Minahasa Highland Tour

After staying a week in Manado we took a bus tour through the country to Kungkungan Bay Resort on the Lembeh Strait.  Along the way we went on the Minahasa Highland Tour where we saw traditional houses being built in Woloan and went through the market in Tomohon.  The market was not totally accessible but well worth the help getting up and down a few curbs from Gene, Rick and Bruce who were on the trip with me from SODA.

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After the market we had lunch by Lake Tondano at Danau Tondano restaurant.  There is steep ramp down to the restaurant that I had help with on the way down and back up the ramp after lunch.

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We also stopped off in Pulutan, Indonesia where they make and sell pottery (video).  I believe the people of Pulutan, at least the kids, have never seen anyone in a wheelchair before.  The kids were so cute following me around and when I was getting ready to get back on the bus a little girl came over a touched my chair then ran back to her friends laughing.  It seemed to be a game who was brave enough to touch the wheelchair.

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We visited the World War II caves that the Japanese forced the locals to dig for supply storage(food and water) and holed up during air raids.  I did not go into the caves because of the weather.  It was raining on an off during the tour so ground was wet.  I would have had to be carried into the caves.

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Our next stop was at Karema Bentenan where they make traditional Bentenan woven cloth.  They are reviving the original clothing patterns/motifs used by ancient Minahasa tribes over 2 centuries ago.

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Our last stop before arriving in Bitung was at Lake Lino, the changing color lake.  We never did see the lake change color because of the rain and clouds.

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The most difficult part of the tour was getting on and off the bus.  To get on the bus I was lifted on to the steps than had to bump myself up the remaining steps then transfer from the floor to the set.  Getting off was much easier but still requires a fair amount of arm strength.  An accessible bus with a lift is probably the only solution to making this tour reasonably accessible but when you are in a third world country you have make do and realize the limitations.  The tour was great and well worth the minor issues I had to deal with.

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