Not just a Bike Ride

Last month I decided to go on a bike trip with our tour guide Sandy and one of our guests from Holland. I knew it would be fun, as Sandy loves exploring and is always on the hunt for new and interesting routes. We only had to drive fifteen minutes outside Makassar and we were in Barombong, a pleasant little village, set right by the sea. As soon as we stepped out the car, to start our bike ride, we were instantly hit with greetings from all the locals who were sat outside their houses. Some of them greeted us in Indonesian; ‘Selamat pagi’, which means ‘Good morning’ and others were keen to use the English they knew, especially three young boys that were playing around by a tree. They were full of laughter trying to use their English with us. It lifted my spirits up so high to see how welcome they made us feel, read more

Precious Forests

It’s such a great feeling walking along the path to registration not knowing what’s coming next. After driving for over an hour through countryside with amazing views of rice fields and, for a little part, driving off road you really feel like you’re in the center of village life, with nothing modern in sight. Now, in the middle of a forest with only tents to sleep in and local food to eat, everyone settles down for an evening full of music, friends and laughter. This happens once a year for an event called Musik Hutan. Musik Hutan stands for ‘music in the forest’ and around 500 people join every year. We love being surrounded by nature so we couldn’t be happierread more

The Day of Sacrifice

Idul Adha is the day of sacrifice. It is the holiest day for Muslims, as it is to commemorate when Abraham showed willingness to sacrifice his son to show his love for God. The first time I experienced this day, in Indonesia, I was driving back to Makassar after spending a weekend in the beautiful mountains of Malino. We were driving along a winding road and as we turned a corner my eyes shot directly to a dead cow laid across the side of the road. There was blood everywhere. It shocked me to say the least. Wondering why I had seen such a horrible sight I questioned further. I was told Muslims pay respect to God and help others by sacrificing animals, mainly cows but sometimes goats and sheep, and sharing the meat equally between themselves, their friends and the poor. It was hard to understand how it all related together until someone told me the story.read more

A 10-day festival in Bali

Bali is one of the most extraordinary places to visit in Indonesia, mainly because of its Balinese-Hindu culture. This Indonesian island is currently preparing for one of their most important festivals called Galungan. Galungan is the first day of this 10-day festival, in which they celebrate ‘good over evil’. Galungan happens every 210 days and, for Balinese-Hindus, it is like Christmas. You will truly see how creative and colourful this culture is.Walking down the streets will be a treat for your eyes,read more