14th December 2010
I awoke with mixed feelings about leaving the village…but it was time to say ‘Goodbye’ to Kampung Mano and head back to Labuan bajo with a few stops along the way through Manggarai Land.
After another long, relaxed morning of drinking coffee and sitting around chatting (true Indonesian style!)…it was time to pack up and hit the road again. It was sad to say goodbye to my friend’s family…they had been very gracious hosts…I felt at a total loss for words to thank them for their kind generosity of accepting me and allowing me to stay in their home. It was a very unique experience.
The journey back to Labuan Bajo was broken up with a few stops…first in Ruteng at the new catheral.
Then we stopped at ‘Compang Ruteng‘ – a traditional village, just outside Ruteng, which has a ‘compang’, a traditional ancestor alter of a raised stone burial area and two renovated traditional houses. The traditional houses were built architecturally the same as the traditional house in the village, both being Manggarai traditional houses, but these ones were huge…one was the ceremonial meeting house.
Our third stop was to view the spectacular spiral rice fields, apparently the only ones designed in this way! It meant a long, steep walk up a big hill to be rewarded with the picture perfect views…and it was worth it! Looking down on the rice fields, they looked like big round pies all with equal cut slices. These rice field crops are deliberately divided in this way, as the locals believe that it ensures equal quantity for all. I like this idea!
We arrived back in Labuan Bajo at dusk…it had been a long day. One last night at the ‘Bintang Flores’ and tomorrow morning I was flying back to Bali…my journey was coming to an end.
I left Labuan Bajo the next day and headed back to Bali on a morning flight…felt a bit disappointed with the fleeting trip but time was running out…my holiday was coming to an end. I knew that I had not finished exploring Flores…I would be back again.
I had five days in Bali…relaxing, shopping (a long term tradition of mine…when in Bali – must buy a stack of new books and resources from Gramedia!), catching up with old friends, eating at favourite restaurants (and I have many!) and just literally hanging out. It was really enjoyable…it was the wind down of the trip before returning home to Melbourne.
And five days later when it was time for me to leave Indonesian soil…I had that sad, sinking feeling like I always get when it’s time to leave…but I had already started planning my next journey to Indonesia!