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Published: April 5th 2011
Vita – The name of our guesthouse on Bandaniera. A place to spend long lazy days.
This is the kind of place you’re happy to just do nothing.
Seven rooms all face out onto an open courtyard with two tables large enough to seat six people, a great place to meet and exchange travel stories with other travellers. In front of the courtyard is a lovely tropical garden with a couple of hammocks strung between two palm trees. Perfect to while away a hot afternoon. A huge tree casts a welcome shadow over pots of delicate plants.
A hearty breakfast is brought to you within minutes of popping a sleepy head out of your front door. Fresh fruit – pineapple, papaya, mango and melon. Not to mention the big bunch of tiny bananas that was always in a pretty glass plate in the middle of the table. Copious amounts of toast and eggs or banana pancakes all washed down with unlimited tea and coffee.
In front of the garden is a creaky wooden decking over the clear blue ocean. From here you can watch the fishing boats going about their daily lives across the most beautiful bay you
can imagine. Just 500 metres across the bay towers Gunung Api a recently active volcano, it’s summit is 660 metres high. The last eruption was in 1198 killing three people but for now it remains quiet sending out the odd puff of grey smoke, it’s flanks are covered with dense rainforest vegetation.
Under the decking through the clear water you can see several varieties of fish, coral and other sea life but the best of all are the pretty little mandarin fish who hide in the rocks and slowly emerge to reveal their beautiful colours. When dusk approaches most guests can be found dangling their feet in the water watching the sun sink behind the volcano and catching up on the day’s activities - if any!
Within a few days of discovering this place you find yourself slipping into Indonesian lifestyle – namely just doing nothing with no aim but to watch the world go by or simply fall asleep in a shady spot.
Evenings can be quiet affairs or rowdy, depending on the guests who are there at the time. All nations coming together to play cards, dominos or chess, nobody really cares who wins but
it’s a great way to overcome language barriers
Now and then we suddenly remember who we are and why we’re really here. On these days we ask Alan, the owner to organise a boat trip to one or other of the Banda Islands for snorkelling on the impressive reefs.
After a hard day snorkelling and relaxing on a beach somewhere, Annie greets us as we arrive back with “Tea? Coffee?” and it feels just like coming home.
Yes, after several months of moving around from place to place it’s nice to have somewhere like ‘Vita’ to call home - if just for a little while!
In actual fact we spent a full three weeks here and after we left we began to wish we were still there!
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