01 September 2015

SnoozeToob Vario \\// an ultralight outdoor allrounder

The SnoozeToob Vario transcends outdoor categories and gear labels.
Quilt. Blanket. Hammock. Tarp. Poncho. Jacket. An ultralight super shelter.
This MYOG (make your own gear) project started as something between a joke experiment and something tangible and useful:


Now it has evolved into my favorite self made outdoor gear project that perfectly matches my travel needs of ultra light, ultra versatile, nice, easy and compact.


30 May 2015


This unlikely story began last Wednesday with this email:
"Seeking: Partner for airplane-based camping adventure(s), possibly involving hot springs, quaint small towns, and/or pancakes.“
Come watch the story unfold...
Shot and cut on iPhone 5C using iMovie app
"Soft Beast" by Teeth Mountain (myspace.com/teethmountain)

28 March 2013

AMBOI - the journey in motion

AMBOI is a malay-indonesian saying to express "wow", "beautiful", "awesome". our journey across the archipelago breaks down to this simple word: amboi

Roadjunkies in the "Land of the Heavenly Kings"

As the sun rises we drive by the waves of the Makassar Strait pounding furiously against the cliffs. Our comfortable night bus is bound for the "Land of the Heavenly Kings" commonly known as Tana Toraja. I sit back and trip down the memory lane of the past few days.

Only yesterday an AirAsia Airbus had delivered us conveniently in Makassar - AirAsia's eastern most Indonesian destination. For me it's the fourth time in Makassar. Friendly people, a relaxed atmosphere and outstanding delicacies always make me come back. This time with my boyfriend Craig.

Catching the sea breeze we strolled about Makassar's popular Losari beach. With fantastic bay views we enjoyed some mouthwatering "Ikan Bakar" (baked marinated fish) and local favorite "Coto Makassar" (beef soup mixed with innards) from a street hawker. As billboards illuminate the nightly activity I noticed how fast the city had evolved into a vivid metropolis offering everything from top-end hotels and mega malls to one of the world's largest indoor fun parks (Trans Studio Makassar).

Now we will swap the pleasures of the urban lifestyle in sun-pampered Makassar for exotic culture and off-the-beaten-track nature in chilly Tana Toraja - an exciting first-time for both of us!

In the local tourism office helpful staff recommends us various outdoor activities in the hilly area such as wild water rafting, hiking, horse-back riding and of course cultural highlights of the Toraja people.

From our hostel we set off with a rented motorbike to explore the region. Our first stop is a traditional weaving village set amidst curling paddy fields on the slope of the towering Gunung Sesean. On the way we already glimpsed the world-famous "Tongkonan". Anthropologists still wonder if the shape of the high-thatched traditional houses stem from the horn shape of the omnipresent water buffaloes or the shape of ships as the highland Toraja have a naval heritage.

Now we stand in awe amid a compound of a dozen of these both futuristic and exotic looking buildings. The village eldest invites us to see the inside of his family's Tongkonan and offers a more detailed insight. Only minutes later we stop at a roadside Durian stall sampling special versions of the so called "Queen of Fruits" … mmmmmh yummy.

The cultural treasures seem infinite as we explore scary cave graves and a rock face with Tau-Taus (wooden effigies of the dead) on balconies and dozens of hanging coffins bursting with sculls and bones. These are truly places not to be missed by culture enthusiasts.

Both scared and exhilarated we kick back in a hilltop cafe with panoramic views over the "Land of the Heavenly Kings".

Then we hit the road again - or let's say dirt tracks - heading to funeral celebrations in a nearby village. Palm trees drift by and the head wind sweeps my hair as I smile at the farmers in the paddy fields. It‘s a picturesque view that unfolds in front of our eyes.

Suddenly we are ripped from the paradisal atmosphere. The dusty tarmac underneath us slips away. In slow motion I see us falling down and the motorbike skidding shortly before coming to a halt… Shock. Startled. Smoke.
Locals approach us offering their help. Thank god we weren't injured badly and the motorbike barely got a dent. Relieved we take a deep breath and continue our way.

The funeral celebrations are decadent with 35 buffaloes and more cattle being sacrificed and hundreds of guests being welcomed with traditional rites and pampered with food and drinks. On the side a group of men enthusiastically cheers up a rooster fight. As always the charming locals invite us to join them and they explain the celebration proceedings. We are so happy to see with how much enthusiasm the Toraja people preserve and embrace their cultural heritage.

We calm down in the tranquil town of Rantepao sipping Toraja coffee - one of the finest Arabica Coffee on the planet. Some revitalizing foot reflexology and a souvenir shopping spree along the handicraft market near our comfy hostel do their rest. Two days on a pristine palm-lined white sandy beach just an hour south of Makassar offer great snorkeling amid colorful marine life in an eye-popping seascape that glows in radiant shades of emerald.

Makassar and the state of South Sulawesi is truly an indulgence for both the mind and body. The trip exceeded expectations and we‘re definitely coming back again. We board the plane back home with a thousand memories. As the plane takes off we wave goodbye: „Jumpa lagi Makassar!“