Sand Boarding at Lancelin Dunes in Western Australia

A highlight of our seven day Western Australia road trip was a self-tour of the Lancelin sand dunes (and then on to The Pinnacles Desert). Without stops, the journey takes just under three hours one way, but you’d be seriously missing out on the fun if you didn’t stop to sand board a/k/a sand surf…

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Lunching with Sun Bears

Balikpapan’s Sun Bear Sanctuary lies in the Sungai Wain preservation area of East Kalimantan’s rain forest, off Kilometer 23 on the road to Samarinda. Here, seven sun bears rescued from poachers and other threats roam the 3.25 acre natural enclosure. Twice daily, the bears, whose Indonesian name “Beruang Madu” actually translates to honey bear, pad…

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We’re Famous! BIWA’s Biking Group Caught on Camera

Indonesia’s Independence Day, August 17, is right around the corner, and the streets festooned with mini Indonesian flags and garlands of red and white painted party cups make this a fun time to stroll or bicycle through the villages (“kampungs”). This Wednesday, the BIWA cycling group did just that.   Bike rides with the Balikpapan…

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Hiking Bukit Dinding off Samarinda Road, Kilometer 45

Bukit Dinding (Wall Hill) is a stunning backbone of boulders arching above East Kalimantan’s rain forest, about an hour and twenty minute’s drive from downtown Balikpapan. Pak Yayan has been telling us about this place for months, and since Sam had a weekend off to go further from camp, we said, “Let’s do it!” Now, the title…

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Trekking to Kali Waterfall in Manado, Sulawesi

  Kali Waterfall (“Air Terjun Kali”) is located in the rain forest surrounding Kali village, about twenty or so minutes from downtown Manado. Along the way to Kali, tarps spread with freshly plucked cloves (“Cengki”) dry in the sun. Sulawesi is one island west of the famed Spice Islands, where Columbus himself set sail for,…

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Tomohon’s Macabre Market (Manado,Minahasa Highlands)

The people of North Sulawesi are renowned for their extreme cuisine, and the Tomohon Market sets it all on stage. Food items such as roasted bat (we encountered this at the grocery store deli section in Manado, actually), sauteed rat (middle photo) and stewed dog (called RW, pronounced “air-whey” — silver bowl in bottom photo)…

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The Legend of Toar and Lumimuut

Toar and Lumimuut are the ancestors of the Minahasa people of north Sulawesi’s (formerly referred to as Celebes) highlands. From what I gather, the story goes like this:* In the beginning, the region was sparsely populated, but one day, a rock in the hills began to sweat from the heat and produced a beautiful woman…

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