May 11, 2005
. We ate really well and drank Arak which is made from Palm trees and some other nasty alcohol. Ben was well on his way by the time the dancing started and he kept everyone entertained with his hilarious interpretation on the local dance moves. Everyone was watching us to make sure we had a good time. All the older family members were dancing to country music and local music. It was a really nice night and they all partied hard.
The next morning we went on a tour with Max the man who's party we'd been at. Our ride was a fancy yellow bemo with Jesus stickers on the back and all these useless pieces of bling. The ladies love it aparently.
We went to some old Nagu Villages which are old, traditional villages. Some of them are matriarchial and all worship ancestors. They were like ghost towns as most young people move to the cities to keep up with the Jonses. The views were spectacular. The dynamics of the villages were fascinating, but I think soon there won't be anyone to keep it all going. Max took us to his place for lunch and we met some of his family. Then we went to a hot springs and soaked while the locals all bathed with soap. That night Max invited us to another party, but we took it easy and went to a restaurant where a group of guys were playing guitars and singing. It was so atmospheric. They said they were going to write a song about the bombings and that they wanted to kill the terrorists themselves. So lovely!
The next morning we wandered around the markets to kill some time. They had such lovely fresh produce. Because we were high up the weather was cooler although the water in our bathroom was absolutely freezing and it made it hard to wash.
Once we got to Flores we stayed one night in the port town and headed out for an 11 hour jaunt on a bemo the next morning. Bemos are suped up mini vans. They like to squeeze as many people in as possible - even on the roof. We didn't get b'fst that morning and were starving so we shoved the only things we could find into our mouths at the bus terminal -greesy, savoury dohnuts. We didn't stop till 2pm for lunch and saw the bali bombing news on TV in Indonesian. 5 mins into our ride a young boy (who was sitting next to an open window) puked his lunch all over his lap and the seat. Nice one brother! The Island is volcanic so you can imagine the drive. Not a straight road in sight. We got into Bajawa around 5pm and were immediately greeted by a guide. He took us to a hostel and then invited us to his young nephew's first holy communion that night. He said it would be a great honour for him to bring us. We'd could bring a gift of money ($1-$2) and we could eat and drink and dance. He also invited 3 French people we'd met on our boat trip.We decided to go and hang out with the locals, most of whom at this party were Catholic