Art, Culture, and Ocean Conservation . . .

Moving Forward

Sitting with The Gypsy princess plucking starshine from the sea. My final hours in gill T spent at the seashore letting the tide bring forth our lil phosphorescent friends. Hours spent listening to the waves and drifting off into the milky way. The gili islands are quite simple but also totally endearing for the same reason. Your elders are papa and mama and the locals your brothers and sisters – there is no separation- all people are family here. It is never goodbye-only see you later. There is a laxidaisicality seeping from every store front, market, and family stay. . .typically sung in the tune of Bob Marley or Guns ‘n Roses and accompanied by acoustic guitar.

Time to move forward to our next leg of the journey- further east in Indonesia for the next 36 hours. English is slipping further And further away and full immersion is imminent. Already today I have taken two ferry’s, three buses, and a minivan and am now driving across two islands over- by tomorrow afternoon we will arrive in Flores- nearest to Komodo island

Already the buildings are different the people are different, their religion is different-more Muslim, barely any Hindu- more mosques- partaking in the call to prayer five times a day, leading to their dress being different- instead of Kabaya’s now the womens hair is covered. The local food is changing. The Indonesian dialect is notably different. However- one thing remains constant throughout all of Indonesia that I’ve seen so far, the younger generation here is undergoing their “hardcore” stage- they all have swooshy and spiky hair styles, tips bleached with peroxide, shirts with metal font, skulls, and even Iron Maiden is coming through on tour. It’s so funny I remember in Bali we’d be at these peaceful organic restaurants in the rice fields and you’d go downstairs to use the toilet and you’d hear nothing but hardcore metal pouring from the kitchen πŸ™‚ \m/

In the capital of Lombok in Matarhan where we made our major bus connection we had a 2 hour wait and Justin and I went to grab some super yummy local food. On our way we passed a lil Toko (shop) that makes keys—they even make skeleton keys. When the young key maker saw my tattoo he got very excited and asked me to wait while he finished his customers- he then hand cut a real skeleton key to match my tattoo!!!

Atcha- make that 36 hour trip something longer- as it’s 11am and our ferry is broken down and will not leave Sape, Sumbawa, Indonesia until 4pm- rather than 9am. It’s all good though this is all part of the adventure. The night bus was pretty crazy lolol we drove all the way across the island of sumbawa-through the mountains, in the rain- the ac was so cold that there were ice blocks in the overhead luggage bins by morning-for real! and several times throughout the night all passengers on the bus would bolt awake from sudden jerky stops, bumps, and near accidents. we made it to our bus transfer in the early morning and rode another two hours to the east coast to catch our 10 hour ferry. So im chillin with the locals brushing up on my Bahasa Indonesian and as I’m writing this there are cute lil
Goats hanging out by my bag*

Wooohoo ferry is now in service at 6pm- had a nice day hula hooping and introducing toroflux magick to locals. Feeding goats and watching Indonesian news. I guess there was some crazy stand off between malaysia, Indonesia, and some pirates! I hope that’s not what was wrong with our ferry πŸ˜‰

I love the public ferry actually it’s mad cheap-$4.50 and then we even got beds for $1.50 more- and it’s a 10 hour ride. The ferry is in full swing! Families, teenagers, babies, vendors, crazy space alien movies with fire swords and ice queens and Hercules, people playing music- lil girls selling things with the baskets balanced so nicely upon their heads despite the swaying of the boat. It’s unbelievable how tight they pack the trucks and buses on these things too- man oh man you could barely fit a piece of paper between vehicles.

LaBoun Bajo is a scruffy lil harbor town that is 100% authentic. It’s lil brightly colored ramshackle houses and piers laden with drying fish have not been touched by the sticky fingers of 7-11 or Circle K. There’s a bumpin night market and a beautiful mosque and all the trucks here have crazy huge stickers and lights across them saying things like “mobil sexy,” “sniper,” and “Tom Cruise!” at night the trucks all flash and light up different colors- Justin and I call them techno trucks.

This one street town is lined with lil family style restuaraunts and, the main reason we are here, dive shops! Well and our awesome view.

Oh yeah and really fresh coffee

Oh yeah and KOMODO Dragons! The diving here though is some of the best diving in the world! The mix of hot and cold currents creates abundant and colorful marine life- so many fish your head spins and yesterday we seam with huge MANTA RAYs!!!! But more about that later as I’m about tp board a boat to a deserted island for the next couple days!!!

Much love to you all and may you seek amazing adventures**

Xo

-=ali*

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