Leaving Selayar Island

When I woke up on the last morning of our stay on Selayar Island my biggest problem was deciding what sea treasures to take home with me.  But then our transfer didn’t arrive...

We had expected a boat to come at least once during the time we were there to bring supplies, but none had.  When, on our last day, it didn't come to get us out of there, we became somewhat concerned. Nath climbed the mountain (twice) to try and get a call out, but couldn’t get a signal.

We thought we might have to wave a passing boat down in hopes that it would a) see us, and b) get us off the island. Nath made an impressive flag using a stick and a bag but the only boat we saw and attempted to wave down continued on its way.  

Were we going to be stuck here?  I mentally started to run through our supplies.  How much water did we have left?  What food?  We were running low, that's for sure.  Nath had been fishing to keep us fed for the past few days.

We walked to the end of the beach where we saw two other boats.  During the two weeks on Selayar Timur my Bahasa Indonesia had improved from "tidak" (no) to “I like diving” and “what’s for dinner”.  But trying to communicate that our boat hadn’t arrived and we needed help to get to the harbour was going to test me.  I impressed myself by being able to – twice – and even being able to understand the response – "tidak bisa".  No can. We walked back to camp feeling rather defeated and were greeted by a distressed Ibu Mariati (our chef for the 2 weeks).  Through her tears she managed to communicate (with some pretty impressive charades) that she was worried that the people in the boat from Flores had cut off our heads to feed to the fish.  She hugged us both ferociously and wiped away her tears.

Shortly after, our transfer arrived. Phew.

En route back to the city we were told that the Ferry wasn’t running at present due to windy weather and that we were on a waiting list for a flight out in the morning.  (This is why we didn't have our supply boat - no ferry meant no fuel and no fuel meant no supply boat). Could we be stuck on this island after all?  

Marooned on a tropical island, trying to get home to a tropical island.  I supposed my problems could be worse.  

When we arrived at our bungalow we logged onto the internet for the first time in weeks.  I learned that DFAT had issued an extreme terrorist warning for Indonesia and being stuck on Selayar island didn’t seem so good afterall.  I was silently appreciative that the people on the boat from Flores didn’t cut off our heads.  We also learned that the government had cancelled all flight services into and out of Selayar Island.  Luckily for us it sounded like the ferry was going to run again.  We might get off the island yet!!  

When we got the phone call to confirm that we could catch the first ferry in the morning and would be picked up at 3.30 we both relaxed considerably and Nath went to turn the genset off so we could get some sleep.  When he got back his phone was gone.  He was completely dumfounded – where could it be?  I thought it was typical – Nath has put his phone down somewhere and can’t remember where.  An all out search ensued.  I turned the bungalow upside down and Nath retraced his steps out to the generator.  When it was clear his phone wasn’t inside I went outside to help him look.  When I returned to the bungalow his charger was also missing.  My immediate reaction was “Fuck!   This bungalow has a ghost!”.  But when we saw that his was tablet gone and our were wallets empty we realized we had been robbed.  Twice.  At least we knew what happened to his phone...

We made it off the island, though, and to the airport, minus a phone and tablet and our wallets 1500 bucks lighter.  

Still, we both have our heads.  And our sea treasures.

It could have been worse.

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Where are your travel stories posted???  Please put a link in the comments - I'd love to read them x


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