Hey Moni, Moni!

Trip Start Nov 25, 2004
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Trip End Jan 26, 2005


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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The scenery on the way to Moni is the most stunning we've seen in the whole of SE Asia..and thats saying something! It's so green and unpopulated...it's literally green as far as you can see! The road to Moni is the windiest yet and I'm really surprised no-one was sick it was literally hair pin bend after hair pin bend and round every corner another stunning landscape...even more impressive as we neared the coast! If we saw nothing else in Flores, it was worth it just to do this journey!!! The bus dropped us off at the Hidayah guesthouse and it was bizarre - we instantly relaxed and I just sat on the porch playing with the kids and a baby kitten! It was obvioulsy meant to be! We had a rickety little bungalow set right next toa rice field in the most stunning countryside! We spent our first night drinking Anggur wine with Brian from the bungalows and his friends, a v cool Swedish guy we'd randomly met in KL called Toby and a guitar! We must have been hammered - I was singing and Paul was having an intellectual conversation!

The wine may not have been such a good idea as we were up at 4 the next morning to go and see the beautiful crater lakes at Kelimatu and our main reason for coming to Flores! It's basically an extinct volcano with 3 lakes - one light turquoise, one olive green and one dark brown (they used to be red, white and blue before the earthquake in '92!!!). Chemicals in the soil apparnetly make them this way but its a mad sight! Again being there for sunrise was out of this world, the surrounding countryside being so green and the weather was so clear you could even see the sea! We stayed up there until the sun hit the lakes at about 8 and it was so worth it, the colours were so vivid!!!! We then walked the 13.5km back down to the village and our beds!!! Sleeeeeeep!

The next day we explored the local villages by bemo! This will remain one of my really special memories from travelling, riding round the countryside in a black bemo with huge speakers blasting out...wait for it...Roxette! Oh yes!!! We saw traditional Ikat weaving and ended up buying a couple of pieces! The family there were great and had just got married, she had us in fits of giggles when we asked her if they were planning to have children. She replied saying they were currently 'processing'! Excellent! The mad thing about Flores is that when you get speaking to people, everyone seems to be related - inbred like Lidlington, Cranfield and the Welsh Vallies!!!!! We moved onto a stunning village called Ngella located on the clifftops dropping down into the bluest sea you can imagine and finished off our tour being shown around a traditional house! The villages still have a village chief and when the boys come of age they have to chop off a pigs head! One way of going through puberty I guess!

So that was beautiful Moni and with the desire to rest catching up with us fast we decided to head back to Maumere and catch a flight to Bali!!! Our luck finally ran out with delays and stuff but not too bad...we had a 6 hour delay which was actually quite pleasant (after our last motorbike ride to the airport in Asia! Boohoo!)! Quite amusing though, our original plane had ītechnical problemsī and they had to fly in another from Jakarta - a Fokker 27 - which was alot smaller than planned so we didnīt even know if we were going to get on the flight at one point! Anyway as the time passed by, we got chatting to one of the tour operators and basically Maumereīs runway doesnīt have lights which meant the plane had to arrive, go through its checks and take-off again before it got dark! It arrived with about 15 minutes to go...you should have heard the cheers on the runway!!!!! What made the flight even better though was the most unbelievable sunset and I got to see it all from the cockpit with the pilots!!! What a tart eh and I loved it!!!
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