What matters is that we’re all safe and happy


The title of this post comes from the words of a kind man – a Bapak – whom we met at 11pm last night and bid farewell at 5:30am this morning. The Bapak was part of a group of men who, having seen us kayaking yesterday, were so frightened that we might be bad people coming to do harm, walked to our ‘secluded’ campsite in order to see the bad people off – with torches, loud voices & machetes. Their fear immediately turned to concern when they saw 4 western women – concern because they had not heard about us from the local Kepala Desa. The only thing to do, they said, was for two of us to hike with him to see the KD, whilst the other two stayed in camp under the protection of a bunch of guys. So, Duika & I spent the next 5 hrs hiking rough jungle & tracks in pitch dark. Lena & Vonna, not able to share language, shared sweets, tea & campsongs with their protectors. They were rewarded with a coconut picked from the top of the palm, and the security of 8 chaps sleeping around their tent. Duika & I found ourselves walking back to the port and KD we had reported to the day before, where it turned out that the news of our stay on the island had not been passed on to the Secretary, who would normally pass it on to the villages. So, we hiked back in the dark, torches failing, arriving back at camp after 4am, whereupon all 18 of us went to sleep for an hour. Our hosts departed when the sun came up.  What started as a frightening event for all involved, ended with smiles, photographs and hugs on the coast. The moral of the story is, always keep the Secretary in the loop, and the only thing that matters is that we’re all safe and happy. 

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4 Responses to What matters is that we’re all safe and happy

  1. Phil Avery says:

    Fantastic to be able to follow your adventures so well, less fantastic that you are having quite so many ‘adventures’ such as the above, bureaucracy, bumpy crossings etc.

    Can’t wait to show the students what you’re up to when I go back to work next week, you’re going to be my introduction to geography lesson :-) … great photos, great Geography, exciting and inspiring.

    Hope you’re enjoying yourselves.

  2. Helen says:

    Nothing like a little drama to validate the adventure title. Your M grandparents would have loved to swap tale for tale, dear Joh and campanion adventurers.

  3. gill says:

    At last I’ve got to a computer and have been reading all your adventures with admiration, gusto – (and a wee bit of envy!) Thanks. Really looking forward to sitting at feet with mouth open and eyes hugely gazingly oooing and aaaing in delight on your return…. ps. how’s the money … xx

  4. Paddy Burges Watson says:

    Sounds as though you may be safer at sea!
    You must all be feeling very pleased with yourselves.
    May your last few miles be all smiles.

    Much love and best wishes


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