The anchorage in Kumai was 10 miles up a very shallow river and we benefited from other
boats that had supplied accurate waypoints to enable us to avoid the shallows and sandbanks.
As we approached the town we could see what looked like a lot of drab grey buildings set amongst
the typical one storey houses and shops.
We found out later that these buildings house thousands of swallows that make their nests using
mud and saliva. It is these nests that are harvested to make birds nest soup. Chinese and Japanese
pay a lot for these nests and it is a lucrative business for the locals with the added bonus of
the birds keeping the area clear of insects on which they feed.
You could hear the birds calling from dawn to dusk.
Kumai is a busy port and ocean going vessels and local wooden boats were moving along the
river day and night. As always in Indonesia the people were very friendly and stopped to talk
at every opportunity.
The local mosques made sure that we woke early every morning as they called the faithful to prayer