29 April 2009

Michael's Minahasa Highland Fling

Onong also helped us to arrange a mikrolet and driver so that we could spend a day touring the sights of the Minahasa Highlands. We had a really interesting day with our driver, Michael, and his uncle.

First stop was the "meat section" of Tomohon Market to see some of the more unusual local specialities from the butchers table. It included snake, bat, rat (on a stick just like in Monty Python's Life of Brian), monkey and even dog. Liz has banned me from putting any dog and monkey pictures on the blog so here's a some bats. . .

If you're wondering why they are all burnt, it's part of the de-furring process, they simply singe it off with a blow torch. I should point out that this happens after the animals are dead!

For those who are curious a whole dog will set you back 250,000 Rupiah, about £16. Michael did advise us that they only usually get dog in if there is a special occasion, like a party.

Then it was a drive and trek up Gunung Mahawu volcano which provided some more pleasant photo opportunities than the horrors of the market. The views from the top and the 2km walk around the rim were the highlight of the day.

For lunch we headed to Danau Tondano lake which lies 600m above sea level. The lake has many Fish restaurants on it's shores which breed freshwater lake fish ready for your plate.

We ended our tour with a visit to Danau Linow, a bright green bubbling sulphurous lake. This place, although pretty, smelt really bad - like rancid eggy trumps! You should consider yourselves lucky that blog-aroma hasn't yet been invented!

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