Friday, June 10, 2011

During the first week in June 2011, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel with a dear friend, Pamela Fisher, from Perth, WA to Flores, Indonesia. From the eastern end starting at Maumere all the way to the western end to finish at Labuan Bajo.
We were there for 5 days, not nearly long enough, with two wonderful young men, Patrice and Charlis. These very capable guide and driver, showed us more than we had expected. Travelling on roads that were yet to be defined as roads... eating in the local Warung with the local food and the people of the town. Experiencing a way of travel that was to keep us guessing just where we would end up! Some of the journeys that we did were 8-9 hours long and that was to travel only a couple of 100 kilometers!
But we saw sights that we had never experienced before in all the times that we have visited Bali... different culture... different land forms... wonderful people.... amazing woven cloth!
Below are a series of images that we would like to share with you, some have notes under them, some are self explanatory.
If you would like to take a journey that Pamela and I have just done you can find the contact here..
Enjoy our journey!

First sight from the plane window

As we landed
The view from our first dinner at the Warung (Indonesia local food place)

The fresh food markets at Moni, with every woman wearing the traditional woven sarong

I will not explain what this is being cut up, as I am sure you would be very upset... but they had caught it in the bay and it is a part of their diet... the fins may give you a clue!

Modelling her weaving for us.

Typical roof line in this part of Flores

Found artifact!!

Weaving a long length of Ikat, using a back strap loom. A piece this long will take about 3 -6 months to weave... all cotton, chemical dyes. Two lengths are required to make the sarong.
Adding thread onto the bobbin by twisting  in the hand

Living fences!
Tar fences!
The last part of the stairs to Mt Kelimutu... we started out at 4am to see the sun rise... it finally appeared through the fog!

I did make it!

This extinct volcano is famous for the three lakes that lay in the craters... one is black(above) the other is teal blue, the other is sometimes red! When we were there it was a deeper teal than its neighbour

I did say we saw the sun rise through the fog.... so spiritual and ethereal. Fabulous!
We were always fascinated by the spelling in the translations

Our first hotel that we stayed at in Moni... very clean but there was a lack of water and the plumbing was something else.. we were to learn that the plumbing in Flores IS something else!!
Blue stones on a volcanic beach near Ende.

Collected for export... simply phenomenal and this is very close to the true colour!
An Arak still in a very poor village outside Ende. The clay pots have fires lit under them to distill the juice from Tuak, the coconut palm flower... 100% proof!
Our first glimpse of a traditional village at Lubo

Where Christianity meets the sacred spirit house!
Pamela adjusting the camera near the weavers and their beautiful  Ikat cloth.
Hands of a weaver, note the cloth!

Weaving a very wide Ikat cloth to make into a sarong. the decoration in the hair is a comb!

Roof top spirit decorations

This is the shape that is used to house the spirit of the dead men.

The twining is just unbelievable... and this is about 15 foot high!

This is the shape that is used to house the spirit of the dead women.

Buffalo horns used to keep out the bad spirits. These horns have come after the buffalo has been sacrificed after someone had died.
Christian burial amongst the traditional spirit houses.

The entry into the inner room of the house.

Carving on the front of the veranda.

Cloth hanging out for inspection, with a hope that we will buy... we did!
Sorting beans from coffee
The older woman of the village.

The children.
Preparing a bobbin with two threads... one around her knees, the other on another bobbin at her feet. This is for the weft that makes a heavier cloth.
The process of Ikat
Cloth on the loom, basket that she made to hold her betel nuts!
Harvesting the corn from the cob after it has dried.

The traditional village of Beno, about a 3 kilometre stroll from the Lubo village.

Gunung Inerie the active volcano behind the Beno village.
The stone alter for slaughtering the buffalo after someone has died.
The verandas for the houses with grain drying on the ground

Rice paddy fields under Gunung Inerie near Bajwa
Gunung Inerie .. one side
Gunun Inerie .. the other side.... yes we went right around, it took about 3 hours for that part of the journey!

Well!! Where else would you put your stuff... this is not our car by the way!!
And when the footie team has an away game? You only need one bus to take the team and the family of supporters!
Below..... there is still room on the roof for more!!

The mountains and the valleys from Bajwa to Labuan Bajo... it was like this for about 5 hours of the 9 hour journey! Absolutely astonishing!!
Along the way to Labuan Bajo, the house styles changed.

Fire wood under the roof to dry... all cut to the same length

Then we saw the  bay at Labuan Bajo for out last night in Flores!

Colours that match the cloth that I had bought.
Dug out canoe
Boats of all shapes and sizes and price, on the bay.
Our last glimpse as we drove to the airport!