|Wiki Info Bajawa
The hired/shared minivan - Perama arranged it - only took us as far as Ruteng where 3 of the 9 passengers got out. Other tourists in the van included a French gal, German gal, and a young Polish couple who'd been working the past 7 years in Ireland. Very interesting story from them, they quit their retail & recycling jobs, respectively, and took off to SE Asia 7 months ago.
In Ruteng we waited until 1:30 when we were transferred to another company's (Gunung Mas) larger van losing our forward seats. Bon tried to object but they insisted 'Full' meaning the front seats were taken. Yes, taken by locals. Not very tourist friendly, but that wasn't the end of it. When we got to the outskirts of Bajawa the driver tried to drop us off 2 km. from town! We were told when we paid the extra cost of this van that it was from our hotel to our hotel! An outcry from passengers (the locals had already been dropped off) caused the driver to rethink his greedy strategy and we ended up at Edelweiss Hotel where supposedly, the second leg of this transport by van will pick us up day after tomorrow. Bon and I ended up across the street at Hotel Korina because the fellow at Edelweiss didn't understand any English and the 2 rooms he showed us weren't very appealing. The other 4 ended up at Edelweiss because they just looked at all the rooms on their own and chose the best available economy rooms which the fellow we dealt with had not shown us! The others also needed Wifi which is only available at Edelweiss.
We were tired from the ride, the scenery was just not all that spectacular along the way although I enjoyed seeing the different agricultural fields plus the local living conditions. Most all the countryside has been clear cut twice, once by colonials and then more recently by corporate interests so somewhat depressing seeing the result. This time however, I doubt there will be a chance for 3rd growth of timber due to the huge population growth dominating the need for agricultural production.
The people are friendly enough (other than transport drivers, cabbies, bus drivers, etc.), but not many speak or understand English and we have gotten lazy about even learning the basics, thank you, how much, etc.
The English mom and her daughter who we met in Labuan Bajo, decided after getting sick and having men expose themselves to them on 3 different occasions in Indonesia, that they'd had enough and flew to Thailand! The two tiered pricing and constant haggling to get at least a decent deal is pretty much a drag also. We're discouraged with the way the tourist service people are always trying to rip us off and the struggle to communicate with the locals in any sensible fashion. Maybe we're just burned out from long term travel overall?!
Lazy day getting up and eat and walk around town. Hit up by several 'guides' who wanted the 'help' us - go to a village, visit waterfalls, hot springs, etc. Just not that interested and besides, we don't have the $$ to spend. They all want us to buy their woven goods as well which we have no interest in. Spending more time now at the internet, maybe catch up some.
In the eve we meet up with Ilona & Maciek (Polish couple) to chat about plans for tomorrow. We go by minivan to Moni and hopefully arrange transport up to Mt. Kelimutu. Ilona & Maciek had rented a motorbike, loved the very natural setting hot springs, had a great day they said.