I’ve arrived! It was quite an interesting trip. Last night, I wasn’t sure if Mr. Rudi was going to bring me all the way or not. I thought so then he mentioned there are three boats. He also told me there was no reason to call Fadhila’s as they would probably be at the dock. In that state of uncertainty but definitely clear it was time to travel, I headed to bed.
For some reason, I woke at 3:00 am. Very early as I’d been told the ferry was at 6:00 am. However, at 4:30, they started loading my pack on the boat and I looked East as I heard the sounds of the Puspita Ferry heading to Melenge already.
We pursued it and I was a bit nervous as Mr. Rudi periodically flashed his flashlight to signal them. Silly me! I thought they might dock, drop off their passengers and be off again. Silly me again! This IS Indonesia and things simply don’t work fast.
We got there, I got on, took my pack inside the ship where the sleeping bunks are, went back to the top deck because it was too hot and stuff down there, and waited until the ferry was ready to leave an hour later. Fortunately, I did coffee, the instant Mocha packets I’ve come to appreciate more than the regular coffee. When I asked how much and he hesitated, I knew I’d be getting the tourist price.
A young man asked me where I was going while we were en-route. His Uncle is the manager here and his brother manages the front desk. Before the ferry came to a halt, he picked up my heavy backpack and headed down the stairs to the deck below and the exit to the dock. On deck was the manager from the hotel, his brother and a boat waiting to bring me across. It was 7:15 and I was checked into my new room by 7:30.
It’s taken a bit to get used to here. There are only two other guests, one from Spain and the other from France. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were accompanied by a bit of awkward silence. They are not very expressive or conversational but seem like nice men.
It’s more noisy than Lestari on Melenge, a lot more boat traffic from the village of Katupat 400 meters away and the local mosque plays prayers through their speakers five times a day. I’m only guessing but pretty certain I’ll be hearing that at 4:30 am as well.
I was tired from the short night and spent most of the day in the hammock relaxing and reading between dozing off. I got a lot of rest and didn’t realize I needed it. This island feels cooler or perhaps it’s just the weather pattern. This afternoon, I went for a short snorkel without fins until the blisters on the arches of my feet heal from the last set of fins I used. It was gorgeous and I saw a lot of Lion Fish!
Shortly after showering and getting a coffee, I watched storm clouds move in from the East and the curtain of white beneath indicate rain was approaching. I stood on the dock and watched before refreshing my coffee and returning to my bungalow.
It rained, I sat in my bungalow with the windows open and the cool breeze flowing through writing; perfect match!
If transport was available, I’d probably leave tomorrow. Since it isn’t until Sunday, I’ll relax for two more days. When I start trekking and hiking the valleys of Tentena and Tana Toraja, I’m sure I’ll appreciate the rest.
Latest travel updates continue to be cloudy regarding transport schedules, times, days, etc. When do the ferries run? Sunday, maybe Saturday, market day Sunday so there will be lots of boats. Two days after Friday!
Can I take the ferry to Bomba? “NO, no ferry to Bomba. You can take the ferry to Ampana and then come back to Bomba on another ferry”. Ferry very expensive! Lots of boats from Wakai on Sunday, market day, to Bomba. You can ask the Captain of the ferry, he’ll call you and have a boat pick you up. Yes, very expensive.
I mentioned what Mr. Rudi told me about talking to the captain. Iful said, “Oh Yes! I’ll ask tomorrow!” However, tomorrow was yesterday and there was no boat yesterday. The boat just left so perhaps today?
One of the three public boats is all white. Mr. Rudi told me to talk to the captain, ask him to drop me in Bomba but pay my ticket to Ampana and he’ll drop me off. If that works, it’ll cost me $45,000, the same fare as going all the way to Ampana.
From “no ferry” to maybe ferry to we’ll talk to the captain tomorrow and finally “yes it’s possible but it’s expensive. Once again, when it’s time to travel, I’ll take a leap and see what shows up. As you’ve noticed from reading my repots, at every stage of my trip so far, it’s worked out perfectly for me.