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  • Day2447

    Invited to a funeral

    August 10 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Getting up for sunrise has not been a regular occurrence for me as I've usually only just rolled in a few hours earlier but this passed few days I've made an exception, and wow has it been worth it. This morning I wake to the reddest sky and the cotton wool clouds enhance it. I climb out of bed and take a few short steps to a lounger on the beach and set up a timelapse so I can just enjoy it. In the morning I rent a scooter which is pretty much essential here as the beach spans about 7km and as much as I love to walk everything is set on the road behind. My data runs out today but when I arrive at the shop it's closed. The laid back way of life here is means most things don't open till 10 or 11. Back at the hotel Made tells us he will attend a cremation ceremony today and invites us to join. The ceremony is due to start at midday but when we message him it's been delayed till 2pm so I take the opportunity to get my phone sorted and grab lunch with Nico. We ride a little further along the road and there are hundreds of people. 200 souls are being honoured today and members of the family all dress in traditional dress to send them off. Because we are not dressed appropriately we can't go into the religious area but Made tells us to go to the beach. An hour later people start to arrive and down at the waters edge some lay their 'souls' to rest in the water privately The ashes are wrapped in rattan like mats or on big saucer like dishes and thrown into the sea, but further down the beach there is a much larger ceremony which when we arrive Made asks us to join his family. We sit with the crowd and watch as first flowers are placed between the hands and offered up in prayer and then the flowers sprinkled on top of the head where the traditional bandana catches them. Next the ceremony leaders walk through the crowd sprinkling them with holy water. The irony of tourists walking along the beach in Speedos is quite strange and I wonder how the locals feel about this. Next it's time for the placement into the sea. Some families have built big offerings of basket weave onto huge bamboo raft like structures, but as they lift them and head to the sea, none of them make it and end up being edged in on their sides. I've really enjoyed the ceremony and it's definitely another new experience for me. Rather than have the hecticness of driving back with all the traffic Nico and I decide to have sundowners on the beach and we get chatting to a lady called Sue and John. They have a yacht and have come ashore in they're dingy. I'm absolutely in awe as I discover they have spent the last 18years on the boat. I explain its my dream to get experience on a boat and she says she will send me details of connections they have. They actually spent a year in Langkawi during the COVID times, and I'm sure we will have connections with some of the same people. We bid farewell as they have to get back to the boat before it's dark but it's been such a pleasure meeting them. There are not many people who inspire me but they certainly have. The sunset is once again stunning tonight and the ability to find my bike as we head back is much easier. We share a few drinks with Coco a local Nico knows who plays in a band and have a 3 minutes walk back to my room. A perfect day.Read more