16 August 2009

Bitung on north-east Sulawesi

Sunday August 9th after a perfect overnight sailing trip we reach the Rally Bunaken/Sail Indonesia anchorage in Lembeh Strait near the small town of Bitung. On the shore we are welcomed by a lot of flying flags and it's fascinating to see around 40 yachts all close-by anchored in the bay. Holiday has just started and there are musical parades of the different schools with colourfull costumes. These attrack a lot of the people from Bitung and beyond and they all enjoy the spectacle.

We make a tour to the 'Minahasa highlands' where the cooler climate and the fertile vulcano soil are good conditions for growing fruit and vegetables on the special made terraces. On our way we visit one of the caves that the Japanese dug out in the war to protect themselves and their stores and weapons. We pass several monuments and enjoy beautifull views. Later in the week we visit the Tangkoko National Park and make an interesting bush walk.

Friday August 14th there is a welcome dinner for all participants of the Rally. It's a very pleasant evening with local dances and music, a few words and good food of course!

Slideshow Bitung