Jonas Nold

Joined April 2017Living in: Bad Waldsee, Germany
  • Day9

    Komodo National Park

    June 22 in Indonesia

    We booked our tour together with a diving company which made sense to us as they know where the good spots are for snorkeling. Additionally they offered to go to the Komodo National Park after the dives... Besides offering the best conditions they were also the cheapest!! So we went to the harbour at 7 in the morning and got on board of the tiny vessel, later one of the divers told me that the usual boat is currently being repaired 😊 So the boat ride was incredibly loud but we had found a cosy spot so it wasn't too bad.
    Then we went to our first snorkel spot and it was just pure magic!!! The corals here consist of both hard and soft corals, together with an abundance of different fish and big stuff (turtles, sharks, dolphins). It was unlike any other diving or snorkeling experience before because of the colours and that there's so much going on... We spent more than hour underwater watching many different turtles in all sizes. But we still didn't have luck with seeing any sharks :(
    After a quick lunch we arrived at Rinca Island which is part of the Komodo National Park and offers the best chances to see a Komodo Dragon. We're not completely sure if the dragons that are near the Ranger Station are actually roaming freely or are fed for entertainment purposes... Our Ranger didn't say anything about it but currently is mating season so the dragons are usually more elusive and go into hideouts. Therefore we suppose that they keep a small number around by feeding them. At least I hope they will make good use of the income in actual conservation efforts... On the way back I already felt that I will be getting a really bad sunburn.
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  • Day8

    Labuan Bajo

    June 21 in Indonesia

    In Mataram we boarded the bus to Bima on the island of Sumbawan. It was an adventurous 14 hour drive with a 3 hour transfer on a ferry. I guess you have to be insane to be a bus driver in Indonesia so he honked basically straight for the 14 hours 😂 We were able to sleep quite some time which was rather unexpected in the beginning. So we arrived in Bima at 5 in the morning, luckily we immediately found the public bus which brought us through some small townships located up the hills to the ferry harbour. There we boarded the huge ferry which brought us in a strenuous 8(!!) hour ride to the small harbour port of Labuan Bajo. Overall we traveled about 500km from Lombok to the island Flores.
    The town is also called the gateway to the Komodo Islands and that's why we're here :) So we checked out some tour operators to get us to the Komodo National Park the other day.
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  • Day7

    Gili Air

    June 20 in Indonesia

    In the afternoon we arrived by public boat at Gili Air, the smallest island of the three Gili Islands. And even though it's just about 8km away from Gili T, the feeling is a lot more laid-back and relaxed. There is less of a party crowd but instead more older couples and families. Despite that we were offered magic mushrooms just a few steps after we set foot on the island. After checking in to the hotel, we went back to the harbour which is just a mere 10 minutes walk. There we had a stark beer right next to the beach called '1945', a pretty decent beer compared to the Bintang Indonesian standard beer...
    Afterwards we had dinner at a great place, Bambu Warnung where we tried a Indonesian specialty made of a fried dough filled with vegetables and chicken! So far the food has been amazing, I tried new dishes every day and each one tasted great. Only the dessert, fried bananas, were lacking a bit of taste.
    The next day we took the public ferry to mainland Lombok, and fought (the touts here were crazy!!) our way to the main bus terminal in Mataram to embark on our journey to Flores...
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  • Day5

    Gili Trawangan

    June 18 in Indonesia

    The boat ride did cost quite a lot for a 40 minute service where you could even see the other island... Anyways, we made it to Gili Trawangan, or just Gili T the most developed island of the three Gili Islands and an infamous party spot. On arrival in the port we were greeted by steel blue water and next to a beautiful beach. On our way to the homestay it was clear that it's just the promenade that is well developed. The back alleys are dirtier, in line with other Asian countries we've seen so far. What's really funny is the non-existent drug control on the island, which is in a sharp contrast to the Indonesian laws up to death penalty for drug possession. But here many bars openly advertise magic mushroom shakes on the streets... In the evening we watched the sun going down over Bali at the Sunset Bar and the sky was shining with red and yellow colours 🏝️
    The next day we slept in for the first time since arriving in Indonesia, at least we tried because we woke up at 6:30. We planned a bit our next legs and then went to the beach even though it was cloudy. There we rented snorkeling equipment and explored the corals, fishes and turtles along the coast line. After an relaxing afternoon we took the Island Hopping boat to Gili Air.
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  • Day4


    June 17 in Indonesia

    The bus to Amed was a crazy ride and we needed to sit in the front because it was already full. But we made it there alive!! After checking in to our homestay we stopped by an old lady to grab some food. The Mie Goreng consisted basically just of MSG but we were hungry ;) Then we stopped by at least 8 diving centers to get the best deal for diving the next day... In the end it cost us around 38€ each for two fun dives. Sweet :) For the evening we made plans to meet with our diving instructor from Koh Tao to watch the world cup match. Afterwards we went to a Reggae bar to get some cheap beer. She told us then that the diving company isn't a good one because they dump the prices in the area. But obviously it's a concurrent company...
    We had a pretty good experience with them the next day! For the first dive to the shipwreck USAT Liberty we were alone with our instructor and after a few minutes underwater we felt pretty comfortable again. Besides that was the dive spot A class with an abundance of different fish, corals and we even went into the cargo room and to the steering wheel! The second dive was to the Drop-Off which is a wall that goes straight down for 70 meters. Going down for 18 meters was plenty for us but the sights weren't as great as at the first stop. Unfortunately I had too much movement therefore we could only stay for 38 minutes under water. Also my Action camera failed because the case must have leaked at some point, still trying to fix it but it seems to be dead :( We had dinner right on the beach while watching the sun set over the mountainous area that shelters Amed, pure magic!! Then we went back to the homestay to relax and mentally prepare for the upcoming Worldcup match Mexico vs Germany. Most of the viewers were German but the Indonesians cheered for Mexico so it was equally distributed.
    We rented a motorbike for the last day in Amed to go to a famous temple nearby. First I wasn't sure if it's a good idea to get on the streets with this traffic but it went much better than expected and the motorbike even managed to make it all the way up to the scenic temple on top of a hill. We spent about an hour there before heading back with a short stop at rice paddocks, then having breakfast and boarding the fast boat (there was no budget option available...) to the small island Gili Trawangan.
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  • Day2


    June 15 in Indonesia

    We arrived in Ubud in the early afternoon. After a short stop at the tourist office we went straight to the Palace and markets. Julia got herself a pretty new hat. We had booked a night at Ojek's Homestay which we thought meant that we stay with the family but it was more like an ordinary hotel. The Town had a completely different feeling than Kuta but they share the crazy traffic. Of course there are the normal markets but here are also more traditional and innovative storefronts.
    It's also known as Bali's cultural heart with many artists. So we checked on performances of the traditional balinese dances in the evening and we found one that was named something like 'Dance and fire'. The performance was in a temple with two rows of chairs overlooking a round plaza. The first ones to come out were a group of about 60 men who sat down around the circle and started singing. After some time female dancers and other figures joined and narrated a classic balinese tale. It was an exciting show ending with a guy in some kind of horse costume kicking around glowing wood. Afterwards we wanted to watch the World Cup match but didn't find a bar and the match wasn't too interesting anyways. So we just got ourselves some beer and relaxed at the hotel.
    We got up at 6 in the morning to go trek the Campuhan Ridge Walk to see the sunrise over the rice terraces. It was about 4km one way on a stoney path. Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy and the rice terraces were tiny ;) But we still enjoyed a bit of time outside of the town... After waiting for 45 minutes we took the bus to Amed.
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  • Day1


    June 14 in Indonesia

    After an surprisingly short 6 hour flight we stepped off the plane in Denpasar on the island of Bali. We made it through immigration and customs in about an hour but then we weren't able to find a proper luggage storage, after some research we found a shop about 3km away. With Grab we got a really good rate for the drive (1/4 of the usual price of taxis) and arrived there just in time when the shop owner came. Mark an Aussie married to a Balinese was really friendly and gave us a good rate for at least a week of storage. He also gave some tips in the area regarding money exchange, SIM card and information center. But first we needed to have a lunch!! Happy about the cheap prices we went into the first restaurant and got ourselves a big meal :) Well deserved!! In the afternoon we made our way to the hotel to get rid of the remaining stuff and then to explore the surroundings and the beach. Even though the beach was crowded with people it didn't feel much like it and we enjoyed a beer over the sunset. Before going back to the hotel we stopped at a massage salon and Julia got a long awaited pedicure and I enjoyed the Balinese massage which was much more relaxing than the Thai massage ;) I started watching the World Cup opening match but fell asleep during the first half hour...
    In the morning we went for a swim in the pool and then had "American" (Toady with egg) and Indonesian (Fried Noodles) for breakfast. As there is not much to do in Kuta itself except for binge drinking we booked a bus to Ubud. Afterwards I went to a barber shop to get the long due haircut :) Then the bus headed off to the North...
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  • Day67


    June 14 in Australia

    After more than 22.000km we finished our roadtrip in Brisbane, a metropolitan with a special charm. We enjoyed our time there and even the driving in the city was quite convenient unlike Sydney or Melbourne. We explored the city and the river flowing right through it by foot because parking is very expensive in the center. It was nice to see the botanic gardens and the old buildings in the center. But the parks, like Kangaroo Point are definitely one of our favourites!!
    It was a worthy end of our amazingly interesting exploration of Australia! Especially the wildlife has a special place in our hearts with all the lovely marsupials... And - surprisingly - there were no visible deadly animals around!! Farewell Australia 🇦🇺
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  • Day63


    June 10 in Australia

    We still had some days left until our flight leaves and we just waited for someone to buy our car. So we decided to complete the circle tour of our roadtrip and go to Currumbin, the Wildlife sanctuary. It was recommended by the amazing staff at "Friends of the Koala" and it's a non-profit organisation, so we thought it's something good to do. Besides that we haven't seen some animals in the wild, like the cassowary and the tree kangaroo.
    It was overall a bit of a disappointment, there were lots of animals that are not native and the native ones wouldn't have to be caged... But we spent the whole day there, watching feedings and the animals - after all we paid for it ;) So we left there with mixed emotions.
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  • Day60


    June 7 in Australia

    On our way back to the start/end of our journey we stopped in Maryborough. I had read that the markets are worth a visit but then it wasn't very big and additionally it started to rain, so after a short walk through the town we decided to go to the cinema to watch 'Solo'. Maryborough is known for the world-famous Mary Poppins, whose author was born there.

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