Saturday, July 22, 2017

SULAWESI, MINAHASA HIGHLANDS - MARKET, VOLCANO AND TEA FOR TWO - 11 JULY 2017


Kara and John are now in gili meno @ gazezbo meno.

A beautiful sunny morning. We had breakfast and Denny, our driver in Sulawesi arrived to take us on a tour of the area (600 000R).






First stop was the Tomohon Markets. This market has a variety of foods. The meat section is very different from any other market I've been to in Indonesia. On display were pigs, fish, bats, rats, snakes, cats and dogs. It's what some people there eat. It was sad and I must admit upsetting to see cooked dog and live dogs in cages ready to be cooked. I had a strong urge to buy the dogs and set them free far away from the markets but that would only encourage the seller to get more dogs.  The rest of the markets had spices and fruit. A half coconut shell of palm sugar wass selling for 12 500R. - very cheap.





The second stop was Mahawa volcano. The parking area was about 15 minutes walk from the crater rim. We climbed the steep stairs and walked track along the rim of the crater. The track was paved part of the way and the pavers were very slippery. The path turned into a dirt/mud/rock track after that. Surprisingly, the track was thick and heavily overgrown with vegetation making this hike very adventurous. There were great views along the way looking down into the steep sided crater with a sulphuric lake in the centre. The views looking across the countryside were stunning with views of Tomohon city and Manado on a backdrop of the ocean and islands. In two places, there was a raised platform which you could climb via a ladder for an even more expansive view. Along the way, we met a group of students from Tomohon and a couple from Gorantalo.








Our third stop was a restaurant on the shores of Lake Tondano called Mou Chou. It was very impressive. We walked through the entrance and down wooden steps and to a long wooden walkway that divided into three directions, We followed the walkway straight ahead which passed a number of rectangular areas which were open at the base to the lake. Each open rectangle had a net in the water which was full with carp of the same colour. There were many open areas and nets full of fish around the restaurant. We reached a large eating and chose a seat at the far corner overlooking the lake. The whole massive restaurant was built on bamboo poles with sturdy wooden floors that creaked a lot over the lake. Amazing!. The food was excellent being fried fish, vegetables and rice. While we were sitting there, a guy paddled past in a very rough dug-out canoe with a very dubious bow. The photo says a thousand words on this one.







Next stop was a monument to Jesus and Minahasa history. A large high circular tower was depicted in pictures of Christianity and the Lord's Prayer in English and Indonesian. A number of stone pillars that lined either side of the paved entranced were engraved with pictures and words of Minahasa history.






Next, we visited a water sports park at Rembokan that had no water sports. Still, it was a nice park on a point that jutted onto Lake Tondano. We wandered around the paths and met a nice couple also enjoying the walk. The girl was studying German at the local university.






We stopped at a pottery village, Pulutan and watched a young fellow decorating a number of pots. The village has a large community kiln which they all share for firing. Good idea.





It took awhile to find, taking turn off after turn off down narrow and infrequently used roads before we found a hot water spa in Koya village. There was a large pool of steaming sulphuric water at the entrance. Pipes lead from the pool to small shallow pools which water as allowed to sit and cool to varying temperatures. The spa pools for sitting in were in small private rooms and were fed with water from the shallow pools outside. If you wanted it hotter you called out lebih panas - more hot. The spa wasn't exactly a luxury resort but it was simple and very relaxing in the water. All for 10 000R.





The last stop was Lake Linow ( entry fee 25 000r per person which included tea/coffee). The lake was  sulphuric and it changed colour throughout the day due to the angle of the sunlight. We sat on the restaurant deck overlooking the lake and enjoyed a cup of tea then we had a short stroll around part of the lake edge.






Back to Mountain View Hotel for a few beers, dinner and sleep. Such a great and full day.

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