There are cheap places to stay on Flores after all
Jul 22, 2012
May 08, 2014
Had to wait until 1pm for the public bus to Riung, location of the 17 Islands Marine Park, and then it spent half an hour driving round town picking up more people (once again i was the only tourist on board), but at least it only cost 35,000IDR. The journey was on a single track road over the 'mountains' of central Flores and was beautiful and scenic all the way. Although only 65 kilometres it took 4hrs 15mins because we went at about 10-15mph the whole way due to the constant gradients encountered and numerous potholes etc although it was tarmac most of the way. Arrived in Riung at 5:45pm just before dusk and ended up at the Liberty Homestay for 50,000IDR a night (there are cheap places to stay on Flores after all!) It was basic with shared bucket wash bathrooms and i was the only guest staying there but pleasant nonetheless. I had thought that Riung was going to be on the coast but the main town is actually about 1km inland and just consists of a selection of market stalls; a couple of restaurants; a few shops; several homestays/guesthouses and surprisingly a bank with an ATM. The harbour is another 1km down the road but as with the town there’s not a lot going on. I didn’t get to do a boat trip to any of the islands as there were no other tourists to split the cost with and i wasn’t going to pay 250,000INR just for myself! In the afternoon i walked up the nearby hill to the viewpoint over the town and the Marine Park. As well as the ‘main town’ there is also a very traditional Bugis fishing village about another 1km away populated by houses on stilts built over the tidal mud flats. It also has its own jetty/harbour where i encountered a boat landing its catch. I liked Riung and had a very relaxing couple of days just chilling out which was nice.