Tidore and Ternate
01.27.2019 - 02.03.2019
23 January 2019
Our last days on the cruise were more on islands than in the water.
Our final village stop was Bastiong Village on Halmahera. Very out of the way, small Christian village where we were greeted by, it seemed, the whole village.
Some were up for another jungle walk and others (like Jim and myself), wandered through the small village taking in it's everyday life. As we regrouped at the waterfront - the party began. A group of men and women graced us with local music, song and of course, dance - the Indonesian version of the Electric Slide. Music brought out the old and young alike and along with refreshments (fresh coconut water, fried plantains and "crazy hot" sambal )..... it was a lovely afternoon.
24 January 2019
Our boat traveled during the night and we woke to the sounds and sights of civilization and the view of the islands of Tidore and Ternate. Today our destination was the smaller of the two, Tidore.
Our day was broken up into two tours with lunch in the middle. Tidore is a city and an island and also a sultanate. The Sultan was not in town but we had the chance to visit his palace. It seemed the occupants of the palace (family members) were very excited to meet us.. Cell phones were out and there was photo taking on both sides. BUT before we visited royalty we visited a blacksmith shop - one of the few left on the island.
With the rhythm of pounding hammers - we watched the process. From the constant air rush of the bellows which stoked the fire that heated the the metal, to the group of men pounding the heated metal with sledge hammers. They were so in sync. I have no idea how they didn't hit each other. And then there was the master ...fine tuning the handcrafted machetes...truly a lost art in most of the world.
Due to the former Dutch influence and dominance in this area, there were a number of forts - which made for a nice stop and good views of the island. I think it may be a "tourist stop", though we were the only westerners I saw the whole day - anywhere in the city.
Our last full day on the cruise concluded with our Farewell Party. Not much "dressing up" to do on the ship but we did our best and the crew also brought out their best...Dinner was incredible and then we were entertained with the beautiful melodic voices of our Indonesia hosts. We (guests) joined in as best we could. We danced and sang and danced some more...fun, fun, fun!!!
25-26 January 2019
Our last day on our wonderful cruise.. tIme to pack and then into Ternate for a short morning tour to a couple Dutch forts and then back for lunch ....and it was over. Well, not quite.
Yes, we left the ship but Jim and I opted to stay in Ternate for two nights. Little did we know that eight other guests were also staying at the same place - Villa Masarai - a small villa up in the hills overlooking the sea and volcanoes.
It did seems as if we didn't want the trip to end.
Stephanie, Joe, Rob and Gabriella left the next day, which left us, Anna, Jeffrey, Andy and Caitriona. They would be there an additional night and then back on to the Ompak Putih for another 12 days..oh yes....we were very jealous.
Our trip back to Bali was uneventful as was the following week. Seems like the inner island heat was taking a toll on me and besides feeding Madu a few times we enjoyed the A/C of our small villa.
Next stop: New Zealand!!!
Since Jim killed (unintentionally) our underwater camera - big thanks to Nita for sharing her photos!! Click the link below: