Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pulau Weh

The sound of the incoming tide beats in time with the gentle swaying motion of my hammock as I sit inspecting my sunburned limbs. We took the 9am ferry from Banda Aceh to Sabang Island and then took a taxi along roads lined with wizened old, white bearded monkeys, to the other side of the island. After hauling our suitcases up the rocky pathway along the beach, we finally settled on a bungalow hanging precariously out over the aqua blue waters on spindly wooden legs. The owner, Mama Mia was a little sweet gray haired lady who ran around in brightly colored floral dresses. We reached Mama Mia's just as the ray began to pour and she took us under her roof to charm us with offers of food and linens. She seemed to everything our hearts could desire located in the backroom of her kitchen: fruit, food, juice, snorkeling gear, motor bikes, a grandson, even a whole hiking mountain! Oh wait, that one was just lost in translation. ;)
Time moves slowly here, even the language is lazy and easy to pick up. We walked the short distance into the tiny town in search of food and soon became addicted to Momma's Restaurant's guacamole and fruit salad. Every morning we would make a beeline for her doorstep for our Banda Aceh coffee and egg sandwiches piled high with avocados...sigh. We spent our days in the ocean with our snorkeling gear peering into the faces of beautifully colored fish and coral reefs and when we got tired when took a break and re-energized with fresh fruit juice before heading back in again.
On our second day in Sabang, we decided to tour the island and bought ourselves two 18yr old boy tour guides and their motorbikes all day for $10. Best $10 I've ever spent! Really Mama Mia twisted the ear of her grandson and his best friend, shooed them out of bed early in the morning and clucked at them until they took a shower so that they could be nice and neat and everything sweet while acting as our tour guides. The boys were shy and spoke little English, but we poked at the map and they nodded and we flew around the island on the backseats of their bikes.
Our last stop was at the waterfall and we had to take off our shoes and tiptoe from slippy slimy rock to slippy slimy rock to make our way across the bulging river a least 100 times. Inge's driver valiantly braved the strong currents, walking beside her holding her hand for balance while he struggled to not get washed away. My driver, on the other hand, could barely help carry my shoes and left me teetering from rock to rock clutching my camera for dear life. ;) We made our way back into the chirping jungle and soon heard the roar of the falls. We were hot and sweaty and we all decided to jump in, clothes and all. We slid beneath the falling water and pressed our backs against the cold rock, letting the water wash over our faces, hidden in our secret pocket. After a day spent on the back of a motorbike it was a soggy, but fantastic ending!


katie said...

love the boy with the net... the octopus shot, and the last photo of inge... what an amazing time you guys must be having!

Jennilee said...

Your photos are so fun and colorful!

Inge Kathleen said...

love, love the one of the two boys in the market. great moment! :)

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