Fasten your seat belt. The life west is stored under your seat.
And just in case you carry illegal substances, you risk death penalty.
Continent #2, yay! 17.500 islands in Indonesia, just waiting for me to explore them.
No way I am leaving the fourth most populous country on earth any time soon.
Let´s escape the big-city-smoke as quick as possible! But where to first…? Sumatra.
First stop, Lake Maninjau. They say “the first glimpse of this perfectly formed volcanic lake sucks your breath away”.
I might be able to see that perfect shape from the lookout Puncak Lawang. It only takes a scenic ride up a windy road past green rice fields and tooting scooters. Happy on my scooter, only blocked by some monkeys and a group of locals, who are enjoying too many Bintangs at the last intersection before Puncak Lawang.
Entrance fee, really?! I’d rather not pay, bye bye 😉
Well, there are also other beautiful spots to visit around Bukittinggi.
Fingers crossed I manage to leave the white sky behind in the Harau Valley
Hmmm… no! Just another white layer covering the green hills and wide rice paddies of this gorgeous valley.
Have I already used up my share of blue sky in Zanzibar?
… there are supposed to be tigers, rhinos and elephants around?! Well, I am here to see… Orangutans.
Nice to meet you, Jackie & baby!
Out of the white jungle village and into the green Sumatran jungle for 2 days. Up- and downhill in the Gunung Leuser National Park and swinging-on-a-liana-is-harder-than-it-looks-like, I bumped into 6 orangutans 🙂
Look who comes to say good bye! Again Jackie & her baby.
Unexpected visitors near my jungle camp in the Gunung Leuser National Park
Time to get out of the jungle and hopefully catch the blue sky in Pulau Weh, the cherry on top of Sumatra. Even if it takes another ride on the night bus.
Trick question: Why do the night buses in North Sumatra have a sturdy metal grill in front of the windshield?
Just as a precaution. For when they speed through the villages and people throw rocks at them.
Scooter waiting next to the road for the two night buses to take over
Apparently it´s always a little rainy up here, but who needs blue sky in paradise anyways? Or underwater!
Snorkeling over the underwater volcano in Pulau Weh
I briefly caught a glimpse of the blue sky during my four days in Pulau Weh.
It turns out that I wasn´t just unlucky, but that the white sky is actually a typical problem during dry season.
The fires are a seasonal phenomenon over much of Southeast Asia owing to traditional “slash and burn” agriculture techniques, though environmentalists say the problem has been exacerbated by illegal land clearances to make way for lucrative paper and palm oil plantations. Burning land for agriculture, for hunting, or just for fun is a favorite pastime of many Sumatran locals.