Ok, its time to lay my cards on the table. I did _0_ planning for this trip, and it shows.
I flew into Jakarta, not knowing where I was going to go next. I then bought a ticket to Makassar, and flew there the next day, not knowing much about it, other than it was on the same island as the place I wanted to end up...
Well, there are a couple problems:
1. It's raining non stop here in southern Sulawesi.
2. Central sulawesi is in a up-and-down state of civil war/disturbances. Thus, everyone advises against land-based travel from south to north.
The place i want to end up -- the Togean Islands, is a total pain in the ass to get to. I first need to go to one of two places on the east/north east side of Sulawesi, and then take a ferry to there. Except that the ferry only leaves twice a week, so timing is critical.
However, I think I've got it sorted out.
I fly to Gorontalo tomorrow, wait 4 hours or so, and then board an overnight ferry to the Togean Islands. I managed to (hopefully) reserve a cabin on the ferry, through an SMS exchange with a british guy who runs a diving shop on the islands.
On Jan 18, I catch the overnight ferry back to Gorontalo, and 4 hours after arriving, board an Air Asia flight back to Jakarta. The night of the 19th, I stay in jakarta, and the 20th, I fly back to the US.
All in all, I wasted about 2 days and $50 or so to fly to Makassar and then Gorontalo, instead of flying directly there..but, well, thats the cost of not planning.
I'll have Internet (i think) in Gorontalo tomorrow, so I should be able to blog a little bit before I get on the ferry. After that though, I expect to be off the Internet for the following 30 days. No phone, no SMS, etc.
If I need to be reached, and its an emergency, the Black Marlin diving shop has a representative in Gorontalo, and messages might be able to get sent back and forth between them and the islands..however, it won't be speedy.
So, by Saturday morning, I should be on the islands... my buddy Mike flies in on Tuesday night to Jakarta, and should hopefully be with me by Thursday.