Finally have an Internet connection here in Indonesia. I’ve tried buying several different SIM cards for my phone with Internet, but they keep running out of Internet bandwidth in like an hour. Apparently I’m too heavy a user for the basic plans, and I haven’t found anyone who can tell me how to get a bigger data plan. I’m using WIFI now in the town of Labuanbajo, so I finally can upload some photos!
We have been very busy since the last report. We’ve met up with two other boats with Americans on board, and have done some amazing sightseeing. I will tell about that in a later post and share photos of the wildlife – including Komodo dragons – later.
Before we left Kupang, we did a half-day tour of some sights in the town. Our main goal was to visit an master instrument maker of a traditional Indonesia instrument called a sasando which is made out of reeds, wire, and bits of wood. It’s kind of like a harp and very unique. The instrument maker has two sons which have won both national and international awards. One of them played an electrically amplified version of a sasando and he was amazing! He mixed in some modern music – rock and roll even – while we listened and then bought our own small version of a sasando. See lots of photos in the album below. Later I will put up a YouTube video of the son playing.
During our tour, we drove through Kupang. The traffic is amazing with thousands of motorcycles and scooters all over the road, and few regular vehicles and trucks. There are also countless pedestrians, hand-pushed carts, etc. There are shops selling virtually anything you can imagine lining the main street for miles and miles.
We also visited a shipwright who makes wooden boats for the fisherman here. He had 8-10 boats close to completion. They are made out of mostly local materials – the wood is Indonesian teak. They also have some fiberglass boats being built, and even two man canoes. The fishing boats have chinese-built diesel engines, and all wooden hand-turned winches for pulling up the fishing nets. Quite interesting.
We also visited a small business that makes palm-syrup-derived sugar. They extract the syrup, boil it in traditional wood-fired stoves in the ground, and then they dry the product into little palm-frond circles that look like a candle. Quite tasty.
We ended up our tour at a very nice Indonesian restaurant on the beach. Most of the larger businesses in Kupang are owned by long-time residents from China. The Chinese are also building several new resorts in Kupang, but right now they don’t see a huge number of foreign tourists.
So, here is the photo album which shows a few photos of our mostly motoring passage to Kupang from Darwin, and photos mostly from the tour we did in Kupang. Definitely some interesting photos in here: