Dreaded visa extension!

Trip Start Mar 20, 2011
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13
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Trip End May 13, 2011


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Where I stayed
Hotel Angkasa Raya Indah

Flag of Indonesia  , Sulawesi,
Monday, April 18, 2011

The visa we got on arrival expires on the 21st, so we headed for the Kantor Immigrasi when we got back to Manado from Bunaken on the 18th. We filled out the visa application form and had to photocopy the front page of our passport, the visa page, our departure document and our return ticket - luckily there was a photocopy shop just across the road. We then had to buy a red cardboard folder in which they could keep our documents, and we were told to come back in 2 days and dress formally! The process can take up to 4 working days in Manado. 
The immigration officer took a liking to us and said he would make sure we could collect our visa the next day, so we dressed up as formally as one can when backpacking and went to the office at 10. It took 3 hours for them to complete the paperwork (1 signature on our papers; 1 stamp and signature in the passports!), and there seemed to be many people involved in the process!!
We took a bus to Tomohon, about 45 mins south of Manado. Unfortunately it started to rain, so we didn’t stick around for long, but it’s a great area to take some long walks in the hills. It also has an enormous market, so we stocked up on some fruit and snacks for our bus trip to Gorontalo. Here we also found Cap Takis, the local arak or spirit, made from the Saga palm tree. 15.000 Rp (2$) for a half litre bottle! It is drinkable when mixed with a soft drink and seems quite strong. 
The market is supposedly at it’s best on Saturdays when the snake butchers come to town. Luckily no slaughtering was taking place when we were there, but we did see slaughtered dogs for sale, and a tiny cage with about 10 dogs in it, some lying on top of each other - quite a horrible sight...
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