We’re glad to say, our flight out of Bali to Singapore wasn’t delayed by the volcano.
It was time to leave Bali, but we boarded the plane feeling we had only scratched the surface of Indonesia. The impression we have is that the real beauty and spirit of the country lies beyond Java and Bali, across the seas to the other 13000 islands. After all, it’s a country with hundreds of distinct ethnic groups, 700 spoken languages, the 4th largest population in the world and the 14th largest land mass.
So, with its wonderfully friendly people, who laugh a lot and don’t take themselves too seriously, and incredible good value, it’s somewhere we might well return to. But, next time we’ll have to give ourselves weeks and weeks to do it justice, to island hop at will, to immerse ourselves in local communities and to trek into the wild countryside.
In short, we’d like to see more of the fishermen who take their boats out each morning across picture-perfect isolated islands, and less of the traders who sell motorbike parts and brooms in the polluted noisy streets.
But how lucky we are to come here at all. We got to see wonderful Borobudur, travelled across Java by train, and saw the sunset from Bali. Wonderful memories.