Monday 29 August 2011

Larantuka - Riung

18 -26 August 2011

We finally caught a fish in Indonesia - a nice Turrum
Picking a departure time for the trip from Larantuka to Riung was a matter of balancing the time needed to reach our next anchorage and working around the strong tidal currents that exist in the narrows of the Flores Straight. One boat we heard from the day before got it wrong and, despite making 6 knots through the water, actually travelled half a mile backwards in an hour. Fortunately Nae Hassle has a powerful 160 horse engine so we were able to leave a little before the end of the opposing tide and still make reasonable progress giving us a good head start towards our planned anchorage at a small island off the north coast of Flores. We crew members had also taken note of which section of the narrows the local boats used against the tide when we had a nice lunch up there a few days before. By skirting the reef on the port side and staying out of the centre of the channel we avoided the worst of the currents. There were some very strong whirlpools and overfalls happening however so we were certainly on our toes until we reached open waters and headed west. Skirting the reef also proved productive and we broke our Indonesian fishing drought with a very nice Turrum landed in the narrows which was very tasty baked whole for dinner that night.

Small traditional village we anchored by one night
The sail was largely uneventful with light winds seeing the motor used yet again for long periods but we did get a good late afternoon seas breeze and nice sail into the island. This stop was about 15 nautical miles further than most the boats planned to go but our earlier start and good speed saw us dropping anchor in the good light needed to avoid coral reefs about 4.30pm. The anchorage was in a lovely protected bay just off a small and very traditional Muslim fishing village. Extremely picturesque and we had it all to ourselves. Very nice.

Next morning we were up early and headed for Maumere and the Sail Indonesia Rally’s planned stop at a small resort run by the Catholic Church about 14 kilometres outside the city. Maumere is the capital of Flores and provided the advantage of a good supermarket to reprovision the boats. This is also the easiest spot for cruisers to arrange a tour up to the famous Kelimutu volcano and it’s three craters all filled with different coloured water. Many, including Marc, took the three and a half hour drive  plus three kilometre walk up the mountain and despite then enduring the three and half hours back, all counted it as worth every minute. As we had been up and seen this amazing natural feature in 2010 when we sailed this area on the Indonesian boat Ombak Putih we elected to have a relaxing day on the beach instead. We stayed a couple of days at Maumere and it was good to catch up with a lot of people who had skipped the Larantuka stop.

Anchorage at Maumere
We headed to Riung next for more official receptions, tours and local sightseeing. On the way we  stopped for the night in a wide bay reputed to be a good anchorage. The bottom was uninspiring mud with no coral anywhere close so the snorkelling gear stayed stowed although we did enjoy an afternoon swim followed by a nice dinner of tuna and bottle of wine to celebrate Milan’s birthday. The bay proved not so good after all and we rolled all night with no one getting much sleep. At least it was easy to be up and away at first light because we all wanted to get the hell out of there. A pleasant surprise though was finding Ombak Putih anchored up in the shelter of the headland when we got up. We have extremely fond memories of our time and friends made on this lovely traditional Indonesian boat in December-January last year. It was great to see her again even if we weren’t able to say hi.
Sunrise with Ombak Putih visable near the shore on right

 The day followed the usual pattern of a bit of morning land breeze then nothing through the middle of the day followed by an afternoon sea breeze so again we progressed via a combination of sail and motor depending on the available wind. The anchorage in Riung is protected by very pretty islands a number of reefs and we timed our run in for early Monday afternoon with the sun high and tide low so we had a clear view of the coral as we picked our way through the channel.
Over 30 boats called in to Riung providing a very impressive site spread around the small bay with long jetty to reach over the mudflats . The town is the smallest stop on the Rally so far with houses on stilts over the salt flats lining a long road into the main area. There are small local traders but no real stores, no ATM and only one bank sub-branch which didn’t change money. The jetty area became party central with night markets and all sorts of activities including the official welcome on the first afternoon and  “Gala Dinner” on the Wednesday nights. Cultural tours to local villages were also provided on the first two days and a special tour by boat to a nearby island to see a small local species of Komodo Dragon was scheduled.

Prestige waterfront properties with all mod cons
We skipped the first two tours choosing to avoid the crowd and do our own thing instead. We actually spent the first morning cleaning down all the topside on the boat and shining up the bright work before taking the dingy over to a nearby island in the harbour and doing an hour’s  snorkelling around the coral. Later in the afternoon we headed in to town to our newly found Riung Local, the “LiQueen Resto” and enjoyed just about the best squid we’ve ever eaten. It was two whole squid each, superbly cooked for the exact right amount of time in Indonesian seasoning and sauces. Outstanding. With good 3G service in the area we were even able to manage a short skype call from our iPhone to number  three grandson, Kristian back at home from the dinner table before the internet server crapped out. The small restaurant was run by a beautiful young women who had studied on Bali before returning home to Riung. Karen enjoyed quite a long chat with Nina but was a bit taken back when she suddenly asked “Do you know any single men?” She considered offering Marc for a quickie marriage but thought he may not have had enough Bintangs yet.  When we complimented Nina on her restaurant, food and very good English she proudly told us that ex UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was holidaying in the area and was coming in to eat there on Friday night. This piece of information was politely received but viewed with much scepticism on our part as we really couldn’t imagine TB and family coming anywhere near this very poor little town and particularly as we had already informed her we were leaving on Friday morning so wouldn’t be around to verify the great event.
We then headed for the night markets at the jetty where Colin and Milin had returned from their tour. While Rob ran them back out to the Nae Hassle in the dingy Karen and Marc stayed ashore sitting on a wall enjoying a cool drink with friends Ian and Jacqui from the catamaran Bundy Blues. On Rob’s return we decided to head back to the restaurant to join Bundy Blues who headed up for a meal on our recommendation. Shortly after heading off Rob asked Karen for the iPhone back to check for any further text messages from home.

We spent a fantastic day snorkelling the reefs off this little island
That’s when the excrement hit the oscillating device. Karen didn’t have it. When they’d been sitting on the wall Marc and Karen and put their camera bag and various “things” down beside them. Marc’s welcome scarf from the earlier reception had was amongst the “things” and had mysteriously disappeared. The iPhone must of gone with it. With all our contacts and emails in the phone its value is much higher than replacement cost.  Rob being addicted to staying in touch with what’s going on in our former world via the net was distraught with many loud words about how important it was to retrieve the lost phone. Instant crowd. Sail Indonesia representatives, Police, stall holders, villagers their dogs and chickens all seemed to flock to the spot to help or watch the entertainment. Rob instantly offered a “no questions asked reward” for its return which was announced to all and sundry over the very large PA system onsite for the festivities. The Sail Indonesia rep then rang our number in the hope someone would answer it. With a very distinctive revving Harley Davidson ringtone  Karen screamed “I can hear it ringing somewhere,” greeted by much excitement from the crowd. “It’s in your pocket!”
Sure enough it turns out Rob had handed everything BUT the phone to Karen before heading out in the dingy and it was in fact secreted in one of the many pockets of his cargo shorts revving madly. HOW EMBARASSING!!!! While Rob grovelled apologies to everybody from the Police to the village chickens all assembled enjoyed the show with much laughing and finger pointing at the stupid Ossie. Subsequently we even found out Marc’s scarf had actually been accidently scooped up by Jacqui with their “things” and was promptly returned when we hooked up with them. The phone now lives on a lanyard round Rob’s neck and he was extremely sheepish moving amongst the locals for the rest of our stay.

Sarah from Double Time on the hill at our snorkelling island
The second day we hired a local fishing boat to take us further offshore to an absolutely stunning little island we had visited on New Years Day 2010 on Ombak Putih but had never really expected to see again. Good friends Jean Collins and her daughter Sarah off the Darwin based boat Double Time joined us three amigos from Nae Hassle and we split the $30 hire fee for the boat plus three crew for the day. OK it might have been an expensive private charter but it’s nice to splurge some times. The island features  a brilliant fine white sand beach and the snorkelling was the best so far with good clear water, some nice coral and lots of colourful fish plus some fair sized barracuda making a meal off their smaller cousins. We had an absolutely brilliant day followed by sundowners with kiwis Michael and Kym on their comparatively tiny 30 footer Cheetah Two. These young guys are having an amazing time having sailed the boat across the Tasman from NZ and up to Darwin to join the rally. You can check out their blog at
Karen, Marc, Sarah & Jean with our private charter boat.
The “Gala Dinner” that night started at 8.00pm to allow for the local Muslim minority to be finished evening prayers beforehand. Once again the official festivities features a few thankfully short speeches followed by much singing and dancing by very cute kids in traditional costume. By the time the dinner was served it was actually after ten so the earlier sundowners and few drinks at the dinner were taking their toll on empty stomachs with some of the cruisers joining in the dances with varying levels of competence much to the delight of the huge crowd of local townspeople watching on.The meal provided was extremely good and included a particularly nice beef dish we hadn’t had before. If we had any idea what it was called we might be able to have it again but it was much too late to remember such details.
After finding out there were nearly sixty people booked on to the following days trip on local boats to see the little Komodo dragons we decided to cancel out on that to have a sleep in and chill out day before moving on to Labuan Bajo and Komodo National Park where the big boys live. When we talked to returning cruisers later it proved to be a good decision. They had been spread across seven local boats and taken out to the island where the tide was in so they disembarked in near waste deep water before tromping quite away to a spot where a goat had been slaughtered and hung up to attract the dragons. With fifty plus water logged tourists fast approaching in a none too stealthy manner, the one little dragon on site beat a very hasty retreat back into the bush electing to delay his buffet of goat until the hordes had departed. Only the very first on the scene saw him and of those only one got a photo at all which was of a dragon rear end disappearing into the distance.

Second time we got to take in this fantastic view
We hit the local that afternoon and pooled our remaining Indonesian Rupiahs to split two Nasi Goreng and two large Bintangs between the three of us with 1000 Rupiah (about 15c) to spare. First stop in Labuan Bajo will definitely need to be an ATM or moneychanger whichever comes first.
The next morning we were up early and prepared Nae Hassle to head west along the coast and departed about 8.30am to let the sun get high enough so we could see the reefs better.  We no sooner cleared the channel than we were shocked to pass a huge motor Superyacht headed in to the harbour. Despite passing close by and straining our eyes through the binoculars we saw only one crewman in crisp white uniform on the stern and couldn’t see through the huge windows of the multiple decks to see if Tony and Cherie were enjoying a nice cuppa and breakfast on board. It did make us wish we’d stayed any extra day and slipped back to the “LiQueen Resto” for some more great squid and couple of Bintangs that night. Who knows.
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If you have only recently discovered our blog and would like to read how it all started, or work through our previous adventures, click the link to go back to our first blog entry. Stuff it. Let's just go sailing anyway.  We hope you enjoy reading the previous posts to catch up on our story.


Wednesday 17 August 2011

Larantuka - East Flores

11 - 17 August 2011

We left Lembata headed for Larantuka mid morning on Thursday – apparently. It’s getting hard to remember, or actually care, what day of the week it is let alone the date. I now find myself referring back to my previous blogs to work out where to start the next one.
Many of the fleet who had bypassed the delightful sand quay anchorage on the way in to Lembata elected to head there for a day or two before the next official stop but Skipper Colin decided as we had already spent time there, we would make a beeline for the next harbour and get settled in. It was just a short 31 nautical mile run to Larantuka through the channels between Lomblen, Andunara, Solar and Flores Islands. With glassy seas and no wind to speak of we didn’t even unfurl a sail but rather just motored the short hop. It was still a pleasant run through the islands with plenty of villages and towns lining the coasts to look at. We also kept alert by playing dodgems with the large number of fishing boats and inter-island ferries both large and small that constantly traversed the channels in front of us.

It was the first time Larantuka has been included in the Sail Indonesia Rally schedule so we weren’t sure what to expect. Located on the eastern tip of the island of Flores, the town has an interesting history having been established by the Portugese before 1600 as an interstation for the Timorese sandlewood trade. The settlement soon became the Portugese trading centre of South East Indonesia. It even provided a refuge for deserters from the Dutch East India Company which dominated most of the region. Despite eventually selling the territories to the Dutch in 1859, the Portugese influence and extensive activities of the Dominicans sees the region still almost 85% Catholic to this day.
This influence was clearly visible to us as we anchored south of the main wharf area just offshore from extensive park areas protected by a high sea wall. No less than three churches of classic European architecture lined the shore side of the esplanade providing us with the most attractive view of a port we’ve experienced so far and creating a wonderful first impression of the town. Once again we decided to spend the afternoon relaxing on board and venture to shore the next day. We were actually the first boat to anchor up here but by late afternoon were joined by three others.

We’ve always been told you only get one chance to create a first impression but Larantuka has forced us to question this piece of conventional wisdom when we headed in to the dingy beach beside the commercial wharf next morning. On approach not only was the entire beach covered in rubbish up to half a metre deep in places, the water itself was so full of plastic flotsam that we had to turn off and tilt the outboard 4 metres of shore and coast in to avoid fouling the prop. One boat had actually gone in to the beach earlier but turned around and went back to their yacht without alighting. We all left our sandals on as we stepped into the water and carried the inflatable through the trash to above the high water mark then headed for cleaner water near the wharf to rinse our feet.
As the first people ashore, we were instantly greeted by the Rally organisers and members of the "Local Committee" who were extremely friendly and welcoming as always but when they asked how the anchorage was we had to be honest and say that we felt many people would up anchor and leave due to the state of the place. They were extremely apologetic and thanked us for our feedback.

We then went exploring the shopping area and a ways beyond along an area of waterfront "housing" north of the wharf. In the heat of the very still morning the odours generated by the incredible amount of refuse were overwhelming. We shuddered as we watched naked children washing and playing in the rubbish filled sea water in front of their extremely modest homes. Through previous trips to Indonesia we have become accustomed to seeing large amounts of litter but this was like nothing we have ever seen on our travels.
For hundreds, probably thousands of years, Indonesians have had a disposable society. They would eat or use something then throw the refuse into the bush or sea. No problem – everything they had and ate were natural products and bio-degradable. That’s probably also true of western societies but we have moved to our current world of consumerism over a long, extended period which has been finally accompanied by significant cultural change and the rise of environmental awareness.

In this part of the world, you combine an exploding population and rapid post war westernization with absolutely almost everything now MARKETED in garish and often unnecessary plastic. Without the associated cultural change, you have this recipe for disaster. Things are still eaten used and simply thrown away but now the refuse doesn’t breakdown and re-enter the natural cycle because plastic doesn’t do that.

Rob and Marc at our Larantuka "Local"
We beat a hasty retreat from that end of town and headed south to have a look at the park area we were anchored off. What a contrast, reasonably clean and tidy, attractive buildings, the best internet cafe we’ve found so far and we also discovered our new "Local" for lunch and a few cold beers. Karen was even delighted to find it featured the nicest and cleanest bathroom she’d found in Indo.

When we went back to the collect the dingy and head back to the boat the Rally officials apologised again for the state of the beach and told us that they had spoken with the local government people and a clean up had been organised.

Karen's rockstar welcome from the school kids
We decided the best plan for the next day was to hire some motorcycles and get out of town for some exploring along the coast. Next morning when we got up there were people all along the foreshore cleaning up. When arrived to pick up our bikes at 8.30 well over a hundred high school students were already on the dingy beach gathering up rubbish. A number took a break to practice their English on us with their best "God morning meester, how are yoooo?" and "what ees your nem? Mine nem is Paulo" generating many giggles from their cohorts. Karen was particularly popular with the kids. Blondes are rare in this part of the world and many of the kids also got photos taken with her. When she sat to write our names and contact phone number on a piece of paper for the bike hire she was swamped with eager eyes wanting to watch what she wrote. What we didn’t realise is that some also entered the phone number in their phones and we’re still receiving "good morning missus" and "Good day aussies" text messages at regular intervals.

Not quite Harley's but a great day
We headed down the coast road on our throbbing 125 cc mopeds and were instantly rewarded with beautiful palm and coral fringed bay after bay revealing itself. Incredibly everywhere we went there also seemed to be another small army of high school students cleaning up the road side, or cutting down long grass etc. We also got very tired arms from waving in response to hundreds of "Halo meester" and "Halo meesus" shouted from near and far.

One of many picturesque bays
 We rode south for about two hours including many, many stops for photos and pauses generally soaking in the views until the road turned inland towards Maumere where we simply turned around and repeated the process but with different stops. We rode straight through the town and out the north side to explore more coastline. Here we found beautiful white sand beaches lining the narrows of the Flores Straight separating Flores and Adunara Islands.

We continued along the narrow, water front road and made a stop at a small, traditional fishing village we found. Here the people were again incredibly friendly and very accommodating of our habit of pointing cameras at them. An elderly couple sitting cross legged on the ground gave us a wave and then continued on with their task of mending nets. Children played hide and seek with us around the corners of houses, squealing with laughter when we looked at them. Their houses may be very simple but the inhabitants here certainly seemed happy with their lot. Many of the boats lining the white sand beach had been literally hand carved out of a single tree trunk and while some sported outriggers most did not. Watching a young girl effortless standing up bailing one out certainly impressed on us the balance and boat skills these people have. It’s hard to imagine hauling in a big full net of fish over the side without capsizing.

Quiet traditional fishing village of the beaten track

Pressing on slowly down the quickly deteriorating road/track we came across a small, jet black sand beach just a few hundred metres further on from the white sand we’d just left. The volcanic sand absolutely glistened and sparkled in the sun but not surprisingly was unbelievably hot . Not quite the spot for sun baking. When the pot holes finally outnumbered the pieces of intact pavement we back tracked and made our way to a nice waterfront "Resto/Karaoke" establishment we had spotted earlier for lunch and obligatory cold Bintang.

Perched right on the water overlooking the narrows, we had the place to ourselves and were really enjoying the serenity and view as we relaxed and watched a small group of Rally yachts make their way in to port from the north – that was until the Indo version of the only gay in the village arrived, turned on the biggest stereo we’ve ever seen in such a small room and began closing all the doors and windows so the karaoke film clip of Celine Dion could be seen projected on the wall via data projector. It took us quite a while to bridge the communication gap and convince him we were there for the food and view, not deafening lunchtime pop and he was a little miffed that we obviously were too uncultured to appreciate his presentation of musical art and sullenly minced out the door in his skin tight denims, flower print sandals and Hawaiian shirt open to the navel. That sorted we enjoyed a fantastic lunch of local foods and watched the boats sail by with cold drink in hand. We did restrict our Bintang intact in considering we still had to negotiate the ride back into town.

Our lunch stop at the narrows of Flores Straight

By the time we ambled back along a road we discovered that ran right along beside the narrows and reached the wharf area to return the bikes we were amazed at the transformation that had occurred all along the waterfront. Larantuka had been transformed from cesspit to very presentable in a matter of hours. This typified the determination of the local people to cement their town on the Rally schedule for future years.

With the official welcome dinner scheduled that night, only a dozen Rally boats were anchored up by the end of day as many others had heard negative reports of Larantuka from the few boats who arrived and quickly left. If the locals were disappointed they certainly didn’t show it. A free taxi boat service was supplied to ferry us all ashore and we were all personally greeted on the wharf in the late afternoon by the traditional King of the area along with the Regent who is the head of government plus a string of other dignitaries. Dancers performed for us and then lead the procession the short distance to the Regent’s house where a traditional welcome was performed by the King and Queen with the offering of Arak, beetle nut, and local smoke along with more dancers. We then treated to a great dinner experience starting with snacks of traditional popcorn prepared in front of us and many glasses of Arak. The facial expressions of those trying this local, fire breathing rocket fuel for the first time were hilarious. English speaking hosts spent a lot of time moving from table to table speaking with us and explaining the meaning of each dance and interpreting the local dialect.

A Royal Welcome to Larantuka

After more traditional dancing the tempo switched to more western style entertainment with three female vocalists performing a range from Abba to John Denver before the Regent himself took the microphone and provided a pretty reasonable rendition of a country and western number. Then it was announced that it was time for the guests and locals to join together for rock and roll dancing. Confusion reigned amongst the cruisers as this actually turned out to be line dancing which the traditionally clad locals apparently enjoy immensely. All very surreal actually. The buffet provided was huge consisting of a big range of local dishes including a real specialty of western Flores, whale meat. Sorry Greenpeace – it didn’t taste to bad.

It was clearly the most enjoyable of the five welcome dinners we’ve been treated to so far. As we were the first boat to anchor, Colin, our skipper on Nae Hassle had been selected to speak on behalf of the cruisers to thank our hosts and told of how much we all appreciated the welcome provided, the friendliness and the huge efforts of all the local people to make sure we enjoyed our stay. He also pointed out that without question as the positive reports of our experiences in Larantuka spread those boats that skipped this stop will quickly realise that they’re the ones that missed out.
Rob, Jim, Will, Margaret & Jean at Regent's Welcome Dinner

Following the dinner the cruisers were loaded on an oversized bemo to accompany the King, Queen and Regent to a nearby village for the official start of Independence Week celebrations. With the bemo quickly filling, the tourism chief who we had previously visited us on board, invited Karen, Mark and Rob to join him in his official car for the trip. So there we were, in the official motorcade with police escort, flashing lights fluttering flags on the bonnet, the whole worksburger. Those slumming it on the bus were just a little green. At the village we survived a couple of long speeches in Indonesian before being treated to some performances by very cute kids doing once again Rock’n’Roll you got it Line-dancing, and then were whisked back to the wharf at the head of the motorcade again to be first in line for the ferry service back to our yachts on the local pilot boat much to good natured heckling by those behind. Ah – life is good.

Next afternoon’s Independence Day march consisted of everything from unbelievably well behaved kindergarten children to school marching bands, high school drill groups to police and military and took almost two hours to pass.

The following day the fleet were treated to a free all day tour which included visits to the local market, school, orphanage, mountain village and shown how Arak is made, most enjoyable for all those who attended.

Car pooling Indo style - five on a bike
Wednesday 17 August was the actual sixty sixth anniversary of Indonesian Independence and was marked with much pomp and ceremoney with flag raising and more parading at the sports arena and yet another dinner that night at the Regent's house. These guys know how to celebrate.

Larantuka was a late inclusion in the Sail Indonesia Rally program but after a rocky start proved to be our best stop yet due to the outstanding nature of the people. We certainly hope many more yachts call in next year and get to experience their wonderful welcome.

To stay right up to date with what we’re up to these days and see lots more photos check out and 'like' our Dreamtime Sail Facebook page at Dreamtime Sail on Facebook
If you have only recently discovered our blog and would like to read how it all started, or work through our previous adventures, click the link to go back to our first blog entry. Stuff it. Let's just go sailing anyway.  We hope you enjoy reading the previous posts to catch up on our story.

Friday 12 August 2011


8 to 11 August 2011

Another anchorage dominated by the smoking volcano

Although we arrived in Lembata around lunch time we elected to kick back on the boat for the afternoon and go ashore that evening for the official reception. The local people certainly try hard to make visiting sailors feel welcome. No less than eight different cultural dance groups were assembled to greet us when we landed at the obligatory rickety dingy wharf and joined the crews of the 40 or so rally boats who had gathered in Lembata. After officially welcoming the sailors the dancers lead us in a procession down the road, closed by police for our arrival, to a waterfront open air restaurant about 400 metres away.

The young dancers were fascinated by blonde hair

Here we were treated to the usual welcome speeches by the local  politicians and then more traditional singing and dancing by all eight groups along with dinner. This being a predominantly Catholic population we were able to buy cold beers making the evening far more social. The highlight of the night occurred when the official program was over and many of the different dance groups took to the large stage for an impromptu Indo jam session. The wide array of traditional drums, gongs, wind and stringed instruments from the cross section of musicians produced a brilliant cacophony of sound which had locals and sailors alike up and dancing. We stayed on enjoying the show for another two or three Bintangs (Official measure of time on the Sail Indonesia Rally) before making our way back to the boat to be serenaded from the shore as the locals partied on until well, well into the new day.

Lembata is home to the village of Lemalera and their men of the sea. This community on the south side of the island have been deep sea fisherman for centuries and still stick to their traditional ways which include hunting shark, giant rays and, from May to September, whales. Much as the commercial whale trade is abhorrent, one has to have a degree of admiration for the bravery of these men who go out in unpowered, open wooden boats to chase down giant sperm whales by oar before the “Lamafa” or whale stabber hurls himself off the bow to harpoon the whale by hand. No figures were available for the mortality rate amongst these specialists but we imagine getting life insurance would be an issue.

Marc and Rob enjoying a few Bintangs at the Lembata local
 A tour to the village was provided for the cruisers but after getting word that a whale had been caught two days previous and a highlight of the trip was going to be seeing what was left of  the carcass on the beach Karen’s already limited desire to attend evaporated completely. We decided a better day would be had wandering the town before settling into one of the small eating establishments by the dingy dock for a 9,000 Rupiah ($1.00) meal and many 25,000 rupiah ($2.80) large bottles (Tallies) of Bintang.

Behind our local. Best get the washing in before high tide.
We actually had such a good time that we repeated the process the next day apart from we left out the wandering around town part. We really enjoy these small, family run establishments. Usually they will have two or three tables out front under a palm thatched awning, a small display cabinet of a wide range of goods and a small drinks fridge. They offer a limited range of traditional meals which are small but very tasty and filling. Inside is the kitchen and a tiny bedroom or two and out back is the laundry lean to which includes a squat toilet. There are no doors anywhere so when using the toilet it’s advisable to whistle or hum a tune to avoid being walked in on. The whole family works and lives here and without fail we found them all delightful. The school age kids and teenagers are all very keen to practice and improve their limited English skills while asking all sorts of details about where and how we live. The parents and grandparents are super friendly and brilliant hosts.  As a result lunch turned into dinner before we knew and yet the total bill for three of us for all afternoon and evening was still only a few dollars. The dingy trip back to the boat in the dark was a bit challenging though. No RBT’s here.
To stay right up to date with what we’re up to these days and see lots more photos check out and 'like' our Dreamtime Sail Facebook page at Dreamtime Sail on Facebook
If you have only recently discovered our blog and would like to read how it all started, or work through our previous adventures, click the link to go back to our first blog entry. Stuff it. Let's just go sailing anyway.  We hope you enjoy reading the previous posts to catch up on our story.