Sumatra! As soon as we drove into it it was exactly the untamed green rain forest I had hoped to see. Sumatra is much less populated and developed compared to neighbouring Java. Roads are of poor conditions and wind so much, you’re sometimes not sure which direction you’re actually going.
It’s stunning though, absolute beauty and huge as we’d find out on the very first evening when we told Vlado our couchsurfing host from Slovakia about our plan to hitch-hike 1500km to Dumai. Two weeks will be hardly enough time and sure enough for the next few days we’d find out that 200-300km is about the maximum distance you can cover. Transport wise the options are limited. Almost all cars are mini-vans and charge their passengers. They are slow and stop constantly to convince people to join in for a ride. The male population inside busies themselves with continuous smoking, not exactly our idea of traveling. The rail network is almost non existant. We stick to hitch-hiking and move comparably fast, often inside airconditioned Toyota jeeps but also in the back of pickups through the jungle which allows for much better photography 🙂
Indonesia and Sumatra especially remind us a lot of India. Except people here speak little (usually no) English, all we hear, and we hear it from everyone that sees us, is “Hello Mistr” (I’m even thinking they say it with a slight Czech accent). Sometimes also shortened to “Místr”. Nastya is greeted the same way. Our favourite clearly has been “Hello Mistr, where are you?” Well, here we are, another day in almost 40°C trying to go North before our visas run out.