Another day in Steamy Paradise (Raja Ampat)

After mooching around feeling hot and bothered, Ichal and I decided to go and see what was happening at the festival. As it was the middle of the day, I asked Ibu if I could borrow her umbrella again and the look on Ichal’s face when I headed out with my democrat umbrella was priceless.

All he could say was thank goodness I hadn’t used it at the opening ceremony as that was definitely a GOLKAR sponsored event! I definitely got a few funny looks and Ichal obviously had to deal with some subtle teasing but it made such a difference being able to walk in the shade.
The park was deserted, even the stalls were closed. It was bizarre! The program said that the morning events were held at Ibadah house but have no idea where that was. Instead we stumbled across a government stall

20131022-174902.jpgwhich was promoting recycling and educating the locals here on what products can be recycled and the amount of money collectors of each type can expect. A rubbish program here in Raja Ampat is vital for the environment to be protected. If not, it will very quickly deteriorate and that would be absolutely criminal.

On display were a few examples of products made here from ‘rubbish’.




We then headed out of the park to get some lunch at our usual warung. The owner greeted us and invited me to sit down next to her as she too was eating lunch. For lunch today I had kangkung and also a eggplant and snake bean dish in coconut milk but it was nowhere near as delicious as the previous days.
With nothing better to do, we returned back to our home stay and mooched around for a couple more hours which gave me time to blog some more and rest.
Then at 3pm, in an effort to distract ourselves from the heat and humidity we returned to the festival to see the dancing competition. The first dance competition was to be joget which did not thrilled Ichal at all maybe because it is danced to Dangdut music which is nowhere near as popular in Eastern Indonesia as it is in Java, Kalimantan & Sumatra. (Ichal does not agree with the claim in Wikipedia that Maluku is an exception to this). However to our surprise instead of a dance competition, we discovered a modeling competition.

The 5 girls seemed to age from 7 – 14 years and were dressed in adult style clothing wearing insanely high heeled shoes. It all looked totally inappropriate and then the strut and poses they did for the judge was the final straw for me. Thankfully Ichal was as unimpressed as I was, so we headed off to do some exploring.
We followed the coastline until we came to a river, which we followed until we discovered a market. There were stalls still selling fish and vegetables, then on the other side of the road was a gambling tent! Mainly men of all ages were playing a game similar to roulette where they put a chip on a number and if the number is selected then they won a prize. Prizes seemed to be mainly cartons of cigarettes! The next place we came across was the most interesting. A tent in which 2 kaki lima had set up. One selling bakso and one selling es campur. We each ordered es campur and it was incredibly delicious.

In this es campur were agar agar (jelly) shapes, roasted peanuts and cubes of bread. The bread I couldn’t eat, but otherwise it was one of the nicest I have ever had. The crunchy peanuts were a really lovely addition. Reminded me of the ronde I had in Jogya.
We continued on our walk and came across some concreted paths through a field. There we just mooched taking photos of interesting things and enjoying the cool breezes under the huge shady trees.




Ichal then decided that we should head home via a roundabout at the entrance to Waisai township. While it was a fair walk, it was well worth it.


On the way, Ichal realsied that we were walking over lumps of coal! He is constantly amazed at how wealthy the environment is here. I found a lovely small piece which I hope I can bring home and show everyone. At the top of the hill, we took photos from the roundabout of the beautiful sun set over the bay and then headed home via a warung for dinner. There I had a very filling and delicious meal of nasi with a freshly fired egg and freshly made kangkung. So delicious.

20131022-180247.jpgThis fellow kept us company while eating dinner!
After dinner we decided we should see what was happening at the festival. A dance competition was just finishing and then luckily a traditional Papuan music ensemble took the stage. They only played 2 songs unfortunately but what I loved most was that all their instrument were natural or made from local materials. The best instrument was the ‘triton’ a conch shell! 4 men stood to the front blowing through them the whole time.

Following them was a local singing dandut, so we headed home!! I wonder how many others went home too!!
Needless to say I slept very well that night after all that walking!


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