|Ligaya in Gili Sulat, Lombok, Indonesia|
|Our first anchorage on Lombok was off the east coast, inside a small island called Gili Sulat. On the mainland was a little village of the same name. As we came ashore, there was a reception committee waiting on the beach.|
|The owners took some cast off clothing that their children had outgrown. That was a huge hit, together with a selection of ball-point pens which are always sought after.|
Here is your scribe surrounded by the reception committee on the beach.
As a race, the Indonesians are quite small. This is one of the few places I have visited where I feel almost tall!
Indonesia is a land of boats. Not surprising really when you think that there are 17,000 islands in the nation. Although this village was on the "mainland" of Lombok, boats are still the main source of transport and of course they are used for fishing.
Every village has a collection of boats pulled up on the beach.
|A big dugout is brought ashore by dragging it up the beach on rollers. Many hands made light work of pulling the heavy boat up the beach.|
|The women of the village gathered to sort through the fishermen's catch. The kids were more interested in looking at us.|
|The kids, especially the smaller ones were intensely curious about us, these strange white people who had appeared on the beach. Although we were quite close to Bali and the hoards of tourists who visit there each year, it was obvious that few, if any, tourists stumble across the village of Gili Sulat.|
|We cut through somebody's garden to get onto the main street of the village. We attracted smiles and curious stares from everybody we met.|
|As we had seen on the beach, it was the kids who were most interested in us. Before we had gone the length of the village street, we had accumulated a following of 15 or 20 kids, who followed our every move. Here is a few of our followers. One little boy in particular was more bold than the others. He kept coming up to us doing kung-fu moves, but in a nice way, with a big grin, much to amusement of the other kids.|
|Some of the kids, presumably from the wealthier families, were in school uniform. These two little girls did not quite know what to make of the the four white people coming up their street with a trail of kids behind them. They did not want to pass us, and retreated until we turned back for the beach.|
This is a fairly typical Indonesian gasoline station and general store.
The price of fuel is fixed by the government and the price is so low, it is hardly economical to run a normal gasoline station and they are very few and far between. Many shops, like this one, have a rack of plastic bottles outside, each one filled with a liter of gasoline. Somebody passing on their moped, if they are getting low on fuel, can top up with a liter or two of fuel and leave the money in a box on the table. I assume that the fuel sold this way is more expensive than from the "real" gas stations, but is certainly more convenient.
|This was the biggest supermarket in town. Notice that all the customers take off their shoes and leave them at the door. Although many places in Indonesia are dirty and garbage strewn, inside even the most humble shop is always spotless, usually with polished tile floors. It is curious to me about how house-proud they are about the inside but do not appear to care about the rubbish outside.|
|The kids followed us back down to the beach. They seemed as interested in our tender as I was with their boats.|
|Very few of their boats have inboard or outboard engines in the conventional sense. Most use a garden strimmer (Weed Whacker) with a propeller fitted instead of the cutting head. They seem to work remarkably well.|
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