Sunday, April 01, 2007


Day 32. Erika and I just paid $120 for a hot shower, and it was worth every nickel.

We’d just finished ten days in Bunaken and Lembeh Strait, diving the beautiful, crystal clear waters of North Sulawesi. Two Fish Divers in Bunaken was basic, but quite pleasant. The food was simple but tasty, our dive guide was excellent, the people running the resort and the other divers were interesting and genial. There was no hot water or air con, but the room was comfortable enough and it had a fan and electronic mozzie killer, and I’d recommend them to anyone wanting to dive the area. The diving is absolutely spectacular. That’s where we stayed for most of the trip, and then for the last two days we went on to the famous muck diving in Lembeh.

I thought Two Fish Bunaken was basic. Let’s just say that if I had gone to the Lembeh resort first, I would probably have stepped on a plane and gone back to Thailand. Not only was the water in the bathroom tepid, it was so rusty as to be unusable. It was so humid my mosquito coils wouldn’t burn; there were ants in my bed and dogs (with their fleas) everywhere, so I ended up covered in bites. The diving was superb, the guide very good, and Erika has a good sense of humor (thank God), but by the time we were scheduled to leave I wasn’t the least bit sorry. I will certainly go back to Lembeh, but next time I think I’ll go to the upscale resort on the other side of the strait. They looked like they had plumbing.

Because our flight to Jakarta was at six in the morning Wednesday, we went back to Manado on Tuesday afternoon and stayed the night. We were scheduled to stay in the Celebes Hotel, where we had stayed the very first night in Manado. It was your basic cheap tourist hotel, which hadn’t bothered us at all on Day 24. But after two days in Creepy Crawly Cold-water Central… I grabbed the Lembeh resort’s ancient copy of the Lonely Planet, looked at Erika and said,

“I wonder whether Manado has…”
“A five star hotel?” she finished.

According to the book, the Novotel was nearly completed (it was an old LP), and indeed we found that not onlyhad it been built, it had already changed hands and was now The Ritzy Hotel, right across from the Manado Mega Mall. We checked in, ordered extra towels, and took very long, very hot showers, reveling in the luxury that only the Ritzy Hotel could provide (at least in Manado). Then we went to the mall, bought shoes, ate pizza and had hour-long $3 pedicures. Erika got her hair cut and her toenails painted electric blue. Ah, civilization.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shows that no tribulation is too great when a passion is involved. Follow, Follw the dream. TM

4:43 PM  
Blogger Mme Cyn said...

Why does "Anonymous" above sound like my mother?

12:34 PM  

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