Showing posts from August, 2010

Into dragon country


In the Wakitobi islands

12 August 2010We left Banda for Ambon – quite a different place! It rained and poured and then it rained some more. The dinghy filled up several times. We sent our washing off to be done and it came back – wet – three days later. Ambon is a large city of some 300,000 people. The town is large and smelly, with pockets of modern urban buildings next to traditional crowded markets, with tiny one-chair barbers' shops squeezed next to stalls piled with local fruit. We travelled around by 'bemo' (small mini-buses that appear to have a particular route but are also happy to divert from it). At one point our bemo decided to take a detour through the market, with barely an inch either side. Everyone in Indonesia smokes – or at least everyone male! - and that includes in the buses, in restaurants, in shops. Indonesian cigarettes have a particular smell, of cloves and something else, so not unbearable but overwhelming in the back of a bemo in the rain. The river in Ambon was full of …