I was told that the ferry from Kupang to Larantuka would take 16 -18 hours, thankfully it was only a 13 hour trip and the seas were reasonably calm, the highlight was when they were topping the ferry up with fuel and I counted 4 people smoking within a few meters. I had the option of travelling on the upstairs seated section, however I chose to roll my sleeping mat out on the floor of the cargo area and sleep next to the bike, there were plenty of others doing the same thing next to their vehicles. I was able to get a good 8 hours sleep and no doubt would have got a few more if I hadn’t consumed a pack of Kopiko extra shot coffee lollies at the start of the voyage. I rolled off the Ferry at 6am without any dramas and set out to start exploring Larantuka. The natural beauty of Flores blew me away immediately, it’s covered in thick rainforest and surrounded by picture perfect beaches overlooking tropical islands and somehow the view just kept getting better around every corner I passed.
After a short stay in Larantuka I made my way to the city of Maumere, Once gain the road was a motorcyclists dream, one turn just rolled into the next and the scenery was spectacular, I enjoyed the ride so much I had to remind myself to slow down to enjoy the view. I stayed at a lovely place just out of town called sunset cottages, they were traditional bamboo huts with an ensuite, right on the beach with a million dollar view and only cost 90,000 Rupiah (approximately $9. AU) per night. The Owner Henderikus and his family were really friendly, the view over the beach was amazing, they cooked some delicious Indonesian food and he was also kind enough to organise a bottle of Aruk for me to drink on the beach. The main attraction in the area was mount Egon, an active volcano that vented gas and had a small coloured lake in its crater. The 2 hour hike to the top was reasonably hard but somehow my young Indonesian guide was able to spend the whole trip talking nonstop about girls and bikes. The view from the top of the crater was amazing, this was the first volcano I had seen and it was on a list of 11 volcanos in Indonesia on the highest alert level, I was suitably impressed. There were some hot springs on the way down, which was a great way to relax and wind down, especially since the cottages I was staying in didn’t have hot water. My guide Marlino was really into bikes and offered to take me to the local motocross championships, he explained that most of the guys raced slightly modified 2 stroke scooters, which I definitely had to see. This was like no racing I’d seen before, the track was located in a storm water channel in the center of town and was totally lined with people to the point where the police had to close off the block to allow for the masses of people watching. As promised there were some very basic bikes, a few guys rode newer motocross bikes but the biggest cheers from the crowd and myself went to those that raced the underpowered backyard modified scooters.
After a few days relaxing at sunset cottages it was time to head to the islands number one tourist attraction, Mount Kelimutu, near the town of Moni. As always the ride there was great, I arrived in the afternoon and organised some accommodation at the Bintang Lodge. As the name suggests there was a bit of a party atmosphere, having stayed at some very quiet places over the last week it was good to share travelling stories with the other guests over a beer, while the manager Billy did a great job of covering Bob Marely songs. Even though it meant getting up at 4am to see the sunrise, Mount Kelimutu and its 3 lakes lived up to their hype, the views were amazing and I think I racked up about 100 selfies. I spent the whole morning taking photos of the craters and checking out the monkey’s that would come out hoping to get a free feed from the tourists. I had a great couple of days at Moni, there were some other nice sights too see such as waterfalls and swimming holes, the locals were a great bunch and I was lucky to of met some genuinely nice travelers while I was there.