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It’s been long time ago, when I had this trip to Sangihe last May. Just now i have time to write it. I had been working in Manado for almost 7 months at that time, and yet, still no memorable journey ever taken. Once, midnight time, we’re talking about useless thing, I was in front of my laptop, looking at GoogleEarth. I found an island called Siau, several hours from Manado. I was interested for its famous super-active volcano named Karangetang. I said to my friend, “Let’s go to Siau”. He rejected as he hate mountains. Ah…invitation failed. Then our driver Anto, said, “Why don’t just go to Sangir?”. Manado people called Sangir, not Sangihe. My friend seems interested, he was at that island. Then we started to plan to get into this island. Date has been circled, 26-28 May, it was long holiday. Then, Sangihe we go!

26 May 2010

8 a.m we went to the harbour, it was a little crowded, as it was long holiday here. We walked to the ship, it was named Express Bahari. Uaaah…the ship deck was full of people. We checked the deck, no place to sit. We just wait until the ship departed. We just sat on the edge of left deck, outside, directly touched by sunlight. It was a sunny day, the temperature was high. We’re told many times by a man not to sit there because it easy to fall. I don’t care, I just sat there, light my cigarette and just enjoyed the sea view. Thirty minutes already passed, and we still not passed Lihaga island, I started imagine how long this trip would be. It was an express ship, it was cruising fairly fast. 12 p.m we arrived in an island, first stop, named Tagulandang island. This just to drop and pick some passangers. I bought a Nasi Kuning there costed me Rp 5000, quite cheap for light meal.

Departure

Departure

Then, the ship continued travel to next island. It took for another 2 hour before we reach Siau island, the next stop. Siau is famous for its super-active volcano, Karangetang. When I wrote this blog, the volcanic activities was increasing, some lava already came out from its crater. Back to the story, it was still a sunny sky, so I could take some unclear pictures of this volcano. Ship sailed again, we saw some lava trails on the eastern part of Siau, indicated that this mountain is still active. I still confused, why is there still many people live in this area. How can they sleep normally when Karangetang could blow at anytime without telling them?

Karangetang volcano viewed from Siau's port

Karangetang volcano viewed from Siau's port

Okay, so the ship was leaving Siau, next destination was Sangihe as our last stop. The trip was getting boring, because there’s just sea and sea, nothing else than blue water. But suddenly, a splash of water seen im distance. It was some whales!! Woaaa…that was a great view, unfortunately my Ricoh wasn’t ready, so I missed the pic. Not just whales, some dolphins also came in group, entertained us in the middle of the boring sea. The show was ended by performance of some flying fish, Exocotidae family. They were leaping out of the water and flying on the sea surface for 10 to 20 seconds. As I know, they’re using their big fins, combined with wind updraft to glide. It was amazing, we were watching 3 or 4 fish doing this thing. The sky was getting dark, the sun was also getting dark and darker. I tried to shoot using my Ricoh, and the result wasn’t so disappointing.

Sunset

Sunset

Then, around 5 p.m we arrived in the Tahuna harbor. Suddenly, when the passangers is getting of the ship, it started to rain, heavily. We’re running all the way try to find place to take shelter. We waited until the rain stop. We tried to find place to pray, because we haven’t pray Dzuhr and Ashr. There’s a police station and we prayed there, thanks Mr. Policeman, at last not all the police in this country is a bad guy. We catched a blue mikro (mikro is term for public transportation, same like angkot in Jakarta) and searching for place to sleep. From WikiTravel, it was recommended to sleep at Bintang Utara. But, after we check, seems that the place was somewhat dark. So, we decided to sleep at Hotel Nasional, located closer to the Tahuna City. The hotel style was kind of more executive, not like usual backpacker sleeping dorm. Well, I couldn’t resist, since my mate wasn’t like backpacker style, so we just checked in on Hotel Nasional. The rest of that night was just sleeping, preparing for the next day travel.

27 May 2008

Woke up in the morning, got some coffee and breakfast, we started to talked about where would we go. Decision was made to see my mate, Ook, birth place, Liun Kendage Public Hospital. Then we would go to Pananualeng beach in the north part of Sangihe island. We went to the bus station to rent a motorcycle. The rent was cheap, we had a bike and 2 helmets for Rp 50.000 all day long, of course we pay the gasoline ourselves. The ride was start in Tahuna city, we bought some crackers and water. We went to the hospital first to see my where my friend was born. We also went to the harbour to book 2 ticket for travelling back to Manado. The funny thing was, the ticket officer knew my mate’s father. When my mate told him about his father job in Tahuna, the officer guessed my mate’s name, it was correct! We had some talks about past with him. After that, we went directly to the north. The road was ascending on a hill, it bent right and left. The bike was roaring because high inclination along the hill. After 30 minutes ascend, we could see all  Tahuna city, somewhat beautiful. It reminded me to Koh Phi Phi from the Viewtop. The area on the top named Lenganeng. Lies there several telecommunication towers, television tower, and a wind-turbine. I was interested to this place, since some of my collague already been here installing Telkomsel BTS. So we went to that area and took some shots of the towers and of course, the wind turbine.

Towers

Towers

The rides continued, but now downhill. We just followed the road directly to Peta, used to be an old market and harbour. It took almost 2 hours before we reached Pananualeng beach. The road after Peta to Pananualeng was so narrow, and many curves, somewhat dangerous and need more focus to avoid accident. Pananualeng beach wasn’t that beautiful as another beach I’ve visited before. But, it was very quiet and virgin, fit for people like me, who wants to get away from the noisiness and preassure of working in a project. We just layed on the white sand, enjoying the sea winds and the scent. We walked on the shore, and I was surprised, there’s a tons of starfishes. You could mention all the color they may have, red, orange, blue, green….just so many! I tried to take out one, and guess what, after some seconds out of the water, its arms were curled up. So, I put her to the water afraid that she’s dying. We walked again, took some shots. The atmospher was really good, before my cellphone rang. Damn it! Got a phone call from 3 boss in Manado, asking me about some troubled sites. I hang up the phone and called my team to perform some drivetest and asked them to send me the update. Damn, I was 200km away from Manado and still got a job! Then we just had some talks with local man. He told us many stories, started from the history of this area, his experience living in Jakarta..lots of things. An hour had past, we asked permission to go back and we still had some times. We decided to go to Naha Airport. Naha, is a small air strip. There’s nothing there to looked at. So, we just went back to Tahuna. We spent the afternoon in the seaside of Tahuna. The rest of the night was resting, after I went to a internet cafe to send the update report about issued sites to our 3 client.

Pananualeng beach view

Pananualeng beach view

28 May 2010

This was our last day in Sangihe. We stayed in the hotel until mid-day before we checked out and then we just spent the rest of the day by walking around Tahuna waiting until the ship is ready to depart. I took some shots also while walking. It was tiring walk in the mid-day, since the sun was very hot. Then we just decided to wait in the harbour. The ship was already parked in the port. I took some other shots. There’s a good shot about a man lifting some packages into the ship.

Men lifting for living

Men lifting for living

We got board on the ship at 5 p.m. It was the first time I travel with night ship. It was pretty different with short trip ship. There was no seats, just beds, the room was full of bunk beds. The ship depart at around 6 p.m, we spent the night outside. The sky was clear, the stars was shining so bright. It was full moon also, a quiet night, the scene was really perfect. After we got too tired we went inside and slept on the bunk bed. Just realized after several hours that we already arrived in Manado port. I called Brian, our driver to pick us. It was Monday, so we just took a rest in the guest house and start working again at 9.

Itinerary:

Manado – Tahuna (Express Bahari, economy class-free lunch) : Rp 165.000
Sleep – Hotel Nasional (2 days, TV, AC, breakfast and afternoon snacks) : Rp 275.000
Public transport (mikro) : Rp 2000 per trip
Tahuna – Manado (economy class, free dinner & bunk bed) : Rp 110.ooo

Check out the gallery for complete shots.