: Wow! What a day. First of all, when we got up Robbie discovered that our freezer was not working. Eeeek, thank goodness for 2 things, the food was not defrosted yet, and because our stocks are so low we were able to load the frozen food into our 2nd
freezer. Not so bad! Next thing he had to pull the freezer apart, not so easy – it’s a very narrow galley and he had to pull up the carpets. He discovered that the circulation fan was not working. Brian from Gypsea Rover who is an electrical engineer and very knowledgeable, very kindly came over to help. The part is not fixable and we need to order a new one. We were supposed to be going on a bus at 10:30am to the markets for fruit and vegetables which we badly needed, and then onto a Gala lunch, hosted by the Regent of Lingga (this is the top Government official) We made Brian late and we didn’t make it all for the bus as the boat was in a bad state. Robbie got it all back together and we got ready and made it over to the dock by about 11:30am. They sent a car for us to join the others who by now had been to the markets and were now in a Batik shop. We just got into the shop which had absolutely beautiful handmade Batik shirts, scarves, material lengths and other stuff, however we were running late for the lunch so they ushered us back on the bus and off we went to the lunch.
Wow I cannot describe the effort these lovely Indonesian people go to, just for us. We were welcomed with another martial arts display dance by two gentleman, and greeted by all the Government Officials. An area was all set up with portable shade covers with dinner tables and fancy table cloths, lace covers on the glasses, lace garters on the water bottles, seat covers, a gift bag with brochures and a gift of a beautiful umbrella and other stuff. A live band, and 6 Indonesian girls in Traditional costumes performed a welcome dance for us. We had a few speeches from the Regency spokesman, the tourism department and a prayer. Our representative Don gave another reciprocal speech which he did extremely well. The meal was a help yourself buffet and had rice, Bar-b-Q Prawns, sweet and sour fish dish, chicken and vegetable soup, vegetable patties, Prawn crackers, fresh fruit and some unusual drinks that are fruit punch but very very sweet. Also some rice cakes wrapped in flax parcels that you dipped into two powdery spices, one was like toasted coconut and the other quite spicy.
The meal was really lovely. They are so keen to build up Tourism in this country. We have been very spoilt! We arranged to go and get some fruit and vegetables as we are departing this anchorage first thing in the morning. Raymond organised 2 motorbikes for us so we hopped on the back (eek no helmets and I had thongs on) and off we flew to the markets. It had practically closed and only one stall was still open but we managed to get some tomatoes, onions, green beans, eggplant, carrots, shallots, red and green chillies, celery – this is very different to what we get at home. It is very thin about the size of a straw and small leaves on the top. Tastes and smells just the same though.
Back on the bikes and back to the event which by now was wrapping up. Back on the bus and back to the Batik shop where we brought Robbie a shirt and I brought some beautiful scarves for gifts.
We were dropped off at the dock and made our way back to our boats. I had offered to do a hair colour for Margie, one of the crew members from Gypsea Rover. So Brian and Andrew brought her over and they stayed to help Robbie again, playing with the motor from the freezer. Also we had got our second quote back from Sevenstar for shipping the boats to the Med, so it all turned a bit crazy on Southern Star for a while. Peter and Heidi arrived to help peruse and compare the quotes. We got it all sorted in the end. Margie’s hair colour turned out OK, we dissected the quotes and the pricing has turned out really bizarre but we have emailed the companies to try and clarify, will keep you posted.