Not all that much happens on the Banda Islands. The days of crazy foreigners falling over themselves to set foot on the islands - all for a little brown nut - are long gone. The Bandas are a forgotten backwater if ever there was one.
Not surprisingly therefore, the docking of a ship as large as the Bukit Siguntang at a port as tiny as Neira Island's is an event. A big event.
Arriving in the Band... Read Full Entry
We live to travel - and we travel to live. We've been exploring the globe together for the past 13 years - and there's still so much to see. In March 2013 we moved from the United Kingdom to the other side of the globe - our new home is Tasmania and we look forward to getting to know this gorgeous part of the world.
... full info
Dinner, Banda-styleA gorgeous plate of yellowfin tuna sashimi. This would cost an arm and a leg back home...the Hotel Maulana's restaurants prepared this for us for 5 dollars ! It even came with soy sauce and wasabi...It was GORGEOUS.
Pff....fussy treeNutmeg trees are often found to grow in the shade of large kanari almond trees. These provide the delicate nutmeg with the shade they need to produce their precious fruit.
Candied nutmeg fruitDrying on a rack in Banda Neira. The fruit of the nutmeg tree can also be made into a delicious jam (best in the morning on pancakes !) with a mild nutmeg taste.
Spices, spices, everywhereNutmeg and mace drying in the sun near Molole beach on Neira Island. The bright red mace dries to an orangy-yellow colour.
Sunset at Gunung ApiA graceful fishing boat by Gunung Api in the setting sun. The volcano island has a small population - frequently evacuated when the volcano begins to rumble...
One boy and his chickenYoung boy and his pet chicken sitting outside Fort Hollandia on Pular Lonthoir, the largest of the Banda Islands and a giant nutmeg plantation.
Rush-hour in Banda NeiraNarrow streets filled with weary commuters returning home after a day spent slumped in front of a computer screen. Not quite !
HELLO MISTEEEEER !In the Banda Islands, hellomistering reaches truly epic proportions. Westerners are a rare breed indeed here !
Dug-outThe waters around the Banda Islands are dotted with these tiny dugout fishing boats, with a sarong as a sail.
Fish dryingBy the roadside on Pulau Lonthoir, where we went to visit a nutmeg plantation.
Company on the ferryForeigners on PELNI ferries never fail to attract a lot of attention. Children were particularly fascinated by the books we were reading.
Am I dreaming ?Or is that a real-life sailor suit ? At the helm of the Bukit Siguntang. The wheel was disappointingly puny - I was expecting a giant wooden with all the spokes...
Map-reading !Up on the bridge of the Bukit Siguntang. One of the officers is manually plotting our course on a big map of the Banda Sea (on bits of sticky tape so it can be re-used !). I didn't know they still did that !
Hmmm...Where are we I wonder ? Up on the bridge of the Bukit Siguntang, sailing back to Ambon. If only the rest of the ship was this clean and tidy !