So as is the nature of budget flights, we hit Indo at around midnight.
Pretty rare with us being couchsurfing addicts (we actually turned down a kind host offer), we booked a transit room – a cheap room for max 7 hour stay with free WiFi, included free airport transfers. For this short drive, we waited quite a while plus in hindsight, it was further to drive than to walk. Still with two tired boys in tow, a welcomed bonus.
We hit the hotel, in darkness with the warm tropical heat hanging in the air. Nice to be given a free upgrade to a huge apartment style room with private lounge and balcony overlooking the pool. Figuring we will be hungry in the morning, we pre-book breakfast for INR 80,000 (AUS$8) Adult + kids eat free. By the time we all had a quick shower to cool down and our heads hit the pillow it was 2am. Set the alarm for 9am but all woke up bleary eyed and too excited to sleep before 7am. Such is travelling with kids. Love it.
Felix woke up and said, “Wake up, Be awesome, Repeat”. We are trying to live it.
A hotel buffet breakfast is something to be savoured. This one was extensive to say the least. There was even a cook station for eggs customised to your liking, fresh pancakes and waffles. Plus a promotional table displaying the delights of a traditional health drink – our first try of Jamu.
Jamu (old spelling Djamu) is a traditional medicine from Indonesia. It is predominantly a herbal medicine made from natural materials, such as roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits. Materials acquired from animals, such as honey, royal jelly, milk and ayam kampung eggs are also often used…
Jamu is claimed to have originated in the Mataram Kingdom era, some 1300years ago. The stone mortar and pestle with long cylindrical stone mortar — the type commonly used in today’s traditional jamu making, was discovered in Liyangan archaeological site on the slope of Mount Sundoro, Central Java…
Jamu was (and is) practiced by indigenous physicians (dukuns). However, it is generally prepared and prescribed by women, who sell it on the streets. Generally, the different jamu prescriptions are not written down but handed down between the generations. – Wiki
Here is a list of all the things we sampled this morning for breakfast. Freshly cooked omelettes, baked beans, chicken sausages, stir fried vegetables, vermicelli, fried rice, soya chicken, chicken congee, fruit with yoghurt, pancakes & waffles with chocolate sauce, coffee & croissant, baked sweet potato, hot black rice in coconut milk (Bubur Injin), banana & chocolate cake, guava juice & watermelon juice.
Shazam – I realised that the orange blouse I had picked out, went with everything. The decor had orange highlights, the staff uniforms were orange, there were orange feature cushions on the bed, even the pictures in our room had orange accents.
Back in our comfy room, we decided not to swim, mainly because we did not want to pack wet swim gear. So out came the boys trusty Nintendo DS consoles. These have been sitting untouched in the boys room for more than a year but when on holiday they are suddenly re-discovered and treasured for every detail. We are great fans of old tech on holiday. This not only means less worry if it is lost or damaged but it is also less of a fascination, if there are other things to do. So after some more chillin, we decided to do a short local walk.
Tuban is an area in Badung Regency, Bali. It is pretty much the southern part of Kuta. We enjoyed exploring the shaded “gangs” (little laneways), catching some local street art and admiring the delicate Canang Sari.
Canang sari is one of the daily offerings made by Balinese Hindus to thank the Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in praise and prayer. Canang sari will be seen in the Balinese temples (pura), on small shrines in houses, and on the ground or as a part of a larger offering. – Wiki
So after re-packing and checking out we again took the free transfer to the nearby airport. Unfortunately our flight from Denpasar transiting Labuan Bajo (LB) was delayed. Which meant the break we would have had at LB to stretch the legs, was non-existent. So we stayed on the same tiny prop ATR-72 all the way to Ende. Only later did we realise that we had left one of our universal travel adaptors back in Denpasar.
As we flew, we looked down at the rolling brown tinged hills we would later cross in the opposite direction – our first glimpses of Flores Island.
Eventually we reached the tiny airport at Ende. Here we were hit with a wall of taxi offers, which we refused. Quietly we sat on our bags waiting patiently for our host to arrive as agreed, watching the last few passengers trickle away. (Unfortunately new laws governing SIM card registration, meant I did not yet have call capability). So after a long pause, we asked help from a kindly airport attendant who volunteered to ring our host for us.
So it was that we finally met Ferdy and was generously invited into his home. Here we were given sweet tea and a humble, warm meal. We joyfully met Ferdy’s lovely wife, son and daughter. We talked about many things and admired his pet Emerald doves, common in local rice fields.
Early to bed for us our weary trio. Our slumber was interrupted by plans being made for our early morning departure on a day trip and sadly an urgent departure to intensive care for Ferdy’s daughter.
(She returned home and fully recovered, a few days after we departed Ende).