The land of nutmeg

As soon as we set foot on shore we fell in love with Banda Neira, the administrative center of the Spice Islands. It’s got the same lively, bordering on chaotic vibe as Bali, but on a much smaller scale and without the Hindu influence. People here are Muslim and the competing muezzins ring out a modern jazz symphony of aural ouch four times a day. But the people are as friendly and fun loving as we’ve seen so far, and obviously used to foreign visitors, as evidenced by the many shop signs in English. We’re using our Google Translate app far less that we did in Debut.

Every shop displays nutmegs, cinnamon and nutmeg candy, made from the dried and spiced meat of the nutmeg, something we haven’t seen before.

Our local host for the rally boats has arranged various tours and dinners on an ad hoc basis, so while we decide what we want to do on an organized jaunt vs. on our own we’re just wandering the streets of Banda Neira, appreciating the Graham Greene atmosphere of slightly decaying colonial architecture.

The spice that made the islands famous and the bitter conflict between the Dutch and the English it caused are evident everywhere.

But this is not a reconstructed Disneyland of tourist fakery, but rather a lively community with, of course, a traditional market, always my favorite destination.

The locals seem to absorb the influx of visitors with good cheer while still going about the daily business of living.

We have a lot more to see and do on these tiny islands. Another day. We’ve got time.

3 Comments

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3 Responses to The land of nutmeg

  1. Tom Postin

    Enjoy Guys it’s nice to meet people just going about their normal business and feeling welcome in another culture, I find it all very refreshing after listening to the rubish coming from the leaders of your country at the moment, We know the truth about people around the world and how really ordinary people are so good to each other xxxx Tom

  2. Silver Fern

    Looks gorgeous, and so evocative of so many other islands around the world. We miss that life…

  3. Alex and Diana

    Oh my, you sound so happy!!! EV has its mojo back – yahoo. Just needed to sail a few thousand rugged miles to get there, and endure a batten break or several. Does Banda Neira have a racetrack as well as a market? It could be the ideal country if so. xxx

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