Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.
Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

On the beach of Pantar

  Indonesia: Alor + Raja Ampat - July 2012

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


During my stay in the archipelago of Alor, in Indonesia, my place of walk, between two dives, is the splendid beach of the island of Pantar.

The beach

Right, in front of the diving resort Alor Diversthere is this singular rock, all volcanic rock dented by erosion and very sharp, surmounted by a tuft of vegetation.

It was once an island in its own right. The sand, pushed by the tides and the wind, gains here little by little ground on the sea.

Behind, stretch mangrove and beach ends, towards the Muslim village.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

On the left, in the direction of the Christian village, we find trunks of trees dried up like bones, whitened by the sun and salt, with tormented forms.

Then the beach gradually turns into a postcard: white sand and coconut palms on azure sea.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

People

The beach is not crowded, that's for sure. But throughout the day, there is a regular back and forth between the villages and the resort. With the tides, we can also see the families come to fish crustaceans and shells in the shallow water.

As everywhere in Asia, it is above all women who are seen walking, laden with impressive loads.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Here as in the rest of Indonesia, it's not difficult to take people pictures.

Most of the people you ask kindly accept to pose. Many even ask for a picture when they see your camera.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

But the funny thing here in Alor - and I hadn't seen it anywhere else before - is that everyone takes a serious, almost hard look at the moment of the release. Yet the moment before, everyone was laughing merrily or smiling shyly!

Obviously, in the corner, the photo is a serious matter, a bit like in our clichés of yesteryear, at the beginning of the twentieth century, when it was not necessary to laugh at family portraits ...

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.But by repeating myself several times, with a lot of grimaces and encouragement expressed with my little vocabulary in Bahasa Indonesia, I still managed to capture the smile of this girl from the neighboring village.

I have crossed it several times, on the beach, carrying his load of fruits or vegetables. At our second meeting, she recognizes me and comes to ask me to take a picture, with the other carrier.

There are even several of them, and their faces crack a big smile when they see the result on the digital screen. They are visibly very happy.

I compliment them, tell them in Indonesian that they are very pretty, I thank them, they thank me, then put their loads on their heads and go away ...

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

This isn't Bali or Sulawesi, people are less expansive here. On the beach as on the small road at the back, the few people I meet all greet me kindly, but without ostentation. With the exception of one guy, obviously the "gigolo" of the village, who is giving me a hard time in his poor English for a long photo session: him alone on his motorcycle, him in close-up without the motorcycle, him with me in front of the motorcycle...

😂

As for teens, they inevitably take this pose they must find too cool, hands raised and fingers pointing in various directions. They too look incredibly serious, while they were laughing the minute before ...

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Anyway, it's not boring on this beach... You think you're alone in the world, facing the sea, but you're not. There's always someone who finally appears, without warning, as if out of nowhere. The combination "tourist + camera" must make its little effect...

What do you say we go back to diving?

Even on those days when it's gray, Pantar beach is beautiful. More melancholy, certainly.

Our small group of divers goes on outings. Two to three dives a day, in all weathers. Often, we leave the beach of Pantar aboard a small traditional outrigger canoe, to join the boat anchored further.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

Pantar Island. Alor, Indonesia. July 2012.

I admit, I dropped more underwater than on the beach, for photos. After the "macro" series from the previous post, so I'm preparing an "ambiance" sequence in the next one... It's time to go back under the surface!

👌

  Indonesia: Alor + Raja Ampat - July 2012

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  1. still very beautiful pictures !!
    it is true that it surprises these severe faces while in Asia we are used to seeing people so smiling !!!

    1. @Laurence: yes, their behavior is the same as everywhere else in Asia towards photos (most people are happy to have their portrait taken), it's just the expression at the moment of the pose that changes... The photo, it's not made for fun !!! 😀

  2. Hello Corinne

    I join you in your analysis on the poses of teens who tend to "globalize". As for the severity of adults, the less people are in relation to the so-called modern world, plus this ancestral side, spirit etc. materializes on the clichés (which are superb).

    We wait for the continuation, with impatience.

    Eric

    1. @Eric: Oh, that, the teenagers, in all the countries of Southeast Asia, made me the same kind of pose a little silly. But good ... As for the gravity of adults (and even children), I think it's really related to the fact that in this small archipelago far, we only make photos for official stuff (ID cards, etc. .), so people take what they think is their best poses, serious and serious face ... As soon as you lower the camera, everyone regains its natural, starts to laugh and looks forward to seeing the record on the digital screen ...

  3. Hello Corinne,
    I felt the same way in the Philippines with the children I met and their poses. On the other hand the smile was systematically with them and always the joy to be discovered on the screen. Also (or often) they were plaintiffs for my pleasure. Surely a particularity related to Asia?
    In any case very beautiful pictures and also a destination where I would like to go dive my fins ... but not easy to access it seems to me. To dig in any case for a future trip.

    Philippe

    1. @Philippe: yes, Southeast Asia is happiness for photos. Everyone loves it, I have very rarely been refused. But this is the first time I see people look so serious when they ask. Usually the smile is in order, indeed.

      To dive, Alor is not very close, but it is quite easy to get to from Bali (a flight to Kupang, then a short flight in a hello to Alor).

  4. Very beautiful photos, judiciously accompanied by necessary explanations because otherwise, we could misinterpret and misunderstand completely the gravity of the faces. Thank you.

    1. @ Melissa: it is the "paradise" for us, divers-tourists, but I think that the daily life on this lost archipelago must be quite rough ...
      Otherwise, everywhere in Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia, I've seen lots of teenagers take this kind of pose in front of my lens. They imitate what they see on TV ...

  5. All kids love to pose and this does not matter the country!
    The pictures are great, it brings back beautiful memories. The colors on the beach are beautiful but they become magical once underwater! I only did some snorkeling in Indonesia and I had taken a lot of pictures...So diving sessions, I don't dare to imagine! Next time 😉

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