July 2017 – Jogjakarta, Indonesia An overly-cheerful, intensely irritating, chorus of operatic “Good mornings” filled the room. I opened one eye, and fumbled around for my phone. 3:15AM. Why on earth had I suggested this? No, not just suggested it, campaigned for it. I cursed myself, turned off the alarm and rolled out of bed. … More A One-Stop Guide to Jogjakarta
And just like that, it was all over. We were standing in Jakarta airport, about to board our separate flights and a deep melancholic feeling settled over me. We had spent every moment of every day for the last 27 days together (miraculously without a single cross word being said) and separating from my “drunken, … More The End of an Era
There’s a joke in Sulawesi that the Torajans live their whole life preparing for their death. It isn’t too far from the truth. When a Torajan dies, their death is not acknowledged until the funeral ceremony. This takes place over 6 days – 3 days of bull fighting and 3 days for the actual ceremony, … More The Cult of Death
We arrived in Makassar and as we looked out of the window of our guesthouse, a sickening sense of dread descended on us both – there, not 5 metres away was a loudspeaker attached to a mosque. The call to prayer starts at 4am! As we settled in, the last call to prayer erupted from … More Down on my cluck!
After my malaria diagnosis, I sweated my way through the next three days, almost entirely bed bound, and we abandoned our original plan to proceed further into the interior of West Papua – exploring areas devoid of tourists and largely impossible to get to. Manado would be a much better destination for rest and recuperation, … More Escape from West Papua
Things were not quite right when I woke up. My head was splitting and I had a slight fever – and when I pushed my breakfast away untasted, dad was concerned. I love breakfast. Luckily, there was a boat leaving for the mainland that morning and he decided to go to a doctor to get … More Ellie gets malaria
We set off that morning in high spirits. We started walking towards the pier after being assured it was less than 500m down the road. However after what seemed like hours of walking in the mid-day heat we caved and flagged down a little microlet, piling in all our backpacks and just managing to squeeze … More Raja Ampat – the gem of the Pacific Ocean