2008-09-02 Indonesia 1 (English)

Indonesia 1

Hello everyone,

We were lucky to start a few days ahead of the rally. A lot of wind blew us in 3 days to Kupang and when the rally really started the wind was gone and people had to motor all the way. Unfortunately not everything went so smoothly. We had to wait two days for quarantine so we couldn’t leave the boat. After that we were the first boat to be impounded by customs. After us 116 other boats were impounded! This makes a lot of international disturbance but paperwork is a very important and big thing in Indonesia. Only after intervention of president Bambangjano papers are signed, everyone pays an extra fee and we are free to go. Some skippers are already stressed and far in the red zone and one decides it’s all too much and returns to Australia. Whatever, in Kupang you’re in another world. It stinks, there are hundreds of Bemo’s, little busses where a western people hardly fit in, and thousands of mopeds. Everywhere are little shops and dinettes where you get an excellent full meal for just a dollar. The rally organization came up whit a list with sky-high prices. But as you all know we are Dutch. We go to the local laundry and pay about a tenth of the price, we arrange beer and take fuel at the regular pump station for about half the price. It is wonderful to deal with the local people. Despite the language you can get anything and a little tip is highly valuated. A normal day wage is about 5 € but there a not many jobs. For the first ceremony Jacky and I were picked out to represent the group. On the big stage we are welcomed by the major and we get a nice ikat. We take him and a few others to our boat and we find ourselves the next day with big pictures at the front page in the news papers. Together with all other cruisers we get a nice free tour to the hinterland and with the loud siren of the police in front and two ambulances at the back we travel in ten mini busses. After several villages with many interesting things to see and with always a very enthusiastic and warm welcome we arrive at a track so bad that you would think twice to enter  it with a 4WD. One and a half hour bumping around, steep slopes and much dust brings us to Boti. No western culture here but many mysterious and old habits. Specially for our visit a pig is killed right under our eyes and it’s blood caught in a bucket. At the same time the hair of a baby  is cut with a knife. We understood that this was a very important ritual in their animistic religion, however expla-nation is hard because these people don’t speak Dutch, English or Bahasa Indonesia. The lunch they prepared for us was wonderful.


After paying another small fee we leave Kupang. We leave the rally for a while and we decide to go the surfers paradise of Rote to recover from the bad air (almost everybody  has got the flue and the first sounds of malaria and dengue fever are heard, we haven’t seen a bug yet….). After Rote we join the rally again and we head for Lembata. This track is an over-nighter and we have a lot of current against us all the way. Approaching the land is an extraordinary experience. Big volcanoes everywhere and we admire the landscape. We get a traditional welcome in Lembata and immediately after that little trucks and mopeds apear for a tour through the city. We make another tour and we see how ikat is made and how they make arak and how it tastes. A whole village population throws itself in the sea to fish with their bare hands. In the mean time life goes on and wehave to sail and go west. We keep beautiful Flores to our port side and despite the ‘no wind’ reputation we can sail about half the time. Every now and then we visit places where the organization arranged welcome parties and other activities and then again we anchor in remote and peaceful surroundings. In Mausambi people made a big effort  to please us. A beautiful welcome diner with music and dance, just awesome. I got my trumpet from board and together with Lida, from Colombia, we did a song. Later the speaker of the evening invited me to join him in his Tom Jones (still going strong in Indonesia) song. Unfortunately the anchorage was so bad that we decided to leave and left the festivities for what they were. Right now we are at the west side of Flores and shortly we head for the Komodo’s. We gonna meet dragons and monkeys.

For now all the best to you and soon you’ll receive part 2,

Rob and Jacky

 

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Reacties 1

Fien 21-10-2008 09:00

Bedankt voor de gezellige tijd die we tot nu toe samen gehad hebben. We zullen jullie missen wanneer onze boten weer een andere richting uit varen

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