We started the weekend with an early morning trip to the floating market. I should explain first that the town we were visiting, Benjarmasin, is known as the 'Venice of the East' because the city is built along a river.
|Our breakfast boat!|
|Morning greetings in the floating market|
|Fried stuff boat - note the bamboo pole that's used for spearing your food. Best.Idea.Ever.|
|Close up of delicious fried stuff. Mmmmm.|
|Oldest mosque in Benjarmasin. Very cool.|
Finding well-hidden waterfalls might just be one of my favorite past-times in Indonesia - right up there with climbing volcanoes.We scrambled down some slippery rocks and jumped into frigid water - with our shirts and shorts on so as not to offend any spirits lingering around the falls. Our ojek drivers sat up on dry land and amused themselves by watching our chattering teeth and pitiful attempts to swim up to where the falls crashed into the water. I was pretty proud, though, that I was able to climb up the wall next to the falls and impress everyone with my cannonball skills.
|Me climbing with some instruction from Jon - It was hard work!|
|We hung out with some pretty pintar (clever) students while waiting for our rafts to be built.|
|And they continued to be adorable by following us around.|
|Bamboo Raft construction. I don't know how they did it either.|
Our two-hour adventure down the river began a little rocky. And then continued to be rocky. By rocky, I mean the river was so low that our raft literally got caught on just about every rock in the river. There were some deeper parts that were very relaxing, though. When I wasn't chatting with Iris, my raft-mate, I went back to quiet contemplation about this much more basic lifestyle. It felt very much like I'd been transported back 60 to 70 years ago, as I passed young women bathing in the river, children splashing, and old, sun-browned women loading banana bunches on their own rafts to take to market. The nine other fellows and I, with our blue matching t-shirts and cameras, seemed like an intrusion on their simple lifestyle. Then again, just by extension of being around them, I felt my thoughts, breathing, and just about everything else slow down and relax.
|The bamboo raft drivers getting us off the rocks.|
|Very cool bamboo bridge coming off this tree.|
|Bamboo rafts used for daily living.|