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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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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