But mandarins do. New island, new fruits. I did love the mangos of Timor but citrus rocks when you are riding and so I’m happy to see little bundles of mandarins at roadside stalls, 4 for 10,000 (about a dollar).
As you might expect, I had very little energy cycling into Ende yesterday after the ferry trip. I couldn’t find the guesthouse my Garmin was directing me to, so stopped at the first one I found. Takes the title of most run down of the trip. Filty.
Start the day with something I associate with breakfast in Indonesia from a trip to Java with the family in, I’m saying 1990, congee. Made by a very friendly Javanese man who moved to Ende a year ago to escape the hustle and bustle of the world’s most populated island.
It looked like a real ‘welcome to Flores’ moment leaving town with steep mountains ahead but I was well prepared having conquered Timor. Even so, the cycle to Moni was tough going. I wasn’t quite 100% after the past 48 hours. Flores is another couple of degrees warmer than Timor. Hot and dry, rather than overcast day. Lots of stops. But! My first hot shower of the trip at the lovely Arwanty’s Bungalows & Restaurant. Take a wander and check out the local waterfall and hot springs, meeting a group of Muslim teachers on holiday from Yogyakarta. Have you been? They asked. Yes! When I was 10. They were very impressed and said I must visit again sometime.
Have a couple of meals including one at Arwanty’s, and sample the local liquor Arak, made from fermented palm sap. Not too bad, certainly easier to drink than Chinese rice wine. One will do me though. 干杯! 中国学生好吗? 你们最近学习英文吗?
Good job I’m not aiming for sunrise at Mt Kelimutu tomorow.
Tuesday 27th Dec, 2016. Cycling day 9’s stats: 51 km in 6 and a half hours. 7.8km/h average. 1213 metres up. 534 metres down.