Wednesday, 1 July 2015

2nd July - Waisai adventures - police - Sapokreng Village - Papua (Raja Ampat)

Thursday 2nd July 2015

Yesterday was a day of Waisai/Waigeo Island adventure.  In the morning, the day belonged to – POLISI!

Apparently Johnson isn’t called Johnson at all; his name is something like Bergeon.  He is lovely and kind and helpful – for example he turned up on the pontoon in the middle of the night to see if we needed help with our ropes.  But he isn’t a police officer, he is something Fikri described as “boatman.”  Maybe water police??

Anyway…yesterday we went to Fikri’s office in our underpowered little hired ute, and then he took us to the main police station in Waisai.  Out in the sticks, about ten minutes drive from town!  The police have a nice little encampment there, with dormitories, chooks, a soccer ground, a bit of rubble. 

We had a serious interview in an office

Serious work at the police station
and then proceeded in convoy to 2XS.  Our young contingent of police were delighted beyond words to be on a yacht.

In Bali, the police are on and off boats of all sorts every day.

but not in Waisai!  I printed out photos for them all (thank God for the CanonSelphy printer – best toy on the boat!) and then they requested…a group hug!  (More or less…)

(The photo reveals quite a lot of the ropes securing poor 2XS to the pontoon…one of them frayed and just about snapped during the night.  It was NOT a good night!)

After we had done our photo opportunities and interviews, we added up how much we had lost.  Replacement cost for our lost items came to between $300-400 so it was worth making a fuss.  To discourage the others!

Pete disappeared in the posse, and I drove the underpowered ute into town.  I was an object of admiration and amazement – WOOHOO!  WEEHEE, shouted many young men on motorbikes, or loitering along the roadways.  I made sure to rev the (underpowered…) engine as impressively as I could as I chugged on by…

I parked outside our favourite restaurant and trotted along to Randy Salon & Bridal to give them a copy of the photo I had taken the day before. THRILLED TO BITS!!  (Oh how I love the Power For Good of the little photo printer!)

And then I went in to drink iced lemon tea and to savour the green GREEN ambiance…Yesterday they were watching Wolverine, loudly. Today it was Maleficent, also loudly but not quite as ghastly.  Every now and then the power cuts off and - oh - the blissful silence!  Nobody ever gets to see a whole movie.  It is a busy little restaurant; people come in and get their plates full of vegetables, rice, chilli eggs, fish. They eat it down swiftly, with delicious glasses of freshly made iced lemon tea, and then off they go.  With Wolverine ringing in their ears!

We went back to the boat and decanted the fuel and then, at last, it was time to have a bit of a tour of Waigeo Island.  There aren’t many roads to choose from, so we went left, along the coast, up and down steep hills.  The road was OK, mostly bitumen, with a few potholes.  But very steep and challenging for the poor little ute!  On the way we met some – Europeans!!  Walking their dog!!

Martin and Steffi work at the Raja Ampat Dive Resort, and have been there for two years.  They were full of information, and we enjoyed our chance meeting with them very much.

They said there was a village – Sapokreng – at the end of the road.  What they didn’t say was that the road doesn’t actually go to Sapokreng… By the time we got to the dead end, the ute suddenly showed an alarmingly EMPTY sign on the fuel indicator.  It had been saying FULL all the way… It would have been a long slow walk back to Waisai.  No petrol stations, of course.

End of the road
Just a beautiful little beach,

a very old lady gathering firewood,

and a very nice man, Yan, who picked up an empty bottle under the Bird Watching Area sign and told us to follow him to the village, where we should be able to buy fuel.

It was quite a long walk, through the jungle, on a narrow, steep track.  Just beautiful, if unexpected.  And even more unexpected, at the end of the track – a concrete pathway and then a marvellous wide boardwalk!

The village itself was just delightful. 

Very neat and tidy, spick and span, like all the Papuan villages we have seen thus far.

Everyone had nifty arrangements for kitchen duties.

Yan walked back with us, carrying our fuel.  He was very solicitous of my welfare and found a nice walking stick for me.  Pete, on the other hand, was left to fend for himself…So we got a lovely walk, and the thirsty ute got a drink.

With the help of a gathering crowd…

The boys were very keen to pose for a photo; they shrieked with joy when I showed them, after they had arranged themselves into their favourite fierce pose.

We said goodbye to our benefactor, gave him a bit of money, and off we chugged, up and down the hills, to get home just in time for sunset.

On the way we saw a beautiful red and blue bird.  I saw it settle in a tree and asked Pete to stop STOP RIGHT NOW!!  He was a bit alarmed but stopped and I leapt out, ran back up the hill, and there it was, a glorious parrot!  Unfortunately…I couldn’t really focus or zoom in with my iPhone because there were big waving leaves between me and the bird, which confused the camera.  But…I am posting the photo anyway, blurry or not!

We are very excited to be watching the night sky, with Venus and Jupiter so close together, and the full moon!  I looked it up on Google and found that this configuration is visible all over the world, at different times in the night.  A unified world!  So wonderful!

From the internet

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