Sunday, April 5, 2009

Top of Indonesia - The Final Chapter ...

I've just returned from a visit to an island off the northern tip of Sumatra call Pulau Weh.

Just outside Sabang, the principal town on the island, I visited my final Red Cross chapter in Aceh Province, the 22nd of 22 chapters. The radio work went well and they now have a fully functioning setup.

The town of Sabang is on the northern side of the island. When I went for a swim off this beach I was about as far north as you can get in Indonesia, not the furthest, but just about. In the foreground you can see a father teaching his small son how to fish off the beach. 

The island is very different from the others we've been to. It’s only a short 45 minute express passenger ferry ride from Banda Aceh and so it’s a major “get-away” spot for people needing a break from the city. The streets are all well maintained, lots of flower plantings, and all of the streets are tree-lined. It does offer some fine diving and snorkeling – I had to settle for a short swim! But don’t come here if you’re looking for a tourist center like those offered in Florida, the Caribbean, or the Mediterranean. The places I’ve visited on this trip are “un-touristed”. It’s life as the Indonesians live it. I love that so I’m in heaven but many people would go crazy looking for western-style restaurants and bars – there aren’t any outside the large cities!! One or two resorts on the island tucked away from the town of Sabang cater more to a western clientele but it’s still a very simple lifestyle.

Here's a photo of a street sign. If anyone has any idea what it’s meant to indicate I’d love to know. Strong winds maybe ...

As a follow on to the election coming up next Thursday, that I commented on earlier, I saw another poster recently which outlined 44 political parties registered. I guess 6 of those don’t have candidates in Jakarta as their poster only showed 38.

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