The Moluccas are a collection of approximately 1000 small but beautiful islands that lie between Sulawesi and Papua and prove to be more difficult to navigate than the Togean Islands. I explored Pulau Ambon and Pulau Saparua in just over a week but would need nearly my whole visa time to really get to know the area. I was hoping to get to the Banda Islands, but that's a story in itself.
I arrived in Ambon on a Monday and there were two options of getting from here to Banda: a reasonably priced flight or a Pelni ship headed from Sulawesi to Timor which stopped briefly in the islands. By now I shouldn't need to explain the problems associated with the schedule (or lack thereof) of the Pelni fleet. The once-a-month boat which was headed that way was, or was not, coming within the week. No body really knew about this. So it seemed the best option to reach the islands was a 16 seat, small, twin-engine airplane which departed only on a Wednesday and a Saturday. The low frequency of flights meant that the Wednesday flight had already been fully booked so I secured myself a seat on the Saturday flight and headed to Pulau Saparua, east of Ambon on a public boat, in the meantime.
Learning how to speak a little bit of the language in Indonesia has helped me go a long way! It's helped me get cheaper-than-local prices, get on the right bus, learn some sweet stuff from the kids, know what the hell I'm eating and impress the locals. Here are some of my favorite/most useful phrases to know and understand:
From the backpack of Bianca on Thursday, October 28, 2010
So how hard could it be? I've decided, with much deliberation, to start a travel blog so that friends and family can catch up with my whereabouts and what-dos. Perhaps the fact that I don't have a computer will slow me down and internet connections on the road are infrequent and frustratingly slow. However, I realised that while I'm living right-here-right-now, no one else in the world knows what I'm up to. So please... enjoy!
From the backpack of Bianca on Monday, October 25, 2010