How it Began

The Friendly Drifter website and blog was created to follow my first journey to Raja Ampat, Indonesia.  The original purpose of the trip morphed into a different goal.  To share in the first journey, please click through the success of blogs below – enjoy!

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First Steps – It has been interesting so far. I had to cancel my original flight because my Visa was rejected. The Indonesian Embassy stated it was too dangerous to travel in that area alone. I have never heard this before, everyone I talk to say people travel to this area alone all the time…

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Perspective – It’s all coming together. After doing some research on the area, I am realizing why the Indonesian government wants to restrict foreign access to Papua and West Papua….

Arrived at Last – It was a fairly uneventful trip. Normally “events” can seem negative when going on long trips. All in all the trip included 5 flights and 2 boat rides. It took me 44 hours to get to my first homestay. Battled the sleep monster when I closed my eyes on the plane. Kicked, punched…

Welcomed Guest – I woke up to the most beautiful alarm clock this morning. A chorus of at least 10 different tropical birds. After breakfast everyone at the homestay went snorkeling and diving. I went snorkeling. Everywhere your eye gazes looks like an aquarium. The coral is amazing. As you snorkel you can hear birds singing around you. It’s truly…

Clean Up – I made it back to the homestay. I was eager to tell everyone about my experience. It turns out the local guide Ranny and I have the same opinion and solutions regarding the garbage on the beaches. We started laying the foundation for a volunteer program. I think it’s a great solution. The program alone…

Wayag – So to my surprise, we ended up going to a place called Wayag which is situated in the north west part of Raja Ampat. Apparently this is the place that has been my background picture on my desktop for well over a year now. I really do think it’s the most beautiful place in the …

Pulau Kri– Thanks to everyone for the messages and comments on the blog, they are getting through to David.  He really appreciates receiving them – he is just unable to respond at the current time. We moved homestays and said goodbye to some of our group. I am currently staying at Mambetron Homestay situated on Pulau Kri Island…

Coral – it’s hard to describe the stunning underwater landscape here. Especially since I’m not a professional writer nor photographer, but to be honest no word or picture would represent the beauty accurately. The area of Raja Ampat has the most marine biodiversity in the world. To date, over 1300 species of coral reef fish…

Kayak 4 Conservation – I met with Tertius (the operator of Kayak 4 Conservation) today to go over my first trip.  He was very nice, and originally from South Africa. He’s called this place home for 3 years now. He was very helpful explaining the routes and gave me some good pointers. I’ve decided to go on a shorter…

Air Conditioning! – I finished my first kayaking trip. It was peaceful and rejuvenating. Each day consisted of only 1-2 hours of kayaking. I was able to coast a lot and listen to the sounds of birds nearby. The kayaking wasn’t physically demanding, however after every day I was quite tired. The combination of heat/sun and lack of…

Plans Change – I’m having an amazing time here in Sorong. The people are super friendly and eager to talk with me or offer help. I’ve even been offered free motorcycle rides. I traveled to the city’s main market a couple of days ago. There was a guitarist selling homemade amplifiers. He pressured me into playing. This obviously…

Important Contacts – My time in Sorong has finally come to an end. I leave for Waisai, Raja Ampat today after receiving my permit. I really wish the officials wouldn’t set meetings for Friday morning. They ask me to confirm my 10 am Friday appointment on multiple occasions – yet here I am again witnessing the staff during…

Imagination – Well I made it back safe and sound. All together the kayak trip consisted of 5 days, 4 nights and a lot of kayaking. This trip was much more physical than my last. I averaged 5-6 hours a day for 5 days straight. Distance travelled won’t be confirmed until I study a map. I am…

Clean Raja Ampat – I spent the week after my kayak trip in Waisai. Waisai is the largest city in Raja Ampat, with a population of 40,000 – 50,000. A ferry runs daily between Waisai and Sorong that takes 1.5 hours. The government is expanding the airport near Waisai so people will have direct flights from other parts of…

Success – Well to say that “Clean Raja Ampat” was a success would be an understatement. We spent all day Thursday in meetings organizing the clean-up, 18 meetings to be exact. It was hard to get a good understanding of how receptive people were because the language spoken during all meetings was Indonesian. Then last night, we…

Farewell Raja Ampat – What a trip this has been. I leave for Bali on Friday. My flight was booked a few weeks ago, when I applied for my visa extension. At the time a lot of travelers told me I needed to experience Bali, and I agreed. I’ll be spending four days there, and then I head home…

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