Sea, sand dunes and a mountain
Alabama anchored in Lamen Bay
Finally the day that we will sail on an expedition around Vanuatu comes. Our plan is to spend at least a month in the region as the typhoon season hasn’t yet finished in the northern hemisphere so sailing to Korea now would be dangerous. Instead we will travel around Vanuatu and in this way we will also test the yacht for any defects.
Capital: Port Vila
Population: around 200 000 people, mainly Melanesian
Area: 12 190 square kilometers
Official religion: Christianity, mainly Presbyterian and some Catholic
State system: Parliamentary Republic, they got independence from France in 1980
Currency: Vatu (1 dollar is 100 Vatu)
Language: the official languages are Bislama (Creole Pidjin), English and French
We wake up early in the morning before tourists and restaurant staff start coming. We pack our bags, then suddenly I feel a strong stomach discomfort. I feel better as late as of noon. We go back to the port where we start looking for a truck driver who will be willing take us and thus not pay for tickets. Mr. Shushtari is walking among the trucks and then one driver offers us by himself to take us hitchhiking in his truck on the ferry. Continue reading
Interesting to know…
Bali is the only Hindu island in Indonesia. When the Islam came in 15-th century all the aristocracy and the priesthood of Java came here and established their Hindu bastion. The religion has remained unchanged for 500 years but the differences to Hinduism in India are obvious. Here the religion is mixed with local animistic beliefs and rituals and thus has been formed a specific, local form of Hinduism. For example people are not vegetarians and they even eat veal. People don’t put the typical red dot on their foreheads (sindur) except when they visit the temple and stick rice beans between their brows. Only one god, who represents the infinity, is acknowledged (Achintya) and the other: Vishnu, Shiva and the rest are just his manifestations.
We are back at our favorite Malaysian State Sarawak, but this time for a short period. We stop to eat at the last town of the state – Lawas. The atmosphere is more Muslim than the other towns we passed through. The people from the off-road team treat us to lunch at a very nice restaurant in otherwise not so interesting small town Lawas.
The Malaysian part of Borneo consists of two states – the huge Sarawak and the so called North Borneo, Sabah State.
We have two options: to take the ferry back to Sumatra, Indonesia or to first visit the Malaysian part of Borneo. The things is that there are no ships sailing to Borneo, the yachts going in this direction are just a few, so the only option left is to find a cheap flight. On this journey we travel only by land or on water, but we decide that Borneo is worth it so we will make an exception. In addition the flight with Air Asia costs just 25 Euro per person (luggage and all included). So we will visit the oldest tropical forest in the world, a dream come true for every nature lover and explorer and we will also see the sultan of Brunei :)… or at least the sultanate.
In the morning the boy from the poor Muslim house brings us coffee. His grandmother, who sent him, waves us merrily from inside the house. There is so much goodness “lurking” behind every corner!
* Unfortunately there are no photos in this post because our loyal camera was broken in this period
We are like drunk because of the lack of sleep but we want to escape the terrible Phuket as soon as possible. We sit to eat at a Muslim restaurant and then we head to the exit of the city. We come across a mountain with a steep slope, which we can’t climb in the noon heat so we start hitchhiking in the middle of the city. Continue reading
Burmese with a cart
We enter Burma – now officially Myanmar: a country we don’t know almost anything about. What we know is that it is a Buddhist country and after many years of military dictatorship and a few days ago the elections were won by a democratic leader: Aung San Suu Kyi who had spent many years as a political prisoner and won Nobel Peace Prize. All the travelers we met who had been there were very impressed by the country and said it’s very special and the people are extremely hospitable and nice. This is all the information we have for now. Continue reading