Flores, Ruteng to Bajawa 150 Km, 6 Hours
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Ruteng is a small town on the western end of Flores Island, Indonesia. It is the capital of West Manggarai regency. The population is predominantly Roman Catholic, but still preserve the ancient Manggarai custom of caci (whip fighting), which is usually practiced at weddings, and serves as a tourist attraction.
Ruteng is a Hinterland east of the port area of Labuhan Bajo and close to the other ports of West Manggarai regency and it really another ‘passing through’ area in Flores’s western area. Whether you area heading to Komodo and the eastern islands of extensive protected wildlife and or towards the east in search of incredible peaks and mountains it is likely that you will find Ruteng a convenient stopping point. Ruteng is a beautiful place to explore when passing trough or residing in any of the coastal area in the west, southwest and northwest of the Flores Island.
Ruteng is a town that deals will the export of the tropical fruits and vegetables from which the farmers of its surrounding areas produce as the largest industry and traditional of the area. Beautiful traditional villages surround the large town, these villages extend high into the mountains offering cooler and more humid mountain fresh climates with amazing sunrise views and the ability to grow and sustain a larger selection of crops. crops here include Pineapple, cinnamon, cloves, sweet potato and many other spices and fruits.
Points and areas of interest that Ruteng has to offer include Golo Curu, the ‘welcome mountain’ this beautiful view point can be reached by heading out from Ruteng towards Reo but going straight after the bridge when instead of following the main road round to left. from here you area lead to an unpathed road that is only a 20 minute to the top. As with most of the Mountains in the Flores area, Golo Curu is subject to clouds manifesting around its peak during the day but is almost always clear in the morning, if you make it for first light you will witness an incredible sunrise over the city of Ruteng and its surrounding mountains and hills. upon the mountain of Golo Curu the very top is obstructed by vegetation but a little further down there are some excellent panoramic viewpoints. there is also an alter to the virgin Mary after a reported sighting and message that one should be built, the church agreed to build it but so far this is where the story ends.
Another worth while experience is to visit and witness a local marriage, marriages are an interesting and pleasant event and usually feature one of the most potent elements of Flores’ culture, the whip fighting. Whip fighting is a social display that is more of a dance then a fight but does feature a competitive edge. The whole ceremony is a good experience and if you are appropriately dressed and know how to behave according to the customs then you will be warmly welcome even as a stranger. The best way to look for this if you are interested is to ask in Indonesian at the market or employ the help of someone who speaks English to help you and advise you on how to behave and what to wear.
About an hour before Bajawa you can discover how the local drink (arak) is made. People from all over Flores, mainly the men, drink this strong ‘palm wine’ (from the lontar palm) during traditional ceremonies, on special events but also just in the evenings when socialising with other men from the village. Arak can also be made from rice (rice wine). In this coastal village you can taste and buy your own Arak.
Mbalata Beach Inn Cottages, Aimere
Mbalata beach Inn Cottage located in the eastern part of Manggarai called “Waelengga” Manggarai Timur regency near Aimere in Flores Island, it is about 45 km from Bajawa to Ruteng town.
The cottage was built on a sand integrated with Pandanous forest facing Sawu sea, cottages material composed of palm trunks, wood and bamboo and then combined with grass for roof construction and far from locals house.
Mbalata nature deserted beach, panorama makes tourist more interesting to stay there and when night falls, there is only waves sound pounding on the sand.
Bajawa is known for its beautiful scenery and traditional villages in the surrounding area. There are several mountains to climb, and it has some pleasant hiking trails. The impressive, cone-shaped Mount Inerie (2,230m) can be seen from the traditional villages of Bena and Luba. Their traditional houses and ceremony places in the village centre give the feeling that time has stood still for centuries. Local woman weave the traditional ‘ikat’ with Ngada patterns. Local guides can explain local customs, traditions and beliefs. Besides hiking and visiting villages, it’s also nice to enjoy a relaxing ‘mandi’ (swim) in the hot spring near So’a, north of Bajawa, or make a trip to lake Wawo Muda (the three red lakes that arose after the volcano’s eruption in 2001).
Bintang Wisata Hotel – in the Center of Bajawa
Bintang Wisata Hotel Bajawa is a small and simple hotel with basic standard accommodation, however it’s best accommodation available in Bajawa so far. It ‘s located in Bajawa town, nearby the market, shops and restaurant.
Bintang Wisata hotel has around 20 rooms, each room with inside bathroom, but only deluxe room with hot water.
Simple hotel in the twon, If you get off the door of the hotel, is right in the daily life of villagers. Because Bajawa in a valley, the temperature is pleasant evenings. The accommodation is small and the atmosphere is pleasant.
Bintang Wisata Hotel is situated on a quiet road, central in the Bajawa. Within walking distance are several restaurants.
The hotel has 24 rooms. The rooms are simple and practical furnishings. All rooms have a bathroom with shower and toilet. The standard rooms only cold water. The tourist hotel rooms and VIP rooms have hot water. The VIP rooms are also a TV and a balcony.
There is a restaurant.
Standard Room : RP. 350.000/night/single or double bed
Deluxe Room : RP. 450.000/night/single or double bed
VIP Room : RP. 500.000/nigth/single or double bed
All rates including breakfast and taxes
High and peak season surcharge Rp. 100.000/night/room apply from July 01-September 15 and Dec 01-January 15