The island of Tual - Indonesia 25th to 29th July

Jeremy & Sally Paul
Thu 3 Sep 2009 04:45

The island of Tual – 25th to 29th July


Oli and Liam arrived on a flight mid afternoon on the 26th July and were greeted at the airport by Charlie and a police escort.  As soon as the boys arrived at the local fishing port where the yachts were anchored, the Sail Indonesia festival kicked off.  All of the sail Indonesia participants had to join in with the local dancing and photograph taking.  We were treated like royalty as hundreds upon hundreds of locals were asking for photos with all of the westerners. 


Sadly only 8 of the fleet made their way to Tual and yet it seemed that the majority of the island had made a huge effort to welcome a large fleet.  The locals seemed to make a party out of the festivities and for the next 3 days, we were escorted by a large police escort as we were driven throughout the island.  One of the main highlights of Tual was the spectacular Longsands Beach which was supposed to have the 3rd softest/finest sand in the world.  It was a pleasant sight to see hundreds of children playing uninfluenced by the rest of the world. 


On the 28th, we were a central part of the main carnival which seemed to attract thousands of people from all over the island.  We were paraded along the streets in the baking heat for two hours walking with the mayor of Tual and all of his senior government officials.  We sat inside a large hall for hours having a dinner buffet and listening to many more speeches about promoting tourism on the island.  Another highlight of our time on the island was dancing in a huge circle outside the main hall in front of hundreds of people.


That final night on the island, Oli, Charlie and Liam spent the evening with Paul from GiddyUp at the local café/bar drinking and singing karaoke with the local police.


Tual itself was very overwhelming with all of the organised events for such a small handful of yachts.  The locals constantly had a smile on their face and were over the moon to see white faces on their tiny island.  We were all very ready to leave on the 29th!