Caroline and Sven's further adventures 2016 travel blog

Enjoying a coconut at Kuta. First you drink the fluid, then you...

We liked this sign! Too often people are heads down, on their...

One of the beautiful beaches on our motor scooter rides from Kuta.

Absolute bliss! Submerged in a mud hole.

Having finished wallowing in the mud, the water buffalo slowly grazed their...

Getting buried in the sand with a lovely local family.

Washing the sand off with the friendly locals.

These men were following a grazing water buffalo and had lunch brought...

White sand - warm water - chair under an umbrella - retirement...

There are many small gold mining enterprises near to Kuta, Lombok.

Dragon fruit plant. Fruit is pink when ripe.

Palm sap was collected each morning and evening to make palm wine.

The school house Natsir has constructed. Blue tarpaulin up temporarily until bamboo...

Looking across the peanut patch to the cocoa trees in Natsir's garden.

Cocoa flowers and pods growing from the trunk of the tree.

Fish pond, lined with a tarp, where 80 catfish lived. Fed each...


Lombok to Sulawesi

After sweltering for a couple of days at Kuta and looking for bicycles to rent, to no avail, we joined everybody else and rented a motor scooter for a couple of days. Only 50,000 rupiah per day plus 10,000 for a litre of petrol. ($5 + $1). Many of the scooters have a hook attachment to the side so surfers can transport their boards.

There are numerous little white sand beaches both directions from Kuta and it was great to be able to stop and look/talk to people whenever we wanted.

I paid a lady for the scooter the first day we rented it at a little shop. By mistake I gave her 6 x 100,000 rupiah notes (instead of 10,000 notes). Partway through the day, I suddenly realised what I had done! But guess what? When we returned later in the afternoon and I explained what I had done, she walked into her back room and came out with the 100,000 rupiah notes!

We flew from Lombok's airport to Makassar on Sulawesi Island, a flight of 1 1/2 hours. We only spent a night in Makassar before taking a 10 hour bus ride to Makale. This time the bus was air-conditioned, with assigned and reclining seats!

We arrived at Makale in the dark and phoned the WOOFing contact number. A short while later two men arrived on motorbikes, put our backpacks on the front and us on the back and off we set. The farm is about 10km from town and we didn't have a clue where we were headed! At first the road was OK, but it quickly deteriorated - rutted and rocky. Eventually we arrived, after some walking at the steepest, roughest places!

Natsir and his wife Diana have an organic farm growing a big variety of vegetables and fruit for his family's consumption. He has peanuts, beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, cocoa trees, casava, pineapples, guavas, coffee, watermelon, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, passionfruit, dragon fruit. The land is on top of a hill and is terraced. There are also 50 or so ducks/ducklings and perhaps 15 roosters/hens/ chicks wandering around near the house, 5 goats plus a fish pond with about 80 catfish. A neighbour harvests palm sap to make palm wine. Truly a self-sufficient place!

Natsir has built a school room where the local children can come in the afternoon, once their school day has finished, to learn English from the volunteers who are staying here. At present, there are 3 Australian girls here also, two who have been here several months. They have the afternoon classes organised, so Sven and I have been very happy doing garden work. We have finished weeding the peanuts and have started on the sweet potatoes.

Our room has two single mattresses on the floor and a mosquito net and just enough room to have our backpacks alongside. Fifty metres along the path are two toilets which include a large tub of water where you scoop water out and toss it over yourself for a shower. Feels wonderful after sweating down in the garden!

Diana is a great cook, using an open fire and two gas burners, and we are tasting lots of local foods - cassava leaves, banana flowers and pumpkin leaves for greens with tempeh, tofu and rice served at most meals. For breakfast we have had cakes made from rice flour, a kind of porridge with rice and palm sugar, fried bananas and boiled, salted purple sweet potatoes. A far cry from our staid cereal and toast!



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