On a Swiss Roll

Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
Trip End Mar 2009

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Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Sunday, December 28, 2008

We caught the public travel bus a new form of transport for us. basically a minibus with 12 seats that you prebook & it picks you up at you house/hotel & takes you to your destination door to door. This is v convenient in Flores as the bus depots tend to be right on the outskirts of town. It is also very luxurious compared to the normal buses as we only had a maximum of 19 people in  the 12 seater & only one totally broken seat! and only a few people throwing up - the Florenese do not travel well!
Despite this we still manged to stop for breakfast at lunchtime just half an hour before our destination after 4 hours. Presumably so people could refill their now empty stomachs?
Bajawa is a nice town high up in the mountains so very cool compared to the coast. Surrounded by spectacular volcanoes which are hidden by clouds then appears as the sun comes out.
We continued the Swiss theme by staying at Hotel Edelwies, which was 100 times nicer than the one in Ruteng! we had a VIP room with stunning views and a mirror on the bathroom wall - it didnt mean that the toilet was plumbed in though, but we did have a cold water shower. Out side our room we had a tap dancing pig for company who entertained us with his tapdancing on his bamboo cage all night long! the cockerels dont know when dawn is so they go off at all hours.
Stayed three days exploring he countryside and visiting a traditional village called Bena abit like the cotswolds would have been a couple of centuries ago! Tall thatched rooves, graves being dug in the village square and pigs squealing as they were led to slaughter on the street before being roasted on a bamboo spit and their entrails removed. And strange standing stones like mini celtic stone circles.
One day we went to climb a recently exploded volcano (2001) we couldn't find a bemo in town so started the walk up hill where we flagged down a bemo carrying the entire village back home from Church only to be kicked off two minutes later with everyone else pointing a shouting at a guy that we eventually guessed would take us up the Volcano. His name was Nico. He firstly took us home and gave us a gritty sugary sweet coffee whilst his entire family slowly one by one proceded to come in and stare at us.
He talked to us constatnly as though we could understand him but our Indonesian is limited so it was a v one sided conversation!.
Suddenly we found ourselves walking down valleys, up valleys, across rivers ,through fields & forests not knowing where we were with a man carrying a large machete in a bag over his shoulder! Fortunately dripping in sweat and cut to pieces by tall grasses we arrived at the volcano rim after a couple of hours and looked down into the newly formed cater to see three little lakes lots of ash burnt trees and mud.
We generously shared our chocolate and banana biscuits with him - they taste as bad as they sound - before he took us back down to his village of Nangha.
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