06 September 2007

Teluk Kombal

Anchored at Teluk Kombal
Anchorage #58 in "101 Anchorages Within The Indonesian Archipelago" by Geoff Wilson

Lombok Island
West Nusa Tenggara

As I write this there are 2 mosques off the beach where Sandpiper is anchored. It is after dark and they both have their call to prayer speakers blaring.

We woke up early, left Gili Air, came here and found a mooring buoy right off the beach in this small bay in NW Lombok Island. We had been told by our friends on SV Shiraz that this was a good place to get fuel because the fuel prices here are cheap compared to Bali. We went ashore as soon as we moored and found Mohammad, who arranged everything for us.

Benjamin and myself arranged to get a ride into town to find an ATM to pay for fuel. Nothing is ever what is seems here. I thought it would be a 5 minute ride to the bank. Instead, it was a one hour drive over the mountains. Along the way we saw hundreds of monkeys everywhere. We stopped to check them out and they were everywhere that we looked. I think they liked watching the cars driving by and they just sit along side the road.

Along the river saw where people were gathering up stones from the river bed to be sold by the side of the road for gravel, or to mix with concrete. If you ever think you have a rotten job, think again. All along the road side were men and woman of all ages breaking rocks with hammers to make gravel.

We ended up in a large city. I am not sure of the city's name as our driver did not speak any English and could not understand when we were asking about the name of the city. We did find a big bank where were we were able to get cash out of the ATMs, I took out Rp400,000,000 Rupiah, which equals about USD$400.00. The thing is that the largest note you can get in Indonesia is a 50,000. So my pockets were stuffed with my millions of local currency.

Our driver also took us to a large grocery store that had everything that we had not been able to find since arriving in Indonesia. We even found some cheese!

As third world as it is here with cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and horses dragging carts everywhere, right next to our grocery store was a MacDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Being a Muslim country, I do not think the Big Macs are a hot item here. Instead, the MacDonalds had fried chicken with soup and rice.

After getting everything that we needed in the city we drove back over the mountains, stopped to feed to monkeys some McDonalds french fries (not sure if this is part of their regular diet), and finally got back to Sandpiper some 4 hours after we. And we left thinking we were going on a 5 minute drive!

The rest of the day consisted of Amy scrubbing Sandpiper down, and ferrying jugs of diesel back and forth from the beach. Sandpiper took on 400 liters of Diesel (called "Solar" here). Now we are the fullest on fuel that we have ever been due to a miscalculation on my part of not knowing exactly how much 400 liters of fuel was going to be.

Another really weird thing that happened to us out here several mornings ago. We checked our cell phone and saw we missed a call, at 1am, from an Indonesian phone number. Amy texted the number back asking "Who are you?. It turns out that it was our Indonesian quarantine officer Jusly that had checked us into Indonesia in Kupang. He wanted to know when his picture was going to posted on our web site. He had found our phone number on Sandpipers site. This must have taken some reading since there have been quite a number of entries since then.

We are hoping to catch up on our photos as soon as we get to Bali since internet access is pretty much nonexistent in most of Indonesia. We have quite a few photos to post since we have been taking tons of photos while we have been here.

We are planning on leaving at sunrise for a small island right off of the coast of Bali. We will stay there for the night so we can make an early entry to the marina at Bali the next day.

Tom and Amy

Notes from Ron: Actually there is a Rp100,000 note in circulation, which is the largest. Perhaps they just don't stock the ATM's with these.

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