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 ?


Kiosk.

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...

...as 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.

11.08.10 Trans Flores Express - Day 1

So beside the fact that Mrs Trip got traumatised by the lack of hot water and toiletpaper, Flores was more than breathtaking. Here is a per-day-overview of what we have seen and experienced. We will do more detailed posts on some of what is just noted here later on....

So, day one...the day leading to our first no star hotel....

No, this is not Flores, it´s one of the many island you fly across on the way there from Bali.


Since the presence of the portugese, colonizing and evangelizing the island first, 89% of the Flores population is catholic. As with other religions on the many indonesian islands, also here the "new" religion mixes with old animistic rituals....
Starting from Maumere, a first passage through rain forest lead to....


... the south-western coast around Praga, our guide Augustinus`(wearing a “Francis of Assisi” Polo Shirt, did I mention catholicizm?) hometown. He´s running a restaurant there, we had an amazing "baby" tuna that you have seen in Mrs Trips first post on Flores.

Towards Sunset we were heading on, up to the Mountains again. The Indonesians tend to burn all their trash (latest) at the end of the day, adding to that already steamy atmosphere....




This funny lady seemed to be abit coocoo (or as our driver said "KriKri"). We met her when having his "Ramadan" sunset brake. She was walking in the middle of the road talking to herself. A behaviour I mainly witnessed on the sgreets of NY before....



Our stopover where we bought the best cashews I ever had. Lemon flavored....


The first of the many Flores menues....they all had pretty much exactly the same on them...


The first encounter with the many lovely kids of this island, they deserve and will get their own post later on....

This night we reached Moni. And checked in....