Caroline and Sven's further adventures 2016 travel blog

A unique Xmas tree made from recycled bottles and containers at the...

Colourful, odorous, busy, noisy - just how a market should be!

Mount Inerie near Bajawa.

Handshakes, happy new year and posing for photos.

Giant bamboo grows in abundance and is used for many different things.

Ancestors are buried right in the front yard. From what we could...

Ikat weaving, a tradition being kept alive in the more remote villages.

Betel nut chewing villager.

Water buffalo horns at the entrance to the house.

Spinning kapok. Many kapok trees grow in the vicinity.

Off round the narrow, winding (but sealed) hilly roads to visit traditional...

Bena village.

Playing with a puppy. A dog's life in Indonesia is not such...

A $3 lunch from the market - tomatoes, cucumber, mango and pineapple.

Time to enjoy a game of Bananagrams (scrabble).

Room for one more?

Bajawa has been a welcome respite from the high humidity nearer the coast, with hot days but cooler evenings. Overlooking the town is the perfect cone shaped 2,445 metre volcano Inerie, often topped in cloud. The town is small enough to walk around and as always I am drawn to the markets to absorb the colours, the smells and to people watch.

There are very few tourists there so friendly people are eager to "talk" and use their English. Where you go? What your name? Where you from?

Pancakes and fruit (papaya, pineapple, banana) seems to be the standard breakfast together with Flores coffee. There is a lot of coffee grown round this area and the mango trees are laden - yum!

We hiked for 3 hours through villages and fields to reach "mud pools", the remains of a 2001 volcanic eruption. Our journey took longer than expected because people were calling out hello from their houses, coming out to shake our hand and wish us happy new year and asking for us to take their photo. They enjoy seeing themselves on the camera.

Another day we went on motorbikes (with drivers) to see some of the nearby Ngada traditional villages. Bena is home to nine clans and has tall thatched-roof houses, most with either a male or female figurine on top. Buffalo horns and jaw bones adorn the entrance to the house and denotes the family's wealth. Rock formations and ancestor shrines are part of the village. Here betel nut is chewed (a nut with lime sprinkled on and wrapped in a leaf). People spit globs of what looks like blood and their teeth are red and rotten away. All this - and then you see them texting on a cell phone!

We ended our motorbike jaunt at a hot pool where a hot and cold river meet. Locals bring their soap and shampoo!

We took a 45 minute flight back to Labuang Bajo instead of the 10 hour bus ride. In the morning we were woken at 4.30 with the first call to prayer from the nearby mosque, followed by roosters outdoing each other as it began to get daylight at 5, then the sound of motorbikes as people began their new day. We are indeed in Indonesia!

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