Thursday, 8 September 2011


After a long ferry trip we finally arrived in Flores and the fun started straight off by riding the bikes off the boat. The swell was bringing the boat up and down and the ramp didn't align because the tide was too low. We then had to time it just right for our get off, so as the ferry rised with the swell you had to gas it and hopefully by the time you were at the top the swell had dropped enough so you could ride straight off the ferry with now only a 1 foot drop onto to some ropes and onto an over crowded wharf. At first sight Ende was not as bad as we had heard about it. After riding around aimlessly for a while we found our way to a hotel and rested after out ferry crossing. By now my ankle was killing me from an accident in Darwin. Finally decided it was time to visit a doctor, so off to the hospital for a check up. After hearing some locals majorly distressed we had noticed why when a few moments a family was carrying a young dead man out of a room, my little sore seemed so in significant. I think the nurse felt the same and proceeded to clean my nicely infected wound with no sense of the idea of being gentle. After almost kicking him he returned with the doctor to inform me he was now going to cut out some dead flesh, with the look of horror on my face they Doc said it would be done after a shot of anaesthetic. I can't believe how much of a pussy I am, all the time trying to put on a brave face for a little kid watching on who was next in line. All this cost me 4 bucks plus another $15 for gloves, pain killers, antibiotics bandages and cream etc. 
Next day we hit the road for Kelimutu which is a volcano about 2 hours ride away which consists of 3 lakes at the top, meant to be 3 different colours, we saw 2! It was a beautiful ride up to a height of around 5000 feet. It was a Sunday and seemed all the locals head there also for the day. I think we were almost the main attraction for them being stopped constantly for photos, now we know what it almost feels like to be a celebrity. The worst of it is the bikes just draw so much attention so always worried that when we leave them something may go missing. So far so good as we have had no problems. We decided so stay the night in the area and found a great little bungalow at a great price of 75000rp (about $8) a night. The owner was a champ and looked after us well with the best ginger tea we have had. If you are ever here look up Palm Bungalows! 
Time to head west and for the town of Labuhan Bajo firstly heading north to Reo. We were never going to make it in a day so decided to break it over a few days. First stop was at Mborong, a dirty town on the south coast with not much going for it but a hotel named Hotel Primadonna! Cheap and cheerful and the guy in charge allowed us to park the bikes in reception. 
From here north to Reo where we intended to stay but again were not too fussed with hanging around so after riding around in circles we were escorted out of town now hoping to be heading in the right direction. After about 10 minutes the road had gone to hell. With every km the road some how became increasingly worse, our map shows this road as a major route to Labuhan Bajo. I think not. We were to far in to turn back so pushed on, now realising we would never make our destination today. We decided to pull off the road and set up camp. Not really having any idea where we were, we had dinner and had an early night to rejuvenate our batteries not knowing what we had coming the following day. We awoke the next day not realising we were still visible from the road, so had many visitors dropping by wondering what the hell to 2 white people were doing in the middle of the forest. All very friendly and curious and even invited to a locals home for coffee but sadly we turned him down as Sanne woke up not feeling so well and we just wanted to get to our destination. We asked a young guy if there was petrol further up the road, yes there was, he left and 10 mins later he came back with bottles full of petrol for us!
After an hour we had only covered 15km's and felt a little disheartened hoping the road would improve. Every time we showed a local our map it was if it was the first time that they had ever set the eyes on one with no one able to tell us where we were. Great! We then stopped at a larger village to get water etc and got talking to someone who told us we were heading in the right direction, sweet. Something was going right. Then more bad news, the road was not to improve and were told to expect another 60 odd km's of this and it should take about 6 HOURS!!! Every time we took a break we managed to attract a crowd, I don't think many tourists come this way. At one stage we had about 50 school kids crowding around us staring intently as they all seem to do. We finally made it in 4 hours not 6 and booked into the first hotel we saw, more than we would usually pay but I wanted something better for Sanne to feel better, really I didn't mind the idea of aircon, tv and a normal shower.     

Mark at the hospital

Misty mountain top

One of the many volcanoes on Flores

 Cheeky kids

Kelimutu volcanic lakes

The local paparazzi

Luckily most hotels let us ride our bikes into the foyer and keep them there overnight

Surrounded by curious kids!

This road was marked on our map as the main road. This is one of the better sections!

Our first bush camp in Indonesia - we were kinda lost!

 One of the many, many roadworks throughout Indonesia

They don't care much for trumpets in Flores

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