As I was reading through the Lonely Planet guidebook on Indonesia, I came across a few phrases describing Ujung Kulon National Park that got me really excited.
“On the remote southwestern tip of Java…”
“Few people visit the park…”
“…prime rainforest and untouched wilderness…”
“…three-day hike across to the west coast…” (with a guide)
“Conditions on the trail are basic – there are rough shelters, but some are almost derelict.”
My first trip into true remoteness happened in Ghana. There’s a stilt village called Nzuluzu that sits above a lake on the far western coast. It took a bus, a tro tro ride, and then hiring a car because I got on the wrong tro tro, to get there. And the private car had to crawl over the excessively lumpy road, and a young guy kept leaning out the back door, banging the hubcap to make sure it stayed on. Then it was a canoe ride out to the stilt village – yes, I helped paddle.
What did I get for all this trouble? Singing instead of television, clothing somewhat optional, eating fish from the lake and having no place to rush to. I got to experience a truly unique version of village life that reminded me of how complicated life doesn’t have to be.
Isolated? A challenge to get to? Somewhere unique that may alter my perspective on life? I’m there.