Trip Start Sep 24, 2009
69Trip End Apr 30, 2010
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Where I stayed
This leg of the journey was our longest one – about 7 hours of driving all-up. Having our own driver and our own car certainly made a difference for us. There was no let-up in the winding roads – I doubt that you'd find a straight road that was longer than 50m here! The roads are just a series of hair-pin curves, with the road constantly doubling back on itself. At least the driver seemed to be a reasonably careful driver, unlike the Balinese death-defying drivers. Luckily for us, there were only a few occasions that he overtook on blind corners. It could have been worse!
The scenery is stunning here though
We planned to stay 2 nights here after having a full day of driving. This would give us a full day to explore Bajawa and the nearby villages.
In the morning, our driver took us to two traditional villages: first Bela village, and then Bena. It’s hard to describe what these are like. You are expected to pay a small fee for the privilege of invading their private life for a few moments and to take a few photos. The conditions are incredibly primitive, although both villages seem to have power. They carry water from the river or nearby springs. The houses are rudimentary thatch huts.
After wandering around the Bela, we stopped to chat with an elder for quite awhile. He spoke limited English but was very interested in finding out about us and about New Zealand. I asked if I could take a photo of him, and he ran inside to grab a towel which he wrapped around this head. (I’m not sure why!). I showed him the photo that I took of him and Alan, and I guess he decided it was too formal as he wanted another one, this time with their heads together.
Later that day we went to a hot water waterfall, about an hour out of Bajawa. It was awesome – and just about the only time we had a hot water shower in Flores! There are two rivers, one hot and one cold, which join up at the water falls. So depending on where you go, you can find yourself a hot spot, a cool spot – or a lukewarm spot. It was fascinating to sit under a waterfall that was gushed such hot water!