Back in Jakarta, heat is my biggest enemy that always wins against my noble intention to at least do something outside for the sake of my own mental health. But mostly during vacation, the sun up there, is my best friend. The hotter it gets, the better. As this will be my last post from my trip to Ternate-Tidore, I should say that I was blessed to have the blazing sun throughout the weekend. I was worried since the weather in Jakarta had been so horrible for the whole week prior to my trip to the islands.
Anyway, after 2 days of exploring the land, or island, the third day was the perfect time to cover the under water. I also got to visit a small island called Failonga, which was fascinating.
We were scheduled to leave at 8 in the morning but failed to do the mission. We went back to hotel super late the night before after having a late dinner and wandering around the city riding bentor. The “alien” pedicabs are everywhere, some of the even have sound system installed. I wonder if passenger can actually request a song. That will be terrific to have your own soundtrack like in a movie.
1. Failonga and Tanjung Rum
Finally, we got to the port at around 9.30 AM where Rio, Rian, and the boat crews are ready to take us to Failonga, as our first snorkeling spot. It took us nearly 45 minutes to reach the island. We were not alone there as some people had made themselves comfortable around the island by blasting dangdut songs to exercise with. What a joyful morning, right?
Side note: I was so out of mind, I neglected my camera on the boat, and I regretted it all my life. Dear reader, learn from my mistake. Don’t ever, leave your camera anywhere. Keep it with you all the time. Thus, all the courtesy of these following photos goes to Mbak Evy or Mas Har whom generously let me borrow theirs. Mbak Evy also manages a cool blog full with information about places she had visited and knowledge, and whatnot. If you are interested in travelling and understand Indonesian language, go check her blog.
Upon getting the boat anchored, we immediately followed suit by jumping into the water. It was super refreshing, the water was quite warm, and it had amazing underwater view. However, according to Rio, the island’s underwater state was degrading due to increasing visitors these past few years. It used to have more diverse ecosystem and marine species. I also noticed that some of the corals were dead. I understand that there are a lot of consequences from a growing tourism spots. It is sad to learn that the increasing number of visitors will contribute to the further damage of nature that will take decades to rehabilitate. I hope that the local government and society will acknowledge this issue and figure out of a way to keep the nature in its pristine condition while also developing the area for a better ecotourism.
Not only it has a magnificent underwater view, the island itself offers another charm that lures visitor to spend their time. She is beautiful from head to toe. However, it takes quite an effort to see as it is located at the other side of the island. We got to literally climb the island that consisted mainly of giant rocks.
Fun fact: the island used to be mystical due the the existence of a sacred tomb at the top of the island. Years ago, none would dare to go near the island to fish, let alone visit it.
Despite not knowing that we had to climb that high, we made it anyway, and we were astonished to see some kind of heaven on earth.
A few hours will not be enough to fully immerse with the beauty of this island. If only we were not promised to see a giant corals in the next location called Tanjung Rum.
The place was fantastic with full of giant table coral or acropora despite its position, next to a commercial ships lanes. Due to its location, this snorkeling/diving spot has stronger tides than the previous one. I was so amazed that most of the table coral was almost perfectly preserved.
I wholeheartedly apologize for the lack of photos, but you definitely should see it yourself. I promise you will not regret it even a bit. Anyway, if you’re curious, here is the picture of giant table from from Tanjung Rum that I borrow from google.
2. Fort Torre
Despite having our energy drained already after playing in the water and getting a lot tanner, we decided to rush to Fort Torre to complete our check list. The fort is not far from our hotel, in fact, nothing is considered far here in Tidore.
Most of the fort was destroyed and only left around 30% of the building intact. There are not a lot information I can get about this fortification turned flower garden beside what i read from the board sign which was still mainly based on assumption. It said that the fort was built under the order of Sancho de Vasconcelos after acquiring permit from Sultan Gapi Baguna (the name of the Sultan is unheard of before) in 6 Januari 1578 after Portuguese was driven out of Ternate by Sultan Baabullah for killing Sultan Khairun in 1570. Most likely the fort mentioned to be built was this Fort Torre. The name Torre was assumed to relate with the name of Portuguese captain at the time, Hernando De La Torre.
Finally, we survived 3 days exploring Ternate and Tidore with flying colors. We visited most of the places we had on our list. We got to enjoy beutiful scenery, good food, and know some of the nicest people on the planet. On the last day, we had to pack and prepare our heart content to leave. But, catching a sunrise is a must before we bid our farewell to the spice islands.