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kcheepv Ruteng - A travel report by Kim
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Ruteng,  Indonesia - flag Indonesia -  Nusa Tenggara Timur
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kcheepv's travel reports

My first day of the Real Flores island

  16 votes
Page: 1 2
The day before I had decided to hire a guide and driver to take me across Flores to Moni and back to Labuan Bajo. Starting off early in the morning toward Ruteng where we stopped for the night. Not far out of Labuan Bajo the scenery was stunning.

Spider Rice Field
Spider Rice Field
Curvy mountain roads with sheer drop offs to ravines below. Always beeping the horn when approaching curves as to avoid oncoming vehicles. My guide Adrian and driver Edy were great guys. We spent the first few hours listening to their cd's full volume. Everything from Gwen Stefani to The Killers. I was turned onto Peter Pan. The biggest, from what I was told, band in Indonesia. We stopped after a few hours for some beef soup and coffee at a local roadside place. Soup was good but the coffee divine! Set off again later stopping at the Spider Rice fields outside of Ruteng. Adrian walked up with me. We had to sign in at the owners home and pay 10,000rp to walk up and view the fields. An older man led us up along with his 2 children, One of which had some sort of awfull skin problem going on. Maybe conjunctavitis or something. Anyway, the Spider Rice fields were actually pretty cool. The view from above is definitely needed to get the whole effect. Instead of plotting the rice field in squares or rectangles they divided it like a pie. From the hills above it appears like a spider web pattern. The valley directly behind you as you look at the rice fields were in dispute so the government stepped in and split it for them. Arrived in Ruteng early afternoon and ate well. Great fish soup and some cumi cumi. Found a hotel, Sidhara, then headed out to a traditional village. Only 2 old houses left at this village and very small. I didn't even get the name. sorry We took the long way back to town staying high on the mountain road. We passed a huge futbol stadium. It was crazy, in the middle of nowhere for the most part. Seemed very out of it's element. I was told that it is used twice a year and is gets packed out. Next a quick spin through the market with Adrian and Edy waving at everyone they know. They know a lot of people. Adrian asked if we could stop at his friend's sisters home. OF course I said ok. Very traditional home with concrete floor & bamboo thatch walls.

Favourite spots:
The family was so welcoming. The sister, hugging me as i entered, mouth stained red from Betel nut. I didn't understand 1% of what was being said but I had a blast. Interesting to see how the men all sat in chairs but the women were on mats on the ground. Fresh coffee was served and then we were asked to stay for dinner. Some arak was brought out. Arak, being the local moonshine, and cigarettes were shared by whomever wanted. Conversation never stopped. They talked of new ways of getting fresh water to his sisters old village. As well as her brother who lived in London. Adrian was trying to get him on the cell phone so his sister could text. They hadn't spoke in 6 months. For dinner we had a nice chicken soup, rice, pork and noodles. It was so good. Boiled water was served at the end of the meal to wash it all down. It was an amazing evening.

What's really great:
The weather is a bit cooler in Ruteng and also in Bajawa and Moni. I actually got chilled while sleeping in Ruteng. You start to see the ikat being sold around. All the way to Moni probably.

I guess the main sights would be the Futbol stadium, market, traditional villages and Spider Rice fields. Beautiful scenery all around.

Sidhara hotel is where I stayed. 165,000rp per night. hot water, flush toilet and clean.

Other recommendations:
All buses that plow the island should pass through Ruteng, or close enough to catch a mototaxi or bemo. I don't remember exactly how long it took from Labuan Bajo but I estimate 4-5 hours by car.
Nice town and great place to break up the drive to Bajawa. Thats where we headed next. Hot springs here I come!

Published on Friday April 14th, 2006

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Fri, Apr 14 2006 - 11:53 PM rating by marianne

This wa so nice to read as we did the same trip. The only difference is that we went by public transport. We alsi saw the rice paddy spider patterns. How did you like Keli Mutu? When we were there we saw the lakes just for one minute before the clouds rolled back. But it was worth it.
Maybe you can extend some of the sections as it seems that after the first paragraph your inspiration left you. You do know that you don't have to write in one session. As long as you don' t click on ' publish this report' it is only saved and you can return to it any time.

Fri, Apr 14 2006 - 11:22 PM rating by downundergal

Interesting report - how do they divide the fields and do they do so just to earn some money from passing tourists? If you could add some more info to your report it would be great and would probably boost the rating to 5 star. Great opportunity for you to meet a local family and eat at their house - good for you.

Fri, Apr 14 2006 - 11:19 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Pleasant to read. With more text and pics I would have given you 5 points

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