Walk Walk To The Rock

In my first three weeks working at the bar, every day at least I would engage a conversation about how the guests have visited Uluru or plan to visit Uluru and I would tell them that I never went there although I had been here in weeks. But on 6th of July, I finally did the pilgrimage. Disclaimer: this blog post won’t be informative enough. It will serve you my crap story as usual. The reason is because I didn’t have a chance to study more about Aboriginal people which I am planning to do so. So yeah, let’s take a walk then? Yep, Matt, Sand and I walked to Uluru from Yulara. It took us about 19Kms to get to the cultural centre, walked another 2Kms to the starting point of Base Walk, and walked again for another 10Kms surrounding the rock.

It was all started when Sand and I had the same days off; he suddenly texted me: “Let’s go to the rooock!” Ofc! We thought about how to get there and he threw an idea to walk because his friend, Matt, has done it before. I was like, okay, why not.

On D-Day, we agreed to meet at 9am. As a woman, I woke up the earliest but I still struggled to draw my eyebrows in the last minutes lol! And it would took me around more than 5 mins to get to the meeting point and I literally left home only a few minutes prior and I raaaaannnn as if some perverts trying to catch me. Then what?? Matt came 10 mins later and Sand came 20 mins later and he even walked like turtle -.- lol.

We bullied Sand about it and it backfired us, no, I think it only backfired me. Sand walked so fast, how come he had that kind of energy? And Matt, he is tall so it was easy for him to match Sand’s pace. Me? I HAD TO STRUGGLE xD. Sometimes I would let them be and ran to pursue them in every 5 mins. Sometimes I took the lead so I controlled the pace lol. But it was a really nice exercise tho.

Along the way, we talked about many things, fought with annoying flies, laughed over small things, bullied Sand again for being late, and me shouting “Y SO FAAAST?!” But what I liked the most about our long walk was that Matt inspired us to pick trashes along the road. It was started with 1 bag, then 2 bags, then 3 bags and all of us carried “bags” to contain the trashes, it was even overloaded and sometimes the items fell out lol. We picked valueless trashes to the wow-how-come-they-left-this-here trashes such as shower bag, insect repellent, Bluetooth earphone, Frisbee, etc.

Gud bois

Three and a half hour later we arrived to the site; took almost 1 hour lunch break and we thought we couldn’t make it to do Base Walk (walk surrounding the rock). It was only 10Kms but the board says average duration is 3-5 hours. It was 2PM already and we had to hitchhike back home before or right after sunset. We looked for another option: renting bikes. But it was school holiday and we had no chance. All was gone. Sand assured us, “I think we can make it.” Then we walked again.

I was so amazed by how nature can provide us an incredible enormous rock like this. Actually, I’ve seen some unique big rocks on previous road trips: flat top and flat side so it looks like a rectangle (as if someone trimmed the side perfectly) or a huge wave-like rock. Rocks in Australia are amazing. Uluru is surely one of them; not only about the size but when I walked surround it, every face from every side of it was just amazing. Plus, it is so sacred to the traditional owners of Uluru: Anangu tribe. Uluru has been standing tall for hundreds million years and it was a place for the traditional people to cook, gather, and take a rest while hunting; a place for ancient events and ceremonies.

So majestic
Ancient paintings

To me, someone who just took a walk quickly; as a tourist, I could only be the observer of this beautiful giant. The rock will be closed to climb in October because of safety and respect issue and so many people came down here to seize the opportunity.

I was one of them who wanted to climb but then Sand opened my mind, that climbing is seen disrespectful to the owners. And actually it means much more than that; it’s about how not to conquer the rock because there’s nothing to conquer to begin with. It’s about not to feed your ego with glory when you hurt the owners at the same time. And now, I also need to be careful not to build a “good person” ego while writing this (if you know what I mean) lol.

I’m planning to visit Uluru again, listen to the story from the guides and study more. Yah, hopefully. Let’s finish this story first. So, we wanted to hitchhike although we knew it would be almost impossible to find a car that could carry three of us. So many cars ignored us until a car came and he said he could only help a person and that would be Matt. Sand and I were worried how long it would take us to find the next kind-hearted person. Not long tho! A car after Matt’s left, we found our angel, he was a ranger, Adam, and he helped two of us. Adam had to finish the job first so he dropped me and Sand at the sunset viewing area while waiting for him to pick us up home. And the waiting moment was beautiful; it was a perfect ending of the day. Can’t thank you enough to those three men. More journey to come hopefully?

I’ll see you again

The Sweet Southwest

Since I have finished my six-month job in Perth and I had to leave Perth, one of the last things to do was to visit the Southwest with Rusi. We had been dreaming to go there but never got a chance (or never tried to really make it). Finally we’ve got friend to go and share the cost with lol.

Yerin (middle) is my Korean friend, we started working at Duxton together.

I was the sole driver for 2071 Kms in total for 3 days and I couldn’t believe I could safely bring us home; but believe me, driving in Australia is safe and easy compared in Indonesia. You just need to make sure not driving (too) tired.

DAY 1

Destination: Esperance

Place to sleep of the night: Pink Lake Tourist Park

It was a nice drive tho! I really liked the trees covering the side of the road. That day’s destination took us around 8 hours to get there so we didn’t really explore much because we need to be there not too late. We took a break in Corrigin, a cute town who really treasures dog so much. We passed a beautiful dog cemetery, dog statues at the park and we even spotted a veterinary center.

Rusi and I also shared a luggage to keep our blankets, food, and cooking things. But this is Yerin’s and dunno why I found it funny.

Then we passed a famous spot in Hyden, The Wave Rock.

Based on the information center, Wave rock is a 15 meters high granite cliff and the shape has been caused by weathering and water erosion which have undercut the base and left the rounded overhang. It left me in awe, such a unique shape that million years of erosion can make. We continued the journey and enjoyed the sun before it set for a while.


I was driving Holden and I just realized that I didn’t know how to turn on the light lol. Couldn’t spot the button or handle at the usual place in other cars and it took me a while to realize where the setting was xD. Anyway, we finally arrived at the tourist park at 6.30 pm, almost got no space to sleep because the office closed already lol but thank God, we made it. It cost us $49 to sleep at the unpowered site. We slept in the car, three of us. Yep, in a sedan.

DAY 2

Destination: Lucky Bay and Albany

Place to sleep of the night: Kalgan River Caravan Park

We woke up early morning so we could catch the sunrise but too bad, the weather wasn’t cooperating. There are so many beautiful places at the coast in Esperance and we managed to visit some of them. It was so beautiful, so quiet, and cold definitely.

Observatory Point
Very cool place!

Then we continued our journey to Lucky Bay at Cape Le Grand National Park, hoping we could see kangaroos at the beach. It should’ve taken us around 40 mins to get there but we took a bit longer since we stopped by at some spots, looking at cute cows. So many farms around there and the view were magnificent!

The price to get into the national Park was $13 for a vehicle and actually there’s a caravan Park at Lucky Bay too but you need to book beforehand. It was cloudy and raining when we got there but it didn’t last long tho. We burst to the beach after that and omigoooooooshhhhhhh Lucky Bay is really really beautiful.

I put off my shoes and touched the water; the sand also feels different. When I tried to write in the sand, it sounded like scratching nylon fabric and it kinda hurt when you ran on it lol.

The sand is solid as a whole but so soft when you pinch; confusing. We took so many pictures here but we weren’t lucky, no single kangaroo on sight.

We had lunch at the Pink Lake which is not pink at all (well, it used to be) and continued the trip to Albany. Another endless beautiful farms view but Yerin slept most of the time lol. We finally reached the caravan park before 6 pm but it was so dark already. The park was located quite far off the main road but kangaroos visit it daily! We couldn’t wait!

DAY 3

Destination: Albany Wind Farm, Margaret River, Perth

First things to do in the morning: brekkie and see the kangaroos!!

So many of them and they were so cute! Rusi and I tried our best to sneak in and took picture in quiet but Yerin was shouting in excitement. She probably scared the kangaroos but she was lucky not to be kicked lol. To me that was the best caravan Park I’ve visited so far: cheap, pretty, near valley and by the river, so many cute creatures.

Kalgan River

We then continued the trip to visit Albany Wind Farm, that was my first time seeing so many wind turbines and we hiked a bit to get to the lookout and we could see a forest in one side and a bay in the other side. So beautiful.

Yerin wasn’t feeling well and Rusi let her sit beside me hoping she could get better by looking at the beautiful views from the front seat but she dozed out again lol. Seriously, Albany region has TOO MANY BREATHTAKING view of valleys, farms, cute houses, and greeneries.

Then we passed Denmark and omg :’(, the town won several awards such as..i forgot. But Denmark is too pretty and I will come back there to explore the town. Can I get a job there in my third year visa? 😉

The State Forest

Managed to visit Margaret River for an hour and bought a wine as farewell gift for my manager.

At Cape Mentelle winery.
To be honest, I was so damn tired already but Perth was still 270 Kms away.

Luckily Yerin felt better and she continued talking to me that I had to make her stop lol. However, you saved us to get home, chingu-ya, gomawo. Finally, we made it to the Southwest and it was a super nice trip, one of beautiful last memories in my last days in Perth this year and I’ll never forget.

Thanks to you guys, I have so many pictures of me xD ♥️

A Vivid-Warm Nostalgic Town Called York

Let me tell you something, I never intended to come to York that day.

I’ve always been like this; whenever I plan something, I only work on it for 40%-50% and the rest of it will be improvisation. Good thing I traveled alone again yesterday and I could drive anywhere I wanted. My original plan was trekking to Lesmurdie Falls National Park, visiting Mundaring Weir, Perth Hills, Perth Observatory, staying in Kalamunda overnight, and visited a few National Parks nearby. I even rented the car late but have checked almost half of the list already by 3PM. I thought where I should go next and somehow York appeared in my mind.

Accompanied by Spotify, I drove all the way to York which is located 86 kilometers away from Perth CBD. Some of my friends have visited York and actually I knew the vibe would be similar as Meekathara, Mt. Magnet, and a few more towns that my friends and I passed by when we were on road trip; I knew York would be that BEAUTIFUL. As I entered Shire of York, nature gave me my favourite scenery in Australia: vast hills and valleys. In a certain part of road, you will see trees lining up on your left and right side and I wondered what it would look like when Autumn comes…must be so pretty <3. I really like the Town Centre because it feels so nostalgic to me. The town is taken care beautifully: the architectures, the design of land use, environment, etc. In this millennial age, this town attracts people by standing tall with its own identity; it doesn’t care about modernization or stupid attractions.

 

 

I watched the sunset at Mt. Brown lookout. At first, I stopped at a small area which I thought it was the lookout but something made me so scared: a graveyard behind me. And I was alone LOL. Actually once I came to Australia, my parno thinking has reduced so much. There’s no way I would see Kuntilanak, Pocong, or I have to feel scared every malam jumat. But still, I’m not much different from my old self. Then I realized it wasn’t the right lookout spot from the map lol. I drove a bit further then and I found this:

 

 

I did nothing but enjoying everything (and being online on Instagram). Beautiful. Mother Earth is so beautiful :’( I could see people’s houses from above and the Town Hall looked so tiny. In the east, a vast land was visible and I contemplated that this country (as well as a continent) must have been fighting so hard to get water and to plant variation of crops. I grew up on the island with plenteous natural resources such as water and fertile soil, I feel so blessed. Many parts of Indonesia, even though they are not as developed as certain big cities in Indonesia, we can’t argue more, they are so blessed in this matter. But anyway, I won’t talk much about this now (I will do it in the next post).

 

Look at the color!

 

I really love this car. Rented this from Ace Car Rentals and so irit laaa.. I only spent $22 for driving 253km. It was about 1:15.

 

Back to York, I googled a caravan park and yep, this is the place I’m going to sleep at tonight, as I said to myself. Seriously, I never thought I would be brave to sleep alone at caravan park. Whenever I slept at caravan park, I was always with Cia and she would always accompany me to go to the toilet. And I’m so beser T^T but she always got up whenever I woke her up. This time I was alone and I had no other option but to face my fear.

Tony Smith was the one who welcomed me and concerned so much about me. He’s a charismatic ranger who has been doing this job for 20 years. He found out I traveled alone and I was only with my car. At first, he pointed me to park the car at unpowered site (I’m so used to it) and asked if I bring my blanket and kept saying: lock your car, open the windows a bit. I only had to pay $15 (y so cheap T^T). Later, he changed his mind. He wanted me to stay inside the unused caravan with electricity which was wayyy more proper for me to sleep and I didn’t have to pay extra. So blessed!

The caravan was so cozy tho. It has a queen-sized bed but too scared to sleep there. I chose a couch in a smaller room instead. The night was cold, I was too scared to turn off the lamp and this annoying bladder always made me go to the toilet. I couldn’t sleep and got migraine until around 10.30 pm the last time I was awake. Suddenly around 12 am, a loud noise was heard! It was windy that night and the branch above the caravan would always make noise but this one wasn’t because of the wind. I was pretty sure! I kept silent and started analyzing: the door. Not long after that a voice was heard, ”Are you alright in there?”. Yeaaa, I replied and he apologized and said stuff about the light. I only replied okay and thank you. Damn, I couldn’t sleep again xD.

I stood up and checked the door. The door has lock latch and I could tell the door was pulled from outside (thank you lock!). I guessed if he was Tony but why Tony had to open the door instead of knocking. Worst part: I HAD TO PEE! I’m sorry Tony or whoever else, I was so scared that I had to contain my urine and poured it in the sink (I washed everything with soap right away!). I went back to sleep like a baby surprisingly after that.

In the morning, I confirmed everything with Tony and he was shocked. He asked me about the impression about the voice; letting me judge from the accent. All I could tell was it was a voice of old white guy. He was kinda angry tho.  I’ll do my best to repeat his words.

“There’s no way I would open your door. You have my number and as long as you don’t call me, I knew everything was okay with you.”

“Thank you for telling this. Tonight I will hold a meeting with everyone who lives here. Whatever the reason was, it was not right to do that. They have nothing to do with you.”

“This really makes me angry.”

“Good thing that you had the door locked!”

Wah Tony, I really adore you as a ranger. Thank you so much for helping this random girl who traveled alone. And actually, I don’t think it was a bad person tho, he was asking if I was alright lol but yeah, knocking was more appropriate than trying to open the door. I still give 5 stars for this caravan park. Good service, clean toilet and shower area, good kitchen and laundry room too, and cheap T^T.

 

 

“Drive safe! Come here anytime you feel like want to get away from city life.” Nice advice! Thanks Tony.

 

Happy and refreshed!

Rottnest Island: Land of the cuties

It’s been a while since the last time I traveled solo and anw I owe you another two travel stories when I was still in Darwin which I did with friend(s). This time, life in Perth made us walk alone. We got different jobs and it’s so hard to match the time. On top of that, my heart was just broken that I wanted to have time for myself. Out of so many choices, I chose Rottnest Island, which I had been dying to go just to see this animal: QUOKKA!!

 

The best picture I can afford to let you know how cuteeeee it is! Happiest animal in the world they said!

 

They are everywhere just like stray cats in Indonesia, seriously! Quokka is the native animal of the island and mainly nocturnal but don’t worry, you can see lots of them even in day light. Quokkas are curious (they can fearlessly approach you), photogenic (they know if you want to take their pictures, they will go closer to your phone), Quokkas run so fast (I scared it once accidentally xD), and more importantly Quokkas always smile if you see it a bit from the bottom xD.

 

Managed to get a kiss from Quokka.

 

I admire Australian Government for protecting the nature by giving us top-down policy with an expensive fine. I am really obedient to (almost) every rule in Australia. Rottnest Island also has strict policy about its wildlife and the rules are written everywhere.

 

 

Quokkas are so loved and everyone wants to be near them!

 

But apparently Quokkas are not allowed to go shopping.

 

I also spotted this beautiful creature when I passed the neighborhood. Animals in Rottnest Island really live happily!

 

Another reason to love Rottnest Island is because it is so eco friendly. Sorry you lazy asses, you can’t rent a scooter, car or limousine or whatever to explore. The options you have is taking the bus for $20 or hire a bike for $30 a day, or if you are a cheapstake, you can explore on foot, up to you la. I chose to hire a bike just like most everyone did, I repeat again, like most everyone did: old people, kiddos, parents, lovers.

 

Although the island is hilly (like I even chose to walk when I was going uphill), parents still used this lil cart to carry their child. Salute to strong parents!

 

Pedal and Flipper shop.

 

It’s so nice to cycle around the island :'(. It was so quiet along the way, fresh air everywhere, you can stop anywhere you want, and to me, everywhere and every second were my ME TIME.

 

My bike ($45 for 2 days) with Wadjemup Lighthouse as background.

 

Rooms for rent on the right.

 

35% energy of the island comes from the wind.

 

Near my hostel.

 

Clear blue sky, mesmerizing waves, clean white sand…..you literally can find them in soooo many places in Rottnest Island <3.  My favorite was Parakeet Bay because it was sooo quiet (it’s not in this pic).

 

I spent two nights in Rottnest Island and paid for the accommodation for $108 at Kingstown Barracks. It’s so expensive for me and actually I wanted to go to the campsite and erect a tent there but I changed my mind.

 

Dunno if $54 per night is considered expensive or not for other people, I mean, we also have to help ourselves to make bed xD

 

And if you are a heavy eater, it’s better for you to buy groceries at General Store and cook at the hostel. I was so lazy, I brought 2 instant noodles for my dinners. And the campsite was kinda okay, not that deserted and scary — in fact, the site is surrounded by so many cabins and other rooms — but you can’t bring your own stove. I chose to go to hostel because I decided to bring my small backpack and the price is not that far from each other anyway.

 

I chose the most distant route on day 1. Good instinct because cycling too much hurt my butt. And, you have to wear helmet, it’s a compulsory!

 

 

My starting point was Kingstown Barracks and I cycled all the way to West End and went home passing Wadjemup Lighthouse. I stopped at every listed spots there xD. On day 2, I went to the north and dedicated my time to relax: swimming and reading. My favorite places are Little Salmon Bay, Mary Cove, Cape Vlamingh, Parakeet Bay. My favorite objects to shoot are Wadjemup Lighthouse and the windmill by the golf course.

Anyways, I was so brokenhearted but so happy to see couples everywhere that I couldn’t resist to use my phonecam.

 

Zoom in to see these cute couple.

 

Birdies in love

 

Youngsters in love

 

Old couple in love

 

Quokkas in love their bodies even look like heart shape

 

Let’s just say they’re in love as well ok?

 

Me? I’ll do my best to be happy la

 

Thank you Riri for helping me buying the ticket ferry so I got 15% discount :'( and I was so blessed to be helped and I wanted to help others even more. When I was cycling from the hostel to The Settlement (the center of business and where the main port was located), I passed 4 children climbed a tree. Worried but didn’t want to disturb their fun time, I only shouted “Take care okay???!” when I passed. They all replied, “Okaaayy.”

As I went further, I was worried: they climbed so high what if something goes wrong?, they have no adults to watch them that’s the biggest problem, I don’t want to regret anything if something goes wrong.

I went back and found only one boy was still up there.

“Hey, can you please come down?” I asked.

“Umm, but we have been careful.”

“I know, but your friends have climbed down anyway so would you please come down?”

Finally he said okay and climbed down successfully, “Good boi!!”

Dunno if I just prevented them to explore their world in their way (kids need to explore I know) but I chose to listen to my heart la! To be someone who is careful and take care of myself……until an officer shouted to me so loudly: “HELMET ON PLEASE!”

 

 

 

Journey To The West

Australia is super duper big lol! When I told my dad we were gonna drive from Darwin to Perth, he freaked out and asked me how far we would drive. “You better don’t know the distance, Pa.” I said. I’m glad he didn’t google it because I know how overthinking my dad is.

Because it is this far.

 

For you to compare.

 

And we are all girls and our manager+supervisor were kinda worried they even gave me tips and emphasized to stay connected because the truth is communication coverage in Australia is still lacking in many places especially when you do road trip.

Telstra is the best provider and its signal reaches many places yet no one of us use Telstra lol! But seriously tho, I would say our journey was kinda blessed but maybe having Telstra would be safer because you’ll never know what will come to you. And I’m so happy I’ve got Cia and Rusi in this journey. Cia is a very reliable person, not a typical female driver. She understands automotive and she is a very good driver. Rusi can’t drive but her ability to keep us awake was amazing lol! She had a pile of conversation topics, high level of endurance when it came to the talking and being awake, and voluntary painful strikes she gave to me whenever I felt sleepy while driving XD. Can’t forget how painful it was when she hit my hand.

Ready to know the story? Here we go.

 

Before we left Darwiin for good, we still managed to take selfie with manager+supervisor and gave them farewell gifts.

Rusi cried so much omg

We left Darwin around 11.45 and our goal that day was to get to Timber Creek before the sun sets. Cia and I have passed this route before and to be honest, the view in NT is still boring. “Flat” scenery, only bushes everywhere. Another challenge was driving the van itself; because it is slim and tall, it wasn’t stable if we drove more than 120 kmph. When I was driving, I almost sent us to death because suddenly the van lost its balance and I got panicked! I braked to slow it down but I made it worse. Then I learned whenever I lose balance, better just to lower the speed and don’t brake so suddenly. We passed Katherine and had lunch there and OMG it was so hot and humid. I wished Timber Creek wouldn’t be hot but actually it was the worst.

Image from Google.

Very hot, no wind, and to make it worse, I had problem with Cia. We couldn’t sleep in the van or we could be suffocated. At about 2 am, we went outside and slept in the kitchen area of the caravan park. There were 2 ceiling fans on and they helped so much. The most important part was Cia and I had to be fit because Day 2 would be a very loooong and tiring day. But it went better tho. No more problem between me and Cia; Rusi and Cia got “enough” sleep, and I somehow felt fit enough to be the next first driver.

 

Our goal today was to spend sunset time in Broome. Broome is famous of its long white beach and camel ride. So many good sunset pics with camels and we really hoped to see that but it was a veryyyyyy long drive we didn’t know if we could make it. I started driving early, at 4.45 am and it gave Cia enough time to recover her energy.

Rested in Kunnunura and had our breakfast here.

 

Lily Creek Lagoon.

 

Managed to take picture with Cia aftermath lol.

 

Her turn to drive.

 

From our window.

 

The weather was so nice that we stopped to take selfie with pretty clouds.

 

Told ya it was pretty.

 

Met cute wallabies :3

Eventually, we didn’t make it to Broome. We slept at Willare and it was still about 170 kms away from Broome. Good thing that no one of us was selfish enough; we took this journey easily. No sunset in Broome, no worries.

 

Changed plan, we tried to make it to Broome before sunrise so we started to drive at 4 am but dafuggg the sun rose at 5 am! xD We had fun on the road instead while waiting for Cia to poop in the bush.

When we arrived at Broome, we had another situation. We were so so so so shocked to hear recent airplane crash happened in Indonesia and it killed our friend’s parents. Lisa. I cried instantly and to be honest I lost myself to enjoy the day so we spent almost an hour at Maccas to sit quietly, surfed the internet and read articles about the crash. Rusi brought us back to the reality, the show must go on, and I’m sure Lisa didn’t want us to mourn too long either. Then we discussed about the trip and continued the day.

Hello Oaks lol.

The beach was really spectacular! White sandddd, so clean and vast, and the color was so blueeee. The wind was strong and it was really nice to do water sports here.

We continued driving to our next stop: Port Hedland. Believe me, the journey Broome from was the most boring, tiring, and annoying of all. It was hot, bright, no beautiful scenery. Only red dirt, bush, and endless straight road. I was driving and I was really sleepy actually since I swam earlier. We took a rest in Sandfire (the name of the town is as scary as the color of the dirt or sand or whatever) and the rest area got a pretty cute photogenic spots.

BM – SF, the most boring part.

We made it to Port Hedland in the evening. Port Hedland is a busy place and so many mining sites and I think I saw a factory here. It even has international airport! And its caravan park was the best because we got signals, they have free laundry+dryer, and the weather was nice.

Milo and marshmallow to warm the hearts.

 

It was Halloween day and we participated in it thus we put make up on.

Guess the themes.

We drove to a certain distance with those looks lol. Worst part, I lost to Cia and Rusi and I had to pay the fuel with that look. Just as I entered the store someone near the cashier was shocked, “Whoaa, what’s going on here?” He laughed af xD

Rusi took the pic of our spot.

 

I think I’m kinda obsessed with clouds.

 

And oh, the journey from Port Hedland to our next stop was a bit merry. Usually we drove alone for a certain (far) distance without passing a vehicle from both lanes, like, the road was super quiet. However, we met so many road trains and other vehicles here. Many mining sites spotted too along the way. Hectic.

We spent the night in Karalundi and it was very quiet and actually we were lucky the caretaker of the place was waiting for someone who booked a spot via phone. And luckily we arrived earlier than him so we could still sleep there. Someone named Kayleen accompanied us during dinner time and he was very chatty! We tried anything to try to stop him talking like giving him food, disctracting him, etc but he kept on going T^T. Cia was the only one who listened to him patiently xD.

 

 

Just in case somebody is curious about Kayleen, here’s our pic:

I wish your dreams come true, boy.

Today, surprisingly we made it to Perth xD. At first we were even not sure if we could arrive in Perth on Nov 3rd! The journey from Karalundi to Perth was the best! We passed Meekathara, Cue, Mt. Magnet, New Norcia, Wubin, Bindoon; beautiful small towns. But Lake Austin was one of the attractions we want to visit!

Nice huh

Rusi even wanted to leave Karalundi unshowered because she wanted to swim at beautiful Lake Austin. However,

This is the actual Lake Austin.

 

Somebody ain’t happy.

 

So the Lake Austin I browsed earlier wasn’t located in WA but in USA xD. Thank God Rusi took a bath in Karalundi or she would be super upset throughout the day lol!

Sad not, the scenery of those towns I mentioned was pretty.

Jacaranda tree in Mt. Magnet

 

A very quiet monastery in New Norcia.

When we got to New Norcia, it was a bit cold that we wanted to make Indomie. Indonesians will understand the relationship between indomie and cold weather :p. Cia was the first one to cook meanwhile Rusi and I wandered around and took pictures. To be honest I like New Norcia, it’s old and beautiful.

But dunno why we felt the horror in New Norcia because it’s too quiet lol!

My mind was contemplating if I would see a ghost from the window. Just like in movie.

Cia was the one who panicked the most and insisted to leave ASAP lol. Rusi even chose to eat the indomie in the moving car rather than to spend more time in New Norcia. We guys were really overreacted xD.

Anw, were so spoiled by beautiful scenery of a SUUUUUUPPPPPPPEEEEERRRRR VAAAAAAAASSSTTTTT wheat field from Wubin to Bindoon, it’s like hundreds of kilometers!

Sunset time.

So pretty :'(

We finally arrived in Perth at around 7.30 PM. Safe and sound. I came back to Mark and I know Cia and Rusi will enjoy living with Mark too.

All the things happened during the trip; so much laughters, excitement, fatigue, disagreements, so many new things to learn especially in driving, we thank God so much. Thank universe. Now that we’re in Perth, hopefully beautiful things will come to us too.

Let’s hit the road again sometime.

(almost) Near Death Experience in Katherine

In the end of May, I went back to Indonesia to see my dying grandma. Both of us lived together alone for 6 years and I was so afraid to lose her when I wasn’t around her so I made up my mind to go home. It wasn’t an easy decision tho because the airfare wasn’t cheap either and I just received my salary which should be used to pay my debt back (it was due on that time). Popo’s -how I call grandma- condition has gotten worse and gotten better that my parents and family suggested me to wait any longer but Miki and Gwenn helped me to convince myself that going home was the only option. Glad I listened to my heart so I had ONE day to spend with Popo when she was still conscious before she passed away on the following day :'(

Sitting beside Popo, holding her hand, repeating a never ending prayer for her and witnessing Popo took her very last breath together with many family members helped me to gain a level-up acceptance about death. I could let her go and although it was painful, it wasn’t as painful as when I missed the chance to be beside my grandpa and Taro (my pet) when they were gone. I was also blessed that my friends and family helped me to keep myself busy so I didn’t mourn continuously because what is death when actually we’re all interconnected in a very complex way that time and space, being alive or dead are not the exact factors of separation.

Anyway, I went back to Australia a day after Popo’s body was cremated. During my flight from JKT to SIN, I felt lonely and was carried away by loving memories of Popo and me that I couldn’t stop crying. Gwenn contacted me when I was at Changi airport, waiting for my next flight to Darwin; he invited me to go to Katherine on the day I arrived in Darwin. I said yes. I knew I need that.

I arrived at Darwin airport at around 5 Am and went through a series of drama at the immigration and custom check but thank God I finally got out of the situation at almost an hour later (lesson learned: never help someone to bring things or whatsoever that you’re not sure about the safety -biologically, especially- and tick YES on passenger card if you’re not sure about anything. Let them check you rather than get you accused from not ticking). Okta picked me up and we were in hurry to get ready for the trip. It was 5 of us; I traveled with Okta, Gwenn, Ian, and Fabiola. The trip to Katherine took us about 4 hours and I slept most of the time lol, didn’t get enough sleep from Indonesia. All the places we visited were located at Nitmiluk National Park.

 

 

EDITH FALLS

Our first stop! I was dying to dunk myself into the water as I have prepared my goggle, yea, can’t live without it.  Edith Falls was kinda nice, not as beautiful as Florence Falls at Litchfield but omg, Edith Falls had something that made me want to challenge myself: the width of the the pool. The pool was sooooo vaaasssttt I didn’t even dare to swim across it.

 

I stood at the starting point. See how far the waterfall is?

 

None of us were brave to swim straight to there lol so we came up with another plan. We swam to the nearer check-point and would continue swimming side by side with the cliff on the right so whenever we get tired we can hold onto the rocks. Gwenn started swimming followed by me and the rest of us but Okta, Fabiola, and Ian decided to go back x_x. Gwenn and I were like “Oh come onnn!” lol but both of us really wanted to reach the waterfall so we decided to carry on, I took the lead. I was never be a very committed person, even when it came to the swimming lol. I kept pausing and hanging on the cliff; sometimes we were lucky enough to find nice rock to sit at. Seriously, I was really scared, I wasn’t tired, I was scared. Wearing goggle made you could see what underneath and omg, the pool was sooooo deep and so dark I imagined scary animals would come up and bite us. Anyway, Gwenn and I made it to the waterfall and sitting under it was sooo niceee! We jumped in too!

Gwenn told me that we still had 2 more places to go and he suggested me to swim ACROSS so we could buy some time.  I wasn’t sure at first but actually I could just do it. I’ve ever done 750m swimming non-stop so I thought it wouldn’t be that hard. I just have to keep myself calm, I told myself. I forced Gwenn to agree swimming together with me so I could be less panicked. He agreed but he asked me to start first because he knew I swam slower than him. I agreed tho, I started swimming. It wasn’t hard at first. I swam and maintained myself relaxed at the same time, I kept my pace, I tried not to see under. It went smoothly after some time, I realized Gwenn wasn’t with me. I turned my head back and Gwenn was still at the waterfall, perhaps waiting for the right time to join me. I ruined my rhythm by shouting his name. I kept swimming, felt uneasy again, turned my head back again, and shouted again. Gwenn finally caught up and even surpassed me! He was taking the lead while I didn’t even move forward for an inch! I got panicked, I couldn’t breath, I tried to change the style and still got stuck. I kept shouting his name but I knew he couldn’t even help me. The destination was still TOO far and if I were him, I didn’t know how to help either. I knew he was tired too. This was not Hollywood movie.

I seriously thought that would be the end of my life lol! I even didn’t tell my parents about the trip, I wonder if my parents would suffer a super great loss as my dad just lost her mom. But I couldn’t help it, 60% of my cognitive function wanted me to give up, didn’t know why. I was so tired, I was in the middle, no shortcut to anywhere safe. Gwenn’s voice brought my sanity back. He said: “Okay, let’s swim slowly to the right, it’s nearer.” And he slowed down the pace. I tried once again. I didn’t give a damn about anything else. I tried to lose myself with the swimming. I called Popo again and again hoping her spirit would come and guide me. Maybe I was still so scared of death lol! Slowly, the rhythm came back, I could move and breath again. I was alive! xD

Okta, Fabiola, and Ian laughed so hard at me! They were panicking and tried to help me too by shouting: “TURN TO FLOAT!” I didn’t hear tho lol. What a story! Thank you so much Gwenn!!!

Still managed to smile aftermath. Maybe it wasn’t Near Death Experience after all lol.

 

KATHERINE HOT SPRINGS

Second stop. We didn’t take any picture here; too busy enjoying life, I guess? The thermal pool was so nice! It wasn’t that hot, perfect temperature to me!

Image courtesy of Katherine Town Council.

Yes it was that blue and clear. It’s located near a famous caravan park in Katherine and so many old people came here at that time to spend the day.

 

KATHERINE GORGES

This was my most favorite spot! Katherine is so famous of its gorges and we really wanted to end the trip magnificently. Actually I didn’t have much money but the majority wanted to go on sunset dinner cruise tour for $170 or whatever other affordable tours Katherine offered. But life turned out to be on my side tho, all the tours were fully booked xD. Sad not! We could still hike to see the beauty of the gorges and Katherine river from up above.

-disclaimer: you’ll see more faces instead of the scenery itself from this point-

 

We headed to Baruwei lookout.

 

 

 

scenery

 

scenery and me

 

scenery

 

scenery and me lol

 

OMG it was good!

 

 

 

Nice family pictures yea? All was taken by iPhone X belonged to Ian. Wohoo!!

 

We headed back home at around sunset time and did a lil bit exploration of restaurants at Katherine. Found a nice Chinese restaurant and it wasn’t so expensive. We went back to Darwin at around 8pm if I was not mistaken, was so dark already. It was Gwenn’s turn to drive and me? Tired+feeling full meant I needed to sleep lol! Suddenly, another crazy thing happened.

None of us were aware that the car was almost running out of fuel! Believe me, road trip in Australia actually kinda sucks in case of emergency because our phones had no signals, minimum rest areas and gas stations (actually this wouldn’t be a problem if we arranged the trip nicely). So, we missed one gas station and the other one was not working and the next gas station was in Adelaide River which located 60 kms ahead and our car capability was only around 50++ kms left (yes the car showed it, we rented a new Nissan Xtrail). We all prayed so we could make it and suddenly Gwenn turned left as he saw a sign of nearest gas station. I was actually against it, I thought it was still better to stay on the main big road. Then we’re forced to keep on going, it would be a waste of gas if we turned back. Gwenn said he saw the nearest one was around 30kms.

We kept driving to a narrow street, no other cars was visible. What I worried was right! I guess we all were hallucinated or something but from that road, the sign showed the nearest gas station was 108km ahead at Daly River. WTF! Okay, it was the right time to panic. We turned on the carrier’s signal, hoping one of our phones would work. But the hell! SOS would do! I got the SOS and pressed 000; tried to call emergency LOL! Gwenn also started panicking by doing harsh turning and sometimes braking. I wished fuel would be the only problem, no accident please xD. Then I succeeded connecting to the emergency and let the officer know where we were (in the end, this method didn’t help at all). The girls said I was so damn panicked that I might hurt Ian’s feeling by grabbing car’s information details from his hand harshly. Okta was like kept trying to calm me down (she was calm too, I was proud of her). Glad Ian wasn’t sensitive lol! Sorry Ian, pure panic, no intention of hurting. Not long after that, Fabiola got signal! She could browse and searched for the ACTUAL nearest gas station. It was only 3kms far! We eventually MADE IT TO ADELAIDE RIVER!

Yes we’re all safe and sound until now if you’re asking lol! It was a super duper exciting day! XD Thanks guys, it was a niiiiiiiiicceeeeeeeeeeee trip and this trip I’ll never forget.

 

The Motorcycle Diaries: The End of Trip

May 14th 2017

It was Sunday and it was our last day in Kupang. We decided to visit two last places before heading back to Jakarta and we got ready in the very morning; those were Oenesu Waterfall and Tablolong Beach. Oenesu was located not far from the city and Messi helped me again with GPS. It was quite complicated when we drove in the city but after that, the view was so nice. Trees were everywhere and the breeze was very fresh. It was quite quiet tho, wherever we passed any neighborhood. Then we later learned that most of the people went to the church for Sunday morning mass.

We drove about 30 mins until we finally reached Oenesu Waterfall site. It was super quiet, REALLY! When we entered the parking lot, there were just 3 people: two in ticketing and one was sweeping the ground. Honestly, I was having goosebumps knowing that there were no other visitors but us. However, we acted cool and ‘hey, this is the time when we can enjoy the nature, just us, no crowds like at other famous places’, I told to myself. And yeah indeed! That was very nice to enjoy nature privately!

We trekked down a few steps to reach the bench where we put our clothes and from that view, the waterfall looked so majestic. It has 4 tiers that it looked like a giant chocolate fountain, well I don’t mean the color. Messi took some long-exposure pictures without tripod and I copied her technique lol. I love the result!

Done taking pictures, we quickly played with the water. We crossed a big tier and walked to the highest. Anyway, there were SO MANY millipedes, we found about 11 as we walked on the ground. I was scared of them and so was Messi >.< But luckily we found a safe spot to put our bags, right beside the highest tier of waterfall. Oenesu waterfall was very fun to explore! I could land my feet anywhere and lied myself down anywhere! Right below the tallest waterfall there was a ‘pond’ which called me to swim. I put on my goggle but I was scared lol! As I said in my post earlier that I am not a water-element girl and since Messi couldn’t swim, I was afraid no one could help me, lol! We just had fun laying down, felt the water passing us. It was relaxing, calming, fresh, and I felt peaceful. I looked up to the sky, well, almost no sky actually, the trees were so big and they covered it but whatever, I felt so grateful. I was in love with mother nature and Indonesia; I started singing national anthem and songs. I powered up my voice and burst in tears, not sure if Messi saw that, she was enjoying with her own style. Messi joined me in the water and we talked to each other for some time.

Tall enough! (Messi)

Super nice! (Messi)

We enjoyed it peacefully quite long, maybe for almost an hour when I realized I lost my swim goggle! I was like wtf, it was new and expensive and I didn’t have budget to buy new one afterward. I walked down to the lower tiers and tried searching for it then I saw a man far down there, squatted by the stream and I shouted to him, asking if he saw a swim goggle. He didn’t seem hear us yet he came over and greeted us. He was small, looked old and seemed to be friendly enough, those were my first judgement about him. He couldn’t speak Bahasa Indonesia very well but he explained he didn’t see my property so yeahh, let’s just let it go. I am sure I asked his name but I forgot, so let’s just call him Mr. X.

Although Mr. X couldn’t speak Bahasa Indonesia very well, he seemed excited enough to talk with us. He carried a long blade and he explained that he has been living near there for a long time and he took care of the place. He told us several stories about how people should behave at Oenesu Waterfall. He told us that sexual conduct is not appropriate there yet there were always romantic couples did that. He also told about a tall and dark-skinned man who always peek from far and hunt for girls. Since his Bahasa wasn’t really clear, I thought he was talking about ghost or goblin or whatever! My goosebumps felt much stronger and I looked around, it was still quiet. Where are the hell the others? It was Sunday and people normally come to famous tourism spot to hangout huh?? My instinct gave me alert yet I still wanted to dig more information. He kept talking about that man and described how that guy love to see women in wet clothes, just like me and Messi. I guess Mr. X was good in impersonating when he stared at our bodies. At that time I realized that we were totally soaked! He continued telling us how he saved the women. Mr. X claimed he hit the guy three times already and while he was explaining that, he pointing the blade into the air and we were very scared. He told us not to worry because we got him around and he would protect us.

Messi and I love watching movies and there are countless movies that show a ‘friend’ is actually your enemy. Playing hero. As if Messi could read my mind, we ended the conversation right away. I tried to be good, didn’t show that I was scared to death. I pretended to keep being friendly to him and always starting conversations with him. We asked for a moment to take our belongings and when we were away from him, Messi and I assured each other that we should get the hell outta there quickly. Well, just say I am a bad friend, I walked quickly and took the first in the line and Messi was behind me, followed by Mr. X. LOL!! Sorry Messi! But damn, a moment after that Messi took my spot and I eventually walked in the middle! (Messi later admitted that she also had the same motive and she wanted to keep her safe, just like me, damn you Messi! lol). Well, I couldn’t even laugh at that time; the fact that I was right in front of Mr. X and he could swing the blade to me at anytime made me felt restless. I walked like a crab then, I didn’t give my back to him so that I could monitor his movement. I kept talking to him while walking to the bench where we put our outer clothes. I asked how many children he had. He answered he wasn’t married. I laughed pitifully. I suggested him to find a good woman in the neighborhood. He also asked me back to help him find the woman. Woman from Jakarta is nice, he said. Like me and Messi, he said. I wanted to cry!

We successfully took our clothes and I quickly said good bye. I asked Messi to quickly give our BIG bread –forget about breakfast!– to avoid him asking anything. He received that with smile and later he asked for money. I asked Messi to give him 20k and he accepted it with smile again, maybe because of the bread since he told us earlier that people usually gave him 50k. We said goodbye again and HE ASKED AGAIN! He asked for our phone numbers and OMG, OF COURSE I CAN’T GIVE IT TO YOU, BRO! I refused, he asked again, I refused again while walking up to the exit xD. We wanted to get some help from people but omg there was nobody outside in the parking lot, even the fence was closed! I asked Messi to open it while I was turning the scooter on and we finally escaped quickly. Not long after that, we passed a house with many people. I stopped and explained the situation. I just wanted to know if the tall guy existed (there must be rumor tho!) but they said no. So then we didn’t know which one was true; was Mr. X true, or was he just making up a story.

I managed to take picture of him. He innocently agreed with the fact I was taking his picture as a proof. Just in case. Sometimes he was innocent like a kid, if he was really a villain, he musn’t have wanted his picture taken. Just be safe if you want to visit the waterfall, okay!

Even though we have left Oenesu Waterfull far behind, I still drove fast lol! YES I WAS SO SCARED! But not long after that Messi and I laughed together, it was fun tho!! We headed to the Tablolong Beach and felt calmer. The road was very beautiful that I can’t show you. We tried to take pictures but I don’t think they resemble well.

The real situation was moreeee beautiful. So green and sometimes when we passed open area and the sea was visible. So blue! When we arrived at the gate, the officer warned us to keep an eye to our belongings. Many thieves, he said. I prayed so hard so nothing bad would happen to us. We were a few hours away until we went back home. The beach was still far from the gate and the road was very bumpy, and it was quiet too. Fortunately we got there safely, I parked the scooter super near the hut LOL! No stealing, thief! It was Om Stev’s not mine. We took pictures and actually I was so tempted to swim. I couldn’t find a clear sea water where I could see corals near the seaside in Lembata. Even color of the water in Kolbano beach was so dense. No shallow sea water like in Tablolong. Sadly, we had to quickly move because our flight time was coming. I want to go to Tablolong Beach first if I come to Kupang again!

We finally got back home safely and returning the scooter to Om Stev. Messi told him to pick us up to the airport at 2pm. I asked her if it was better if we could leave at 1.30pm. Messi said no rush, we got still more time until take off. Well, okay then.

We showered and lazily laying down in bed until I saw our flight details. It was shown that our take off would be 2.50 pm. It was already 2 and we suddenly panicked!! Om Stev were nowhere to be seen! We split the duty. Messi was in charge in checking out and I was looking for Om Stev. Om Stev was still searching for another ojek but he couldn’t find any. We then decided to cengtri; three people in a scooter and we asked him to drive like a bullet because we were running out of time. He tried so hard, really! I used the scooter in the previous day and I felt the brake was quite hard to handle, not working really well. Om Stev looked very hard to drive us with that hilly road. Om Stev, I woof you T^T

Very kind, he cleans his scooter before renting it away, super nice laaa pokoknya. Om Stev (082147510699)

Well yeah, we finally made it and safely landed in Jakarta around 7 PM.

Exhausted.

I am looking forward for another adventure. By the time I write this, still haven’t gotten any chance to do this kind of fun again. Soon, maybe. Alone will be fine, with Messi, will be more fun I think 😉  I am grateful to be trusted to live my life this way. This year is hard for me in some aspects but when I look back to the past nine months, I am glad, I collect memories in a very beautiful way.

P.S.

I dedicated this post for my adventurous friend, Messi, whom just celebrated her birthday mid September. You know I love you and I can’t wait to explore the world with you again. Stay healthy and happy until then!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

The Motorcycle Diaries: 300 KM in a day just to see this!

Hello World! I’m back again lol! It’s kinda weird to write something from a journey that happened 3 months ago, IT’S SUPER LATE! I know! I know lol. Things happened but here I am, laying in bed and writing at a the most proper time. Let’s just get started!


On the previous blog, Messi and I were done with our trip together with Bang Adjie and Kak Nancy. We had so much fun in Lembata and Larantuka and time to part had come. Messi and I continued our journey to Kupang and to me that was also one of the most valuable moments in my life!

I always like driving, both motorcycle and car; since I spend my time mostly riding motorcycle so yeah, my skill is upgraded from time to time. When I was riding in Lembata and Messi was sitting behind me and we talked about a family who rides from the east to the west of Indonesia. Somehow I liked the concept and it must be awesome to do the touring! We also watched The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) and we loved it. Well, we’re not Ernesto and Alberto who ride for a long time and experience things that change their lives completely. We’re just two city girls who rent a scooter for 100k rupiahs for 2 days and had fun in Kupang.

 

May 12th 2017

Touched down in Kupang at around 5 pm. We took a cab and went directly to our homestay. We got this recommendation from Bang Adjie; our room was so cheap and since Messi and I traveled on budget, we agreed laa. Our room has no AC but it was nice and clean enough (except the toilet). Anyway, I thought Kupang would be hot because it’s located in eastern Indonesia too. It’s near Lembata so I thought they must have the same weather. However, it’s surprisingly not hot and not humid as well, I just felt like I was in my hometown! The ambiance of the city was also like another big cities in Java. We also didn’t find any unique places that sell Kupangnese (?) foods; they were all quite the same as Jakarta: nasi padang, warteg, soto lamongan. Ah, there are so many transmigrants from Java so, well, i felt quite homey yet I expect something more unique and sooo Kupang.

Anyway we met the landlord and discussed about things as well as the recommended places in Kupang. We then decided to visit Kolbano beach on the next day. I immediately opened G-map and saw the duration: around 3 hours driving. Well, yeah, affordable and not hard to do that; I said to myself. We agreed to rent a scooter for 1 and a half day from Om Stev; a tukang ojek nearby (cool name huh xD), and we agreed to start tomorrow morning before 9am.

 

May 13th 2017

I woke up lazily so I took a bath first to fresh myself; Messi was so hyped and she showered quickly after me. While I was waiting for her, I opened G-map again and took a closer look and studied the map. Then I realized one thing: THE DISTANCE! Yeaaaaa, yesterday our landlord also mentioned that Kolbano was far from our place and yeaaaaaa I saw the map slightly and agreed to bear the duration. But that morning, I was completely sane and aware about the place we were about to visit. Kolbano beach was located 149 KM far away from our place and we would go there by scooter for around THREE hours and I was the only one who would drive! WTF lol!

 

 

Earlier on the previous night, I stupidly imagined driving a car for 3 hours and I didn’t find it a trouble because I used to driving that long in my hometown. And that morning I also realized 3 hour driving in Jakarta is NOT the same as 3 hour driving in Kupang xD. In Jakarta, you can drive 50 km for 2-3 hours because of the traffic jam. I googled Kolbano Beach and looked at it carefully while considering if it was worth it to visit lol. The pictures were so tempting but I was still in doubt so I tried to discussed it with Messi. I talked about it to her, not a clear one, I used codes to tell her that I was not really okay to ride that long and that far; she didn’t seem get the codes so hell yeah, just bear with it and break a record! *slapped my face*.

We were heading to the direction to Soe; the road was smooth, no traffic jam, nice weather and nice view along the way! I completely forgot how doubt I was and enjoyed every seconds instead! Since we were not getting used to Kupang area, we thought it was better to be back at our place not too late so I managed the time and was speeding from time to time. When the road was nice enough, I drove fast; around 80-110 kph. Second record, lol! Messi was quiet along the way but I’m sure she didn’t even freak out at once. It was so fun even for the riding solely lol, we had so much fun and experienced beautiful little things before we finally arrived at Kolbano Beach.

 

We thought it was a river but we wondered why it wasn’t loaded with so much water.

 

 

Mass transportation in Kupang. Pardon us for the headless pic; this was taken while riding. (Messi)

 

Saw many children after the school was finished. This group was luckier than the previous groups of children who walked barefoot. (Messi)

 

Saw so many traditional houses in Kupang. (Messi)

 

Near the beach. (Messi)

 

Kolbano Beach was soooooooooo beautiful! There were no sand, just beautiful small rocks and the sea color was so tosca. I really really really really loved it!!

 

Arrived!

 

The famous rock. (Messi)

 

Infinity. (Messi)

 

 

 

 

Anaknya Caesar.

 

Playing like a kid in this milkish water. The wave was strong tho!!

 

 

People collect the rocks and sell it to the other islands with such a cheap price, less than 10k per big sack. We often see these type in the designated garden.

 

A brand new dock. This man is one of the workers who build a port in Kolbano Beach. He said, in the future, Australian tourists will be able to visit Kupang directly by cruise. I asked if he was ever jump from this dock to the water since the it was so tempting. He said hell no! There are crocodiles coming from the estuary. Holy craaaabbbb, glad I didn’t try swimming!

 

We supposed to get back to home at 1pm but we played with the water again and again lol! Too fun and too short! We then left for good at 2pm and I drove very fast to avoid the night. Earlier in the morning I thought I would be very tired on our way home but it wasn’t that bad! Since Messi was so light, I felt like riding by myself and didn’t feel tired because of the weight, plus, the scenery was great and that what helped me the most!

 

Somewhere in Kupang.

 

lol.

 

We were riding super fine until something happened. We heard a dragging sound from our scooter and holy crab, the exhaust cover got loose that it was dragged in one side. Since I couldn’t find a lock nut to put the cover back on, I thought it would be easier to loose the other side. Nevertheless it was useless tho since the lock nut was stuck and I couldn’t find any key to proceed it. We spent 10 minutes there until a kind man came and told us that we had passed a workshop and it wasn’t far so it’d be better to go there. I nodded but I was still confident we could solve this by ourselves so he helped us for another 10 minutes until we finally gave up. He together with Messi then rode the scooter to a workshop nearby. I was quite worried that because of this ‘incident’ we would come home late. We promised Om Stev to be at homestay at 6pm and I also didn’t want to drive at night in an unfamiliar places and the scooter lamp was even out of order. Anyway, less than 10 minutes later Messi and our savior came back and omigosh. Why didn’t I agreed to send it to workshop earlier?!

 

 

We finally arrived at homestay after having more than 4 hours ride with total distance about 300 KM. It was tiring but super fun! Messi was a great companion tho, unlike other female friends, she notices the signs, paths, and she was like my co-pilot. I would love to do this again with her!

TAMAN DAUN, A PLAYGROUND FOR ALL

Reading is a window to the world. Imagine life without books, without information, how would your life be? I’ve never truly conceived it until just now.

We visited Taman Daun on our second day when we had finished exploring Bukit Cinta and Bukit Doa. As we got there, we were greeted very warmly from an old man whom we later called Papa Oli. We were quickly introduced about Taman Daun.

 

 

Taman Daun is a place designed for children to read and to relax. The idea came up with a very thoughtful intention, to provide various books for children since the access to read books was very limited. Lembata Island is bigger than Jakarta, yet there are no bookstores like here which we can find in every mall. And you know how many malls in Jakarta. Imagine there is an island which has no privilege the same as we have here and there are brains which are probably much smarter than us? All they need is the access to get education, to receive knowledge, and I believe there is at least somebody who will grow up to be such a great person. Imagine.

This man, Papa Oli, provides it. He, together with his wife, Mama Gita, built a place for children to enjoy their after-school time.

 

Papa Oli

 

Papa Oli and Mama Gita used their own land, built everything slowly with their own money, and they gathered book donors from their relatives. Taman Daun’s natural concept also provides a relaxing ambiance for children because they knew children get so much pressure from schools; get a strict education such as memorizing or answer questions academically. Taman Daun also provides creative activities to emerge and stimulate other part of children’s brain, or simply to let them to just have fun. Children can also enjoy reading things they don’t get from school such as folklore, craft books, history of many countries in the world, fun science, etc. Taman Daun has a dream: to provide a million books for Lembata. As for now, they have received about 4.000 books and they are also have distributed the books to 3 other branches. Those branches were collaborated with others (some are under different names), inspired by the noble vision of Papa Oli has.

 

 

 

Paintings by Papa Oli and his children. Archie (middle child) contributes most and he also crafts things as souvenirs.

 

Courtesy of Taman Daun blogspot

 

Taman Daun also has so many beautiful spots, indoor and outdoor. Children really love spending time outdoors. I also noticed that children even visit Taman Daun right after school when the school uniform is still put on. They will spend a quite short time to play then they will go home to change clothes before they come back again to read, to play, or to finish their homework.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the title said, it’s also a playground for adults to have fun in a different way. Messi and I enjoyed spending quality time; talking about change, world, children, ancient belief of Lamaholot people, the whale-hunting tradition, and sooo many more topics. We discussed it altogether with Papa Oli, Mama Gita, Bang Adjie, Kak Nancy, and sometimes, Papa Oli’s youngest daughter, Maris. We talked about it in a way that I found it was so refreshing, amazing, completely from a different point of view. One of them is about the whale-hunting tradition of Lamalera.

Lamalera is located in the southern part of Lembata. During May to October, whales migrate passing the sea area near their village. I am an animal lover and I truly deeply passionately (lol) disrespect or sometimes hate people who abuse or kill animals. I have heard about the whale-hunting tradition from several years ago and Bang Adjie invited me to come to Lembata when the ceremony is held. I said yes but I actually didn’t want to see it lol. Since it’s a tradition, I knew I should respect it and I can’t do anything to change it so I better pull to one side. However, our afternoon talk about this tradition with Papa Oli, Mama Gita and Bang Adjie, opened my eyes and made me realize that there are always 2 sides of a coin.

I hope I can re-explain it with pictures taken by Arnold Simanjuntak.

 

Blessings From The Sea

Young to old people take a part in this tradition.

 

Tradition and religion walk side by side. Catholic religion adapts and supports by adding rituals.

 

Priests (or pastors?) bless the sea, hoping things will go well. Before that, a mass also be held and attended by the whole villagers.

 

Twelve men in the boat. Those who go to the hunting should be ‘clean’. They are not supposed to do bad things to others before otherwise they’ll be dead or missing. Those who stands lead the way; they use sign language. Verbal activity is forbidden to prevent bad luck. Hunting is a spiritual process that everyone has to go through. Nature is amazing. Be kind, always.

 

These are Pledang, their traditional boat.

 

When a whale is within coverage, all gather work together. No individual ego here about which boat should win the prize.

 

Juru tikam..

 

Ready to be brought home.

 

Once the whale touch the shore, all people gathered and help each other to process it. They get the oil, the bones, the teeth, and of course, the meat.

 

While waiting for the men coming back from the sea, all women can do chores as usual yet they should always carry a knife in case a whale successfully brought to the village. It’s believed that the blessing from the sea should be taken care of immediately otherwise nature will see the neglect and bring bad luck to the village.

 

The meat will be distributed to all people in the village. The poor and the widows will also get the portion hence it’s literally called a blessing from the sea. Some will use the meat and oil to consume, to sell, or to trade with people in mountain. Lamalera people who live near the sea normally use the ‘blessing’ to barter into cotton, corns, etc.

 

All are happy 🙂

 

Get the local wisdom?

One more wonder of Taman Daun xD!! Visitors can also try tenun. Indonesia has so many places which produce tenun and each tenun from a place is different to another. Since Papa Oli and Mama Gita are Lamalera people, they style of tenun is also influenced by Lamalera thing: whale.

 

Love it so much.

 

Messi was sooo serious learning.

 

Messi and I gave it a try and omigosh it was quite hard! Well, tenun with the machine isn’t that hard as long as we get used to the pattern but what I describe as hard is the whole process! From harvesting the cotton, dyeing process, into a ready-to-wear fabric! Mama Gita is an expert in this. She has been producing tenun from she was young and now she also teaches visitors to finish their own tenun. She also creates some for sale, Messi bought one and she loved it!

 

Mama Gita taught each of us very politely and very patiently xD

 

Messi got the first turn and she learned for about 30 mins. She even dare to teach me! Look, she laughed at me -.-  xD

 

We had to wear tenun while we menenun. It’s a tradition that should be followed.

 

Finished learning. Messi and I wore traditional tenun.

 

Days that Messi and I spent in Taman Daun were good. We were amazed by the kindness of Papa Oli, Mama Gita, and the whole family! We knew we were so lucky to have the opportunity to know them; thank you Bang Adjie, thank you universe.

As I heard from Bang Adjie, not everybody likes Papa Oli and his Taman Daun. Some are envious or even dislike with no clear reason. Well, there are always haters 🙂 Papa Oli and Mama Gita work in silence. On its 30th anniversary, all they want isn’t to have a bigger and a more materialistic Taman Daun. They just simply wish to receive 996.000 more books for children in Lembata, or maybe, NTT. Will you be a part of their dream?

Here is the address in case you are moved to send reading books, drawing books, stationery, school supplies and other related gifts for the children in Lembata.

Taman Daun / Taman Baca Anak

RT 005 RW 002

Kelurahan Lewoleba, Kecamatan Nubatukan

Kabupaten Lembata, NTT

Contact Person: (+62)822.4758.0547 — Goris Ubas (Papa Oli)

 

There is also a relative of Papa Oli who also has the same spirit and he fights for Kupang area while helping Papa Oli taking care social net marketing of Taman Daun.

You can also send the book to him  (+62)813.385.394.34 (John, S.J)

http://tamandaun.blogspot.co.id

Facebook Taman Daun

 

Please help us spread this kindness, Thank you!

 

7 PLACES YOU CAN GO IN LEWOLEBA

Do you have a chance to visit eastern part of Indonesia? Just go, don’t think twice!

I almost cancelled this trip because I was really broke T^T. Good thing was Messi and I actually have planned this since last year and we got a chance to save money every month.

 

This is Messi.

 

If it wasn’t because of that saving, I would probably cancel this trip lol. Several days prior my leaving was a quite big mind battle for me, the truth was I thought I should use the money to pay my bills or I thought it was too soon to leave home again or what others would think of me, would they think I’m rich or financially reckless? I wanted none of those since my inborn way of thinking attacked me: I live in the way to please others so I can be loved. In the end, I didn’t give a damn and glad I finally did it; otherwise I would be deeply discontent. Why? Beside of the beautiful scenery, I got something more meaningful which I will tell you later. Now let’s talk about the places!

First of all I want to thank Messi for convincing me once again and I deeply thank Bang Adjie (my senior in PALADA) and his girlfriend Nancy for hosting us and giving us their best in hospitality. Lembata is one of the islands of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and also known for some other names such as Kawula Island or Lomblen Island.

 

 

 

Better view with G-map lol

 

To be precise, the places I’m going to share are located in Lewoleba, a subdistrict in Lembata. We got there by plane with route Jakarta – Surabaya (Transit) – Kupang  – Lewoleba.

 

Trans Nusa by Nam Air. It is a small airport so the flights are also limited.

 

I kinda failed to show you how small the plane is but yeah, it’s small.

 

Just as I expected, even if it’s still May but the land is already dry; or maybe it is because of its regional climate or something I’m not sure but it was still beautiful even if it was quite dry! Oh oh anyway! Bang Adjie and Messi also contribute some of the pics. I’m giving them credits in the caption.

Anddddd here are 7 places you can go!

 

  1. Waijarang Beach

 

 

Or Wewanbelen Beach in G-map lol.

It’s located in Waijarang village and you will see 2 parking areas; just go straight further from the first one to have better spot to park your vehicle. We went there by motorcycle and had to be careful because the road was bumpy but the scenery was nice along the way. I couldn’t stop saying ADUHHH or GILAAA or both at the same time lol.

The beach was nice!! Clear water and amazing view, seriously!

 

Geo locating with Bang Adjie. (Messi)

 

You can see Adonara Island and any other islands on the west part of NTT. OMG, I liked taking pictures here.

 

 

Our hosts and Adonara Island view.

 

Islands of the west as background (Adjie)

 

One thing I didn’t explore was the corals because no one wanted to swim further and I was too afraid to do that alone. Water is not my element >.<

 

  1. Bukit Doa

Or Prayer Hill literary in English. We went here on the second day and it has the same route as Waijarang Beach. Bukit Doa is somewhere further and the road are extremely dangerous. Gravels along the way and sometimes they are deep enough to get you stuck. Not to mention sharp meanders to be careful about. I was struggling hard and drove like an old lady with back pain or sometimes I walked like penguin while I was sitting on the bike lol. I supposed to drive Messi but she walked most of the times eventually xD. My hands were tired pulling the breaks but seriously, any of those weren’t nothing compared to what I saw.

 

Sad scene

 

Bukit Doa was built by Regent of Lembata and dedicated to be a pilgrimage site since Catholics is the major religion in NTT.

 

  1. Bukit Cinta

Or Love Hill literary in English. When you drive back from Bukit Doa, you can see Bukit Cinta. I didn’t notice this on my way to Bukit Doa.

 

With this scale, I think Bukit Cinta and Doa are within the circle.

 

It is like a landmark of Lembata and it’s also written as Wolor Pass so maybe it is the highest point of the hill.

Sponsored T-shirts from Bang Adjie. I support his Lelonggalong Project.

 

The view was breath taking and soooo glad I could shoot beautiful scenery! BESTTTTT!!

 

Suppa loooovveeeee

 

  1. Ile Ape

It was such a nice idea to ride around Ile Ape! Ile Ape is an active volcano in Lewoleba (Ile: Mount; Ape: Fire) and we were excited to drove around it.

 

Ile Ape (Messi)

 

It was nice to see villages and to be called MESTER! Children in Lembata mistook us as foreigners because we wore shorts and our skins are whiter than theirs. I was kinda annoyed at first: HOW COULD THEY CALL ME MISTER and laughed as hell when Bang Adjie explained they call us Mester regardless of the gender or anything. Mester = Bule. xD I wish I could sound how they called us to you here. Mester…. Mesteeerrrr…

Anyway, Moslems and Catholics (also some Christians) live peacefully in Lembata. Around Ile Ape, I saw many Moslem villages and they were very nice to us (compared to racial and religion issue happened in Indonesia lately).

We supposed to hike Ile Ape but maybe later.

 

We passed this site. It’s a whale-bone site located in Watodiri Village.

 

Where they captured the whale.

 

  1. Tanjung Kolipadan

Kolipadan Cape/Tanjung Bahagia, same la. Still on the same day! It was far to get here actually, I already felt tired because the road wasn’t smooth along the way. So bumpy.

 

First we drove around Ile Ape and continue to the cape

 

Nevertheless it was too soon to quit and Tanjung Kolipadan was very nice!!!!!! The view was like a savannah with clear blue sky and sparkling sea on the side. OMG OMG OMG! I highly recommend this!!

 

Look like tukang rampok lol

 

On the way to the cape

 

The lighthouse (Messi)

 

Goats are everywhere!

 

Bluee

 

So sad Kak Nancy couldn’t join with us. Anyway, this is PALADA squad.

 

Spent time at the jetty before going home (Messi)

 

  1. Pulau Siput

It’s a nice small island which only visible and reachable when it’s low tide. It’s located near the port of Lewoleba and we got there by a small boat. Messi was so freak out since she was soooo afraid of the sea and she gripped my arm along the way. When she survived to cross, I was like a proud momma lol. Pulau Siput (siput means sea snail but locals call all mollusks and bivalves as siput) is like a farm to the people where they can harvest siput for dinner. It’s safe to go there around 3-9 pm before the tide comes.

 

See the pile of white sand on the left? That’s the island xD We got there by small boat.

 

Picking up dinner

 

Messi and Kak Nancy were searching for siput >.<. I preferred taking selfie with Bang Adjie; Ile Ape was behind us.

 

Maksud hati menggapai gunung, apa daya tangan tak sampai.

 

 

When we got there, it was a couple hours before Vesak and the moon was sooo bright and big. So beautiful.

 

 

  1. Taman Daun

If you’re in Lembata and you’re destined to go here, just do it. Taman Daun in a place which doesn’t have beautiful natural scenery like other places I mentioned but it offers something meaningful. I’m going to write more about it on the next post 😉

 

Enough for now! See you soon!