Friday, December 10, 2010

Alila Villas Uluwatu

So, on to Uluwatu: leaving the beach for a sacred place high up on the cliffs. Featuring an endless pool into an endless indian ocean view. A private villa, this time nestled in the hills with an even more private cabana. We indeed tested the cabana and decided a romantic night sleeping outside by the pool in the birds cage. It indeed started quite romantic but hey no complains it got so noisy out there with all the animals making funny noises at night in bali.....we spend the rest of the night inside...The world of the hotel felt more like being in a ultra modern abbey or in a temple on a private viewing. in cinemascope. Although the manager ensured us that the hotel was almost booked out, it still had this ultra quite and sacred feeling. you hardly meet any other guests.

If I ever wanted to write a book....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alila Villas Soori Spa

With some delay, due to rushing into deadline of Endless´s big sister of a magazine “I LOVE YOU”, we are now back again with the final days of our Indonesia trip.
As weather in europe getting nasty, we can now delight you with some more wellness experiences in the tropics, followed by more amazing luxury amongst almost sacral modern architecture. But first back to Alila Villas Soori and its amazing new Spa facilities introducing: the Vichy Shower....

15.08.10 back to Bali

getting up at 6.00 am again, off to Bali. We are staying at Alila Villas Soori. After this very intense experience in Flores Bali seems so civilised, so rich and full of everything. We are being picked up by a driver from the hotel with all comfort you can imagine. A bottle of water, some snacks, pillows for the ride and a refreshment spray with an aloe vera....scent. It is an one our ride from the airport to the hotel, we are passing by some very fresh and green rice fields. When we get to the hotel I almost start crying. An entourage of 7 people is expecting us, big A had to walk the last meters, you know the car sickness again. This hotel is placed at an amazing black sanded beach with dramatic waves, even to dramatic for surfing as the waves break to early, whatever.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

14.08.10 Komodo

We are getting up at 6.30h because we want to go to Rinca to meet with the Komodo dragons. We asked the guide to make a short tour today so the kids can spend a day on the pool too. An old fisher boat is hired for us, but this boat is so slow I would be faster swimming. We see beautiful Robinson Crusoe beaches and a lot of monkeys and Komodo Dragons. The dragons are quite, umm, cute as well. Annoying little Z today was crying madly on Komodo (because she was too lazy to walk) so that the dragons quite curiously got all hungry on little humans and appeared out of the joke. They get attracted by theses sounds as they indicate there is some creature in danger and panic and so makes a nice little snack being an easy victim.
We have amazing food on this slow nutshell on our way back, the best food I had during the Flores trip.After 6 hours on the boat instead of 1,5 hours as promised we are back in the hotel. It is raining and we all take a swim in the pool, I feel so happy and so alive.
We will be back to luxury from now on so stay tuned....

best Mr. and Mrs. Trip

The sticks the Rangers are using to keep the Dragons away

Friday, August 20, 2010

12.08.10 collecting the Blue Stones, Flores, near Ende

13.08.10 Fog, Flores

seems our driver reno found a way to get us to labuan bajo under 10 h driving....
oh and it is left hand driving in Indonesia, of course.

12.08.10 Kelimutu sunrise, Flores

Thursday, August 19, 2010

13.08.10 Trans Flores Express - Day 3

Last section on Flores, from Bajawa to Labuan Bajo.

Which involved a painful final course of 10 hours driving. After 5 and 8 hours the days before. With big A being constantly car sick....poor boy. He had to throw up countless times....

Guess that´s another thing that our guide meant to say when he told us that this will be an adventure...

OK then: good morning Bajawa !

The view from our Hotel on to another smoking Volcano.

This is steamy Bajawa.

First stop was Bena, a traditional village that looked like an open air museum, but was in fact inhabited...

Coffee and Cocoa left to dry in front of some graves and a sacrificial altar.

Looks like in King Kong...yeah, smokey volcano.

and christians, too.
Sacrificial altar, spooky non ?


We had to skip a couple of look-outs due to a serious case of fogging....for a few hours....

Rainy rainy Riteng, a village we just passed through.

Buffalos at work.

And then finally reaching Labuan Bajo. The only place on the island with beach hotels (and star ratings...) and the harbor for Komodo Island.

12.08.10 Trans Flores Express - Day 2

Going from Moni to Bajawa, via Ende. That is the cities true name. And it has the meaning, too.

Getting up at 4 am in the morning wasn´t as bad as it sounds, as we all have been somewhat happy to get out of our room at the lovely Flores Sare Hotel. Plan was to witness sunrise up at the three KELIMUTU crater lakes. The fun thing with the lakes is that they change colour from time to time. The big one (depicted here) is green the other one had a darker green and the third was almost black. More posts on this at it was quite a show, evoking stendhal syndrome emotions.

Yeah it was still early and getting little Z up there was not a real easy task as it involved some hiking. More details to come.

Going downhill again...morning sun through the clouds we actually been standing in...

We skipped breakfast due to a lack of appetite but came across one of the many fruit markets, so had a lovely healthy breakfast on the drive.

Our driver went as close to this umm, Bus, (Truck ?) that he actually touched the guys foot/sandal, so he woke up. You might know these guys already... they are the passengers on video, we met at the stop we needed to take due to road construction, that will also be featured seperatly in more detail...

This is a detail from the market in “Ende”. A village the dutch named for a reason....
Actually we learned later on from a gourmet chef back in Bali, that Indonesians would never buy fish or meat (or anything else) on the market on ice. As they wouldn´t trust it to be fresh then.
So pretty much any market display features a banana leaf as a base.

Another passenger. Yes, alive.

Basically our whole tour was coast to mountains to coast to mountains to coast to....did I mention that we followed the only road that crosses the Flores island in total ? And that is used by all traffic. There are no trains or flights.

On this strip of beach they do collect the lovely blue stones by hand....They do not show as nicely blue on monitor I just found out...we will change that for the print version.

Kids on, umm, duty.

They still been too curious not to come to our car on our stop.....and in a more than fun mood.

The man most probably living in the house above. Yes looks like a cliché stock photo, but it´s pretty impossible to avoid...and the smiles are all honest. People really think we are funny.

One of the many many active volcanoes. The clouds on top are actually smoke. And just left of were I was standing was a fun little girls volleyball tournament. The Ende of the world championships.

The Street running through in the villages is flanked by these colored flags. I first thought this was already decoration for the coming Independence Day celebrations but Augustinus said they are always there. Everywhere. Just for the fun of it.

Oh yes, one of the funny details of this version of catolicism is that they do have graves in their gardens in front of the house. Nearly all family homes have such a tiled mini mausoleaums in front. They come in many colors and styles (and I unfortunately missed to do a little feature on them), but are always covered with washable bathroom tiles. sometimes they are finished in a way you can sit and meet on them comfortably.

So second stop, second residence. This time we got an upgrade, we even had (some) hot water in the bathroom and a TV.

We had a nice little dinner with the drivers of the other tourists (yes there been more than us) on the table next to us, listening to Football worldcup songs on their mobile phone speakers together. with us.