Exploring Wangi Wangi
Sunday 20th August 2017
Being anchored in the lagoon at Wangi Wangi meant that it was always calm, but never quiet. Local boats came and went at all hours, passing between the anchored yachts with their very noisy diesel engines banging away. At 0430 the muezzin on one side of the bay started its call to prayer, and shortly after was joined by the one on the other side of the bay, as if in competition with each other.
Local boats with very noisy engines came and went at all times of the day and night.
A local boat moored in the middle of the lagoon. Scott-Free dressed overall for Indonesian Independence Day.
Indonesian Independence Day is celebrated on 17th August, and festivities began in the bay with boat races. This was interesting for me to watch from the boat, but I was a little concerned as Steve had gone with Wayne & Debbie on Irie and Bob & Sue to do some diving from the dinghies, right in the path of the racing boats. They had already gone down and so were not aware until they came back up that boats had been racing past above their heads! Fortunately all was well, but for safety’s sake they decided to call it a day, which sadly meant that Bob & Sue didn’t get to dive.
In the evening we were invited to dinner at the Regent’s house. The food was very good, and we did not really mind having to sit with plates on our laps in rows instead of round a table. We did mind, however, that our rows of chairs were tucked right around a corner on a driveway, where less than half of us had a view of the proceedings. The entertainment designed to keep us happy while we waited a very long time for the Regent to arrive, could only be heard, not seen, and after a couple of hours we began to get just a little fed up.
It became apparent that our rally festivities were an “add-on” to their Independence Day celebrations, and when we saw a large table covered in trophies awaiting presentation, and still no Regent to do so, we decided enough was enough. We left quietly through a side door and nobody even noticed. Back at the WIC, our guides gave a wonderful performance of a song called “Wakatobi, Underwater Paradise” in English, which we all applauded loudly. It was the best part of the evening, and we thanked them all for the help they had so happily and willingly given us.
Steve and Putra posing outside the Regent’s house. The guides gave an excellent performance of their song.
Putra, our guide, and Rifal, Bob & Sue’s. We all lit a candle to wish Indonesia a Happy Birthday.
Next day we set off for a tour of the island organised by Rifal. We stopped first at a cave with springs, and then went on to a seaweed farm.
These springs are used by the local people for washing clothes and themselves. Schoolchildren passing by wanted to practise their English.
The seaweed is spread out on platforms to dry in the sunshine. The seaweed changes in colour as it dries out.
Seaweed beds stretched out over a large area. Harvesting a line of seaweed.
Then on to Fort Liya Togo, with its twelve entrance arches, where we visited the first mosque built on the island.
The first mosque built in Wangi Wangi. One of the twelve entrance arches.
Blossom from the Frangipani trees littered the grass. A lady demonstrated weaving the local cloth.
Then on to another natural spring, where we dangled our feet in the water and had tiny fish biting the dead skin off.
A convenient stone for scrubbing washing against. The fish nibbled at our feet.
We stopped at a beach where a lady climbed a palm tree to get us a coconut each to drink from.
Rifal chopped the coconuts and made a hole to drink from. A refreshing drink from fresh coconuts.
Then on to lunch at the Sumba dive resort. The plan had been to do some snorkelling from here, but the boys had not brought their swimmers and the sky was overcast and darkening for rain, so we decided to call it a day and head back to the town.
On the way we noticed these conical ‘hats’ on a fence. They are used for steaming cassava cones.
They grate the cassava root with this grater made from nail holes in a piece of metal.
We all arrived back at the boat tired, but pleased to have been given a picture of the lives of some of the people who live on the island. Later that day we attended the Farewell BBQ at one of the dive resorts on the beach. This was a fun event with races and a tug of war between locals and yachties. The yachties won, but then the Indonesians are a slightly built people and were no match to the robust frames of the yachties, though they gave them a good run for their money. Good fun was had by all, followed by a delicious buffet dinner and a spectacular sunset.
The final of the sack race. Heave!
A beautiful sunset.
On our last evening we invited Putra out to dinner. Later we walked him home, where he asked for a photo with his family, and as Bob & Sue were passing by after dinner at Rifal’s home, they joined the group.
Putra’s mother, brothers and sister. A lovely family.