Flores, Pantai Nanga Panda, Blue Stone beach
Near Ende, on the southern coast of Flores, we stop at a beach called Nanga Panda. No white sand here – it is covered by turquoise stones polished by the sea. Several men and women are gathering the stones in large sacks. The collectors sell them – for only Rp 600 per kilogram – to merchants who ship them to Bali and Surabaya, where they make their way to homeware shops for uptown tastes. From the coastal road, we get a glimpse of bizarre Gunung Meja – or Table Mountain – which looks as if a giant with some uptown taste of his own has cut off its top to be able to dine comfortably.