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Local kids proudly showing some of the the ingredients for our spontanious 'barbeque' on a beach on the island of Morotai. Me and the boy's had caught the fish, the girls did the cleaning and had picked lemons and peppers, one boy got the coconuts and banana's out of nearby trees, others had cut the giant clams out of the reef.
In such a tropical setting no restaurant in the world could have beaten this!
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Morotai was an important stepping stone for the American troops ro reconquer the Philippines from the Japanese troops in WW2.
Many WW2 remnants can still be found on this island.
While looking for fishbait (small crabs) in between the trees on the shoreline we found a lot of old bullets from the war.
In 1973 a Japanese soldier, 'Teruo Nakamura' was discovered hiding in the mountains, still having his gun and last 5 bullets.
When I was here in 1996, people told me abt 2 other Japanese soldiers still living in the mountains, one of them with only one leg.
Hard to believe, but a nice story anyway. :-)

Unfortunately the 2nd worldwar wasn't the last war they had to endure. In 1999 first Central Maluku, and later Maluku Utara fell victim to savage enthnic and religious unrest in which abt 10.000 people were killed and half a million ppl displaced as refugees.
Things have returned to 'normal' now, but it never will be again as before 1999.

This picture is from December 1996 during a two month cycling and islandhopping trip through the Maluku islands. One of the best trips I ever had.

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Additional Photos by Vincent Roelofs (Vincent_R) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 12 W: 0 N: 33] (157)
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