Finally getting to the Togeans

In my last post, I’ve described the bumpy road to Ampana, a small town from which one can take a boat to the Togeans. On the second day after leaving Bali, I finally boarded the speedboat. I had to pay 150 000IDR ‘national park fee’ and about the same for the speedboat.

I was thinking to go to Malenge as the first stop, but after speaking to the Checzh couple I decided to join them in Poki Poki Beach. The speedboat dropped us off at Bomba Divers resort (Araya Divers) where we met a family with a kid. They were expecting the boat back to Ampana – but we told them the boat wasn’t coming due to the engine issues. There are only two boats in operation: one we’ve arrived with and the one with the broken engine.

The entire population of Bomba Divers resort, including all staff and guests, attended the wedding at the Bomba Village where one of the diverss was getting married. We were invited as well, but I decided to stay at the resort.

After half an hour wait at the Bomba Pier, a small boat arrived to pick us up. They offered to drop the family off at the Village since there was nothing else to do in an empty resort. The family changed into the long clothes to look a bit smarter on a muslim wedding, left their luggage at the pier and joined us in a boat.

It’s worth mentioning how safe it is in the Togeans. These resorts – both Bomba and Poki Poki are absolutely secluded. They are accessible by boats – which are only a handful, or by a several hour hike in the Jungle. That means that leaving your luggage on a pier is absolutely safe. It is also absolutely safe to leave your valuables at the beach or your room unlocked. The only theft that happened while I was there is my bananas and soap being nicked… by a rat!

The place somewhat reminded me of the Maldives – except that it’s way cheaper and simpler. But the feeling of total safety was exactly the same.

After dropping off the family at the village, we continued to the next island.

We stopped and a long picturesque pier, where my luggage was taken by Nain, a hotel manager. We were shown some rooms – which were quite similar and very basic. Bamboo huts with wooden floors, airy roofs, glass-less windows, and very basic amenities such as a european-style toilet, a tap with a bucket of water and a ladle for flushing, showering or other needs. There was no electric plug in the room, obviously no air-conditioning or even a fan, no hot water or shower. Electricity was available for 2 hours per day, with devices being charged at the hotel reception.

Most islands aren’t covered even by a mobile reception and have no fixed telephone lines. That means that only cash is accepted in most places, with no credit cards used for payments or withdrawals. When I arrived, I didn’t realise I would run out of cash so quickly. Luckily, Bomba divers have accommodated that using their Sattelite internet having taken a payment via PayPal for my diving and accommodation in the neighbouring resort.

Overall, I had a great experience staying in these islands! The staff were very friendly and accommodating, taking us to the dive centre, a sunset pontoon, or a snorkelling trip. They cooked amazing food for us with freshly caught fish at the time convenient for us. The atmosphere and the design of the place is very cozy and natural, making it a perfect stay.

 

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