This is just a short share of my backpacking to Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi, last year, where food were as fresh as the air and the sea and the sky. We spent most of our days in the sea, so fish were abundant. When hunger struck, we would meet any fishermen and bought fish from them. Fifty thousand Rupiahs and we got a big bucket of fresh fish! And I meant as fresh as just captured! We would then land our boat on the nearest shore and began to make fire. Fish were then roasted and we ate like we never ate before. Feeling so blessed that Allah pours us humans with everything we need and more. Humbled by the richness of nature, kindness of the people, the real heaven Allah creates for us. Embarrassed inside for our greedy behavior of complaining on things that don’t matter. Feeling so small and insignificant in the eyes of real wealth provided first hand by The Almighty.
These flaming red tomatoes grew wildly on the shore of Wanci, Wangi-Wangi island. We stopped by to take photos of a stunning beach and sea, when we saw these firm fresh jewels hung down from branches by the shore in their shocking color that captured our eyes in a matter of seconds. We then picked many of them and brought them along our journey. Staying at Pak Hamid’s house in kampung Suku Daratan, Lentea island, the islands of Kaledupa, the tomatoes were turned into bowls of delicious sambal by his wife and relatives. We also had Kasuami, one of the staples of Eastern Indonesia made from cassava that was grated, kneaded, shaped and steamed. I don’t think we even touched the rice that night :).
I could talk hours about Wakatobi should I have the time. But let my photos be the words that tell the story. A breathtaking story about a real heaven under the sea of Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko. The islands of Wakatobi.
“Selamat datang, di bumi surga nyata bawah laut, di jantung segitiga karang dunia.”
“Welcome, to the land of real paradise under the sea, at the heart of the world’s coral reef triangle.”
– the writing on the gate of Wanci seaport, Wangi-Wangi island, Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi
My whole heart was stolen. To eastern Indonesia I’ll keep coming back. I just know that.