Let us bombard you with some ~fun~ facts first: At over 260 million people, Indonesia is the world’s 4th most populous country after China, India and the United States, it has the largest Muslim population in the world, and one of its more than 17,000 islands, Java, is the world’s most populous island. The distance from its westernmost to its easternmost point is roughly the same as that from London to Dubai. It would be our 16th and last country in Asia, more than a year after leaving Europe via ferry across the Bosporus in Istanbul.
We had decided to skip the islands of Sumatra and Java, as we wouldn’t have had time to venture into remote areas of those islands and had heard that the main roads leading north to south and west to east, respectively, would be unpleasant-at-best to cycle on. Equipped with 60-day visas, we therefore decided to spend some of our time on the island of Sulawesi, before island-hopping east to west along some of the Lesser Sunda Islands and finally catching a flight from Bali to Australia.
15th June – 13th August 2019
After a four-hour ferry from Malaysian Borneo to Tarakan in Kalimantan, i.e. Indonesian Borneo, we were welcomed into the world’s largest island nation by Couchsurfing host Nanda and his flatmate Irul. We spent two nights at their place, then cycled across the small island to embark on what would be our longest journey by ferry in Indonesia at about 450 kilometres and 32 hours, to Toli-Toli on the island of Sulawesi. People were making camp on the ferry wherever there was a bit of deck space that would be more or less sheltered from the elements out at sea. Some people had brought mattresses, most contented themselves with sitting and lying on the bare floor. There were rows of tattered seats in some areas of the boat, many of which had already been claimed by about one person per four seats, but we still managed to find four free seats which we occupied between the two of us and which would be our home for the following parts of two days and one night. We were the only non-Asians, quite possibly the only foreigners on the boat. “Hello Mister!”, people would greet us when we would go for a walk around the boat. “Hello!”, we would reply, talk to people, pose for selfies and exchange Facebook and Instagram handles. We read, slept, listened to music, watched videos, slept some more, collected our portions of rice, fish and vegetables during meal times, and for a few hours, were swayed about quite heavily. We arrived in Toli-Toli after dark, were greeted by our next Couchsurfing host Hendra and his girlfriend and followed their scooter to his home.
Hendra works for the local Department of Tourism; he’s a tour guide, photographer, freediver and teacher, and from his references on Couchsurfing, we suspected we were in for a treat. It seems that Toli-Toli doesn’t see many visitors, apart from a significant number of yachts that apparently arrive around a certain time of each year, the owners of which presumably do their bit for the local economy and – as we were hypothesising – lead to there being more of a budget for tourism-related events than there are tourists during the rest of the year, as will soon become clear. The day after our arrival in Toli-Toli started low-key with a walk around a water village with colourful houses close to Hendra’s family’s home, before heading to the tourism office, where Hendra’s colleagues and their boss, the Director of Tourism, wanted to meet us; selfies ensued. We were then driven to a nearby beach, went for a walk, during which several, nay, all other groups of beach-goers made sure to have their pictures taken with us. “Hello Mister!”, most of them would greet us, or “Mister, selfie”. “Hello, ok”, we would mostly reply, smile and make peace signs or thumbs up gestures for the camera, or, once, “Hello, no sorry” when it all got a bit too much, but to no avail: we had our picture taken anyway. When people specifically approached Linda to say hello, they would mostly only get to “Hello mist…” before being corrected to “Miss!” by Hendra’s colleague Yaya – to most Indonesians, not just western men are “Mister”, but western women too. We then went snorkelling with Hendra, which was, after our last time in Malaysia, once again a fantastic experience.
The next day, Hendra had organised for us to go on a boat trip with Yaya and another colleague, Mr Amir. We visited a mangrove forest, went snorkelling once more (which led to the two of us having to share a phone for the rest of our time on Sulawesi as it turns out most smartphones are not waterproof) and visited the small island of Sambujan, not much bigger than the village of maybe 50 houses it comprises. We went for a walk around the village, saw aromatically smelling cloves being dried and had coffee and snacks at a warung (a term that refers to a range of small, family-owned businesses such as convenience shops, restaurants and cafés). Yaya and Mr Amir documented everything with countless pictures and videos which had garnered hundreds of likes on Facebook before we even returned to mainland Sulawesi.
In the evening, one of Hendra’s friends was getting married. We hadn’t met this friend, but we were invited to the wedding. One of Hendra’s cousins lent Linda a dress, Tim borrowed a traditional festive batik shirt and we made our way to the celebration on the back of Hendra’s and Yaya’s scooters. Unlike most western weddings, in Asian countries, people don’t just invite their close family and friends, but everyone they know, so it was a pretty big affair of several hundred people. We joined a long queue leading up to a stage on which the bride and groom were having their hands shaken and being congratulated by the people in the queue, which, judging by the bride’s zoned out facial expression, they had probably been doing for hours before we arrived. Afterwards, we took our seats, some speeches were given and a traditional dance performed, prayers were said and the buffet was opened. Later on, we had our picture taken with the newlyweds and their parents on the stage; however, getting a picture off the stage of just us with Hendra and his girlfriend proved more difficult as there was an endless stream of people trying to have their picture taken with us. Every time we tried to escape the crowd, a phone would appear, a voice from somewhere would ask “Selfie please?” and we would find ourselves encircled and embraced by another excited person or group of people. We eventually seemed to have satisfied everyone and left the wedding, but the evening wasn’t quite over yet: we went back to Hendra’s office, where we had been told there would be a performance of live music, organised by the arts department. What we hadn’t been aware of was that the performance wasn’t just happening anyway, it had been arranged for us. The young women that had danced at the wedding performed several more local dances while musicians with modern and traditional instruments played renditions of Sulawesian songs, speeches were given thanking us for visiting, and we too gave one thanking everyone for their incredible hospitality. “We will never forget our stay in Toli-Toli!”, we said, and we certainly meant it.
On our last morning before hitting the road again, Hendra took us out for breakfast and introduced us to gado-gado, a type of salad that consists of vegetables, tofu, tempe (a kind of savoury cake made from fermented soybeans), lontong (compressed rice cakes) and peanut sauce. Before entering Indonesia, Linda had been sceptical about whether it would be easy to find good vegetarian food in Indonesia, but as soon as we had taken our first meals with Nanda in Tarakan and Hendra in Toli-Toli, it became clear that not only wouldn’t it be a problem, two months of deliciousness lay ahead for both of us. Our send-off was attended by most everyone we had met over the previous two days, many more pictures were taken and we waved goodbye to the people that had given us the most intense welcome to a country we’ve had and had made us feel like royalty or celebrities.
Accompanied by many more shouts of “Hello Mister!”, we started making our way south. Not far from Toli-Toli, a steep hill had to be overcome, it was swelteringly hot, both of us had to push our bikes part-way up and take regular breaks. The rest of our route on the oddly-shaped island would remain hilly, but we were able to ride up all but one of the other ascents without having to push.
For the first couple of weeks, the smell of Indonesia was clove; the country is the origin of the plant and the world’s largest producer; clove trees are – at least in parts of Sulawesi – ubiquitous. The flower buds are generally harvested around the time of our visit and then dried by the side of the road, leading to their spicy-sweet aroma filling the air. The food was good and cheap, so much so that we sometimes ate out twice a day, and two times two meals with kopi susu (coffee with milk) or es teh (ice tea, duh) still wouldn’t usually set us back more than 6 €. Between us, that is. Our go-to dishes were nasi campur (boiled rice with a variety of dishes one can choose from a buffet-type display, including the aforementioned tofu and tempe, which turned out to be absolute staple ingredients that can be found at virtually every restaurant, as well as meat, fish and vegetable dishes; usually eaten with hands), bakso (meatball soup), mie goreng (fried noodles) and lots of gado-gado.
When stopping for lunch, sooner or later we would often draw a crowd and, of course, selfies would be requested. Unlike in Thailand, there’s no 7-eleven in Indonesia, but there are two chains that have outlets in most sizeable towns and regularly became the setting of our 10 o’clock snack breaks or afternoon ice-cream stops: Alfamart and Indomaret (sic, and maret doesn’t mean anything in Indonesian). We would usually buy bread and peanut butter or jam for breakfast from one of these until we learnt that small cakes and donuts sold at warungs by the side of the road were 1,000 rupiah apiece – about 6 Cents.
We reached the west coast and with it awe-inspiring views: dazzling beaches devoid of people, crystal clear water in sundry shades of blue and turquoise, little islands a few hundred metres off the coast fledged with palm trees. One argument in favour of the route we were taking had been one that might seem somewhat silly to some: we wanted to cycle across the equator, rather than being ferried over the imaginary line. We watched the latitude of our position on maps.me shrink and stopped as it hit zero. This time, it was us taking selfies, even though there was nothing there to indicate the significance of the spot, and a group of kids that confusedly watched us probably neither knew nor would care about the fact that some of them live in the northern hemisphere, while their friends live in the southern hemisphere.
A little further on, we started seeing the aftermath of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami with waves of up to seven metres height, which had struck the area about nine months prior: some sections of the road hadn’t been restored after landslides had occurred and the villages that we passed through consisted of predominantly humanitarian housing with logos of NGOs on them. The quake and tsunami had led to the collapse of thousands of homes, hotels, hospitals, shopping malls, mosques and an iconic bridge. In the district closest to the shore in the city of Palu, the devastation was still glaring, as we wandered around the remains of colourful houses and sat on a wall looking out to a mosque that used to be on a jetty which had been swept away, so the mosque was now in the ocean.
After Palu, we crossed over to the east coast of Central Sulawesi. We passed through areas with large Hindu populations, illustrated by residents’ richly adorned gates and shrines in their gardens, and Hindu temples by far outnumbering mosques. In other areas and on other days, one of which a Sunday, the predominant religion would be Christianity so we would see an abundance of churches as well as people making their way to and from them dressed up in their Sunday church clothes, and in passing we would hear singing and sermons resounding from the places of worship. We didn’t often see cloves being dried anymore, instead the road was often lined with cocoa trees. “Hello Mister!”, people would still greet us in every village and town we passed through. “Hello!”, Tim would reply; “Saya tidak mister” (“I’m not a mister”), Linda, when it was clear that it was directed at her and not at both of us. We still regularly drew crowds when taking a break and made groups of excited teenage girls happy by agreeing (or even suggesting, when we could clearly see that they wanted to ask but were too shy) to take some selfies.
Like on Borneo, we still experienced somewhat regular downpours, mostly in the evening or at night, so we always tried to find some sort of roof to camp under. We camped at a shelter next to a closed hospital, in an empty building by the side of the road where someone saw us and offered for us to stay at his place instead, but we had already put up the tent and didn’t know how far away he lived so declined; in a community shelter where we weren’t very hidden and were subsequently visited by four friendly groups of people including the village chief, who understandably wanted to see what’s the deal with the bule (westerners) putting a tent up in the shelter by the side of the road; and at our first school of the trip. We knew it was the school holidays, asked a woman who appeared to live in a building next to the school and emanated the calm, friendly authority of a teacher, she gave us permission and later brought us a big plate of tahu goreng (fried tofu) and pisang goreng (fried bananas). For more complex requests, we would still use Google Translate, but our Indonesian was pretty decent by this point; still very basic, sure, but it had only been about two weeks and we knew more of it than we had learnt of any other language over the course of our trip. Bahasa Indonesia, the Indonesian language, is known to be one of the easiest languages to learn: the words are simple and quite distinct from one another, it’s not a tonal language, the pronunciation is straightforward and there’s barely any grammar.
Heading back inland, our route took us through rice paddies along the shores of Lake Poso, where we had to battle some bad road surfaces and exhausting ups and downs, but after reaching South Sulawesi’s east coast and with it flatter domains, had to deal with the negative aspects of an area made up of small-ish towns merging into one another: built-up enough for there to be no wild camping opportunities and a relatively high amount of traffic on a narrow road, while at the same time too rural in its infrastructure for there to be a hard shoulder or guesthouses. After searching for somewhere to stay for a while, we decided to try our luck at a fire station. We saw that it had some flat, grassy areas and asked some firemen if we would be able to pitch our tent somewhere for one night, but they pointed to an adjacent building. “Do they mean behind this building?”, we wondered, but they showed Tim inside the building, while Linda was holding the bikes. Looking at the writing above the door, Linda realised that it read “Guesthouse”. Tim was being led to a room with a bed, a bathroom and air conditioning, also realised that this was actually a guesthouse and proceeded to ask how much it would cost us to stay for one night. The woman managing the guesthouse and the fireman looked confused, the woman smiled, shook her head and said “No, free!”. As it turned out, the fire station had a free guesthouse for visiting firemen which they were happy for us to stay in. “How many nights?”, the woman asked us and was once again confused when we told her that we would carry on the next day; if we wanted to stay for two or three nights, that would also be no problem, she assured us. The next morning, we had our photos taken with the woman running the guesthouse and the firemen (and one firewoman!), thanked them and went on our way.
From the city of Palopo, we had to climb another couple of sizeable hills to get to the Tana Toraja highlands. The Torajans are an ethnic group renowned for their elaborate funeral rituals, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs and traditional ancestral houses with intricate decorations and roofs shaped in an upward-sloping arc. We saw many of these houses in the villages we passed through and visited Lemo, a cliff burial site with galleries of tau-tau ancestor statues.
After leaving Tana Toraja, the landscape changed quite dramatically, the surrounding hills were now much drier and there were pine forests instead of jungle thicket. What didn’t change, however, was our daily selfie sessions at lunch and people everywhere greeting us with “Hello Mister!”. From the city of Pare-Pare, we would follow South Sulawesi’s west coast down to Makassar, Sulawesi’s largest urban centre with a metropolitan population of about 2.7 million, and the largest city we would visit in Indonesia. The road to Makassar was a flat dual carriageway with a good surface but not much to see in terms of surrounding scenery, so we didn’t mind speeding up our progress by slipstreaming a lorry for a while, which aided in us managing to cover the 140 kilometres from Pare-Pare to Makassar in a day. After some congested and chaotic roads leading into the city which made us glad we had chosen not to go to ten-times-as-populous and double-as-population-dense Jakarta, we arrived at our Couchsurfing host Annisa’s place in the afternoon. We would stay with our youngest host to date at 17, who lives with her family above a stylish café they own, for two nights, before catching a ferry to the island of Flores. Annisa and her family shared delicious meals with us, took us into town to finally buy a new phone, and introduced us to es teler, a staggeringly sweet non-alcoholic cocktail made of fruits, coconut meat, coconut milk, condensed milk and jelly – the kind of thing we’d feel incredibly guilty about if we didn’t exercise for about five hours most days. At the family home, we would cuddle their very fluffy cat, Annisa’s gran would always smile and hug us when she saw us, and when we said goodbye, Annisa’s mum gave us some gado-gado for later and snacks for the ferry – we were really made to feel part of the family.
When we had taken the ferry from Kalimantan to Sulawesi, it had only been possible to buy tickets on the day of the ferry – we assumed this would be the same with this next ferry to Flores. But, as it turned out, we were very wrong and the ferry we meant to take was fully booked. We bought tickets for the next available one a week later and decided to stay in cheap hotels near the ferry port until then – we had of course enjoyed our stay with Annisa and her family, but didn’t want to exploit their generosity by asking if we could stay at their place for an entire week. In true Annisa’s-family fashion however, she, her brother and mother came and visited us at the hotel twice to bring us more snacks. We used the involuntary break to work on the blog, do some bike maintenance, explore Makassar a little – on a walk we came across a monument that informed us this was the centre point of Indonesia – and have a long phone call with Paul Schmid who had invited us to appear on his adventure travel podcast The Pursuit Zone. Before we knew it, the week was over and we went back to the ferry port, this time armed with tickets. Departure was scheduled for 8 pm but the boat didn’t arrive from its previous port call until 22.30 – we eventually set sail with a delay of about six hours which nobody, not even us, seemed particularly fussed or surprised about.
The ferry to Labuan Bajo was our first and only one run by Pelni, one of two major national shipping companies, the other one being ASDP, which we had taken from Tarakan to Toli-Toli and which mainly connects neighbouring islands, while most Pelni routes extend over several weeks and stop on a number of small and big islands throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Both companies are state-owned enterprises which enables them to maintain very cheap ticket prices, partly thanks to subsidisation by the government, and survive in a time when air transport is affordable to a large share of the population. The 32-hour ferry to Sulawesi, including four meals, had cost about 14 € per person, the 18-hour one to Flores, including three meals, about 12 €. We had read some fairly adventurous stories from aboard Pelni ships and were hoping to find a somewhat quiet piece of floor space to spend the night on, but were surprised to find that some of the more extreme conditions might be a thing of the past, and that the beds corresponding to the numbers printed on our tickets had actually not been occupied by anyone else. The dorms and mattresses were in acceptable condition and there was even a power socket next to each bed, which is more than can be said about most cheap hotels we stay in. The journey passed fairly quickly, and we arrived on the west coast of the island of Flores the next evening.
We booked a one-day boat trip around Komodo National Park, founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard, which is endemic to the region. From the moment we left the harbour in Labuan Bajo, it was apparent how different the scenery was compared to Sulawesi: the climate is one of the driest of Indonesia, the islands are characterised by rugged terrain and savanna vegetation of bushes and grassland. Our first stop was the island of Padar, on which we hiked up to a viewpoint where one is rewarded by a breathtaking panorama of the island’s instafamous four bays with beaches of different colours. Next, the boat took us to Rinca Island, home to nearly as many dragons as Komodo itself but less visited. Apart from the giant lizards, of which there are an estimated 6,000 in the wild in total and 1,300 on Rinca, we saw Timor deer (the main prey of the Komodo dragon), water buffalo and crab-eating macaques. Komodo dragons can grow to a maximum length of three meters and a weight of up to 70 kg, and there remains some dispute about the existence of septic bacteria in their saliva which may help to bring down prey, and regarding the biological significance of a pair of glands in their lower jaw which secrete toxic proteins – either way, it appears that Komodo dragons generally attempt to kill their prey using a combination of lacerating damage and blood loss. Cute!
On the day after the boat trip, we started making our way towards Bali, from where we would fly to Australia, by catching an eight-hour ferry to Sape on the east coast of Sumbawa. Labuan Bajo had been a bit of a culture shock to us, as the town is teeming with foreigners visiting the national park; Sumbawa, on the other hand, is skipped by most westerners. “Hello Mister!”, we were greeted by numerous people as we were riding to a village where we would spend our first night on the island with a Couchsurfing host, and shouts of “Bule, bule!” echoed down the roads that we cycled along. Once we arrived at our host’s place, a horde of a dozen curious children followed us around and watched us take our panniers off the bikes. The following days and nights were largely uneventful: rolling hills, more swarms of children wherever we took a break, selfies, Alfamart ice-cream, horse and carts, and, sadly, a tremendous amount of rubbish by the side of the road, some of it burning. We camped in some fields as the lack of rain meant we didn’t have to look for sheltered camping spots anymore, and at a beach, where the lack of crocodiles in the area meant we could finally go for a swim again. From this beach, across the Saleh Bay, we could see Mount Tambora, a volcano known for the most powerful eruption in recorded history which occurred in 1815 and in which it lost the top third of its former height. The eruption caused a large amount of sulphur to be released into the stratosphere, which led to global climate anomalies and agricultural problems in the following years, including the “Year Without a Summer” in 1816, in which New York saw snow in June and Europe experienced its worst famine of the 19th century.
Once we reached Sumbawa’s west coast and boarded the one-hour ferry to Lombok, we were able to see another volcano: Mount Rinjani, the second-highest volcano in Indonesia. Tambora, Rinjani and countless others that make up the so-called Sunda Arc, a chain of volcanoes, were formed through the collision of the Australian and Eurasian tectonic plates that underlie the area. The eruptions of the volcanoes of the Sunda Arc in turn produced the islands of Sumatra, Java and the Lesser Sunda Islands, i.e. Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores and a few others. We witnessed another effect of the tectonic activity when we passed through areas that – similarly to the aforementioned areas on Sulawesi affected by a different earthquake – still showed the destruction from a 7.0 magnitude quake as well as its fore- and aftershocks that struck Lombok in August of last year.
But some of the past volcanic activity also has beautiful outcomes: We camped on a stunning black sand beach that we almost had to ourselves but for the sandflies that started bothering us in the evening and forced us to retreat into the tent. On another afternoon, our quest for a camping spot near the beach led us into a quiet area that seemed to have once been developed for tourism but abandoned since, and we assumed the football field near a derelict building wasn’t in use anymore either, so leant our bikes against the goal post and put up the tent in the middle of the pitch. The area turned out to be less quiet than when we had first arrived as people regularly scootered past us, but nobody seemed to mind us being there; and the football field was soon visited by a group of young boys, who, however, seemed content with only using a small part of the pitch away from our tent and, to our surprise, didn’t even come over to “Hello Mister” us. The next morning, as we were packing up and putting the tent down for the last time in Indonesia, a bigger group of older boys arrived and started warming up – this was looking a bit more like they would want to use the whole football field. We quickly gathered the rest of our things and had breakfast while watching a game of early morning twenty-a-side football.
On the way to Senggigi, formerly Lombok’s main tourist strip but in recent years overtaken in terms of popularity and development by Kuta Lombok in the south of the island and the North-Western Gili islands, we started seeing more and more westerners on motorbikes, started hearing fewer shouts of “Hello Mister”, and came across the only other cycle tourist we met in Indonesia. Edwin from Austria was pushing his bike up a steep hill as we were whizzing down it, so we stopped and, after a few minutes of talking about where each of us had been and remarking that we’d been in similar areas around the same time, realised that we had actually briefly met before: at the border of Georgia and Azerbaijan in August of last year. We parted and kept making our way west while he kept making his way east towards East Timor, from where he will also fly to Australia about a month later than us.
Our last ferry in Indonesia – five hours from Lembar, Lombok to Padangbai, Bali – also meant saying goodbye to the Muslim world once again, as Bali’s population is predominantly Hindu. Temples and shrines stood in lieu of mosques, streets and houses were adorned with Hindu decorations celebrating Galungan, a time when the ancestral spirits visit their former homes and the current inhabitants provide offerings for them. We stayed in Bali for nearly two weeks, but did little sightseeing – partly due to having to sort things out before Australia such as getting bike repairs done, cleaning everything that’s in any way dirty (strict Australian regulations), acquiring bike boxes, bubble wrap, etc.; partly due to the fact that a lot of the sights on Bali are up some very steep hills and even if we had hired a scooter we would’ve still had to face the insane Bali traffic (at one point, when getting a taxi, we were willing to pay about a quarter of the price more to be picked up from the side of the road we were on compared to crossing the road and being picked up from the other side); and partly due to the fact that Tim had to fly to America for a few days to interview for a job at Apple that he had been approached about. There weren’t any shouts of “Hello Mister” anymore, they had been replaced with people offering motorbike taxi services with the phrase “Yes motorbike?”. As usual, time passed quicker than anticipated and a big chapter of our journey was coming to an end.
Indonesia was intense, mostly in a good way: the people were incredibly friendly – the blog post would get even longer if we tried to include all stories of people being kind to us, such as a soldier who had lunch with us and paid for our gado-gado, a forest policeman who let us camp in an empty office, and our Couchsurfing host in Pare-Pare giving us a hotel voucher he didn’t need and taking us out to meet lots of his friends; the landscapes were stunning and the food was delicious. Sometimes, the amount of attention we received was difficult to cope with, but we always tried to remind ourselves that people were being kind and welcoming, and that smiling and waving back is much better for both parties than getting annoyed. We wonder how many pictures of us have been taken and how many likes they received on Facebook and Instagram, and whether future Mister perempuan (female Misters) will hear “Hello Miss” more often (the phrase of choice that Linda was greeted with was, in order of decreasing frequency: Hello Mister, Hello Missus, Hello Miss). Bye-bye Indonesia, bye-bye Southeast Asia, bye-bye Asia – g’day mate.
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Thanks to our hosts in Indonesia: Nanda and Irul in Tarakan, Hendra in Toli-Toli, the firefighters and guesthouse woman in Burau (not pictured), Muhammad in Pare-Pare, Annisa and family in Makassar, Min near Sape, Pujia in Sumbawa Besar and Rizka in Mataram.
- We cycled 2,200 km through Indonesia, making a total of 27,400 km for Tim since leaving England and 26,900 km for Linda. Between blog posts, you can check our current total distances on our Stats page which we update a bit more frequently.
- During this segment, our average distance on cycling days was 87 km (although we took a lot of rest days; our average distance including all days in Indonesia is only 37 km and out of 60 days in the country, only 23 were full cycling days), compared to 82 km for the whole trip since Germany.
- During this segment, our average day-to-day spending was 5.48 € per person per day, compared to 6.41 € for the whole trip since Germany.
- We stayed in paid accommodation for 29 nights, camped on 14 nights, stayed with 7 Couchsurfing hosts for 12 nights, spent 3 nights on ferries and at the airport/on a plane and were invited into a free guesthouse for 1 night. From Germany to Bali: 184 nights camping/empty buildings/places of worship, 122 nights paid accommodation (hotel/hostel/guesthouse/homestay), 118 nights WS/CS/friends/family, 18 nights invited into people’s homes/places of work, 7 nights ferry/train/plane.
- Puncture score: No new punctures. Total from Germany: Tim 13 – Linda 7.
- Bike and equipment problems: We both had our bottom brackets and front hubs replaced due to wear. Linda bought a new saddle, as the old one had started falling apart. One of us who wishes to remain anonymous had to replace their phone due to water damage.
- Favourite Indonesian word: baik (good).