Friday, 1 November 2013

Ruteng & Bajawa

We went to Ruteng. The bus dropped us off right near the hotel. 2nd best hotel in town, it sucks! Expensive, and not good. Staff is fun, though very useless. They ask the same question 10 times, had to wait for breakfast for half an hour, they couldn't book a bus ticket for the whole day. Needless to say I got a bit harsh with them. "Are you angry with me miss Yana?", oh yes I am!
Took a bike to go to beautiful spider rice fields. It rains hard and often, and every time the bike stalls, I always end up ankle deep in some puddle. Every time I'm with Kostya we end up on some roads, if you can call them that. We're already off the tourist track, nope, it seems like Kostya wants to go to the edge of the earth. We stopped and went for a walk, so many kids, all running around us, nobody really knows English, like 30 kids and they all went for a walk with us. In the rice field we yell "go go go!!", they march on the little foot path, 30 kids and me, then traffic jam, "Go, go, go!!", the traffic seems to move, that's until I came across a huge mud bath. No way I'm going there! I stopped and turned back with all the kids jumping through the mud after me :)
bye bye mister Yana!!!
bye bye! :)
sweet kids
Locals are yelling hello to us, give us a hand to shake with a lot of honour, then dragged us to some traditional house where they made a concert for us with drums and some metal plates. Everyone yells, tourists, tourists.. .and all the village runs towards us. Then we played soccer with the boys all the way back to the bike.
In the evening went to a restaurant. Suddenly a huge storm has started, thank god we were inside. The whole palm tree went down near the restaurant and things were flying on the street. We kept ordering tea and more tea to sit through it. There is no electricity, the street is covered with broken branches, and I ended up knee deep in some puddle.
Another terrible bus ride, I was sick most of the way. But the destination was amazing. The interesting, cultural, traditional villages of Indonesia. These people still live the traditional life style, and only a few years ago got electricity. The role of the dead plays a big part in their daily lives, and you can see these examples everywhere. They bury their dead right next to their houses, decorating the graves with bathroom tiles. In some villages you just don't understand, is it a village or a cemetery? Their important ceremonies also happen near rock graves where their ancestors are lying. They sacrifice animals on an almost daily basis. The sacrifice brings relief or respect to what has happened, and also raises the status of the family. Because the more bulls you can sacrifice, the more money you have. And of course everyone can see how many bulls have been sacrificed, because they proudly display horns or jaws hanging right in front of the house. If you need to build a new house or even to replace a roof, you have to sacrifice a buffalo. For every 5 houses in the village, there should be a small female house, which looks like a doll house. It's very strange, as no women are allowed in there. Only men go there during some ceremonies, but usually just once a year. There are also very aggressive figures on the roof of the houses. They are meant to protect the house, but also carry with them a sexual energy which can assault a woman. Therefore all women should be inside the house when the figure is installed. I asked one of the people "why aren't you changing towards a modern way of life?", "No we can't" she replied, "we'll all get sick and die! Now when we get sick, we sacrifice a chicken" ... makes sense! We walked through a bamboo forest, to ancestral grounds through a corn field where the woman picked up corn which she grilled in the house for us. When we went back, a rain has started, and she gave us big leaves to cover from it :) We sat eating corn near a fire with her snotty kids and dogs.
We drove around absorbing the traditional life style and the beautiful volcano views. We stopped at hot springs where boiling hot water merges with cold water. Then I went to the market and bought fresh veggies for a salad. Finally! The locals always seem surprised ... "You're not going to cook it???"
Next day we went for a walk up a volcano. We couldn't find a shared taxi that goes there, but we finally found someone who spoke English, and the whole taxi dropped us off there. We found a "guide" who took us up a volcano for $2, one hour up. On the top there were 2 small lakes, one is burnt orange color, the other one is turquoise. I remember seeing pictures where both of the lakes were orange.
At 5:30am the next day, we caught an 8 hour bus to our final stop. Thank god for the motion sickness pills which made me sleep all through our ride :)

1 comment:

  1. Yana

    great pictures and a beautiful country.
    The children seem to be so happy