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Itchy Feet "I am going because I would have no peace if I stayed" - Donald Crowhurst.

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INDONESIA | Thursday, 21 August 2014 | Views [453]

“Don’t dance on a volcano” – Proverb.

 

Day 21.

Today we were driven around the island of Sabang (Pulau Weh) side by side on a motorcycle becak with our driver, Ivan.  Ivan is the first Indonesian non-smoker we have met. 

 

First stop was a boulder & pebble beach near an underwater volcano.  Yes, you read correctly – an underwater volcano!  There was bubbling mud at the edge of the sea.  We planned to snorkel the underwater volcano at the end of our motorbike loop journey today.  Ivan drove us from 8:30am to 4pm for 250,000 Rupiah which is about $AUS25.

 

Next stop was Jaboi Volcano.  There often aren’t many signposts at places we visit in Indonesia.  Sometimes there’s an Indonesian sign.  Sometimes there’s not.  Sometimes there’s one in English.  Often, there’s not.  So we rely on our driver, or a passerby or wait till later to look it up on Google.  But in the case of Jaboi Volcano, even Google doesn’t help much at all.  People mention it in their blogs like I’m doing now & that’s about it.  When there are signs they usually say things like Waterfall +- 50M.  So the waterfall is plus or minus 50 metres away.  Anyway, the waterfall is there, and it’s approximately 50 metres away, give or take.

 

Jaboi Volcano was a very easy walk and a very small incline but there’s a catch.  You step on crumbly white rock.  There are Sulphur fumes and puffs of smoke are emitted from egg yolk yellow sections of rock.  There was a small cave with bubbling water and a stream coming from it.  It was a barren area with lots of dead trees.  We didn’t walk to the summit because it looked too dangerous.  There was no path of any description.  It was just a case of walking where you thought you should, being careful not to put your foot in a crevice, or hole with steam coming from it, or accidentally stepping into boiling water.  So, wearing our safety sandals, we carefully descended, watching where we placed our feet.  Again there wasn’t a sign, and certainly no safety barriers or a path.  

 

Back in our squishy motorbike seating, made for small Asian bottoms, we were driven to a hot creek.  We dipped a finger in quickly.  It was very hot but not boiling.  I assume it came down from Jaboi.  It would be great to use in Winter, especially if the homes, like our bungalow, only have cold water showers.

 

Ivan drove us to Sabang harbor to a warung (a very small family run restaurant) for lunch.  It was a case of taking a plate and helping yourself to the food that was already prepared.  Between the 3 of us, we had frittata, fish, rice & vegetables & 3 cappuccinos.  The total cost was 54,000 Rupiah or $5.40 Australian.  (How will we ever be able to leave this island paradise?)  When we’d finished our meals & were sipping on coffee, the lady owner sneezed twice all over the dishes in the window.  At this point, Dave busted out his best Bahasa Indonesia: “Tidak apa-apa.  Kami sudah makan!”  And everyone laughed.  Translation: It doesn’t matter.  We’ve already eaten!

 

In the main town of Sabang Island, which is named Sabang, we went to a funny little shop & bought our plane & boat tickets for a few days time.  The shop sold pens, books, photo frames & tickets for flights & boats.  Ivan bought some fish at a roadside stall for his girlfriend’s birthday dinner tonight.  They live in a house built for them after the tsunami.  (It is unknown how many people were killed in the December 26 tsunami but the effect on the island was thankfully relatively small).

 

Next stop was a lovely waterfall.  We don’t know if it has a name.  We reached it along a cement path after a plus minus walk of 50 metres which Dave & I estimated to be 250 metres.  So therefore, the walk is plus 50 metres!  At the end of the path, you clamber over rocks to reach the gorgeous, small waterfall in a lovely, cool, forested area.  It was serene & peaceful and it was all ours.  In fact, we only saw 4 other Westerners today

 

Ivan decided that he didn’t have time to take us swimming at the underwater volcano today so we will have to go another day.  No worries.  We will just go with the flow.  On the drive back to Iboih village we saw 10 monkeys, goats, cows & we almost ran over a very large lizard the size of a goanna. 

 

Back at the village, we ate an early dinner at Dee Dee’s restaurant, then put on our snorkeling gear & snorkeled back to our room.  I think I’ve discovered a new species!  Ha ha.  It was an animal that was pretending to be a plant.  He does a very good job at it.  I watched him for about 15 minutes before deciding that he was an animal & that he had moved ever so slightly on the rock.  His frond-looking arms wave about gently in the current and he can curl them up like fingers in a fist.  He was possibly a bit crablike at his centre.  FASCINATING!!!

 

While I was under water, a child of about 8 or 9 did a double take at the Westerner under water.  So I waved at him, and he waved back!  It is so nice to come to an island that tourists visit and yet hardly seeing any all day long.  And this is the high season!

Tags: jaboi, pulau weh, sabang, sabang island, volcano, waterfall, weh island

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