Treasures of the Northern Coast


This time, we were about to explore the northern part of Ambon Island. First, we had to reach Hunut as a hub to the north. Actually, we could take the land route via Passo but we chose to cross the bay from Galala to Poka using a ferry for an observation purpose. The ferry crossing is very popular among locals especially university students due to the location of Universitas Pattimura's main campus in Poka. Besides, it is currently the fastest way (10 minutes) to get to the airport from the city (30km in distance) and the other way. The cross is served by three ships, KMP Gabus, KPM Tenggiri and KMP Teluk Ambon, running at 7 am to 7 pm everyday. The fare is IDR 20,000/car. A concrete bridge nearby is now under construction and seemingly going to replace the ferries' role in the future.

Our first destination was to Tanjung Setan, which literally means Devil's Cape. It's called so probably because of its so quiet environment. No one was there except us two. The water was so calm and clear. We could even see little fishes swimming down there without snorkeling. What a perfect place to escape daily bustling town's life. But it needed extra efforts to get there as there were some landslide spots on the way (though they were not as serious as the one in our Southeast journey, click here to read about it). Near to the cape, there was Kapahaha Fort. This place once became an important headquarter for local warriors in their struggle against the Dutch. The fort finally fell to the enemy and was burnt down to the ground. What remained in Kapahaha now are only old cemeteries and some pieces of housing utensils.

Also, before getting to Tanjung Setan, we had to pass by two villages on the northern coast of the island, Mamala and Morela. These villages has a unique ritual called Baku Pukul Manyapu. Forty men in two groups would whip one another. Oddly, they would not feel hurt though bleed. We came to Mamala-Morela several days before the event. Its promotion banners were seen along the way there. Held once a year every eighth day after Idul Fitri, this tradition has attracted many tourists, domestic and even international.

Unlike touristic places, we could not enjoy any facilities at this kind of 'virgin' beach.
Just use the things the nature has provided like the tree logs to sit.
The Devil's Cape

Driving back to the west, we're now heading to Hila. The village is unique. Unlike most negeri in Moluccas which are mono-religion, Hila is divided into Islam Hila and Christian Hila. It also hosts some historical sites like Wapauwe Old Mosque (bulit in 1414, the second oldest in the country), Immanuel Old Church (built in 1659, the oldest one in whole Moluccas), and Amsterdam Fort (1642). Amsterdam Fort was built by Gerard Demmer, then expanded by Arnold De Vlaming van Duds Horn in 1649-1656. The entrance gate would be opened only if there are visitors coming. No entrance fee applied but donations are highly expected at the end of visitation. We just filled in the guestbook and did not give a cent. We felt bad coz the gate keeper looked quite disappointed. Immanuel Old Church stands only few meters away from the fort. There's no way to go inside however.

The front yard of Amsterdam Fort.
Hundred years old Amsterdam Fort still stands strong.
The fort's interior.
The stairs.
Enjoying beautiful sea scenery from the fort's window.
Immanuel Old Church, Hila
Our initial plan was to ride along the sea side to the western part of the island. But we cancelled it as soon as we got news of going on riot in some villages there. We returned to Ambon, leaving the western part for the next exploration.

From uphill near Hunut, we could take a peek at sea, village and ships in bird's eye view.
This was not the only bridge of its kind we had to cross while exploring the northern coast.
Northern coast of Ambon Island.
Unexpectedly, we encountered a tragic scene of recent big flood aftermath over a village.
Faded black line was our unfulfilled exploration plan.

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OUR TRIPS (Based on Places)