Indonesia Saturday Feb 27, 2016 6pm local time
Well, we’ve officially entered Indonesia, and we’re sad to leave Oz behind (especially since my favorite advertisement is from Oz, for flip-flops called “Slappas”). We’ve had a few days of on-board lectures about Indonesia, and especially Bali, where we land tomorrow. Hard to believe but our trip is now 1/3 complete!
We’ve learned that Indonesia consists of 17,000 islands, of which 6,000 are inhabited (recall that the volcanoes in the Pacific Rim form the Ring of Fire, and account for many of these small islands here). While Indonesia is largely Muslim, Bali was a refuge for Hindu believers, and is inhabited by many Hindi (in addition to Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and others). Indonesia is sometimes referred to as the land of 20,000 temples and shrines, and we’ll be seeing some of them.
The Spice Islands of Indonesia brought English, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese traders to this region years ago, in search of the very profitable nutmeg, cloves, mace, etc. that was so valued in Europe as a means of flavoring and preserving food. The Dutch ruled for a long while before independence was obtained, and spices are now just one of the many exports from Indonesia (coffee, rice, cattle, vegetables are among the others), which has fertile mountains and lots of rain.
We arrive in Bali tomorrow, and start 3 days of fairly intense sightseeing, so Joe will be snapping lots of photos. We plan to see UNESCO world heritage rice terraces, temples, the courts of justice, orchid gardens, etc. We are expecting a barrage of colors, smells, sounds, etc. While we probably will not miss the NJ cold, I know the heat and humidity will remind us of what we like about the winters on the east coast of the USA.
Hope that all is well with you.