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View South East Asia Grand Tour 2023 on Grete Howard's travel map.


Breakfast is a simple buffet this morning, of bread, pancakes, omelette, and fruit.



We handed our dirties in to the hotel reception last night to be cleaned. This morning as we leave the hotel, we see all our clothes hanging on the line across the road from the lodge, at the roadside in the grounds of their coffee shop.


Gunung Mahawu

Trekking has not been in my vocabulary for the last few years since my arthritis took a sudden turn for the worse, so I stay behind at a small viewpoint while David and Egi, our local guide, climb to the top of this volcano.


The following three photos are screenprints from David’s video.


Mahawu is a stratovolcano that last erupted in 1789, which created a small, deep crater and sulphur pond at the summit. Although fumaroles, hot mud pools, and small geysers appeared after a brief burst of activity in 1994, Mahawu has been relatively quiet ever since.


Looking into the volcanic crater is not the only attraction on the summit, from a small viewing platform, you can look across to the active volcano Mount Lokon.


Panggung Traditional Houses

The majority of people in the village of Woloan work as carpenters and house makers. These beautiful wooden houses are often made to order for people in other parts of the country. Once they are completed, they are disassembled again and sold as flat packs, to be erected by the buyer in another location. Is this where Ikea got their idea from?


Bukit Doa

This park is part of a religious area known as Mahawaru Prayer Hill, with a path that tells the story of Jesus’ crucifixion.


We stop here, not for its religious significance, but to admire the view across the valley to the village of Kayawu and beyond to Mount Lokon.


There is also an amphitheatre here, which can seat up to 1500 people and is often used for religious performances, especially at Easter, as well as seminars and meetings.


It is also a favourite place for weddings – and romantic selfies, of course.


Nearby Kelong Gardens features an array of colourful flowers.



Bangkok Rose

Golden Shrimp Plant

Also in the garden are a couple of decaying wooden statues, showing how brave warriors would have dressed when going to war, wearing skulls of their ancestors, the head of a hornbill, and a tourniquet on the arm as a magic amulet to stop being killed.


Waruga Woloan

A few waruga (stone sarcophagi) have been moved here from elsewhere in the region, showing how the locals used to bury their dead. You can read more about warugas in yesterday’s blog entry here.


Restaurant Alang Alang

Now on the road to recovery from my rather unpleasant tummy upset, I get very excited about the menu in this European-inspired restaurant. Not surprisingly, considering how few Western tourists there are here in Sulawesi, the food has been predominantly Indonesian style so far. Normally I welcome trying local dishes, but for the previous few days I have been craving some familiar food, and in particular, mashed potato. Imagine my delight when I find just that on the menu!


Plain grilled chicken with vegetables - just what the doctor ordered to go with my mash

David's tuna steak with BBQ sauce

While we wait for the food to arrive, I enjoy a couple of glasses of fresh soursop juice.


Despite the fact that when we arrive at the restaurant, we are the only customers here, the food takes in excess of an hour to materialise. The mash is well worth waiting for though. While we are enjoying our food, a heavy rain sets in, so Egi suggests we go back to the lodge for a siesta and go out again later, by which time he thinks the rain will have passed.

Gunung Mahawi by Drone

Determined that I should see the volcanic crater for myself, Egi takes us to an area where a previous client sent a drone up to photograph the top of the volcano. As he predicted, the rain has indeed stopped.


Today, however, the summit is shrouded in mist.


The view over the surrounding landscape is pretty good, however.


Social Evening

We return to the hotel where we share a beer with Egi and a German girl called Iris who David and Egi met on their volcano hike earlier, who is a biologist travelling solo. Iris is also a keen diver and is looking for a guide to take her to some of the best sites in the area, so Egi introduces her to his friend. We have more drinks, and after the two boys depart, Iris joins us for dinner, resulting in a delightful evening.

David and Egi (a screen print from a video)

Back on the local food - fried egg noodles

Thank you Undiscovered Destinations for arranging this incredible Grand South East Asia Tour.


Posted by Grete Howard 15:10 Archived in Indonesia Tagged beer flowers indonesia volcano mist weddings sulawesi amphitheater laundry ikea sulphur amphitheatre mash sulfur stratovolcano selfie drone undiscovered_destinations drone_photography tomahon waruga dronography gunung_mahawu mount_mahawu mount_lokon lokon panggung panggung_traditional_houses panggong_tomahon bukit_doa kayawu waruga_woloan woloan woloan_traditional_houses restaurant_alang_alang mashed_potato

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You never can go wrong with mashed potatoes I always say!

by Ils1976

I agree, Ils, there is something very comforting about mashed potatoes. ♥

by Grete Howard

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