Hollandia is the original name for the Indonesia port of Jayapura, the place where Sophie dropped an anchor at 11:30 this morning after an uneventful and fun 24 hours of sailing.
Lauren and I are still in the process of clearing Customs and Immigration, while Jenna is on the boat running Sophie School while watching our anchor. We dropped the hook in 80 feet of water in front of the container terminal but will move closer to town in a bit.
Initial impressions of Indonesia:
- When we docked the dinghy at the container terminal, one of the guys hanging out there asked where we were from. We said USA. He said “Barack Obama is from Indonesia!!!”
- The cruising websites are full of scary stories about this place. So far I have encountered the friendliest people of our entire trip. Easily. The Customs guys were taking selfies on the dinghy ride out to the boat, and then took turns posing for pictures at the wheel. But they were also totally professional.
- We went to the National Bank to pay for Lauren’s Visa on Arrival, and the clerks in the back room made me feel like I was in a high school classroom full of giggling teenyboppers taking turns trying to understand our English words.
- I am writing this from a hotel bar, where we are killing time waiting for our passports to be processed. The barkeep asked Lauren if she wanted another beer. I held up my fingers, indicating 2. He brought me 2 beers.
- Very very few people here speak English.
- This is the biggest, most modern city we’ve been in since Auckland. We have left the third world.
- I look at the menus of the restaurants on this street, and I am seeing a lot of really good food.
- We’ve had a blast on Sophie Adventure Cruises over the last year. This next year will be better. And I am not just saying this because I am a natural optimist. It’s because we are visiting Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.
More tomorrow …
So excited you’re in Southeast Asia – my home away from home. Perhaps I need to fly down to visit you now. On the Obama statement, Erik landed in Bali the day Obama was elected (the first time.) When he arrived in immigration, the entire staff started screaming “Obama!” and then proceeded to fast track him through customs and immigration. Good laughs.