Sleeping across the island

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After breakfast we leave Moni and drive across the island. It is a scenic drive through a green hilly landscape. The road is supposedly sealed – but a sealed road on the country side in Indonesia isn’t quite the same quality as a sealed road in Europe or North America. So there is frequent potholes and sometimes the road surface just disappear for long distances where they are supposed to make some road repairs but just hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

Waterfall

When we drive along the road we spot a few empty buses which look somewhat nicer than the local buses. The buses are driving to the western end of Flores to transport the bike riders who participate in the TdF. When I see this short hand for a bike race I immediately think about the Tour de France – but around here the name is short for the Tour de Flores. The bike race is somewhat smaller only for the riders on the Asian cycle tour which is a professional bike tour as well but the riders on these teams only make a fraction of the riders who fight for glory in France.

On our drive we go through Ende which is the biggest city on the south coast of Flores. The city doesn’t really look like you need to stay long but it is good if you need to pick up some supplies. We don’t need major shopping so after a very short visit in the city we continue across the island.

The drive is slowed by the bad condition of the road – but we have an additional problem. Our driver has gotten ill and is terribly tired so he drives very slowly. After a bit of slow driving we stop so the driver can get a nap. It is somewhat annoying to have to stop in the middle of nowhere for him to have a nap – but for security reasons it seems like the only option. There is a bit of a view from the place we stop – but it is hardly enough to keep us entertained for long so we quickly just hang around doing nothing waiting for the driver. After a nap he claims to be awake so we can continue the drive.

After a slow drive we finally arrive in Bajawa and find a hotel. We agree with the driver that there is no point for us to continue together the next day which we had agreed. So we pay him for the two days we have driven together and we will find other transport for the rest of the drive across the island.

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