Indonesia has been on the wish list for literally years. We’d gazed at it wistfully from Timor-Leste in 2012 when islands were so close it felt like we could almost reach out and touch them. But since 2016 it has been high up the wishlist, when through some work focused on Indonesia Marie discovered the existence of Borobudur Temple.
Despite it being NZ’s closest Asian neighbour, earlier attempts to get there hadn’t quite worked out. Then an opportunity presented itself in the form of work giving time back to the one who struggles to build up their annual leave balance. This gift needed to be taken timely i.e. quickly. With a bigger trip planned for a little later in the year this would be unplanned expense that we couldn’t really afford. But after having the thought of “would it be possible…?” there was no going back. This was a opportunity we had to seize.
Sitting on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is at the meeting point of 4 continental plates – the Indo-Australian, the Pacific, the Eurasian and the Philippine plate. It is unquestionably a country that is alive; Tsunamis, earthquakes and more active volcanoes than any other country in the world. It is a country shaped by natural disasters.
In December 2018 the Mercy Corp said that on average, at least one major natural disaster has occurred in Indonesia every month since the devastating 2004 tsunami (which claimed over 165,000 lives in Sumatra).
With 76 active volcanoes there are always a handful in an “eruption phase,” and over 50 more are not considered active. In 2012 estimates put 5 million people living in volcano danger zones.
But lets face it the majesty of volcanoes littering the landscape is also a big drawcard and there was no doubt a volcano expedition was on our shortlist.
The shortest flight time between NZ and Indonesia is to Denpasar in Bali and Borobudur temple is located in Central Java, within striking distance of Yogyakarta city. So we came up with a plan to bounce straight out of Denpasar and fly onto Yogyakarta. From there we’d make our way back to Denpasar through Central Java, Eastern Java and Bali. Seeing and experiencing as much as we can. In a week…