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Timika - Aru - Kai - Tanimbar - Maumere (13D12N)




TIMIKA - ARU - KAI - TANIMBAR - MAUMERE (13D12N)




Timika - Aru - Kai - Tanimbar - Maumere


On this true exploratory voyage Katharina takes you from the jungle of Papua to the green hills of Flores, an incredible journey of some 1100 nautical miles taking you from the easternmost islands to the geographical heart of the largest archipelago in the world, connecting regions rarely visited by tourists, never within a fortnight! 

 

 

Day 1

Upon arrival in Timika transfer from the airport to the harbour (approx. 2 hours). Embarkation on board the Katharina. Departure to the Aru archipelago.


Day 2

Arrival at the eastern part of the Aru Islands. From here we will commence a discovery voyage exploring some of the islands of this highly exotic archipelago where white faces seldom constitute part of the scenery. Geologically Aru is part of New Guinea as shown by its flora and fauna. It used to be a massive plateau of limestone, but in the mist of time certain parts submerged and canals filled up with seawater. We might find a shark hunting vessel or use one of our dinghies to bring us along the canals deep into the rainforests, where the only sound is the dripping of water or of the movements of birds or unidentified animals. We will be turning into small creeks flowing into the canals, to catch a glimpse, or more, of the ‘cenderawasih’ the mythical bird of paradise. On the shores we will look for egg laying turtles and the ‘duyung’ (sea-cow) endemic to Aru.


Day 3

On our exploration of Aru’s east coast, we may try and cross from east to west through one of the canals. From Aru’s west coast we will set sail to the north end of Kei Besar, the largest of the Kei Islands. If we will fail to cross, we will round the south end of Aru proceeding to the north of Kei. Time permitting we make a stop at Dobo, a trading centre since the time Alfred Russel Wallace was a resident for several periods.


Day 4

Early morning arrival in Hal, a village at the north tip of Kei Besar. Wallace described in the Malay Archipelago how he admired the local boatbuilders of Hal. Floating down the coast we will stop at a number of places where Wallace and in his wake the famous modern day explorer Tim Severin stopped and admired the way local communities had established their lives. We move slowly along the bean shaped island of Kei Besar, gazing at predators circling the skies over the steep mountain ridges constituting the backbone of the island. In the evening we set sail to the nothern parts of Tanimbar.


Day 5

Arriving at one of the islands north of Tanimbar, Fordate or Molu, we will search for some exquisite reefs and beaches. Swimming, snorkeling, beach-combing and a day of  full relax in some places rarely seen by human eyes. Late afternoon onward sailing to the volcanic islands of Daweloor and Dai, east of Babar.


Day 6

Daweloor/Dawera Of the dozen or so islands making up the Babar group, Daweloor is one of  the most fascinating; the village is located high above the cliff and some ancient fortified village can be seen nearby. Midday sail to nearby Dawera island for more swimming and snorkeling. Visit of coastal village. Evening BBQ on the beach. Late evening we will proceed to Damar.


Day 7

The islanders of Damar are among the friendliest of the Moluccas. They will welcome us as relatives turning home after many years of absence. Tea and cookies will be served and strolling through the main village we will be surrounded by  happy smiles while the children pet our arms to know if white may turn into dark. If sufficient performers can be gathered we may be hosted on a performance of local dance and music.

In the evening we will sail onward to the west side of the island of Wetar.


Day 8

Arrival on Wetar. Sparsely populated Wetar island has a rugged interior covered in  thick jungle and is said to be still inhabited by primitive tribes; interesting hike through monsoon forest and small settlements can be made. Visit of warm waterr springs.

Late afternoon onward sailing to Alor.


Day 9

Arrival in Kalabahi, capital of Alor after sailing a few hours through an enchanting bay. In Alor we will visit a traditional village in the mountains where we may witness a war-dance around the mesbah, the ritual centre of the village. Here we will see the Moko drums, a traditional part of the dowry of the Alorese maidens, originating from Indochina. The Ikat cloth of Alor is famous for its intricate patterns. Late afternoon we  proceed to the island of Lembata or Lomblen.


Day 10

Early morning arrival in Pantar. The island of Pantar used to be scattered with war-mongering villages, remains of which are the high walls by which many villages still are surrounded. One of the crew hails from Pantar and will guide us around this remarkable island, telling us hair-raising stories from times headhunting on Pantar was as common as raising cattle. In the afternoon re-embarkation aboard Katharina for our onward sailing to the island of Lembata.


Days
11 - 12


Arrival in Lamalerap, one of the two still persisting whaling villages in Indonesia. Although whale-hunting is condemned worldwide, the whaling rights of the people from Lamalerap are not being disputed as the number of (sperm-) whales they catch (appr. 25 a year) is not posing any conservational threat. The local economy is fully dependant of the processing of the whales. We may join a the whale hunting vessel and see the harponeer standing on the tip of the bow-spreet. Night sailing to Maumere, east-Flores.


Day 13

Arrival in Maumere, east-Flores. When time allows, we will visit in the morning of this day Watublapi, a traditional Florenese village where we will attend a dance performance and will see a display of ikat-weaving in its various stages.

From Watublapi we will be transferred to the airport of Maumere for our return flight to Bali.




Participants should be aware that itinerary and program of our sea voyages occasionally may have to be modified, due to factors beyond our control : unfavorable weather conditions, delay in processing harbour clearances, modified schedules of domestic flights. We will adjust the program accordingly in the best interest of all.


Please note that the domestic flights are not included in the price.




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