When the school holiday arrives, one of the things the children – and their parents – always want to do is to go on vacation to refresh their mind, seeing new places, before returning back to their daily activities. However, in this holiday season our vacation time was about to cut short, because at the same time the kids must sign up and register to their new school. So, the idea was to find a place where we can reach in just a short trip, and still can bring a new experience to the kids & enjoy our time. After browsing few options, Ijen mountain slopes was the choice, again. This time, it was Sempol district, Bondowoso, at the west side of Mount Ijen, where a state-owned coffee plantation offers an agrotourism package. So, it would be a relax, a bit of trekking time around a coffee – and yes they actually have strawberry too – plantation..
Visiting Banda would not be complete if we do not enjoy the stunning underwater scenery offered around the islands. The beauty of the underwater garden around the archipelago, located 213km to the southeast of Ambon, is already well known to the entire world, attracting tourists to enjoy the beauty and diversity of more than 300 types of hard coral in Banda underwater. And that is precisely what we are doing. We have come all the way from Jakarta and Timika, surely we would not want to miss the opportunity to dive into the crystal clear waters of Banda.
Due to the archipelago’s remoteness from other densely populated islands and also because it is surrounded by the deep sea, the waters are very clear in the Banda Islands. Visibility of 30 meters or more is a common thing in these waters. Healthy coral, which also means the numbers of reef fish in the area, is also an added value. All of those, we would prove them ourselves right in the first day we arrived in Banda Neira. We did not wait for long. After checking in to the hotel Maulana, where we stayed during the trip, we were immediately met with Tuta & Micha from Dive Bluemotion to conduct the briefing for the first day dives. Just after 10 am, we were already on the boat, taking us to the first dive spot today, Soekarno Wall.