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    indo mag

    This past May, a dream of mine came true when I traveled to Indonesia for the first time. Through a very unique travel agency called Momentum (who specialize in adventures) we found an expat named Patti, who has built a beautiful boat that sails around the archipelago. Never did I imagine that we would run our hands through the dark ocean at night and watch it light up with phosphorous, see a Komodo dragon in the wild, swim over a massive sea turtle, or be taught to make native dishes in situ. Special thanks to Momentum for treating us and hosting this trip we were incredibly lucky to take, and will never, ever forget.

    Love,

    gp

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    Indonesian Archipelago

    We sailed a little corner of the Indonesian archipelago, which is comprised of over 17,000 islands, over the course of four days.

    The Boat

    Our amazing boat, the Silolona, was designed after traditional Indonesian trade boats that sailed along the historical Spice Routes.

    Inside one of the boat’s bedrooms.

    Views from the boat.

    right: Nasir + Patti

    Before we set sail off the coast of Labuana, Nasir, one of the crew members who also built the boat, performed an Indonesian ritual for safe passage. Nasir turned out to be a total rockstar - singing, dancing and tandem water skiing with me.

    What we did...

    Moses loathed the tube.

    You can Magiver a toy out of anything in Indonesia.

    BBQ on the island of Banta

    When we would arrive at a new beach, we would all spend 20 minutes picking up the debris that had washed up on shore. Among the refuse are small brown glass bottles, which seem to be everywhere. We saved those and the crew showed us how to turn them into homeade lanterns by filling them with kerosene and making a homemade wick. We lit the beach by perching them on the rocks (see all the little specks of light above). At the end of the night we lit giant rice paper lanterns and sent them off with a prayer. (Moses is now a pyro thanks to this particular evening.)

    We built a fire and watched in awe as the chef cooked a gorgeous traditional Indonesian barbeque of fish, chicken and vegetables with beautiful sauces and salads to accompany.

    Rocking Nasir's world with his first ever s’more.

    Miles Aldridge

    A Drop of Red #2 © Miles Aldridge 2001 The Ecstasy #2 © Miles Aldridge 2002

    Fashion photographer Miles Aldridge has two shows opening in London this week and a new book to boot. Some highlights from Somerset House show above.

    Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You To Love Me
    Somerset House 10 July – 29 September 2013

    Miles Aldridge: Short Breaths
    Brancolini Grimaldi 12 July – 28 September 2013

    Food

    The food on the boat was beyond. Everything was super fresh, with the fish and produce usually picked up from an island the same day or sold to the boat directly from sellers on the water.

    The produce pantry.

    You better like your sous chef in a kitchen this small.

    Croissants baked fresh every morning.

    Chicken satay, tempe, egg, tofu, rice steamed in palm leaf and steamed veggies covered in satay sauce.

    Chef Yudha was kind enough to write a few of the recipes out. Hand illustrations included. See typed recipes below.

    Pepes Ikan (Fish in Banana Leaf)

    ingredients
    makes 4

    • 1 lb Spanish mackerel fillet
    • 6 medium shallots, peeled
    • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2 red chilis, seeded
    • 5 candlenuts (tropical nut used often in Indonesian cuisine - Macadamia nuts are a fine substitute)
    • 2 tomatoes (for the spice paste)
    • 1 1/2 tbsps tamarind paste, soaked in warm water
    • sliced tomato (to top the fish)
    • kaffir lime leaves
    • banana leaf, for wrapping

    preparation

    1. Grind ingredients 2-7 into a smooth paste. (We think this works best in a food processor.)

    2. Cut fish fillet into desired size (the chef recommends the size being the width of 2-3 fingers). Marinate with the spice paste, season with salt and marinate for at least two hours.

    3. Place the fillet in banana leaf and top with tomato slices and lime leaves. Wrap up the fillet with the banana leaf.

    4. Cook over a grill or pan with low fire until fish is cooked through (around 5 minutes).
     

    Tempe Manis (Sweet Tempe)

    ingredients
    makes 4

    • 2 packs of tempe (fermented soy bean)
    • 6 small shallots, thin sliced
    • 8 garlic cloves, thin sliced
    • 2 red chilis, thin sliced
    • 1 piece galangal (a root from the ginger family), sliced & bruised (smash the pieces with the flat part of a knife to release the flavor)
    • 5 kaffir lime leaves
    • 1 lemongrass stalk, smashed
    • 2/3 cup palm sugar, crushed
    • 3 tbsps sweet soy sauce (regular works fine also)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • ½ cup water
    • vegetable oil, for frying

    preparation

    1. Place vegetable oil in large pot over high heat. (The oil is ready when the tempe sizzles when dropped in.) Cut tempe into fine strips and deep fry until crispy. Set aside.

    2. Heat about 2 tablespoons of the frying oil in a stir fry pan or large frying pan over medium high heat. Stir fry shallot, garlic, chili, galangal, lime leaves and lemongrass until fragrant.

    3. Add water, sugar and soy sauce to the pan and heat until almost caramelized.
     

    4. Season with salt and mix in the tempe. Stir well.
    "

    Sambal Colo Colo (Spicy Salsa)

    ingredients
    makes 4

    • 3 tomatoes, diced
    • 4 shallots, diced
    • 1 red chili, diced
    • 1 bird's eye chili, diced
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 1 tbsp lemon basil, chopped
    • salt & sugar to taste
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

    preparation

    1. Mix all ingredients. Stir well. Adjust seasoning to your liking.
     

    The Sights

    Komodo National Park

    We disembarked the boat to go dragon spotting and were a little trepidatious. Kimonos are carnivirous and can run up to 20kmh.

    This did nothing to assuage our fears. Apparently the dragons eat everything but the skulls.

    We spot our first two walking. They don't look so bad.

    View from the top.

    Pink Beach

    We spend an afternoon on Pantai Merah (Pink Beach), which gets its color from the beautiful coral that surronds the islands.

    Sea Commerce

    Around the island of Loh Buaya where many fishing villages are, fishermen would see our ship coming and row up with what they’d caught that day or crafts they’d made. A man sells smoked fish in the picture above.

    Nasir bought some white bait from these kids for dinner that night. He paid for the fish in cans of soda.

    Terima kasih for the best holiday ever.

    Special thanks to Momentum Adventure who treated us and hosted us as their guests throughout this incredible journey.

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