2008-11-11 Indonesia 3 (English)

Indonesia 3

Hallo everyone,

The two weeks we were on Bali can only be described as fantastic. We started with a gala dinner in a beautiful restaurant with top food.  In total we hired for six days an 125CC motor and we criss-crossed the island extensively. The traffic is often outrageous and chaotic  but as long as you go with the flow  you’re all right. The first two days we did the east side of the island, first a long coastal road and later we get our first hills. We end up in the little village Sideman in the middle of green hills with rice paddies. I’m early next morning and I walk into the village where the market is already in full swing. A young lady walks and talks with me to take me home to her little shop at the end. She immediately settles herself  in a kind of machine and continues weaving an earlier started  “Songket”.  I am truly amazed about the fineness of this kind of work. The cloth is made of threads thinner than a hair and it takes about three months to finish one. But, as you know, nothing happens without the Admiral so I take the story back and at breakfast I wake up some curiosity with my fellow travellers. To go short, everybody was impressed and we bought one and Hans and Fien bought two. We’re very pleased with this beautiful souvenir. After this investment we enjoy the rides on our motorbikes. Steep slopes, up to 1700 meters, and descents make the driving quiet an experience. There is a lot to see and we stop about everywhere to have a look and a chat. Of course we are in deep trouble when the police stops us. They are especially keen on the non-locals and they ask us to show the international drivers license we don’t have. I show my Dutch license and Hans shows his Australian one but it’s not good enough. After a lot of deliberations we end up with a fine of 5 dollar. No ticket! Further we get the advice not to pay at a possible next check point. And indeed 15 Km further on another Pos Polisi directs us at the side of the road and asks for international drivers licenses. First they don’t understand what we’re telling but we’re very persistent in explaining the situation. Then they understand that we paid already to their colleagues and that everybody is happy and we are allowed to drive on. The system works! We decide to go to Kuta for an extra day because the ladies have to do some shopping. Besides that we want to visit the monument of the Bali-bombing. We didn’t know that Java had holyday and it’s busy, busy, busy. The ladies buy nothing because it’s all junk they say and we can’t find a hotel because everything is booked. We drive and drive and find nothing.  At last, when it is already pitch dark, we find a slovenly hostel in Bedegul. This place is situated on top of a hill and it was foggy and bloody cold when we arrived. Although the hostel wasn’t really top class we’re happy to have found a bed and we decide to go nowhere and stay put. The next morning we’ve breakfast with a mountain of Nasi-Goreng and we find nice off the track little roads through the hills. Some slopes are very steep and some of them exceed 25%. We stop at a place where something appeared to happen. There is a big wedding going on and we are welcomed like a bunch of old friends. Much later as we arrive in Lovina we are tired but also very satisfied with the Bali-experience we had. The load of impressions you get are so overwhelming that it’s hard to coop with it. The island has a lot to offer and out of the tourist area’s it’s just wonderful. The people are extraordinary friendly what adds again a lot to the total experience.  Unfortunately it’s time to go. I see on my maps that we only covered half the distance in Indonesia until now. We have to do some sailing in the last weeks. Because we stayed a bit longer at Bali we decide to go to Belitung in one go. The more we get to the west the more the wind dies and we have to use the motor a lot.  We arrive as second boat and the welcoming was the most warm and special we ever had. We meet Tejo and Marleen of Chuligi. Last time we saw them was six years ago in the Caribbean. Belitung is in a state of excitement and truly everything is done to make the welcome of the yachties something special. A team of guides and helpers is always standby and every question or demand is a matter of minutes. Everything in good spirit and always with a smile. When we go to town we get journalists as company and we chit chat about everything. Of course there is again a lot of front page news about us and that we had a “Bakso”  (soup) for lunch was also big news. But they were nice guys and we’ll not easily forget them.  Many of the locals grab the chance to visit one of the boats. Also many of them get seasick on a ship that doesn’t move as far as we’re concerned. At Fien’s boat it goes completely wrong when a young lady throws up. Luckily the bucket was in hand reach. I can solve the problem with the furling in a workshop and despite the problem with the language the result looks  good. Every evening there is something organized and we get a beautiful program. But the Sunday afternoon broke all limits. With only a handful of boats arrived yet  there were about  10.000 islanders gathered at the beach of the anchorage. Just to look at us, make a little chit chat but especially to make pictures of their self, or the whole family, with a yachty as decoration. We felt like real celebrities. From far you saw them giggle and push one in front who had to ask if they could make a picture with you. Another highlight was the visit to hospitable Dick Bakker, a Dutch Indonesian, and his wife in his self build palace at sea. The lunch we used was spectacular and we had big fun. At the final evening we had another nice party and Lyda and Peter sang songs and I played trumpet again. It made the goodbye only more difficult. We found that the people of Belitung really made it something special and leave friends behind isn’t a pleasant thing to do. With regret we say goodbye to  Maddie, Edi, Lita, Bobby, Jony, Bastiaan and the very special Novita and many others. That was it for Indonesia! We are cleared and can make two additional stops before we cross the busy Singapore street. We cross the equator and after 4.5 years we leave the southern hemisphere. Our AIS (Automatic Identification System), that plots all big ships on our electronic maps, makes overtime and is tested up to the limits. At a certain moment we had more than 250 ships moving over our map. You understand we made the crossing sound and save and now we are in Sebana cove in Malaysia only 30 Km west of Singapore. We definitely need a break now……

 

Greetings,

Rob and Jacky

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Reacties 1

Piet Hein van Double Dutch 06-02-2009 09:16

Net eventjes je webbie open gemaakt, Heel goed. goede vaart gewens . groeten Piet Hein

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