Thursday, July 21, 2005

Murex dive resort outside Manado

While aboard the Liburan, a headline in a dive magazine jumped out at me: 'Betlehem, better than Lembeh'. Betlehem being pretty near to Manado, we decide to leave Bangka a day earlier, to check it out.

From Bangka we're first transferred to the mainland, stepping off the boat onto the black sand beach of a small fishermen's settlement. Our pick-up arrives soon afterwards and drives us to Murex's dive resort just outside of Manado. A long 1,5 hour ride, through the city's maze of lanes. Once there we're given a nice bungalow with a remarkable sense of privacy, thanks to lush vegetation and cascading water, creating a double wall of green & white noise.

The next day we're on our way to Betlehem. Hoping to see a rhinopia scorpionfish. But they're here no more. Still, it's an enjoyable muck dive with four seahorses, a weedy spider crab, some anemone crabs, several nudibranchs, a line of sharp looking razorfish and a school of small barracudas.

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