2009 World Cruise – Where we have been (green), where we are going (red).There were four sea days between Perth, Australia and our first port-of-call in Indonesia. The second day out we received an invitation to go on a bridge tour the next day. We had been told they didn’t do them anymore but I guess they still do; just not often. I think this was another one of those balcony suite perks. It was interesting though.
The part I liked best was the glass floor panels on either side of the bridge. This part of the bridge extends past the sides of the ship so the captain or pilot can stand on the glass ‘floor’ and get an accurate picture of where the ship is in relation to the dock. Of course, I had to stand on the glass.
During his daily broadcast on our last sea day, the captain announced that, once again, we had a medical emergency and would be powering full steam to Bali so the patient could be medi-evac’d off the ship. By the time we arrived off the coast of Bali there was another patient that had to be taken off as well. And that night people we had met on one of the tours told us that a lady that sat at their dining room table had died that day. Sad. The water was smooth as glass and a stunning turquoise. I wish I had set myself a goal of photographing the water at each place we visited. It changed colour and mood so many times during the voyage.
Bali is the big tourist draw in Indonesia. It was not our port-of-call though. After we got the two sick people safely off the ship we carried on to a neighbouring island, Lombok and a visit to Lembar. This was a tender port and we had an all-day 8-hour tour so we were first off the ship.
Lembar is really trying to draw more tourists so if you go there you are made very welcome. The town mayor, police band, dancers in traditional dress, singers, and tourist information people were all waiting under a tent with a big welcome sign and a red carpet on the dock.
There were also vendors! Very tenacious vendors! We made several different stops on our tour that day and the vendors knew where we were going. As soon as we started boarding the bus to move on they got on their motorcycles and booted it to the next place so they were waiting when we arrived. It was quite funny.
Our first point of interest was the Provincial Museum. They had collections of knives, a Dongson drum, and a very nice cloth collection displayed in outfits on mannequins. This “rocking horse” was a circumcision distraction.
We carried on to the Narmada Water Palace which was built by an aging Raja in 1805 because he could no longer make the journey to the caldera of Rinjani Volcano to make his offerings. The large, artificial lake was built in the same shape as the volcano’s lake. The Lingsar temples on the grounds of Narmada are still used for an annual celebration. There are places of worship for both Islam and Hinduism side by side.
There was soon to be an election in Indonesia. The ballot is three feet long and lists several hundred names of candidates. In each district there are many candidates for each party and all of their names go on the ballot. And we think it can be hard to vote! After a short shopping stop (apparently it is mandatory that tours give an opportunity to shop – unfortunately) at a pearl store – where John bought himself an Indonesian shirt – we went to our last place of the day.We visited a small village called Banyu Mulek where only the women hand-make pottery. The skill is passed down from mother to daughter. The men and elderly take care of the ‘kiln,’ which is a huge pile of leaves and rushes. The various colours of the pottery is produced by the different organic material used in the kiln’s coals. The women joined together to form a co-operative and have a large store where they sell their beautiful products.
It was raining as we walked through the village learning about the pottery craft and we were thankful to get into the back of a ‘cimodo’ horse cart for a ride through the village. We were constantly greeted by men, women and children who came out of buildings or ran along after the carts saying, in English, “Welcome. Thank you for coming. Welcome.” A young man on a motorcycle followed our cart for quite awhile and asked us where we were from and about our lives at home and thanked us several times for coming to his village.John got this great photo of these two little guys.
As the ship was preparing to set sail boats loaded with families or young children pulled up alongside hoping to have coins thrown down to them. This is a practice that is discouraged by the cruise lines as people can get injured, but some folks did it anyway. These are fishing platforms.
The sunset on a wonderful day with brilliant shades of coral and pink.