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Old 06-25-2012, 09:29 PM   #16
bokad OP
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13 June 2012
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Bajawa, Flores, Indonesia
Traditional villages.

Around Bajawa there are a few traditional villages hidden in the trees and hills just off the main road. The people in the villages keep their old religion, traditions, houses, and way of life. The villages are shrinking as the young adults are drawn away to the city by school or marriage or money and never return.

We went mid day so most residents were working out in the fields and it was only the betel nut chewing old ladies left behind. Betel nut is a mild stimulant and it has the nice side effect of turning your mouth and lips red while you spit out great gobs.


Lady


Weaving


Smiling


Something with thread


Red lips and mashing up the betel nut in a pestel (needed when you don't have any teeth left).


Drying betel nut.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:40 PM   #17
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13 June 2012
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Bajawa, Flores, Indonesia
Traditional villages.

One aspect of the traditional culture is separate huts and offering places for male and female family members. Each male and female family lead (clan chief) had their own offering pagoda-ish thing and also a totem on top of the house. The male totems in particular looked interesting. The totems are mounted on the roofs of the houses.


Male clan chief totem.


Male clan chief totem.


Male clan chief totem.


Male clan chief totem.


Male clan chief totem.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:52 PM   #18
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13 June 2012
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Bajawa, Flores, Indonesia
Traditional villages.

The traditional dwellings have large tall roofs. They are empty. Has something to do with smoke collection and ventilation. Building a village house is expensive. The materials and labor are cheap but each day of the construction you should sacrifice an animal for food and good luck. The heads or horns of the sacrifices made during construction will be displayed at your home forever.


I'm level, the ground is crooked!


Volcano photo-bomb! In Indonesia there is always a volcano in the background.


Village vista


Large gender separated family dwellings. So you live in the same house as your cousin, but not your mother or sister.


Big roof. Nothing in here, just empty space.


Offering hut, drying coffee.


What was sacrificed for this house.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:09 PM   #19
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14 June 2012
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Bajawa, Flores to Ende

Flores is a small world in terms of tourists so you keep running in to the same people. It's a nice and frequent coincidence. An interesting couple that we shared the dive boat with is also now in our hotel.

Ural has sent us a replacement swing arm but it will take a week or more to get here. From Bali I know how hard it is to get moving again once you lose momentum. So we decide to have the swing arm shipped to our future (Kupang, Timor) and we'll keep moving one way or another. There should be a ferry from Ende to Kupang. We just need to get to Ende. I'm not sure about the the strength of the weld that the locals have done and the road to Ende is not a good place for a breakdown so we decide to truck it instead. Also there's a big difference between crashing by yourself and crashing with your girlfriend. We rent another dump truck to bounce us along the way. Getting the Ural apart and loaded and secured is 95% less cluster than it was the first time. Practice practice practice!

Before going though I take advantage of a new-ish tire on the rear to enjoy the local curves in a solo configuration. Anna tries the same with the sidecar but doesn't get far.


The freedom of two wheels! I enjoy the local curves a bit.


Anna tries the sidecar as a solo but has less success. Maybe with some snow and a hill?


Packed and ready to go.


Most construction here is done by hand without power tools. Rocks sorted, concrete mixed, ditches dug, stones placed, brick packed, etc...


Public transport


Mini-bus
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:01 AM   #20
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The Roads on Flores Post
-------------------------------
I'm getting ahead of myself here. We've reached Larantuka, the end of Flores. We only felt the need for the truck from Bajawa to Ende and the rest was a smiling sidecar slide.

As I may have mentioned once or thrice, driving on Java was a special sort of hell. Most likely designed by the dark lord to punish you eternally for past vehicular sins.

Flores roads though have been a dream. There is one great 800km highway that snakes from one end of the island (Labuan Bajo) to the other (Larantuka). It's fresh smooth blacktop courtesy of an Australian aid project. A dream ride. Curvy, empty, and with amazing scenery. Winding along the sunset coast with it's sweeping views and crashing waves, through forests of coconut and palm, and a cool breezes in your face as you pass towering volcanos. The road is almost empty, you see a small bus or truck maybe once a day and even cars are 15 minutes or more apart. No horses or peddle carts. None of the monolithic mega trucks and busses that try to lumber over you on Java. An occasional wild monkey. These are some of the best bike roads I've ever seen. All elements in place.
It reminds me why I ride and what I love. Any day on these roads would be a good one.

The two best sections were Ende to Maumere and Maumere to Larantuka.

Ende to Maumere is very curvy, taking you up and around the mountains.
Maumere to Laurantuka is straighter with long sweeping curves as it rushes along the coast. I even sustained 90km/h for a bit. That's a first for us in Indonesia!
The driving was so good, the scenerey so beautiful, the entire experience so pleasant, that I didn't want to stop for gas or pictures.


Around Bajawa. There be curves!


A less curvy section.


Amazing views.


A rest stop.


Maumere to Larantuka


Maumere to Larantuka
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:44 AM   #21
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Gotta love them hacks, especially this one. Amazingly cool sidecar love the other pics too!
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:42 PM   #22
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Amazing

I'm native of Indonesia but have not ride that far... Splendid bokad! Keep it coming.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:59 AM   #23
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Thanks. As I have realized, Indonesia is a better country for to tour by boat than a motorcycle! :) So many islands. We'll keep pressing though. In Timor now and Sulawesi next.

p.s. The riding in Flores is FANTASTIC is you ever get there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumpy ahead View Post
I'm native of Indonesia but have not ride that far... Splendid bokad! Keep it coming.

bokad screwed with this post 06-30-2012 at 07:04 AM
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:02 AM   #24
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9 July 2012
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Dili, East Timor (Timor Leste)

I'm getting ahead of myself here (and behind in my updates).

We crossed in to East Timor a few days ago. I was really prepared to not like this place but it has been FANTASTIC.
After 3 months in Indonesia is was great just to be in a new country. We celebrated by cutting open a watermelon we brought all the way from Kupang in the West. I can't even think now where we found room to stash it. For some reason it was yellow inside. Dili has a strong UN and NGO (aid agencies) presence. That's means lots of very white girls with very blond hair, western food, and plenty of booze. The first night we (I) overindulged with an entire pizza, a basket of onion rings, a couple drinks, and a loooong hot shower. Apparently there is unlimited hot water here. Like I said, fantastic!



Celebrating the East Timor border crossing in the traditional way, with a smuggled yellow watermelon. :)


REALLY fresh roadside fish in the countryside.


Lovely around Dili


Jesus watches over Dili



This Norwegian guy rode his Royal Enfield all the way from Kathmandu Nepal to East Timor (our reverse route!) with little planning, almost no motorcycle experience, and 0 mechanical skills. I admire that!
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:28 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bokad View Post
Also there's a big difference between crashing by yourself and crashing with your girlfriend.
I know that very well -- all the worse on a long trip in the middle of who-knows where and no idea where the nearest aid is going to come from. God speed you on your travels; we're following (and jealous of!) you guys. :)
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:56 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by cantseejack View Post
I know that very well -- all the worse on a long trip in the middle of who-knows where and no idea where the nearest aid is going to come from. God speed you on your travels; we're following (and jealous of!) you guys. :)
Thanks! We've gotten quite a bit further than what the ride report says. Just need to update it!
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:21 PM   #27
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Thanks for the report, looking forward to the rest.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:17 AM   #28
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15 June 2012
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Ende, Flores

We are in Ende to grab the ferry to Kupang in Timor where our new swingarm awaits (courtesy of Ural who also paid for the shipping). Unfortunately this is not to be. We get diferent answers from each person that we talk to. Ende has three ports and each one is autonomous, no connection or information with the others. We make the rounds to all three to sort out the situation. This is frustrating. The answers range from "yes, it is coming tomorrow" to "no, there was never a ferry from here to Kupang". Eventually we figure everything out with the help from a visiting doctor from Jakarta (we were really glad to meet someone from Java again). One port has a ferry to Kupang but it doesn't take cargo or vehicles. The second port used to have a ferry to Kupang but a ship sank there near the dock over a year ago, blocking access to large boats. The third port does still have ferry service to Kupang and it takes vehicles but.... the boat has been broken for the last few weeks and no one is sure when it will be repaired. So, we're boned. We'll just have to drive the rest of the way to Larantuka on the Ende of Flores and get the ferry that still (hopefully) goes from there to Kupang.

Anna decides to take a vacation to Thailand and we'll meet up again in Timor. This is fine with me since I won't worry so much about my precious cargo and it will be less stress on the bad swing arm.

I decide to tune up the bike a bit. Playing musical spokes draws a large and smiling crowd, amused by the wrench banging on the spokes like a glockenspiel.

There are very very few foreigners in Ende. We did meet an Aussie guy that is bicycling his way across Timor and Flores. His calf muscles were ginormous. Going up and down these hills is hard on a powered vehicle, I can't even imagine how difficult it is on a bicycle. This is his "vacation". I feel like a wuss just thinking about this guy.

Took a sunset ride along the coast. After all the recent shit I really needed this. It's relaxing and beautiful. It reminds me why I love to ride. It's been such a slog, I haven't felt that in awhile.

We met Doddy, an ethnic Chinese guy (they seem to be over represented in Indonesia's business world) from Jakarta. He owns a small restaurant and his brother has a bakery across the street. His English was excellent. I don't know exactly why but I really enjoyed his company and came back several nights just to chat. It was nice to conect with someone.

We have a very difficult time in Ende. We wince everytime we have to go outside or walk down the street. Something is wrong with many of the people here. We feel like circus freaks. People constantly shout at us, follow us, stare at us, touch us, making strange whooping noises and bounce around like monkeys when we pass by. Day or night, there isn't a moment of peace when we are in public. When we need to go to eat or to the harbour, we mentally prep ourselves to run the gauntlet. We've had issues in other cities but it reaches it's peak here. Walking down a market street we reach a limit and can't cope with the rude attention and noise anymore. We walk back to the bike. We're both feeling a bit emotional and trying to talk each other down. Then some guy with a flower pot on his head who has been staring at us from across the street walks over and stands closer for a better look, maybe 3 feet away. He just sits there and stares at us with a slack jawed face. Anna shouts at him to f-off and go away. He doesn't get it, he just stares stupidly. We're not humans to these people. We're some kind of species or freak show. None of the normal standards of conduct or decency apply to us.
I've had a revelation about all this recently. Will have to do a more detailed post on the subject later.


Sunset on the black sand beach near one of the ports.


Sunset on the black sand beach near one of the ports. I was amazed that this guy managed to launch that little canoe through the rolling waves.


Soccer on the black sand beach.


It was a real pleasure to talk with Doddy. A normal guy amongst jackals.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:42 AM   #29
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16 June 2012
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Kelimutu, Flores

Kelimutu, near Ende, is famous for it's ever changing tri-colored crater lakes. Basically three volcano craters turned in to lakes, each a different and always changing color. This place gets alot of hype. It's good bit of exercise and a nice view but no more so than 100 other places in Indoesia. On the day we went two of the lakes were the same color. Do I sound underwhelmed? On the up side there was wild monkeys.


Two colored lakes doesn't sound nearly as exciting as three colored lakes.


Two colored lakes doesn't sound nearly as exciting as three colored lakes.


Two colored lakes doesn't sound nearly as exciting as three colored lakes.


At the viewpoint


Well, at least there was wild monkeys.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:52 AM   #30
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Flores is Catholic
---------------------
Flores, Indonesia

Java is Muslim, Bali is Hindu, Flores is Catholic, just FYI.
Every island in Indoesia seems to have a different religion. The result of trading partners, power influence, and colonial times.



Catholic church near Maumere, Flores.











Small village church near Larantuka, Flores
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