Eyes of SWILD

  The Ancient Island of Nias - Off The Coast of Sumatra, Indonesia

Local boogeyman

After a long overnight trip in the hold of a very hot Chinese freighter, I arrived with a handful of backpackers on the remote island of Nias, off the coast of Sumatra. This gentlemen was part of the local 'welcoming committee'. I have no idea what he was wearing.

Stone spirit guards

Nias has an interesting history with a bit of cannibalism thrown in for good measure. Some of the villages are pretty ancient, having been carved out of rocks eons ago. These talisman or spirit guards can be found throughout the island. .

Rice paddies

When there is a rare clearing of the jungle and forest, Nias has some beautiful rice paddies. Transport is difficult around the island. I rented a motorcycle that only came with a driver. Still, we didn't get lost too many times.

Local transport

The only way to the other side of the island from the ferry was by jumping on an ancient motorcycle. Balancing my backpack was sure tricky.

$3/night beach huts

Beach huts cost $3/night and had great views of the bay. Many surfers were there as this bay has a perfect break. At low tide, a lot of coral is exposed, so it isn't all paradise for the surfers.

Lobster sales

The local kids sell the fresh catch of the day on the beach. Lobster and fresh fish could be cooked by the owner of the beach huts for a small fee.

Beach sales

I was always amazed by the strange and weird items for sale from the local fishermen. No matter how many islands I visit, there's always some new creature for sale to be eaten.

Flying horned beetles

My guide shares with me a pet flying horned beetle that is tied to a piece of string. Let it go and it buzzes around in circles trying to escape. Just stay clear of its enormous horns.

Stone Villages

Some of the old Nias villages have stone carvings. Many artifacts are for sale, some original, some new for visitors.

Jumpers of Nias

Jumping over stone mounds is a tradition in Nias. Where it came from, I don't know. Jumping is the easy part. Landing on the stone ground is when it gets interesting.