Alor and Solor 10-17 September

After dragging our anchor at 1am in Wini we departed on our 67 nautical mile journey under sail and a nice moon.  The depth of the waters in the straight between Timor and Alor exceeded three kilometres.  We sailed until 9am when the wind deserted us so we motored the rest of the way.

We saw a brief video about Alor in the consulate in Perth and so were keen to see it and it was a good kick-off point for our sail along the more peaceful north coast of Flores.  The entrance to the straight between Alor and Pantar (Selat Pantar) had a very turbulent entrance but once inside the straight the scenery was breathtaking.

We arrived at Kalabahi the capital of Alor and chose to anchor in a quiet but stunningly beautiful bay just a 15 minute walk north of the town.

The buildings in Alor were as interesting as the very friendly mostly christian people.

We walked much of the town and enjoyed a refreshing drink at a waterside restaurant.

Some of the signs were interesting to say the least.
Fresh produce was available aplenty at the local markets.

On our first morning we were woken by a now familiar call "Hello Mister.  Hello Donetes."  Achmed was his name.  His first spiel was "I am from the Department of Tourism.  I am here to ensure you have a good time in Alor."  We were impressed.  His second spiel was " The best way to see alor is to pay my wifes travel company $400 to provide you with a car, driver and guide and meals for two days!"

Determined to immerse ourselves in the experience of 'Wonderful Indonesia' we agreed.

The driver and guide turned out to be his cousins.  The meals were served at his house by his wife and Aunty.  The security guard for our dinghy and yacht in our absence was his grand-father (extra cost - $10 per day).

the first mornings breakfast was large and delicious and followed by a hard sell from mum adn aunty involving some scarves and blankets ("the Japanese pay 2 million rupiah!")  We got out of the exercise with a small scarf/table-runner.
With Fitri at local village

Bemos had their own character, this one reflecting the religious persuasion of its owner
Our guide was a university student studying English and about to graduate called Fitri.  She was most impressed with Linda's hat and glasses.
As always the local village people were very friendly and willing to pose for photos

We met these girls posing in traditional garb for selfies.  Turned out they went to school with Fitri.

Achmed and Linda at the volcanic springs

Achmed's House

I bought the man-bag but Linda declined the offer to chew beetle nut at this village.

Tall stairs.  We didn't get to the end of this very steep trail.
 At one village we saw beautiful bronze drums.  Before marriage the groom must present a bronze drum to the village.  The better the drum the more wives (up to 4) you get.
The 'Sacred Tree' at which people meditate.  It felt like we were on the set of Avatar.

Combined Store and fuel station for the many motor bikes/scooters in use.

The busy town ferry dock

One of the many mosques

Kayaking in our bay

After a very enjoyable stay in Alor we departed for Krako Atol, enjoying the scenery on the way out including the many fish attracting devices (FADs).

After an overnight stop in Blang Merang, where we were approached by young boys with the now familiar request for goggles, english books or caps, we sailed past smoking volcanoes to the stunningly beautifu Krako Atol.  The snorkelling off the boat was as good as we have seen.  Clown fish a-la Nemo abounded and were cutely aggressive.
Krako Atol with one of the three smoking volcanoes on the skyline


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