The overnight sail from Baubau turned out to be delightful sailing, contrary to the forecast for no wind. I felt very happy to be moving fast on the water, and on a moonlit night and headed west. I’m feeling ready to take my break and head home! But that’s a month away, and we have four more stops in Indonesia plus a jump to Bali and maybe a stay in Singapore. So I need to breathe and be here now.
“Here now” is Selayar (or Salayar or Seleier), another small city. Noisy, smelly, and the water too polluted to swim in despite the equatorial heat. We relaxed on the boat most of the day, and only went ashore with the dinner crowd. We ate at a nice waterfront restaurant for about $4 each. But it seems that in Indonesia it is impossible for a restaurant to get the orders right for a group of 15. At the last place in Baubau several of the orders never came, plus they were out of one dish so they substituted another…without telling anyone. Tonight we were the only people in the restaurant, and although they got close (with the help of our one guide from the Tourism Office), it still wasn’t all correct. Plus things get cooked in series, so some people have finished before others are served. All part of experiencing Indonesia…
We learned tonight the our scheduled stop in Borneo, where we were to visit an orangutan park, is not going to happen. There are huge fires burning in the area, smoke is everywhere, animals are being evacuated (the lucky ones). Too bad — I liked the idea of going to Borneo, if only because I’ve heard of it and it seems exotic. Tim might sail there (to the Malaysian part) after I head home.
Luc arranged multiple tours here, naturally. Too much. Each of us skipped at least one; I skipped two. I’ve enjoyed having some quiet time on the boat. I’ve read two books, which I rarely do aboard.
The highlight here was a performance of dance/music. It was not done specifically for us; I believe it is an annual show by an arts center. But we were guests of honor. Many of the performers were youngsters. Parents jockeying for position to get video of their kids. I liked it.
Today was our last day here, and it’s been fun. We all did a snorkeling trip, and the snorkeling was the best we’ve seen in a long time. Plus we visited a beautiful little beach that was deserted. No Hey Misters. Afterwards we had a little time for reading before dinner. And then we went to one of the best meals we’ve had in Indonesia. It was a restaurant where they immediately start bring food when you sit down, all served on smallish plates. A wide variety of foods. If you take food from a plate, you have purchased that dish (and they most likely bring more of it). Anything that you don’t want you simply leave untouched. I had shrimp and veggies and crab and beef and a couple things that I couldn’t identify. Plus a bottle of tea. $5, and no wait and no wrong orders. Hard to beat that!
Now that I’m starting to get to know this town, I’m starting to like it. But I’ve still had my fill of Hey Misters, and I look forward to getting underway in the morning for our next destination. Komodo (as in Komodo Dragons) is a conservation park, so I THINK it will be quiet, with very few people about. It is 170 miles away; the prediction is for very light winds, unfortunately.