Trip Start May 20, 2010
195Trip End Sep 05, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Day : 135
Temperature : 33 degrees
Weather : Mostly sunny, humid, thunderstorms in evenings
The Lonely Planet book says that it takes a considerable effort to get to the Togean islands….what an understatement. We left our hotel in Rantepao at 7am and caught two becaks into town – one for our luggage and one for us. Our bus arrived at 7.30am. We settled in our seats and mentally prepared ourselves for the 9 - 10 hour bus journey north. An hour into our journey we had covered the vast distance of approximately half a mile! It was going to be a long, long day. At 10.30am the bus pulled over to the side of the road and all the passengers piled out
After a one hour break the bus set off once again. By 1pm our stomachs were rumbling and we'd finished our packet of Bourbonnes biscuits and our two packets of crisps. By 3pm it was obvious that there was not going to be any lunch break. At 4pm we were still on the road, only we’d packed even more passengers onto the bus. This brings me to an interesting point about personal space, a concept which is clearly non-existant in Indonesia. Let’s create the picture. Imagine your typical rickety old Indonesian bus. I am in the window seat, Kevin is in the aisle seat. All the seats are full and there are people sitting on the floor in the aisle. There is a local lady sitting in the aisle to the rear of Kevin facing the front of the bus. She is resting her head on Kevin’s arm as she tries to sleep
At 5pm we finally pull over to a café at the side of the road. All the passengers get out and we follow. We would have been able to eat if we had not at this point eaten our fingers!! In my best Bahasa Indonesian I manage to communicate that I would like "nasi" and “sayur” and “teh pahit” – rice and vegetables and tea without sugar. Our fellow bus passengers all find my attempts at speaking their language highly amusing. Our food and drink arrive. I retrieve my powdered milk from my bag and proceed to add a teaspoon of the milk to my tea…at which point several passengers spontaneously burst into laughter and with much hilarity begin shouting to each other and pointing in our direction. This is clearly the most outrageous thing they have seen in a long time! I find it amusing that they find it amusing
At 3.30am we are abruptly woken by extremely loud music being played through a loud speaker. As we groggily wake up we realise that it is church choir music, repeatedly followed by ringing church bells
The following day we caught a boat ride to the Togean Islands with some other westerners. Our first stop was near the village of Bomba. We stayed in a hotel which was set on a beautiful beach with soft powdery sand. Unfortunately, the hotel was not particularly good value for money and the sea was shallow and not suitable for swimming. There was not any snorkelling and so our group decided to charter a boat the following day and head to the island of Kadidiri. No sooner had we landed on Kadidiri and we decided to leave upon discovering an outbreak of eye infections on the island. Not wanting to end up sick we returned to the boat and headed further north to another island
There was a very nice atmosphere at the Fadhila Cottages and it was a lovely place to relax. The beach was nice, although not of the white powdery stuff we have seen elsewhere. Our bungalows were basic but acceptable and we had unlimited fresh water for showers. The food was very good although there were no deserts and it did get a little repetitive after a few days. Breakfast could have been comfortably twice as much. It would be wise to bring some snacks and especially some fruit since there is nothing to eat between meals and very little fruit available. It was easy however, to take the boat over to Katupat (or even swim if you like!) to buy some biscuits. The staff were exceptional, all very friendly and knew all our names on our second day and as you can see by the photos they were happy to join in the crazy antics of our fellow guests at the resort.
The diving has been ok but not exceptional. We have seen the biggest sponges we have seen anywhere else, some beautiful anenomes with several shrimps living in them, a turtle far in the blue and a large eagle ray
It was very nice to spend a week in one place, unpack all our clothes and do some laundry! This is the longest time we have stayed in one location since our travels began four months ago. But Sunday soon came round and we said our farewells to everyone at Fadhila, loaded our bags onto our little boat and made the two hour journey to Wakai to catch the ferry. We had booked a cabin on the steel ferry to Gorontalo, which was just as well since the boat was heaving. Every available floor space was taken with people lying on mats. One of the most interesting things we saw was a baby in a fishing net which was tied to the roof, a kind of baby hammock…the baby seemed happy enough! We slept on and off in our cabin, although by this time I had been suffering from a painful ear for 3 days and Kevin had some milder symptoms, so it wasn’t a restful night
Convinced that there was something now wrong with our ears we headed for the nearest hospital in an attempt to see a doctor. We explained our symptoms to the first doctor who looked rather confused. I think we may have been her first patients and she had clearly never seen an otoscope before (the thingy the doctors use to look in your ear) since it took her and 5 nurses at least 10 minutes to assemble it, then the batteries were dead! She was at a loss of what to do and we were given a blank look. Doesn’t give you much confidence does it!! We headed to another clinic to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. Thankfully this clinic looked much more professional. Some pretty pictures of the inside of our ears were taken and an ear infection was diagnosed. We are now both on a course of antibiotics, painkillers, ear drops and some steroids to reduce the inflammation and will have to wait until things settle before we can go diving. So from here we will spend four or five days on land, maybe go to a national park and spend a few days and then we head to Pulau Bunaken for hopefully some great diving and maybe a shark or two…..