Indonesia: Sulawesi: Ujung Pandang: I arrived about 1530 hrs, and didn't see Paul and Rachel, so I took off for the hotel mentioned in their fax. I would've called ahead of time but their fax went to the Balikpapan office instead of the Wanariset office, and I didn't pick it up until I was on my way to the airport.
I ran into them at our hotel, and told Paul of our need to split up how. He wasn't happy to hear that, but he's pretty depressed as it is because he hasn't been in the field yet, except for our disastrous afternoon at Wanariset. I caught a nice sunset at the harbor next to the Makassar Golden Hotel, and explored the town some.
Paul felt better this morning when I told him I was pretty sure things will improve once we both get out in the field for real.
I managed to find some imitation leather hiking boots which will hopefully fit Femke. As a gift for buying the shoes, I got a damn nice iquana t-shirt. I thought they were trying to sell it to me until they shoved it in the bag I after I paid for the shoes. Afterwards I found another small alarm clock to replace the one that died over here. . .
Rp 8,000 transport; Rp 6,000 water.
Indonesia: Sulawesi: Ujung Pandang: I woke up this morning in a funny mood from after last night. I had some errands to run, and then planned to meet Paul & Rachel on the waterfront at 1300 hrs. First, I looked for books, bought a dictionary for Paul & Rachel, the novel Farewell My Concubine, and the book The Wildlife of Indonesia. I then tried to exchange some of my traveler's checks for cash, but the banks were closed and no one could tell me where else to go. I eventually found my way to our travel agent here to book a flight from Balikpapan to Denpasar for next Saturday. I'll then head to Lombok Sunday, and will visit Paul Korpi, our contact in the Nusa Tengarra [sic], on the following Monday. He suggested one species, which if old enough, will work well, Toona surreni.
Well, I'm off track here. I eventually found Paul & Rachel (I was 45 minutes late) and ate lunch while they went off to find out about chartering a boat to Samalona Island. After lunch I found a money changer, then went back to the docks to look for Paul & Rachel. I didn't find them and assumed they had already headed for the island. I went to charter a boat. I knew the going rate was Rp 25,000. The boatman initially asked for 35,000. I said that was too much for me to afford. I offered 20,000. They said that would just pay for the gas. They offered 30,000. I offered 25,000 then. They insisted on 30,000. I smiled and began to walk away, and got the 25,000 rate. Smiling and walking away can be an effective bargaining tactic.
The island was a good way from shore, and was small, not crowded, very quiet and incredibly beautiful. It was worth the trip. One or two families live there, and the Makassarese women had a lot of fun at my expense, especially the unmarried sister. I took a picture of them. I hope it comes out.
I took several pictures, and collected a few corals, then returned to Ujung Pandang. Oh, on the boat to and from the island I noticed that the tankers in the port have the works "No Smoking" written in large red letters on the white bridge. Most of the freighters, tankers and tugs are rust buckets in dire need of a fresh coat of paint. It's pretty neat to see the ships up close.
Indonesia: Sulawesi: Ujung Pandang: I took Paul and Rachel out to dinner. . .
I'm sitting in my hotel room, almost paced and ready to return to Kalimantan.
For 30 March: [Rp] 20,000 transport.
Now I'm at the airport, waiting to board my plane. . .
Indonesia: Sulawesi: Palu: It's pretty cloudy today, so I haven't been able to see much of the mountains here. From what I have seen, they are heavily forested, with more and more evidence of logging as you approach Palu. I don;t know if the forest is primary or secondary, but there is quite a lot of it. Palu is in a beautiful valley. I wish I could spend more time here than a 20-minute layover.
Now we are over the Sulawesi Sea and Makassar Straight [sic], headed for Balikpapan. It's beautiful!
12,000 Rp transport to Ujung Pandang airport. [Rp] 6,600 food & drink.
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