We lucked out with the Pelni on price and timing. The Banda to Kei Pelni runs once every two weeks. It is supposed to arrive at 2.00am on Monday morning, leave two hours later and the journey is 12 hours. Not ideal, but Pelni ferries are not known for their punctuality and by early Sunday evening, word had got round that it was running late (as usual).
Our little guide to Banda
We liked it so much in Banda we stayed nearly a month which passed more quickly than you can imagine and when the time came to leave we still didn’t really want to go. Although, we didn’t really do very much (apart from dive) we enjoyed every minute of it of our stay here.
The Spice Islands (or if you want to be pedantic “The Nutmeg Islands”)
Banda is all about colonial history, nutmeg and mace. It is also surrounded by azure seas, pristine and is an underwater paradise. These tiny islands are dominated by Gunung Api located in their centre, the active volcano across the bay from Bandaneira, a constant reminder of the precarious position on some fault line along the earth’s crust.
So the Wooky was confined to the hut for the first week in Saparua recovering from dengue only emerging briefly each evening to try to eat something to keep his strength up. In between checking on the patient, my time was spent swinging in one of the beach hammocks, reading or simply gazing out to sea. It was a gruelling schedule and at mealtimes I relaxed with a beer, chatted to our fellow guests and met some interesting people.
The Wooky was incapacitated with dengue fever for the first half of our stay at the simple paradise that is Putih Lessi Indah on the small island of Saparua in the Lease Islands, Central Maluku (across the water from the relatively large island of Seram). He spent the first week doing little but resting and me, well, I didn’t do very much at all, and I did it in very beautiful and peaceful surroundings.