Morning for the sun and snorkelling weary vacationers begins unusually early. The first group gets up and eats breakfast 7:00. Then the captain by a boat on the calm sea carries them to the port in Wakai. The second group, which we are in as well, their breakfast of rice receives at 8:00 and are waiting for the captain with the boat to get to the port from which a speedboat would get us all to Ampana. Suddenly rises a great wind, the sea begins to billow, palm trees are shaking in the wind, flowery curtains in the chalets flap like flags. Our boat is severely delayed, finally we spot it swinging in the waves. For some reason the boat at a high speed passes our bay. It turns out the big waves make it impossible to drive up to the shore, so the boat is taken to a quiet bay behind the horn at the side of the village. The captain refuses to take us to the port in a storm, because waves can damage the boat. We begin to fidget, because we need to get in time for the speedboat that will take us to the Ampana to the cars. We are ready to offer the captain additional fee of 100,000 rupees, that is certain to inspire him for heroic deeds. We say goodbye to the hostess who was feeding us with delicious food all the four days. Also the captain rushes to say goodbye to his wife and for the safety on the sea brings a son-in-law. We ask Antonio the Catalan, who remains on the island, to pray for us so we arrive without issues. We are worrying all that we won’t make it in the time for the speedboat, going on the foaming sea. It seems that we cannot really get further away from our hospitable island. The engine puffs silently and slowly pulls us across the waves forward. Towards the harbour, the waves subside, and since the further ride is on a downwind, we realize that we will come in time – 10:00 precisely.
But when we arrive at the port we learn that the speedboat is delayed because of the storm. Boringness at the port building begins. We walk around the local shops, market. We are taking pictures of goats, rosters, dogs and the fish put up for sale. Ināra purchases a bright, flowery dress. Now she feels like the most beautiful girl in the village. Some storm survivors get some cold Bintang beer at a local hotel and for a moment feel a small surge of happiness. We buy cooked, warm eggs for lunch. We learn that because of the storm the speedboat will not come at all today. We are stuck in the islands. Some kind locals offer us to arrange a boat right here on the spot. Begins haggling for the fee. For a giant price (3.5 million rupees per boat) we are offered to be carried in two boats, one of which would be very slow. Then, after Agnese’s trip with the local official on a motorcycle there appears another better option – an offer to take us for a slightly lower price, and all by a single boat. Only this will happen much more slowly, like with a ferry. We understand that this is estimated as 4 hours. We take 6 other foreign tourists with us on the boat.
We leave at 13:05. As we will later need to conclude, we will be on the way more than 6 hours instead of the 4 hours. For a long time it even seems that the ship is more roaring in our ears, than moving forward. Landscape among the islands remains unchanged for hours. We don’t notice any waves in the sea, so it is not clear why the speedboat was afraid to come. We are lying criss-cross on the plank floor. An association arises with the Syrian refugees in boats crossing the Mediterranean. All the way we are tossing about, changing postures. Somewhere we get squeezed one way or another. We play a “board game” – “No, thanks” for a bit – as if there is no table it can not really be called a “table-top game”. While the engine is roaring we also try to waste time by a game – Silent Phone – in which one to another whisper in the ear the 8 titles of Latvian University museums which are well-known to Ilgonis. Only three museums remain and return to Ilgonis – the History, Oceanography and Literature, of which there actually only the first one exists. Still lying on our backs we wave our arms and legs for a bit, but after that continue to be located in a horizontal position, stunned by the the boat engine and stiff. A new association rises with the cartoon about Shrek, when Shrek with his beloved Fiona and the Donkey were sitting in the chariot and went to Princess Fiona’s parents to the kingdom far away. Donkey completely bored asked every minute – Have we arrived yet! – Shrek tired to answer him and shouted to donkey – Hold your tongue!- After keeping silent for a little, the Donkey found another entertainment. He blew up the mouth and time by time puffed loudly very close to Shrek’s ear. Also we like such donkeys were tossing and turning in the far way to Ampana and to ourselves quieter or louder asked – Have we arrived yet! – I guess someone also made the the annoying mouth-pops in between, just the engine of the boat was louder and no one heard.
Finally, already in complete darkness (around 19:30) we arrive in the shores of the far-away Ampana (60 km from Wakai) in the same spot where we left the cars. With a great pleasure we get back also our repaired car – the grey one. We fill the petrol, shop for groceries and go on to the winding road through Poso to for us already known hotel Victory in Tentena. At 1:00am we are kindly welcomed and given 4 in rooms for 3 people in each. Finally there is also a warm shower, as well as enough time to spend sleeping. From the top someone gives an indication that the breakfast will be at 7:30 tomorrow. When lying down it feels like we were still on the ship as everything is swinging a little all around. Someone whispers quietly in the bed – Have we arrived yet! –
The price of the speedboat Hercules was 150’000IDR per person but we got the money back when it turned out that it won’t come. Initially we chose the speedboat as the ferry is not going from Wakai to Ampana on Mondays and we could not wait till Tuesday.