditioning may screw up with your sinuses and the traffic, gaawwwd the traffic, sometimes certain things that people do may get on your nerves, but who cares, its my other home and feels good to be here with friends and family.

During this trip im going to try and visit some more islands from Pulau seribu and possibly do some diving if the pulau permits.

Enjoy the video above of the car trip between Amed and Sanur on the way home with the picturesque rice paddies, setting sun and Gunung Agung dominating the center of the scenery.

Kota Bandung …

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Love this city, bandung tempat orang tua. Udaranya lumayan, tempat makannya hebat (ada the peak, the valley) dan banyak yang lain2.

Yang paling favourit aku tapi adalah jagung empat rasa di jalan dago. Dari dulu aku sama sepupu selalu nongkrong di situ untuk makan jagung dan relax. Jagungnya di bakar dan di kasih saus. Enak banget dan dari aku masih umur 13 tahun masih sama aja yang di situ.

Ini postnya pendek aja, foto di atas sodara lagi makan di empat rasa di jalan dago :)

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Free Diving Bali Indonesia – Tulamben Liberty Shipwreck

I couldn’t wait to see this thing and just dive the site ! I had seen so much videos of the wreck, I had seen countless swim throughs and I just wanted to try it myself ! After our training Julia took us to the ship wreck for a fun dive to check out the site.

As a result of my plane trip, the airconditioning and the blocked sinuses, I was worried that I couldn’t equalise and wouldn’t be able to see the wreck but I think once the course was over I just forgot all about *class* *education* and *learning* and just went back to the relaxed “about to go diving woohooo” mode. At this point everything just snapped back into place and I think mentally and physiologically I was better ! I think what also helped was that I switched off the airconditioning the night before the dive and it really cleared up my sinuses. Lesson learnt :)

History says the Liberty was towed onto shore after it was torpedo’d by the japanese for salvage of parts but slide into the ocean when mount Agung erupted and destroyed the east side of Bali. The ship now resides in about 30 meter waters and the depth to the wreck from the surface ranges from 5m at its highest point to the bottom which is 30m.

One of the issues with this particular day was that the water was so murky seeing further then 5-8 meters was impossible. From the surface I couldn’t see what the depth was at each point and wasn’t able to see the swim throughs from afar so I would swim down until I got to the bottom. Only then was I able to asses if I could do the swim through, go into the rooms or go into the different crevices.

In many cases I would get to the bottom go slightly into the wreck and think *shit* a small gap, how far is that gap, do I have enough air ? I would have to go back up to ask and confirm I could do the swim through or at least have enough air to attempt it. The advantage now is, since I have been to that dive site once, the next time should be so much better. It always seems to be the case that at first its apprehension but on the second go because its clear its just much more relaxing and easy.

I really enjoyed the dive site and can only imagine how much better it would have been with better visibility. At least now I know what to expect when I dive into the rooms and the swim throughs. Looking at the inside of a wreck under the ocean is an extremely great feeling and is really a shock to the senses. Looking around and just taking it in gives you the feeling of being really really small.

This was also my first attempted at making a proper video with proper annotations and an attempt at a basic storyline. I am not in Bali every weekend so I thought I should make a decent effort of the video editing, introduce all the divers and add a little of what I was thinking at each part of the dive.

Hope you enjoy it :)