Cape York & into Asia via Timor-Leste, Indonesia, etc

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by The Bigfella, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. AusStealth

    AusStealth Bohican

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    I think you made the best choice with the wedding. You can meet nutters any day of the week.
  2. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Ambassador.... not the Supreme Leader. I was going to edit that out btw, but I don't seem able to edit anything, using this computer. Yeah... it still would have been an interesting meeting. A two on one.... but the wedding won out.
  3. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Yeah - but having a chance to get some input into moving things onto a more even keel doesn't come along very often.

    Meanwhile.... you might be thinking this is just a small wedding, eh? Not on your Nellie... to quote a long dead relative of mine's favourite saying.

    Here's another one from the Friday, of the girlfriend with one of her brothers. Nice guy. He just offered me a trip up to Sulawesi with him this week, but I've got to work here in Jakarta

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    And another shot from the first day. I think this was a neighbour of the bride... I just like the way the shadows played out

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    I'm in the market for one of these caps too

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    Last one of the charades (my word... not theirs) from Friday. Some sort of ritual where the family sell the guests a drink from a stall. Most "pay" with a shard of pottery from the vessel used to provide the cleansing water, which was ritually smashed during that part of the service.

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    Come Friday morning, I was assisted into my traditional Javanese clothing by four of the guys. Some innovation was required... and some discomfort on my part. I'm a Euro 48 for footwear. Biggest available was 45. That little 3 means a lot when it comes to footwear. The traditional Javanese shoe is like a western business shoe at the front... and a sandal at the back. Closed toes. I struggled around for half a day and the pain of hanging two inches out the back of the shoes got too much and I changed to my western shoes. Here's one of the brothers re-adjusting my gear, which was necessary every time I sat down

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    See what I mean about the shoes... I had to slip out the sides as much as possible to avoid the pain

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    That's two of the brothers and a nephew and I forming part of the guard of honour as the bride and groom arrived.... which is a big show in its own right

    The bride - who I'd met in Jakarta when we arrived... and her mother and father. The mother is one of my girlfriend's sisters.

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    The groom and his parents - behind the dancers

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    As the couple are united, they are wrapped together (I should ask whether this is so they can't escape...) and led to the table to be married in the Muslim ceremony, which precedes the Javanese ceremony. That's my girlfriend on the left, with the sister who is hosting us in Jakarta. I'm not a fan of the makeup... I'm told it's "Solo style". Including pinned on buns, etc. It's the makeup bit and big eyelashes I'm not keen on, but tradition is tradition

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    and the ceremony begins

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    The religious ceremony was attended by several hundred... with LOTS more arriving for the next bit. I did a rough count on plates on the food lines - a couple of thousand. More on that later
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  4. swamp

    swamp Shut up. Ride.

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    No alcohol right?

    Weddings scare the crap out of me. I got married in China .. I puked at least 3 times that day
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  5. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    There was one small bottle of gin... drunk neat on a balcony with absolutely no rails on it on the Friday night. Only about a 25' drop.... but I had to read the riot act to a certain woman - who shall remain nameless - who kept walking around backwards out there. I eventually told her that the next time she did it, I'd pick her up and throw her through the (open) window, back into the room. She stopped doing it.
  6. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    So, I've met the girlfriend's mother too... and we got on fine. Memorised my first few lines of Bahasa.

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    Still can't come to grips with the makeup though

    We got into the Javanese ceremony once the licences were presented

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    This is the only shot I've got showing the back of our gear. We were all wearing a Kris - the Javanese dagger

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    While I think of it though... I missed posting this bit of the Javanese dancers

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    Quite the show

    The couple and their parents retired to the stage... after changing outfits again

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    More symbolic rituals

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    This bit was a bit different. They brought in a cooked chicken... which they symbolically ripped apart. I guess that's something to do with sharing / providing

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    Then it was food - for a couple of thousand... and photos - for a couple of thousand, with the couple

    Here's the girlfriend's sibling shot. All her brothers and sisters - except one brother who was off somewhere for a few minutes and there was a brother who died about 9 years ago.... as did the father.

    The two kneeling are adopted - which fits the flavour of the family. They had 23 servants when the girlfriend was growing up - mostly people her father saved during the troubles here, when somewhere between one and three million died at the hands of the army in the late 60's. He was well respected and when he told the army that the people were his servants, they were left alone.

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    I got to lift the mother up and down from the stage a couple of times. No wheelchair access. The big guy always gets the heavy jobs

    ... but then, formalities over, it was time for fun

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  7. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    How about a couple of random shots

    On the road... driving past a volcano. They're in the news in Indonesia at present, with Bali's Gunung (mount) Agung erupting. The airport has been variously open and closed.... and we have to transit through that airport next week on the way home.

    This one is more benign. It's one we passed, heading home from the wedding in Cilegon

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    And, I need to get home. My son flies back from the USA, where he's been working for 18 months, on Christmas Day - in time for his wedding on December 30th.

    Speaking of Cilegon. It's also known as Steel City - the home of Krakatau Steel. The local minibuses there all sport wings. Very, um, stylish

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    I saw one nice one - pink and green wheels - but only got a partial shot of it, despite seeing it a few times.

    We did a trip down to Sunda Kelapa Harbour - now better known as Pasar Ikan (fish market) the old port of Batavia in the mouth of the Ciliwung River, dating back to when the Portuguese and Dutch first came here in the 1500's to see the "schooners". These wooden vessels used to be schooners, but these days, the mizzen masts are all gone and they've converted to diesel power since the mid '70s. Still, they are all wooden and are very interesting,with one company still using sail - in an assist role, rather than as the main motive power. Known as pinisi (with some spelling variations)

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    The largest of them is 200' with a 40' beam. This one is slightly smaller. They carry up to 300 tonnes of freight

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    I'm suffering a bit from the internet connection problem here.... and I need to get into town for a meeting. More later.
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  8. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    OK, so I managed to get rid of the duplicate post by using a different browser. Let's see how we go here. I've got a moment of peace at last - the sisters have gone shopping. Here's hoping they find some more anti-histamines... I'd like to keep on keeping on. My extended stay means supplies are at an end. Bibi - the head servant here wouldn't know what a food intolerance is... and spices and I have a bit of a tussle. She just smiles and says "OK Mista"

    So - back to the Batavia docks. This from the UNESCO site and it's consideration of this part of Jakarta for World Heritage Status

    At the mouth of the river of the Old Town of Jakarta, there exists a wharf specifically for traditional/vernacular sailing boats from various parts of the Archipelago. Indonesia has the largest fleet of merchant sailing boats in the world and the boats of the various islands show different characteristics. This port for vernacular sailing boats is evidence of a unique maritime culture still in existence till today. It is an inter-island port. In the past Batavia was the most important port in Asia for inter-island, Inter-Asia and the Asia-Europe trading route. Today it is still one of the most important ports for inter-island traditional vernacular boats. These boats are an outstanding example of traditional sea-use which is representative of a culture or human interaction with the environment which has become vulnerable under the impact of the development of modern shipping technology.
    There is the odd threat... like sea level rise, given these docks were built hundreds of years ago. We got wet feet

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    The locals prefer to blame the now jailed former Governor Ahok for that... because they reckon that nearby developments targeting Chinese investors have caused the land to subside.... but let's stay clear of politics, eh?

    Did I mention that the schooners (pinisi or, more correctly pinisiq) are all painted in different colours, according to which company owns them. Nothing new there. Here's the largest of them... a 200' x 40' vessel

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    More of 'em

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    Yours truly checking out an engine room. Better knick than my boat... but a bit more room

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    An auxiliary was running, so it was a bit warm and noisy down there

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    I'm told that the maximum horsepower is 420 on one of the boats. All Japanese engines, it seems... although the first of these wasn't fitted until the mid 70's


    Crew accommodation. I'm guessing that the pillowslips haven't been washed for a while

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    These are the original spice warehouses of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; or Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie in modern spelling - the Dutch East India Company - VOC - now a museum.

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    They were built between 1652 and 1771. I'd love to take a look at that maritime museum. Hopefully another trip.

    Speaking of history.... let me digress a bit. I believe we have just discovered that her great uncle was Minister for Defence here, back around the time Australia was buying these toys

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    I don't think the thought of her dating an Aussie would have been very popular with him back then.

    Enough of the boats eh? I have more photos if anyone is interested. So.. we all found a Padang style restaurant and I finally mastered the art of eating with just my right hand

    Last boat shot

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