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mentawai's: travel/accomodations on-land« on: June 05 2007 02:06:00 »
i'd like to get to the mentawai's as cheaply as possible, stay locally in losmen, and in general get away from the influence of westerners. i'm doing a solo trip in about a month.
first: what's the best way to get there from the west coast of the US. fly to Pandang? would it be much more expensive to travel through Bali?
my biggest worry is theft. one of the things i'm most worried about is my stuff dissappearing while i'm out surfing. how can i make sure i am staying somewhere trustworthy and secure?
wrt finding local losmen to stay in, what are some good resources to use for this? websites? guide books? local places to go for information?
finally, i've read that the corrupt authorities sometimes need to be paid off for safe passage. when should i expect to have to do this and how much is reasonable to pay?