Motorbike trip between lakes and volcanoes

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

At 7 o'clock sharp, as expected, Anto is there with his bike. First step of our journey, concocted for us by the guide Yoce: the mount Mahawu. Easy climb, even for a non-walker like me.

The crater of Mahawu volcano

In 40 minutes, under the refreshing shade of a forest mixing conifers and tropical vegetation, with groves of bamboo bigger than my thigh, we reach the edge of the crater of this dormant volcano.

In the background, funny little green and blue lakes, and yellow rock.

The view is superb, the sky is clear and clear, so you can see all the way to the sea. In the distance, in the bluish heat, you can even see the islands of Manado Tua and Bunaken.

On the way, we meet a group of young Indonesians who camped in the tent, a little lower. The destination is popular on the weekends.

The girl from the internet center where I write these lines, came to tell me, on seeing the photo opposite, that she went there with friends not long ago, and that they even came down, with climbing harnesses, at the bottom of the crater ...

The green lake: Danau Linow

We leave again for Lahendon, admire another telluric phenomenon: the lake of sulfur green Danau Linow (danau meaning lake).

The jade color of this toxic lake, without fish or water lilies, surrounded by hot springs and gaseous fumes, is astounding. An intense green, violent, as artificial.

Danaw Linow Suff Lake, near Lahendon, is a spectacular jade green. North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Danaw Linow Suff Lake, near Lahendon, is a spectacular jade green. (North Sulawesi, Indonesia)

Anto then takes me to Sonder, big village full of florists, like Tomohon, or dry the cloves along the road, spread on canvas or tarpaulins. Our goal, an impressive waterfall, stashed not far from the road, in a piece of jungle.

"Dua puluh lima meters", he assures me. The numbers, in Indonesian, I master: 25 meters high, so. I guess the chef and he points to my camera. OKAY. I take the pose in front of the waterfall and he pulls me the portrait.

We will then cross several villages, including Kawahgkoan (if I'm not mistaken in the name), specialized in the manufacture of ceramics. All in the middle of beautiful landscapes of rice fields, by small country roads not too busy. The ride is nice as anything.

As it is the day of the Lord, there are plenty of people in the villages near the churches. The region is predominantly Christian. And I do not resist the pleasure of photographing one of these incredible buildings, kitsch to wish ...

A very kitsch Christian church in the Tomohon area. North Sulawesi, Indonesia
A very kitsch Christian church in the Tomohon area. (North Sulawesi, Indonesia)

We finish the route by the huge lake of Tondano. A lake that looks like a little sea, with waves and wind blowing.

The huge lake Tondano, in the Tomohon area. (North Sulawesi, Indonesia)

There are plenty of restaurants at the water's edge, where we obviously serve fish from the lake. We'll have lunch there and I'll try bravely to make the conversation in Anto, armed with my little guide Assimil.

Put yourself in Indonesian

No secret, for languages: it's always when you really have to get used to it that we make spectacular progress ... Since my motorcycle trip with Anto, I have never been "well" spoken. In addition to the usual polite phrases I already know pretty much, I learned a lot of new words: go up, up, hot, handsome, tired, go down, slowly, green, spring and waterfall, fish, delicious (yes, he was excellent this lake fish!), satiated, etc. My Bahasa Indonesia is rich! ! !

In the evening, with Yoce, I continue the lesson. His dream is to learn French seriously, from which he learned a few sentences and words. He makes me repeat basic formulas in Indonesian, after dinner. Teach me the words to introduce to indicate the past, the present continuous, the future. I translate for him in French the menu of the restaurant.

In addition to being a guide, Yoce prides himself on doing "freelance", dixit himself, the reporter for what I suppose to be the local cabbage leaf.

I collapse from 20h30-21h, exhausted by my trip of the day. "Salamat tidur! Good night ! "

In the evening Tomohonthanks to the slight altitude, it is cool. It's nice, to feel the temperature vary between day and night. And it changes from the sulphurous Manado. The other good news is that there are no mosquitoes!

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007