Today Quinn and I were encouraged to experience some of North Sulawesi’s topside attractions, since this is a destination that offers incredible cultural opportunities when not scuba diving.
We started the day walking through the Tomohon market with our guide, first visiting the fruit, then vegetables, clothing and then the meat and fish sections. Today is a Tuesday, meaning the market had lots of action but wasn’t uncomfortably crowded as on Saturday. The market is a fun experience, however the meat section will make you remember that your meat comes from an animal and not a plastic-wrapped styrofoam container at a supermarket.
Next, we continued up the mountains in Tomohon, past flower and vegetable farmers who plot the hillsides in the dark volcanic soil. Tomohon is known as the village of flowers and even has an annual international flower festival. At the top of the hill is Mahawu, a dormant volcano offering epic views of Tomohon, Manado and Bunaken National Park. The clouds today made photos tough, but the view here on a clear day would be breathtaking and give a true sense of the layout of dive sites you see from the water.
For lunch, we stopped at Gardenia Restaurant, which is a lush retreat with a number of bungalows and a restaurant situated in colorful flower gardens, where we sampled some exquisite local Minahasan meals. This was followed by several other highlights including more vistas, flowers, clove farmers and creators of beer, wine & coconut oil from the abundant palm trees.
Upon arrival at Eco Divers Minahasa Lagoon, we were greeted with an amazing sunset. This is a great sign for the diving to come tomorrow! Stay tuned as we post video and photos from tomorrow’s dives!