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Tangkoko Nature Reserve, Indonesia

Leaving Indonesia soon and feeling suddenly unprepared to go, though just a few weeks ago I was done with Asia and its heat and garbage and mosquitoes and spicy, MSG-riddled food. And not that I've seen much of Indonesia outside its diving spots and the sprawling, ojek-choked cities we only pass through, a night here and a night there at the most.

Most of the time I've had my head in a book, reading in the most mindless way--hungry, stupefied, without pause to contemplate but just a desire to push on and on until my dreams are filled with the characters and I lose the feeling of my own skin.

I needed it. Needed to be stuck at a dive resort so I could say I'd done my "sightseeing" (underwater) that day and could thus throw myself into reading without the guilt that we were wasting our time doing something we could do at home. Even writing I could not make room for. What was there to say? I only wanted to receive and receive and receive--retreat into someone else's normalcy. What has a snowy Boston morning and an icicle-framed window to do with here? And yet it feels blissfully fresh to me.

Even now I am only writing because I've finished a book. Nevertheless, a half-started Coetzee novel awaits, and my mind drifts toward it, to its sparse, melancholic language. I can scarcely keep my eyes on this page; they rove constantly toward the backpack...

Posted by chschen 17:00 Archived in Indonesia

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Where did you guys dive? Could use some recs :)

by Tony.Ruby

In Indonesia we dove in Lembeh and Bunaken on Sulawesi and Raja Ampat on Papua. If you go to Bunaken, I highly recommend staying at Panorama. At the time we visited, they were very reasonably priced, and the food (included) was delicious. I didn't dive there because my foot was infected, but I think the diving was pretty good, too, according to my husband, though it was after we'd gotten back from Raja Ampat, and the two can't really be compared. Lots of wall diving at Bunaken. At Lembeh we stayed at Two Fish, a bit expensive, but more affordable of the options there. Wonderful muck diving, if you like staying still and looking at extremely strange creatures. Again, the food was wonderful. In Raja Ampat, we stayed at two different types of places. One was Biodiversity, an "eco" resort. Probably the best food we had in Indonesia. It's run by a Spanish couple, Patricia and Ray. They're really nice and responsible dive guides, and we had some of our best dives ever with them. The prices are resort prices, though, so expect to pay more for the luxury. Later we went to Yenkoranu, a homestay. Definitely less comfortable and much cheaper, but the dive guides were also great, though they didn't really speak English. You could tell they would only take you to places they thought you could handle. Raja Ampat was probably the best diving we did in our trip--and we logged 80+ dives in our year of travel. Nothing compared to it for sheer amount of life, incredibly prolific and fecund.

Sorry, that's a lot of info, and maybe not the kind you want. Feel free to ask follow up questions!

by chschen

And, sorry, I think you got to the part of the blog where I haven't yet gotten the chance to post pictures.

by chschen

Haha yes I guess I got ahead! That makes more sense for why there's no photos yet :)

Thank you for the info on diving in Indonesia-- we are going to be there in oct-nov and wanted to get some ideas! Biodiversity sounds pretty awesome ! We've gone diving in Nusa Lembongan only is far- giant manta rays and insane drift diving ....

by Tony.Ruby

Nice! I've heard good things about Lembongan from the other divers when we were at Two Fish (I think they have a branch out there). I wouldn't mind seeing manta rays again!!

by chschen

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