Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
62Trip End Dec 01, 2012
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As we may have mentioned before, Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world. And while touristy places like Bali and the Gilis are quite tolerant for western behaviors, there are still some fairly strictly muslim places. Flores was actually the most Christian island, having been settled by the Portuguese. So what with the last few places we'd been to, our/Karens dress code has more or less slipped back to the way you would dress on a normal holiday. Before coming into Malaysia and Indonesia Karen had been quite worried about what to wear, thinking she would need some trousers and lots of long sleeved shirts. We had read a bit that women who bared their legs and arms or wore tight clothing would get a lot of unwanted attention from Men and dirty looks from everyone else. It was no where near as bad as everyone makes out, the world is a much smaller place these days and I think everyone is far more used to seeing westerners and how they dress. That is everywhere but Maumere! Karen had on a nice enough summer dress, but as we walked around town, she might as well have had nothing on! Don't get me wrong, Karen being the good looking girl that she is, gets her fair share of attention everywhere but this was different. Basically every chap in the town was mad to say hello to her, even the traffic was slowing down to have a look at her! All eyes were on her, they were all basically not bothered one but to say anything to me and everything was directed to her! Not that I'm the jealous type at all, I thought it was hilarious, and she was absolutely loving it. She was all "Hello Boys" to them all! Waving and giggling! This went on for basically the entirety of of the town, it took us ages to find an ATM that would actually take our cards, and the way all the lads, and there seemed to be hundreds of them hanging around, behaved like there was some superstar in town! Glad she got a bit of a confidence boost but dont know if I could deal with it everyday!
We eventually got some grub, and as soon as our bellies were full the tiredness hit us like a brick wall. We strolled back to hotel, Karen greeting her fans all the way, and were very boringly in bed by about 7 or 8 o clock! To be fair wed been up since 4am to climb the mountain, and Maumere is a bit of a kip really, absolutely nothing to do, no cafes or bars to chill out in... nothing!
It was an early enough rise the next day, our flight to Bali was at 9am so we were up and showered and ready to leave by 7am. We had planned to just get a bemo but when we went to reception we were told that bemos dont start up until 8.30 so we would have to either get a Taxi or get a Moto (basically a motorbike taxi). The taxi was ridiculously expensive and we thought the Moto price seemed to be ridiculously high as well. Then an Austrian couple who were also on their way to the airport asked if we wanted to share their taxi, they had apparently gotten one the day before and the driver told them he would pick them up at 6.30. There was one problem though, it was now 7 and there was no sign of him, and they had no number for him. Eventually we all decided we would all have to get a Moto rather than waiting for a Taxi that didnt seem to be arriving. The chap that working in the hotel said he would run the 4 of us up to the airport, one at a time and come back for the rest! They obviously seem to love whatever Karen is selling because he insisted that Karen would be the first to go! So she loaded up, backpack and all on the back of this scooter, and off she went! (In retrospect sending your girlfriend off on the back of a scooter with some lad sounds like a bad idea, but you never think of stuff like that in Asia!!!) She was only gone about 5 mins when the Taxi the Austrians had booked pulled up and 3 of us jumped in and headed for the airport, felt bad as your man had thought hed hit it rich with 4 fares on his bike. We arrived up to the airport which was only about a 10 min drive away to see Karen patiently waiting, happy out after her adventure. But your man had actually gone back for us, now we felt really bad, so we said we would hang around for 15mins to see if he comes back so we could pay him for Karens trip. The airport, which was probably the smallest one Ive ever been in, actually wasnt even open until 8! Bit premature us turning up at half 7. He eventually came back, a bit glum in the face, but we made our apologies as best we could and paid him for looking after Kaz, then we went through the fastest check in in the history of air travel, we basically just walked up checked in, no bag checks, no security checks, no liquids checks, we had a 2 litre bottle of water strapped to the outside of my bag that we forgot about!
There was only one departure gate, so went and had a sit down, and saw the plane we would be flying in. Karen was terrified, I was delighted, it was one of those propeller planes! It was deadly, love the sound as it started up and when you were up in the air the sound made you feel like you were flying... if that makes any sense at all. It was actually a deadly flight, only about an hour and half but we flew all the way back to Bali, flying over everything wed seen for the last 3 weeks or so. It was great to see the Volcanoes we had actually climbed ourselves, Rinjani looked even more massive than it did from the ground and the Gilis looked every bit the paradise that they were. Now for Bali!
Wouldn't go as far as to say Maumere was a kip! It's just not a tourist town at all and so full of locals going about their business. Very friendly people as Tom alluded to....I think he's exaggerating slightly though haha!
I quote "Ive made their day, actually no Ive probably made their month or their year today!"
PS Sorry no photos Karen was too busy giggling at all the lads!