|September, 2007, Indonesia|
|Sorry it has been so long for updating the web page, coming from a developed country to a developing country you have to learn to live without some luxuries. For instance there is no such thing as high speed internet.
To the right is 120 boats leaving Darwin Harbor for the three day, 400 mile sail to Kupang, Indonesia. We left the day after the group and motored the whole way, doing this we averaged 7 knots and arrived at the same time the back of the fleet arrive. To the right we are all anchored in Kupang. The locals couldn't believe their eyes and were very helpful with all our needs, ie: diesel, water, laundry etc. The bottom photo is the dinghy dock, we paid $1.00 a day for help pulling our dinghies ashore and for them to be safe. The local hang out was Teddy's on the beach, seen below, outdoor dining and cold Bintangs.
|Phoebe is running up the steps at Teddy's bar. Kupang is a busy, noisy and untidy city. People everywhere saying "Hello Mister, looky looky". The prices are amazing, we went from paying $.92 cents per litre for diesel in Darwin to $.62 cents in Indonesia. $4.00 for a glass of beer to $1.00 for a large bottle. We could stay here a while. It is cheaper to eat out than cook on the boat. They do not have any dairy here, so I am glad I stocked up in Darwin, as Bali will be the next place to find cheese again. The city was decked out for our arrival with banners and flags from every nation. See if you can figure out what is wrong with the US Flag. Phoebe is dreaming of owning a bike again, the one thing she really misses. Below is how you can buy rice and beans, flies and all.|
|Top left is a little girl standing under the bottles they use to sell diesel to the many motorcycles on the roads. Drake and I enjoy the scenery at one of the restaurants. We were treated to a Gala dinner, hosted by the Governor, Tom and Amy wear their new "Sail Indo" shirts proudly. It wasn't soon after that we decided Gala dinners were not what we expected, extravagent food, and tired kids just don't mix. The city had organized some tours of West Timor for us. Below is the line of Bemos (taxis) that took us to our destinations, Jim and Steve chat with our guide at Bolapolelo, which is a great view|
|We had no idea what to expect for our tour, or how long it would be. The first stop was Benlutu Village, we had a police escort and an ambulance with us. The villagers all came out and did tradtional dances and sold their crafts. From there we drove up the mountain through the Eucalyptus and ancient bonsai forrest, I have never seen such large bonsai's. It is called the Fatum 'nasi rain forest.|
|The bemos struggle up the dirt mountain roads. Below left is a typical indonesian toilet, they do not use toilet paper. There is a large bucket of water in the room, which they pour down the toilet to flush, and they also use their left hand to wipe themselves. Needless to say, we always have a roll of TP on us and a garbage bag, as there are none in the bathrooms.|
|The villages we visited had just built brand new toilets, the concrete was still wet, for us Westerners. It was very civilized of them.|
|We drove four hours to the mountain village of Oenino, about 10,000 feet up, it all of a sudden was cold. I am glad I was prepared, with sarongs for the kids to wrap around them to keep warm. There were thousands of people there to see us. The villagers performed their circle dance. To the right is Matthew Annis, he saw us looking at our Lonely Planet guide and came to show us that he is mentioned in it. He was very excited to see his name. He was adorned with beautiful Dutch Silver coins, Drake loved his sword. The people all chew beetlenut, which is a narcotic and turns their teeth and lips red.|
|The Indonesians love Western Children, so Phoebe and Drake were tired of having their cheeks pinched. They are pictured with the village elder, who everyone respects highly. Drake was scared of him, because he had red teeth, this photo cost me 20,000 rupia for Drake, which is about $2.00. Lunch was served and it was rice and meat, the meat was delicious. After eating we looked up in a tree and there was the dead cow with a man cutting off pieces of meat and throwing them down to the person cooking it on the fire. I don't think we have ever had such fresh meat. Thankfully I had packed a lot of snacks for the kids. We adventually got back to the boat at 11:00pm, it was four hours up and back, a very long day, but worth it.|
|Every village we went to had large banners welcoming us. The next day was another tour, Jim and Drake decided to stay on the boat, while Phoebe and I went. Above right is a photo of a new house and old house. The government is paying to have new homes built as the beehive style houses are dangerous, however, the people prefer to live in the beehive homes, as they keep warmer,and will build them behind the new homes.|
|This is None Village, it was amazing to see the beehive homes with brand new motorcycles parked in front. The children were all lovely. There were too many of them to give away gifts, however, I always had some marbles in my pocket to give to a select few.|
|Phoebe is pictured with the girls from None village. We were able to go inside a beehive, or a Lopo meeting house, as you can see they hang all the corn to dry above the fire in the center, it is very dark and smokey inside them. There were two beds used to sleep on at night and sit on during the day.
The next village we went to was Boti, which is an isolated mountain village along a rugged road. Which only recently is passable by car. The Rajah presides over the village, the old rajah died three years ago and his youngest son is the new king. They wear their homespun clothes made by locally grown cotton and follow traditional laws and regulations as the missionaries never penetrated this area. The king is presenting the children with traditional Ikats, which are made in the village, it was nice that we all received one. A girl is demonstrating how they weave the ikats. We were treated to a delicious lunch and dancing.
|When a baby is born in Boti, they stay in the beehive with the mother until they are 40 days old. In the village they told us we were lucky to be there as a baby just turned 40 days old and we could witness the coming out ceremony. Phoebe had front row seats and took this great photo, however, we were all skeptical as the baby looks much older than 40 days. I couldn't imagine staying in one of the smokey rooms for that long, it must be so bad for their health. We arrived back at the boat at 11:00pm, another long day.
In Kupang harbor, this gentleman came by the boat every day on his styrofoam surf boat with his helmut on, no matter how bad the weather was.
Tom and Amy relaxing at Teddy's, notice Amy's new haircut. Below is the final dinner with the Mayor of Kupang.
|The dinner was great, and included a roast pig. Top left is the band playing with the colorful dancers. To the left is the Mayor presenting an ikat to Phoebe and a coffee table book of Kupang. Phoebe is pictured with some of the local dancers, which she loves to watch. The other little girl is Emma, from s/v Seafires Gem, who was fed up of having her cheeks pincheds and photo taken.
We were ready to leave to Kupang and head for the Island of Roti, with our friends on s/v Sunburn. Di and Brendan have two children as well, Finn who is 7 1/2 and Sophie who is 10.
|Unfortunately we did not make it too far, once we dropped anchor and Sunburn backed down, her gear box failed. Blue Sky towed her back to Kupang, where we were able to get it fixed temporarily. It was nice being in Kupang without 100 other boats, as everyone had moved on. We were able to get a Sail Indo Flag for Blue Sky.|
|Phoebe is pictured with Selvy, wearing a Bulan Molik crown. Selvy helped with our check in process and spoke perfect English and was a wealth of information during our stay. We were fortunate to go to a restaurant one evening where they were performing. Drake is pictured with Finn and Wandry, wearing a traditional ti'i Langgu crown.|