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Why should you register the copyright of your photos? Our experience

After many months of preparation I?ve just finished the application for the registration of over 42.000 photos with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress in the USA.
That's why actually our website has been stuck for quite a while, coupled with some health problems I?ve been facing for some time.
Login screen of Copyright procedureLogin screen of Copyright procedure

You might wonder why I did that? Because we share our content for free on Nomad Travellers, to be used for non commercial and private purposes, but when somebody is making money out of it, then it's not nice any more. And this happens more often than you might think: we have found hundreds of cases of our photos infringed and used commercially without authorization.
If somebody would sell high class luxury travel tours costing 5.000$ showcasing your photos, wouldn't you get a little bit pissed off? Wouldn't you get even more pissed off after investigating a little bit and finding out that the owners of this company are 3 millionaires? That's just one of the many real cases that happened to us.
Registering the photos online with the experimental 'Eco' system, gives you more protection in case your photos are infringed by an American citizen and in case you decide to sue him (and almost certainly win the trial), then you could obtain an extra reimbursement of the Statutory damages from a minimum of 750$ to 30.000$ per each photo infringed. And if they willingly removed your watermark it can go up to 150.000$ for one single photo!
We are not planning to sue anybody at the moment, that's not the kind of energy we like, but it's good to have a deterrent to increase the chances of seeing your hard work valued.
The whole process is really bureaucratic and it wasn't enjoyable at all. I wasted weeks of my life just to read the regulations, tutorials and guides, since I couldn't afford the opinion of a legal consultant.

We believe in a totally different society and free sharing of resources and creativity. But unfortunately there is no basic income for artists and people are not sharing their food for free with us, so until then, we have to comply with the existing situation and at least try to protect our photos from unwanted usages.

Story of a man along the "Balkan Route"

And then it happens that after weeks you have been escaping from oppression with your wife and six kids, paying dozens of thousands of euros to smugglers, being shot by the police in Iran, crossing the country on the trunk of a car compressed with other 3 people and struggling to breath, walking three days and three nights without food and water to cross the border between turkey and Bulgaria or risking your life in a raft in the sea, being beaten and robbed by Bulgarian police and their dogs, you eventually reach safety, you enter European Union in Croatia. But for some reasons your heart decide to stop beating in the unknown city of Slavonski Brod, and the doctors can't do anything to keep you alive. You leave your wife and the six kids you were bringing with you in desperation but at least they are closer to the promised land. No, you didn't come here to steal the jobs of locals or increase the criminality rate as some of them might claim, you just wanted to live a peaceful life with your family. Now your body will probably rest for ever in foreign land because taking it back to Iraq is too complicated and expensive. This is the story of one of the many heroes, a man that passed away last night in the refugee camp. (His route was elaborated from the stories we heard these weeks while volunteering along the "Balkan route")

Hitchhiking to Sofia, Bulgaria

Yesterday we had a new great start of a new trip! Our "Travel for Peace" new mission, traveling toward the Serbian border to volunteer with fellow humans escaping their homes and forced to endure huge challenges and ask asylum in a foreigner country, usually referred to as "Refugees". But about this more in the next days.  
Otilia​ as usual was really late and at 12am she was still at home packing. After leaving home our luck started to change, and everything came exactly when we needed it: free wifi, a host in Sofia, an offered lunch, Oti's health card withdrawn just minutes before leaving.
At 8pm we were already in Sophia, 7 hours away if you have a private car according to google maps, and basically the same if you hitchhike with the luck on your side, including a lunch gently offered by one of our super funny drivers.
We tested all our language abilities and communicated in Spanish with the first driver, Romanian with the second and English with the third, while they were all Bulgarian. Now you can't say anymore that Bulgarians don't speak foreign languages!
We arrived in time in Sofia to meet our friend Stanislav​ in the center and be later welcomed at his place!
Sadly Davide​ couldn't meet also his old friend Desita​, but maybe next time we'll have more luck.
A great new beginning, we are looking forward for the next days!

My map of religious diversity according to country of birth

Religious diversity mapReligious diversity map

For some time I had this idea in mind, and now that I spared a couple of hours I put it into practice. I wanted to create a map about religious diversity, showing how most of the people in the world choose their religion (actually they are assigned their religion at birth) according to their family and country, and not according to faith.

For me it is quite obvious and it wouldn't need a map, but for many people unfortunately it's not. I found always quite funny the idea that 100 meters before a border there are 90% Catholics, and just 100 meters after 90% Muslims, and quite humorous (thought extremely sad) to think that wars, political parties, and people in general are fighting according to believes that they didn't even choose themselves.
My map about Religious diversity doesn't want to be anything close to scientific, and there might even be some mistakes in the color, since I didn't review all the countries. It was just to put an idea into a map and take a break from my duties.
I used as a source the data from the CIA report "The World Factbook" and when the percentage was not written, I searched for the country on Wikipedia. If also there there were no details, then I classified the country as "No data".
There were also a few countries were the official data were different than the reality (just think of China, North Korea and Russia to name a few), but I still classified them according to my 2 sources. Also it looks like the CIA used mixed data itself, mostly taken from the latest census, but sometimes just estimates, possibly far from reality. Other times there were differences between practicing and non-practicing worshipers, but mostly not.

The red color is denoting countries where one single sub group (I haven't written religion, because I would consider subgroup also atheist) was over 60% of the population. With subgroup I mean Christian Catholics, Christian Orthodox, Muslim Sunni, etc. When the percentage was below 60%, I checked if the whole group (in example Catholics + Protestant + Orthodox) were over 60%. This is the second group with the lighter red color. All the rest was marked with a blue color. So basically there are just a few countries (in the world) where there is no predominant religious group with a percentage superior to 60%.

This still doesn't mean that in the country with the blue country people are more aware of their religion, it might just mean that religion has been more diverse for long time, and now it is passed from generation to generation.
Maybe it would be interesting also to do a different map according to the percentage of people that change their religion in each country.

Hitchhiking Social Experiment In Malaysia: Malay, Chinese or Indian?

In Malaysia it's all about ethnic groups. Since the first moment we entered we had to face the reality that 3 main different ethnics groups are living together but somehow separated, mixing in some cases, staying on their own in others.

Out of curiosity, since the first ride we took coming from Singapore, we started to count the ethnicity of each driver.

Tomorrow morning we are leaving by ferry to Thailand, so we can declare finished the competition!

And the winner is... wait, wait! It's more complicated than it looks.

We got the following rides in about 1 month of travel:

Malay: 14

Chinese: 11

Indians: 8

Pakistani (all from Peshawar): 3

Thai: 1

 

You might think that Malays are the winners, but actually we should relate the number of rides to the percentage or population by ethnic groups!

Better would be the percentage of car owners by ethnic groups, and then to take into consideration the ethnicity in each region of travel, but it would get too complicated for a funny game, and I don't know where to get those data.

According to Wikipedia, Malay are about 60%, Chinese 24% and Indians 7%. If we divide the number of rides by the percentage we get:

Malay: 0,23 rides (for each point of percentage)

Chinese: 0,46

Indians: 1,14

Surprise! The ranking is actually reverse and Indians are the winner with more than double the rides of Chinese and 5 times more than Malays!

So our conclusion is that if you are hitchhiking in Malaysia, you have more chances to get a ride with a Malay, but actually Indians are the most generous!

Great Hornbill in Langkawi! I finally made it!

Great Hornbill in LangkawiGreat Hornbill in Langkawi

It has been a long quest, from the rain forest of Borneo to the oldest forest of the world in Malaysia, but eventually I've made it!

I managed to spot 5 exemplars of Great Hornbills on top of a tree just a few meters away from me, in Langkawi Island. While the island is still covered in jungle, it is not pristine as other national parks, so I wasn't expecting it to happen here. But when hope was starting to fade out, eventually this huge mythological bird showed up!

And once in a while I have to be proud of myself and in particular of my persistence. Because of the very bad haze, all outdoor activities were forbidden for 2 days by the Malaysian authorities, so that all of our plans had to change.

Despite this I decided to climb the highest peak of the island (Not a big deal at 880 meters) on my own, Oti wanted to stay home, she didn't feel like inhaling the harmful gases to have no visibility and view whatsoever.

After hitchhiking to the start of the trail, I started to climb the 4200 steps to the top. It took me 1 hour 20 minutes instead of the 2 hours 15 minutes suggested, despite I had to do 5 stops and I took it easy. I climbed with my Totobobo mask to filter the pollutant, but it's not the easiest task to hike with an anti-pollution mask, since the body needs more oxygen, while the mask is limiting its intake. So I had to slow down and take regular stops to breath more deeply.

It was 94% umidity, and my T-shirt at the top was totally soaked in sweat, as if I would deep it into water.

Davide totally sweat and unrecognizable after climbing 4200 stepsDavide totally sweat and unrecognizable after climbing 4200 steps

The way to the top was quite disappointing, in the sense that I didn't spot anything, and I found haze+fog to wait for me at the top.

After 10 minutes rest I soon go down, and I have to fight with an annoying stray dog that starts barking at me. I take stick and stones just in case, and start walking. At the same time I hear the call of the Hornbill from a tree nearby, I raise my head, and here it is just in front of me! The dog still barking at me, I take one photo and check back for the dog, another photo and still looking my back, until the Hornbill flies away, and actually I find out they were 2! It was kind of strange that after the effort in the hike I managed to see it on the car paved road on top! When they fly, they are so big (up to 1.3 meters wing to wing) that they make a very audible sound like of strong wind.

Great Hornbill chewing wood?Great Hornbill chewing wood?

Now I correlate this same sound to our hike in Taman Negara. That means that also there we were extremely close to the great hornbill, but we didn't manage to see it.
On my way to stairs going downstairs, I spot other 3 great Hornbills, before a Spectacle monkey try to jump on one of them, making them running away.
Extremely satisfied I star my way down on an easy pace because of the slippery surface and the recent rain, and in about 55 minutes I'm at the bottom.
What a great memory, the Great Hornbill made my day!

Our new solution against pollution while travelling: Totobobo face mask

Many times we have seen on the television (Well actually we don't own a TV, but you got the point), the images of Beijing completely covered in a thick layer of pollution and we were so sorry for them thinking of how could they live in that inhuman conditions.
Then it came the time for us to go in Indonesia to attend our 1 year Scholarship program, and for the first time we felt the need of wearing anti-pollution masks while cycling and walking in the city, to protect ourselves from the pollution caused by the thousands of motorcycles running on the Indonesian roads (but luckily the situation was not as bad as in Beijing).
We couldn't find a local product that could satisfy our needs and we started searching for information on Internet. That's how we got to know for the first time about Totobobo masks: it looked like the perfect solution for our travels: extremely light, small, reusable with replaceable filters and mostly important effective as the lab test published online were demonstrating.

Oti testing the mask at Totobobo headquarters Oti testing the mask at Totobobo headquarters
Since we couldn't find any distributor for the Indonesian market (it is still possible to buy it online) we bookmarked the website for future reference.
Then 1 year passed fast, and it came time to leave Indonesia.
We left overland, so that our next natural destination was Singapore.
And somehow it came back to my mind the memory of this fantastic mask that could have solved our pollution problems, and that was having its headquarters exactly in Singapore.
But how was it called? Titatiba? Tacadà? Titicaca?
Oh, here it is, Totobobo!
Soon I decided to write to the company, and the Singaporean efficiency didn't let me wait long for a positive answer.
The following day we were already at the Totobobo Headquarters to meet Mr Francis Chu in person, the inventor of Totobobo mask, that after performing some tests donated us some samples to use during our trips!

Little did we know that they would have turned out to be so useful in such a short time. In fact upon entering Malaysia the following week we realized that the peninsula was totally covered in haze.

Haze in Kuala LumpurHaze in Kuala Lumpur
We felt like projected in Beijing reality, but this time for real, the only difference being that we were not in China and that the cause of the pollution was the haze coming from the Indonesian forests on fire in Sumatra, a phenomenon caused by men and sadly repeating every year.
We were so happy to have our new masks and to protect our lungs, and we soon started wearing them, making passer-by curious and staring at us.
At the same time it was a difficult mental step getting used to the idea of wearing permanently a face mask.

Oti with her Totobobo mask in MelakaOti with her Totobobo mask in Melaka

We are ruining so much our environment that in the future every single human might need one, or even a portable air conditioning system creating a special micro-climate, who knows.
But given the situation, it's better to wear a pollution mask while waiting for humans to solve their contradictions, rather than breathing harmful particles.
The need to use the masks in Malaysia was so urgent that we weren't' ready with our homework. In fact we still didn't have modified at that time the shape of the masks to perfectly fit our faces (that means it wasn't working at 100% of its potential), but despite this in about 1 week of usage we reached already the time to replace the filters! Quite a good result for our lungs.

Our used filters after one weekOur used filters after one week
Now after some practice we have managed to find a shape that is fitting exactly our faces (no gaps anywhere between the mask and our skin) and we can't wait to test the new setting to see if they can trap even more pollutants! Actually we hope we won't need our Totobobo masks constantly, to be able to enjoy fresh and clean air, but in case of need we are ready to fight!

From Indonesia to Malaysia: report of our last weeks

After almost one year in Indonesia, we finally had to leave the country, simply because our visa was about to expire.

Borders are probably still the first most annoying thing for travelers.

The second are of course deadlines.

And we managed to have also one of those. In fact Oti decided that she wanted to be back to her hometown for an important family celebration at th end of October. That means I had to forget about my ecological principle and book a plane. We managed to make a very good deal, at only 140$ for a flight from Bangkok to Stockholm, Sweden. Ok that's not Romania, but at least much closer.
But first we had to get overland from the middle of Flores island,on east Indonesia, all the way to Bangkok on Thailand. Over 5000 km hitching rides and joining ferries where needed. We are right now in Malaysia but still not able to enjoy.

Petronas Tower and haze in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaPetronas Tower and haze in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The situation with the haze, the smoke coming from burning forests in Sumatra (how terrible) it's just unbearable. Not really for the smell or health consequence, but mostly because of the gray and depressing atmosphere. We strongly advise against visiting Malaysia when there is haze, there is no visibility and it's a total loss of tine. According to the wind there might be some areas that are still clean.

What we enjoyed was no doubt Singapore. After one year of Indonesia, it was fresh air for our souls. No garbage, everything smooth and working, many more eating options for vegetarians. A good stop to recharge a little bit our batteries.

Despite this we still miss Indonesia and our life there, I guess this experience will stay close to our hearths for long time to come.

Last weeks in Indonesia!

A very fast updated, since we are in a hurry to reach Komodo National park!
We have had some great weeks travelling to the east in Indonesia, and we'll start writing articles as soon as we will stop a bit!


Our highlights so far:

- Rinjani Volcano

- Bromo Volcano

- Jatiluwih rice fileds in Bali

- Local Hospitality in East Java

 

Stay Tuned!

The worst deal of my life: Second hand shopping in Indonesia

The worst deal of my life: this is my experience buying a second hand item (external hd) in Indonesia, through the two main website, OLX and Kaskus:
1) Since a small discount means still good money saved for the buyer, but very bad in percentage, second hand items are almost the same price as new one, and without warranty. Often they even sell it for an higher price of the new ones, because they are full of movies downloaded from internet that add value...;
2) They sell so fast you have to skyrocket to the seller before he is selling to somebody else;
3) My first missed attempt was after weeks of researches and contacts that didn't work out. After some extenuating hours contracting with a guy through sms, we eventually agree he gives me his home address and I jump on my bycicle to go on the other side of the city to pick it up.
Exactely on that moment I receive an sms saying that he just sold it to somebody else because he offered more, and I start to swear at him. He argues he was afraid I couldn't make it by bicycle to his house, so since he was afraid I could cancel the deal, he decided to cancel it instead...
4) More days pass and I become "desperate" starting to see also for options in other cities, increasing exponentially scam risk. And in fact the second attempt was with a guy with whom I spoke at the phone, and he was saying he was trustable, he was a father, etc. and to make me more relaxed he sent me a copy of his Id card to my email. I do reverse image search on Google, and I found out it was a fake ID, and he did already scam other people!
5) Yesterday I eventually contact another guy in the same city, we agree on a price really overpriced for the value, but I accept because he tells me he has also warranty. Once we meet (40 minutes by bicycle to go in the city) he eventually doesn't have any warranty, but he gives me his personal warranty!! F*$%!&K
I was so desperate (hard disk and camera memory cards full since weeks and starting travelling in a couple of days) that after doing some fast tests, I still took the Hard disk, since he looked a nice and trustable guy.

Moral of the story is that not to create a demand on the market, not to finance Coltan wars and smuggling, and not to produce extra electronic waste, I took a second hand HD without warranty, saving only 14% compared to a new one with warranty in a shop, and wasting weeks of daily reasearches and contacts.
Probably the worst deal of my life!

Why I refused a paid trip with free accommodation, food and transportation to Sumatra

In the last years I've been quite strict against air travel, that according to statistics is the most pollutant way of transporting yourself around for pleasure or business alike, up to 20 times more pollutant than a bus covering the same distance and 15 to 25 times more pollutant than a train (Up to infinite times if the train is powered by renewable electricity).

I wrote also another detailed article only on the subject of travel emissions focused on airplane pollution, with many sources, data and explanations that you can read later here: Travel Sustainability and Flights.
That's why some years ago I decided to use airplanes only when really needed, or only when I was not financing the Airline companies (In example with promotional free tickets or Error Fares) and I started travelling exclusively overland, mainly hitchhiking. My challenge lasted for almost 3 full years, 954 days of uninterrupted travel overland, until I had to take a flight from Romania back to my home country, Italy, because I got seriously sick. After (partially) recovering, I started again to travel overland.

Flights are a pollutant mean of transportationFlights are a pollutant mean of transportation

Some weeks ago I read an article somewhere stating that if flights were to be divided equally and sustainably among all the 7 billions inhabitants of Planet Earth, we would get to fly only ONCE in our whole life. Quite shocking, isn't it? Are you sure you made the right choice on where to invest your only trip? We are really privileged, and not recognizing it, we are abusing our possibilities.
Now we are in Indonesia, and our Darmasiswa program, the scholarship we are attending sponsored by Indonesian Government, is slowly reaching its end, with just a couple of weeks of classes left (but with a couple of months more to travel after).
That's why in the last 4 days it took place the closing ceremony in Padang, Sumatra, calling all the almost 700 international students (fewer are actually still in Indonesia) to gather all together in the same location and celebrate.
While I would have liked to participate, enjoy the activities organized for us, have the possibility to discover a small portion of Sumatra, and get to know the other participants of the Darmasiswa program, I decided to refuse.
Not an easy decision for a low budget traveller like me, when you are proposed free round trip flights, free accommodation in fancy hotels, food and activities.
But my first reaction to the idea of moving by plane hundreds of students and assistants from all over Indonesia for 2 days (4 days including travel time) for a self-referencial and self-celebrating event with an unrealistically tight schedule, and then ship them back, still by plane, was just of repulsion. Is it possible that out of hundreds of people, with some of whom I spoke personally and claimed to be ecologist, I was the only one who didn't even consider one moment taking 4 flights and covering up to 4000km for 2 days of event?

After all everybody complains about pollution here in Indonesia, only to jump one second after on their motorbikes and contribute to create that pollution: comfort comes before environmental responsibility for many unfortunately. It makes me think of one of the slogan of the worldwide cyclist event "Critical Mass" when addressing to car drivers and telling them that they are not blocked in the traffic, they ARE the traffic!
While I knew since the beginning that the ceremony was going to take place, I felt quite disappointed to see that nobody cared of my simple request of being allowed to travel overland, assuming on myself all the consequences: it would have meant 8 hours by train from Yogyakarta to Jakarta and from there an eternal and uncomfortable non-stop 48 hours ride by bus-ferry-bus to Pandang, the location of the event. So a total of 6 days trip for a 2 days event. You need quite a lot of motivation to embark in such a journey, and that would have deserved some acknowledgment or at least an answer. Yes an answer, because I've never received any answer to my direct request of being allowed to travel overland to the organization committee in Jakarta, and my always helpful local coordinator, this time apparently couldn't do anything to help me.
Moving hundreds of people for a 2 days event and generating tons of emissions that could be easily avoided or at least reduced, from my point of view is a great abuse.
Have I changed thw world with my choice? No. Have I lost maybe the only opportunity in my life to visit Sumatra? Probably not. Do I regret my choice? Not at all.
If only a few people will read this article and start taking responsibility for their actions and their consequences, my time spent writing these few paragraphs will be well spent.
So if you still haven't done so, have a look at this detailed report explaining with data and tables why is it so bad to use Airplanes: Travel Sustainability and Flights.

Sound of Sand festival: three days of music and good vibes

Spontaneous collective hug at the end of the pantomime performance the last daySpontaneous collective hug at the end of the pantomime performance the last day

Last week we attended the first edition of Sound of Sand festival, in Gumuk Pasir, not far from Parangritis beach. A great occasion to recharge our batteries with good energy and to share some inspiration!
We really didn't know what to expect, since it was the first edition of the event and also the program of the festival changed along the way, with the dj area canceled short before the event. But this didn't affect the success of the festival, with over 200 people coming not only from the surroundings of Yogyakarta, but as far as Jakarta, Bali and Bandung, not to mention Singapore and Japan.

Entrance from the road to the festival area of Sound of SandEntrance from the road to the festival area of Sound of Sand

Since the first moment we heard of this idea, we were sure we wanted to go and to support and help growing Sound of Sand. The organizers are actually our neighbors living just hundreds meters away from us, two really generous and humble people that deserve our admiration for their hard work to make this event possible.

Welcome home! Entrance to the festival areaWelcome home! Entrance to the festival area

I'm actually not sure if they were able to recover the expenses of the audio equipment rental, construction and organization, since they put a very low price of 75.000 Rp as entrance ticket, about 6$ for the 3 days, to promote the event and make it known for future editions, and to allow everybody to have the chance to participate. And being the first event of this kind on that land, they had some extra expenses to set up facilities, like concrete toilets, pump for water, plenty of showers and drinking water purified with a carbon filter.
All the work were done on a voluntary basis, with some final tasks still going on during the first few hours of the event. But everything was incredibly good and ready to be enjoyed for the rest of the festival: we were actually quite surprised to see how good were the facilities, since we weren't expecting anything that "stable" but more temporary kind of services.
The land was just perfect, hidden away from the crowds and unwanted attentions, but at the same time easy to find. Plenty of camping space below a refreshing forest, sand dunes, sea not far away and wide open space for the stage and activities.

Map of Sound of Sand festival areaMap of Sound of Sand festival area

We later found out that in the same land, they used to gather hippies in the '70: that's probably also why this land was so dense of energy.
The musical choice on the stage was varied and many bands and performers joined the event.

Jan, the clown on stiltsJan, the clown on stilts

Since it took place in the middle of April, rainy season was not completely over, and schedule quite flexible according to the rain.
The first day we arrived quite late in the afternoon, but apparently it was a relaxed day waiting for people to arrive and set up. After choosing a place where to put our tent for the next 3 days and getting comfortable with the surroundings, it was time for the first series of concert, with Indonesian and international artists, performing till 1 at night.
The concerts started calmly with acoustic music played by several bands, and ended up with people dancing in front of the stage on the hip-hop notes of "stinky durian" and reggae-ska rhythm of Black Finit, my personal favourite band of the day.

Musical performances at the stage, with live colour projections "Liquid Light Show" from VJ BijiMusical performances at the stage, with live colour projections "Liquid Light Show" from VJ Biji

After the music was over and the electricity off, rainy season decided to make us a great present and to allow us to admire a clear night sky, dark because of the new moon, with thousands of stars and the milky way. Quite impressive considering we were no more than 20km away from a major city.

Quiet in front of a bonfire and under the stars of Sound of SandQuiet in front of a bonfire and under the stars of Sound of Sand

The fears of the beginning, of Muslim associations showing up trying to interrupt undesired events as it's unfortunately common in Yogyakarta, turned out to be true, but they couldn't do anything against the impeccable organization and firm will of the organizer. All the papers were in order and a police patrol didn't find anything "immoral" at the extreme organization dislike.

Relaxing on a tree trunkRelaxing on a tree trunk

The second day started with a little bit of laziness. Options for food were plenty, with two warungs inside the festival area offering cooked meals, and a kitchen area where to commonly cook food for free, eating on a donation basis.
We went for a walk to the seaside, just 200 meters away, to enjoy the view of the roaring Indian Ocean, before relaxing and drinking the juice of a tasty coconut.

Roaring Indian Ocean not far from Parangritis beachRoaring Indian Ocean not far from Parangritis beach

Saturday was the only full day of the festival, and it was supposed to be focused not only on music, but also on workshops, given on a voluntary basis by the attendants. If there is one thing we feel like "complaining" a little bit, was the little communication about the workshops.
We wanted to attend many, but missed some of them taking place in unknown places at obscure time of the day. But we still managed to speak about gender issues in Indonesia, learn some basics of nitting and recycling plastic bags, enjoying a "holi style" colour fight (Thanks Mas Ivan!), and practicing contemporary dance and acroyoga.

Holi Colour fight during Sound of SandHoli Colour fight during Sound of Sand

An enthusiastic participant spinkled with coloursAn enthusiastic participant spinkled with colours

Practicing acroyoga and acrobaticsPracticing acroyoga and acrobatics

For the next edition thought, a black board with a flexible schedule to be constantly updated would suffice to make the experience of everybody more enjoyable!
After and during the workshops more concerts were performed, before a big storm hit the area, with strong rain and lightnings. Everybody was safe, but a few tent got flooded or broken, with some people that had to look for hospitality in other's shelters. We later found out that even in Jogja they had a quite bad time with a, electrical black out lasting almost 2 hours.

Day after the storm: lines full of drying clothesDay after the storm: lines full of drying clothes

Once the adrenaline of the lightning storm was over, music on the stage was already playing ready to welcome again its happy audience.
Last day was definitely my favourite: it was the most spontaneous one and it reminded me of Rainbow Gatherings.

Circling in the cooking areaCircling in the cooking area

I don't know if it was planned to be like that, my feeling is that it just turned out to be, with no previous planning.

A "screaming performance" full of energyA "screaming performance" full of energy

Collaboration between artistsCollaboration between artists
While people were recovering from the harsh night, because of little sleep with the storm, drying clothes, fixing tents and getting some more sleep, some notes started to be audible from the cooking area. It revealed to be a symbiotic and harmonic mix of spontaneous music, pantomime, bands, happy kids, clown on stilts, screaming performances and many more I now forget, that ended up with a collective hug: definitely my high energetic point of the festival.

One moment of the great performance of the PantomimeOne moment of the great performance of the Pantomime

The first hug of the seriesThe first hug of the series

A special mention for Briegel, the core of Maladialum band bringing back memories of the Sigur Ros, always ready to share his special energy and his music, and to the amazing pantomime Wanggi Hoediyatno.

Briegel, Djack and more happy people sharing their spontaneous musicBriegel, Djack and more happy people sharing their spontaneous music

The Littlelute band  from Bandung was the main "official" guest of the morning, an incredible mix of people, with the Singer that looked like a tiny sweet doll, and the other band members that seemed like randomly taken from a vintage Mafia movie or a beach in Bali: a strange mix but with great music and vibes that we definitely enjoyed!

Littlelute band entertaining the audienceLittlelute band entertaining the audience
We ended our festival with a little bit of stretching attending the Ashtanga Yoga class with Noel and Karolina from Yoga-Karta, before sadly packing our staff and luckily being picked up by some fellow festival goers while hitchhiking back to Yogyakarta.

Practicing ashtanga yoga. Photo by Noel and KarolinaPracticing ashtanga yoga. Photo by Noel and Karolina

To end up this short, or maybe too long, hopefully helpful report, a great thanks to DJack and Dimas for putting all of their energy and savings on this events, and to every single person and performer that shared its vibes with us! Dimas and Djack, the two main organizers of Sound of SandDimas and Djack, the two main organizers of Sound of Sand

Probably we won't be there for the second edition of Sound of Sand, but if you happen to be around Jogya at that time, don't miss the opportunity to refill your batteries!

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 Where are we now: England

 Going to:  Wales, Scotland

View of Land's End arch and cliffs in Cornwall

  Today we were lucky to manage to hitchhike to Land's End, one of the extremities of U ...

Transfagarasan road in Romania seen at night

I took this photo on my second night spent camping next to Balea Lake, after hitchhiking on t ...

Fireworks in front of Castel San'Angelo in Rome

Since some years on June 29th in Rome, there is a historical representation called "La girand ...

Portrait of a local woman in a traditional Indoensian village

This is a portrait I took of a local woman in the village of Nage, in Flores, Indonesia. Nage ...

Sunrise in Jatiluwih rice fields in Bali

While we have seen many rice fields in Java and in the rest of Indonesia, the rice terraces o ...

Sunset between the clouds in Gunung Lawu, Indonesia

This year we decided to spend an alternative Easter. Far away from our families in the bigges ...

A magic place in Kefalonia island: Melissani cave

We still have so many amazing places to write about, but time is not always our friend. Last ...

Sunset in Kasongan, Indonesia: red explosion

After the previous photo of the day, picturing the sunset in Paragritis beach, this is the sh ...

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About Us

Davide Vadal? and Otilia Lefter

We are Davide and Otilia, an international couple with itchy feet, living a non conventional life traveling around the world and learning everyday something new....
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