With a lot of sadness we say goodbye to our friends we met at Poyalisa.
We left on the Thursday the 29th of November to reach another island, still part of Indonesia, Bunaken Island.
After 3 hours of boat, we reach Wakai (the Toggian “capital”),
and then 5 hours of wait on the quay, we embark onto the ferry to reach our first stop, Gorontalo.
We go aboard along with 4 other friends we met at Polyalisa:
– Charlie and Ester from Melbourne who are just finishing their world tour
– Cathy, from California who currently travel around the world. She was with her mum who joined her for a few months in Indonesia
The ferry will bring us overnight from Wakai to Gorontalo back to the main island of Sulawesi.
The ferry is something quite special…
You first travel by night as you leave th Toggians at 5pm and arrive next morning at 6am at Gorontalo.
The ticket price for standard admission is 63,000 Rupies so 6$AU. (Less expensive than catching the half and hour ferry from Circular Quay to Manly in Sydney).
We were quite happy to have buy the upgrade to the cabins as the standard and the first classes were special.
The standard class consist of seats (you can’t tilt them), without windows but just a large opening onto the sea. People smoke, cook and eat on the floor (or on the seat). The air is quite dense and heavy as the smell of the smoke and the cook is getting mixed with the humid air. You can’t almost see through.
The first class is almost the same except you have bench with mattress rather than seats and there is fan. Although the fan are not cooling down the air but pushing toward people the smoke.
So if you are rich (if you come from any western country) you can afford the upgrade to the cabin for 400,000 pesos so 40$AU.
This is what we have done by sharing a cabin of 4 beds with Charlie and Ester. When we got at the cabin, the man we bought the ticket from had to wake up one of the officier guy who was not really aware that the cabin was rented for the night… Hum, a little embarrassing. But we can’t complain….. Inside the air con is working pretty well, the air is much more less humid and without any cooking and smoking smell.
Our luxury cabin…
On the brigde above us, this is the big party…. Sitting on it, as wall of speaker with next to it a piano, and obviously a karaoke. They sang until 10pm all their best songs. When they saw us (some non-local people), they sang a few in English..
Sunset with on the background the Toggians…
Caro always enjoys her time as soon as I am busy doing something else…
Arrived the next morning at Gorontalo by 6am, we negotiated and found a car that drove us until Manado by 4pm. From there, we found a private boat for the Bunaken. Driving, waiting, boating and waiting again.. Long day.
Pictures between Gorontalo and Manado…
Our “cab”, a cop on annual leave who makes a bit of money by transporting people between Manado to Gorontalo… Very local…
At Manado harbour, waiting for our boat to Bunaken
We can see how Indonesia runs as a country. Below the eggs logistic… All by hand..
At Bunaken Island we stay at Daniel Homestay which offers a good compromise for only 15$ per day per person all included (food).
The Bunaken belongs to the top 10 of best diving spot of the world. The underwater world overthere is wonderful with a lot of big fishes such as sharks and turtles.
One of our diving spot.
Don’t walk there…
Caro is ready.
I only dive on the first day while Caroline is getting back into the water the next day and will enjoy her best dive since the start of our trip. The visibility and light were great and she could spot a few sharks and turtles.
Except this, there is not much to do in the Bunaken. Snorkelling is not as good as in the Toggian (and it’s more expensive to do it in Bunaken). So if you don’t dive, I would recommend not to go there.
We went there with Charlie & Ester and as well Kate & Cathy.
Getting beer after 8pm is not a really easy task in Bunaken. On our last night, we went to the main village but the only open shop had two warm beers available (we were part of a group of 10 people). We found some local playing cards and drinking at the front of their house in the street. One of them decided to help us and start to wake up all the people he knew could sell some beers. Finally after having waken up almost the whole village, a grand mother opened the door of her house still sleeply. We were so embarrassed but she looked ok and gave us our 10 fresh bingtang. All good now, we have them.
A few pictures of where we stay, with the view from our bungalow
The next day (sunday 2nd of december) we are leaving Bunaken for Manado.\
We have been able to do some shopping… in the supermarket…
and where Caroline keeps taking pictures of her with some officials while I am busy doing something else…
On Monday the 3rd of december, we are leaving Manado to reach our next stop at Boracay in Philippines.
See you in Boracay…