Making arak next to the road

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We drive along the winding road from Bajawa with its frequent pot holes and sometimes the road disappears altogether into a detour taking us around a bridge which really should be there but currently is under repair. I can’t help wonder how the bike racers who must be coming by in a couple of days will do it – these roads are more suitable for a mountain bike than a racing bike.

After a bit of a bumpy drive we get down to the coast in a palm rich area. Next to the road are a little collection of huts and a few fire pits. Here right next to the road is a little local production of Arak. The liquid is fermented in some large plastic barrels to become a low alcoholic beverage. To make it into the spirit it has to be distilled.

Fire to distil the alcohol

The destination is made in small ovens which are wood fired. The low alcoholic liquid is heated so the alcohol evaporates first and is let through some bamboo pipes to a little bottle where the alcohol is cooled down and turned back into a liquid.

The production is primitive but it is on a fairly large scale with several fire pits for the distillation process. So there must be a fairly large market for the local product. We could buy a cheap bottle of the production – but decline – I don’t think we could finish a large bottle anyway and I am not absolutely sure about the production which might use some product to fortify the drink which might be lethal.

Liqufying the spirits

So we just leave the factory empty handed and drive along the Trans Flores highway.


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