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Maluku Islands and back!

Our teamrider Lisa Veith went surfing to a very special place; the Maluku Islands. This small, indonesian group of islands, located between Sulawesi and New Guinea, is known for its empty line-ups and glassy water. Lisa not only shared her personal photos with us, but also told us about her adventurous journey: 

Maluku Islands? Where the heck are those? Oh right, next to Sulawesi…

Don’t worry, I didn’t know it either, but I guess that is the charm of taking a spontaneous trip. Coincidentally there was one place left on the boat called SamaSama which would be the home of seven guys and myself for the next two weeks.
Unfortunately the guys were already in Bali and would take a different route than me, so I would have to master the journey from Austria to the Maluku Islands all by myself. That would be interesting…

Conquering long airport hallways with a pennyboard.  

Because of the flight times I had to make two overnight stays; in Singapore and Manado! The first stopover was very delightful, nice hotel, cruiser-friendly sidewalks and a short exploration of the local skate park with my  Pennyboard, which I was even allowed to keep in my hand luggage until Singapore. 

Bowl landscape in Singapore.  

The next morning I flew over Jakarta to Manada/Sulawesi. From Jakarta on, I was the only non-indonesian person on board and slightly stood out with my sublime Austrian-winter paleness. We reached Manado in the middle of the night and because my next flight would leave at 6 a.m., I decided not to waste my money on a hotel and just spend the few hours in the airport lounge. Who could have guessed, that the airport would be closed at night and that I would be forced to spend five, long hours on the tiled floor in front of the building? Little did I know that that was only the beginning of my Manado-Odyssey…
It began to dawn on me when I was finally sitting in the plane, which then, after a few seconds on the runway, suddenly turned around and brought us back to the gate. Flight cancelled due to bad weather conditions, departure time unknown! Whatever, you have to accept the things you can’t change and so I decided to treat myself with a big breakfast.

The SamaSama from above.  

Around noon the plane to Kau finally took off. Upon arrival, there was already a taxi waiting for me that would take me to the harbor of Tobelo and therefore finally to the SamaSama. Unfortunately, the taxi was not equipped with a strap to fixate my board on the roof, so I had to hold it myself for the upcoming one and a half hours. You can’t imagine how happy I was to finally reach my destination and see my guys after this odyssey!

Lisa is obviously happy to see her boys.  

Completely exhausted but super happy I went straight into the water for my first surf-session with my brand new  Lib Tech Aireola. Test result: Five Thumbs Up!
After another session in the evening I could finally enjoy my well-deserved after-surf-beer on the sundeck while watching the sun go down. What a pleasure after my three days of travelling.

Lisa jumping into the crystal clear water.  

The glassy morning-surf on the following day that made me forget all the exertions. Unlike on the Maldives we almost exclusively surfed left-waves, which I, being a goofy surfer, really enjoyed ;) Other surfers were rare, so we always had the line-up to ourselves. The only thing we were slightly able to complain about was our encounter with some jellyfish. But besides that everything was perfect: Nice waves, nice weather, awesome food and a lot of fun with the guys!
Except for a few reef cuts and a scraped nose there were no medical incidents. But I had to treat two locals after word spread that there was a doctor on the boat that anchored by the village.

Catching waves  

After a week away from any mobile reception and whole lot of awesome surf-sessions, we slowly made our way back to Tobelo and other nice surf-spots nearby. Even though you quickly get used to the surf-eat-sleep-repeat rhythm, we were all pretty worn out at the end of our journey. Hardly surprising after two to three surf sessions every day.

Lisa in action.  

My trip home was a stone’s throw in comparison to my outward odyssey. Tobelo to Graz in 24 hours!
Even though I only spent two weeks on the Maluku Islands it felt a lot longer, due to the amazing impressions and the big number of surfed waves. I’ll definitely be coming back, but next time I’ll choose a nice hotel room over the cold, tiled floor in Manado ;)
Doctor Lisa