I am coming down from an insane two weeks in Nusa Tenggera, Indonesia. The featured insanity includes: a sketchy 4-night boat trip whereupon the captain fell asleep and we got stuck in a random village’s fishing net, as well as a 28-hour journey back from Flores to Lombok using 4 different modes of public transportation.
I decided to climb Rinjani at the last second and get one of my 3 for 30 birthday volcanoes conquered before Oz. A grueling climb, followed by an overnight flight to Oz? Sign me up! Happily I made it as far as they’d let us go, but lost all the skin on the backs of my ankles and 2 of my toenails in the process. My feet look beautiful. And by beautiful I mean “absolutely hideous.” Apparently, several months of flip-flops change the size of your feet – or widen them enough to make climbing in your “used-to-fit-perfectly” hiking boots torturous. Lesson learned. A summary of that climb here.
This morning, I hobbled out of bed, cleaned the dirt out of my wounds and, newly bandaged, flew from Mataram, Lombok to Bali’s DPS airport. The flight lasted a full 10 minutes and we bounced on the landing – twice. Several Indonesian airlines are not cleared to fly over EU airspace because their planes are not up to spec safety-wise; needless to say we were all gripping our chairs tightly on today’s landing.
Bali is small enough that my 12-hour layover meant that I could dump my bag in the left-luggage office and gallivant around for a few hours. I negotiated an afternoon flat fare with a taxi driver named Made, went to the market and picked up some souvenirs for my Aussies and got a long Balinese massage (yelping throughout because of how much my legs hurt!). I am about to check in to my flight to Australia, where I will be recouping for the next 2 weeks, drinking good wine, relaxing with friends and freezing my ass off in the winter weather.
I am finally about to travel to Australia.
The best part about travel, as I often say, is the people you get to meet. In this case, I am flying to stay with two generous souls I initially met on Ko Phi Phi, a couple who were travelling together and adopted me as a 3rd wheel in their hilarious journey. While we explored the islands, we built a lovely friendship and in the process we managed to learn a lot about each other’s viewpoints of the world.
When I wrote them in a panic saying I had lots all of the skin on my feet and COULD I PLEASE COME TO ADELAIDE IN THE COLD BECAUSE THEY WERE GETTING SEPTIC, they were kind enough not to say, “what the fuck Jodi, no way.” Instead, they laughed and said, “only you! Yes come to visit — we will house you and help you heal.”
This is what true friends do.
I fly back to Indonesia on Aug 11th to tackle Agung and Bromo and explore some more of what Indonesia has to offer.
Well, I am happy.