A roadtrip through Flores

Many people have told me that Flores is their favorite part of Indonesia, so I was pretty excited to finally explore the island myself. I already visited the Komodo Nationalpark two times (check it out here: Green or brown), but now it was time to travel through the main island.

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Flew into Labuan Bajo, drove down to Dintor, spent one night, walked up to Wae Rebo, watch the Milkey Way, walked back down to Dintor, drove to Ruteng, spent one night, drove to Bajawa, spent one night climbing a volcano and one night in a hotel, drove to Riung, went snorkeling over the most fantastic reef I’ve seen, spent one night, drove to Kelimutu, watched the sunrise over the crater lakes, flew back to Jakarta. More practical information all the way down.

Learning the hard way

I’ve been on and off trying to learn the language since I moved here two years ago. I am still far from being fluent, but I get around pretty well. I can make people laugh from time to time, sometimes on purpose. I have classes in Jakarta almost every week, and my teachers are awesome, but it’s when I’m traveling I really get to practice using the language.

I find it hard to remember new words, in general, I find it hard to remember anything. Remembering a word is much easier if there’s a context or a story attached to it. During my trip through Flores, I learned at least two new words: Markisa and Kalajengking. Markisa is the Indonesia word for passionfruit, and in Flores, they had them everywhere! It turns out I never had good passionfruit before, now I’m a big fan. Kalajengking is the Indonesian word for scorpion. The only reason I am able to remember that is because I was stung by one in a rice-field in Dintor. I didn’t even know they had scorpions in Indonesia, but it makes sense given the fact that they have all the other creepy and dangerous animals and insects imaginable.

I’ll keep learning the language as long as I live here, or as long as I’m having fun doing it. I just hope I don’t get a reason to remember the words for shark, snake, and spider.

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One of the advantages of going to remote places in Indonesia is that you can see the Milky Way at night.
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Spent one night in Wae Rebo village.
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“Hati-hati ibu-ibu, ada kalajengking di sawahnya!”
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“Mister, turn around, the view is on the other side”
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Me enjoying the view over the spider web rice fields.
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Me getting ready to taste some homemade palm booze.
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They like to get drunk and party in Flores. Suddenly I felt closer to home.

Sunrise for breakfast, hot spring for lunch

My Indo bucket list gets longer and longer for every day, there are so many things I want to experience before I have to leave this amazing country. I was starting to panic a tiny bit, but then I got my contract extended by one year. This means I’ll be living in and exploring Indonesia until July 2019. It’s still not enough time to do everything, but the world is big and there are too many things I want to do outside Indonesia too.

One of my favorite things to do in Indonesia is climbing volcanoes. This country has at least 100 active ones, so there’s no chance I’m running out of things to do while I’m here. During the day it gets freaking hot outside, so many of the climbs start in the middle of the night. This means you get to watch the Milky Way while ascending, look at the sunrise from the top, and then enjoy the view on the way down. Watching the sunrise from the top of a volcano is such an amazing experience, I beg you to do it at least once in your life. Flores is not a bad place to fulfill this wish.

The highest mountain on Flores is Mount Inerie (2245 m). Inerie is a dormant stratovolcano that rises straight up from the Savu Sea in a perfect slope. It’s located on the south coast of Flores next to a town called Bajawa, which is where you’ll find your guide. We started hiking at 2:30 from 1100m and reached the top for sunrise. I think it was about as challenging as Merapi on Java, or maybe a bit easier. I only had one Beng-Beng during the trip. On the way down we didn’t really walk, we kind of slid on volcanic sand most of the way. The rest of the day was spent soaking in a hot spring nearby.

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Gunung Inerie – 2245 m
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Our guide came straight from the party to show us the way up the mountain.
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The shadow of the mountain.
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Hot springs by the foot of the mountain. A perfect place to relax after climbing a mountain.
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We ended the trip watching the sunrise over Kelimutu crater lakes

I think Flores (including both Komodo islands and the main island) is the most underrated place in the world, and it’s my favorite part of Indonesia so far. I’ll make a top 5 list before I leave in two years, and I’m 100% sure that Flores will be on that list. Thanks for making it all the way down here. See you out there!

Ronny.

Practical information

Getting to Flores:
You can fly Garuda from Jakarta or Bali to Labuan Bajo. Wings Air also fly from Bali to Labuan Bajo.
Getting around on Flores:
Rent a car with a driver for approximately 750.000 per day, if you’re ditching the driver in the other end to fly back you should pay for one extra day so he can get home again.
The places we stayed:
Labuan Bajo: http://www.bayview-gardens.com/
Dintor: A nice homestay in a rice field: Wae Rebo Lodge Dintor
Wae Rebo: In one of the round traditional houses with all the other guests. Awesome!
Ruteng: Spring Hill Hotel Ruteng
Bajawa: One night in Manulalu overlooking Mount Inerie. One night in a hotel in town called Hotel Sanian.
Riung: Nirvana Riung
Kelimutu: Kelimutu Eco Lodge 
Need help arranging a trip:
Check out Discover Your Indonesia

Check out my blog posts from my Komodo trips: Green or brown

 

Etc Hiking Uncategorized

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