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kcheepv Bajawa - A travel report by Kim
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Bajawa,  Indonesia - flag Indonesia -  Nusa Tenggara Timur
14635 readers

kcheepv's travel reports

Ruteng to Bajawa by car

  15 votes
Page: 1 2
Up early in the town of Ruteng (Flores Isalnd) with a nice breakfast waiting outside my room. Hard boiled egg, tea and toast with some sort of jam. Tasty enough to get me going for the day. My guide Adrian showed up and joined me for breakfast.

Village children
Village children
He asked if I minded if we gave his friend a lift to Bajawa with us. Satu was his name and he also made a living driving all over the island. His cat broke down in Bajawa and he had gotten a lift to Ruteng to buy a part and now needed to get back to Bajawa. Of course I didn't mind and we were soon on our way. Stunning scenery all around. Some areas the road was canopied by the invading foliage. Beautiful rivers running down below. Locals using bamboo to catch water from the sides of the mountains and using it as a shower in some places. Animals tied up along the sides of the road. Farmers drying their goods on mats in the road. As we made a hairpin turn around one mountainside Volcanic mountains and lots of lush jungle make it easy to get lost staring out the window of the car. Edy, my driver, spoke of an awful accident that happened there a few weeks ago. Rocks came down from above on the mountain and took a bemo with them killing 7 people. Adrian asked if we could stop by his mom's for a few minutes as it was on the way. I said sure, we had plenty of time and why would I pass that up? His parents lived in a simple house as Adrian calls it. Again the plastic chairs around a small low table was the main area. A bed was off in the corner and a cooking area in the back. Thatch walls, concrete floor and thin bars in the window openings made up the home. Adrian's father as well as all the neighbors were farmers. His mother kept the home and grew a few things in the garden. Like yesterday, we were brought some fresh coffee which was amazing. Adrian's mother sat on her bed while we sat in the chairs. Little by little children started to gather around outside the house. Filling up the windows and doorway from the outside with all eyes on me. Big smiles coming from their faces. After a few minutes I gave in and took out my camera. The kids were way into it. All wanting their photos taken. During this Adrian slipped away to make lunch. He had to tend to the duck out back

Favourite spots:
Hot Springs
Hot Springs
Lunch was amazing. Fresh grilled duck with rice. Again, boiled water to wash it all down at the end of the meal. Lunchtime conversation was all about Adrian's brother who had just gotten out of jail for a fight with his wife. Adrian had to find him. We told his mother goodbye and thanked her for the meal. As we drove on toward Bajawa we stopped every bemo that passed looking for Adrian's brother. One after another with no luck. When we arrived in Aimere, where his sister lived, we found his brother. They chatted for about 15 minutes then we were on our way. We arrived at our destination of Bajawa and checked into Bintang Hotel. 135,000rp. Cold water but really clean. Breakfast included. Right after we were off again to the hot springs. Within 15 minutes of heading out the air outside smelled of sulfer. There were storm clouds around and a lot of fog over the road. At the hot springs there was a small fee for me to enter. Locals free. They were really nice.

What's really great:
Our Dagalos meal
Our Dagalos meal
One large pool elevated on the right. Straight ahead was a stream perfect for lounging in. Across the stream was a pool not so hot. The stream dumped down some rapids to a river below. You could see the steam rising off the water all around. Very clean as well. I really enjoyed it. My driver Edy washed his hair and bathed while we were there. It is a bathing place for all the locals. I totally see why! After we visited a small village. I had to sign in again and pay a small fee to walk around. They had elec as the wires were strewn all over. Traditional thatch huts. Not much going on around. Saw some betel nut stained smiles from older women about. Adrian and I walked around for a while then left. Most of the villagers were out working the fields. Back at the hotel I got myself ready for dinner. Tonight was something special for me. Something I thought I would never try. Dagalos. A speciality in Bajawa.

Check out the Hot springs and many traditional villages in the area.

arak distilling
arak distilling
Adrian, Edy, Satu and I walked over to the restaurant and ordered up some pork, coke, rice and dagalos. Dagalos being dog. Served extremely spicy! I tried it. It wasn't bad but i don't think I will go out of my way to eat it again. I do spicy and it was over the top. Later in the trip we brought some to Adrian's sister who loves it and she couldn't take the spice. Anyway the meal was good and so was the company. The arak was even being passed around. The restaurant was a family home. We sat on the floor while eating. A young child laying on his bed in front of the tv falling asleep while we ate. Very laid back atmosphere. All for 40,000rp for 3 people.
I almost forgot, earlier that day we stopped by an arak processing house. Really simple process taking the palm and distilling. Once done they fill empty water bottles with it and sell it on the side of the roads.
What a great trip so far. Adrian and Edy have been the best to hang with.
On to Ende and Moni tomorrow...

Notes: restaurants in Bajawa
Rumah Makan Lesehan...Dagalos...Jln A Yani #70...Phone 21856

Hotel...Bintang...0384 21744 phone

Published on Saturday April 15th, 2006

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Mon, Apr 24 2006 - 05:10 PM rating by eirekay

Kim, I enjoyed the personal quality of this report! More travel detail would be nice, but you give a good overall taste of this region.

Wed, Apr 19 2006 - 11:11 PM rating by delfster

hi kim,
nice report. i love flores too... and once again, enjoy reading your report.

Mon, Apr 17 2006 - 04:27 AM rating by st.vincent

A nicely written travelogue, I enjoyed reading it

Mon, Apr 17 2006 - 01:44 AM rating by rangutan

Interesting to read, this trip very well described in an autobiographical way. I like it.

Sun, Apr 16 2006 - 03:55 AM rating by marianne

Nice impression of Flores, but not much practical information for other travellers. Maybe you can add some description of the traditional villages and hotel Bintang, would you recommend it?

Sun, Apr 16 2006 - 01:16 AM rating by davidx

Really enjoyable. Thank you.

Sat, Apr 15 2006 - 11:11 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Pleasant report

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