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From Pacific via SE Asia to South America

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News from Monika & Michal
Sailing in Pacific and bacpacking in Indonesia
Sailing honeymoon in Pacific
It's been almost 5 months since we left Poland for our honeymoon around the world. We spent two months sailing in Pacific between the islands of Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. We had an amazing time onboard of Seawanhaka - 80-year-old wooden schooner.

It was the time of great sailing, beautiful remote beaches and best snorkeling ever. Most of all we had an opportunity to get along with local people from small and completely remote villages. Almost every day locals were coming in their canoes to our yacht. They parked the canoes alongside seawanhaka, sat, talked, watched... The contact with such people who live totally different lives than us is always an exceptional experience. A few times they invited us to their villages. Once in PNG they put on traditional clothes, danced and sung. It was worth sailing many days for this one day.

Backpacking in Indonesia
After two months on the sea we thought that it was time to change how and where we should continue our romantic honeymoon. :) So, with a short stopover in Cairns to rest a little in civilization, we flew to Singapore. Due to huge earthquakes in Sumatra in Indonesia we were "forced" to fly to Bali and start our trip in Indonesia over there. Soon we left crowded Bali to East Java which became our favorite part of this island. Great local people with incredible nature, especially sulphur lake Kava Ijen in the volcanic crater and always smoking volcanoes Bromo and Semeru, made this part of the trip unforgettable.

Sulawesi (Celebes)
This is Monika's favorite part of the trip. The decision to go Sulawesi was made in 2 minutes... We spent there unforgettable 10 days. Our goal was to see two parts of this island - Tona Toraja in the mid Sulawesi and Bugis land in south Sulawesi.

Tona Torajans are the nation that kept their tradition with turning to Christianity at the same time. This is unique in the world, as their customs (some of them very cruel) are approved by government and surprisingly church as well... For Torajans it is all about funerals. They even say about themselves that they live for death. The funeral ceremony is the most important in their culture and it can take up to a week even. We participated in 3 days of such a ceremony - we were eating with them, talking, getting board in lengthy moments... This was a very close contact with local people there and thanks to our great guide Astro mostly. There were over 1000 people participating in this ceremony, many of them came from far islands or from abroad. ]

There are strict rules and customs things are done - e.g. welcoming the guests or sharing the meat after the sacrifices. Each of the communities needs to bring presents for the family of the dead persons - pigs or/and buffalos. In that ceremony, there were over 100 pigs and 12 buffalos sacrificed. The letter one is the most horrible and unhumanitarian way of killing an animal - cutting its arteries and waiting until it bleeds out to death. Horrible but this is their tradition!

We were lucky as the burial was taking place in the cave graves surrounded by tau-taus (dolls symbolizing dead people buried in those graves.) The final walk with the coffins to the graves is totally different in TT than in Western culture. Since this is the last time that we are with those dead people this is the time to celebrate the last moments together and have fun. So, what do they do? Young boys carry coffins in a beautiful sarcophagus and they play - they run with it, they jump with it and they sing. There is a lot of laugh and fun! :) this is possible only because the funeral is taking place long after the death, so the family is accustomed with this fact and can stand this.

TT is also about beautiful views with rice fields and their traditional villages. All village houses in TT are still built in a traditional way - with the characteristic roofs that look like boats upside down, which symbolize the boats on which Torajan ancestors came to TT. We loved the time we spent there and we would recommend to do it to everybody! :)

Then we headed to Bugis land, which was Michal's dream to see how they build their boats, famous all around the world. And why? Because they build them still in a traditional way - they are all made from wood, joined with wooden nails and they use only wooden huge hammers to put the piece of previously wet in the ocean wood. It was great to talk to them and see them working. :)

And then it was time to leave Indonesia, as our 30-day visa was running out. Now direction KL. :)

Please check our photos with descriptions below them to learn more about our amazing honey-12-moons :)