Lap-Lap on Epi Island and the black magic of Ambrym

3. Anchorage at one of the Vanuatu islandsAlabama anchored in Lamen Bay


Finally the day that we will sail on an expedition around Vanuatu comes. Our plan is to spend at least a month in the region as the typhoon season hasn’t yet finished in the northern hemisphere so sailing to Korea now would be dangerous. Instead we will travel around Vanuatu and in this way we will also test the yacht for any defects.

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Vanuatu – the colorful life of Efate Island


Capital: Port Vila
Population: around 200 000 people, mainly Melanesian
Area: 12 190 square kilometers
Official religion: Christianity, mainly Presbyterian and some Catholic
State system: Parliamentary Republic, they got independence from France in 1980
Currency: Vatu (1 dollar is 100 Vatu)
Language: the official languages are Bislama (Creole Pidjin), English and French


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The un-graspable


*An attempt to convey why do we travel

Although the image of the traveler in these writings is naturally far superior than my own self, bound to all winds of desires and attachments but nevertheless is an idealization which has its own life within myself and is shaped by an idea which has stricken me long ago- the ideal of full renunciation and perfect poverty wherein by “longing oneself” we find “the Life of All”, unlimited and constituting the real base of consciousness.

The Ungraspable

Where does the impulse to travel come from? What midnight wind was it that whispered the secrets of the dim shades of the distance to my soul? Which old star in the sky told me a story about the path leading to the Hidden Truth?

Beloved wanderer, where from does the fire stretching to the infinite arises in, what spell destines your heart to this insatiable thirst for the faraway land? Since the very first time I beheld the horizon and the outlines of the mountain of light, there is something perpetually disconcerting my being, a flame, a deep longing, an elusive mystery. As if every stone, every dusty path knows and speaks a language of some mesmerizing secret always eluding my grasp.

The silence of the sunrise, filled with promises for unseen wanders, the buzzing of a fly in the heavy heat of the afternoon, the smile of a little child, the old inn by the road side – all of them embodying and communicating a truth that I can not comprehend. Because of it I undertook the seeking of the Way.

Trough deserts and enchanted forests, trough villages from another realities, noisy bazaars with stalls bent by the heavy load of saffron and silk, rivers and ports of distant lands. I begun to feel the touch of the hidden secret and it seemed to me as if the key to it lays around the next corner. The more I walked the more the morning star drew me further ahead.

One day the  glow of the moon and the ancient banyan tree talked to me about the way leading to There, a way of perfect poverty and self-emptying. Since then, drawn by this incomprehensible desire to understand the secret language of the world. I renounced roof, belongings, the bag with golden coins. Barefooted, walking mile after mile, instead of mat – the warm earth, for pillow – a smooth stone, boiling pot with water and rice, beautiful loneliness, full communion with the souls encountered on the road, a funny, dusty wanderer… but otherwise how could I possibly hear the sounds of this mysterious melody, pouring out of every star, behind each turn on the path, how could I hear all this if I was filled with my inner baggage instead of nothing and All?

I can not stop, inebriated by each step. The vibration grows stronger, the Earth each time more wondrous, the mountains brighter, the rivers more filled with ancient melodies, the roads ever bending leading to still faster lands… In a dream a night an owl asked me: “Could it be that the key to your burning fire for the ambiguous secret, traveler, it does not lay in the unfolding of her, but in the Call itself, on the very road of the secret of the Universe? “

Pirates of the Southern Seas

LRM_EXPORT_20180414_010827Pirates of the Southern Seas

IMPORTANT! This post is not chronological. We skipped some posts about Indonesia and Papua New Guinea FOR NOW. They will be translated later. For the moment we will post in advance a few stories from our sails with the yacht “Alabama”.

(So in short: before this we traveled some more islands in Indonesia, mainly hitchhiking, then we spent two incredible months in Papua New Guinea and found a yacht to Fiji. There we later encountered “Alabama” and its lovely crew who quickly became our family.)

Let’s go back to “Alabama”. We are accommodated in one of the many cabins of the boat and everyone had their own. The yacht is really spacious, with wooden cladding that gives the impression of an old ship. Not only her current crew is unorthodox, but its whole story. We find some documents on board, from which we learn that one of his previous owners used the boat to traffic drugs, and three members of the crew were killed, one of whom was beheaded by pirates or drug barons in southern Philippines. Well, we certainly will not sail with her around the Philippines 🙂

Lines are being pulled, people climb up and down between the engine compartment and the deck. One is running, the other is rocking in the hammock, the third one smoking a cigarette, the fourth brewing coffee in the kitchen, the fifth taking a shower naked , the sixth singing or playing the guitar… The crew consists of ten really interesting people with dreadlocks  and hippy outlooks. The atmosphere is joyous.

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The magical world of Flores Island, buffalo races on Sumbawa Island, evil dwarfs and tri-color lakes


There are not so many people on the ferry and almost no foreigners. Actually there is a group of strange looking motor-bikers with checkered shirts, tyrants and cloths on their heads. Later we find out they are Dutch. In two hours we reach the port Poto Tano and head to the capital of the province Sumbawa Besar in the truck we hitchhiked to enter the ferry. Continue reading

Lombok – heavenly beaches and how we fought a band of robbers


Selong Belanak


We wake up early in the morning before tourists and restaurant staff start coming. We pack our bags, then suddenly I feel a strong stomach discomfort. I feel better as late as of noon. We go back to the port where we start looking for a truck driver who will be willing take us and thus not pay for tickets. Mr. Shushtari is walking among the trucks and then one driver offers us by himself to take us hitchhiking in his truck on the ferry. Continue reading

Owls and misty lakes in the mountains of Bali


Mystical pathway


We continue to go around the island with the motor-bike. The main road is OK but all the the other smaller roads have big potholes and are quite steep. The things is the most interesting parts of the island could be reached namely driving on these small roads. We start a wild off-road drive barely managing to hold ourselves on the motor-bike because of the heavy rucksacks. We are on a very steep hill when the motor bike starts loosing power and in order to not crash I jump off it together with the 30 kg backpack of Mr. Shushtari on my back. In an hour we finally arrive, driving on a dirt road covered with many sharp stones. Our woes are worth it because we reach some incredible rock formations on the so called Broken Beach. We see a rock arc trough which the sea water passes and then goes into a giant hole. The water is sky-blue.

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Around the wild corners of Bali




Interesting to know…

Bali is the only Hindu island in Indonesia. When the Islam came in 15-th century all the aristocracy and the priesthood of Java came here and established their Hindu bastion. The religion has remained unchanged for 500 years but the differences to Hinduism in India are obvious. Here the religion is mixed with local animistic beliefs and rituals and thus has been formed a specific, local form of Hinduism. For example people are not vegetarians and they even eat veal. People don’t put the typical red dot on their foreheads (sindur) except when they visit the temple and stick rice beans between their brows. Only one god, who represents the infinity, is acknowledged (Achintya) and the other: Vishnu, Shiva and the rest are just his manifestations.

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East Java – the fiery breath of the Earth


The volcano Bromo


We are ten kilometers away from Ngandjuk. After breakfast we start hitchhiking. A strange couple takes us – a transvestite and a young driver. Magy doesn’t even realize that this is a man and believes that the driver is his/her son and that s/he has three more as s/he tries to convince us. Anyway the people are nice. After that we start hitchhiking using the new method: walking and waving. One car tries to stop, almost causes a crash, and then continues. In a while it comes back, forms a traffic jam and takes us. Inside is an amiable family from Madura. They will takes us directly to the incredible Elizabeth, our host from Jakarta, who is now in her hometown Surabaya. This time we travel really fast and take the 100 km for just 6 hours 🙂
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Ancient sacred sites, gutting chickens and dangerous volcanoes in Central Java


The mystic Java


We continue to the next town Wonosobo, 25 km away where our host awaits us. A nice man with car takes us and in half an hour we are in the center of the town. Since we entered Central Java we noticed that towns are really clean and well kept. They look to us more like the Malaysian ones than other Indonesian.
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