One month travel in Sulawesi Utara.
Bunaken is a Divers and Snorkelers paradise 45 minutes by boat from Manado. Its scores of dive-sites, vertical walls and many house-reefs are world famous. Living Colours is the Diving resort by choice.
In Lore Lindu N.P. are megalithic statues that are hundreds, if not thousand of years old, and dot the Napu, Besoa, and Bada valley and are considered to be the finest stone monuments of their type in Indonesia. The origin of these massive, well worked, yet elegantly simple, granite carvings has been lost over time as they pre-date the existing ethnic groups found around the park. Various archaeological studies date them as early as 3,000 BC or as recently as 1,300 AD. Lore Lindu is also world famous for bird-watchers. Text: C. Merung.
An archipelago of 77 islands, Sangihe & Talaud like most unspoiled areas were hard to reach but not anymore now. A speedboat makes the journey from Manado in around 5 hours to Tahuna with stops underway. There are also daily flights by Wings Air with new French ATR aircraft.
The administrative capital and largest town is Tahuna on the island of Sangihe. There are several hotels here offering basic but passable accommodation. If you have a couple of days and plenty of extra energy you could climb Gunung Awu the spectacular volcanic peak. To the south of Sangihe, the island of Siau has a glorious 1800m volcanic peak Karangetang is also known locally as Gunung Api Siau. This volcano had a major explosion in 1974, and it now is always active. It can be climbed but should be approached with caution.
The region’s other main attractions are its completely unspoilt beaches of which there are many. Sangihe Talaud is also getting more and more popular with birdlovers. The islands are home to nine endemic species, and new ones are being discovered regularly. Write me by email for local contacts.(Text by Nirwan Lapohang)
With its underwater Volcano Banua Wuhu
Banua Wuhu Volcano, Mahangetang is located in the Sangihe Islands, Indonesia. Four evenly spaced volcanoes (~ 50 km) make up the Sangihe Islands. Banua Wuhu is located 45 km south of Awu volcano, on Sangihe Island to the North.
It is a submarine volcano which rises 400 m above the ocean floor. The volcano forms a temporary island during eruptions, and subsequently erodes below sea level. The adjacent island of Mahengetang is part of the same volcanic edifice. Dissected volcanic centers lie to the northeast (Kahakitang) and north (Kalama) of Banua Wuhu. (Text -edited - from Volcanolive.com)
This series shows views of my military service in Suriname in 1973-1974. The country was on the verge of independence (on 25 November 1975) but at the time of these pictures was still Dutch. I served as a conscripted officer (army ensign) - the only one there - in a world which was later described as 'The Last Remnants of the Tropical Netherlands'
The stills - scans from color and BW prints - show daily officers-mess, party life and an army border-patrol in native dug-outs along the Maroni River, the border with French Guyana. The dug-outs lie deep because of the many cases of beer we carried and sat on. The weather was good, the river was low, and the dug-outs had to be towed past rapids at times.
September 2013: photo's of military service in the Netherlands added temporarily
La Guajira Peninsula lies in the northeast of Colombia on the coast eastwards of Riohacha. It is an arid but beautiful desert region with dramatic landscapes, huge empty beaches, and is sparsely populated by indigenous Wayuu Indians. The most beautiful part of La Guajira is at Punta Gallinas. The area is remote and travel and tourism infrastructure is almost totally lacking - one sleeps in very basic hotels / posadas or in hammocks. .
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a partnership between governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United Nations Children's Fund.
The programme has claimed some remarkable successes, most notably India, which was declared polio-free in February. This years National Immunization Days against Polio may be the last!
Pictures (by Sander van Hulsenbeek and Ger Rolsma) were made in Moradabad (UP), once a Polio hotspot. Now free of new cases since 2009!
"If to Caracas I owe my life, to Mompox I owe my glory," reads an inscription on a statue of Simon Bolívar in the town square. It was also here, on 6 August 1810, that Colombia's independence from Spain was declared. For colonial Colombia, Mompós was a key trading town, linking Colombia's coast with the Andes. This sleepy place on a bank of the Magdalena river was once the third most important city in Colombia. In the beginning of the last century silt and debris built up on the Mompos river-arm, larger boats stopped taking the route past Mompós and it became a city forgotten by both Colombia, and the world. It still is quite hard to reach.