Look out ! Misters about !

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands
October 4th 2006
Published: October 18th 2006
Edit Blog Post

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

Photos are below
Photos: 39, Displayed: 21


Dinner, Banda-styleDinner, Banda-style
Dinner, Banda-style

A 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 treePff....fussy tree
Pff....fussy tree

Nutmeg 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.
The only English speaker on Pulau AiThe only English speaker on Pulau Ai
The only English speaker on Pulau Ai

Vocabulary limited to one word though (I'll let you guess which). These beautifully coloured birds are often kept as pets in the Banda Islands.
Keeping coolKeeping cool
Keeping cool

On the boat from Pulai Ai back to Banda Neira.
Candied nutmeg fruitCandied nutmeg fruit
Candied nutmeg fruit

Drying 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, everywhereSpices, spices, everywhere
Spices, spices, everywhere

Nutmeg 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 ApiSunset at Gunung Api
Sunset at Gunung Api

A 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 chickenOne boy and his chicken
One boy and his chicken

Young 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 NeiraRush-hour in Banda Neira
Rush-hour in Banda Neira

Narrow streets filled with weary commuters returning home after a day spent slumped in front of a computer screen. Not quite !

In the Banda Islands, hellomistering reaches truly epic proportions. Westerners are a rare breed indeed here !

The waters around the Banda Islands are dotted with these tiny dugout fishing boats, with a sarong as a sail.
Fish dryingFish drying
Fish drying

By the roadside on Pulau Lonthoir, where we went to visit a nutmeg plantation.
Company on the ferryCompany on the ferry
Company on the ferry

Foreigners on PELNI ferries never fail to attract a lot of attention. Children were particularly fascinated by the books we were reading.
Am I dreaming ?Am I dreaming ?
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 !Map-reading !
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 !

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 !
Farewell Banda IslandsFarewell Banda Islands
Farewell Banda Islands

An extraordinary place. Back we sail to Ambon.
You wait all month for a PELNI ferry...You wait all month for a PELNI ferry...
You wait all month for a PELNI ferry...

Then two come along at once ! At Ambon harbour on our return from Banda. The town is going crazy - TWO ferries on the same day !

22nd October 2006

found you again
Thanks to Alex's intervention I have now located your blog again, I am so behind! I particularly like the snogging morays and the no durian sign. I hear you are among mashed potatoes currently - much like myself only difference being that I am having them in a dank room with drizzle and 13C outside, hmm. Love, Marie
31st May 2012
Three point turn...

verry nice
31st December 2012

Loved your blog. Can you tell me the best way to get to the Bandas from Singapore. I am leaving 5/jan. 2013

Tot: 1.385s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 9; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0123s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb