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Indonesia 2020 – For the books.

Hello,

After many of you asked us, we decided that our next Adventure Journal would be from the trip we made to generate the content of the new SS20 collection, to the islands of Java, Bali and Komodo, in Indonesia.

It was a relatively short trip for everything we visited, I recommend you to book at least 15 days (minimum) to do the whole route. We did it in 10 because we were going to record, but it was very short on time and any setback can make you miss a plane and mess with the next days of the trip!

But wow, let's get down to business!

Java, Bali and East Nusa Tengara (Komodo) are located in the island chain of southern Indonesia, leaving Borneo, and Celebes to the north. They are relatively close, about 1 hour by plane each way, and have very different landscapes, although one thing in common: sunshine and tropical temperature.

Links to the days:

Day 0 and 1: Arrive in Bali and visit Ulun Datu, Handara Gate, and two of the most beautiful waterfalls on the island.

Day 2. Double failure to visit Tegalalang Rice fields and head to Nusa Penida.



Day 3. Kling Kling beach, Diamond Beach and -1 drone.



Day 4. Return to Bali, we run out of gas and almost miss the flight to Java

Day 5. We visit Rainbow Village, crash the spare drone and get lost to reach Wonokitri, a village that lives among volcanoes.

Day 6: Hard wake up, dreamy views before breakfast, and drive to Coban Sewu.

Day 7: We visit the most epic waterfalls throughout the country, and pay a very high price to get a drone for the last days of the trip.

Day 8: We start sailing on the Sea of Flowers and live an unforgettable moment
.

Day 9: Another epic sunrise, another broken drone.



Our trip started in Bali, then we flew to Java and later to Komodo, from where we returned to Bali to take the plane back home. I leave you as always a MyMaps to give you a better idea:


Besides, I leave you here also the Schedule of our shootings; it is thought to be in the most crowded places at the best time, both for the affluence of people and for the light for the photos/videos, so maybe it will be useful for you too, as much as if you want to avoid the masses or if you are a photographer and want to get the best light!

Day 0 and 1: Arrive in Bali and visit Ulun Datu, Handara Gate, and two of the most beautiful waterfalls on the island.

We arrived in Bali exhausted, and set off for the north of Bali, specifically the Munduk area, about three hours by car. There we spent the night at the Puri Sunset Homestay.

The next day we woke up early and got a good start! The day was going to be quite long. We started by visiting the Balinese temple (first and last). We spent about an hour on the temple for us, we were lucky enough to witness a local ceremony and set off for the next spot, 5 minutes away by van, the famous Handara Gate, a typical Balinese gate.

As it was a bit later, we had to wait in line for a bit, but wow, there's not much to explore, so we took the 4 pictures we went for and headed to the next spot, Leke Leke's waterfall, the adventure through the jungle was starting!

It was barely 11 a.m. and we were in the middle of the third shooting of the day, we were on fire! The road to Leke Leke is very beautiful and only 15 minutes long, and the reward is spectacular! But as in all spectacular places very accessible, I recommend you to go first thing to avoid crossing with anyone and have the waterfall to yourselves!


We finished the shooting at the waterfall and ate at the restaurant right at the entrance, the vegetarian burger is highly recommended. We rested a bit and headed to the last location of the day, NungNung.

It is one of the largest and most voluminous waterfalls in Bali, it is simply unique. The path is a little more complicated than Leke Leke, and it is also advisable to go early to avoid the masses, is the most famous of all the waterfalls of Bali and is usually quite crowded.

**Around 10am the light comes in just behind the waterfall and it is impressive, very recommendable to go at that time if you want a perfect light!

After a well-deserved swim in the waterfall, we returned to Ubud, had dinner at Rai Pasti Rice view, which is a restaurant overlooking the rice fields and very affordable, and rested until the next day. The first day had been very intense (like all those who came haha).


Day 2. Double failure to visit Tegalalang Rice fields and head to Nusa Penida.


We woke up early, before the sun, around 5am, and headed to the first location of the day, the rice fields of Tegalalang. The typical Instagram drone photos? They're from there. On the way it started raining very hard, and we arrived so soon that there was no bar/restaurant open to wait for it to stop, so we decided to go back to Ubud, have breakfast there, and try again later. The second time we could reach the fields, but we had been walking for 5 minutes, and it started raining again, and it didn't look like it would stop, so we took the opportunity to test some of JAMBO's waterproofing, which by the way, held up like a champion!

That rain didn't look like it was going to stop, (one of the disadvantages of going to Bali during monsoon season), so we decided to cancel the shootings we had that day, and gain time by heading to our next destination, Nusa Penida.

**For those of you who want to go to the rice fields of Tegalalang, it works like this: there is a path that goes through all the fields, but each plot is from a different harvester, and each time you go to a new one, the harvester asks you for a donation for maintenance. So I recommend that you take a lot of small bills so that you don't have to pay 100k idr (8 euro) on each plot, because 1, 2 or 5k is enough. (I say 100k because they are the bills that are given in the moneychangers and in the atms).

Anyway, we took a taxi to Sanur, and there, a boat to the island. We arrived after lunch, rested in the hostel, and watched the sunset from the beach with some beers. Clearly it hadn't been our day, so we took it easy and went to bed early, because the next day it was gonna be an early morning! The hostel was called Full Moon, and I can't recommend it more! The rooms are fine and they do some concerts at night that you can't miss. 


Day 3: Kling Kling beach, Diamond Beach and -1 drone.

We woke up before the sun, as usual, and did the first shooting on the beach, had breakfast and took the motorcycles to go to one of the most famous beaches of Instagram,if not the most, KlingKling beach!


** A good place to rent the bikes is Abdul Scooter, it's next to the port and the guy speaks very good English. You can find him on Google Maps.

**Very advisable to go to KlingKling early or late in the day to avoid all the cars that come from Bali doing day tours, in high season there can be up to 2 hours of line to see the beach, besides that the sun is a killer. So if you have a choice, don't even think about it!

Luckily or unfortunately I went to that beach 4 years earlier, when there was still nothing and nobody there, and the change seemed brutal to me. When I went for the first time, you could hardly access the cliff from where you could see the beach because of the amount of vegetation there was, it was 12 noon and I was completely alone. This time it seemed like a completely different place, there were more than 15 restaurants around the cliff, you had to wait in line for half an hour to take a picture with the beach in the background and they had even made a path to go down to the beach... Wow.

We did the Kling Kling shooting and headed to the next spot, Diamond Beach, on the other side of the island. The road that connects both beaches is spectacular, one of the most beautiful on the island, especially the last stretch! We arrived at Diamond Beach and started to fly the drone to have some panoramic shots... and after 5 minutes it got stuck on top of a tree. With the help of a bamboo branch we managed to get it, but not without breaking the stabilizer and one of the legs... Bali 1 - BB team 0.

Good thing we brought another one just in case! We bathed until it got dark and just when we got out about 4 or 5 dolphins passed very close to the shore, a real treat! With the adrenaline in our bodies we took the bikes and went home, without a drone but very satisfied with the day of shooting we had done.


Day 4. Return to Bali, we run out of gas and almost miss the flight to Java.

The next day we woke up early and took the boat back to Bali, I would recommend you to stay another day in Nusa Penida minimum, and also visit Broken Beach and Crystal Bay, and if you go from May to October take a boat for 200k idr per person to go snorkeling with Mantas, it's incredible. The fishermen that take you are right in Crystal Bay and you can order it overnight, or even on the same day, so don't worry about booking in advance.


We took the boat back to Bali and a taxi to Canggu, a small village that has little of Balinese, as it is full of shops opened by Australians who spend long periods in Indonesia. It is the perfect place to vary the diet a bit and get out of the Nasi Goreng (rice with chicken), and to learn how to surf. A great place in Canggu for breakfast/eating is the Crate Caffe, the food is delicious and very good price! We ate there and then looked for a bike rental site to do a session on the beach. It wasn't easy as many didn't want to let us rent them so we didn't fill them with sand, but we found a place near here: 35 Pantai Batu Bolong St, Dalung, Bali where they did rent them to us without any problem. So we took the bikes and went straight to the beach... to one that was 2km north of Batu Balong Beach, to avoid people. There we spent 2 hours driving around and doing a little bit of crazy stuff... we ran out of gas and we were about to miss the flight that we had at 9 pm that was taking us to Java, but in the end everything went well and we flew to Java that night.


 

We arrived in Surabaya around 10pm and there we took a taxi to Malang, where we arrived around 1am at the MADOR Malang hostel, very close to Rainbow village, the place we were going to go the next day.

Day 5: We visit Rainbow Village, crash the spare drone and get lost to reach Wonokitri, a village that lives among volcanoes.

We woke up calmly, as we were exhausted from those last days, and looked for a place to have breakfast. The truth is that we had a hard time because Malang is not a tourist city at all and it is difficult to find a place where having rice for breakfast is not the only option. In the end we found a place quite close, called Java Dancer Coffee, very recommendable. We finished having breakfast and went straight to Rainbow Village, they call it because of its colorful painted houses. Painting them was an initiative of the neighborhood students to attract tourism, and they have succeeded. They charge 1 euro per person and it's another source of income for the neighborhood, and we gladly decided to do our part.


I'd like to put some drone pictures of the houses right here below because they look very nice from above, but do you know what the reality is? When we were flying the drone, it fell into the river, a deep brown river totally inaccessible, so we lost the spare drone with the Rainbow village material just two days later and still with many days ahead. It was a major blow to all of us.


We went back to the hostel and got the bags, we looked for a drone shop in Malang and found two, but none of them had what we were looking for, so we decided to do the sessions of the next 2 days without a drone, and buy it once in Surabaya, with more time to ask the shops and go for a shot.

With going to the two shops to try to buy the drone and then looking for a taxi to take us to the area of the Bromo volcano (being 5 people plus luggage most of the cars were too small), we finally left Malang around 10 pm. After a whole day, we were sleeping at the first minute of the trip. I woke up an hour later, and everyone was still sleeping, I looked at the maps and realized that the taxi was taking us in the wrong direction, and the worst thing was that he didn't even understand English. We managed to make him understand that he was not following the direction, but the guy was determined that it was that way. In the end, among a few restaurants, we managed to convince him to listen to the maps and not to his intuition, and we set a course for Wonokitri, a village with only 20 houses very close to King Kong point, the place where we were going to see the sunrise the next day.

Four hours later, around 2 a.m., we arrived at the hostel, but without a trace of the receptionist who was supposed to be waiting for us (we warned him that we would arrive around that time). But well, in case you haven't noticed, in Indonesia nothing goes as planned, you just have to accept it and adapt, even if it costs a little bit at the beginning. In the end the guy from the hostel showed up, we checked in, and went to sleep for a while, since we woke up at 4am to see the sunrise in one of the most incredible places in the world!


Day 6: Hard wake up, dreamy views before breakfast, and drive to Coban Sewu.

The alarm clock rang and it seemed that we had slept for barely 10 minutes. We woke up tired but very excited, and the sky was very cloudy and very dark, we took the Jeep that we had hired with the hostel (Bromo Backpacker Tosari), and we went to King Kong hill. We arrived at the entrance of the national park in a sea of fog that couldn't have looked worse, but we still paid the entrance fee (12 euros per person, the most expensive of the whole trip) and pulled up... don't let it be said that we didn't try!

We arrived upstairs and there was already some light, the sun had about 20 minutes left to rise, and in the background you could see the silhouette of the Bromo volcano, and beyond that, the Ijen... you could even see the Agung (the highest volcano in Bali). WE WERE ABOVE THE CLOUDS.


It was just magic, it was perfect conditions. The light was unbeatable, the low clouds created beams of light that crossed the branches of the palm trees, and the smoke that the volcanoes brought out took on the reddish color of the sunrise... without a doubt, one of the best sunrises of our lives.

We spent more than two hours taking pictures and enjoying the views and returned to the village; our initial plan was to go down to the Bromo crater to do another shooting, but it just happened that it was closed for environmental rehabilitation from January 24th to February 24th, so we were left with the desire, although we found it totally understandable given the influx of tourists that the Bromo receives throughout the year.


We took a team picture and went back to the hostel. We had a quiet breakfast and, without stopping, set off for the next destination, Coban Sewu, about 4 hours south. Coban Sewu is a deep and lush canyon full of vegetation where a unique waterfall system falls. It is, for me, the most epic waterfall I have ever visited. .


We arrived at night, it was a small town, there were only 2 hostels available to book online, we were at Dear Traveller Guest House and Glamping
and I can't recommend it more. The owner was very nice; as the supermarket was two kilometres away from the hostel, he took us in his pickup to buy some beers, and the next day he took us to the waterfalls himself at no extra cost. He also organized the taxi back to Surabaya to take the plane... the truth is that we couldn't leave there happier.

Anyway, we slept very well and, of course, the next day we got up early. We wanted to have the place to ourselves, and we got it.


Day 7: We visit the most epic waterfalls throughout the country, and pay a very high price to get a drone for the last days of the trip.

We arrived at Coban Sewu waterfalls around 6:30 in the morning, and after descending into the canyon for half an hour, we arrived at the foot of the falls without even crossing with anyone.


We did the shooting in a couple of hours and around 9:30 we started our way back to the hostel. 

If you have time I recommend you explore the canyon a little more, as it has some caves called Goa Tetes that are worth visiting, plus some more waterfalls that you certainly won't want to miss!


We arrived at the hostel, had breakfast and took the taxi that would take us back to Surabaya around 11:30 in the morning. We had the flight at 18:30, and it was about 5 hours, so we were on time. We arrived in Surabaya around 3pm, and went straight to the drone shop we had already talked to to check that they had in stock what we wanted (Mavic 2 Pro). We arrived at about 15:30h, and the airport was about an hour away. The shop was in a shopping centre, so we started to look for it like crazy upstairs and downstairs. We found it. They had the drone. We were about to pay... BUT, she wouldn't take any cards and we didn't have enough cash, so we had to go to the other store in town, which was also on the way to the airport.

We arrived at the other store around 5pm, time was getting tighter and we needed to buy it quickly, so we checked that they had the one we wanted, paid successfully and went like rockets to the airport! There was half an hour to go before the plane left and we were arriving at the domestic flight terminal. We arrived and went straight to the counters, there they told us that AirAsia operates in the international terminal even though the flight is domestic, so we looked for another taxi, and went to the other terminal, it was 17:45h, we arrived and the flight had been delayed 1 hour (without any special reason, in Indonesia it usually happens) and we went to the AirAsia counter. Here we were told that we had missed the flight, that even if it was delayed, the system did not admit any more check ins. What a nightmare! We paid a high price for having a drone for the last days of the trip. There was no other choice, we bought a flight for the next morning direct to Komodo, and that night we slept in Surabaya near the airport.


Day 8: We start sailing on the Sea of Flowers and live an unforgettable moment.

The next day we arrived at the airport first as expected.. we didn't want to risk it haha. We arrived in Komodo at about 12 o'clock in the morning and went straight to the port to find a boat that would like to let us stay one night and take us on a tour of the Sea of Flowers. It was easy to find it, as the taxi driver himself who took us from the airport to LabuanBajo (the coastal town from where all the boats leave) introduced us to his friend who happened to have a boat and did tours around the islands, it usually happens!

It is a very expensive experience for what Indonesia is, so to give you an idea, we pay about 100 euros per person for a night on the boat with all meals included. No doubt the most expensive part of the trip, but also the most worthwhile.

Between the time they took to buy food at the market, the crew came and prepared the boat for the tour, we ended up leaving at 4pm. We talked to the captain to make clear the price and the route we wanted to take, and set course for the first and only stop of the day, Kelor Island, to watch the sunset.



We took a shot and flew the new drone successfully, amazing the shots we took from there, just for that it was worth it.


Around 7pm we got back on the boat, took a shower, and set course for Padar Island, where we were going to spend the night. The trip was quite an experience, the bioluminescent plankton shone in electric blue when the boat moved the water, the sky was starry and you could see the Milky Way like never before, it was incredible. We were arriving when suddenly we started to see blue shadows emerging to the surface... yes, they were dolphins, and with their movement they lit up the water and dyed it electric blue. Something that my fellow travelers will never forget... because I was taking a shower at that very moment and I didn't see anything!

Anyway, we arrived at Padar Island and went to sleep, I put my mattress up and slept looking at the stars. Cabins are not my thing.. 


Day 9: Another epic sunrise, another broken drone.

We woke up early, around 5am, and the captain took us with the boat to the beach from where the hike started, it was about half an hour uphill until we reached the point from where you can see 3 beaches and the best panoramic view of Padar.


It was strange to think that only 2 days ago we were on another island with a landscape of volcanoes that had nothing to do with what we were contemplating...

We flew the drone, did an hour of shooting and returned to the boat, took a bath, had some good pancakes for breakfast and set course for Pink beach, our next destination!

 


The beauty of Pink Beach is the colours of the sea, as well as the reddish colour of the sand. We decided to stay on the boat and record action content by jumping and snorkeling, although if you're not going to record, I recommend you go to the beach, it's very nice too.

We continue to the Sandbar, a beach that emerges from the coral reef in the middle of the sea, with nothing at all. We were alone for half an hour and it was the closest thing to a tropical paradise we had ever seen. We did some snorkeling, saw turtles, rays, and even a shark!

We decided to fly the drone to have panoramic shots of the ship, when suddenly it started to land by itself in the middle of the sea... it seemed like a joke, we couldn't believe that we were going to lose the third drone in just one week, when all of us had been flying drones for years and had never lost one. Anyway, yes, it landed in the water, but with the snorkel goggles we recovered it and got all the videos and photos we had taken with it. Luckily it was the last spot to record with a drone and we didn't need it anymore.


Still freaking out, we're heading to our last destination: Kanawa Island.

Exhausted, we only had the strength to drink a beer and watch the sunset commenting on how intense and epic the trip had been. We had been sleeping an average of 5 hours for 8 days and had visited 3 completely different islands in just one week, which was crazy. We missed a flight, we crashed 3 drones, we saw dolphins, we ran out of gas in the middle of a beach, we witnessed the most beautiful sunrise in the world... but what makes a trip really special, are the people we share it with. We had our good moments and some more difficult ones, but we knew how to make the best of each situation.

We all agreed that it was the best time we had ever had in Indo, and back in Bali, the next day, before going to the airport, we decided to get a tattoo all together, just because the situation deserved it! And without thinking it twice, we got an X as a souvenir of this great adventure.

Indonesia BB Trip 2020 - For the books.

Author Profile

Gonzalo Pasquier is a young Spanish adventurer and photographer. He lives for and to travel, and his photographs are inspired by his passion for nature. At Blue Banana we are very lucky to have him on the team, and his mission is none other than to make the new adventure a reality and to get it into our brand through content with a point of view of our own, which goes to the next level. This isn't about what we do, it's about how we do it. And Gonzalo Pasquier is in charge of proving it.

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