Diving with Bastianos at Bunaken National Marine Park
Bunaken Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
April 6th, 2009 – by: d00tchy
Indonesia is a land of remarkable beauty, flying east from Jakarta to Manado is a visual testament to that. Cruising through plush doughy clouds over verdant tropical islands outlined by white sandy beaches with nearby coral reefs exposed through the clarity of turquoise/green ocean waters made me drool against the airplane's cabin window.
The destination was to be Raja Ampat in Papua, but we could not make timely lodging arrangements, so we made a last minute dash to Bunaken National Marine Park, off the coast of port city Manado. From the harbour, we embarked on a half-hour boatride to Bunaken Island, wedged in between a beautifully dramatic volcano called Manado Tua and a small flat idyllic tropical island called Siladen Island. We reached Bastianos Resort & Diving Center to spend 5 wonderful days of our lives.
We arranged some dives for the following day, 4 dives to be exact, then headed into the village to grub on some fresh barracuda and relax with some ice-cold Bintangs. The next morning, after a hearty breakfast, we met our divemaster Rando and completed 3 dives and a twilight dive.
The day was to be celebrated at night with ice-cold Bintang and a local distill called Chaptikoos (Rat Brand). Together with the awesome Bastianos staff and some of the other visitors we drank and sang deep into the night on guitar strings, sharing laughs and making new friends, taking pictures and memorializing moments.
The next day, 3 more dives, including to Fukui and Cela Cela. Fukui is home to 5 giant clams. Although 2 have died, the sheer size of these clams are amazing.
Woke up on the last full day in sadness. Just when you build something special, it was time to go. Knocked off 2 more relaxing dives in the beautifully tranquil coral garden slopes of Bualo and Fukui. The dives were so visually relaxing and soothing that I maintain a powerful mental picture of the rich coral slopes that graced our last dives.
The night that followed was set up to be something special. The crew had requested the man in charge, Bapak, to hold a special BBQ/Bonfire to commemorate our stay, to which Bapak happily obliged. After the food, the fluid started flowing, the fire started burning, the party was alive and kicking. We made music on anything that made sound, we danced in a trance around the fire, we succumbed to the positive energy that encompassed the aura. We celebrated each other, new friends from around the world, new facebook contacts, new experiences, new places, and new memories.
We killed nothing but time, took nothing but pictures, left nothing but footprints.
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