Only boat in the harbor
03 October 2008 | Kangean
Sora entered a calm, protected anchorage surrounded by reefs and we slept like babies after dodging fish traps and platforms on our over-night motor sail North from Lovina. Next morning we dinghied through the reefs to tie up to the rocky wharf where we hopped on the back of 2 motorcycles and were whisked away to "market day" on the interior of the island. Not only were we a foot taller than any of the native people, we were obviously strangers and cause of interest. Terry thought the intense stares had something to do with his beard but I know it was my naked upper arms and legs visible leg from knee down with 5 band aids covering boat bites on the shins.
It's Muslim tradition for not only the head but also the shoulders and legs of women to be covered, which in this equatorial heat is uncomfortable to say the least. But the curious thing is that it seems to be acceptable for them to wear snug, low-cut sweaters and jeans so tight they defy the possibility of their owner's sitting down.
It was just as I'd thought a third world market would be: noisy din of hagglers bargaining in a foreign language; hot dusty wind blowing paper and trash through the crowded streets; fragrance of diesel, over-ripe fruit, fish, and rotting vegetables competing with sweet incense and perfume of young girls; flies buzzing everywhere; brave teenage boys calling "Hello Meester, where you going, where you from, what you name?"; shy huge-eyed toddlers peeping from behind Mom's skirts to sneak a peek at the foreigners.
Lovina had spoiled us with their dozen really good, cheap restaurants and cruiser friendly bars we could drop into for Bali Kopi at breakfast, Lassie (a delicious blend of icy fruit and yogurt), or of course Bintang at will. Our transport knew of no such businesses available on their island so they took us on the circuitous route back to the harbor through terraced rice paddies, by a herd of water buffalo, and full size horses - we'd seen only ponies pulling cidomos or carts in all of Indonesia so far.
It was only after returning to Sora and completing a few boat chores that we realized we hadn't seen one dog or cat the entire day, always a staple every stop we've made. Perhaps it's best we found no restaurants on Kangean!
Cheers to Market Day, KK