2008-11-01 Indonesia 2 (English)

Indonesië 2

Hello everyone,

We left Flores and we are heading to the Komodo’s. We leave as usual without wind, but as soon as we are around the corner of the island it starts to blow a lot suddenly. We’ve got the wind on the nose and we close all windows because the water is splashing over the deck. After 2 hours of hard labor we arrive in the bay where the ranger station is. Fortunately we are the only ones together with the sv Pelikaan. Together with Hans and Fien, we travel already a while together, we go ashore to look to the huge dragons. We get a tour of an hour and we see all kind of animals, dragons, monkeys, deer and buffalos. We have a permit to sail around for 3 days in the Komodo National Park, but everything is stretchable in Indonesia. Next day we’re leaving. We head for Pink Beach and we pick up the only free mooring together with Pelikaan. We have a wonderful time there. Our trip to the island is very special. One time we have the current with us and then we have the current against us and sometimes the water bubbles up violently from the depths. We snorkel a lot and the beach gets indeed pink every evening, awesome. After that we go on to the north side of Komodo. Here we can pick up 2 free moorings. It’s again beautiful and we can’t get enough of the snorkeling. But it is time to leave the Komodos and we go along the island Sumbawa. We did it with day hopping and for 5 days we never went ashore.  On one of the trips the furling in the mast broke and we had to stow away the main sail. We had long day passages and the anchorages were not comfortable. The rolling in one of the anchorages was so bad that we decided to move on at day break as soon as possible.

We want to go straight on to Lombok. A beautiful island again much greener than the others more to the east. In the evening we go ashore, we’d like to have a meal in a restaurant. Unfortunately there is nothing in the village. We charter some boys and they bring us to a cozy restaurant on their scooters. The nights are noisy because of the shouting, or if you wish singing, of the imams in the mosques. It is Ramadan and every mosque tries to outmatch their neighbors in the production of decibels. We again have festivities together with all the yachties. After a few speeches there is no dancing and we only get a few snacks after sunset because of the Ramadan. We are back at the boat very quickly. We go a day to Mataram, the capital of Lombok. We arrive in a real shopping mall. We even can buy biscuits of Verkade (Dutch). We see a large group of imams and mufti´s going to all the food stores to grab disobedient Muslim fellows. It is only 2008! We go to a pottery and to various temples and a place where they make ikats. The bus stops at a place with a lot of monkeys.  They eat out of your hand. We celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fien and Hans at Gili Air. The Gili´s are a group of Isles 5 miles north of Lombok. Because it starts to blow from lunchtime on we go ashore and walk around the island. It is very hot and we drink, lying in the pillows of a beach bar, an ice-cold Bir Bintang. We are not in the tourist season, so fortunately not too many people. Later we enjoy a nice cocktail and a delightful dinner. We see a wonderful sunset and the sun is disappearing behind Gunung Agung on Bali. It was a wonderful party.




Again time to go on and we go to Bali. We leave at 4 o´clock in the afternoon, we want to arrive during daytime next day. The first  4 hours we have a strong wind, 30/35 knots. But then suddenly the wind is away and we have to start the engine. At 7 o´clock we are at the anchorage in Lovina. We wonder how it will be in Bali. After a small nap we go ashore. From the first moment on we like Lovina. Instantly we find the best restaurant in town, the boulevard is full of little stalls and the atmosphere is pleasant. We decide to go to Yogyakarta (Java) to visit the Borobudur, on our own way and not organized. The trip to Yogyakarta, bus ferry bus, will take 13 hours and we don´t dare to look to the capers of the driver. We find a nice hotel and in the evening we go to an open air theater to see the play of Ramayana. There are more than 100 players, it is awesome and it looks like a big Greek drama. The next morning we are on our way to see the Borobudur at sunrise. There is almost nobody and we have the whole temple for ourselves. Huge, interesting and the guide is explaining and explaining. Later on we go to the Hindu temple Prambanan. This temple is partly destroyed by earthquakes but it is also very impressive. In the evening we have dinner at ´Tante Lies´ and the next morning we have to leave early for the trip to the Bromo volcano by minibus. This bus driver also has an unlimited confidence in Allah and sometimes your heart just forgets to beat. We walk unguided to Bromo and we smell the stinking sulphur damp that comes out of the crater. The way back to Lovina on Bali is also very interesting. We have to order a bus from the volcano back to the village, there is no travel agent, we play cards (rikken) in a restaurant, we sit in a Becak (a bicycle for transporting 2 people) on a very busy highway, we wait another hour between 4 most competitive mosques, the bus is a ramshackle, the ferry is overcrowded but we arrived safely in Lovina. Next time more about Bali and the rest of our journey through Indonesia.


Cheers Robert and Jacky

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