. As in, deserted other than a couple guys banging away with pick axes. The place was desolate and kind of creepy, so we walked on the beach back to our resort. Once there we switched our shorts for bathing suits and spent the day on loungers in the shade, periodically dipping ourselves into the ocean. The water was clean and clear and perfect for swimming. We really needed a day of rest after the overland portion of our trip. The only thing marring this experience, and maybe it sounds a bit prejudiced or something, but there were a lot of locals taking advantage of the beach chairs as well. There were lots of people, in fact, who were not guests of the resort who were enjoying the surf and sand along with us. A couple of them, two boys, were a little bit creepy, loitering around in our general vicinity, not doing anything but giving us covert looks when they thought we weren't looking. One hung out in a nearby chair for at least an hour, doing nothing but looking at us or in the opposite direction. Later on in the day, a whole slew of people (we figured Dutch, from their accents) checked in, and Bill and I both remarked on how unfriendly they were. No one wanted to give us any eye contact, let alone say hello. After so many friendly faces for the previous portions of our trip, it made us feel kind of lonely.
At one point in the afternoon, a bunch of local people gathered on the shore nearby and threw out a big net into the water and then, working from the ends, drew the net back to land
. All the fish they gathered died in a little pile on the sand. These people then took the fish, built a fire on the beach, then cooked and ate the fish. Bill and I figured the resort must have an agreement with the local population for beach rights or something. We watched all of this from our chairs on the sand at the beach bar which offered a happy hour special from 4 to 6 p.m. every day--25 percent off Bintang beer. Hooray. While sitting there we commented to each other about the ever-present dog population on Flores. We'd watched one taking a dump on the beach earlier and several were now loitering around the fish fry nearby, most female with multiple dugs swaying as they walked. Bill mentioned that Gabriel had told him the local people encourage the dogs to breed because they like to eat the puppies. Gag.
While sitting at the outdoor bar, we were informed by an employee that tonight was "buffet night" with Indonesian food and entertainment in the restaurant. Turns out the entertainment was local guitar players/singers. One guy shook castanets. It was very reminiscent of Mexican music. The dining room was taken up by all the Dutch tourists who'd shown up earlier--they were a big group. Bill drank his dinner and I partook of some beef and vegetable soup which was good as long as I avoided the beef chunks which were stringy and gristly. It was kind of a downer kind of night, to be honest, and we were really looking forward to getting off Flores and back to Bali. The rest of the evening was unremarkable, so I'll leave it at that. Except to give a pronunciation tip for "Maumere": Moh-MAIR-ay.
Short entry because we didn't do much. Took showers while crouching in the tub (shower wand only, with a short stretch--had to be careful not to accidentally spray the plug for the hot water supply tank which was bolted in right next to the spigot). Dodged the perpetually leaking toilet. Then dressed and ate a Western-style breakfast in the restaurant (it was good--the usual: eggs, fruit, bread, butter, jam, coffee) then went for a walk to explore the neighborhoods outside of the property. We were actually looking for a store where we could buy bottled water and/or juices, etc. without having to pay the resort's higher prices. We only found a small warung on the side of the road, manned by two people who didn't speak English. We managed to purchase some water and instant coffee, but nothing else. As we walked back in the direction of our accommodations, we decided to take a detour to check out another resort, which was adjacent to Sea World Club. It was listed in Lonely Planet as being in business, but our travel guide was old and the place was obviously under serious renovations