Sunday, 25 August 2013

The wonderful Lontar palm

The Lontar Palm is used by the Rotinese for a lot of things.
The branches are used for posts and fences, the leaves function as roofs and are woven into baskets. The juice of the Lontar palm, Nirah, (nire) is slightly milky coloured and sweet if fresh. It is full of nutrients and will fill you up and bring you heaps of energy to last throughout the day.
Nirah drips all day and night into tightly woven baskets and normally the Lontar Palm is attended to twice per day by the owners, who climb all the way up the top of the Lontar Palm to harvest the sweet nectar.
They also boil this sweet nectar and it turns into like a liquid sugar, great for sweetening your tea or to use as a sugar substitute for baking. 
I came across this little girl on one of my many jungle walks. 
This was quite far into the jungle and I do not know who got the bigger shock, me for discovering human people or she for discovering a white person. In the end she took off running to her mother.
The whole boiling process takes about 15mins to 1/2 hour to get the fire burning and when the pots come on they boil the liquid for about 4 hours (!) to turn it into liquid brown gula.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Musical Crush

Music is really important for me and I spend ages putting playlists together, listening to new music.
While I was in London this year before I headed out to our island I bought three new albums on iTunes that I have been crushing on the whole summer.
Ben Howard is one of those albums I can listen to over and over and over again and have yet to get sick of the music. 

I've "borrowed" this album cover from Ben Howard's web site, hope he didn't mind

 I've also been crushing on Milo Greene and Rhye. Two outstanding albums. 
One of my favourite questions to ask anyone is this:
If you could only have 5 groups/artist downloaded on your iPod that you had to listen to the whole summer, which artists would it be?  (It is such a great way to discover new music).

My list is constantly changing but at the moment it goes like this:
3. Rhye
4. Van Morrison
5. U2

What would yours be?

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Silently stunning

We've had some seriously stunning sunsets down here lately.
The island is crowded and full of tourists right now and I overheard one conversation while I took pictures of this sunset:
- "That is a freakish sunset dude"
- "Sick Mate"
- "Filthy"

Yup, I live in a surf community, no way around that one...

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Happiness in a little cup

I'm down to two cups of coffee per week and those cups I savour, ( I won't tell you how many cups of tea I have per day)....
 I normally have one early Tuesday morning before I pushbike up to the markets to buy the weeks supply of vegetables, tempeh, tofu, etc. as I need that extra pick-me-up and I need to wake up quickly.
The early morning cup of coffee is enjoyed in peace and silence with Menace playing at my feet.

Monday, 12 August 2013

High Season

You know you are smack in the middle of the high season when all the resorts, hotels, surf camps and homestay's on the island are full and the overflow is going into private homes and you wake up in the morning to find 10 yacht's moored out the front!
Happy Holidays?

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Spot the cat

Menace, our little 10 month old cat loves exploring the house and is always keeping a keen eye on us to see what we are up to.

Pushbike ride part 2

After push-biking through the jungle we are finally out and being on an island the first thing we hit is a secluded, azure blue, empty beach.
Time to slather on some sunscreen and hit the refreshing water for a bit of a break and to wash the jungle dust off.
We even have time to do some serious shell seeking.
The 19km ride home feels like a walk in the park on decent  paved roads and we are back in the hotel in no time. Time for a well earned breakfast.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Pushbike rides in the tropics part 1

We've had the pleasure of "babysitting" the NBR for a couple of days, which has been great.
There has been a Kiwi group staying there and they were awesome people to hang out with and on a flat Friday we decided to take them pushbike riding into the jungle. 
We wanted an early start, so 0700 we started off from the hotel. (It is after all the tropics and it gets pretty hot here come midday).

It is a relatively flat island but the few hills there is are nasty ones, with loose grovel which makes your wheels spin out so it is tricky.
It wouldn't be a proper pushbike ride without a puncture! 
Our destination was the "chocolate lake" named so for the colour not for the taste. Believe me!
It is a pretty big inland lake and worth the ride up.

Further past the lake, right in the middle of the overgrown jungle we come across this beautiful rice field. 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Early morning

I normally stumble out of bed around 05.30 every morning, get dressed in the same get-up I was wearing the night before, (I don't take my clothes off until I am well and truly underneath the mossie net, hence why I am wearing the same clothes in the morning) and head downstairs
make a cup of warm water with ginger and spend a good half hour reading a book or leafing through a magazine.

It is the perfect way to wake up.

Friday, 2 August 2013

A serious (box and) Basket case

I have developed quite the crush on box's and baskets.
In my bedroom here in Indonesia, they are everywhere
Woven baskets made out of the wonderful Lontar palm leaves to tin boxes with patterns on. They are great for storing everything from beads to clothes.
Also my cat has developed a big time crush on the baskets,
perhaps that is why she decided to have her little ones in one of them.