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:
I dreamed of it, I'm there! Pulau Weh is a small Indonesian island located on the northern tip of Sumatra. The area is well known: it is the one of Banda Aceh, which was devastated during the tsunami of December 2004. Pulau Weh is not very touristic and is famous for its underwater world.
Five years after the tsunami
The island is at the border of the Indian Ocean and the Andaman Sea, just in the extension of the Nicobar and Andaman islands (which I will surely visit one day, later...).
When the water receded in the distance, a sign of an impending wave, the people of Pulau Weh were able to take refuge in the heights. Apparently, some of them were aware of the phenomenon and alerted the others of the danger.
A little more than five years after the disaster, the city of Banda Aceh, the regional capital, is being rebuilt. With a lot of ugly concrete decorated with loud advertising signs (as in so many other Indonesian cities), as I could see when I went to change money before taking the ferry... Life has resumed its course in North Sumatra. The separatist movement is no longer relevant and visitors are starting to come back.
Pulau Weh, a very quiet island
Pulau Weh seems to me to be very quiet. Only two ATM (automated teller machines) in the town of Sabang.
On the road between the pier and Gapang Beach (where I chose to land), we cross bands of monkeys, cows and goats in goguette, dogs, chickens and children who cross anywhere, anyhow ... Ah, the Indonesian roads!!!
Before leaving, I gleaned a lot of information from travelers' forums. And this recent trip reporton the excellent Transverse notebooksI was really looking forward to it...
I contacted the diving center Lumba Lumbaheld by a Dutch couple. That's where I'm based.
Their bungalows are top notch. And the mention "free wireless internet in the rooms" more than titillated me, I must say... 😜
They too had to rebuild everything after the tsunami. On the picture below, the white line on the windows of the first floor is the level of the water...
I didn't explore the island much yet, this Monday. I mostly spent my day sleeping... The jet-lag and the fatigue of the trip got the better of me.
But I still managed to make some pictures of my immediate environment, at the end of the day. And rediscovered the simple pleasure of smiling... in response to the smiles that people spontaneously give you as a greeting, when they pass you.