Apologies for the delay; Flores decided to give me Dengue fever as a kind of last hurrah and then my family came over. Now that I am in the land of the raw fish and pocket wifi, I will attempt to catch up rapidly to bring you all up to date. You lucky ducks…
I’m going to combine Bajawa and Ende into one post. Half a post each is generous for these towns but that’s just in my nature.
We only actually went to Bajawa for a brief hour before being shuttled, via a bus journey which nearly reduced Phoebe to tears, to Ende. We stayed on the outskirts just next to a volcano. Sadly, it didn’t erupt and put us out of our Flores-filled misery but it sat there looking pretty – fair enough. We went to a traditional village (Bena) the next day where a man with a similar complexion to your average handbag tried to flog me a cinnamon stick. I declined, insisting that my travel spice cabinet was too filled with vanilla pods. Failing this, he offered me sheeps teeth; I again told him my dental pouch was already full. Thankfully, that was the extent of his products so we parted ways after that. We were semi-contemplating (we mentioned it once) going up the volcano but the mild drizzle in the air was enough to put us off the five mile hike. Instead I drank coffee which didn’t resemble mud in a cup (“Flores Coffee, our speciality”) and watched thunderstorms from the safety of a wooden hut.
The trip to Ende was in a car, not a bus for a blessed fucking change. Unfortunately, this journey did not alter our opinion that all the shit music in the world apparently concentrates on this small island in the Indian Ocean. Furthermore, I have never seen more saliva come out of a man’s mouth than the man in the front of the taxi that day – not a minute went by without a nice spit out of the car window.
Walking through the streets of Ende returned us to the normal procedure of Flores with a thunk. People asking the incessant question, “Where are you going?” and yelling “Hey Mister!” (the latter audience mostly being Phoebe) got old quick. A welcome find was a restaurant selling free range chicken. This may seem trivial, yet on an island where the term “customer service” is synonymous with “daylight robbery”, it was enough to make our hearts burst with joy. We also went to a beach where blue rocks just wash up on a black sand shore. Unfortunately this won’t last much longer; with the foresight of a bat, the locals are sending all of the rocks away to countries demanding them for ornamental gardens. The result is that large mounds of beautiful blue rocks are piled at the side of the road whilst the beach acts as a rubbish tip. I can tell you honestly at this stage, Flores was beginning to whittle us down like an annoying toddler nibbling at our ankles (with rabies).