Travelling from Manado, North Sulawesi, even farther to the edge of the world induces a certain feeling of adventure. Of course there is already a lot of touristy infrastructure, otherwise I would not consider to travel here – I am not Livingstone. (If I ever go to the sources of the Nile, I require a nice and shady terrace with a daybed or rocking chair, a glass of cold water or iced tea, and a muffin.)
Sulawesi is the big Indonesian island which looks like a distorted starfish; Halmahera is the smaller replica to the right. Both islands belong to the Australian influenced flora and fauna and are therefore situated to the right of the Wallace line. Btw, Alfred Russel Wallace’s travel blog (as he lived in Victorian times, it’s in the form of a book) makes for fascinating reading.
As in Lembeh, the dive resort is nice. But here, it is remote: traveling from Lembeh involved a boat to Sulawesi, car to Manado airport, flight to Ternate, car to the harbor, speedboat to Halmahera/Sofifi and THEN three hours of driving to Weda.
However once that’s done all the creature comforts can be had, including good food, wonderful fruit including pineapple, smallish extremely tasty bananas, and fried sweets in the middle of the afternoon. Reader, I gained weight. Sounds perfect, right? Well the internet connection, on the other hand, is almost non-existent… can you call it a connection if every now and then a little frightened lost data package trickles in? On the other hand,it adds to the charm.
The endemic Halmahera Giant Gecko.
The coral reefs are pristine and brimming with healthy soft coral and beautiful fish – the best I have seen so far. I’ll have to come back some day. Some impressions:
Nudibranch in the middle of a color riot
Diving a coral wall…
Magnificent coral outcrop at just 5-8m depth
There are also birds on the island. Lots of birds. Some of them endemic only to Halmahera and quite spectacular, like Wallace’s Standardwing Bird of Paradise (see them here), or the Hornbills (here) . However, it takes a lot of camera equipment to take photos of those. Just a smartphone won’t do.
Date: Nov 3rd to 10th, 2016