Friday, August 05, 2011

The climb up the volcano was pretty brutal. It was pretty much straight up but that wasn’t the whole problem. The footing was absolutely atrocious, it was small broken up bits of lava. On the way up you had to kick your toes into the scree and then dig for purchase before hoisting yourself up the next step. On the way down your feet had a tendency to slip and slide trying to throw you off balance and send you tumbling. I am really glad I wore my hiking boots because they saved my ankles several time. It was definitely worth the climb though, the views were stupendous. Gunang Api as the peak is called last exploded in 1988 and there are huge lava flows down the northern side of the island. We actually went snorkeling later that day just off one of the flows. The water was so clear, we saw beautiful coral, a moray eel and a bunch of different sorts of fish.
The last couple of days have been taken up with exploring other parts of the main island. We were walking along one day and two very nice polite you Bandanese attached themselves to us. They have been practicing their English on us and helping us with our Indonesian. We had them aboard yesterday and they marveled at everything but the only thing they took a picture of was the engine. Last night we were treated to an exhibition of “crazy bamboo”. It involved seven people holding on to a bamboo tree and a fellow with smoking embers running back and forth blowing smoke onto the bamboo. After a while the people holding the bamboo would start to sway and rock back and forth and it seemed no matter how hard they held on they could not stop from moving. Some of the cruisers tried it and one explained that you would loose your balance with the concentrated effort of holding on and then the guy running back and forth with the smoke you would loose your perspective and start staggering around. I hope to post a video of it, keep watch on the links section.
We are not sure when we are leaving it really is wonderful here and we are enjoying socializing with all the other cruisers and the anchorage is so calm and serene. I am even getting used to the 5 daily call to prayers.
More pictures later when the connection is better.