Honorary King & Queen for a Day
26 October 2013 | Grupita, East Timor - Indonesia
Grupita – Honoree Queen & King for a day
We arrived in Grupita and I think we were all a little burned out from smiling in so many pictures and being celebrities. One of the tours was to an ancient Spanish Fort in the highlands. Two busloads of cruisers jumped at the chance to do something just a little bit different.
An early morning departure…….bumpy dirt roads and 3 hours later we were in the highlands of East Timor. The road stretched out like a ribbon over the hills. Large spires of lava dotted the countryside. Suddenly, we come up over a hill and can see thousands of people! What?? Ends up that approx 3,000 to 4,000 people had walked or came on their motorcycle to witness our arrival! We were all shocked. That isn’t the entire story though.
Tom & I get off the bus. Everyone was stunned. People were waving and taking pictures. A man comes up to Tom & I and starts to ask us where were from. A hugh smile crosses his face and he mentions Obama. He grabs Tom’s arm and then asks us to be honoree Queen & King for the festivities because we were from America. The next thing we know, we are dressed in traditional dress over our clothes and the procession begins. We are still stunned. Dignitaries walk behind us. The rest of the cruisers also walk behind us and the crowd takes up the rest of the procession. There are people for as far as you can see. The colors are vivid from all the different clothes people are wearing.
We are told there are 7 gates to the fort and leading to the top of the hill where the sacred alter is placed. We arrive at the 1st gate. A chicken is to be sacrificed and it’s blood sprinkled across the gate. This is for protection and good luck. We stand and watch as the elders cut the throat of this chicken. Tom was starting to wonder if we were next………LOL.
Blood was then sprinkled across the gate and we were allowed to cross into the fort.
Arriving at the top of the hill awarded us with incredible views of the countryside and valleys. The sacred alter had been used in wartime. When an enemy was killed, he was beheaded and the head placed upon the alter.
We were told to sit on top of this stonewall. Woven matts were provided for us. The president and his wife of the regency each sat on either side of us.
Wondrous music and ancient dances of all kinds began. The costumes were elaborate and beautiful. We’ve got great videos clips!
Part of the music included about 40 kids who play bamboo flutes and sliding bamboo horns. It was amazing. I gave a speech on behalf of all the cruisers at the end. All the cruiser represented about 12 countries so the crowd loved that.
After the dancing and music we preceded back down to where there were several tents ad been erected. We ate a really wonderful lunch and of course, more music. As Queen & King we posed for about a million pictures and were interviewed by the media. We found out that the last time white people had been to that fort was 1952!!! One of the guys even knew the person’s name. This was a very big deal and we were lucky to be a big part of it. It was fun to be a Queen & King for day.
looking out at the masses of people we also learned many of them had camped the night before just to be a part of this. We were very honored.
To date, this was the highlight of the rally. Words can’t properly describe the amazement of the day! I hope you all enjoy the pictures in the picture gallery of the Queen & King!
Colleen & Tom