Aug 31, 2010

nias chronicles...

were not m.i.a peeps, we have just had a little difficulty getting internet connectivity...

part 1 – 25.08.2010

ahh... we have arrived at our final indonesian destination after two agonising days in transit, which saw the planes get smaller and smaller with every flight we took. needless to say, the final flight was spent with my fingers and toes crossed on a rickety old double engine propeller plane. (btw, i have to board again to get back to medan; not happy jan...) however i was quickly distracted once we left medan and headed west to the coast of Sumatra. it was memorising. the thousands of acres of wild, untamed jungle and volcanoes had us captivated enough for kurt to turn to me mid-flight and say, cant you just imagine tigers down there.

once we arrived, all we could see was miles and miles coconut trees lined with the occasional banana tree, teaming with fruit. this place is the most exotic location to date and probably one of the most unusual places this trip will take us. the two and a half hour drive to lagundri bay saw us pass through some breathtakingly blue rivers which met the sea. the beauty was astounding but in the same breathe we also saw the devastation that was caused in 2005 which left the island in ruins. the luscious green mountains were barren where the tsunami had hit and less than three months later, an earth quake decimated nias’s coastline and left mass trails of destruction. construction and rejuvenation of the island is still in its infancy stages and there is a long way to go.

without much prior investigation into lagundri bay on my behalf, all i can say is that it has little but surf and an amazing view. from the balcony of our losmen, looking from left to right all you can see is reef, crystal clear blue water, pounding surf, fishing boats and coconut trees. with this in mind we have spent our last few days chatting with the locals and the group of aussie surfers also residing here. to fill up the afternoons and evenings we have taken to purchasing fresh meat or seafood and having a big cook up. yesterday the guys went into the local village and bought and killed a pig. the afternoon was spent sipping bintangs and watching the locals dig a pitt and lay coconut shells to barbeque the pig. it was without a doubt the best tasting pork barbeque i have had in my life. it could be because its the first piece of meat i have eaten in the past three and a bit weeks or if it was because it was the best tasting bbq pork i have ever had (sorry dad). tonight, kurt and i bought a large mahe mahe aka. dolphin fish, off a fisherman that came ashore which should be mouth-wateringly tasty with some rice and stir fry veggies.
thus far i have been able to establish that nias is good for: fresh seafood, decent sized meals, coconut bread, surfing, tanning, sweating your ass off, friendly locals, pineapple jam and good massages.

part 2 - 28.08.2010

with the swell getting smaller and smaller each day, we have decided to leave nias early. after learning that merpati airlines decided to can their medan – nias leg, we had to rebook flights and decided that a date change was in order. the past few days have been spent with lazily because the heat seems to be getting worse, or its effecting us more, or a combination of the two. we have had some good laughs over the past few days, thanks to charlie the likeable-bogan from sydney and have bought another mahe mahe for dinner tonight.

yesterday we headed into town on a scooter and the afternoon turned out to be a little more magical than we could have imagined. in our rush to get to the internet to confirm our new flights, kurt and i got stuck in an afternoon thunder storm and got a little wet. having to drive a bit slower, given the wet, that we were on a scooter and the terrible condition of the roads, we saw some things that ended up being the highlight of our trip to sumatra.

driving past the small local communities we observed families laying out their coconut shavings and nuts to make homemade museli, local seafood markets with endless supplies of fish, crabs and shell fish, men welding side carts to their bicycles and old women pushing their old food carts carefully dodging pot holes in the road. seeing the clouds roll over the rice fields and listen to the thunder crack over the mountains was a memory that will stick with me for a long time.

some pics from our nias photobook.