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RTW-career-gap-year kinda mission till June 2010, I think.

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(viewed 392 times)
It's flat again today. 4 days without a wave. Time to find another way of passing the time...

The reef outside where I am staying is exposped at low tide. After a massive lie in till 0800 this morning I had a quick bite to eat. Then a wander on the reef was in order. Filling the daylight hours as best I can.

Looking at this character, I now know why reef boots are so important. Those spines are pretty long...

This urchin is actually underwater. He or she (how does one sex a sea urchin?) had a good spot. Under an outcrop of rock, so shaded from the worst of the sun. The water is so clear it doesn't show up much on the photo.

Photography in the tropics is a curious art. After dawn, or before dusk, the blinding light of the sun complicates taking a decent picture. Overexposure am any reflective surface a big issue.

Tomorrow I might, if you are all really well behaved, post the tiga bintang laut picture I took. Having had tiga bintang besar bir I think it's great.

I suspect the cold light of day, not to mention sobriety, might change my view of that shot.
23rd Oct 2009, 14:51   comments (3)

The Waterboys

(viewed 382 times)
"...I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon... "
Although these boys were actually delivering water. Not singing.

No piped water here (yet). There is a well. If too much water is used, there is a good chance the well will go saline. No electricity either (yet). A diesel generator suffices. Apparently in town there is solar, wind and a biofuel plant that has never worked, but the electricity infrastructre has not made it this far out. I imagine waste is a septic tank. I digress.

Water is brought to the house on the back of this truck. From one of the yellow tanks the water is pumped into a similar 1100 litre storage tank outside the house.

On behest of the now absent owner I was going to pop into the local shop that coordinates the deliveries 2 days ago. The people from next door, who I had a late afternoon surf with went in asked for water to be delivered here.

This afternoon the truck arrives and the pumping starts. Not even 15 minutes later, job done. I can shower now. :)
22nd Oct 2009, 02:44   comments (2)

Hope it tastes good

(viewed 327 times)
Today was market day. Once a week on Tuesdays from about 0600 till 1400.

The owner of the house I am staying at departed for the big city this morning. I was deputised to take the housekeeper or kabantu (not sure about the Indonesian spelling of the word) to market on my (t)rusty steed. This scooter has a personality all of it's own. I will post about it one day soon. The house next door's owners were going to the market too, so the agreement was for the posse to leave at 0600.

Next door was late so we left after 0630. I am a novice, but quickly improving scooter driver so it was am experience having a pillion passenger.

A quick 10 minute drive and we arrived at what my companion described as peak shopping hour. The housekeeper started off at the tomatoes and quickly stocked up on provisions for the son to be 3 people living here.

The market area is not very big. A cramped square, not even half the size of a football or soccer pitch. It was a ramshacke affair. The dusty red brown earth churned up from the many feet milling around. This stuck to my feet where the sweat gathered beneath my plastic slip slop straps.

On tabletops of palm fronds and frames lashed together seemingly from whatever timber lay about, was an array of produce for sale. From deepfried delights reminiscent of doughnuts to weird looking, light green knobbly cucumber looking vegetables.

This picture is of a spinach like leaf, the name of which I never got to ask. It was more a business like shop, we had a lot of buy, rather than a pleasant meander.

I was pack horse with my 45 litre backpack filled to the brim and a 2nd carrier bag stuffed as well

Once we were done it was am interesting exercise to get us both and the produce onto the bucking bronco and home.

I placed my backpack on the frame of the scooter between my thighs and gripped it with my knees. The lady of the house perched on the back and got a friend to pass the overflowing second bag to her. This was then pushed in the gap between us.

A wobbly start and equally wobbly, near disastrous finish framed a slow but sure chug home.

The shopping safely packed away I enjoyed what I considered a well deserved coffee. It was after all 0900 in the morning.
20th Oct 2009, 11:15   comments (1)

Signal shack

(viewed 330 times)
This little shack is where I go to get signal. Over the last 6 days life appears to be settling into a comfortable routine.

In my humble opinion routine is best avoided. I group that word together with complacency. Together with boredom. Synonyms for the dull, grinding realities and inevitabilies of life in suburbia. Work, eat, sleep, bill paying. We all know how it goes.

However my dear readers (I know of at least 2, 3 if I include myself) this routine of wake up, coffee, surf, breakfast, signal shack visit, lunch, sleep then maybe another surf is one I can live with for the next 2 to 3 weeks. Being on the move by bus, bemo, scooter or ferry does get trying at times.

So what is the significance of the shack? My phone is my only contact with the outside world much of the time. I have no reception where I am staying, so have to take a little drive to where I get a signal, both GSM and GPRS. This is what I use as my marker on the (only single carriage) road into town.

I sit beneath a palm tree with the view of this bay to my back. Shade is more important at that time of day and connect.

I thought these pictures might do well in an estate agents window "cute seaside cottage in need of TLC, but with masses of potential and a great view." Back to suburbia I go...
19th Oct 2009, 16:35   comments (1)

Nembrala Take 2

(viewed 404 times)
My 2nd attempt at capturing this place. The white line in the far distance is the left here in Nembrala.

The wind is blowing offshore. Dead offshore. So perfectly offshore I am very surprised. Blowing too hard though, so it's a dawn patrol again tomorrow morning. Coffee at 5 and then off to surf.

The tide is in, not sure how high, but the lagoon is full of water. The boats are floating rather than lying on the sand.
At low tide one can walk right out to where the waves break. This means wading in water ankle to waist deep. The dark patches are shallower places, sandbanks covered by a groundcovering like seaweed. Seems counterintuitive as darker usually means deeper.
Wearing reef boots is recommended, especially for soft city footed like me. The locals are not that bothered by the reef. Contrary to what the good doctor Scholl says, callouses are sometimes a bonus.
18th Oct 2009, 11:05   comments (0)

Goats on Graves

(viewed 1300 times)
I am assuming these are graves. In a way similar to the Sumbanese style of tomb. But the tomb of a lesser mortal rather than a king. The previous king of east Sumba had an 80 ton carved block as his headstone.
The concrete here is covered in tiles, so I assume these individuals were well regarded. Although it would appear from my observations that there isn't a central burial ground. The family bury their dead on the family's land.
As I scootered into town, the heated grip of the early afternoon not yet loosening I spotted a goat. 2 goats as the pictures show. The slower of the 2 in the process of making himself comfortable. His mate was already down. I assume enjoying the coolness of the tiles. I missed the Kodak moment of the goat kneeling on the tomb, almost as in prayer, as he eased himself down. Gingerly down onto the front legs, then the rest followed, head bowed (well, not really) contemplating life and death. More likely a cool spot under a roof, to watch the world go by.
18th Oct 2009, 03:38   | tags:,,,comments (3)


(viewed 581 times)
As a local expat eloquently described this scene; Just Another Fucking Sunset. I think it highlights the difference between living and visiting in what could be described as paradise. Sunshine, warm water, deserted beaches and a vista like this to regularly drink in and be intoxicated on. Same as the cheap ice cold beer in one's hand has a similar effect. To some the mundane. To others a lifelong memory. Is this why some choose to travel? And why some choose to stay?

Dusk at Nembrala

(viewed 946 times)
The zoom on my camera is inadequate to show the faint surfline in the distance. This is Rote's foremost surf spot. A lefthander sometimes referred to as T-Land. The light is slowly fading. The clouds obscuring the pink skies slowly make landfall in the onshore breeze. Stacked up to the horizon, leisurely drifting Westward their dark underbellies help the quickening night, a promise of rain welcome in there arid parts.
15th Oct 2009, 11:02   | tags:,,comments (0)