Indian ocean

Free Lance in Lembata : Over the volcano…

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"We arrived at the eastern tip of the island of Flores and prepared to enter into the maze of islands that make up the Alor archipelago. After tacking in acceptable wind and a favourable current, we headed for the Boling strait between its eponymous island and the island of Lembata. Behind us a majestic volcano seemed to be smoking. The swirling waters were playing havoc with our course and the autopilot was struggling to anticipate the conditions.  We headed for Lewoleba bay. Usually in an anchorage, the boat lies head to wind. But as there is no wind here, we are facing the volcano (although below it), with the setting sun behind us. My skipper went ashore. There’s a wooden boom to tie the dinghy to. Be careful where you put your feet on the wooded planks or it’s straight back to the water! There is an intense amount of traffic. We are in an archipelago where the boat replaces trains and trucks. The captain climbs up high to get a better view of me. He chooses the volcano named Werung Ile. Here, “ile” means mountain. After 2 hours on motorbikes, the group arrived at the top. The road back is a long one as they have to visit parents, in-laws, cousins… Because even though in the morning it was ok to drive through the villages without stopping, on the way back it is only right and proper to stop and check up on how their little ones are doing, and to have a bite to eat. The captain arrived back tired and happy. We’ve now been in Lewoleba for 2 weeks. The kids have been having great fun in the water, as they always do.  We still aren’t ...

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