Spice Islands of Banda

LLong before our lookout sighted land, the scent of spices wafted across the burnished teak decks of our wooden sailing ship. There before us, nestled in the tranquil Banda Sea, lies an enchanted fragment of history, the center of the Spice Island trade, a tiny island that was once traded for an equally tiny island named Manhattan.

On the morrow we shall stroll through the world’s oldest nutmeg gardens, visit private colonial mansions, and savor the remnants of Banda’s once glorious past soothed by the trade winds and the idyllic charms of these now forgotten islands. On our way to snorkel or dive the brilliant multihued underwater gardens of the lava flows we might stop along the beach to collect shards of 500 year old pottery washed ashore from some ancient shipwreck.

Patti Seery, or “Ibu Patti” as the locals respectfully call her, employs her long association with Banda to provide not only a unique introduction to the history and natural beauty of the Banda Islands, the original home of the stately nutmeg tree, but a direct introduction into the society, culture, and daily lives of the people who for centuries have called Banda their home.

Spices rack