INDONESIA Oct 15-Nov 13, 2008

Komodo Dragons and Colored Lakes
Rinca and Komodo Island are home to the ANCIENT KOMODO Dragons! We were lucky to see 15 of them in our 5km trek around the island. We also saw Water Buffalo, Monkeys and birds. It is like a real live Jurassic Park island. It is INCREDIBLE!
Rinca is a 2hr boat ride from Bajo in Flores. There are about 1000 dragons on Rinca and Komodo but most people visit Komodo. We loved Rinca Island and plan to stay on the island next time. The dragons are INCREDIBLE!! It is really living history. I don’t think they have evolved EVER…The 2 islands split from the mainland of Flores when the tectonic plates moved…so there are also dragons on the mainland in one small area. The snorkeling there was so fantastic.
We also went to the colored volcanic lakes of Kelimutu. It is a one hour journey by motorbike from the tiny town of Moni, Flores. The 3 lakes are different colors due to the minerals in the water and the climate. One lake used to be RED but is now green. The colors are startling and wonderful.
Gili Trawagan, Lombok
Turtle Project and BioRocks
We spent 6 days in Gili T and 3 more in Gili Air. The islands are wonderful and have great snorkeling and diving. All 3 islands have not one motorized vehicle. You can use a cidomo (horse and cart) to get around the island but we walked. I did meet the villagers running a turtle project for the last 20 years but they have NO scientists to help them. I am going to try to help them get in touch with some turtle or marine specialists!!
We also saw the BIOROCKS project underwater. They attach coral to a steel structure and run current through it to help the coral grow FASTER! It is incredible to see and wonderful for the environment. Dynamite Fishing was made illegal about 10 years ago but there are no police in the Gilis…

George and I were invited to visit the Smart English School in Bima, Sumbawa. It was great to meet the students in 3 classes and talk to them in English. We also went to two schools in Moni, Flores. It was sad that the walls were bare, in need of paint and that some students could not afford the book for $3.70. BUT they do not lack ENTHUSIASM!!! Everywhere we went in Sumbawa, Lombok and Flores, people wanted to say hello, talk in English and hear about the Obama vs. McCain race. They were VERY knowledgeable about US politics.

View our Photos!

Hello!! The five islands of Indonesia we were able to see were all amazing and different. We started in Kuta and Ubud in Bali and got to enjoy the sites and sounds. The rice fields are so beautiful. We took many photos!! In Lombok, we went to the Gili Islands and Tetebatu in the mountains.
We had a great small world story… in the airport in KL waiting to go to Bali, we saw George’s friends, Susan and Don from Canada. George had met them 2 years earlier on Tioman Island. We met up with them on Gili Air a couple weeks later. It was wonderful to see familiar faces!!!
We were in Bali for my birthday and at the lakes of Kelimutu for George’s. It was great to be able to celebrate in INDONESIA! This was my first trip but I will definitely be going back to the largest Archipelago in the world!
We have spent the last 5 days in KL and are off to BORNEO 9/18/08 to see the sites and the orangutans. KL feels like America with big malls, great public transportation and we saw Quantum of Solace TWICE!

Thank you for all your emails! We love to hear from you!! Happy THANKSGIVING! Hope your turkey day with family and friends is wonderful! Lisa and George

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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