March 5, 2013

24 hours in Sorong

Back in Sorong, we nestle in among the liveaboard dive boats in the harbor.

Liveaboards in Sorong harbour

One of the blogs that fed our dreams was that of the Dreamkeeper. We are a few years behind their physical track through this part of the world, and their blog and website content has been alternately inspiring and a source of practical information. So I'm just a wee bit pleased to do a 24 hour turnaround in Sorong, fueled by ojek  rides (basically, your own private motorcycle taxi) and a bit of mania (provisioning for six people for two weeks, and wanting it to be nice- we have a guest aboard). Gar set the bar for this, but I am not sure I could have done it the first time, and I am definitely not sure we could have included fueling in the mix. Respect.

I "have" to go back to the market. No hardship for me there- I loathe shopping and am allergic to anything remotely mall-like, but I could walk the stalls, checking out produce, chatting with vendors for hours at these open air markets. This time, though, I need to keep a pace on. Discovering that the guys with the wheelbarrows will not just carry everything, but help source random produce (I am advised on the best watermelon selection, and told to avoid the avocadoes) and advice good prices- well, it's a big win. How did I miss them last time?

Sorong fish market
Beautiful tuna, but sad, because we know the fishery here is terribly strained

The next morning, we pick up Dan at the airport. He’s been on a serious marathon to reach us, having traveled for nearly three days including a grand total of 6 different flights before he landed in Sorong. No, we aren’t easy to reach!

We wait at a hotel lobby for the Raja Ampat tourist office to open, so Dan can get his ‘ticket’ for the conservation area. The girls split a chocolate milkshake. It’s only nine o’clock in the morning, but Totem doesn’t have a freezer on board, so... well, why not?!

Chocolate milkshake!
Mmmm... chocolate milkshake breakfast.

Once Dan has his park pass in hand, we head back towards Totem with just a quick stop at a grocery store for last minute purchases. No settlements or stores in the outlying islands off Misool where we are headed, and it would be wrong to run out of chili sauce.

Back on board, we haul the anchor and motor out of the harbor: 24 hours in Sorong, and ready to find cleaner water.

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