sign in a cave in Laos

28 July 2011

Caves on Saparua, Maluku, Indonesia

Saparua is a small island off the coast of Ambon, in Maluku (The Moluccas), Indonesia. Known as the Spice Islands, you can still see spices such as nutmeg and clove growing in Maluku. Saparua is one of the 3 Lease Islands, which lie northeast of Ambon.

Ouw is a village in the south easternmost corner of the island and is famous for pottery. Many of the rural houses are made from the sago plant. This house is at Ouw and is very near Ouw Cave.

Concrete steps lead down to Ouw cave.

Inside the dark chamber, locals wash their clothes in the sizeable river. The water is very clear.

The people use smoky kerosene lights. Unfortunately they just leave the empty plastic bags and containers from detergent and toothpaste in the cave.

This lady has certainly done a lot of washing

The cave apparently leads to the coast which is not far away.

On the northwest side of the island, before you reach Kalur, is Goa Puteri Tujuh or Seven Princess Cave. From the road, a track led through farmed land with coral karst rocks scattered in the fields.

Steps lead down to the entrance, which is a large chamber filled with pools of incredibly clear water.

There are supposedly 7 pools, one for each princess. Each pool is separated by rock walls which apparently are dry at times of low water. The water was so clear that at first I didn’t realise it was water, and wondered why the rocks below were green. I took several pictures but they don’t do any justice to the place. Again the locals use this cave for washing and for getting water.

More locals come in

Beyond the village of Kulur are 2 caves, Goa Mandi and Goa Minum (washing and drinking caves). The first cave is used for washing and a concrete platform acts as a bathing place.
Goa Mandi
Father and daughter

Surprisingly there are fish in the water, which is a bit murky presumably from all the soap and shampoo used.

The second cave, Goa Minum, is used as a water supply and concrete steps lead down to a pump.

The water is so clear.

There is a water tank outside the cave, set up by Mercy Corps 2002.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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