We landed at Karimun Jawa, a small group of islands just southeast of Java, after a fantastic three day passage. A bit tired but eager to dive we pulled up to a wreck I know about, secured a mooring and were in the water by eight AM. It was good to be back in the water, we did the dive twice.
Back on the boat we head to the village, now the girls will see the real essence of Indonesia and I once again will feel the joy. This is my third visit to this village but always as a part of the rally, now we are the only cruising boat. We anchor very close to the wharf, immediately a fleet of small boats pass by circling, waving and gleaming with big smiles. No one, simply no one is as open and friendly as Indonesians, they define it. I get connected to the internet and find my good friend Sari is on the island. She works for the tourism department and visits the island once a month, great timing. Even in this remote village technology does wonders, this pic of Furthur pops up while we are still on the boat.
i love the simple and perfect desing of this Indo boat.
We venture to shore about dusk, I take my trusty balloon tying kit as it will be a hit here. No sooner do we hit the wharf than a small crowd appears to great us. Warm greetings go around; we have learned enough Indo to say hi which delights them. I tie balloons for the kids, the girls break out the phrase book and we all take many pictures of each other. The absolute pure warmth pours over us like a gentle water fall, I huge smile and tear in my eye appear simultaneously, I am back!
Sari finds us in short order, like we are hard to find, hahaha. I take the girls on a walking tour of the two street village always followed by a herd of kids playing and teasing us. The boys love to get the high five and they all slap away. The little girls shyly gleam at the balloon animals I pass around. Adults walk up and say hello proud they can do it in English. We walk by small shops, some guest houses and an array of small businesses, people fill the evening streets. The squawky loud speakers bellow the call to evening prayer and we pass by several Mosques full of the devout. The sounds, smells and smiles all tell me I am in place of peace and happiness.
The girls are blown away, the feel the bliss and it soaks in. We all agree that we should stay an extra day; this is too good to pass by quickly. We arise at dawn to go to the public market. As is common the public markets in small villages are only open a few hours early in the morning, this one 6-8. Poor Sam is just not a morning person but she bravely faces the day. The other girls are still knackered from the long trip so I had a sleepy crew. They sedately crawled into the dinghy and off to market we go.
This is the real thing, not Costco, nor Whole Foods. Food here is direct, not a stage act. Each stall has a vender selling an array of goods right from the source. If you want a chicken you get a chicken, beak feet, feathers and all. No worry about freshness, it is alive and jumping.
I sit and wait for the shoppers, holding the accumulation of goods already bought. I am sitting next to a stand where a woman is mixing an assortment of ingredients into a beverage. She is doing a land office business and it seems each customer gets an different concoction. Curiosity gets me and I order a drink, no clue what goes in it or why. The hijab clad women smiles and seems to take great care in mixing my drink. It has a ginger taste, not bad. I am a bit leery as it may have some medicinal purpose. I only see women drinking it, so I ponder its purpose. The girls show up and each take a taste so we empty the small glass and pay the eight cents it costs, ya eight cents. When was the last time you got anything for eight cents, hahaha.
Back on the boat, and back to bed for some of the crew. I do some chores and we ready for our day at Karimun Jawa. There is a big shindig here today, celebrating an anniversary of the town. We are eager to see what the day will bring.