Leslie’s Letters, August 17, Alor Indonesia

Traditional Nusa Tengarra, Indonesia headdress for men. Why is Leslie modeling it?

August 17, 2017    Hello Mom and Dad –

We have internet and I have a moment to write you a note.
Prior to arriving in Alor, we had used up all of our internet wifi credit – so late the first afternoon we arrived, we headed out to buy some ‘pulsa’ or phone and wifi credit for our devices. It’s all working great  now.
What a great few days we’ve been having since we arrived here in Alor, number four of the best dive sites in Indonesia. The first afternoon, after motoring just about all the way from Wini, we arrived around 2:30. We were anxious to head ashore, so the boys quickly unloaded the dinghy and attached the BIG outboard. We buzzed over to shore and were greeted by the tourist people who gave us the lowdown on the activities they had planned for us, where to pull out cash, to get diesel, to buy ‘pulsa,’ to get a friend’s front tooth veneer re-glued, to book a tour of the area for the next day and a scuba dive for today. So much to do!

Welcoming committee including our fabulous tour guide Itha Peni on the right.
Welcoming committee at the specially built Kalabachi dinghy dock.
 Yesterday’s tour started up the mountain to visit a rustic village. Not many people really live so rustic today, but it gave us an idea of what their huts looked like (raised with bamboo floors, a short ceiling on the first floor with a reinforced stone area for cooking all open air with a couple low partitions to designate kitchen and living spaces. A wood ladder directed to the second floor, where I believe they had their beds. A rather flat yet pointed in the middle thatch roof topped off the structure. Neat. There were women selling their wares and I bought an intricate bamboo specimen that I just couldn’t resist.
Rainer Dawn, Bryce Rigney and Trent Rigney at Kampung Traditional Village near Kalabahi.
Celebrated Alor Village wedding drums
Village Bamboo hut interior, Kampung Village, Kalabachi, Alor, Indonesia
Kampung village drums, Alor, Indonesia
Kampung Village, Alor, Indonesia.

The sights of the hillside were beautiful and then off to the hot water springs which were located very far inland via rough roads. It was rather underdeveloped as a tourist place, but interesting. Hot. Then to lunch on the beach. Lovely views under the shade.

Kalabachi, Alor countryside, Indonesia.
Bryce Rigney and Rainer Dawn building a rock cairn at the Alor hot springs, Indonesia.
Southern Alor beachfront – a perfect spot for our picnic lunch.

After lunch, we headed up the local hillside to a waterfall hike which was too much for me at a certain point wearing a dress and flip flops. The path was covered in slippery leaves and steep with no steps plus nothing to hold onto. I was certain to fall and didn’t like that prospect. The guys went (Eric was wearing his Teva’s and work shorts – well, and you know the boys – sure footed as goats). Off they went and had some great exercise visiting a small yet charming waterfall while I chatted with Ocelot’s Sue and John who are aunt and uncle to Rainer.

Eric Rigney and Bryce Rigney cavorting at the Kalabachi, Alor waterfall.
Today, we climbed aboard a very cool scuba dive boat, Indonesia style but designed by a German. The all day tour was GREAT – perfectly organised and wonderfully safe. The first dive was a fast current drift dive. I was wearing too much weight, so couldn’t get balanced right – yet I still enjoyed the absolutely stunningly glorious coral. The soft corals were the most alive and diverse I’ve ever seen. The second dive was even better as we swam about 55 feet down along a coral wall where the most beautiful ferns and glowing coral reflecting all colors of the rainbow were thriving from the cleanest and clearest water imaginable. Wow! The boys did great too considering how little dive experience they have had!
Idyllic blue waters of Alor, Indonesia.
Leslie Rigney getting mentally prepared for the first Alor drift dive.
Rigneyskandu Kandive Alor!
Polish friends Wojciech Maleika (Bolo) & Natalia Ptasinska from S/V Wassyl getting prepared for our first dive!

8 thoughts on “Leslie’s Letters, August 17, Alor Indonesia”

    1. Jim – we have been following the news. At least three of our Ventura family friends have lost their homes to the fires. We are a bit more nervous about sailing through the red sea. We had been planning on stopping in Turkey – and now that Trump has stopped granting visas from Turkey, they have likewise stopped granting visas to Americans. Sigh! Malaysia protested the move of Israel’s capital to Jerusalem. Thanks for posting your thoughts. It’s always GREAT to read your reactions to our blogs. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Leslie

    1. Emmanuelle,
      Thanks for visiting and posting on our blog. Great to hear from you.
      All are well – still working on Kandu’s engine and now the BnT are attacking the woodwork. Next week we should be able to re-install the toilets as the previously water rotted wood has been fashioned and is ready.
      I finished up sewing the flags of the countries we’ll be visiting soon.
      Now I just have to pound on the grommets.
      Always lots of projects. Tonight, I’m rehearsing to sing at a local Chinese Methodist church tomorrow morning a beautiful song called “Sing God a Simple Song” by Leonard Bernstein.
      I haven’t sung much lately. My voice is not in great form – but I suppose it will do.
      Merry Christmas,
      Leslie

  1. You make Indonesia sound enticing. The water looks incredible. So much color. Not the bleached stuff you see in the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. Thanks for posting this letter.

    1. Hello Curtis – The water we dove in Indonesia was spectacular…however there also was a lot of trash near the bigger cities. Sad. Bryce wrote about it in his “Indonesia Variety” blog. Leslie

  2. Your dive and other activities were some you will look back on as incredible. Photos tell it all…happy happpy family.

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