Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by

Via Gorontalo to the Togian Islands (2002)

Since we wanted to take seriously the warnings about increased danger of malaria infection on the Togian islands also immediately after the rainy season, we started with the prophylaxis in time. After the studies of leaflets and the detailed descriptions on the page we knew that a ferry from Gorontalo to Wakai on the Togian islands would start on Saturday in the evening. To have sufficient time in reserve my woman and me appeared already on Thursday morning at the bus terminal in Manado.

After we had seen these big crowded busses with closely packed passengers, we decided without hesitation on a journey with a chartered car. Together with three Indonesian passengers we started towards Gorontalo. It had become already almost 11 o'clock in the meantime. On the way our driver stopped a few times at one of the restaurants beside the street. We finally came into a police control shortly before Gorontalo. We were politely asked for our passports and could continue the journey after approx. one hour stay (after handing over of a couple of one thousand rupiah).

It was already late in the evening now, though and our driver was hungry and tired after a vain searching for our hotel MELATI. So he was no longer ready to do further and suggested us another little hotel instead. Since the building made quite a neat impression from outside, the price seemed us acceptably and we were rather worn-out because of the long journey, we finally gave in. But soon after we should regret this bitterly. When we wanted to go namely to bed, we had to discover the traces of a night of love on our sheets. We were however too tired to look for other accommodation. Therefore we merely asked the staff to change the bedlinen. In the early morning we set off for the "MELATI".  It offered clean rooms, surrounded by a lovingly well-tended garden.

One should just listen to advice ...

The owner of the hotel was a very kind and helpful man indeed. He gave us valuable tips how to spend our time in and around Gorontalo usefully. It was very favorable for us that his son operated an Internet café ("WARTEL") in front of the hotel with the possibility for making a telephone call immediately.

I have recently discovered a very informative website about the Togians. If you plan a trip there on your own initiative (and you understand German), you should absolutely visit Nikswieweg. The report of Nik is considerably more comprehensiv and more up to date than mine.

If you are planning to visit Kadidiri be careful with booking. The resort where we lived 7 years ago (see below) can at the moment not be recommended any more. Note the advice on Peters website .

If you want to pass a small comment on this web site or if you like to write about own experiences, then take a little time for my Guest Book. You may help other travellers by this.

Pictures of our Trip to the Togians:

With the following photos I would like to convey you an impression of our experiences:


Stopover on the way to GorontaloMain Road in Gorontalo
With this vehicle we were on our way from Manado to Gorontalo for approx. 12 hours. It was comfortable that we could change the seat position and stretch our legs.   Downtown of Gorontalo. Main means of transportation are here "Bendis" (cabs pulled by a horse) and "Bentors" (modern motorized "Becaks" at which the bicycle was replaced by a motorcycle)


MELATI HOTELAutor lässt sich von Pak Alex  den  Weg zum Otanaha Fort erklärenBlick vom Otanaha Fort ins Umland von Gorontalo
Look in the neat inner courtyard of the MELATI hotel from a room   The hotel owner Pak Alex explains to me how one reaches the OTANAHA FORT outside Gorontalo.   In the 14th century the Fort served the kings for the defence against the Dutchmen. Today it offers a far panorama over the surrounding countryside of Gorontalo  
Ferry to the Togian IslandsSleeping on the ferry to the Togian Islands
  Our ferry to the Togians. At this time I could not suspect yet that I should tear the Achilles tendon slipping on this "chicken ladder" after the return journey of the islands.


  We slept under deck on a big area. On the return journey I had to change once my place because it rained exactly over me from the ceiling.
Typical pile dwellings in WakaiHarbour of Wakai
  At our entry into the harbour of Wakai we sailed past the typical pile dwellings. During the journey the owner of the BLACK MARLIN DIVE CENTER addressed us and promised me to let us collect by his boat and bring us to the little island of KADIDIRI. After we had spent several hours in the scorching midday heat, we finally decided not to wait any longer and chartered one of the local outriggers for the passage instead.


Jetty to KadidiriOur cottage in Paradise Resort
  Although the cotttages of Black Marlin seemed  more modernly comparing the two resorts lying besides each other, we decided out of annoyance in favour of the "PARADISE". And we did not regret it.   We moved into this small cottage with a small bath and toilet of our own, only few metres away from the water . The resort with its clean sandy beach and the crystal-clear reef in front of it was really like a little paradise.  

Manager of Paradise and dive instructor PaulRestaurant of ParadiseRestaurant

  The Indonesian manager of the PARADISE with Paul, the Australian dive instructor   The restaurant was an airy rest room with loungers and a meeting place for the divers and snorkellers. The meal was versatile and palatable.  
View to the neighbouring resortLittle island for non-divers: snorkelling and sunbathingDive instructor Paul

The daily drives to the dive spots ran past a quite little island (middle) with a couple of cottages. There the non-divers were dropped off and could spend their time with snorkelling or sunbathing. They were picked up again at the end of the dive trip. On the right: our dive instructor Paul. He was the slimmest dive instructor which I have ever got to know. One can describe him with few words: nice, very involved, experienced, competent. He was the main reason to have stayed in PARADISE , although the diving equipment there was certainly not at the best condition. But since I had my own things, this was not so relevant for me.


On the diving boatOn the way to the B 24 Liberator

We experienced impressive sub-water landscapes. You can find a good description of the dive sites on Michael Bode's Homepage. In few places there were traces left behind by dynamite fishing . Otherwise clear water, great variety of small and smallest living beings but rarely large fish. A special highlight was the diving to the B 24 Liberator, a bomber being in a depth of approximately 20 m. In 1945 the plane had made a forced landing and sunk. The approximately 2-hour boat trip led us past mangrove swamp and wild rock formations covered by a tropical jungle.


SunsetStormy sea
  Evening atmosphere, taken from our cottage.   Next day on the return journey to Gorontalo it already looked different.