June 23, 1997


WOW!!! 150 KM's from Maurole to Riung. The route was scenic as I pedaled between the coast and volcanic remains. The villages I passed greeted me with flocks of locals lining the road with amazement. I am sure these people had not see a westerner in a long time. The Flores people have a docile temperment, always joyful and receptive to strangers.

June 24, 1997

Riung to Bajawa

Flores is an astounding string of active and extinct volcanoes. Today's cycle went into the teeth of some of them. It was a battle for 75 KM from Riung to Bajawa. The ride was similar to a snake on the wall. The tropical temperature can cause dehydration quickly, I drank over seven liters of agua. In Bajawa I enjoyed a pleasant evening with locals at the night market. They tried to help me with some basic Basha Indonesian, to little success. However, they had many laughs at my expense.

June 25, 1997


Alright, We are Wijnand and Merel-Marijn from Holland, traveling Flores just for vacation and we meet many world travelers because there is only one through road on Flores. Yesterday it was Tim; that is he was the third guy on a bike being introduced to us by the hotel owner. Today we had an easy track to Borong, a small fishing village, nothing to do , electricity from 1600 till 2200. But today we came through a couple of very beautiful mountain villages, one of them in a kind of Swiss chalet style house. Tim says he's a bit sorry that he cannot speak with the locals (hardly anyone speaks English, but we as Dutch have some memories left in the Indonesian language due to our colonial past. The town Ende means in Dutch "end"; one of the last outpost on Flores. And when you need a towel, we just ask for "handduk" just like home. When people say Flores is beautiful we say that's an understatement. The whole island is a paradise of beauty, with rain forest's, volcanoes and traditional villages that are real, not fake or replaced. But please don't tell anyone but cyclists, because to many tourists will definitely spoil this green island. Tim good luck on your crusade, and let us know were you are (warlich@nl.ibm.com) and we will answer. Tomorrow we will climb together to Ruteng if we can keep your pace.

June 26, 1997

Borong to Ruteng

A day in the saddle for climbing. The ride from Borong to Ruteng was a mere 60 km's, but 50 km's were uphill. Chilling at the Rima Hotel in Ruteng waiting for my Dutch mates. Mary, a staff member, has a few Indonesian words to say to all readers.

Hari ini tilde dan meri menya- mbut kedatangan tim dari amerika tilde dan mery harap semoga tim senang dengan pelayan kami. tim yang meri sayangi .dan tilde sayangi. semoga tim selalu kenagg di hati. yim kalau sampai di amerika nanti - jangan lupa sama meri dan tilde ber surat . meri dan tilde menanti di flores. tim yang baik. sampai di sini dulu perjupaan kita semoga tim ke- nang selalu meri dan tilde. salam selalu untuk tim semoga dan menanti . cup sayang meri dan tilde 26-6- 1997 .

Here we are then in a Swiss style hotel in Ruteng, a nice cool mountain village. Today we, which includes Merel Marijn, Wijnand and Tim, climbed the first 600 height meters together. Then Tim decided that our tempo was indeed too slow. Although we improved dramatically over the last couple of days, he was still out of our sight in minutes. It's a smooth climb but it keeps on going for hours. In total, the first climb must have been about 1200 meters. With a hundred meters where you could just keep your front wheel on the ground. During the climb there were continuous beautiful sites for hours and hours, changing slowly as you went higher. The second part was also climbing, but not as bad. We were cycling above a beautiful plateau with rice sawa's and small villages. Entering Ruteng, Tim was already waving us in with the hostess of the hotel Rima from the balcony. Unpack ,mandi(wash) and a nap. Tim bought some vitamins and gave me some for a cold I got a couple days ago. The air here is humid and today we were so lucky that it was clouded exactly until we reached the ridge. Climbing in the burning sun is just killing. But downhill, totally wet and already with a cold is also not very agreeable. Tomorrow Tim is heading directly for Labuanbajo; we'll only go half way taking it easy, giving our legs a bit of rest . "Goede reis" ,

Merel-Marijn and Wijnand

June 27, 1997


Final pedal on the Volcanic island of Flores, Indonesia. The cycle covered 130 km's with two steep mountain ranges to cross. My Dutch mates opted for splitting the distance over two days. However, I battled the heat and hills today to the western fishing village of Labuhanbajo. Here I will take a three day boat trip to the island of Lombok. Flores is a beautiful place to visit. The people, culture and scenery are worth the effort. The island does not receive many tourists, being three islands east of Bali. The remote villages give all travelers warm greetings. Along the way one will see many spectacular views. For a destination off the beaten path, check out Flores.

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