Wed 10 Aug 2016 09:19
Other than the rolly anchorage we ended up having a brilliant week in Kupang. The Rally had organized loads of events and the people of Kupang all seemed delighted to have us there and couldn’t do enough to help. The Mayor hosted a wonderful gala dinner which was held at a very up market venue called Beer & Barrel which we were taken to by coach and treated to traditional dancing and an Indonesian buffet and BBQ, live music and dancing followed until late.
During the week we visited Monkey Cave and fed the Macaque Monkeys and watched them playing. We also saw the Crystal Cave where you climb down the rocks into a cavern which has a crystal clear pool inside it that you can swim in, the water was full of minerals and had hot springs bubbling in it keeping the water lovely and warm. We also visited an amazing fruit and vegetable market which resembled a Morrocan Souk, without the guide we would have got totally lost it was so big.
On Sunday we joined the Hardrock Hash Kupang and were taken by Grand Master Hard On On and his family by car into the country surrounding Kupang where we did a 6km run on a great trail, then joined the other 100+ people (all locals) to the after Hash and got to sample some wonderful food treats that the local people had made.
The grand finale was another gala dinner kind courtesy of the Mayor which was held at the beach bar (Teddy’s Bar) next to the anchorage where a presentation was made to a representative of each country that was taking part in the Rally – Syd received the presentation for UK and was given a lovely piece of woven cloth which you traditionally drape over your right shoulder. The buffet was superb with the opportunity to try a lot of different dishes (if you are not a chilli fan definitely do not eat Indonesian food it is hot hot hot! We even got given chilli flavoured popcorn!)
Our week flew by and we were actually sad to leave but the schedule is a tight one and festivities were already gearing up in Winni another 80 miles up the coast. We decided we would sail straight on to Alor which was the third stop on the Rally as we had been told it was worth spending time at and is one of the top dive spots in the world.
We left 3rd August with very bad hangovers following a very late night saying goodbye to our friends in Kupang. The wind was blowing and we had a lovely short sail 15 miles along the coast and anchored and swam before the sunset.
Early start next day and we had planned to sail up and anchor in another uncharted bay (very little is charted accurately in Indonesia and though we had purchased an Indonesian Cruising Guide it lists very few anchorages). One of the main hazards sailing in Indonesian waters is fish traps – they come in all shapes and sizes, some obvious and others a clump of palm leaves floating on the sea. What is underneath these is pretty horrendous and any part wrapped around a propellor could seriously delay your travels. Add to this the horrendous rubbish issue in Indonesia – you run the risk of not only being stopped with a tangled prop but plastic bags blocking water inlets. As water making is essential (fresh drinking water is only available in bottles) together with a water cooled engine, fridge and freezer blocked water inlets are a serious issue!