Togeans – Malenge and going back

One ‘unexpected’ side-effect of no internet is the fact that one can’t find any information. We’re so used to Google whenever we need to find out anything, especially on a trip – a weather forecast, a cost of a hotel, timetable of a boat. In the Togeans, this luxury isn’t available, and since losing count of time is another side-effect, the information becomes even more valuable.

After staying for a couple of nights in Poki Poki, I decided to continue my trip to Malenge. Members of staff told me the speedboat (Bora-Bora) was on the other day, and I was happy to extend my stay to do some more diving.

On the day of departure, the manager gave me a ride back to the Bomba Pier. From there, I took a speedboat to Wakai, where I planned to take the Bora-Bora boat. However, I was approached by a local gentleman who offered me a ride on a private boat, telling that Bora-Bora is only tomorrow, not today. After some hesitation and negotiation, we’ve agreed a price (300 000IDR) and I took the private boat to Zerra Beach Resort, in Malenge. I still don’t know what is the real boat timetable. Simple google search doesn’t have this information.

Zerra Beach resort looked a bit more ‘posh’ than Poki-Poki. The bungalows were made of solid wood, the windows had glass and the doors had a lock. Each bungalow has a terrace with 2 hammocks where I spent a lot of time. The inside amenities were pretty much the same, with a simple toilet, a tap and a ladle. Zerra Beach was a little bit cheaper, and they had a nice bay surrounded by coral reefs.

When I arrived, the manager of the place offered me a free snorkelling session. We’ve seen 5 baby sharks, a tortoise and a lot of fish. On another day, myself and some people from this and neighbouring resort undertook a snorkelling trip, visiting reefs 4 and 5. Reef 4 was very impressive, and reef 5, unfortunately, was half dead. I saw a school of 17 massive parrot fish, some turtles, angel fish, puffer fish, butterfly fish and all the usual tropical fish, including Nemos and trigger fish.

On the way back, I’ve asked that same boat captain, Abdul, to pick me up. On the way, we stopped at a jellyfish lake which as an interesting experience – swimming in a warm calm lake full of non-poisonous jellyfish! If you ever need a friendly boat captain, his details are:

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I booked a flight from Gorontalo, on the North of the Togeans. On arrival to Wakai, I was meant to take a night ferry to Gorontalo, that, according to some sources was meant to depart at 2PM, and to others, at 6PM. I boarded the boat at 1PM, meeting a lot of people I’ve seen on the trip. The boat departed at 3:15 and arrived at Gorontalo around 2AM. Mr Abdul arranged a pick-up from the pier for me, where I was brought to a hotel on a motorbike.

Finding reliable information about the Togeans was one of the main challenges. Luckily, I’ve travelled in low season which didn’t require any advance bookings, and I could show up at a resort with no advance notice. I also met a lot of amazing people who are more experienced travellers in this region and were able to advise!

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