A day that will stay for the longest time

We were on Pulau Genting, a small and quite isolated island off the coast of Borneo – at the mercy of the weather again. We had hoped to get to Ketapang in time for the final events of the Wonderful West Kalimantan rally but a 20 knot plus wind straight on the nose and a big swell meant that we just wouldn’t be able to make it safely.


The main beach on Pulau Genting

We were especially conscious of our (and especially the boat’s) safety having just replaced our broken gearbox with a pre-used one. 
So there was nothing for it but to turn back to the island where we had anchored the previous night. 

The view from the Chief ‘s house

We had gone ashore on our return to meet some of the local inhabitants and had been fortunate enough to have been shown around by one of the teachers and a government administrator who was on rotation at Pulau Genting. 

Some of the local children posing for us

Before we went back to our boats for lunch our two friendly guides offered to take us for a walk across the island that afternoon. There were some good views they said but it was quite a steep climb in parts. 

Crafting their own boats right next to their home

We returned from our boats around 3 pm and first walked passed some small homes with hand built canoes stacked at the side. The householders came to say hello as we walked by. 

Over the rickety bridge

After walking over a rickety bridge we joined a narrow concrete road – apparently built by the army to enable children from other parts of the island to get to school. And what a road it was! Yes,  it was extremely steep in places but at the top of every rise there was the most amazing view. 

The road had amazing views!

Eventually we came to a small hamlet and turning away from the sea, came upon a long and steep set of steps. 

We came upon a small hamlet
……where there was a huge flight of steps

As we climbed we were impressed with how green and lush our surroundings were and as we staggered up the last steps could see in the profusion of greenery many crop producing plants including coffee, coconuts, peppercorns, bananas, mangoes and various other fruits. 

A profusion of greenery -in amongst it all were several crops growing

To our eyes the planting looked random but there was probably more method to the planting than was first evident. 

Our friendly local teacher who was acting as our guide and showing us all the produce growing there

Following a narrow path back towards the coast we came upon another smart looking village with its own health centre, school and small stores selling snack foods, drinks, sweets, eggs and a few other things including garlic which we had just run out of. 

The village near the top of the steps
Village view
Children deciding how to spend their pocket money

We ended up on a jetty where a group of fishermen were manoeuvring their boat into position, someone else was laying out fish to dry and the children were playing chasing games. 

Fishermen busy manoeuvering their boat
Fish drying on the jetty

Lots of people came to say hello to us, including the headmaster of the local school and of course many photos were taken. 

Our teacher friend and his mentor, the local head teacher

Some children having a great game in the water

The village children always love to be in photos

We followed the track around the coast until we rejoined our original route near the flight of steps. 

Another postcard view from the concrete road

It had been one of the best walks we had been on for a long time and altogether it had been one of those days that stay with you for a long, long, time. 

A view of the village taken from the jetty
Back over the rickety bridge

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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