Jul 05, 2012
Jun 19, 2013
Jetting down in Ende, Flores.
We had decided a few weeks ago to fly from Bali to Flores to experience a more authentic Indonesia. Ende is halfway across Flores so this meant after our flight there we could work our way back to Bali. Also not many tourists/backpackers make it this far so it's kinda 'off the beaten track'.
Flight to Ende.
We found our Transnusa stall in the corner of Bali airport and checked our bags in, then made our way through security. We were a tiny bit nervous about this flight if we're being honest. Indonesia's domestic airlines doesn't make for good reading in terms of safety but Transnusa seems decent from our research. We couldn't see our flight anywhere on the departures screen so we asked and got directed to a bus 15 mins before departure and boarded the plane. As soon as we saw it we were happy, it was a jet engine and not propeller (not that we have any idea about planes). Only about 70 people on the plane and all Indonesians we took off an got served some lunch. One cup of water and a bread roll. The woman sat next to Mark gave us a smile as if this was the best thing ever. After our exquisite lunch we relaxed a bit and enjoyed the flight. We started to descend after only an hour which we thought strange as we were sure it was a 2 hour flight. Our landing was not smooth. We literally bounced onto the runway followed by me swearing very loudly and then half the oxygen masks coming out. The 4 Indonesian women along side us all laughed at us, clearly there used to this! At the end of the runway we had relaxed only to be informed by the pilot that this was a stop on a different island for some passengers to get off and others board. This explains why we couldn't see Ende on the departures screen! We then watched a dead body get carried from the luggage compartment to an awaiting ambulance and set off onto the runway once again. We were a lot more nervous now however this flight went smoothly and the landing was perfect we had reached Ende safely. The baggage area consisted of one room with a 2 meter long belt and a man throwing the luggage through the whole in the wall. After brushing off potential dead persons remains off our bags we made our way to the hostel.
Pimp my Bemo.
The first thing we noticed was Bemos. These are minivans that take people around towns in Flores. All of them have been pimped up, huge speaker systems, spoilers, neon lights, alloys and graffiti bodywork. Seeing a pimped up Bemo carrying 9 old ladies whilst pumping out some hardcore dance music is very odd.